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You need to get this oddball Zelda game for free before the 3DS eShop closes

The day of reckoning is fast approaching: The Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShop isclosing down on March 27. When that happens, you’ll no longer be able to make any digital purchases on those systems. Considering that several games on each platform only ever got digital releases, it’s creating a bit of a preservation nightmare. Hidden gems that never came to another platform, like Affordable Space Adventures, will be totally lost to time.

But it isn’t just obscure indies that are impacted by that change: One of Nintendo’s biggest franchises is about to lose a piece of its storied history. You’ve only got just over a week to grab a certain Legend of Zelda game before it disappears forever — though it’s probably not one you’re expecting.

That lost game? My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

A picross puzzle in My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The 3DS-exclusive puzzle game (which I refuse to refer to by its full title henceforth) is the very definition of an oddity. It’s a traditional collection of picross puzzles, which have players drawing a picture by filling in squares on a grid. The twist is that the puzzles are themed around The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which had just gotten an HD Wii U remaster weeks before its March 20, 2016, launch. It was a cute marketing tie-in, but it didn’t just exist to sell Twilight Princess HD.

The left-field release was a marketing trick to get fans to sign up to My Nintendo, which replaced the publisher’s beloved Club Nintendo service that year. The rewards platform would connect Nintendo’s various systems and mobile games in one place, allowing players to collect coins and redeem them for digital goodies. As a way to celebrate the launch, Nintendo offered the Zelda Picross game as a freebie for subscribers. All they had to do was make an account, accrue 1,000 platinum points, and redeem their code.

Unfortunately, that long-running promotion will finally come to an end on March 27. Codes for the game will no longer be redeemable after the closure, which means it’ll disappear permanently. That means you’ll need to move fast if you want it. To get your copy, log into your My Nintendo account (or create one) and click the Earn Points button on the main page. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see a long list of ways to earn points, many of which involve going to game websites and completing an easy mission. You can also get points through a few website Easter eggs, like clicking the coin box in the website’s footer.

Once you have enough points, go back to the main page and click Redeem Points. Click “Nintendo 3DS/Wii U software/digital content” and you’ll see Zelda Picross at the top of the list. Get your code and redeem it in the 3DS eShop to rescue it from the abyss of history.

OK. look: As far as Zelda games go, this is certainly the most low-stakes one we could lose to time. It’s a fairly light, standard picross game that only contains 45 Zelda-themed puzzles. Even so, it’s a shame to lose such an oddball freebie forever. Not only is it a strange piece of Zelda history, but it represents a fun moment in Nintendo’s past. It was technically a launch game for My Nintendo, and it’s only exclusive. It’s always a shame to lose something like that.

If you want to hold on to that institutional knowledge, head over to My Nintendo now before it’s too late. Otherwise, log out now and forever hold your peace.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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