In the magazine business, the Back Page is where you'd find all the weird goofs that we couldn't fit in anywhere else. Some may call it "filler"; we prefer "a whole page to make terrible jokes that are tangentially related to the content of the mag".
We don't have (paper) pages on the internet, but we still love terrible jokes — so welcome to our semi-regular feature, Back Page. Today, Kerry delves into the story of the elusive, mercurial man that is the fabled 'Uncle At Nintendo'...
An uncle. Maybe yours, maybe your friend’s. Maybe the uncle of someone who goes by the name MIYAM0T0S_HAIR online.
You know the one. No, not the one everyone saw enthusiastically dancing to Steps at a birthday party in that viral video. The other one, the one who somehow has never been mentioned until the very moment their existence was needed to outdo a bunch of someone’s peers in a game-related argument, often in a playground. Him. The one who works for Nintendo. What was his name again?
Nintendo Uncle - The Man
This suddenly-remembered and mysterious (yet definitely real) relative doesn’t do any of the boring jobs you usually see advertised at a big publisher/developer hybrid corporation, like marketing or accounts or ordinary programming while sat at a computer like your regular boring uncle does, John; oh no, this magic uncle works in the special secret bit nobody’s ever heard of.
Obviously, the Nintendo Uncle-owner you're conversing with can’t talk about this special project bunker in great detail because, y’know, it’s secret, the uncle's days apparently spent observing all sorts of mystical Nintendo things and then, for some reason, frequently breaking legally binding and career-ending Non Disclosure Agreements just so their niece or nephew has some juicy gossip to share online. The new Zelda's going to be cloud version-only! Mario's going to be in Pokémon Graphite! Nintendo's going to stop making consoles!
Nintendo Uncle - The Myth
Historians speculate the Nintendo Uncle myth is so strong it might even predate the Japanese hanafuda card manufacturer itself; a tale capable of transcending time, space, and basic common sense thanks to the sheer number of people who have invoked this ephemeral being.
But why? Why do people do it? And why do we let them?
You can have any number of uncles, they can reasonably have a wide range of ages, they can live pretty much anywhere at any time — and nobody can prove otherwise
Part of this tall-tale-telling is down to how perfect the scenario is if you’re the sort of person desperate to have your social group hanging on your every word at short notice. You can have any number of uncles, they can reasonably have a wide range of ages, they can live pretty much anywhere at any time — and nobody can prove otherwise.
There’s some built-in security in the fact that it isn’t unusual for your friends not to have met any of your uncles at all (especially the one who’s so very busy working at Nintendo at this very moment) and unless someone tries to pull a rare Reverse-Double-Uncle manoeuvre — claiming your uncle couldn’t possibly be working at Nintendo because everybody knows theirs definitely is — your assertion is pretty safe from casual social scrutiny. No matter how many times it’s told, the Nintendo Uncle setup is always just plausible enough for uninitiated listeners to allow the person spinning the yarn to continue.
And that’s where the rest of us come in. Nintendo Uncle persists into the modern era because we enjoy hearing these ridiculous non-truths just as much as some people like to tell them.
Half Life 3 is a Switch exclusive, is it? Please, tell me more. You’ve heard a new Nintendo Labo kit is out next year and is going to include a dedicated F-Zero controller, but you can’t say why? Oh go on, you tease! Your Nintendo Uncle lent you a prototype N64 cart containing Mother 3 in English? Of course he did — spill those beans! Konami are going to celebrate 35 years of their ever-popular Castlevania series not with a new game collection or hyper-expensive collectible but a bunch of NFTs? OK, now you’re pushing it. As if they’d ev—
Nintendo Uncle - The Stats
Our own estimates suggest there are a minimum of 160,300 uncles directly employed by Nintendo at any given time, all working on top-secret Switch 3D Pro Advance hardware projects and handing out game prototypes their nieces and nephews aren't allowed to show anyone, like Pokemon Sword Turbo Stadium and Kirby Super Star: Uncensored Edition - The One Where DeDeDe Dies With The Blood And Guts And Everything.
This estimated figure presents something of a problem, though, as last year's annual report shows Nintendo employs 6,574 people around the globe, and 3,411 staff members identify as male. For the sake of argument let’s be incredibly generous and assume every single one of them is a real Nintendo Uncle, whether they’re fresh-faced interns, grizzled directors, or creative fellows.
According to the most recent figures at the time of writing, Switch has now sold almost 93 million units. Let’s also assume that each hypothetical Real Nintendo Uncle has a neat pair of 'niblings', both of whom bought one of those 93 million Switches. If we’ve got our maths right, in the best possible scenario around 0.007% of Switch owners really do have an uncle working for Nintendo, somewhere.
Which means there’s a very slim chance MIYAM0T0S_HAIR might be telling the truth when they say they have a special Switch with a 3DS cart slot and that Halo Infinite is definitely coming to Switch next year.
Nintendo Uncle - The Truth
And yet despite all odds and all the wildest rumours people have allegedly heard straight from the mouths of their Nintendo Uncles, sometimes, just sometimes, these far-fetched stories turn out to be true. Sonic games on a Nintendo system? Yeah right! Oh wait no, that really did happen. It’s actually happened quite a lot. And it keeps on happening.
Just about every round of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ever played is a whole chat server’s Nintendo Uncle stories made real
Just about every round of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ever played is a whole chat server’s Nintendo Uncle stories made real. Bayonetta teaming up with Metal Gear Solid’s Snake to take down Fire Emblem’s Marth and Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII fame on top of the Silph Co. building from Pokémon? That's a thing you can do right now.
For a time, Nintendo really did use satellites to beam all new Zelda, F-Zero, and Kirby (mini) games into homes. Maybe not Nintendo Uncle’s home. Maybe not even a lot of the Japanese households that could have potentially signed up to the Satellaview service, but for a time that unlikely fact was entirely true.
And of course we’ve all heard that one particularly crazy fabrication about Nintendo ditching separate home and portable markets entirely to create a weird hybrid console with detachable controllers that’s meant to be everything all at once. That’ll never catch on, surely?
What was your favourite uncle-based Nintendo rumour? What confidences from your dear old unc' did you break on the playground? Let us know below.
It seems I'm the only reader of this website that doesn't have an uncle at Nintendo. I feel so alone.
I have too interesting a life to make up stories.
Hey, don't make fun of my uncle like that!
@WhiteUmbrella You're not the only one. I never had an uncle who "worked" at Nintendo, either. In fact, I never knew about the whole "My uncle works at Nintendo" thing until well into my adulthood.
My auntie works at Nintendo.
Japanese corporate culture is certainly complex. These days, Nintendo won't staff a serious project with anyone who isn't confirmed to have nephews or nieces. And being on speaking terms with those is another prerequisite.
It’s really annoying. I was talking to my newphews dad - who works at Nintendo - and he laughed at the rumours they hear. My mums milkman’s brother works at Sony and confirmed it’s just as bad there with the stories that start from these far fetched tales. I did call my neighbours dentists son who works at Xbox but he was in a meeting with EA about a takeover so couldn’t chat and give me any gossip but either way I can’t stand people that make up these ridiculous links with people that work somewhere.
Woah NintendoLife! You’re just gonna out Samus Hunter’s main source like that 😂
Having an uncle that works at Nintendo? As if! What a ridiculous story! Everyone knows Nintendo only hires children with no family, so that their secrets can’t pass on. They even made a book about it: The Last of the Nintendoians. Sony, on the other hand…
I swear, guys! If you flip over the truck with Strength, there's a Mew underneath! My uncle who works at Nintendo told me!
It'll only be a matter of time when people start saying "I work at Nintendo"
I wonder what it's like for the uncles who ACTUALLY work at Nintendo?
There was a guy at school whose Dad worked for Bandai UK in the Gameboy days when Bandai had some big distribution deal with Nintendo. He had ALL the GB games, it was quite impressive. I remember he also donated a huge heap of really random Japanese robots toys for a school fete that at the very end of the day got sold for a pittance - I bought this (still have it somewhere!) https://www.transformerland.com/wiki/toy-info/chogokin-godaikin-deluxe-dx-daltanias/81323/ for £1.
It actually was normal to know people who worked at or had family/friends working at Konami, NEC, Williams, Midway and so on growing up. 😂.
My uncle works as a taxi driver in Spain. Suffice to say, I'm very jealous of the lifestyle he gets to live.
My aunt works at Nintendo.
I had a friend in school who had a cousin who did work at Nintendo... in the customer service department, so no juicy secrets from them.
It wasn't only the uncle; sometimes it was the neighbor or their friend who happened to have unreleased games in their possession. I knew a kid who had the Nintendo 65, another had Mario Kart on Xbox and, my favorite, a kid who got an early copy of Paper Mario 2 for Nintendo 64 and got threatened at gunpoint not to disclose any info about the game, by none other than Shigeru Miyamoto.
@OorWullie You luck one! Mine is only working at Konami on Silent Hill 5, so boring.
My uncle who works at Nintendo is the one responsible for all the fake Switch Pro leaks.
@KingMike I have a family member that works for NoA in Bellevue. It’s like knowing anyone doing any other job lol
@Fizza Your comment made me wonder if my 2 nephews think of me as their cool uncle who lives in Thailand and Netherlands.
@YuzuRibbon Good one. Any gossip?
My uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle's uncle works for Nintendo
i actually met a guy at my school who's dad works at nintendo and had him over as a guest for our school's smash club. he's like the 2nd in command for NOA and teased a sakurai smash trailer going over the moves of who i think was terry. Im actually not kidding it was awesome
One uncle designed missiles for the army, I don't know what the other does, but he's rich.
This article is crap. My uncle who works for Nintendo said so.
@eltomo "...I don't know what the other does, but he's rich."
My wife's uncle bought acres of property around his home back when it was cheap and has leased it out to farmers for decades. He is so rich that his kids don't have to work a day in their life if they don't want to (although to their credit, they all have an excellent work ethic).
I should mention there's a Twine literary game called "The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo": https://ztul.itch.io/the-uncle-who-works-for-nintendo
I remember a friend in high school swearing up and down that Charizard was unlockable in the N64 Smash bros game and that he'd seen it with his own eyes. I think this was his "older brother's" doing, so not quite an uncle but very much the same vibe.
To be fair, he was only 2 gens off
@WhiteUmbrella Don't worry, your not alone.
My uncle IS Nintendo.
But hey we all have a friend who has a friend, who heard a rumor, that his friend found, that the rumor was that his Neighbours Neighbour, had an uncle who has two neigbours that read a rumor about someone who has an uncle working at nintendo.
When we asked google if there are uncles at nintendo. It seems the rumors where true! It seems the people at nintendo have families! What a great find 😂
My uncle works for Nintendo. He told me that the toilets on the first floor have a blockage and out of order. Folk are recommended to use the ones on the first or third floor. Please understand.
I do have a "my uncle" story. But it doesn't involve Nintendo. While my girlfriend at the time (now.my wife) and I were waiting in line to get into the theater for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, some kid was going on about how his uncle was a producer on the movie. He just kept telling everyone that would pay attention this story. And how he refused to get special treatment to see the movie and wanted to wait in line with everyone else. This was at a theater in Western Massachusetts in the United States. My assumption is that the entire crew was probably English and nothing about this kid screamed having any family that was English. Plus it just seemed so far fetched. No way anyone with that kind of access was waiting in a line like this.
My friends and I call our hacked switch’s, our uncles switch. Since he works at Nintendo he gives us all the latest releases free of charge. What a guy❤️
Nintendo Marketing: “Should we put this out on Twitter?”
Nintendo Execs: “No, just tell the uncles.”
you know whats funny? my uncle does work for nintendo and he actually does own a mother 3 english version.
Never had an uncle work for Nintendo, but many moons ago, my dad got offered a job at Sony to work with Nintendo on a big project but he turned it down because they weren't offering enough money
"My Uncle Works at Nintendo" is a tale as old as time and a song as old as rhyme.
Also, I have an uncle who married a fairy that showed him that every conspiracy theory is true. Every single secret society and shadow organisation including the Illuminati and the Knights Templar are trying to hide the existence of magic from the world.
The Illuminati is run by a bunch of extremely wealthy witches and wizards (some of which are Reptilians) who hide their secrets of magic from the world, while they plan on bringing forth the apocalypse and commit mass genocide on all non-magic living beings to sate their sadistic pleasures.
They are also doing this to cleanse the world of all muggle scum as magic users are the Aryan race according to the Illuminati. As you may have guessed, the Nazis were a similar group as the Illuminati, except much less secretive about their methods though they still hid their magic.
They have their own leader who wears the skins of humans he killed, has lived since the times of Jesus, looks like a deformed rotting corpse, and is so cruel he would even brutally murder his own people for the most petty of reasons.
Those black helicopters? Actually dragons who camouflage themselves in the sky. And dragons are the trusty steeds of the Illuminati.
The Templar wants to eradicate all magic from the world behind the scenes, they are responsible for the Roswell Incident and the Varginha Incident, the "Greys" are actually a different race of trolls rather than actual aliens. Majestic 12 is just a front for the Knights Templar.
The Illuminati secretly controls the world and every government while they have a shadow war with the Knights Templar.
The Flat Earth is a different realm from ours which is the source of all magic. It is the realm where every single religious and mythological figure reside in. The Bermuda Triangle is also a magical portal able to go anywhere in the universe, including our Hollow Earth and the Flat Earth.
Vaccines apparently unlock magical abilities but one has to know how to use these magical abilities. The Knights Templar has been making antivax propaganda without telling anyone that vaccines unlock magic.
There is an alliance of elves and fairies who want to unmask their own magic and topple the evil of the Illuminati and the Knights Templar. As for what this has to do with Nintendo, my uncle said that they are working with these elves and fairies.
My uncle told me all about this. I asked him about QAnon and he told me he never heard of it from his fairy wife.
My uncle that works at Nintendo is actually called Kate Dale, you know the one who gets reported on here lots.
I believe none of these uncles!!
Fun fact: 3 out of 4 Nintendo Uncles are always photographed by Andrea Piacquadio.
Where’s mother 4 reggie?
My Aunt and Uncle both work at Nintendo, in the cleaning department.... and they have both assured me the Switch Pro is not only real, but coming early next year, although they do both believe in Big foot and the Loch Ness monster.
I did have a friend who's Mom did all of the merchandising in New Mexico for Nintendo. We played and finished Mario 64 two months before the N64 released because she had extra demo units. He also had a demo of Star Fox 2 for the SNES we got to try out. Nintendo actually sent it out to employees with kids for market research to see how enjoyed it. I guess we were the only ones who did...
My hair-lipped Aunt works at Microsoft, she said the only reason they aren't selling very many of the Xbox is they about to come out with a quantum computing version.
@Mr_Gamecube Blasphemy! No system could handle that amount of stability. None!
My uncle's friend's grandpa's hot twenty-something girlfriend works at Nintendo and she has confirmed that we are getting a new Switch model that is more powerful than the Steam Deck! Rejoice!
I have a friend's wife who works at... a company that does... something for Nintendo. I've had it explained to me like 20 times and I still don't know, but her name is in the credits of Mario Party Superstars, and their family has received two (2) free trips to Nintendo Land in Osaka. Whatever, the point is that I feel like she basically OWES me a job because of how much money I've spent on Nintendo games, and yet every time I bring it up she stops talking to me for some reason.
i have severals uncles/aunts, but sadly they dont work at Nintendo, i am a Nintendo uncle.
Tap here to load 50 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...