Another rare video game collectible piece is up for auction on eBay, and as per usual, you apparently need to be a millionaire to afford it without completely wiping out your bank account. Selling for $150,000, eBay member tjcurtin1 apparently feels like it’s time to part with his extremely rare, pre-release prototype The Legend of Zelda original NES cartridge.
What supposedly makes the alleged prototype so rare is that it’s a still-functioning copy that predates the release of the retail version of The Legend of Zelda by quite a few months.
Dated “2-23-87” on the label, the seller says that the proximity of this build to the game’s actual release date is likely the reason why there’s no gameplay changes to note that would distinguish this from the retail copy:
This is a complete version to my knowledge and as far as I know does not differ from the released version. The simple label reads “HP NOA 2-23-87 Legend of Zelda.” The actual release of the game was August 22nd 1987. I can only speculate that the 2-23-87 refers to the date they completed this prototype and being so close to launch is why there are no differences from the released version. Again I’m speculating. If you google NES Zelda Proto you will see the history of this particular cart. I will be happy to add pics, answer questions (to the best of my ability) and field offers for this title.
This is without a doubt the pinnacle of my collection and I challenge anyone to come up with anything more important in the video game collecting scene. Stadium Events? How many carts are out there? Hundreds. NWC Gold Cart? Again how many? There is one Prototype in the world for the NES Zelda, one prototype that started the launch of a generation of gamers and you are viewing it.
But just to be nice, he’s also including a packaged mint-condition retail copy of The Legend of Zelda as added incentive for that one guy who has 150 large to spend all at once. Would you purchase it?
Any any rate, the build looks like a normal NES game. Observe the video below, and make the call for yourself.