As far as retro game collecting goes, there are very few items that can outshine unreleased prototypes & development hardware. Those which can are Nintendo's very own competition cartridges, ones which were officially used for tournament play across the United States in the early 90s. Of these unique items, another one has just been unearthed.
In 1992 Nintendo hosted another competition in the United States as a follow up to their previously successful Nintendo World Championships and Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991. Both of these competitions saw contestants taking part on a timed run through a handful of Nintendo NES games, shortly before being given a final score after the time ran out. Their 1992 competition, also known as the Nintendo Campus Challenge, made the most of their latest hardware release - the Super Nintendo - asking gamers to showcase their abilities on Super Mario World, F-Zero and Pilotwings.
Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992 (Gameplay Video)
While all of the software used in these competitions has since been preserved and made available in reproduction form via RetroUSB, the cartridges still elude gamers worldwide.
Although Nintendo were kind enough to distribute all of their 90 competition cartridges used in the 1990 Nintendo World Championships to the finalists, the 1991 and 1992 Campus Challenge cartridges remained in Nintendo's care - or at least we thought. One lucky retro gamer happened to stumble upon a treasure trove of competition cartridges at a yard sale in 2006, including both of the Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridges for the low cost of $1,000.
These cartridges found at a yard sale were previously thought to be one of a kind items, at least until now. Another lucky individual has discovered the second Super Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992 cartridge known to exist which had sat dormant in his attic for many years.
I was involved in a project where we received a range of games, a few consoles and this one [Campus Challenge 92]. We actually ran the project both in the US and in Europe. It was not the campus challenge itself. We built gear around it and was offered to keep a few consoles, games and the Campus Challenge which at the time was seen as more or less worthless.
I just found it in the attic when looking for other stuff and thought I'd google it to find info about it and... well it was a nice surprise :-)
Needless to say we're very much impressed and hope that more of these (presumably) one of a kind items keep surfacing, preferably in the United Kingdom! Failing that we'd settle for Resident Evil 1.5 making an appearance...
Take part in the Nintendo Campus Challenge yourself
As a finishing note, should you want to recreate and participate in a replica Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992 competition, be sure to head over to Play Expo this weekend (13-14th October). RetroCollect is hosting a plethora of competitions, one of which is using RetroUSB's reproduction cartridge of the same one used in the Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992. Find out more in our Play Expo competition announcement.
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