Rare Game Spotted: Unreleased 3D Game Boy Advance Cart

Here’s something you don’t see every day.  It’s a pretty fantastic looking prototype Game Boy Advance game.  It has 12 hours to go and is already at $302.54, so it’s looking like it’s gaining some attention…especially if it’s undumped.  Heck, it’s Star Wars style probably doesn’t hurt the value either.

rare unreleased gameboy advance GBA game UNDUMPED 3D (Update:  The auction ended June 15, 2010 at $302.54 USD)

Pretty interesting info from the seller sickertus:

This auction is for an UNRELEASED and UN-DUMPED Nintendo Gameboy GBA game, developed by Marvelous entertainment. The game was never given a title (or it’s buried within the game code) but is datable to about 2001, due to the enormous board sticking out the top of the cart, a style that was only used for a brief while during the beginning of the GBA’s production. The cart is an official nintendo flash cart.

The game itself is GBA Unreleased 3d polygon space shooter. Very raw/unfinished. I wrote them about it in ’08, but they had no idea what it was. Trying to find it a good home. You can fire regular lasers and large “atomic” bombs which detonate and take out large groups of enemies. Eventually you reach the “deathstar” (which you enter in a very cool and seemless fashion (good job animators). Very much like starfox/star wars here, as barriors randomly pop up from the floor and ceiling (which you must try to avoid, of course).  Everything is rendered in 3-D.  There is a sticker on the reverse for Marvelous entertainment. I wrote to them in ’08, but no-one knew had any recollection of what this game was called.

http://devkits.handheldmuseum.com/GB_EPROM_FlashCarts.htm
http://shiggsy.gbadev.org/section.php?s=gba

The gameboy advance is not noted to have explored the use of 3D POLYGON technology to much effect. Several 3D “engine” programs where developed Such as the “blue rose” engine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxxX3mXSD8I&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4JcpKJZUxQ&feature=related

But for various reasons, this lead to only a handful of games actually published that utilize these features ( fully rendered 3D polygon graphics). The intent of this cart remains unknown, but it is a unique bit of software, and whether it represents an aborted game, or a demonstration piece, it represents an interesting glimpse into a future that wasn’t to be, during the early development of Nintendo’s GBA handheld.

This piece has been in my collection for several years, having acquired it from a collector in europe.