Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
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The NES Mini (a.k.a. the NES Classic Edition) is a little bundle of nostalgia. Though it looks just like an old-school Nintendo, it’s small enough to fit in your palm, pre-loaded with 30 classic NES games, and costs roughly the same as a lightly used PS4. They’re also notoriously hard to find. Almost as hard to find as the code hidden inside its diminutive frame.

According to Eurogamer, a band of hackers found a lovely surprise when infiltrating the system’s code, one that hearkens back to Nintendo’s roots. It’s not the message that’s notable, however, but the alias used to write it: The Hanafuda Captain. Those versed in Nintendo’s lore will know that this is a reference to the Japanese hanafuda playing cards Nintendo sold before a rotund Italian plumber entered their lives changed everything.


Here’s the code, which was shared by Twitter user bakueikozo:

And here’s the translated message in full:

“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.”


This discovery comes after hackers discovered how to upload new games to the NES Mini after discovering a limit of 60 game slots, double what the NES Mini offers. A legally precarious practice, uploading new games also has the potential to ruin the device.

But seriously, though: Where’s Battletoads?


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