Friday, October 11, 2013

Nintendo Still Hates Atari

Good clean fun, or a vicious theft of someone's intellectual property?
OK, so that post title is a bit misleading, but it's based on fact. Well, based on speculation, anyway. What happened is this: Likely inspired by the huge number of incredible Atari 2600 homebrew games hitting the retro-gamer's market, a developer, oh let's call him Bingo, decides to put his coding skills and creativity to the test and designs an excellent version of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. for the long-defunct Atari 2600 gaming console sneakily titled, Princess Rescue. Obviously a lot of time and care had gone into this project as Bingo managed to faithfully recreate many of the now-iconic elements of the classic platformer on a 1970s machine that had about a tenth of the power of the NES --- the familiar music, the red overalls, even the spritely little tune that we all know so well (and gets stuck in my head all the time) are all there in some form or another. Bingo even produced a classically-styled cartridge, manual and box to go along with this amazing little collection of bits and bytes.
Sales of the game were handled through and seemed to be going splendidly until one day, a few months later *POOF* Princess Rescue was suddenly nowhere to be found in the AtariAge store. The retro-gaming forums were soon running wild with speculation and theories as to why this game was no longer available. Although it was never verified, the consensus seems to be that Nintendo's lawyers sent a cease and desist to AtariAge and Bingo, immediately and unintentionally boosting the game to Super-Duper-Rare status. So Super-Duper-Rare, in fact, that there's a copy on eBay that, as of this writing, is going for $250 US. It seems pretty ridiculous that a gaming company as huge as Nintendo is even aware of the existence of Princess Rescue let alone feels threatened enough by it to take legal action. Perhaps if Nintendo spent as much time actually releasing games for their new Wii-U system instead of picking on a niche community of retro-gaming enthusiasts, they might actually have a chance of becoming a relevant player in the console world again. For those of you who've never seen the game in action, check out the video and get ready to be impressed...and then sad because you will NEVER, EVER GET TO PLAY IT!


  1. I see a version available that makes no feigned concession to copyright as "Princes Rescue." Here's one called "Mario Bros. by Nintendo." Ballzy!