Cooly Skunk: Unreleased SNES Game Uncovered In The Most Unlikely Fashion

Cooly Skunk: Unreleased SNES Game Uncovered In The Most Unlikely Fashion

The story of how Cooly Skunk (AKA Punky Skunk) was recovered from digital obscurity is a rather complex affair.

As Eurogamer reports, news emerged last week about the latest bout of digital rediscovery of unreleased retro gaming goodness. In this case it’s Cooly Skunk for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and if you’re thinking “I’ve never even heard of Cooly Skunk” you wouldn’t be alone.

The game did eventually see a release on the Playstation, but by the time it was released, it had also been substantially rewritten and upgraded to take advantage of the power of that platform relative to Nintendo’s 16-bit classic console, and was either Cooly Skunk or Punky Skunk by that time.

So how did Cooly Skunk (SNES) crawl out from the shadows? It turns out that a demo of the game was broadcast on the Japan-only Satellaview SFC platform, and one Japanese consumer downloaded it and kept it on their BSX cartridge all these years. As so much of this gear does, it ended up on a shelf in the Akihabara branch of Super Potato with a ludicrous price tag on it. One funding drive later, and Cooly Skunk is acquired so that the demo can be ripped from its silicon prison.

However, what’s really bizarre – beyond retrieving the SNES version of a PSX game via a satellite download that by all rights should have been overwritten decades ago, because Satellaview games were meant to be time limited – is that the demo contained the actual full game once a little digital autopsy work was done on it. Gaming Alexandria has a great writeup on that process that’s well worth your time, and Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry has done the work comparing the “new” SNES version of Cooly Skunk to the “old” (but newer, because it came later) Playstation version.

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