A few days back, an NES prototype of the original “The Legend of Zelda” went up for auction on eBay. The first thing that you probably noticed was that the cartridge is yellow and has a cheap sticker that reads “The Legend of Zelda.” While it isn’t the most attractive cartridge in the world, it is among the rarest. Originally priced by the seller at a whopping $150,000, the prototype sold for $55,000. Here’s what the seller, Tom Curtin, had to say.
“I care about the collecting community and giving it a good home was important,” he said. “I feel as though that was accomplished. It was also important getting prototype video game collecting into the news. It is amazing what is out there in released and unrealesed protos.”
According to Curtin, he is under a non-disclosure with the anonymous buyer, who obtained the item for just over a third of the original listing price of $150,000.
“I am satisfied,” said Curtin. “Do I think it’s worth more? Yes. There was no way I was taking less than the previous world record. The fact that it remained in tact over the last 25 years is amazing. The legacy of this cart and how it came into the hands of the previous owner is incredible.”
While the prototype Zelda cartridge may now reside at a new address, Curtin says he is happy to have owned it while he did.
“Amazing to play something that was in the hands of the Zelda dev team,” he stated. “I simply cannot describe it. I played this with my brother as a kid, for hours and ours as many of us did. To own the cart that brought this to America was a dream.”
Curtin also wished to express his gratitude for those who have worked to preserve these unique pieces of Nintendo history.
“I definitely cannot thank Jason Wilson, Mark Nolan, and Matt Nolan enough,” he added. “They had the foresight to go after these prototypes years and years ago. They preserved important pieces of gaming history. I think between this and the release of Ecstasy of Order the video game community is getting some much needed love. We are not a bunch of geeks sitting around glued to the boob tube, we are normal everyday people celebrating something that makes us happy.”[/quote]
In my opinion, that cartridge is easily among the some of the rarest games in existence. Just knowing that I’m playing the cartridge that brought Zelda to America, I would be beyond words. I would love to have it in my collection, but for $55,000? I’d have to take on a few more jobs. Would you pay that much for a Zelda related item? Or would you simply read about it and move on? Tell us what you think in the comments!