Rare 'Zelda' Nintendo game selling for over $100,000 at auction

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This definitely counts as a high score.

While “Super Mario Brothers” is arguably the most famous game for the original Nintendo Entertainment System, “The Legend of Zelda” was also very popular. Many people who grew up in the ‘80s probably remember owning the bright gold cartridge.

It may come as a surprise that some versions of this game are actually incredibly rare and are worth a lot of money.

The Legend of Zelda No Rev-A Round SOQ Early Production NES Nintendo Heritage Auctions
(Heritage Auctions)

The online auction site Heritage Auctions launched its first video game auction with a sealed copy of “The Legend of Zelda.” This particular copy is from one of the game’s earliest production runs and the current bid at the time of writing this article is $110,000.

The original box for the game has apparently never been opened and has been placed inside another sealed plastic container. It has a grade of 9.0 from Wata Games, one of the most prominent game grading companies.

While finding used copies of “The Legend of  Zelda” may not be particularly hard, this version comes from an early production run. The description on the auction says “No Rev-A, Round SOQ,” which is likely confusing to people unfamiliar with video game history.

According to Wata Games, early production Nintendo games were made on cartridges that were connected with five screws but were eventually updated to a new three-screw design. To mark the new cartridge design, Nintendo would put the code “Rev-A” on the box, meaning that a box without this code has one of the early cartridge designs. “SOQ” stands for “Seal of Quality,” which was another label Nintendo would put on the boxes.

Early games came with a round seal of quality, while later games came with an oval seal.

While this particular game doesn’t come from the first production run of “The Legend of Zelda,” only a single copy from that run is known to still exist. This version, which comes from a production run that’s believed to have run in 1987, is considered to be one of the earliest known sealed copies of the game.

In a press release, Heritage Auctions Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie said, “‘The Legend of Zelda’ marks the beginning of one of the most important sagas in gaming; its historical significance can’t be understated. This is the only copy from this production run we’ve ever offered in sealed condition, and may very well be the only one we ever offer in this elite level of preservation for many years. Its rarity is superior to that of any sealed game we’ve offered to date, it is a true collector’s piece.”

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