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.