Vanessa (Vanessaira)

Satoru Iwata’s VIC20 Easter Egg Code Restored

Vintage/Retro Computer and video game programmer Robin Harbron, aka 8-Bit Show and Tell recently did a video on his YouTube channel covering the late great Satoru Iwata.  In his video Mr. Harbron detailed a brief history behind one of Mr. Iwata’s first coded/published video games at HAL Laboratories, Star Battle for the Commodore VIC20 8-bit  micro computer.  Going over the known facts on how coders discovered Mr. Iwata’s involvement and creation of Star Battle.

Mr. Harbron delves deeper into the code and what the “Easter Egg” actually is.  A series of hex bit codes that was intended to be a form of credits to indicate who programmed the game, company name, date, and location.  While this “Easter Egg” can be seen through debugging and shown in game after reworking the code.  Mr. Harbron went a step further and patched Star Battle so the code would work as originally intended.  Mr. Harbron speculates that perhaps Mr. Iwata removed the code triggering line and felt if he included it.  He would potentially get in trouble for including his name in the game credits and did not want to upset his company bosses.

There have been many tributes and call outs over the last few days as we remember the passing of the late great Satoru Iwata five years ago in 2015.  Mr. Iwata was a passionate pioneer of electronics, video games, and his tireless effort to program and code is well documented.  His mark and legacy is undeniable and it was an incredibly sweet tribute for the 8-Bit Show and Tell channel to reinstate Mr. Iwata’s code and to show how to patch that code back into the game so others can do the same.  As well as remembering Mr. Iwata’s key tenet of video games, of which video games should be fun and enjoyable for everyone.

Please check out Mr. Harbron’s channel 8-Bit Show and Tell on YouTube.


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