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After 23 Years, You Can Finally Play This Lost Nintendo Game

Preservation is a constant topic of conversation in the world of video games. There are an insane number of classic games that are exclusive to specific formats such as disks and cartridges, which cannot be (legally) accessed anywhere else. Eventually, publishers stop manufacturing these games and then, like all physical products, they slowly start to disappear from the world. Some of them are lost, others are damaged from use, and eventually their numbers dwindle until there are only a few usable copies left in the world. Rare and well preserved Nintendo games are extremely valuable commodities. That's part of the reason the most expensive video games are all vintage and why perfectly preserved copies of "Super Mario Bros." repeatedly broke the record for the most expensive game ever sold back in 2021.

Preservation is also one of the main justifications gamers use when talking about uploading ROMs of older games for emulation, the primary argument being that it doesn't hurt publishers who are no longer selling the game and that it ensures fans of these classic games will have a means of playing them without having to track down vintage hardware and a dwindling supply of cartridges. This is also how one game in particular that was developed 23 years ago might finally get to be played by fans for the very first time.

Video game preservationists save Carnivale

A game called "Carnivalé: Cenzo's Adventure" was a platformer developed by Terraglyph Interactive Studios for the N64 which was showcased at E3 1999. It was supposed to be a tie-in to the Tim Burton film "Carnivalé," which was released in 2000. The story was about a group of children who are transported to a magical amusement park in another dimension. Unfortunately, the game was canceled before fans ever had a chance to play it.

On March 5, Nintendo game preservationist organization Forest of Illusion tweeted that they had found the game and were sharing the data dump they pulled from it on their website. "We've released Carnivalé: Cenzo's Adventure," the tweet read. "[A canceled] Nintendo 64 title developed by Terraglyph Interactive Studios! It was based on the animated film by the same name and was first shown off to the public at E3 1999 in an unfinished state." The game was still unfinished when Terraglyph pulled the plug, so the version shared by Forest of Illusion is similarly incomplete, but the page on the website also has several developer notes about what updates were completed in the most recent version of the game. Forest of Illusion claims that these notes were "shared by a member of the development team," suggesting that this person, at least, was onboard for their game finally seeing the light of day.