One of the holy grails of NES gaming archaeology has been spotted in the wild! Nintendo had negotiated the rights from Maxis to produce Sim City for their 8-bit hardware and while the original Super Nintendo version is acclaimed as one of the very best iterations of Will Wright's city-building opus, all the ground work was already produced for the NES before it was quietly shelved away.
Until now that is, because seemingly out of nowhere not one but two fully-functional prototypes fell in the hands of BIGDADDYRAMIREZ, owner of the Back in Time chain of game stores in Seattle, USA. He was quick to throw both prototypes at a NES-101 (the Top Loader as it is know among NES enthusiasts) and made a quick video of the result.
The game will be available to play to anyone visiting this year's edition of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. Hopefully in the future the ROM information will be dumped and preserved so everyone else can enjoy yet another lost piece of gaming history.
Hands up in the comments if you ever played the Super Nintendo version of Sim City without the "holding L" cheat in the tax menu for that sweet yet illegal $999.999.
Oh my god! I never knew that cheat! Ugh... so many things I could've done.
That is crazy! We need to dig deeper...
@EightyTwoStu I always played with that cheat on.
I think of it as "communist revolution" mode where captialism has been overhauled and the state is free to collect as much tax from the 1% capitalist overlords as they need in order to supply the people with the cash to wage a necessary nuclear war against Bowser.
The SNES version is still the only Sim City game I've liked enough to keep coming back to after any length of time. Second only to Cities: Skylines in the genre, IMHO.
The news is neat, but I confess the thumbnail got me tenderly nostalgic. That title screen and its music are some of my absolute favorites on the SNES.
A reminder that Seinfeld had "Sim City" on his NES game collection.
SNES Sim City is a wonderful game that I still come back to every few years. Nowadays I play without cheats. Totally did as a kid though.
Its sad it won't be appearing on the snes mini but hay-o at least snes mini is happening.....
Four weeks to go!!!
@Alikan I had played the computer versions for awhile before it came out and I was pretty shocked how the SNES was the best version of it at the time. Didn't expect that for a game that was obviously a better match for computers with a mouse.
@aaronsullivan yeah, my brother and I had played Sim City on school computers for a few years before the SNES version came out. The graphics blew us away at the time, haha. I still love watching all the dots and dashes of people in Industrial zones and cars on the roads. Heavy Traffic Reported. Just means that's a popular corner of town....hmmm have another football stadium! 😁
@Pj1 maybe it'll have enough spare memory for hackers to build a program and add some games. Loving my NES mini with 80 classic games! 😆
Even looks rather decent!
Between this and Populous on the Sega MasterSystem, I gain more and more respect for how memory efficient programmers managed to be back in the day.
@Shiryu Was that a joke? Those are not NES games in the Seinfeld pic...
This could have made a great extra game on the NES mini 30+1.
Hey, the video's showing only one version. What's the other version like?
Is it just another prototype of the same game or another NES SimCity game by a different dev?
This is eerily similar!
@SKTTR It's a licensing nightmare. AFAIK EA currently has the rights to Sim City. We won't know if both versions are the same until someone dumps and compard both ROMs side by side.
@Loki7T1 Not a joke.
That girl in the background needs to SHUT THE F*** UP!
It amazing after all these years these unreleased games still show up
@DarkmarkUnited I did when it was first posted. However after looking up at my own copy of SNES "Sim City" I have concluded (with many others) that the one on Seinfeld is too thin to be the US SNES spline. The plot thickens...
OMG I never knew of that cheat for the SNES version before... Spoilers!
Maybe it's just the PC version box? (can't find a good picture of its spine.)
Anyhoo, as I shared with the jury on that uCity Game Boy Color game yesterday, here's a painfully 90s clip of (another) time the NES SimCity made it on the telly.
Two Simcity articles, on back to back days? Oh my nostalgic heart....but seriously, I'm popping it in this weekend and giving it a go. This is one of those games that never, ever, gets old.
@Shiryu NBC must have been keen on hardcore gaming at the time, what with EarthBound appearing in Frasier and all. Or perhaps they just freshly ordered "shipments of upcoming Nintendo games" at times, for props.
Interesting. It looks like the SNES version but in 8-bit. Anyway, it was a good game, although entirely primitive now compared to the superior PC sequels. Still, I'd like to see it on the 3DS VC but that's never going to happen.
@SmaMan Reticulating spines.
Over a decade ago Nintendo Power reviewed a prototype they had lying around inside a Zelda II cart.
I thought an NES version was common knowledge?
@Shiryu Let's be honest, So everyone can steal a piece of gaming history, cause once that ROM hits the internet that's exactly what will happen.
@Tasuki Ah, philosophy at this hour... is it better to lose the work forever? There is no right answer here.
@Shiryu Not at all. But there's avenues they could go to make it available for a price, that way no one is pirating it. Like a Kickstarter for a physical cartridge or heck even release it digitally for newer systems like PS4 or Switch.
@Tasuki Licesning nightmare. Nintendo, Maxis and the original team that programmed the whole thing would need to step into the light and do some serious talks... very unlikely as far as my experience tells me about these things.
@Shiryu So they rather have people steal it and not make anything on it at all?? Coporations make no sense at times.
I never used the code, but I always play on easy more or less, medium at worst. I like to enjoy myself and hard only just starts you out with crap for money so I avoid it as the rest is fine. I've been curious about the code but never attempted it.
By the way there's also a lost debug menu. I've had this site bookmarked for well over a decade as it's all about SNES Sim City
Urgh, vertical video
Well crap I almost need to play sim city on my wii vc through my wii u now. Favorite version of the game.
Time for a ROM dump!!
When I built a city up & got tired of it, I loved sending in the natural disasters & destroying it all. Good times.
@Tasuki No, they don't want people to steal it. That's another matter. I don't know why you associate two different things. It's you who makes no sense. People pirate NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, and Wii U games. It doesn't mean that Nintendo wants them to do that. Some people just decide to do that on their own initiative.
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