|Released on April 06, 1991 in Japan for 5400 Yen. Circus Lido is notoriously known among classic game enthusiasts, not for its qualities as a puzzle game, but for the unusual circumstances of its release. Although the game was (quietly) advertised in several Japanese video game magazines at the time, it was nowhere to be found in stores and went completely unnoticed. Because of this, Circus Lido was considered as one of the rarest PC Engine HuCard in the late 1990s, and the few rare copies that surfaced on the collectors' market snapped up for thousands of dollars (some even argued that the game was never commercially released).|
However, in 2000, this situation was about to change dramatically. For what seemed like obscure reasons, an increasing number of Circus Lido began to appear and the game's inflated value started to melt away... And the truth, being finally revealed in 2001, is one of the most memorable moment (and most painful for some) of PC Engine collecting history. Although Circus Lido was virtually impossible to find in the wild, several Japanese forums started to leak out that the game was available for its original retail price (5400 Yen) on Amazon Japan! To fully understand and explain this unexpected twist, we have to go back to 1991 - in reality, Circus Lido did see a commercial release, yes, not in toy/game stores but in libraries. It is not really clear as to why Uni Post company decided to only release this game in libraries, but this certainly explains why it went completely unnoticed and was nowhere to be found... until 2000, when someone discovered that Amazon Japan still had a large stock available at the original retail price. Circus Lido shows how incredibly volatile the collectibles market can be, and how speculation can cause the mighty to fall.
Interestingly, a special medal/key chain was made to commemorate the release of Circus Lido. 500 were made and given away to the first players (as long as they ordered it) who cleared the forty levels. It is however hard to tell how many were actually given away, considering how badly the game sold...
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