🕹️Thumb Punks 04.08.21 - Castlevania, Sega Saturn, Pac-Man, & The Zelda Game You Didn't Play


Happy Thursday! In this week’s retro gaming round up we’re switching things up a bit with a new format – let me know what you think!

This weekend I’m hoping to play Gyruss, an arcade shoot ‘em up from 1983 similar to Tempest. Thanks to Carlos for the recommendation! What are you playing?

Thanks for reading!

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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We’re going to need to collect more coins A copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES sold for $660,000 (a world record for a video game). Some caveats:

  • It was a sealed version of the ‘hangtab’ variant

  • The fourth run of the cartridge, it had a very short production window

  • It doesn’t have the "Game Pak NES-GP" code, being manufactured in late 1986/early 1987

Time to raid the loft.

$1100 a leg NFTs of 3D renders of Atari’s Centipede cartridge case sold for an astonishing $110,000 combined.

For those in the dark, a NFT is a ‘non-fungible token’ signed by the blockchain (the same tech that powers bitcoin). What you’re buying is exclusive independently-verified ownership of a digital piece of art or product. They’re all the rage in the tech community right now.

A physical Centipede cartridge, for comparisons sake, will set you back about $5 on eBay.

Back from the dead A prototype of Castlevania Resurrection for the Dreamcast has been found! It had been sitting around forgotten for 20 years in someone’s collection, but is now up for auction. The game was in development around 1999, but quietly cancelled in 2000.

Check out some gameplay footage!

RetroBit’s new wireless N64 controller is available for pre-order – and it works with the Switch, too!


New Play Control! for Wii (Scott The Woz, 22 minutes)

The Play Control series of games were an odd bunch: essentially the same as their GameCube siblings, but with widescreen support and new motion controls. For some titles, using the WiiMote was a vast improvement (hello, Metroid Prime) but others didn’t fare so well. Scott the Woz looks at the highs and lows of the reissues.

Sega Saturn Games Facts (DidYouKnowGaming?, 10 minutes)

Another round-up of interesting titbits for Sega’s underrated powerhouse, featuring Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Sonic, Doom, House of the Dead, and many more.

The Zelda Spinoff You Probably Didn't Play - Navi Trackers (NintendoLife, 9 minutes)

Four Swords+, the Japanese version of Four Swords Adventure, had an exclusive game not available in the Western version. Called Navi Trackers, it features full voice acting (!), 3D graphics in the Wind Waker engine, and see you competing in minigames to outscore other players.

Club Nintendo: The Nintendo Power of Latin America (GTV Japan, 28 minutes)

Nintendo Power was a magazine well-known to North American audiences in the 80s and 90s, becoming the source for tips, tricks, and news. South of the border, some Nintendo fans decided to launch their own version in Spanish, becoming so successful that Nintendo hired them and gave them their blessing. This is the story of how it happened.

The PowerBase Mini is an adaptor that lets you play Sega Master System games on the Genesis, starting at $49.99!


Doshin The Giant Review (NintendoLife, 9 minutes)

God simulators are a rare beast, and god simulators for the GameCube are even harder to find. Doshin The Giant is such a game, that sees you take control of a Love Giant (no… really) and help humanity or damn it, depending on how evil you’re feeling that day. An unsung hidden gem.

Captain Tsubasa (Hardcore Gaming 101, 11 minutes)

A kinda soccer turn-based RPG, Captain Tsubasa is based on a manga and anime in Japan. It’s a fascinating combination of gameplay styles that was sadly never released in the West, instead becoming Tecmo Cup Soccer Game, with changed sprites, heightened difficulty, and a missing side quest. This article kicks off a retrospective on the entire series of games.

Nazo no Murasame-Jou deserves to be remembered alongside Metroid and Zelda (Destructoid, 7 minutes)

A hidden gem that should be listed among the greats? That’s what Destructoid think. The second title for the Famicom Disk System, Nazo no Murasame-Jou wasn’t localized for the West until we were blessed with a GameBoy Advance release, followed by versions for the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS. It’s a top-down samurai game that sees you mowing down ninjas, evil creatures, and other samurai over five levels.

Where's My New Old Stuff? (Stone Age Gamer, 9 minutes)

Retro consoles are exploding in popularity, but what happened to those that were announced but never released? Stone Age Gamer take a look at the surprising stories behind missing hardware.

Eyra the Crow Maiden is a new Castlevania-esque adventure for the NES and Sega Genesis. Watch the review!


Pac-Man 99 (Nintendo Switch, $FREE)

Completely gratis for a limited time to owners of Ninty’s swanky handheld, this new take on the 80s classic sees you vie for victory against 98 other players.

Metroid Prime 2D (PC, $FREE)

15 years in the making, this community-made 2D recreation of the first 3D Metroid game is a stunning bit of pixel art. I mean, just look at it.


Now available on Steam, OpenTTD is a free remake of Transport Tycoon Deluxe. It adds lots of modern niceties such as widescreen support, and online play over LAN or the internet. The freight of the world is in your hands (sorry).

Dizzy The Adventurer (PC, $FREE)

Originally pencilled in for release on the Sega Genesis as part of The Excellent Dizzy Collection, Dizzy The Adventurer has been remade as a free download by the good peeps at YolkFolk. Cracking (sorry).

Quiz Time: In A Link to the Past, who had a secret room named after them?

Answer at the end of this email!

Would you like your retro video game, website, zine, or other project featured here? Just hit reply and send us the details!


  • Kamui Fujiwara has uploaded the concept art for Terranigma. Download it here

  • The remastered DX version of Alex Kidd in Miracle World is looking great

  • No-one believed that the world record 4.55 speed run of Super Mario Bros could be beaten, but someone has only just gone and done it

Could you share this email? Forwarding it to just one retro gaming friend helps us keep this newsletter free. And if you send it to 10, we’ll love you forever.


Quiz Answer: Chris Houlihan.

Have a good quiz question? Send it over and I’ll put it in a future edition!