Over the last week, members of the VGHF (the Video Game History Foundation) teased a top-secret project that would be revealed June 1. They were revealing an unreleased retro game! June 1 happens to be today, and the game has been revealed as….Days of Thunder for the NES.
Wait a minute, doesn’t Days of Thunder for the NES (based on the Tom Cruise movie) already exist? Technically, yes, but the version sold in stores was completely different from the one that was originally in development. The retail version was created by Australian studio Beam Software, but the game was originally being developed in-house at publisher Mindscape.
The late Chris Oberth, who worked on that version, saved all his work on ancient 5 1/4 floppy disks and stashed it all in his family’s basement. Oberth died in 2012, but his family only recently discovered the floppies, and contacted the VGHF asking if they would be interested. They were.
It was already known that Oberth worked on Days of Thunder and that the raw data for the game could be on his disks. Now the problem became retrieving it. The full details are shared on this page and get rather jargon-y, but the TL:DR is that it wasn’t as simple as dumping a ROM. The code was scattered all over the place.
But now it’s been gathered, compiled, and….not playable JUST YET. First they want to print and sell a few physical copies to benefit the Oberth family (who was originally looking to sell these disks to raise cash). The price is a heavy $70, but it’s sure to increase in value from there.
Collector John Riggs, who has contacts at the VGHF, was given an advance physical copy. Here’s what’s inside:
If you can’t afford a physical for Days of Thunder, or you’re just not interested in one, the ROM will be dumped by the VGHF eventually. For now, watch this playthrough….