Would you pay $17,500 for a videogame that doesn't even last seven minutes? That's what one enthusiastic classic game collector did for a copy of the "Holy Grail" of classic games, a gold copy of Nintendo World Championships.
What's the most you've ever paid for a videogame? Did you buy the absurd Halo 3 Collector's Edition with the cat helmet? Did you get Steel Battalion? Have you ever shelled out big bucks for a rare game like Panzer Dragoon Saga or Marvel vs. Capcom 2? Whatever your story of irresponsible spending, it probably can't compare to J.J. Hendricks' saga of how he came to own the Holy Grail of classic games, Nintendo World Championships Gold for the NES.
Hendricks shelled out $17,500 for the cartridge, which is one of only 26 existent, but the cash was only part of the cost of getting his hands on the game, he says. His experience acquiring the game was full of "emotional highs and lows," as he recalled in a blog.
Having spotted the cartridge for auction on eBay for $25,000, Hendricks offered the seller $17,500, an offer which was initially rebuffed. When the seller couldn't find anyone else, he agreed to Hendricks' price. Ten days passed after Hendricks wired over the 17 grand, but he never got the game, in fact, right after the seller said he was about to ship the game, FedEx sent Hendricks a "shipment canceled" notice.
"Sorry, I've decided not to sell it," the seller wrote to Hendricks. "I love the game too much."
Two days later Hendricks emailed the seller telling him they have a contract and he must honor it, to which the seller agreed and admitted his guilt over having "cheated" Hendricks. He shipped the game, and after non-stop refreshing of the FedEx status page, the delivery finally arrived at Hendricks' door.
"Nintendo World Championships Gold is neatly packaged inside with a custom built display case and looks just as good as I imagined it would," Hendricks wrote. "I have the 'Holy Grail of Gaming' and the emotional ride is finally over."
So, this must be some game, right? Nope, not really. Nintendo World Championships is really just a collection of three minigames from Mario, Rad Racer and Tetris that kids once competed in back in 1990 to see who was the best at NES. There's a time limit of six minutes and 21 seconds on the game, so essentially, somebody just paid $17,500 for less than seven minutes of gaming. Nintendo World Championships has previously sold for as high as $15,000.