DALLAS – It truly is the stuff of legend.

The only copy of The Legend of Zelda from one of the earliest production runs ever offered sold for a jaw-dropping $870,000 Friday at Heritage Auctions in the first signature auction of video games ever held.

“I had a lot of confidence in this game, and, yet, I still feel like the reality of today’s bidding exceeded my vision of how it would play out,” Heritage Auctions Video Games Specialist Valarie McLeckie said. 

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.

"The Legend of Zelda" sells for $870,000.

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It is widely believed that the copy sold Friday is one of just two sealed “NES TM” copies graded by Wata. Graded 9.0, it is from a variant of the game that was produced for just a few months in late 1987 before it was replaced by the “Rev-A” variant in early 1988. The “NES R” variant was preceded by just one other variant: the “NES TM” variant, which is the true first production run.

The auction continues with an internet session at 1 p.m. (Central time) Sunday.

More results of Friday's Heritage auction are here.