Rare NES Game Fetches Over $4,000


An extremely rare game for the original Nintendo Famicom (the NES) has just fetched a bank-breaking ¥401,010 (some $4,250) at auction.

The game in question is the fascinatingly titled 危険物のやさしい物理と科学 / Kikenbutsu no Yasashii Butsuri to Kagaku, or “The Tender Physics & Science of Explosive Materials”; as you might guess from the title, the game relates to handling volatile materials.

It was in fact a training tool (part of the “Space College” series) jointly developed between Konami and industrial end-user Idemitsu Kosan Ltd. (one of the world’s largest petroleum refiners) in 1990, and intended for employee educational use only.

Its rarity, and subsequent popularity with collectors, stems from the fact that is what is called a 非売品 / hibaihin, a game never offered for sale publically, of which there are a great many for the NES, ranging from normal games unreleased for some reason to training products such as this.

For NES maniacs, or possibly shrewdly speculating collectors, the game clearly represents an irresistible draw.


So much so that, in the Yahoo auction, its initial asking price of ¥1,000 was soon inflated drastically, attracting 50 bids in four days, ending at ¥401,010. The special adapter required to play the game (Q-ta) was included in this price, though shipping was not.


The game was confirmed by the seller, who “tested it at a friend’s place”, to be in working order after five years in storage, and to be in reasonable condition. Let us hope so.

Sadly, images of this fascinating game in operation are extremely rare, so we are left to imagine what wonders of safety training delight it must hold.

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    Avatar of Keigami
    Comment by Keigami
    07:34 02/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's at least 5 in a half months worth of rent for me.
    Where do these otaku keep getting their money from?

    Avatar of theandysan
    Comment by TheAndySan
    23:31 02/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd like to know myself, because my ass is always broke!

    Comment by Chronomaster
    06:50 05/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Honestly, I'm more curious about the reason for a converter than I am about the game.

    Comment by Anon
    06:39 20/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Using consoles to train employees. The Japanese truly are a generation or two ahead of the rest of the world.

    Comment by Shin Muhammad
    01:22 02/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Can it be considered abandonware?

    Comment by EcureuilMatrix
    Comment by kenjiharima
    22:22 01/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    That game is downloadable in a rom site. I dunno if it's still up though...It was way back 1999.

    Avatar of alex1_phang3
    Comment by alex1_phang3
    23:30 01/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Really? May I see the site pls? (*interested)

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:44 01/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I highly doubt that. I've spent quite sometime searching for a rom and have come up blank.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    23:48 01/12/2008 # ! Incalculable

    I couldn't even find a screenshot.

    Sorry to disappoint you budding petroleum handling safety experts, but I think this one is going to slip by...

    Avatar of angeldaze
    Comment by angeldaze
    22:00 01/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    It must have cost a bomb!

    Avatar of takuya13
    Comment by takuya13
    22:19 01/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    hahah nice one :P but wow.. o.O 4000 u could buy a lot of butter with that

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:49 01/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    You could buy lot of butter with that money.

    Isn't there even a rom in circulation?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:09 10/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I guess not since it's a game unreleased to the public.

    Avatar of Ukonkivi
    Comment by Onni
    00:54 02/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    And...this is why I just like emulators and roms, in instances where I can. Or where it just makes sense.

    If I can't buy it in a way that'll support the company, I'll just emulate it. This stuff is nice and all if you're a collector, but it doesn't support the companies at all. It's sad that some people would want to make downloading this as a rom illegal and not want to release it for re-buy on Virtual Console. It's unethical.

    Avatar of PaperJunkie
    Comment by SomeoneElse
    03:37 02/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Did you miss the part where people were saying you cant even find a ROM for this?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I think everyone missed the part where we heard that this is a hazardous materials safety training tool, written in Japanese.

    Or are there really that many budding safety experts wanting to learn Japanese procedures, 20-year-old ones at that?

    Avatar of Ukonkivi
    Comment by Onni
    03:53 02/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah yes, I supposed I commented before reading other comments is why. I also just skimread the article.

    Well then we can only hope that someone who does own the cartridge does upload the rom onto the internet. For archival purposes. Don't want to see a single game disappear from history.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:02 02/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sure, start taking up a collection like they did to dump the English NES Earthbound cartridge. I'm pretty sure the buyer isn't going to have a ROM dumped (which would erode much of the value) unless there's financial incentive to protect against that.

    Avatar of Ukonkivi
    Comment by Onni
    12:19 02/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    To be honest, if I was that person, I would still be more worried about it disappearing from existence than keeping it's value.

    Call me a good Samaritan you might. Or an idiot of no caring for money. But I believe in gaming, and the preservance of gaming history, not collecting.

    But then again I suppose if you wanted to be so sharing, you could make the auction paid via a paypal through a site that hosts roms. And have everyone pitch in who wants the sucker. Instead of pay for the whole thing yourself.

    I wonder how much other games are near forgotten to history. I shudder the thought.

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    00:20 02/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    holy shit that's awesome but shit $4000 @@

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:50 01/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)


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