Beyond 26 years prototype of the phantom overseas NES version 'Sim City' was discovered and revived by volunteers' will

" Sim City " is a popular simulation game where players design and manage the city as mayor, was born for Macintosh, and later versions for various PCs appeared. In 1991, under the joint development by Nintendo and Maxis, " Sim City " for Super Nintendo was released. At the same time as this Super Nintendo version, "Sim City" was scheduled to be released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which is the overseas version of the family computer, but it was canceled somewhat before just before. The test ROM was discovered in 2017 and the ROM data of the NES version "Sim City" completed by volunteers has been released from December 25, 2018.

Recovering Nintendo's Lost SimCity for the NES - Video Game History Foundation

In 1989 when the PC version was released, Shigeru Miyamoto who worked on "Super Mario Bros." and "The Legend of Zelda" in Nintendo's designers seemed to have been drawing ideas for the game of town development. Miyamoto who did not know the existence of the game "sim city" knew that the game of the same concept had already been made and had a big hit and said, "The game I had imagined already is" Sim City " I was surprised to see that it existed in. "

Negotiation began between Maxis of development company and Nintendo in order to acquire the right to release "Sim City" on home game machines. Nintendo employees including Mr. Miyamoto headed to Maxis headquarters in California Province, deepened interaction with the development team of "Sim City", and finally made a contract. Although the contract terms are not clarified, according to one opinion, a contract amount of more than 1 million dollars (about 130 million yen at the time of the asset value at that time) was paid.

After the contract was established, Mr. Will Wright , the creator of "Sim City" headed for the Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto, and together with Mr. Miyamoto, we developed the Super Famicom version for a week. Although the PC version was a game design that operates with a mouse, they will redesign "Sim City" so that they can also play with the Nintendo who operates with the arrow keys and buttons.

In the Super Nintendo version released in 1991, Dr. Wright who is an advisor to the player was newly added. Dr. Wright was a character that plays a role to explain the complex system of "Sim City" to players and was a device to make it possible for people who are not familiar with simulation games to play. Also, a bank loan system called "to borrow money from the bank and advance city making" is a mode added at this time.

In addition, although scenario-like scenarios were rare in PC version, scenario with high game nature was added for the first time in Super Nintendo version. In the first place, "Sim City" is not a game made from the concept of city creation from the beginning, but the map editor of Commodore 64 version " Bangelling Bay " developed by Mr. Wright is the prototype. In addition, the Nintendo version "Bangellingu Bay" was transplanted by Hudson and became a big hit in Japan, it is said that Mr. Wright was able to develop "Sim City" thanks to its sales.

"Nihon Keizai Shimbun dated June 7, 1990 reported that" SimCity will be released for NES (NES) and Super Nintendo. " Actually, Super Nintendo Entertainment System which is the overseas version of Super Nintendo is going to be released in the United States was scheduled to be delayed one year from Japan, so NES version was also developed simultaneously for overseas market. In 1991 Nintendo says in the magazine " Nintendo Power " "There is only a difference in graphics between NES version and Super Nintendo version, the system is about to go together"

Prior to launch, in January 1991, Nintendo exhibited at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show, a home game game show, released the actual Nintendo Demo version of the NES version and the Super Nintendo version. However, the play image of the NES version was the only one published at this Winter Consumer Electronics Show, and only the Super Nintendo version was released on April 26, 1991. The following movie is a video recording introducing the NES version "Sim City" at Winter Consumer Electronics Show in 1991.

SimCity NES Prototype - Winter CES 1991 Trade Show Footage - YouTube

It is not clear why sales were canceled, but for 26 years since its release at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show, the NES version "Sim City" will be handed down among some core game fans as a phantom game .

In 2017, two NES cartridges which are supposed to be developed for use in Seattle used game shops were brought in. The title recorded in this cartridge was that visionary NES version "Sim City". Of the two cartridges, one was sold to the collector, but the other one remained in the hand of the owner. An organization " The Video Game History Foundation ", which conducts game preservation and game history research, obtained a digital copy of this cartridge and conducted a survey.

As a result of the survey, the contents of the two cartridges are the same, it turned out that it was a prototype of NES version "Sim City." Since one of the cartridges is labeled "December 20, 1990", it is thought that this cartridge was originally prepared to let the tester play it. Although it seems that it was a prototype to the last, it seems that it was not a finished product due to some big bugs and typing errors, but still it seems that it was in a state where you can play enough if you insert it into a commercially available NES.

Actually watching the NES version "Sim City" playing in the movie below can be seen.

SimCity NES Unreleased Prototype Gameplay - YouTube

In addition, both NES version and Super Nintendo version were composed by Mr. Oka , but it was also found that completely different songs were prepared for NES version and Super Nintendo version except for one song. Mr. Oka said in an interview at that time that one of the songs composed to the NES version was one of his best masterpieces, and as of 2018 the soundtrack analysis is underway. The NES version of music is released in the following movies.

Unreleased SimCity NES Soundtrack - YouTube

Dr. Wright's animation was also added to the NES version. You can worship Dr. Wright's comical action even at NES, which is inferior to Super Nintendo. However, it seems that some parts were stored in the cartridge as deportation data, because it became difficult to understand because it was shaky when playing on a cathode ray tube TV with actual equipment. The movement of Dr. Light of the NES version can be seen in the following movie.

SimCity NES Prototype - Dr. Wright Animation Showcase - YouTube

In 2018, as a collaborator of The Video Game History Foundation, NES expert CaH 4e 3 analyzed while adding comments based on the digital copy of NES version "Sim City" It was completed. The Video Game History Foundation has published on the Internet Archive from December 25, 2018, with a set of ROM files, comments with comments, comments by volunteers, etc., that run on the latest NES emulator.

SimCity NES Prototype Archive: Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming: Internet Archive

in Video,   Game, Posted by log1i_yk