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The Smashed Bio Force Ape Cartridge
Created in 1992, the oddly titled Bio Force Ape is a very real (and very unreleased) NES side-scroller. It's a well-known little game, in certain circles, and revolves around a super-powered ape trying to save his kidnapped creators. Most of the hilarity is in the name, but collectors have always wanted to find a true, physical copy of the game.
Collector's dreams came true in 2005 when a man named Paul Brown announced that he'd acquired a prototype cartridge of Bio Force Ape. Forum battles ensued, as opposed groups argued the validity of the claims, and whether the cartridge ROM should be dumped, or if the cartridge should be sold for big bucks. Well, none of those things happened. In desperate, Paul Brown posed a picture of the smashed cartridge, lamenting that he needed to destroy it due to all the problems it caused.
And of course it was all a practical joke. Things get stranger - in 2010, Paul Brown (the same hoaxster) notified the website Lost Levels about a real prototype Bio Force Ape cartridge. The vaporware website managed to get the cartridge and dump the ROM, where it is now available to download for emulators everywhere.