Back in June, we got to witness a peculiar oddity of Mega Man collecting as "Forte" of the NintendoAge forums showed off a rare, nonstandard copy of Mega Man 6.
The plot has thickened, as Forte has found a new sealed-in-box copy of Mega Man 6 that is not like the norm. For reference, here (via GameFAQs) is the Mega Man 6 that was published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America back in 1994:
As you can see, the box is in the standard Nintendo-brand style of the time and almost entirely bereft of any reference to Capcom, save for the trademark information in the lower-right on the back of the box. Then we have this, via Forte at the NintendoAge forums:
This one is as Capcom as Capcom could be at the time, and it matches up with the label on the cartridge we saw previously. Forte relates his original thoughts when he had just the cartridge and manual in hand:
I believe(d) that the Capcom release was never intended for retail after Capcom decided against releasing Mega Man 6 in the US/Canada. The carts that were found were likely dumped product that was already printed; the loose carts were sold in Brazil, Chile, and other South/Central American countries under companies like "Playtronic". At least two manuals have appeared, and I also have in my possession a paired cart and manual with a sticker on the back that leads me to believe it may have been used as replacement stock for damaged Mega Man 6 carts sent to Nintendo. I say believed, because I got my hands on this...
Now, however, the presence of a sealed box apparently changes things:
A factory sealed, H seam, retail copy of Mega Man 6 with the CAPCOM branding and box art style of Mega Man 1-5. Somehow, this game release made it to retail in Canada. This is 100% real. The seam is legit and this has all of the stress and wear associated with a typical 20 year old sealed NES game. While I will not be opening it, the game appears to either have a "NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM" red bar sticker across the top, or the box was painted over prior to release, as it does not seem to line up properly (this was right at the end of the NES life when Nintendo was adding this branding to their products). At any rate, this variant went to retail in some manner, though this is the first identified copy in 21 years. How rare it is I haven't a clue. Stadium Events rare? Possibly. I'll let people more experienced in NES make that argument. I just thought everyone would like to see this beauty up close (well, as up close as can be over a computer). The coolest part of this release in my opinion? The advertisement on the back of the box for the two non-Japanese robot master contest winners, Daniel Vallée (Canada, Knight Man) and Michael Leader (USA, Wind Man).
Stadium Events rare? How cool would that be, to have something along those lines in Mega Man's history. But could it be even more rare than those gold Rockman 4 Famicom cartridges?
So the question then goes out to you all: have you ever seen a Mega Man 6 like this in the wild?