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Retro Star Wars games coming back for NES, N64, home arcade cabinet

By Benjamin Bullard
Hoth battle in Star Wars Shadows of the Empire game

Old-school Star Wars gaming fans are getting updated access to a pair of classics from Nintendo's wayback era, thanks to a just-unveiled re-release of The Empire Strikes Back for NES and Game Boy, and Shadows of the Empire for Nintendo 64.

Tons of gamers wore out their controller buttons on the original NES Empire game, as well as Shadows of the Empire, and the reissues from Limited Run Games don’t appear to be messing with the retro formula. The new versions even come swaddled in packaging that’s period-appropriate, and the only way to play either one is to unpack your old Nintendo 64, or to snag one of the present-day, all-in-one Retron 5 classic console machines.

In keeping with the old-school vibe, both games are offered in cartridge format only — there’s no digital downloading in this corner of the Star Wars galaxy. Pre-orders began on July 26 and, at last check, were selling out at Limited Run’s website — with the promise of more on the way.

Pricing starts around $40, though you can spend as much as $385 for the mega-bundle (pictured below), which includes Classic and Premium editions of both games, as well as one random Limited Run Games Trading Card, and one “guaranteed” additional gold trading card, according to Limited Run.

Star Wars retro mega game bundle packaging

If making Star Wars a permanent part of your home decor is more your thing (and why wouldn’t it be?), you can step up to the Arcade1up Star Wars arcade cabinet, which turns your Lucasfilm fetish into a piece of miniature arcade furniture. The company showed off the new cabinet, which hands you the controls via the “real-feel flight yoke and control buttons” pictured below, last weekend at San Diego Comic-Con.

The 4-foot-tall cabinet can be mounted on an included riser, and comes pre-loaded with the arcade versions of all three stand-up versions of the original trilogy’s Atari tie-ins: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. For that extra touch of arcade realism, the machine even features a blinged-out marquee panel that lights up, vying for attention above its 17’’ LCD screen.

The cabinet is a GameStop exclusive, and it can be yours for a mere 500 galactic credits (aka dollars). Pre-orders are already live, so may the Force be with you if you want to lock down one of these bad boys ahead of their November delivery date.