While the Super Nintendo featured some of the most iconic fighting games of all-time such as Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, the Nintendo 64 had a surprising lack of popular traditional fighting games; in fact, the only fighting game that sold over a million copies for the system was Super Smash Bros.
But of the 296 games released in North America for the N64, there were a few dozen fighting games, most of which have been completely forgotten. However, one of these games has become a valuable collector’s item for vintage gamers, and the cartridge alone can sell for over $500.
The Rarest N64 Game
In 1997, ClayFighter 63⅓ was released for the N64. The Clayfighter series, made by Interplay,
had become well-known for being a parody of the fighting game genre; even the title of the game is a play on game titles such as Super Mario 64 and Doom 64. The gameplay was essentially that of a 2D fighter, with stop-motion animation and claymation for the art style.
ClayFighter 63⅓ was released to lukewarm reviews and it didn’t sell particularly well; the game’s sense of humor didn’t click with a lot of players and the shallow gameplay didn’t help make up any ground. Some time after the initial release, Interplay released Clayfighter: Sculptor’s Cut, an updated version of the game that was a Blockbuster rental exclusive.
Sculptor’s Cut featured a better user interface, four additional characters that were cut in the initial release, and more storylines for the game’s single player mode. It did very little to improve the game’s image and Sculptor’s Cut is mainly known for its status as one of the rarest video games ever. Which raises the question:
Why is this game so rare?
Clayfighter: Sculptor’s Cut Price And Rarity
As stated before, Sculptor’s Cut was a Blockbuster rental exclusive, which means the game was not for sale. In fact, only about 15,000 to 20,000 copies are said to have been produced. The game was only sold to customers either via contest or when N64 games were phased out in the transition to Gamecube games; and some of the produced copies were also likely thrown out if they didn’t sell.
This means that the Clayfighter: Sculptor’s Cut price and value continues to increase as vintage game collectors scrounge to find copies of the game; the cartridge alone will run buyers between $300-500. Even more astounding, because Blockbuster would throw out the boxes and manuals of the game, finding a complete copy of Sculptor’s Cut with an original box and manual can cost thousands of dollars.
Other Rare 64 Games
Perhaps the rarest cartridge for the N64 is Yoshi’s Story International Version, which was used in demo kiosks to showcase the game. The cartridge looks very similar to the standard version of the game, with the only differences being the “Not For Resale” and “International Version” text featured on it. This copy of the game can easily run for over a thousand dollars.
Bomberman 64: The Second Attack is also a very rare cart, partly due to the lack of success of the original Bomberman 64 and partly because the game was released so late in the N64’s lifespan. Because of this, you’ll definitely be forking over at least a $100 for a cartridge of this game, and a complete version with box and manual will run you closer to a thousand.
Sculptor’s Cut is only for the die-hard fans who want to collect as many rare and vintage games as possible; unless you care about shallow humor and boring gameplay, your coin is better spent elsewhere.