Nintendo is slowly rolling out N64 games onto its Switch Online Expansion Pack and each month brings new additions. Following April’s pick of Mario Golf, last Friday saw Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards make its way onto the subscription service. Unfortunately, this re-release introduces a new game-breaking bug on Switch.
Spotted not long after launch, this new problem occurs in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards’ underwater level. It’s not a great look for Nintendo Switch Online, as further testing has confirmed this wasn’t present in the original N64 edition.
Shared in the Nintendo Switch subreddit by u/Keyblademasternadroj, they confirmed “Getting hit by certain damage sources underwater causes you to enter hit stun forever, and you need to quit the level to fix it. I don’t remember this happening on original hardware.”
Presently, Nintendo hasn’t officially commented on this bug, but in the past, it’s usually updated any issues with its emulation quietly without making a statement. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to start playing Kirby 64 soon, there’s no real workaround for this currently, not unless you want to attempt this level without taking any damage. If you get hit, all you can do is quit the level and try again, so you might be better off waiting for a patch.
Not the first sign of emulation trouble
We’ve not seen the smoothest launch for Nintendo Switch Online’s Expansion Pack. Offering a new tier to its subscription service, Nintendo added Sega Mega Drive / Genesis and N64 games to the hybrid console last October, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen emulation issues for those N64 games.
At launch, many accused N64 games of suffering input lag, framerate issues, and missing features. For example, Mario Kart 64 had problems saving Ghost Data, Paper Mario crashed if you died with Watt as your partner, also fixing a fog issue within The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s infamous Water Temple. However, it’s worth noting that technical analysis didn’t believe this to be too much of a problem.
Even still, Nintendo got a whole lot better at emulating N64 games back in January, notably fixing Zelda and Paper Mario’s issues. We’re hopeful then that it’ll fix this new problem with Kirby 64 in a future update too, but when that’ll be is unclear. Still, for a company with the resources Nintendo has, you’d hope this wouldn’t keep happening.