It was summer 1991 (could have been 90, but pretty sure it was 91), and I was working my summer job (if you could call it that) doing beta and final testing for a house that contracted mostly to a whole range of gaming companies.
Somehow, I drew the unlucky straw that day, and I got saddled with this NES project -- the story was vague, the thing had been written and forgotten about for 18 months, or it was way overdue and the publisher had already given up on it -- anyway, the NES was on its way out, and this game really, really, REALLY sucked. I'm talking about California Raisins.
It was painful: I had to explore all the annoying little cracks in this uninspired Mario ripoff (With all of four -- count them, four -- levels) eight hours a day in a roomn where everything flashed at 60Hz. I was amazed I never killed anyone on the way home. In short, the game was bad in every sector: the music was the first bars of "I heard it through the grapevine", over and over again, the jumping part was all based on precision with lethally punishment for failure. Worst of all, by the time I saw the game, the California Raisins craze was over by nearly two years.
So yeah, I worked on that game, tested it, and gave the client my personal opinion that schlock like that would never sell.
Then today I google the damn thing ("the game that, when I was paid to play it, convinced me a needed a career change"), I find that thank God, it never was published. And I thanked myself for that.
But what's this? One EEPROM escaped, and it's been used to multiply that game? 12 years after I did my moral best to damn that game into oblivion, even at personal financial loss, it emerges from the grave. Worse, that one bit of evil somebody missed, now has, thanks to the "legend of the game that never was", returned to even greater stature than it would have had before?
How? why? where could it come from?
Google found that too:
An interview with a NES cart collector reveals that a woman received them, along with a couple other NES titles I remember very well from that era from someone who "used to work for a gaming company".
I looked at the shot -- it's been many years, it's a generic proto cart, but I wouldn't be surprised if my fingerprints were on that thing.
Damn, I wish I had insisted to the boss that the cart be destroyed.