Ever heard of the Nintendo World Championships? I hadn’t until I read that a recent buyer on Ebay paid $17,500 for the game. Turns out this is from a NES promotion in the early 1990’s. What’s cool is not the remarkable amount of money paid for the game, but what the game it itself. According to Yahoo:

The game in question is an ultra-rare, gold-colored version of Nintendo World Championships, a cartridge specially produced for use in a Nintendo-sponsored gaming contest. According to Wikipedia only 26 were created.

The game itself has a time limit of just 6 minutes and 21 seconds and consists of three short segments from other NES games: Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and Rad Racer. Players are scored according to their performance in each game, and their scores are totaled once the time limit expires.

I love that Yahoo cites Wikipedia as a source. Ten seconds of research on my part reveals that well over 300 were created with possibly more. As it turns out, I’m a better journalist than the people who write for major new sites. Remember kiddies, never cite Wikipedia. Championship finalists were awarded with one of 90 Nintendo World Championship cartridges. An additional 26 were mailed out from Nintendo Power in its magazine sponsored contest. Which is where the article cited got it’s number from.

Irregardless, the fact that the game is segments of three games and then combining your total score sounds awesome to me. Everyone knows those classic NES games by heart, so playing a few levels to rack up points would be awesome. Scoring went like this:

Collect 50 coins in Super Mario Bros. (Once finished, x1 to scored points in objective)
Finish level 1 of Rad Racer (Once finished, x10 to scored points in objective)
Play Tetris for the remainder of the time (Once finished, x25 to scored points in objective)

Obviously at the end of the game it becomes more of a Tetris challenge than anything, but it’s a novel idea all in all. I would have loved to competed in one of these Powerfests as they were also called, as it apparently hit over 12 tour dates. I guess this was during the popularity of movies like “The Wizard”. I think they should make a new version of this game but put in on Wii online or Xbox Live (Obviously not the Nintendo properties) and hit up the high scores.

Xbox Live and other online services have brought back the era of high scores which used to be a big deal in the early 1980’s video game industry. Back then it was all about high scores at arcades. Of course once home consoles came around this idea died off, which is probably why a game like Nintendo World Championships never made it to sales, but it’s still a cool idea and I particularly like the fact that it’s old games.

UPDATE: The person who bought the game for over $17,000 emailed me with the link to their full story. Check it out at And Tell ‘Em Newt Sent Ya!

2 Responses to Nintendo World Championships

  • Dustin says:

    The Golds are far too overvalued. I hear this line, “The Honus Wagner of video game collecting” and want to laugh. Only a Honus Wagner cart can be compared to another and nothing else because Honus Wagner is that unique. The Golds are clones of the original Greys with a fuzzy sticker. No art or class to the case at all.

    Alot of work went into the Honus Wagner cart, very little in the Nintendo World Championship Gold.

  • jasonvorhees says:

    There were only 26 gold carts produced and 90 gray ones. Some were given to finalists as well as some that were given away through a Nintendo Power promotion. That’s a total of 116 total NWC carts. There are sights where you can purchase reproductions of these carts. They are easy to tell the difference. They usually say “reproduction” on them, and the ones I have seen are translucent blue. They retail for about $55.00. If you’ll notice on the upper left of the cart in your picture, there is a dip switch, which allows you to adjust the time you want to play for.

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