A few weeks ago, Nintendo released Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards onto Nintendo Switch Online, their retro games service tied to online membership on the Switch. The game, a cult hit with Kirby fans, is a 2.5D adventure for the pink puffball and experimented with a number of standard series mechanics for the first time. Unfortunately, this version on Switch also has a fairly common bug that Nintendo has promised to fix in an update.
In the Switch version of Kirby 64, it’s very possible to trip a glitch that makes Kirby unable to move and softlocks the game. When Kirby is swimming, if he gets hit by anything that causes damage and then immediately also gets hit by something else, controls will stop working and there will be no way to restart the level without resetting the game. Here’s a video of the glitch from Twitter user @hinapuff.
— 柊奈 Hina ❤???????? (@hinapuff) May 20, 2022
This can happen whenever Kirby is swimming. For their part, Nintendo has acknowledged that there is a game-stopping bug that they will be fixing in a future update.
A bug has been found in #Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards for Nintendo 64 – Nintendo Switch Online that can prevent players from progressing under a certain condition. A patch will be released early next week to fix this. We apologize for the inconvenience.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) May 27, 2022
Nintendo has not acknowledged this glitch specifically, but considering it has been reported multiple times and is easily reproducible, chances are they mean this one.
The glitch is not present in the original N64 version of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, meaning that the bug is likely due to a quirk in the way the Nintendo 64 emulator for Switch Online is coded. Fans have expressed a lot of frustration with Nintendo’s N64 emulator, including its refusal to let players simply customize their controls the way every other virtual console on the service allows you, so this is just another issue to throw on to the pile.
Accessing Nintendo 64 games also requires the higher tier of Nintendo Switch Online, meaning fans are paying more for games like Kirby 64 specifically. Considering all that, Nintendo really couldn’t just leave this bug to fester.
If you need a Kirby fix in the meantime, the Switch also has the quite-good Kirby and the Forgotten Lands, which probably does not have any common game-stopping bugs. Maybe go give that one a try until this is fixed.