Message to Hackers Found in Famicom Mini

Published: January 9, 2017 9:10 PM /


Famicom Mini Box

Within days of hackers revealing a way to extend the included collection of games on the NES Classic Edition, a Reddit user has posted a message discovered within the Japanese version, the Famicom Mini.

The entire message, posted in the image below, reads: “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.”

Famicom Mini Message to Hackers

It’s unclear whether the “hanafuda captain” is a reference to someone in particular or if it’s just a general joke about Nintendo’s history of making hanafuda cards. Although Nintendo hasn’t publicly stated which division is responsible for the software inside the Famicom Mini and NES Classic Edition, there is some evidence that it was produced by the Nintendo European Research & Development team (a.k.a. “NERD”).

The tone of the message is definitely light hearted and humorous, so someone at Nintendo knew full well that the little, hard-to-get system would eventually be hacked enough to discover this secret message. The same message has not yet been uncovered in an NES Classic Edition specifically, but the two mini-consoles likely share almost identical code.

This isn’t the first message left in the code of Nintendo games. The arcade version of Donkey Kong, programmed by Ikegami Tsushinki Co., Ltd., contained a message to those who looked hard enough:  “CONGRATULATION !IF YOU ANALYSE DIFFICULT THIS PROGRAM,WE WOULD TEACH YOU.*****TEL.TOKYO-JAPAN 044(244)2151 EXTENTION 304 SYSTEM DESIGN IKEGAMI CO. LIM.”

We’ll keep an eye out for other interesting secrets and functions uncovered by intrepid hackers as they continue to poke around in these systems and see if they ever do “break everything.”

What do you think of this message, hidden deep inside the code, to be found by hackers? Do you think there's more waiting to be uncovered?

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| Staff Writer

Husband, father, small business owner, and a gaming fanatic since first playing Outlaw on the Atari 2600. I also make my own games, but nobody plays or buys… More about Travis