For many of us who grew up with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), blowing into game cartridges was a universally accepted solution to make non-working games spring back to life. This practice, deeply ingrained in gaming culture, was accepted as an effective fix, but a deeper dive into the history and mechanics of the NES reveals a more complex reality, turning this widespread habit into one of gaming’s greatest urban legends.
Atlantis II [Atari 2600] – Price: $5,000
The original Atlantis was a popular game for the Atari 2600. The developer held a competition asking people to take a picture of their TV screen showing their high score and mail it in. Multiple people maxed out the high score so the publisher made a limited number of Atlantis II cartridges which had faster enemies and mailed those to the high scores in order to determine the best player.
The game was never commercially sold so the developer decided to save money and reuse the artwork and cartridge from the original game. Because of this the game looks identical to the original. The only way to tell the difference is to start playing and look at the font on the scoring screen.