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The Rarest Game Boy Game Probably Isn't What You Expect

In October 2020, "nineties kids" all over the country witnessed ex(?)-rapper Logic shell out a total of $183,812 for a first edition holographic Charizard Pokémon card. That could have been me, many doubtlessly thought — fans whose first edition Charizards ended up crumpled in a closet, sold at a yard sale, or left to a similar fate.

Somewhere out there, too, is a twenty- or thirty-something who once owned the rarest Game Boy game, its presence in their life now either cast off in unceremonious abandonment, or even forgotten wholly.

However, whereas virtually all kids whose TV got Kids WB coveted a holographic Charizard back in its heyday of cultural relevance, the rarest Game Boy game is a title virtually unknown to all but enthusiasts. This is no Super Mario Bros., sealed NES copies of which sold for just over $100,000 in 2019 and then $114,000 in 2020

The rarest Game Boy game is Spud's Adventure.

One rare potato

Spud's Adventure, as could be expected from a non-iconic title, sells for a price closer to that of the N64's rare ClayFighter: Sculptor's Cut than its Mario counterparts. That said, ClayFighter: Sculptor's Cut, by comparison, is rare due to its availability once being limited to rentals at Blockbuster Video stores. Spud's Adventure is apparently rare simply because it's an Atlus game.

Nowadays, Atlus is arguably most well-known in the West for developing Persona 5. In Japan, however, Atlus has long been known for its Megami Tensei series, from which hits like Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and even Persona 5 were spun off.

A used copy of Spud's Adventure is currently in-stock at an online retro games retailer for $347.97, on sale from $399.99. While copies of the cartridge have sold for as low as $200, the box (likely thrown away in many cases where kids kept the cartridge, and thus rarer) has sold for just over $935, and an unopened copy of the game is currently valued at $3500.

While Atlus games typically don't reach quite these heights, these prices nonetheless are not a huge surprise given the company's publication history.

It's an Atlus thing

While Atlus games pre-Persona 5 were relatively niche in the West, the original Megami Tensei was one of the earliest JRPGs, and thus influenced the genre as a whole. In fact, Pokémon's monster collecting was preceded by Megami Tensei's demon collecting.

English-language Atlus games, however, tend to be released in limited quantities. This is likely due to many of its titles' failures to catch on in the West, and in spite of the company's success in Japan. This drives up the prices of those games. Shin Megami Tensei IV, released for the 3DS in 2013, has already inflated in price to just over $60, on sale from $89.99. Though interest in the game recently increased due to a PC port released earlier this year, original Vita copies of Persona 4 Golden from 2012 sell for a similar price.

Spud's Adventure is most likely not on par, quality-wise, with Persona 4 Golden. That said, it's not entirely unrelated to Megami Tensei – its villain is a batlike creature named Devi, resembling something like a demon from the Megami Tensei series.

Does that mean the titular spud might appear in 2021's Shin Megami Tensei 5? No, but it might make for some weird fan fiction.