If you’re into retro Nintendo games, now’s your chance to check out two that no one’s ever played before.
The Verge first reported that two never-released NES games have hit the market via eBay. News of the games’ existence was first widely made known by Frank Cifaldi, the founder and co-director at the Video Game History Foundation. The foundation unearths, preserves, and writes about retro video games, and Cifaldi took to Twitter on Tuesday to discuss the games, which he’s deemed a pretty miraculous discovery.
“There are currently TWO unreleased, one-of-a-kind, never-digitized games for the original NES on eBay right now,” Cifaldi tweeted. “This has literally never happened before. Our resources are stretched thin, and we could use help,” he said, asking for donations to help the Foundation purchase and preserve the games.
What are the games? One is called Battlefields of Napoleon and the cover art and packaging for it looks like this:
What is the game about? The packaging provides a brief summary that sounds pretty wild:
It’s the late 18th century, the time of Napoleon Bonaparte—only now it’s you who controls Napoleon’s armies on all the major battlefields of Europe!...Relive Napoleon’s greatest campaigns with an army of up to 240 men.
Sounds bloodthirsty and depraved. Love it!
The other game is not quite as finished but promises some intrigue of its own. Cifaldi described it as a “less complete, but maybe more interesting” demo game, developed by the company Rare, for the Power Glove. If you don’t know about the Power Glove, check out our recent coverage of its glorious resurgence into cultural relevance. “Everyone loves the Power Glove, but did you know there’s only one released game that actually takes advantage of it? Well, here’s a second!”
“Both of these are really cool,” he added.
Gizmodo found what appears to be the posting for the games on eBay:
Currently, the top bid for Battlefields of Napolean is $5,200 and the Rare prototype demo is going for $5,655. The seller describes the games as having been “rescued from a dumpster” after one gaming company bought out another in 1998. If you feel like owning a piece of video game history and have several grand to spare, you can try your luck at a bidding war with other nerds on the e-commerce site.
Better yet, we’d suggest sending some donations to Cifaldi and/or the VGHF so that someone who really knows what they’re doing can hold onto these weird cultural articles and share them with the rest of the world. If you’re interested in that, Cifaldi has asked that you slide into his DMs, where you can “discuss tax-deductible options [for donation] if you’re in the U.S.”