Long considered lost to the ages (or to bit rot) Codemasters' unreleased Nintendo Entertainment System game Dreamworld Pogie has at last surfaced as a downloadable prototype ROM image, reconstructed using source code found on a floppy disk by the YolkFolk.com community.

Dreamworld Pogie is a spinoff game in Codemasters' Dizzy series, which saw a handful of titles released for the NES. Though Pogie was teased as a potential candidate for the Game Gear and for the Aladdin Deck Enhancer (an NES cartridge expansion module), development was abandoned prior to completion as Codemasters shifted its efforts toward 16-bit consoles.

It's remarkably solid for an unfinished game, as you can see from the video above, recorded by Lost Levels' Frank Cifaldi. The prototype contains at least 15 levels, though a bug sometimes prevents level exits from appearing. Pogie is also notable for featuring a clever bit of programming trickery, as discussed at NES programmer forum NESdev:

"Notice that there's a big blue area at the bottom of the screen," notes NESdevver tokumaru. "That's because the game disables rendering 23 or so scanlines earlier, so it more than doubles the VBlank time. This is how this game gets away with updating all those tiles even with a fairly slow loop."

The result? Some extra-fast gameplay scrolling, ala Sonic the Hedgehog...or Bio Force Ape, which appears to do something similar. The obvious lesson here is to never cheat for faster scrolling, or else your NES game will never be released.