Monday, March 3, 2014

Dragon Warrior Prototype on eBay

For $50K, this piece of gaming history can be yours. Sadly, this prototype is just an internal review copy originally held in Nintendo's game library where it was rented out by game counselors to sharpen their skills and aid lost players who called in on Nintendo's (insanely profitable) tips hotline. The code contained on it is identical to the commercially released version.

Why the $50K price point? To get media attention, the seller is really just hoping for a good offer and doesn't expect any real buyers to shell out that insane amount of money. So yeah, the only differences between this and the store bought version are some stickers, hand-soldered chips, and some EPROMS.

Gotta love crappy American NES boxart.
Originally released as Dragon Quest in Japan, Dragon Warrior was released on the NES in August 1989. Since the American port came out nearly three years after the Japanese, there were several localization changes and improvements. The sprites were completely overhauled and even a save battery was implemented. The game sold exceptionally well in Japan so Nintendo of America overproduced so many copies, that it got to the point where they were even giving copies away with Nintendo Power subscriptions. This pushed it heavily and it sold well launching a franchise with several, several sequels, spin-offs, merchandise, anime, manga, etc.
Still my favorite piece of Dragon Quest merchandise.
I really wish this prototype was more of  legacy piece, that it really did have an important part in the entire saga but it is just an internal copy with some stickers and a high price. Good luck with the sale.
I take that back, this is my favorite.


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