Author: Evan Butler
What Makes a Game Not for ResaleWhat denotes an NFR version from the normal version is usually just a sticker on the back of the cartridge reading “NOT FOR RESALE DEMO GAME ONLY”. Below this is the ominous “PROPERTY OF NINTENDO” warning along with a serial number and some place for store information to be written.
NFR cartridges were meant to be either destroyed or returned to Nintendo. Nintendo wasn't proactive about this so many of these have slipped out of the hands of the store owners who were demoing the games and into the sticky, sweaty palms of niche game collectors. Most NFR copies were just stock copies of the game with an extra sticker on the back.
Not all NFR games were made equal though, some are very rare and worth a large bounty to completist collectors. Some of these NFR carts had a unique front label instead of the normal stock one that would often include a small red box with the words “NOT FOR RESALE” also in red. The placement and size of this box differed on different games. Most of these NFR games with different front labels were just that. They had no beta content, they weren’t even really demos. Some were and those are worth far more.
It is important to keep in mind that the cartridges with these unique front labels are worth around twice as much as a normal stock version. There are a few exceptions though, some of these NFR games are worth much, much more.
Due to a lot of used game shops not paying attention to their own stock, Not for Resale carts often sell for well below prices people are willing to pay. Shops often price them at the same price as a normal copy or even less due to them being only a 'demo' version.
Rare& Noteworthy Not for Resale N64 CartridgesHere are a few of the exceptional NFR copies that are worth several times more than their retail counterparts.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (Grey) | Price: $600-$1200
This is probably the holy grail of N64 collecting and is rivaled only by a complete copy of ClayFighter: Sculptor’s Cut. What makes this so interesting that it is chocked-full of beta content, has numerous demo points to start from, and it is a Zelda game. This award-winning combination of features provides that this item will literally be worth its weight in gold. Gold Not for Resale versions also exist but are only worth a fraction of the price and not sought after as much as this version. Keep an eye out, they show up every once in awhile for dirt-cheap mislabeled on eBay auctions.
Donkey Kong 64 (Grey Cartridge) | Price: $350-$400
There are two NFR versions of this game, a grey one and a yellow one. The yellow one was released much later on and is worth far less than the earlier grey one. It contains a lot of beta material that was removed later on in development. The cart contains three different demos from various parts in the game, two boss fights and a minigame. A lot of really interesting content can also be dumped from the ROM of the game. All of this unused content and an interesting story behind one of the best-selling games for the console have really promoted this piece of Not for Resale memorabilia to the forefront in reputation and in price.
Pokemon Snap (DEMO ONLY) | Price: $400
Buyer beware on this because there exist not one but two different NFR versions of this title. They also look very similar. The difference is in the color of the box on the front. There is the red version and the black version. The red version is worth around $125 dollars but the black version is worth much more at around $400. The black box “DEMO ONLY” version came exclusively from the special printing kiosks at Blockbuster stores across the US and are a lot harder to come by. The content is also radically different. The black box version contains only a demo of the first two levels while the red box version is functionally identical to the retail version.
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil | Price: $150-$400
With a fully monochromatic front label that is radically different from the final version, this item sports a unique look. Several things in the demo are also different from the final version. It is an interesting item that commands a high price due to how different it is from the final version. There is also a European version that is nearly identical to this except for on the bottom in fine print the USA version says USA while the European version says PAL.
Yoshi’s Story | Price: $200-$300
There is a unique history and story behind this item. This NFR is actually the Japanese copy of the game that was taken apart and had the backplate of the cartridge replaced with the backplate from an American game so that it could be played on American consoled. A special front label was also printed off with the words “INTERNATIONAL VERSION” above the title of the game and was then applied directly on top of the original Japanese label. How interesting!
Excitebike 64 | Price: $40-60
This is another unique cart that has quite a few differences than the final release. A lot of the content is locked and there a few minor tweaks. Most people overlook this one due to it being a game that is often overlooked.
Jet Force Gemini | Price: $40-$60
Rare produced a lot of the NFR cartridges due to their games being high-profile and also due to their stupidly long development times. Not much is different in this NFR other than a panel missing at a certain point in the game that prevented you from moving any further and effectively turning a full game into a demo. There is also some beta content contained in the game’s code.
List of Not for Resale Nintendo 64 carts with unique front labels:
- 1080 Snowboarding
- Diddy Kong Racing
- Donkey Kong 64 (Grey)
- Donkey Kong 64 (Yellow)
- Excitebike 64
- Goldeneye 007
- Jet Force Gemini
- Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Grey)
- Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Gold)
- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Mario Kart 64
- Mario Party 2
- Mario Party 3
- Mario Tennis
- Perfect Dark
- Pokemon Snap (DEMO ONLY) (Black Box)
- Pokemon Snap (Red Box)
- Pokemon Stadium
- Pokemon Stadium 2
- Starfox 64
- Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
- Super Mario 64
- Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil (USA)
- Yoshi Story
Here is a complete list of N64 Not for Resale games that only have an NFR sticker on the back. It is hard to validate these because the stickers were only on the back and can fall off or be worn away.
- Diddy Kong Racing
- Donkey Kong 64
- Legend of Zelda: Orcarina of Time
- Mario Party
- Super Smash Bros
- Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey
- WWF Warzone
- WWF Wrestlemania 2000
Good luck hunting down all those Not for Resale games! There are a lot out there but it is an undeveloped market which means that people have not yet realized how much these games are really worth, and let me tell you right now, they are worth quite a bit.