Long-lost SNES platformer “Cooly Skunk” no longer lost

There were so many anthropomorphic animal mascots in the 16-bit generation of gaming, it’s no surprise that at least one was squeezed out as newer consoles emerged.

Before eventually being released on the Sony PlayStation, Ukiyotei’s Punky Skunk was originally conceived as a Super Nintendo game titled Cooly Skunk. Despite essentially being a complete product, the SNES version was shelved in favor of shifting to Sony’s hot, new console under this different title.

radical

The SNES version has been written off as “lost” for years, but thanks to the efforts of the gaming preservationists at Gaming Alexandria, Cooly Skunk is finally available for gamers to experience for themselves.

According to Gaming Alexandria, the story of Cooly Skunk‘s resurrection starts in the Akihabara area of a Tokyo, which is also known as “Akihabara Electric Town” and revered by many as the “Gaming Mecca.” The Akihabara area is filled with manga, anime, and of course, video game shops, many of which stock some rare and collectible curios.

One astute shopper discovered a BS-X 7M cartridge for the Satellaview, a Japan-only peripheral for the Super Famicom (SNES) that allowed games to be downloaded via satellite. The label on the cartridge, however, read “Cooly Skunk,” and the shopper was led to believe that it included an unreleased demo of the game. Oh, and the price tag was $500 (that’s roughly 77.50 in Bison Dollars).

The shopper managed to raise enough cash to purchase the Satellaview cartridge, and techie types immediately began to examine the game’s code. They learned that the “demo” of Cooly Skunk actually included the entire finished game, but the full game was artificially locked… you know, like on-disc DLC.

After a few programming edits, the full playable ROM emerged. Retro platformer fans can learn how to play the long lost SNES version of Cooly Skunk via the Gaming Alexandria website, though the legality of doing so isn’t cut-and-dry. You can also read more about the game’s development history and the efforts exerted to preserve it.

Source: Tech Raptor


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