Back in July this year, a Switch owner named Setery asked people online to look into a reason why NES Golf had appeared on her Switch when she left it and came back. She discovered that she was able to play the game as normal, which left users baffled as to how it had appeared on the console in the first place
Modders delved further into this, and found that there was in fact the NES Golf game hidden inside the Switch’s firmware under the name ‘flog’ which is ‘golf’ backwards. Some people speculated that there was some kind of hidden method that allowed players to launch the game from the Switch menu, but at this point, no one knew just how to trigger it.
Recently, modders have been doing even further investigations, and have found that this appears to be a heart warming tribute to the late Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata.
“We thought they had included it during manufacturing by mistake,” Plutoo, one of the modders, told Kotaku over Twitter direct messages. “But when we [dug] deeper, we found there was some suspicious code in the ‘Home Menu.” When Plutoo decided to look into it. He discovered even more information: “The code looked for the date July 11th, and the code right before seemed to enable the ‘Joycon sixaxis’ motion sensors.”
Plutoo advised that the he code enabled a “secret handshake” which unlocked something on 11th July on the Switch’s home screen. He also advised that the motion hidden in the code was said to match Iwata’s well known Nintendo Direct gesture. This, along with the fact that Iwata passed away on the 11th July, and programmed NES Golf back in the 80’s, seems like all of this has been put together as a touching tribute to the late CEO.
Since you can trick the Switch into thinking that it’s 11th July at any point, a user named Fiskerdin tried something out for himself. “I booted the unopened Switch up, did the setup procedure, and decided to try it out the gesture which was posted,” he explained over e-mail to Kotaku. “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.”
Nintendo has yet to confirm if this is deliberate, even if all information does suggest that this is the case.