E.T. Cartridges Found in New Mexico Landfill After 30 Years

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E.T. Cartridges Found in New Mexico Landfill After 30 Years

One of gaming's biggest urban legends has turned out to be true.

Anyone with even a faint interested in video games will no doubt be aware of the great market crash of 1983, which was reportedly so bad that it led to Atari burying thousands of unsold copies of E.T - The Extra Terrestrial in a New Mexico landfill, or so goes the urban legend. Today, that story is a myth no more, as construction workers have unearthed the legendary cache of video games in the New Mexico desert.

Witness the glorious unmasking of an urban legend below:

The dig, which was sponsored by Xbox Entertainment Studio, saw Microsoft partnering up with a documentary team to dig into the dirt and film the results. The documentary, which will focus on the changing landscape of the video game industry, is expected to come out next year, and it is part of a broader push by Microsoft to produce original video content for Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners.

The pictures come courtesy of Microsoft's Major Nelson, who says that a substantial amount of cartridges were unearthed, and weren't just limited to E.T. - Centipede, Space Invaders, and Asteroids game boxes were also discovered in the landfill.

Source: Xbox Wire

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Finally! After all these years we have an answer. The legend is true! I wonder if this will open some doors for other video game legend investigations.

Steven Bogos:

Anyone with even a faint interested in video games will know no doubt be aware of the great market crash of 1983, which was reportedly so bad...

Fixed that sentence for you...sorry, gotta do something with my English degree. :P

OT: Really is pretty neat that the story didn't turn out to be a bunch of hogwash. I wonder what the AVGN is going to do about his movie now... :3

I wonder if those cartridges are still playable after all those decades buried underground...

Ah, who am I kidding? They were never playable to begin with.

Take that movie industry. Movies get recovered from lost pieces found in museums, but an actual archaeological discovery? Hah! Now games are on par with books as something we dig out in order to learn about past generations.

Also, didn't expect them to find this so quickly. Or is time moving so fast?

Kmadden2004:
I wonder if those cartridges are still playable after all those decades buried underground...

Ah, who am I kidding? They were never playable to begin with.

ZING!

I remember being very young and trying y hardest to make sense of this game and Raiders of the Lost Arc, failing miserably at both. I think I spent an entire summer trying to get somewhere with those games but they were, as I recall, very cryptic, and as I'd learned decades later on the internet, broken as hell.

Sgt. Sykes:
Also, didn't expect them to find this so quickly. Or is time moving so fast?

I could be wrong, but last i heard anything on this search was in Janurary.

I wondered what that gigantic pillar of fire that erupted towards the west and summoned demonic creatures of evil was all about.

You monsters. You uncovered the Unspeakable's Tomb! Don't you know its cursed?!?!?!

Brian Tams:
I wondered what that gigantic pillar of fire that erupted towards the west and summoned demonic creatures of evil was all about.

You monsters. You uncovered the Unspeakable's Tomb! Don't you know its cursed?!?!?!

It believed to Tsathoggua, not Hastur. Note which Old One ET looks more like...

And on that note, ALL IS LOST! ALL IS...uhhh... Actually, Old Thoggy's kinda' the laziest Great Old One around.

Brian Tams:
I wondered what that gigantic pillar of fire that erupted towards the west and summoned demonic creatures of evil was all about.

You monsters. You uncovered the Unspeakable's Tomb! Don't you know its cursed?!?!?!

That's the EA annual picnic, what you're looking for is the giant purple void in space time spitting out Eldritch Horrors slightly to the south (look for the lightning bolts, it's hard to miss). Easy to get them confused so don't worry about it.

Anyway I'm amazed this turned out to be true and wonder what they're going to do with all those old games or even the site. I don't know about anyone else but if they set up a little museum or monument at the site I'd sure as hell visit.

They belong in a museum landfill! Well at least now that they have dug them up there is plenty of space in there for WiiUs :p

Any reports on any faces being melted off?

Future generations will lament this day as the day the ancient evil was unsealed and unleashed upon the world.

CriticalMiss:
They belong in a museum landfill! Well at least now that they have dug them up there is plenty of space in there for WiiUs :p

Any reports on any faces being melted off?

Really? You couldn't have gone the XboxOne Route?

Epicspoon:

CriticalMiss:
They belong in a museum landfill! Well at least now that they have dug them up there is plenty of space in there for WiiUs :p

Any reports on any faces being melted off?

Really? You couldn't have gone the XboxOne Route?

No need to fight; I'm sure there's plenty of space in there for the both of them. Of course, this begs that question of what they're going to do with all these boxes and cartridges now that they've dug them up. Now that we've got them does anyone really want them?

Also, I note from the pictures that E.T. wasn't the only game title buried. Centipede didn't sell?

RJ 17:

Steven Bogos:

Anyone with even a faint interested in video games will know no doubt be aware of the great market crash of 1983, which was reportedly so bad...

Fixed that sentence for you...sorry, gotta do something with my English degree. :P

OT: Really is pretty neat that the story didn't turn out to be a bunch of hogwash. I wonder what the AVGN is going to do about his movie now... :3

And yet you missed "interested".

So what were they trying to accomplish in burying these cartridges, anyway?

I bet the members of the 2600 homebrew scene are wetting themselves in glee. The only way to play custom games on the 2600 was to overwrite the data of a normal cartridge, this would give them a MASSIVE amount of material for that.

Kmadden2004:
I wonder if those cartridges are still playable after all those decades buried underground...

Ah, who am I kidding? They were never playable to begin with.

Obvious burn aside, I'm betting some of them will still operate. ;) Cartridges are tough to kill.

And the point for this is what exactly? Other than a way to waste money.

Say what you want about the 80's gaming industry, but folks back then really knew how to print a box. The ink hardly faded at all!

Good now we have a pre-dug hole to put Duke Nukem forever, let 2050 deal with it.

I'm also curious to see if any of the cartridges still work.

This story makes me sad.

Asteroid cartridges buried under gread clods of landfill.

I mean, I know the Asteroids always win in the end, but christ... way to go rubbing it in.

Veylon:

No need to fight; I'm sure there's plenty of space in there for the both of them. Of course, this begs that question of what they're going to do with all these boxes and cartridges now that they've dug them up. Now that we've got them does anyone really want them?

I looked up on ebay and they aren't actually as expensive as I thought they'd be, I'm sure some would like them for the novelty factor and some might even still work

Kmadden2004:
I wonder if those cartridges are still playable after all those decades buried underground...

Ah, who am I kidding? They were never playable to begin with.

Just blow on them a bit NES cartridge style. Actually you may not even have to worry about dirt as long as the little door protecting the contacts still works. But it doesn't matter, you'd put the game in for a minute then regret wasting that minute, then gladly go back to cleaning your grout or washing the dishes or something.

Please please pleaase tell me that once the cartridge was picked up, a giant boulder started chasing people.

luvd1:
And the point for this is what exactly? Other than a way to waste money.

Because it's interesting! I was incredulous when I heard the news, and it turned out "Holy crap, the landfill exists!"

Serves just about as much purpose as any other thing done for entertainment. And honestly, knowing that the trip was successful I'm more likely to want to see the resulting documentary.

luvd1:
And the point for this is what exactly? Other than a way to waste money.

SCIENCE! of course.

There was more shit in that dig than the legendary excavation of the septic tank of king toiletkahman.

epicdwarf:
Finally! After all these years we have an answer. The legend is true! I wonder if this will open some doors for other video game legend investigations.

Like, what happened to the missing items that were meant to be given out as prizes from the Waterwold and Airworld games in the Swordquest series? And in case anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about, here is a link down below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swordquest

I thought that they would've been crushed up by garbage compactors before being dumped, you know, just to ensure that they didn't rise again and enslave the Earth. I guess they were just that desperate to get rid of them, no time for formalities.

epicdwarf:
Finally! After all these years we have an answer. The legend is true! I wonder if this will open some doors for other video game legend investigations.

Time to mount an expedition to the volcano in Battlezone!

OT: At least Alamogordo will stop being known only for the (nearby) Trinity nuclear test site... I swear some people would have you believe the US Army dropped (it wasn't even dropped!) the big one right in the middle of town or something.

I don't think the veracity of the story was even in any doubt, the burial was reported by major news outlets at the time.

I'm literally in the middle of writing an assignment in which I mention this exact subject.

I guess now I'll go back and delete "allegedly".

Seems odd that Microsoft of all people are producing this to prop up their media machine when we are arguably on the cusp of another collapse in consumer trust in gaming.

All I can think of is who in the hell would bury Asteroids, Centipede and Space Invaders in a landfill with E.T?

Blasphemy.

Storm Dragon:

RJ 17:

Steven Bogos:

Anyone with even a faint interested in video games will know no doubt be aware of the great market crash of 1983, which was reportedly so bad...

Fixed that sentence for you...sorry, gotta do something with my English degree. :P

OT: Really is pretty neat that the story didn't turn out to be a bunch of hogwash. I wonder what the AVGN is going to do about his movie now... :3

And yet you missed "interested".

So what were they trying to accomplish in burying these cartridges, anyway?

Nobody's perfect. :P

As for what they were trying to accomplish, according to the legend it was simply to bury the memory of that horrendously bad game for all of eternity. "Seal away the evil so that it may never be unleashed again", in a manner of speaking.

That is to say: they were trying to hide their shame.

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