An early, prototype version of Super Mario Bros. for the NES apparently surfaced with little fanfare, and has seemingly vanished back into obscurity. Umm.
Wired reports video game archivist Frank Cifaldi recently snagged an awesome find on Yahoo! Auctions: Some vintage EPROM chips that feature prototype versions of Hyper Olympic, Stargate, Soccer, and Joust for the NES. The coolest thing about that discovery? Joust was programmed by Satoru Iwata, who would eventually go on to be president of Nintendo.
But after looking a little deeper, he realized he missed out on arguably the coolest auction: What appears to be a prototype version of Super Mario Bros. for NES that apparently sold for a mere $200. Ouch. There’s no telling who picked it up, and what (if anything) will ever come of the board. Cifaldi isn’t positive it’s an early cut of the game, but judging by a text scrolling bug, it likely seems to be a prototype copy of the game developed before the release version.
Needless to say: This could’ve been one of the most unique finds in video game history, and now it’s languishing… somewhere. Possibly written over, or maybe just sitting in a drawer. Here’s hoping whoever happened across it will realize what they have and preserve it.