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California Raisins NES Game


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A game that never made it to the NES was one featuring the California Raisins. The game was specifically titled The California Raisins: The Grape Escape.


Before we go on, my fellow 80s children should remember the Raisins. If not, I'll explain. Back around 1986, the California Raisins were created by the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, such an entity existed!) to raise awareness and sales of raisins. Many commercials ran that featured anthropomorpized raisins singing and dancing to old Motown hits like "I Heard It Through The Grapevine".




The irony was that the California Raisins completely failed at boosting sales of raisins but became a merchandising phenomenon. There were comic books, toys, assorted merchandise, hit recordings and even a Saturday morning cartoon that ran for a single season in 1989.


There was going to be a video game released in 1990 for the NES. It was developed by Radiance and to be published by Capcom. It was a side-scroller similar to Mega Man; you could choose to take any of the first four levels in any order but had to complete each one to advance to the fifth (and final) level. You played the raisins and had to collect music notes while shooting grape jelly beans at your enemies.





This game was advertised and even reviewed in magazines so it was nearly complete. I even owned one magazine and one NES strategy guide mentioning the California Raisins game. It is a shame that the plug was pulled; this looks like a fun game.


Anyone else familiar with this title?

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Yes, the rom was released many years ago. And should be easily found & available on the internet. Ive had my cartridge for over a decade now. The original proto cartridge was actually found here in Florida by one of the friendliest gamers / collectors in the community. And it was a significant discovery with an incredible story.


However, it was a bittersweet story as it also took a bizarre turn, with a very grim ending, that left the community in shock. R.I.P. Brandon.

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