Even though what you're about to read might compel you to run straight for wherever you keep your excess storage to dig out your copy of Super Mario for NES so you can have die-hard fans fight tooth and nail for it at auction, there's a catch.
There's always a catch.
Get this: A copy of Super Mario for NES just became the highest priced video game ever after it sold at auction for $100,150.
No, it isn't made out of solid gold.
The previous high mark was $30,000, which seems paltry by comparison.
You're probably wondering:
"Whoa, why so much?"
Gather round, heathen.
This isn't just any copy of Super Mario.
There were 11 slightly different versions of the black box the original cartridges came in between 1985 and 1994. Some, for example, had the trademark symbol in a different place.
Others had tabs that were used to hang the box from store shelves.
But the box this cartridge came in predates all of them. No one knew Super Mario would be such a hit back then.
When you think about it, it had to have been devised by someone while on 'shrooms.
So the original box the game came in was not shrink wrapped. Rather, it was sealed with a tiny "Nintendo" sticker at the top as part of a test launch run before the game's official release in 1986.
You're probably asking:
"Who the hell keeps an original Nintendo box containing a Super Mario NES cartridge in such pristine condition anyway?"
Oh, foolish mortal.
Don't you see?
Whoever this person is (actually people, but we'll get to them in a moment), they're $100,150 richer. And you're not. Sorry.
Believe it or not, this was a group effort, as the press release from Heritage Auctions notes:
"A group of collectors joined forces Feb. 6 to purchase the game, including some of the biggest names in video games and collectibles as a whole. The buyers include Jim Halperin, Founder and Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; Zac Gieg, owner of Just Press Play Video Games in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Rich Lecce, renowned coin dealer, pioneering video game collector and owner of Robert B. Lecce Numismatist Inc of Boca Raton, Florida."
That's insane, man.
It gets better, though.
According to Wata Games, which certified this copy, the box is in pristine condition. It was given a rating of 9.4/10. Not only that, but this copy is the only known "sticker sealed" one still in existence and the sticker is also in excellent condition.
You're telling yourself:
"There's no way I could have had that game in my possession for so long and not have played it?"
Oh, you delicate little flower.
This game has only been re-released dozens of times over the years! Get a grip!
And if you're one of the many fans salivating at this news, just know you're not the only one who's impressed.
Let's say this box is never actually opened.
It could be worth considerably more in the future, and let's face it, we need all the money we can get as we contend with the affordable housing crisis and stagnant wages!