Fans, watch out for the Kirby 64. There is a bug that breaks the game on Nintendo Switch.


Nintendo is slowly rolling out N64 games to the Switch Online Expansion Pack, with new additions every month. Following April’s Mario Golf pick, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards appeared on the subscription service last Friday. Unfortunately, this re-release introduces a new game-breaking bug to the Switch.

Discovered shortly after release, this new issue takes place at the underwater level in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. It’s not a fancy look for Nintendo Switch Online, as further testing confirmed that the original N64 edition didn’t have this.

Share on Nintendo Switch subreddit u/KeyblademasternadrojThey confirmed that “if you get hit by certain sources of damage underwater, you’ll be permanently stunned and you will have to exit the level to fix it. I don’t remember if this happened on the original hardware.”

kirby_64_has_a_game_breaking_bug_in_under_water from r/nintendo switch

Currently, Nintendo has not officially commented on this bug, but in the past, they have generally quietly updated emulation issues without comment. Unfortunately, if you are planning to start playing Kirby 64 soon, there is currently no real workaround for this. Unless you want to try this level without taking damage. If it does, you may be better off waiting for a patch as all you’re doing is exiting the level and trying again.

Not the first sign of an emulation problem

We haven’t seen the smoothest release of expansion packs for Nintendo Switch Online. Nintendo, which offers a new tier to its subscription service, added Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and N64 games to their hybrid consoles last October, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen emulation issues with N64 games.

At launch, many N64 games were criticized for suffering input lag, frame rate issues, and missing features. For example, Mario Kart 64 had issues saving ghost data, Paper Mario crashed when killed with wat, and also fixed fog issues within the infamous Temple of Water in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. However, it is worth noting that technical analysis did not consider this to be too much of a problem.

Still, Nintendo did a much better job emulating their N64 games back in January, particularly fixing issues with Zelda and Paper Mario. Then we hope that future updates will also address this new issue with Kirby 64, but we’re not sure when that will be. Still, for companies with the resources Nintendo has, we hope this doesn’t continue to happen.

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