The bad news: the game would not play. No amount of cleaning seemed to help it, and so it robbed me of the chance to uncover the mystery by plugging it into my Genesis, showing it on my TV, and getting mocked for the aspect ratio and improper resolution.
Fortunately, there are other ways of identifying a game. I’ll just open up the cartridge and check the MPR code.
There we go. And the mystery game is…
…Alien 3. Well, that's according to this site, anyway. I can't be a hundred percent until I get the game up and running, but I think it's fair to call it now.
And I 'm not disappointed with Alien 3. The game, that is. I hate the movie even while I respect it as a competent film on its own merits, but the Probe-developed games aren’t bad. The Genesis version is solid even if it isn’t as pretty, as atmospheric, or as tightly made as the Super NES edition that I grew up playing. It’s a decent find for a buck. Anything better than Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a decent find for a buck.
The winner of this little contest is “Random Stranger” from the Something Awful retro-gaming thread, who was the only one to guess Alien 3. That saves me the trouble of having to send out two prize packages.
My thanks go to everyone who entered. It’s too bad this wasn’t some obscure, unreleased game like Devil Buster, Nuclear Rush, or Beethoven’s 2nd: The Quest for Pups. But I’m always on the lookout for unlabeled games, even if they don’t work.