Report: Buried in the Switch is code to run NES Golf on the date Iwata died

Reports and videos suggest there's a version of NES Golf coded into Nintendo's new Switch console, modified to be played with motion controls -- but only on the anniversary of Iwata's passing.

Word got around this weekend that there may be an emulator that runs the 1984 Nintendo Entertainment System game Golf coded into Nintendo's new Switch console, and that it's been modified to be played with motion controls -- but only on July 11th, the day in 2015 when former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata passed away.

While none of this has (yet) been confirmed by Nintendo, enough video (including one posted by the BBC today) of Golf running on the Switch (via a hidden NES emulator called "flog") has surfaced to suggest there's some truth to the tales.

Devs who are familiar with Iwata's legacy as a game developer may appreciate the choice of Golf, as it was a game he coded himself while working with Nintendo at HAL Laboratory in the '80s.

The method by which Switch owners reportedly unlock the game on July 11th is also a tribute to Iwata; specifically, the habit he had of raising his open hands in front of him and pushing them towards the camera while appearing in Nintendo Direct videos.

"I simply put both Joy-cons parallel to each other and pointed towards the ground, then raised them in a vertical position and waited, the screen turned blank, an audible cue was played, and then I was greeted with the Golf menu," a source who claimed to get this to work told Kotaku. The person said they were using a new Switch which hadn't been connected to the Internet, which allowed them get around the reported July 11th date requirement.

Yesterday, 8-4's Justin Epperson took to Twitter from Japan to report that many people in the country were calling this hidden tribute a kind of omomori, the Japanese charms meant to provide protection and good fortune. 

Latest Jobs

Pocketwatch Games

Senior Gameplay Engineer


Cambridge, Massachusetts
Jr. Programmer

Gameloft Australia

Brisbane, Australia
Creative Director

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
Senior Systems Designer
More Jobs   


Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter


Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more