The Fairyland Story (partially lost builds of cancelled Famicom/NES port of arcade game; 1986, 1990)
Japanese prototype title screen.
Status: Found (Japan), Lost (USA)
Date found: May 2022
Found by: FenrisWolfRetro
The Fairyland Story is an arcade platformer developed and released by Taito in 1985. A port for Family Computer was developed for release in Japan in 1986 but was cancelled. The only current confirmation of this Famicom version featured in a magazine is Family Computer Magazine, March 1986. It was planned to be released in the US in 1990 by Hot-B USA.
The existence of a prototype ROM for this game was first confirmed on December 12th, 2010, when company owner and video game and film columnist Junk Hunter Yoshida tweeted that he had found a large number of prototype ROMs in unfinished condition in one warehouse in Ebina about eight years ago. Then, on February 9th, 2018, someone named LLIK.rD, presumably one of the developers, tweeted a photo of a prototype ROM.
When the internal Nintendo archive leak (a.k.a. "Gigaleak") occurred in 2020-2021, among the leaks was a Nintendo Lot Check spreadsheet. Within that Lot Checklist, we found that The Fairyland Story title was present and that Hot-B USA submitted the completed ROM to Nintendo in January 1990. The Fairyland story by Hot-B USA earned Nintendo an internal rating of 16/40, the worst rating it has ever given. Presumably, this evaluation caused Hot-B USA to cancel the release of this game.
Around May 2022, a prototype of this game was accidentally mixed in among a lot of 126 Famicom cartridges sold on eBay for approximately $50. FenrisWolfRetro purchased them and was able to release them by Forest of Illusion on June 18.
The Fairyland Story by Hot-B USA uses CNROM with 48KB PRG according to lot check. The released Japanese prototype is 24KB and uses NROM, indicating that the US version is twice the size of the Japanese version and may be a fleshed-out version of the Japanese version. Currently, this US prototype has not yet been located.
- The Fairyland Story (Famicom, Unreleased) - Gaming Alexandria
- The Fairyland Story (NES) - The Cutting Room Floor
- Tweet by Junk Hunter Yoshida. Retrieved 29 Jan '23
- Prototype ROM by LLIK.rD. Retrieved 29 Jan '23
- Submitted by Frank Cifaldi - NintendoAge Retrieved 29 Jan '23
- w1011 Untested 126 Cartridges Wholesale Lot NES Famicom Japan - eBay (Internet Archive) Retrieved 29 Jan '23