DALLAS – When The Legend of Zelda was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986, the retail price was $49.99. A sealed copy of that game today has already broken past $100,000 in a Heritage Auctions' sale.

The Legend of Zelda - Wata 9.0 A Sealed [No Rev-A, Round SOQ, Early Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA, the only copy from one of the earliest production runs ever offered by Heritage, will land in a new collection when it is offered in a video games auction this Friday through Sunday.

This variant was produced for just a few months in late 1987 before it was replaced by the “Rev-A” variant in early 1988. The offered “NES R” was preceded by just one other variant: the “NES TM” variant, which is the true first production run. But it is widely believed that a single additional sealed “NES TM” copy exists, and may or may not ever get brought to market, making this copy the earliest sealed copy anyone can realistically hope to obtain.

The Legend of Zelda marks the beginning of one of the most important sagas in gaming; its historical significance can’t be understated,” said Heritage Auctions Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie. “This is the only copy from this production run we’ve ever offered in sealed condition, and may very well be the only one we ever offer in this elite level of preservation for many years. Its rarity is superior to that of any sealed game we've offered to date, it is a true collector's piece.”

A true holy grail among video games: The Legend of Zelda - Wata 9.0 A Sealed [No Rev-A, Round SOQ, Early Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA. Of all of the games Heritage says it has offered in its auctions, this sealed, early production copy of the first game in the groundbreaking Legend of Zelda series is no doubt the apotheosis of rarity, cultural significance, and collection centerpieces - a proverbial trifecta of collector perfection.

A true holy grail among video games: The Legend of Zelda - Wata 9.0 A Sealed [No Rev-A, Round SOQ, Early Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA. Of all of the games Heritage says it has offered in its auctions, this sealed, early production copy of the first game in the groundbreaking Legend of Zelda series is no doubt the apotheosis of rarity, cultural significance, and collection centerpieces - a proverbial trifecta of collector perfection.

Zelda3

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most popular and distinguished Nintendo franchises ever created. Series creator Shigeru Miyamoto has often said that his inspiration for the series’ creation was drawn from his own memories as a young boy exploring the caves, forests, and lakes surrounding his childhood home. It successfully encapsulates everything there is to love about video games: solving puzzles, world exploration, immersive storytelling, and incredible character design just to name a few. 

While this copy's auction bid of more than $100,000 is certainly impressive, other Nintendo rarities have sold for much more. The Nintendo PlayStation prototype console sold for $360,000 in an auction held at Heritage last year, while an incredibly rare plastic-sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES sold for $660,000 back in April, becoming the most expensive price ever paid for a video game collectible.

For more auction information and to see other video games being offered, visit Heritage Auctions.

You may also like:

Vintage Video Games: The Next Big Thing is Here!

Pokémon Box Set Sells for Record $408k

A Magic: The Gathering Card is Worth $500,000