Video game archaeologists can rejoice, because Assembler Games forum user 10ahu has dumped and released the three known working prototypes of the infamous Die Hard 64, a game that would try to give the revered GoldenEye 007 a run for its bullets.

Canned mid-development by Fox Interactive, this Bits Studios-developed licensed game would bring us the adventures of New York cop John McClane in his fight for righteousness. As previously explained by 10ahu (who was working at Bits Studios at the time) upon first reveal of the game's existence, each of the three ROM files contain about 8 different levels with about 3 being fully playable (but with the occasional glitch). All the standard late '90s FPS rules apply, including bullet time shenanigans mimicking The Matrix and Max Payne, making sure the game screams 1999 rather then 1988, the original date of the action masterpieces début. Being a Nintendo 64 game also means fog, lots of it.

Due to the game's early development status emulators seem unable to run anything at all with the exception of Cen64, a Nintendo 64 emulator that aims for complete accuracy with the real hardware. If you happen to have your Nintendo 64 hooked up and some sort of flash card these will work just fine. The following gameplay video by Ten Shu is what you can expect.

Don't be sad, all this work was not wasted, as the game was eventually released on next generation hardware (including the GameCube) under the name Die Hard: Vendetta. Thus another piece of video game history is now forever preserved for generations to appreciate. Old school gamers still have the 8-bit NES Die Hard if we ever feel the need to be the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench, or the pain in the behind of some classical educated terrorist group with impeccable taste in clothing.

[via assemblergames.com]