Crazy Land (Prototype)
Frogger II: ThreeeDeep! (Jun 15, 1984 prototype)
Galaxy 5000: Racing in the 51st Century (Prototype)
Iron Tank: The Invasion of Normandy (Prototype)
R.B.I. Baseball 2 (Mar 7, 1990 prototype)
Rally Bike (Prototype B)
Shadow of the Ninja (Prototype)
Star Wars: The Arcade Game (Apr 12, 1984 prototype)
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To kick off the holiday season with a blast from the past, we’d like to share with you a slice from the collection of the legendary former Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) editor - Edward J. Semrad! Courtesy of the heroes at the Video Game History Foundation (VGHF).
To those who might not be familiar with Ed Semrad or Electronic Gaming Monthly, it was one of the most influential gaming magazines of all time. Founded in 1988 and published by Senai Publications, EGM covered video game news, industry events, game reviews and previews, and more. EGM was note-worthy for being one of the first to have exclusive announcements. They were one of the very few in the industry to make frequent trips to many foreign countries in an attempt to be the earliest to break the news of the upcoming games that were about to be released. For instance, EGM was one of the only few American magazines that broke the news of Sonic the Hedgehog for the first time around the time of his initial debut at the Tokyo Toy Show in 1990.
Ed Semrad is one of the earliest big names in video game journalism. His earlier writing credits date back to the early 80s when he was a technical writer for The Milwaukee Journal’s “Video Adventures” column. During his time there he wrote reviews on some of the video game console industry’s earliest titles for the Atari 2600, ColecoVision, and Commodore 64. He was even one of the very few journalists at the time to extensively report on the NES before its American release!
Ed worked as an associate editor alongside editor Steve Harris in the early days of EGM, where he would eventually become the magazine’s editor-in-chief. By August 1997, he became the magazine’s chief correspondent so he could continue to write for all of their publications, including ZDTV. In April of 1998, Ed would leave EGM after being with the magazine since its inception for over 8 years to explore other ventures. EGM continues to exist to this day still under the ownership of its original owner, Steve Harris.
Unfortunately, most of the prototypes that were sent to EGM during its heyday were either cast to the winds or destroyed under close supervision while the magazine was in Oak Brook, IL. The prototypes featured in this release are from Ed’s personal collection, possibly from the time he was still writing for the Milwaukee Journal. Despite this, it’s amazing that so many old cartridges were saved! Most of the prototypes that were still in Ed’s possession date back to before the Video game crash of 1983. Some of the cartridges were almost 40 years old as of writing, so it’s a miracle that so many were able to be recovered!
Last year, Frank Cifaldi from the Video Game History Foundation was invited to come to digitize Ed’s collection of video game history. Aside from some awesome swag, he collected during his long career in the business, he saved quite a few NES, Atari 2600, and Sega prototypes. We evaluated every ROM dump that Frank provided to see which were prototypes and which were finals, and came up with the list you see above! One of the standouts from our share of the lot is a prototype of the unreleased American localization of “Doki! Doki! Yuuenchi: Crazy Land Daisakusen” known as “Crazy Land”. The game would eventually be released and rebranded only in Europe under the name “The Trolls in Crazyland”.
We’d like to thank Frank Cifaldi from the Video Game History Foundation for digitizing Ed’s collection and for giving us an opportunity to share these with all of you. We’d also like to thank ehw and Hwd45 for researching each of the prototypes for entry onto the site.
Please consider donating towards Video Game History Foundation's 2022 Winter Fundraiser. Many people work really hard behind the scenes to make things possible, so please consider contributing this year so that we can make more releases like this possible!
Until next time!
(Note: The artist's depiction of Ed Semrad was sourced from EGM Issue 39 October 1992)