Two years after his passing, Satoru Iwata remains an important part of Nintendo’s video game vision.

With its blend of portable and console gameplay styles, Nintendo’s Switch has been called “innovative” and “revolutionary.” Maybe it’s time to add a third descriptor: full of secrets.

While delving into the system’s pre-loaded software code, some owners came across a file called FLOG. That might sound unusually violent for family-friendly Nintendo, but it turns out the company was just covering its tracks by writing backwards, since the file actually contains the old-school NES game Golf, one of the original titles the system launched with in North America back in 1985.

Granted, Golf is far from the most fun or significant title from that era in Nintendo’s history. Still, the discovery was cause to rejoice because it also showed that the Switch apparently has a built-in NES emulator, which should pave the way for easy distribution of 8-bit NES and Famicom video games once Nintendo launches such a service, something it undoubtedly has plans to do eventually.

But while every Switch in existence has a copy of Gold locked in its digital heart, getting to it is no easy manner. Unless you’ve got the skills and willingness to go poking around in the system code, currently the only way to start the game is to perform a specific motion with the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers. Oh, and the system also has to think it’s July 11.

Why July 11? Because that’s the day that Satoru Iwata, the former president and CEO of Nintendo who led the country through some of its biggest successes of the modern era, passed away. As a further salute to Iwata, the Joy-Con motion that needs to be performed mimics the gesture he was known for using in the Nintendo Direct video presentations.

▼ The gesture

Since we’re roughly 10 months away from the next July 11, this news had some gamers thinking they could simply lie to their Switch by changing its date and time settings. However, after connecting to the Internet for the first time, the Switch synchs and caches the actual time, so you can’t fib to it on that front.

Of course, all these barriers to the emulator are sure to be temporary. There’s no way Nintendo went to the trouble of embedding an emulator in the Switch that they don’t plan to utilize, and once such a program launches, it’s a given that system updates will allow gamers to access the emulator (and the games they purchase for it) with ease. In the meantime, though, it’s cool to know that Nintendo is still full of surprises, and also that it remembers its own.

Source: Engadget via Otakomu, Ars Technica (1, 2)
Top image: Nintendo