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Back in September, hackers who were sifting through the code in the Nintendo Switch’s operating system discovered it contained a surprise: a full version of the 1984 NES game Golf. Unfortunately for anyone charmed by this happy mystery, it appears the Switch’s latest update removes the retro code. So long, Golf. We hardly knew ya.
Why the Switch’s programmers embedded Golf in Nintendo’s most advanced piece of hardware was anyone’s guess. Some people supposed it was a tribute to the late Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, who helped program the game all those decades ago. The code seemed to suggest players would have access to Golf only on July 11 each year, the date of Iwata’s death in 2015. A few people even seem to have convinced their Switches that it was July 11 and played it.
When questioned, Nintendo refused to comment on the situation, which only let the mystery grow. But in the Switch’s 4.0.0 update, the Golf code no longer exists. According to SwitchBrew, a wiki devoted to hacking the Nintendo Switch, the code was “overwritten with garbage.” Trying to launch the game manually will “result in [[Loader services|loader]] returning error 0xA09.”
Does that mean there won’t be any July 11 surprise that lets Switch owners play Golf? Probably, unless another update closer to July adds it back in. With Nintendo remaining silent on these developments, it appears fans will just have to wait and see.