Developer Campo Santo’s acclaimed forestry adventure Firewatch is five years old this month – and, as part of its birthday celebrations, word of a nifty N64 tribute squirrelled away within the game’s Switch port is once again doing the rounds.
Firewatch’s N64 tribute isn’t exactly a new discovery – it first surfaced in video form back in 2018 – but it seems to be one that’s passed many people by. And that’s a shame, because it’s a delightful little addition, cunningly concealed behind an elaborate optional quest chain, as recently detailed on Twitter by Cabel Sasser, co-founder of Firewatch publisher Panic.
The chain begins in Firewatch’s Free Roam mode, where eagle-eyed players might spot a Post-It note plopped unceremoniously on a sign pointing to Beartooth. Reading it will add a mysterious “1964?” marker to the map, in turn leading to an abandoned cache box.
? Then, surprise!!!!! You get, well, this. I mean, just look at it. pic.twitter.com/Ad6EDxbaQA
— Cabel (@cabel) February 19, 2021
Unlocking the box with the date provided in the clue grants access to a special N64 cartridge that can be placed at the foot of a nearby ranger statue. Doing so initiates Forrest 64, an adorable, ranger-themed collect-a-thon adventure that’s clearly inspired by Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie games, complete with jaunty soundtrack – which Sasser wrote himself.
“Well-designed, 100% ridiculous, pushing the limits of an already limit-pushing Switch port, and created just for fun,” says Sasser in his tweet thread detailing the mode, “Forrest 64 is imho the spirit of the Firewatch rolled into one Easter egg.”
If you’ve got a copy of Firewatch on Switch to hand, you can appreciate the lesser-known Forrest 64 yourself – or you can settle back and let YouTuber Super Nintendad, responsible for one of the earliest sightings of the secret N64 tribute, do all the hard work for you.