Photo via Nintendo

Hackers discover secret message hidden in the NES Classic mini code

After adding games to the NES Classic, hackers found a secret.


AJ Moser

Internet Culture

Published Jan 10, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 5:50 am CDT

Earlier this week, a group of hackers discovered a method to customize the popular NES Classic mini console, and add an additional 30 emulated games to the little box. The process is complicated and risky, as it can render the console useless, but also seemingly leads to a clever Easter egg for long-time Nintendo fans.

As seen below, a message is hidden within the system’s code, from an anonymous source identified only as the Hanafuda Captain.

This is a reference to Nintendo’s origins as a company, selling distinct sets of Japanese playing cards, known as Hanafuda cards. The full text of the message seems to acknowledge that programmers working on the system knew at some point, someone would dig into its code.

This is the hanafuda captain speaking. Launching emulation in 3…2…1. Many efforts, tears and countless hours have been put into this jewel. So, please keep this place tidied up and don’t break everything! Cheers, the hanafuda captain.

Hacking your own NES Classic to add more games might be unwise, given how rare the system is, but at least the 30 included games come out to a solid value.

H/T Eurogamer

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*First Published: Jan 10, 2017, 10:15 am CST