Nintendo Switch Online’s N64 emulator makes revisiting your favourite 3D games of the past a breeze. You can experience gems like Ocarina of Time, Banjo-Kazooie, and Star Fox 64 in high resolution and on-the-go. However, it’s not all peachy: If you replay Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards using the service, you might encounter this bug that breaks Kirby mid-game. Luckily, there’s now a fix.
A Redditor was the first to share the game-breaking issue back on Friday, May 20. As you can see from their post, Kirby will be permanently stunned when taking damage from certain sources underwater. In the video, Kirby is frozen after being attacked by the killer whale, and doesn’t respond to any inputs. At the time, the only way to fix the issue was to restart the level, losing all the progress you made until that point.
Since then, Nintendo publicly acknowledged the problem, albeit seven days after the initial Reddit post. That said, the company reacted relatively speedily, as there is now an official update to fix Kirby 64 on the Switch. Twitter user OatmealDome broke the news, three days after Nintendo first promised to release a patch:
Technical details!— OatmealDome (@OatmealDome) May 31, 2022
The bug may have originated in N’s AOT recompiler for MIPS -> aarch64, since the only files updated were the AOT .nro and .pcb.
Interestingly, switchbrew says the NRO isn’t used, but those were the only files changed (not even the emulator main executable).
The new patch brings the Switch Online N64 app from Version 2.3.0 to Version 2.3.1. You should notice the update the next time you open the app, but in case you don’t, you can always manually check for updates. Click the (+) button when hovering over the Nintendo 64 — Nintendo Switch Online app, then check the version number under the app’s name. If it’s “Ver. 2.3.1,” you’re good to go. Otherwise, choose Software Update > Via the Internet, then allow the app to update.
This isn’t the first time Nintendo has issued a software update to fix problems with its N64 emulation. Since rolling out the Nintendo Switch Online expansion, the company has added fog originally missing from Ocarina of Time, fixed a Paper Mario bug that would crash your game if you died with Watt as your partner, as well as an unknown code patch to Banjo-Kazooie. Bugs aren’t fun, but at least Nintendo has a history of responding to them in due time.