One of the most infamous urban legends in video games has turned out to be true.
Digging in Alamogordo, New Mexico today, excavators discovered cartridges for the critically-panned Atari game E.T., buried in a landfill way back in 1983 after Atari couldn’t figure out what else to do with their unsold copies. For decades, legend had it that Atari put millions of E.T. cartridges in the ground, though some sceptics have wondered whether such an extraordinary event actually happened. (Of course, news outlets like the New York Times reported on the dump back in 1983.)
Last year, Alamogordo officials finally approved an excavation of the infamous landfill, and plans kicked into motion two weeks ago, with Microsoft partnering up with a documentary team to dig into the dirt and film the results.
Today, it’s official. They have found E.T.’s home — though it’s unclear whether there are really millions or even thousands of copies down there. The AP reports they have found “hundreds” so far, and we’ll keep you updated as they keep digging.
Top image via Microsoft’s Major Nelson.
Here it is up close – the very first ET cartridge exhumed after 30 years pic.twitter.com/nb8tv33w8F
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) April 26, 2014
More photos via Wired’s Chris Kohler: