I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I’d be writing that headline.
In 1993 there was a 2D platformer developed and subsequently cancelled for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis called Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill. It was inspired by a cat of the same name that was adopted in the early 90’s by the Clinton family and occasionally photographed with the former president. In the game, Socks would have (and perhaps still will) saved the world from nuclear destruction and defeated caricatures of former Republican Party leaders. If this sounds absurd, you may want to look into 4th-gen 2D platformers. This is actually par the course.
So what happened? How did a potential masterpiece like this never see the light of day? Was it shut down due to its partisan overtones? No, actually. Kaneko USA was advertising the game in 1993 but before the game could release, the publisher went under. Socks the Cat went down with the ship and has never been seen since – until now.
A man named Tom Curtin has purchased a prototype cartridge of the game for the price of a used car. He also has the trademark, meaning he can legally publish the game and profit. The current plan is to launch a Kickstarter to publish the game and run it like a pseudo auction. A $20 to $30 commitment will guarantee you a digital copy of the game, a $50 or better donation amounts to a physical copy on a reproduction SNES cartridge, and to the top donor, the prototype itself.
I’m curious to see how this news will be received. The collector in me is excited about this. I could soon be holding a brand new SNES cart of a game that was once an urban legend. It’s always fun when things like that come to fruition. On the other hand, the Internet has no shortage of anonymous people feeling like the world owes them and will be angry that Curtin has the ‘gall’ to not simply dump the game’s ROM online for free and is instead poised to make money.
Then again, the fact that the game will be getting published only means it’s a matter of time before the ROM is available for free to all of those who are fine playing on emulators instead of the real thing. Regardless of which avenue you take, let’s all enjoy the fact that we may soon be swiping at Richard Nixon’s face with 16-bit feline claws in the future.
Source: MEL Magazine