Nintendo World Championship cart: the holy grail of NES game collectors

By Spencer . May 9, 2006 . 11:00am

If you thought the Sonic X-Treme Sega Saturn demo was pricey at $2500 that is chump change compared to what Nintendo World Championship (NWC) carts are worth. Back in 1990 Nintendo was on the lookout for the best NES gamer out there. They held tryouts in stores around the country with a special game cartridge. The legendary NWC cartridge starts off with Super Mario Brothers where the goal is to snag fifty coins as fast as possible. Then players are whisked away to Rad Racer where players raced to the end of a level. With the remaining time out of six minutes players tackled Tetris. At the end all of the player’s points are added up for a final weighted score. The Tetris score counts for the most since the total points are multiplied times twenty five. Between the original games and the NWC cart demo levels there are some minor differences such as unlimited lives in Super Mario Brothers and infinite time for Rad Racer. These cartridges were never sold in stores. Only finalists were able to claim a piece of Nintendo history. Later on through Nintendo Power a few gamers were able to win something even rarer. A contest run in the magazine put limited edition golden NWC carts into the hands of a lucky few. The gold cartridges run for a couple thousand dollars a piece. Some collectors consider buying one for $3000 a bargain, $5000 is the average selling price. Since there are only twenty six known gold cartridges in existence this is often the roadblock for NES collectors seeking a perfect game collection.


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