The Super NES Classic Edition isn’t the only piece of modern hardware sporting an unreleased, decades-old console game. Analogue announced today that its recently revealed FPGA-based Super Nt hardware would come packed with a new expanded and “uncut” version of Super NES run-and-gun classic Super Turrican embedded on every system.
Factor 5, which later became well-known for the Rogue Squadron games, originally designed Super Turrican to fit on a 6-megabit cartridge (which was actually a decently large console game back in 1993, believe it or not). According to developer Julian Eggebrecht, though, publisher Seika didn’t want to pay for the extra ROM chips needed for those cartridges, so the game had to be cut down to fit in just 4Mbit.
The uncut 6Mbit version, which Factor 5 retained through the years, includes a previously unseen final level for the game, along with new music, new enemies, improved sound effects, improved graphics, and some slight changes in the way weapons work. The uncut version was apparently considered for Virtual Console release back in 2008, but Nintendo reportedly refused to release a game that had not been previously available (Nintendo would later break this precedent with the 2015 Wii U release of Earthbound Beginnings, an unreleased translation for the Japanese Mother on the Famicom).
Analogue’s Christopher Taber tells Ars Technica that he’s been trying to work with Eggebrecht to get his hands on the uncut Super Turrican for six years now, since he was working on reconstructed high-end Neo Geo hardware. The pair reconnected after the launch of the Analogue Nt, though, and they arranged an exclusive license with Factor 5 to put the game’s master files right on the Super Nt’s PCB.
“After seeing our products firsthand and since we we’re releasing an aftermarket SNES, everything aligned perfectly,” Taber said. “This is like Fritz Lang Metropolis scenes showing up 80 years later. You see this kind of thing in film, but not so much in video games.”
Taber says Analogue will also be including a mocked-up SNES style box for the “Director’s Cut” version (pictured below) along with every $189 Super Nt system when they start shipping in February. Not a bad extra for a piece of hardware that was already looking pretty enticing for retro game aficionados.