Back in 2016, Patrick Scott Patterson of Video Game Preservation (a project whose purpose I’ll leave you to guess at, and which is currently on hiatus) was able to obtain a set of four cartridges for the Nintendo Game Boy featuring different builds of an unfinished video game adaptation of the acclaimed anime known simply as Akira. With these, he put together the following video showing the game running on a Super Game Boy:
The game features different types of gameplay over the course of its seven stages, with two different vehicle stages spliced in among what amounts to mostly platforming and a boss stage. The hope was that by gathering the data from each build, a more “complete” version of the game could be formed and archived.
More recently, however, the four cartridges appeared together in a lot on eBay. Starting at a single American penny, the auction would end with a final bid of $2,729.00 USD. As to why they were up for auction at all, Patterson explains (edited slightly for formatting):
Those familiar with our Video Game Preservation project might be surprised to see this and other items being made available. It was not an easy decision. The original intent of the archive was to be informational — a research and fact checking library for media related to video game history. The project eventually expanded beyond that organically and in 2017, we shifted into plans to go well beyond the originally intended plan with items like this one.
Plans changed, and not by design but by fate. Other opportunities outside of the video game world presented themselves and between that and family, we found ourselves without time to keep to our grandiose plans for items like this one. The end result saw these items just sitting stored away like they had for years previously, which defeats the intent of preservation in the first place. The decision was made to take the archive project back to it’s original intent only, as it is not as time sensitive, and to find new homes for items like these, especially with so many people today doing wonderful things in that space.
Some might ask why eBay was the chosen route for that shift. First, we’d like be able to do something for those who’ve helped us out. We also have costs to cover related to these items and costs involved in moving forward with the plans for the informational side of the archive project that we are retaining. The motivation is to get it done quickly so that focus can be kept where we need it most. This made for the best solution for every factor we had to take into consideration.
At this point, we can now only hope that the winning bidder will have interest, if not in compiling the builds as originally intended, then in dumping them online for the sake preserving this bit of gaming history. Otherwise, they won’t really be doing anyone any good, and what would be the point in that?
News Credit: Crunchyroll