strider.gifCourtesy of all-around great guy and Lost Levels forums member Chris Covell comes this rare video footage of Capcom's Strider for the Japanese Famicom (aka the Nintendo Entertainment System to us western folk).

This is significant for two reasons: first, because Strider was never actually released for the Famicom, and second, because this preview footage is from 1988 - nearly a full year prior to Strider's arcade debut. What you're seeing here is the earliest known footage of what would become one of Capcom's more popular franchises.

The console version was eventually released for the NES in the United States, sometime after the arcade game, with quite a few layout changes and modifications made. It would appear - and this is pure conjecture - that the Famicom version was cancelled in favor of an arcade release, and then re-visited and tooled with specifically for the American market.

The Japanese version is something of a holy grail among Famicom enthusiasts. In fact, a pre-release review copy of the game - the only one I've ever seen - was sold on Yahoo! Japan Auctions last month for 176,000 yen. That's over $1,500, for those playing along at home. Which, by our estimates, makes this blog post worth about $10.57. Score!