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NINTENDO - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
by: -RoG-

Nintendo should hold these competitions EVERY year.
The Nintendo World Championships! (1990)

We all remember the Nintendo competition from The Wizard, but what many people don't realize is that it spawned a real event. In 1990, Nintendo held a World Championships event where the best gamers from around the globe would compete in a timed competition in three of their most popular games at the time (Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer and Tetris) to see who could score the most points.

Some day... some day I will find these on sale for 5 bux at a flea market.

Even more legendary than the event itself are the 116 special cartridges that were created for the event. 90 of the cartridges were grey and 26 were gold. The grey ones were given out to the semi-finalists, while the gold ones were only given to the winners of the competition and runner-ups from a Nintendo Power magazine contest. While the cartridges simply contain the same timed trial of all 3 games from the competition, they've become #1 desirable item on any Nintendo collector's list.

No, I'm not talking about people paying a couple hundred bucks for one of these cartridges. People have in excess of $20,000 for these things! Perhaps the most infamous appearance of one of the rare gold cartridges was in an online auction where a father was selling off his son's NES game collection since he had died in the Iraq war. Little did the father know that he included one of the ultimate NES item. As a result, the 24-game collection sold for a whopping $21,400. Care to take a guess as to how much of that cash was because of the gold Nintendo World Championships cartridge?

Perhaps the greatest thing about the 1990 Nintendo World Championships was the name of the winner of the entire competition:

Thor Aackerlund

You really can't go wrong with a name like Thor. Camerica, a producer of some fairly weak (and unlicensed) games for the NES was quick to scoop up ol' Thor to be the official spokesman for their games.


Camerica? Come on Thor, you could've easily held out and struck a deal with Capcom or Konami. How could they resist you with a name like Thor and such a winning smile?

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