Back in April, we told you about a sealed copy of the original Super Mario Bros. that fetched the hefty sum of $660,000 at auction. At the time, we wondered how long this record would stand, and as it turns out, it didn’t take long for the record to be broken. Today Heritage Auctions announced that it has sold a sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda for nearly one million dollars.
While this copy of The Legend of Zelda didn’t quite reach the one million mark, it came awfully close, pulling in a record $870,000 in an auction earlier today. So what made this copy of The Legend of Zelda pull in so much money? According to Heritage Auctions, there are a few different reasons, and they all add up to make one super rare copy of the game.
One of the biggest contributors to the price is the fact that this is a sealed copy with a Wata 9.0 rating. For reference, the sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. that sold for $660k earlier this year had a 9.6 Wata rating, so it was actually in better condition than this copy of The Legend of Zelda. The difference-maker, in this case, is the fact that this is a very early production run of the game.
As Heritage Auctions explains it, most of the copies you’re likely to encounter are “Rev-A” variants, but earlier production runs had “NES TM” and “NES R” variants. The NES TM variant is the earliest, but Heritage explains that only one sealed NES TM copy is thought to exist. This copy of The Legend of Zelda is an NES R variant that was only produced for a few months in late 1987 before it was replaced by the Rev-A variant, inflating its rarity (and its price) significantly. The copy also carries a round Nintendo Seal of Quality, which helps bring the price up further.
“As for this particular copy of the world’s first adventure with Link, we don’t even need an entire hand to count the number of copies that are purported to exist in sealed condition from this “No Rev-A” production run, and this copy is among the finest known of these examples,” Heritage Auctions wrote today. Once again, we’re left wondering if this record will be broken anytime soon, but since it’s only been a few months since the last time we said such thoughts out loud, we’ll just wait and see what happens next.