The Last Starfighter

I really tried a couple of times to get through The Last Starfighter (the movie), but I never could do it. So it kind of stands to reason that I never sought out the video game adaptation. But that all changed this past weekend when I made an interesting find.

I didn't pay $12.95 for it, either.

I didn’t pay $12.95 for it, either.

“Big deal,” I hear you say? Well, okay. I admit that the game itself wasn’t the whole reason for me picking up this particular Ruined Cartridge. But I did find this interesting for a couple of reasons.

First, look at that case. It’s pretty typical of the cases you would get if you would rent a NES cartridge at some point in the NES’s heyday. It’s even got something approximating the box art on the front. And on the inside?

The Last Starfighter Case Internal

Pretty standard stuff… except, what is this?

The Last Starfighter Detail

A sticker for The Video Vault in Radcliff, KY? A business that no longer seems to be in operation?

Oh, right. The other thing.

The Last Starfighter Insert

What we have here is an excerpt of the manual of the game, typed out and pasted to the carved up box and wedged into the plastic cover of the game. For anyone growing up in the age of games coming in DVD cases, you might not be familiar with the concept of disappearing manuals. But if you have a manual the size of a doubled-over postcard but without all the durability, you create a situation where the first person to rent a game would get a manual, but the second person would get a manual with no cover, and the third person would get a couple of staples (if he was lucky). This seemed like an elegant solution to that problem, rather than wasting time making photocopies or some other such nonsense.