If you thought that the Cheetahmen saga had come to a close with the demise of Active Enterprises, you were wrong. In an unexpected development, Active Enterprises has returned with a new game that promises to provide "the missing answers to the question of why Cheetahmen will be forever etched in gaming history."

Cheetahmen: The Creation purports to be a previously undiscovered Cheetahmen game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that Active Enterprises is releasing in a $499 "special collector package."

Limited to 500 pieces, the deluxe edition includes two copies of the game (one sealed for collectors, and one to play or trade), a t-shirt, an exclusive CD, a poster, and a reproduction of the Cheetahmen comic originally packaged with Action 52. The Creation is also available as a standalone cartridge, priced at $199.

The real story is only slightly less strange.

In reality, The Creation is "Action Gamer," an early version of the original Cheetahmen game found in a prototype copy of Action 52. Supposedly, "Action Gamer" differs greatly from the Cheetahmen game featured in the final version of Action 52, making it an intriguing bit of history for NES collectors and fans of awful games.

Cheetahmen: The Creation seller Greg Pabich (pictured above) notes that the game includes two playable levels, only one of which can actually be completed. Yes -- an incomplete version of an infamously terrible game is being sold for $499.

It's ludicrous, of course. And yet, considering that Cheetahmen II has earned a cult following despite being unfinishable and technically unreleased, this latest development serves as a logical follow-up.

Better still, Cheetahmengames.com teases a number of upcoming Cheetahmen releases, including Cheetahmen: Ultima, Cheetahmen: Resurrection, and -- God help us all -- iCheetah. Clearly, the Cheetahmen saga is far from over.