Video Games

Two Never-Before-Seen NES Games Are Up for Auction: ‘This Has Literally Never Happened Before’

It’s a museum curator’s dream. There are currently two completely unrelated auctions on eBay for NES games that have never been released in a commercial form or subsequently digitized to play on an emulator.

They are unknown and (for the most part) unplayed, but have piqued the interest of Frank Cifaldi, founder and co-director of the Video Game History Foundation. Someone Seeking Help To Save Two Games At Auction: Battlefields of Napoleon, a real-time strategy game released as Napoleon Senki in Japan, and Scanners, an unknown game built for the Nintendo Power Glove accessory, the iconic and rudimentary motion controller of 1989 (possibly a demo or prototype ).

Cifaldi wrote in a tweet dated October 11th: This has literally never happened before. Our resources are scarce and we need help. โ€

click here For Frank Cifaldi’s full thread, see the auction information.

Cifaldi raises money to win auctions and organizes donations to ditch games as emulated ROMs to preserve them. Original packaging intended for production Napoleon’s battlefields sold with his art are known to collectors.

“‘Battlefields of Napoleon’ has been shown at trade fairs, published in magazines and promoted by Broderbund. Several games have folding posters and are included as one of the titles for sale. , you can see it was very close to production before it was unplugged,” says Cifaldi.

Despite the release of the Japanese version, the reappearance of the US version is significant, especially with its art packaging.

“Napoleon is interesting because it’s a lost part of Broderbund’s short stint as a console game maker,” explains Cifaldi. โ€œI am also a fan of Hock Wah Yeo, the designer of the package. It’s exciting to see the designs live.”

Screenshot of Napoleon Senki for Famicom YouTube video of zxspectrumgames4 gameplay.

Meanwhile, the scanner may have appeared at the Consumer Electronics Show (cartridge sticker says “CES SAMPLE”).

โ€œThe scanner was โ€ฆ not an announced product,โ€ Cifaldi said. I think is just a demo to gauge interest, not a complete game.”

With the exception of Super Globe Ball, no other NES game was made specifically for the Nintendo Power Glove accessory, making the scanner even rarer.

“It’s easy to tease [the Power Glove] Throw memes out of wizards and such, but I don’t think I’ve seen that possibility since there was no software support. If we could see another game that was truly designed for that, we might get a little closer to figuring out what it was,” he says Cifaldia.

If these games ended up in the hands of conservationists like Cifaldi, rather than private collectors, we would know a lot more about them. It has a long history and provided a great example of the positive benefits of preservation.

โ€œEvery time I am asked about the impact of preserving an unreleased video game, I would like to point to Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors. Saved it and put it online, no one could have predicted it at the time, but as a joke, the game became the focus of the charity event Desert Bus for Hope, which now raises over $8 million for Child’s Play. ,โ€ says Cifaldi.

See footage from the canceled California Raisins NES game and our interview with Frank Cifaldi on game preservation above.

Desert Bus is a deliberately mean game troll, a ridiculous, almost unplayable parody of the racing games of the era. Yet our culture is better off existing in an accessible format.On the other side is The California Raisins: The Grape Escape, unreleased for the NES: a fully playable platformer similar to Mega Man (and largely provided by Capcom, the publisher of Mega Man). An obvious candidate for historic preservation (California Raisins, a Claymation cover band that plugged in for dried fruit and reached its peak pop culture in the early 1990s), Cifaldi Point out that preservation can have personal consequences.

“After saving that game in 2003, the game’s composer’s sister contacted me and said he had passed away, so this was the first time she had heard his music. You never know what will happen, so you have to save as much as you can and hope that it makes an impact,” says Cifaldi.

At the time of publication, the auction is currently fetching over $5000 each, which means Cifaldi has a long way to go in trying to salvage these unreleased classics.This story will be updated with auction results โ€“ you can see for yourself here When here.

Samuel Claiborn is IGN’s Editor in Chief and repairs/destroys ancient arcade and pinball machines in his garage. Follow him TCELES B HSUP @Samuel_IGN on Twitter.

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