There is always some kind of hack you can do with any console that will get discovered at some point. When it comes to unlocking the ability to play the NES version of Golf on the Nintendo Switch we were surprised to find the firmware has existed since 1.0 and has only just been discovered! This simulator will even give you the ability to use multiplayer, how cool is that?
The file name to play this version of Golf exists on our console as a file named "FLOG." But, don't worry, unlocking this game won't require any file searching or downloading to play. Unfortunately, it won't be available for anyone with the 4.0.0 firmware revision as Nintendo has now removed the entry point that allowed the game to play. The reasoning actually goes deeper than you think, and before I show you how to unlock the game (if you're running firmware that will support it) I want to tell you why this is a thing.
Satoru Iwata was a video game programmer for Nintendo who took a huge risk back in 1982 to create a game for the NES that everyone said was too large to fit on a cartridge. Not only did he successfully create this game, but he created his own compression method to fit all 18 of the levels on the one cartridge. This man had such a passion for the creation and enjoyment of video games he often worked clear through holidays and celebrations because this was what was important to him. He assisted the creation of games like Pokemon Gold and Silver and Super Smash Bros.
In 2002 he became the first president to Nintendo that wasn't related to Yamauchi's family under the instructions, "that Nintendo give birth to wholly new ideas and create hardware which reflects that ideal. And make software that adheres to that same standard." He continued changing the way that Nintendo created games until 2014 when he missed an E3 due to medical problems. In June of the same year, he underwent surgery to help with the removal of a tumor. For another year Iwata would continue to work with Nintendo until being hospitalized again in June of the following year. Even then he worked from a laptop on his hospital bed to continue bringing us life-changing games.
Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015. It was only recently anyone had discovered that, in honor of his memory, every Nintendo Switch had Golf installed on it that could only be played on the anniversary of his death. All you had to do was launch your Switch and make hand motions similar to the way he used to during Nintendo Direct. Iwata was a legend to Nintendo, and this was a minor way of giving him tribute.
How to get the game to launch on your Nintendo Switch.
First thing's first, you want to go into your settings and set the clock to July 11, the anniversary of Iwata's death. Like I mentioned above, you won't be able to play this game if you have the 4.0.0 firmware revision or higher. We're not sure why that's the case, but unfortunately, those are the breaks. I, for one, am not upset with Nintendo for removing it un-updated firmware. YouTube user FireElement explains how he believes Golf existing on the Switch was meant to be an Omamori.
"An Omamori is a Japanese tradition of honoring one's passing, by including something personal or a belonging of the person in a sealed container or pouch. It is then carried or worn to ward off bad luck and spirits, as well to protect the carrier. An Omamori is not intended to be opened, as it is believed to release the contained spirit of protection held within." So, because Golf was found and opened it's likely Nintendo took it down as the purpose was then defeated.
- Remove the controllers from your Switch and lay the switch flat on a table - facing up.
- Face them backward and parallel from one another.
- Lower your hands to your sides.
- Put your hands on your chest.
- Push them out forward and then back to your chest.
- Lower them to your sides once more.
- Repeat steps 4-6 until Golf launches.
Were you able to get Golf to launch on your Nintendo Switch? What are your favorite NES and Nintendo games from during Iwata's reign? Better yet, how does this whole situation make you feel? My heart breaks writing this. Just the same, my heart goes out to Iwata's family, friends, to Nintendo and all of their family. Yes, that includes you.
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Essa Kidwell is an expert in all things VR and mobile devices who can always be found with an Oculus Go, a Pixel 2, and an iPhone 7+. They've been taking things apart just to put them back together for quite some time. If you've got a troubleshooting issue with any of your tech, they're the one you want to go to! Find them on Twitter @OriginalSluggo or Instagram @CosmeticChronus.