The Video Game History Foundation has recently reconstructed an unreleased NES game using their digital archivist. The game, which is an adaption of Tom Cruise’s movie Days of Thunder (1990), had been recovered using 30-year-old source code floppy disks from the developer (the late) Chris Oberth, who passed away in 2012 and is known for iconic games such as Phasor Zap, Anteater, Ardy the Aardvark, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The game was intended for release under the company Mindscape, but it was scrapped for unknown reasons and replaced with a different version and released by another company called Beam Software.
Rich Whitehouse, a preservationist, has kept an updated log of his journey to recover the game which can also be used as a guide or step by step for those that have an interest in preserving and recovering games. The story to this game’s restoration goes that the team discovered that Oberth had mentioned an unreleased game that he worked on that was based on the aforementioned movie. From that information, the team then went through more than thirty floppy disks for the source codes for the game. As of now, the game still does not have all of the source code data, but it works up until the point where you can enter, race, and see the celebration held on the screen after getting first place.
Once the team decides they are finished, there are plans to sell the game cartridges to support Oberth’s widow (and the rest of his family), as VGF has gotten permission from the family to publish the game along with getting access to the needed files to complete the restoration. Currently, the game cartridge of Days of Thunder is available for preorder on This Room is an Illusion. There is no expected date for the game’s release, however.