WATA-Graded NES Star Wars Prototype Released From Its Plastic Tomb 1
Image: Hard4Games

Whatever your opinion is of grading video games, the process of grading unreleased prototypes is pretty dumb.

These non-retail versions are incredibly important for game preservation, as they often contain significant differences from the final edition, and studying these differences allows game historians to understand more about their development and production.

However, this boneheaded process does happen – and the YouTube channel Hard4Games has taken it upon itself to "correct" one such "horrible Injustice" by freeing a prototype game from its plastic tomb.

A WATA-graded copy of Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back on the NES was sent into the channel for this express purpose, and, as you can see from the footage below, it takes quite some effort to get that plastic case off the cart.

The team then dumped the ROM for preservation purposes – and used the WATA case to drink and eat out of, as you do.

Sadly, it seems that this particular pre-release prototype is quite close to the final retail version (which was pretty awful) and doesn't showcase any unique differences, but the point still stands – let's free these entombed games, people.

[source youtube.com]