When Nintendo showed of the Virtual Boy at the 1996 Electronic Entertainment Expo, along with it’s limited number of games, the big “N’s” early attempt at a 3-D portable gaming console was shunned by consumers and game developers. Less than eight months after hitting shelves, the Virtual Boy had seen its final game release, as Nintendo discontinued the system and cancelled every game it showed at E3 ’96.
One of those few (and ultimately cancelled) games was Bound High, which was an action game that used the Virtual Boy’s 3-D capability to show a ball bouncing up toward the player and down to the floor, as the player used controlled to guide the ball to land on enemies and prevent it from falling into pits. A few years ago, a group of dedicated fans of Nintendo’s failed console were able to obtain the source code of the canceled game, and in 2010, they stated that they were going to create a working ROM file of Bound High by way of software emulation. And now, fourteen years after both the console and the game died, Virtual Boy’s fans finally had a brand, new game to play.
The copies of Bound High that you see above were essentially created from scratch by a small team of retro-gaming enthusiasts (about three of them, actually) during the last few months. The near-perfect reproductions seem as if the game was never canceled at all. The Bound High cartridges consist of both new and reused parts from existing Virtual Boy games (since they’re no real way to make NEW Virtual Boy carts). What happens is that when one collector acquires old Virtual Boy games, they clean them, and finally sends the game as donor cartridges to the reproduction team. For the cart creators, Bound High is a passion project, and has a total print run in the low double digits, but the projects main purpose is giving the game another shot at life.
[Thanks WIRED Game|Life]