A NES game just sold for $114,000, making it the most expensive game ever

NES game

It’s not exactly every day that you go out and purchase a video game for six figures. But in the case of a recent auction over at Heritage Auctions, that’s exactly what happened. An NES copy of the original Super Mario Bros. was purchased for a staggering $114,000.

That might sound like a lot of money for a game. And that’s because it is. But there are a few reasons why it went for so much. For one, this particular copy is in immaculate condition. It was graded 9.4 out of 10, suggesting it still looked near brand-new.

An expensive NES game

Otherwise, it also features a cardboard hangtag, a now obsolete form of packaging popular before the use of plastic wrapping. As you can imagine, most owners would have immediately disposed of this. Having a copy of a game that old with its tag completely untouched is extremely rare.

Super Mario Bros. wasn’t the only NES game to go for a lot of money this week either. On the same day, a copy of the now iconic Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out went for $50,000. Clearly, the most dedicated of collectors are willing to pay a lot for the rarest of games.

In many ways, this sale has a strange comedic undertone to it. After all, the original Super Mario Bros. is one of the best selling games ever made. Bundles included it has sold over 40 million copies worldwide since its release in 1985.

If you’re not one for rarity and just want to experience perhaps history’s most memorable platformer, you can do it for a lot cheaper than $114,000. In fact, a copy of an NES cartridge for Mario will usually cost less than $20 on eBay. Alternatively, the Famicom emulator that comes with Switch Online is $20 a year.

NES Classic Edition Announced By Nintendo

While we’ll be left waiting for the Codename NX until early 2017, Nintendo has a much more old-school system in the works for this year’s holiday season.  The NES Classic Edition was announced via the official Nintendo Twitter feed and will come preloaded with 30 beloved games of the 8-bit era.  The system has been shown on all of Nintendo’s official Twitter feeds, such as their Spanish, French, and Russian accounts, suggesting a global release.

While the new system is designed after the original Nintendo Entertainment System, it will not actually be able to play old NES cartridges.  Instead, the machine will have a selection of games preloaded onto it that can be readily played after plugging it in.  Many of the games included will be classic first-party games including the Super Mario trilogy, the first two Legend of Zelda games, Metroid, Excitebike, and StarTropics.

It will also feature a variety of third-party titles, including Pac-Man, Mega Man 2, Final Fantasy, Double Dragon II, the first two Castlevania games, and Tecmo Bowl.  You can check out the full list of games here.  The system isn’t designed for internet access or external media, so these 30 will be the only games you’ll be able to play with the system.

There have been plenty of preloaded consoles in the past, some with dubious legality, but rarely has a major developer like Nintendo delved into such a concept.  SNK Playmore released a handheld version of their Neo Geo console called the Neo Geo X in 2012, but infamously ran into trouble with their manufacturer.  While the Classic Mini seems like an easy ticket for printing money, but there is a fair share of potential mishaps that could harm it.  Given Nintendo’s recent problems with supplying hardware like amiibos and the Gamecube controller adapter, there’s a chance that Nintendo may see this as nothing more than a collector’s item and understock it.

The NES Classic Edition is set to release on November 11th later this year for $60.  It will include one NES Controller and will be compatible with the Wii Classic Controller and Wii Classic Controller Pro.  Will you be picking one up yourself?  What NES titles do you wish had been included?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Gaming’s Greatest Gadgets: The “Vampire Killer”

Vampire Killer

Gaming is literally chocked full of awesome weapons, sweet gadgets and general bits and bobs designed to streamline your killing experience. But only the greatest weapons become iconic; synonymous with the game itself; two peas in a disk/cartridge/downloadable-doodad shaped pod.

In this series, we look at these legendary gizmos from across gaming’s glorious past, and with the recent re-release of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow on the Nintendo E-Shop it is only fitting that we take a look at:

The Vampire Killer

proxyCastlevania is one of the oldest series’ in gaming, and stands tall next to Metal Gear as one of Konami’s greatest achievements. In 1986 Castlevania bursted onto the scene, giving the world one of its first glimpses into the survival horror genre. Utilizing monsters from both myth and classic horror films, fused with clunky controls in a dark-fantasy setting, Konami pushed the NES to its breaking point. What made Castlevania so iconic however (soul crushing difficulty notwithstanding), was its weapon of choice: The Vampire Killer.

Unlike most weapons in gaming, then and now, the Vampire Killer is not a sword or a gun, it’s a whip. Being a whip gave the player surprising range when engaging enemies, although the trade was a whip that was heavy, cumbersome and hard to control. You could not move whilst attacking, so every swing had to mean something, as you rarely got a second chance. Nothing in gaming was, or has been, as satisfying to use. You cannot beat the sound of the Vampire Killers deadly crack as it connects with its enemies.

The Vampire Killer is typically depicted as a leather whip crafted by the alchemist Rinaldo Gandolfi, reaching 5-10ft in length, however seeing as it was made by alchemy, it has also taken on the form of a metal chain, as well as a morning star. Though bound to the Belmont family (a bond that can literally kill those not from the clan), each Belmont has been able to utilize the Vampire Killer in different ways. Richter could literally ignite the whip creating an inferno of extendable metal  death, whilst John was able to imbue it with lightning. Other Belmont’s have been able to channel magic energies through the whip, unleashing fireballs and earthquakes. Some have used it in conjunction with their incredible upper-body strength to pull off unimaginable acrobatics.

Whilst it bears the name Vampire Killer and designed to kill Count Dracula, the whip is blessed with the power to destroy all darkness, whether that be undead, demon or alchemical. In fact, such is the Vampire Killers power, it has slain Death himself on numerous occasions and  even banished Satan. Finally, the Vampire Killer, despite being a whip, can crush brick and mortar, enchanted or not, with ease. Its most interesting ability is that it can literally conjure food out of rubble to rejuvenate its bearer.

Modernization

combat-cross-and-whipWith the 3D overhaul Castlevania got with the Lords of Shadow series, the Vampire Killer took on a new lease of life. No longer a whip, the Vampire Killer became a Combat Cross, and although it was still designed by Rinaldo Gandolfi, it was also replicated meaning countless lesser Crosses exist. What is even more surprising is that it was not designed to slay Dracula, and was actually given its name by the village of Wygol after a vampire attack was thwarted.

This iteration of the Vampire Killer is a crucifix. The base of the cross is sharpened into a stake to allow for the quick disposal of vampires, whilst the main weapon is a blessed chain covered in spikes that ends with a hooked tip. Whilst not actually a whip, it is used much like a one, and similar to the old Vampire Killer, it can slay anything from lycanthropes to alchemical colossus. Additionally, the Combat Cross can also be infused with magic, allowing the bearer to drain the life from his enemies and, similar to the original, burst into flames. Finally, the Combat Cross’s greatest strength is its ability to permanently kill an immortal.

Unlike the Vampire Killer of old however, it is not passed down through the generations, and is in fact destroyed, reforged, and wielded by Dracula, making it the least effective Dracula killing Vampire Killer of all time.

The Hunter Whip

Whilst the Vampire Killer is the premiere tool when it comes to the slaying of dark minions, there are other, lesser whips in the series that have been used to banish Dracula and his minions. One such whip is aptly named the Hunter Whip. Unlike the Vampire Killer, the Hunter Whip is made entirely of leather, although this does not seem to hinder the bearer too much. What makes the Hunter Whip so interesting however is its ability to be infused with power of gods and mythical creatures, allowing the bearer to change the properties of the weapon, and even morph it into other weapons such as a sword or gun.

Whilst many people view whips as a tool used primarily within the realm of rugged, fedora wearing, temple delving explorers like Indiana Jones, we gamers see it as one of the coolest weapons ever conceived. Now if you excuse me, I have some more Dracula killing to do. WHOOPAH!