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Nintendo Proto Discovered - Happily Ever After


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#1 Crimefighter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 17, 2016 8:52 PM

http://arstechnica.c...er-it-was-made/

 

 

It's not every day that a previously unseen game comes out for the Nintendo Entertainment System (hipsterish modern ports notwithstanding). One of those days occurred late last week, though, as a long-lost playable prototype ROM of Happily Ever After was released on the Internet 25 years after its original creation.

 

Nintendo Player goes into extensive detail on the game's creation, which was based off of a movie of the same name by TV cartoon production company Filmation (creators of He-Man). The Happily Ever After film, a pseudo-sequel to the famous fairy tale, was originally planned for 1991 but didn't come out until 1993 due to legal and financial issues. When the movie promptly flopped (and when its distributor became embroiled in an SEC fraud investigation), the accompanying NES game that had been developed by Japanese studio SOFEL (Wall Street Kid, Casino Kid) was shelved.

 

Though a very different SNES version was released by a different developer in 1994, the NES game was thought lost forever, save for a few stray screenshots in magazines and reports from Consumer Electronics Shows past. That is until Sean McGee (who previously unearthed a long-lost Super Mario Bros. 2 sample cartridge) found and purchased a prototype from an Austin-area private seller. Rather than selling the rare game to the highest bidder, as is common with many discovered NES prototypes, McGee dumped the ROM to allow everyone to play this lost gem free on an emulator.

 

Although it's officially a prototype, the game seems pretty complete, with four full stages that culminate in a series of bosses. Despite the childish fairy tale setting, the game is fiendishly tough in that unforgiving and classic NES style. Snow White's main attack is a spinning cape move with an extremely limited range, and she can only take five hits before having to use one of four limited continues. While the graphics are pretty basic (even for the 1991-era NES), there's a pretty catchy soundtrack and some interesting navigational magic powers at play, too. As Nintendo Player puts it, "as far as unreleased Nintendo games go, this has to be one of the best."

 

For NES obsessives, Happily Ever After's release is probably the biggest discovery since a playable copy of Bio Force Ape surfaced in 2011 (retro game enthusiast Danny Cowan called that discovery "the end of an era"). But those prototype hunters aren't done scouring the world for more unreleased cartridges. There are dozens of other NES games that were teased in the press but never saw release, some of which seemed more or less complete based on available information. Who knows what other retro titles might be lurking out there at your local yard sale.

 



#2 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 17, 2016 9:00 PM

Nice, it's always great to see prototypes like this unearthed and provided to the public. It looks like it could be a fun game too. Not phenomenal, but still worth trying. I'm going to have to track it down and slap it on my Power Pak.



#3 SiLic0ne t0aD85 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 18, 2016 7:03 AM

Neat find. :thumbsup: The SFX and such are impressive, you can tell it was made late in the NES lifespan. HERE is the game, I'm about to try to out also..


Edited by SiLic0ne t0aD85, Wed May 18, 2016 7:03 AM.


#4 Supergun OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 20, 2016 10:45 PM

ever after.jpg
 
EDIT: It's not perfect but it should print well for those that don't have their own.


That looks awesome. Thanks!
But, can you please tell us which is the correct donor cart to use? That's the information I cannot find anywhere; and what is always the biggest hassle in trying to find out whenever these games surface.

#5 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 21, 2016 3:03 AM

That looks awesome. Thanks!
But, can you please tell us which is the correct donor cart to use? That's the information I cannot find anywhere; and what is always the biggest hassle in trying to find out whenever these games surface.

 

It's Mapper 1 using an SLROM pcb. Very common board in lots of shitty cheap titles :)


Edited by Shawn, Sat May 21, 2016 3:07 AM.


#6 PWGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 23, 2016 4:02 PM

So the game has parallax scrolling - Obviously some video trickery since NES doesn't natively support. Interesting - maybe devs figured out how to do it by that point in the consoles life since a few other games use it? Anyone know much about parallax on NES?


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#7 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 23, 2016 5:41 PM

So the game has parallax scrolling - Obviously some video trickery since NES doesn't natively support. Interesting - maybe devs figured out how to do it by that point in the consoles life since a few other games use it? Anyone know much about parallax on NES?


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Go over to NESDEV.COM as the guys there are the best to ask.



#8 beautifulman2999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:32 AM

wow this is amazing! they really should have released this on retail.



#9 gkoss OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:20 PM

So the game has parallax scrolling

I did not see any parallax scrolling in that video.



#10 Prosystemsearch OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:36 PM

Quite interesting indeed! ;) 

 

Now if only the prototype of the famicom version of MOTHER 1 and the elusive NES Zelda were to surface...






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