The Nintendo NES Mini was one of the more successful products during the holiday season. So successful that hackers began to look for ways to add more games to the tiny console; where they discovered that someone from Nintendo was already waiting for them.
An unidentified programmer using the name “The Hanafuda Captain” left a message in the code for the NES Mini in a place that would be found. In it, he greets the person reading it and asks them politely to avoid breaking anything while messing around in the back end.
The message in full 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.”
Hacking the NES Mini is not an easy task, especially since Nintendo itself said that it would not be adding to the 30 games that ship with the console. The process itself runs the risk of bricking the device as hackers have to essentially repack the hardware’s kernal and reflash everything.
What is more interesting is that Nintendo has apparently expected people to attempt to hack the hardware. While the NES Mini ship with 30 games, it has a hard limit of 60 games instead. So the company that famously guards its IP with an iron fist fully expected people to mess around with this particular product and was prepared for them.