Note: I'm unaware of the exact details for each region, but I vaguely remember people claiming that other region(s) got a golden cartridge. I'm talking about PAL/Europe primarily, since that's where I call home.
The original two NES Zelda games had very cool, unique, shining gold cartridges. It really made you feel like you were holding a precious cartridge with a literally "golden" game inside. It had a huge impact on me.
As far as I can remember, Zelda "3" (A Link to the Past) for the SNES had a normal, grey cartridge, and so did "Zelda 4" (Link's Awakening) for the Game Boy.
But then, after all the years and years of hype leading up to the eventual release of the much-anticipated Ocarina of Time, I was 100% sure that they would once again use a shiny, golden cartridge. I was very disappointed when this fantastic and truly "golden" game got a boring, grey, normal cartridge. It felt wrong on so many levels.
However, the spin-off Majora's Mask, also very much a "golden" game, did actually get a golden cartridge. However, it was not "shiny" like the classic NES ones, but more "muted" and non-reflective. Still, it looks very good and makes the game seem special.
Still to this day, it bothers me that Nintendo "cheapened out" (assuming that this is the reason) and gave Ocarina of Time a boring grey cartridge, at least for the PAL release.
I'd like to know:
- Did other regions get a gold cartridge? If so, what did it look like?
- What exactly was the reason for the grey cartridge? Cost?
- If the reason was cost, is it known how much extra it would've added to the price for Nintendo? Wasn't it "worth it" after such hype for so many years, for this epic global release?
I want to make clear that I don't believe that it was actual gold covering the cartridge. Naturally, it was just spraypainted to resemble gold. (Although one might say that all of the classic six Zelda games are worthy of having actual gold cartridges.)