We’ve been seeing a lot more video game-oriented documentaries lately, following the success of 2007’s Donkey Kong battle The King of Kong, among others. But with Nintendo Quest, the industry takes a backseat to instead focus on one man’s ultimate nostalgia trip, in a tale that’s just as much about the journey as it is the destination.
The film is the work of director Rob McCallum, who convinced his friend, long-time video game and Star Wars fan Jay Bartlett, to do the impossible – collect every single official cartridge made for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 30 days’ time, without using the Internet. That means no convenient runs through eBay, instead relying on local store shops around both Canada and the U.S., and chatting with his friends, in order to complete the collection.
That’s not as easy as you might think, as a number of NES cartridges are considered rarities, like Bandai’s Stadium Events (which fetches thousands of dollars on eBay), Bonk’s Adventure (a port of the original Turbo-Grafx 16 game, which saw limited production) and others, all gathered in a “top 20” list that serves as Bartlett’s holy grail, while he fills in the blanks with less popular (and more frequent) titles. There are challenges, though, as he only has a limited budget and amount of time to work with.
The documentary covers much more than Bartlett’s mad scramble to find every NES cartridge. McCallum also takes the time to talk to various folks in the industry about the history of Nintendo, from its humble upbringing as a card company in the 1890’s (yes, it started back that far) to the certain aspects of what makes an old-school video game magical, from the graphics to the music.
Along with the facts, the goal of Nintendo Quest is to show the true passion of these gamers, whether they’re record-setting heroes like Todd Rogers or avid collectors who will stop at nothing – including haggling with local store owners or making near-impossible offers with trades and bids – to get what they want.
As with most projects these days, Nintendo Quest started on Kickstarter, where McCallum was able to raise $40,000+ for the film’s production. Since then, the project has gained steam on social media (including the official Facebook page, which can be found here under The NES Club), and is currently making the rounds at various events, including the Classic Game Fest in Austin and more. So it’s a quest to hype Nintendo Quest – sort of like a quest-ception, as it were.
Eventually, Nintendo Quest will find distribution through Canamedia, although an official release date hasn’t been given yet. Still, with plenty of promotional showings coming up, and a Blu-Ray/DVD release in the works (lucky Kickstarter backers should have their copies soon enough), there’s no question that the word on this Quest will easily spread – and may even inspire a few folks to start up a collection of their own.
To learn more about Nintendo Quest, be sure to visit the official page, and check out the trailer below.