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Nintendo Dug Up an OG Game Boy for a 95-Year-Old Tetris Fanatic

The company really came through in a tough time.

Jared Cerup/Flickr

There’s great customer service and then there’s Nintendo customer service. The video game company is legendary for how well it treats its customers, and a recent viral story out of Japan is further bolstering that reputation.

Kuniko Tsusaka recently wrote a letter that was printed in one of Japan’s biggest newspapers. Someone subsequently posted it to Twitter, where it’s gone viral with nearly 200,000 likes.

Japanese news site SoraNews24 reports that Tsusaka, who is 70 years old, began her letter describing just how much her 95-year-old mother loves playing Tetris. The tile-matching puzzle game had entertained her for countless hours over the years, and she always played on an original Game Boy.

That groundbreaking handheld console was originally released in 1989, and they’ve become hard to come by. Tsusaka’s mom was on her third one when it started to break, an unhappy coincidence, as she’d just fallen ill—who doesn’t like playing video games when they’re sick.  Tsusaka visited lots of stores in search of a new one, but she had no luck. Efforts to find someone who could repair the failing device were similarly fruitless.

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Tsusaka’s son heard about the situation, and he told his grandmother about what he called the company’s “divine” customer service. She misunderstood—the Japanese word for divine in this situation could also mean “paper,” according to SoraNews24’s translators—and decided to send a handwritten letter along with the broken Game Boy, hopeful that the manufacturer might be able to repair it.

Less than a week later, she received a reply from Nintendo. They had not been able to secure any replacement parts, but they were able to find a brand-new device somewhere in the recesses of the warehouse. They included it in the package, along with wishes for her to live a long life.

Tsusaka’s grandmother was, of course, ecstatic. She lived four more years, until the impressive age of 99, and she never lost her cognitive awareness. It’s entirely possible that playing Tetris for all of those years helped keep her brain healthy, though it’s obviously difficult to know for certain.

So while you can still be mad that a reboot of the Nintendo 64 has not been released, it’s hard to be that upset when you hear stories like Tsusaka’s.