In the 1990s, developers created a racing game for the original Nintendo NES based on the legendary movie “Days of Thunder”. The game was not really known in its existence because it was never published. Until nowThree decades later, enthusiasts have managed to recover it, rebuild it and publish it.
Chris Oberth, one of the title’s co-authors and known to be responsible for the major Commodore 64 games, died in 2012. Much of the Equipment He owned and documents related to video games were donated earlier this year to the Video Game History Foundation. Reason? Try to make sense of whatever the developer has left behind and has been stored for years in its storage room.
The Foundation archivists quickly began to investigate all of this material. Among floppy disks, backups and other hardware, they found a video game concept a title Oberth had worked on but was never made public. It was called ‘NINTENDO: HOT ROD TAXI, FINAL’ and it was a NES game based on ‘Days of Thunder’. This is where the adventure begins to recover the video game.
Floppy disk with the concept of the game that archivists have found. Via VGHF.
In a stack of dozens of floppy disks from the time, archivists offered to save the real game, not just the proof of concept. The copy has been divided into a total of 21 5.25 “floppy disks containing files related to” Days of Thunder ” . The problem? Recovering them was not easy because the backup recovery program did not work properly in the archivist emulator.
Finally, as they say in an article, they found a volunteer who had an old computer capable of run the PCTools restore program on native MS-DOS. This is how they managed to extract much of the source code from the video game. Many and not all, as some parts have been distributed in other save areas.
They say from the foundation that the game has been compiled and is working correctly. It is a racing game with perspective games to create 3D effect. It doesn’t yet have all of the features it was designed for, but it does indicate that in the game you can qualify for the race and compete smoothly. All of this in glorious 8-bit and with a glass-raising Tom Cruise at the end of the race (if you win, of course).
Available on GitHub and provides a cartridge version
As part of the foundation project, the game will be free to use and available on GitHub both to download and read it and to modify it. They hope to be able to download the ROM in the next few days so that anyone can download and play on an emulator. If someone wants to modify or improve it, the tools with which they managed to recover and rebuild it will also appear.
Career in the game ‘Days of Thunder’ for the NES recovered by archivists. Via VGHF.
Finally, they indicate that there are plans to create a physical cartridge version for the NES. The idea is to sell these cartridges and donate the money collected to the wife of Chris Oberth, co-author of the title thirty years ago.
Retro games continue to stir up passions even decades after their original release. Some have survived particularly well and are still playing today. The willingness to bring the game “Days of Thunder” to the original NES is further proof.