The Video Game History Foundation has recovered a Nintendo game people might not have known even existed. Mindscape programmer and designer Chris Oberth’s Days of Thunder NES adaptation has been recovered. The foundation founder Frank Cifaldi detailed the recovery process, which was performed with help from Rich Whitehouse, and has led to a playable version of the game and a limited physical run.
The late Oberth had the source code for Days of Thunder NES among about 40 5.25” disks from his basements. After initially finding “NINTENDO HOT ROD TAXI FINAL” among the data, which turned out to be a game called Hot Rod Taxi, The Video Game History Foundation continued to search, with Whitehouse working with volunteer Foone to use actual hardware from the time to get into backups that ended up having the game’s source code, data, and assembler/linker. Whitehouse then used ROMX, made an iNES header, set up a mapper, and filled in missing data.
Here’s actual Days of Thunder NES gameplay based on the recovered files from Oberth’s backups.
Physical copies of Days of Thunder are in the works and will end up costing $70. (The Video Game History Foundation says proceeds will go to help support Oberth’s wife.)
People will eventually be able to download Days of Thunder’s source code from GitHub.