A never-before-seen wrestling game for the Nintendo Entertainment System was just unearthed by a YouTuber on Tuesday — which is basically unheard of in the world of Nintendo.
UWC is a wrestling game that has been kept secret from the public since it was first seen by eyes at Nintendo in 1989. The game was purchased from a former Nintendo employee by YouTuber and game collector Stephen Reese, a.k.a. Archon 1981, who made a video about the game and plans to release the ROM online.
Take a look at some of the gameplay:
The fact that there is a real playable game that was never released on the NES nor ever even advertised is very bizarre. There’s a backstory behind this game that, unfortunately, we may never get to hear about. The only thing we know for sure is that this game was play-tested by someone who worked at Nintendo.
UWC, which is some acronym that didn’t even belong to any wrestling organizations back when this game was made in 1989, was made by a company called SETA which does not exist anymore. It’s possible that the developers created a prototype of a wrestling game without any official wrestling license and sent it to Nintendo for testing. UWC may have been a placeholder name for something else while the wrestling industry was in flux in the late ’80s.
The characters seen in this game — legends like Ric Flair, Sting, Bobby Eaton Michael “Hawk” Hegstrand and Joseph “Animal” Laurinaitis of The Road Warriors — all belonged to a wrestling organization that came to be known as World Championship Wrestling in 1989.
It’s possible that this game was created around the time that WCW was buying out wrestling companies like the popular Jim Crockett Promotions and rebranding, so the developers weren’t exactly sure what the name of the promotion was and tried to create their own.
Unfortunately, from the footage we see, we don’t actually know what UWC stands for.
We do know, however, that this game does not look fantastic. Nor does it sound fantastic — that looping music is downright awful.
But it is a cool relic of the past, and it begs the question how many other never-before-seen games there are out there on platforms like the NES.