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Contra III: The Alien Wars main page



A NintendoAge forum user had come across a beta cartridge of Contra III that was used as a Lab Loaner. He had found it in a small store of a defunct shopping mall in Salt Lake City, The Crossroads Mall. He described the cartridge as the following:

” the cart I saw was a white label with black plain print. It said “NOT FOR RESALE” etc., on the front AND back, and the back had a “Return To:” (Insert Address, Konami America, etc.) and “When done” or something like that below the address…”

The user intended to purchase the prototype in the following week, but it had already been sold by then. Originally obtained by a collector who is local to Salt Lake City in the mid-2000’s, the cartridge eventually changed hands to the mall vendor. From the mall vendor, the cartridge had been sold to either another, well-known local collector or one from Park City. Unfortunately, that is the end of the prototype’s known whereabouts: the former had passed away and his collection may have disseminated to numerous people and the latter is a very private collector.

Lab loaners are very rare pre-release versions of games, sent to gaming magazines, testing parties or reviewers. They usually have plain labels, with instructions to return the game by a given date or after the intended use. Many hold the final build of the game, although some have been known to hold pre-release builds.

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