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Lost Nintendo Arcade Game Sky Skipper Releasing In July

by Donald Theriault - June 14, 2018, 9:29 am PDT
Total comments: 5 Source: Nintendo

There was one copy left in North America before now.

The arcade version of Donkey Kong isn't the only lost arcade title coming back.

Following the Donkey Kong announcement at Treehouse Live, 35 year Nintendo employee Don James introduced Sky Skipper, which is slated for release on Switch next month.

A 1981 shooter game, its cabinets were largely modified and only one cabinet was left at the Nintendo of America offices which will be used for the release. The side art for the game was drawn by Shigeru Miyamoto.

Talkback

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJune 14, 2018

This is pretty dang impressive.

What's next?  Radar Scope?  Monkey Magic?

If you don't know the history of this game, you're not alone.  The article really downplays it - details are scarce, but the common belief is that there were only ten units produced and they were never officially released - the game tested poorly (for an arcade shooter, it's rather slow with some poor design choices that lead to long 'down time' waiting for enemies to move so you can complete the levels).  This isn't just a 'lost' game - this is like the hidden grail of the Arcade community (well, one of them).

There was some renewed interest in this title of late thanks to the Sky Skipper Project and their work done to faithfully recreate a cabinet, down to the last details.  I wonder if this played into Nintendo deciding to dig this one out.

Curious if they'll leave the "Damn it!" in for the release.

They played the game on Treehouse Live today and "Damn it!" was clearly visible.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJune 14, 2018

Yep, it sure was. Just got through watching the video.

Also interesting was Don James confirming the Mario naming story.  I thought Nintendo was denying that - or, at least, down playing it.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/195822/Face_of_Mario.html

Ian SaneJune 15, 2018

It's cool to encounter a Nintendo game I've never heard of.

Some quick research reveals that there was an Atari 2600 port of this made by Parker Bros.

http://atariage.com/software_page.php?SoftwareLabelID=438

The screenshots look like the same game and manual indicates Nintendo's copyright.  So is it obscure as thought?  You think it would be unlikely that someone would want to buy the rights to an arcade game with no name recognition, unless they were just trying to flood the market with whatever they could crank out (not an unrealistic possibility with the Atari 2600).

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJune 15, 2018

It was an '83 release (83 = the death of the industry, for those not well versed) by a third party developer on the 2600 of a port of a completely unknown arcade game by a virtually unknown developer (both the port and the original Arcade title).

I'd say it's likely the sales of this title are measured in four-digit figures.

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