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Listen to the Electroplankton designer's unreleased SNES music game

An anonymous agent has made a choice piece of game industry history available to the public by buying a copy of Toshio Iwai's unreleased SNES music game Sound Fantasy and sharing it with the world.

Alex Wawro, Contributor

April 8, 2015

1 Min Read

A fresh piece of game industry history has been made available to the public this week, thanks to the work of an anonymous bidder who purchased a rare physical copy of the unreleased SNES music game Sound Fantasy and dumped its cartridge data to a ROM file.

You can now see this piece of history for yourself via YouTube user KiiroBomber, who has so far published multiple videos of the game running on an emulator.

Sound Fantasy (also known as Sound Factory) is a notable historical artifact for a few reasons -- it was developed by Nintendo and high-profile designer Toshio Iwai (Electroplankton) based on an interactive "Music Insects" exhibition he held at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1992, and was initially intended to be the pack-in game that shipped with the SNES mouse peripheral.

It's unclear why that plan was scrapped, since development on Sound Fantasy was completed; in 1997 Iwai told Wired he "never got a straight answer" from Nintendo about why the SNES mouse wound up shipping bundled with copies of Mario Paint instead.

Iwai went on to design Maxis' PC music game SimTunes (which also drew significant inspiration from Music Insects) and later worked with Nintendo again on the DS game Electroplankton. 

More than twenty years later, his work on the SNES is now publicly available thanks to the efforts of an anonymous agent who reportedly spent around $7,000 to buy a working Sound Fantasy cartridge and dump its data.

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