Video: Check Out This Japan-Only Club Nintendo Game You Likely Never Heard Of


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Image: Nintendo Life

We Nintendo fans often pride ourselves on our vast and intimate knowledge of the company’s back catalogue. Even when a piece of hardware or software isn’t released in our territory, we’ll either import it or sit there poring over details and videos of obscure releases we’ll never get our hands on. Knowledge is power, after all, and ‘Nintendo’ and ‘power’ go hand in hand like strawberries and cream, or cheese and onion, or…

Okay, getting back to the point — Nintendoji! More casual fans, and even die-hard devotees, may never have heard of this DSiWare dungeon crawler. It was a digital-only reward for Gold and Platinum Club Nintendo members, much like the Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross game, although this one was Japan-only and therefore it will only have been played by a small fraction of fans worldwide.

Developed by Grounding and released almost exactly nine years ago on 4th April 2013, YouTube channel One Controller Port has taken a closer look at the turn-based battler in which players work through dungeons and take on enemies to improve their abilities and inventory, and ultimately find sacred relics which include items from the Mario series and other Nintendo franchises. The protagonist Kageshina Kurabe has, of course, turned up in Super Smash Bros. as a trophy and spirit, so you may have seen him there.

As you can see from the video below, if the limited availability doesn’t present a large enough barrier to entry, there’s also a language barrier for non-Japanese speakers. That said, we live in an age of machine translation which can help determined players get through even the most text-heavy games with a little persistence (if you can find the game, that is). Plus, the maker of the video made an item guide Google doc to aid curious players.

Risking life and limb to retrieve Mario’s hat? Nah, you’re alright. Still, as fun as it is to feed the mythology and have Nintendo curios ‘hidden away’, with the 3DS, DSi and Wii U stores disappearing soon, it’s also sad to see yet another Nintendo game that’s vanished.

Not that many of us knew about this one to begin with.

Let us know below if you knew about Nintendoji — or if you miraculously own the game, tell us about it!

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