NES collectors sure have it tough. There are some absolutely fascinating stories of people finding prototype games at local flea markets, or even snagging one of those exceedingly expensive Nintendo World Championships cartridges in a bundle from an unsuspecting seller. The downside is that there is an incredible amount of money involved in the practice, so if you want a complete collection, it's going to cost you a lot. This is no exception.
Looking back at 1991, Square Soft were planning to release the second Final Fantasy game in the US. As we now know, it never happened, leaving children across the country doomed to mix up II with IV and III with VI until they knew otherwise. However, that isn't to say that it was abandoned before they had started work on it. Far from it, in fact.
If you take a look at eBay, you'll see that a prototype copy of an English-language Final Fantasy II is up for grabs for the hefty price of $50,000. It seems that the game was indeed translated (albeit in a babelfish manner), and that this is the only known copy in existence. The game works fine too, so as long as you don't mind some heavy doses of Engrish, you can complete the second quest on your NES.
I do love the Final Fantasy games (in fact, I just spent two weeks on holiday playing through VI), but Final Fantasy II is perhaps the weakest in the series, in my opinion. Still, being in possession of the only known English FFII NES cartridge is certainly an appealing thought. Unfortunately for me, the price range is just a little out of my grasp. If you consider yourself a NES collector, you might want to pick this up before you're beaten to it!
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