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The big picture: The Legend of Zelda launched in North America at a retail price of $49.99 plus tax. Surely nobody at that time could have imagined that a copy of the game would be fetching north of $100,000 less than 35 years later, but that is the exact scenario playing out right now.
Heritage Auctions is currently offering an early production version of The Legend of Zelda that’s been bid up to a stagger $115,000 as of writing (and there’s still about 19 hours left before the auction ends). This particular variant of the game, which carries a Wata rating of 9.0, is the only copy from one of the earliest production runs that Heritage has ever had the opportunity to offer, as it was only produced for a few months in late 1987.
Only one other variant came before this one, the “NES TM” variant from the true first production run, and only a single sealed example of it is believed to exist today.
The Legend of Zelda launched first in Japan on February 21, 1986, before eventually finding its way to North America more than a year later. Nintendo sold over than 6.5 million copies of the game during its run, and it has been regarded by many as one of the greatest and most influential video games ever released. It also has a pretty killer soundtrack.