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Iwata Tribute NES Golf Removed From Nintendo Switch

December 25, 2017

By: Robert N. Adams


Golf, an NES game about... well, golf, has been removed from the Nintendo Switch in an update as reported by DualShockers.

The game was found to have been included on all Nintendo Switch consoles (along with the emulator necessary to actually play it) in September of this year. The game was apparently included on the consoles as a tribute to Satoru Iwata, the late fourth President and CEO of Nintendo who had passed away in July of 2015 due to complications from a tumor. Mr. Iwata had programmed the game in the earlier days of Nintendo.


Less than a year after the public release of the Nintendo Switch, Golf has been removed from the console in a recent update. Nintendo has yet to give any reason as to why the game (and associated emulator) were buried in the console in the first place, much less why they decided to remove it later. Golf was last officially released as a Virtual Console title for the Wii U.

An article at Destructoid on the subject contains some speculation as to the inclusion of the game on the console; Golf (or rather Flog, as it was cheekily nicknamed in the file system) may have been placed in the code as a sort of omamori, a Japanese protective amulet of sorts commonly sold at Shinto shrines. Tradition carries that amulets are not to be opened and that they should be returned to the temple and replaced after a year's time to ward off the bad luck from the previous year.


Whether Golf was in the Switch as an omamori or just a fitting tribute to a legend of the industry, it seems that the hidden version of the game is no longer a part of the system's firmware. Whatever the reason may be, for a brief time Nintendo fans were able to enjoy a small step in the grand legacy of Mr. Iwata's career.

What do you think of Nintendo removing the hidden version of Golf from the Nintendo Switch? Why do you think the game & emulator were included in the console in the first place? Let us know in the comments below!