So we’re still morning for the death of Satoru Iwata, of course a big piece of Nintendo has gone and the future of Nintendo is left with a question mark. So naturally with a big loss comes a huge amount of obituaries, tributes, anything to at least pays respect to Iwata, even Hirokazu Tanaka made a nice remix of the Balloon Fight theme. Speaking of which, I went to Retro Collect, loitering around as usual and I saw this link.
Yep, if you read this link, there is a Balloon Fight hack where the player is replaced with Iwata. Created by John Riggs of YouTube, this hack is basically the same game where you need to pop opponents balloons, but now you play as Iwata, as he resembles one of the characters from Earthbound (a game I’m currently playing and I did play it the day he died) and his balloons resemble two Kirbys. So why these choice of designs? Because we worked on the Kirby games back when he was a programmer at HAL Laboratory, also worked on Earthbound and most importantly, he worked on Balloon Fight. Out of all the tributes this one blows the others away, it’s a fantastic send-off and in a word, as a gamer, very respectable. The strangest thing about this whilst playing it was that I was doing very well, I played about 20 minutes tops and I felt like I was better at the game, as if Iwata is keeping me going and that was such a great feel to have, and made the experience even more better.
But by far the most saddest part of the game isn’t even in the game at all, it’s the picture of a mock-up NES label shown at the main blog post, it’s Iwata with his trademark smile riding on his balloons. Pieces of art can mean a lot to people. With this, all I see is Iwata with his balloons ascending up to valhalla, to the bright skies above, he’s contributed a lot to Nintendo and gaming in general, it shows that hopefully, even after his death, the future of Nintendo may be bright forever more. I’m very glad to have played and reviewed this and I recommend playing it to pay respect to Iwata and a little piece of legacy that is Balloon Fight.
If you want to play this, get an emulator, the Japanese ROM of Balloon Fight, Lunar IPS so you can apply the patch to it.