One of the most beloved games of all time is now one of the most insane auctions of all time.
An exceedingly rare prototype cartridge of the NES classic The Legend of Zelda has popped up on eBay, along with a sealed copy of the original game. The asking price for this pair? $150,000. That's in U.S. dollars, not rupees.
Prototype games are very, very hard to come by, and the seller (who, it's worth noting, has a spotless selling record on the site) says he believes this to be the only one in existence for The Legend of Zelda. Still, it's an incredibly high price to pay for a video game.
"This is without a doubt the pinnacle of my collection and I challenge anyone to come up with anything more important in the video game collecting scene," says the seller, who goes by the name ' tjcurtin1'. "Stadium Events? How many carts are out there? Hundreds. NWC Gold Cart? Again how many? There is one Prototype in the world for the NES Zelda, one prototype that started the launch of a generation of gamers and you are viewing it."
Tjcurtin1 is including an unopened retail copy of the game (which typically sells for a few hundred bucks) in the deal, but the real prize is the prototype. So far, the unassuming yellow cartridge does seem legit. The seller has uploaded video on YouTube showing it in action to demonstrate its authenticity.
The prototype cartridge goes on sale just weeks after a collector shelled out $12,000 for a Nintendo PowerFest '94 cartridge for the Super Nintendo, which was created specifically for a video game competition Nintendo held in the mid-90s across the U.S. and Canada. The quest to obtain that collectible took over two years to complete for collector JJ Hendricks, who talked the owner down from an original price tag of $50,000.
Last year, a collector paid $11,500 for a rare Nintendo World Championships Grey #60 cartridge (a competition piece, which is also among the world's rarest games) with the money going to the Child's Play Charity.
Still, there's a world of difference between those prices and the $150K tjcurtin1 is asking. Should it sell for anywhere near that price, it would become the most expensive video game in the world, a record currently held by a copy of Stadium Events that sold for $41,300 back in 2010.