A sealed copy of a classic game for the Nintendo Entertainment System has set a new record. The Legend of Zelda auction record is a hefty sum. However, it is certainly not the first to go for a big price. In early April, a copy of the original Super Mario Bros. sold at auction for $660,000.
Not to be outdone, Link blasted Mario’s record to bits with his trusty bombs. A Legend of Zelda cartridge sealed in the original box just sold for $870,000! According to Nintendo Life, it’s the most expensive video game ever sold at auction.
Why So Special?
The cartridge that set this auction record is an early 1987 production version. That version was only in production for a few short months. As a result, this Zelda cartridge is extra rare. Its rarity, the series’ cultural impact, and the fact that it is still in sealed packaging helped it smash Mario’s record.
Fortunately, you don’t have to own a fortune or rob a bank to play this classic game. Nintendo has dropped it on several recent consoles. You can also play it on the recently announced Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda.
Where’d The Zelda Auction Happen?
This Legend of Zelda auction record happened at Heritage Auction. The website stresses how special this item is. They say this cartridge is an extra rare variant. As a result, it is far more special than any other copy of the game they’ve sold at auction. It is also the only copy they’ve had from the game’s earliest production runs.
“While it is a hard truth, it is a truth nonetheless — none of the copies we’ve offered of this title previously could even attempt to hold a candle to this one due to its incredibly rare variant that holds early production status. This matter is completely inarguable. This is the only copy from one of the earliest production runs that we’ve ever had the opportunity to offer, and, possibly will have the opportunity to offer, for many years to come. Considering this variant was only produced for a few months in late 1987 before it was ultimately replaced by the “Rev-A” variant in early 1988, this statement likely comes as no surprise to collectors. Only one other variant precedes the offered “NES R” variant and that is the “NES TM” variant, which is the true first production run. However, it is also widely believed that only a single sealed “NES TM” example exists, and there is no telling whether or not that copy will ever come to market. Essentially, this copy is the earliest sealed copy one could realistically hope to obtain.”
More Recent Hype
While the Legend of Zelda auction record is quite interesting, most fans are of course focused on more current games. As you may know, Link’s newest game comes out next week on July 16th: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD. Alongside it, Nintendo will launch the Zelda & Loftwing amiibo. Meanwhile, the next brand new adventure, Breath of the Wild‘s sequel, is set to launch sometime next year.