A while ago we told you about the Sky Skipper Project, which has the stated goal of recreating a unit of the little-known and rare Nintendo arcade cabinet, hosting a special event to unveil it while also documenting the game's intriguing history. Some scepticism met the project's announcement, questioning what made a recreation anything special; well, it's the commitment to authenticity that's key to its value.
A lengthy update post on the project's official website explains how the trio leading the project spent months attempting to get a foot in the door at Nintendo of America's headquarters, following a lead that a functional unit of the game had been there in the past. Struggling to get in directly, the key breakthrough came thanks to well-known retro gamer (and Donkey Kong master) Billy Mitchell, who in turn connected the group to former high-level NoA staff. From there, they secured an invite to the HQ, and specifically its archive department.
Though the company isn't broadly concerned - it seems - with preserving pre-NES materials, some key staff have kept a collection of arcade units alive. Apparently there were once 12 Sky Skipper cabinets at NoA headquarters, though now just one remains; based on its serial number it was the first produced for the territory. The game never got released fully in the early '80s, failing key metrics in play testing and quality control, hence the extremely low numbers. The unit in question is below.
The Sky Skipper Project crew not only got to see the unit, but took a lot of photos and even scanned the artwork. The scans, in particular, will be integral as the group faithfully recreates the cabinet.
It's an interesting story, be sure to check out the link below for the full read and a lot of interesting close-up pictures of the cabinet.