A rare American Nintendo Entertainment System game cartridge has surfaced on eBay, with its owner pitching it as a “truly one of a kind” English language Final Fantasy II game, and ofering it up on the popular auction site to one lucky collector willing to pay an astonishing $50,000, or to the nearest offer.
The item in question is actually a sample of the highly popular Japanese game, featuring retro pixelated characters, dungeons and Chocobo. Unfortunately for those outside of Japan it was never released, which is what makes this so special, and “the only real copy in the world of this lost game.”
The sample was made by Square Soft USA (now called Square Enix) in preparation to show it off at the 1991 Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The plan was to release it later that year, but fate stepped in and it was dropped as the focus shifted away from the 8-bit NES and towards the 16-bit Super Nintendo.
Despite being marked as a “sample,” owner Frank Cifaldi insists the game is fully playable in English from start to finish, as demonstrated in the YouTube recording. Despite owning such a unique game, he never played it during his nine year ownership prior to taking the photos for the auction listing.
He did admit the translation isn’t the best, however. “The English script is clunky and erroneous to the point that players may find the dialogue between characters quite comical. It can be very hard not to snicker when a character declares, we are all in here because of that old man's Xtal Rod!”