The history of video games is riddled with blind spots. Despite being a technological medium where it’s possible to archive practically everything created, this task is rarely undertaken. Major companies often don’t take their own history seriously, and external organizations have only recently begun to do so. This neglect has resulted in many key pieces of video game history being considered lost. Fortunately, many of these items resurface when least expected. This has recently been the case with one of Nintendo’s major historical pieces.
On December 4th, The Video Game History Foundation revealed in an article on their blog that they had found a demo of Eclipse, the legendary game from the company Argonaut Games.
This discovery holds significant importance because Argonaut Games were the creators of X, a Game Boy game exclusive to Japan. X demonstrated the feasibility of creating 3D images on a console. This achievement paved the way for their creation of Star Fox for the SNES, one of Nintendo’s major franchises.
Eclipse stands as a demo crafted by Argonaut Games to showcase the possibility of replicating a 3D effect on a console, even within the limitations of the Game Boy. The issue was that, despite its legendary status, this demo had been missing for years. Now, The Video Game History Foundation has not only managed to recover it but has also uploaded a ROM of this demo to the Internet Archive, allowing anyone curious about this piece of gaming history to experience it.
This, coupled with the article and a nearly 25-minute video, represents excellent work in not only preserving but also documenting the significance of this game. It’s something worth celebrating because without Eclipse, perhaps games like X, Star Fox, and many other great titles that simulated 3D on 8 and 16-bit systems might never have existed.