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    Super Mario Bros. 3 - Wata Certified Prototype, NES Nintendo 1990 USA. Those who have been following our auctions for quite some time now will likely recognize this internal cartridge for one of the most influential video games ever created--Super Mario Bros. 3--that we offered close to a year ago. To those who are not familiar with prototypes, it was commonplace for video game developers to repurpose spare parts lying around the company to fashion them into cartridges for testing purposes. Though many would assume that a prototype for a game will always only contain data that predates the launch of the game. However, Wata uses the term to define a cartridge that was created for internal use only. Wata has not assigned this prototype a grade, per their grading standards for prototypes, since there were no universal standards for developers who created these cartridges for function over form.

    One of the most unique features of this internal tool is that it's made from a gutted cartridge for Kid Icarus. Sections of the cartridge have been cut away to expose the EPROMs (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory). In every sense of the word, these EPROMs are the "heart" of the prototype, as they contain the game's data. Two of these are labeled by hand to reflect this: the top EPROM reads "SM-3" while the bottom reads "SMB3" and February 1990 dates are present on both. It can be assumed these EPROMs contain data from either the final stages of the game's development, or data that relates to a quickly rolled out revision to the game's data shortly after launch since the US release occurred within the same month written on the EPROM.

    Since we offered this piece of Nintendo history, we have not had the opportunity to offer any other first-party prototypes for the console. This is none too surprising, considering that the standard operating procedure for Nintendo and many other companies was simply to destroy prototypes when their purpose ran its course. When we consider how many new collectors have entered the market over the last year, this item's unique handmade nature and the historical significance of the game's development that it contributed to, we anticipate the competition for this cartridge will be significantly fiercer than it was the first time around.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    29th Friday 10:50 am CT
    Auction Dates
    29th-31st Friday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    8 Days 14h 14m 35s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: 78
    Page Views: 398

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    This lot is in: 1 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 28001-28118) - 11:00 AM Central Time, Friday, October 29, 2021.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 7 days before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

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    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261

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