EarthBound is easily one of the hardest cartridges to acquire on the Super Nintendo. The combination of great game and limited quantities has made it extremely sought after.
Recently, a Gold level copy of EarthBound was put on E-Bay. Currently the bid is at $2,325, but estimates show it could go over $4,000. WOW.
Now, thank god I already own EarthBound. Seeing this auction did remind me however, of the day I got my beloved cart. Let’s begin, shall we?
The year is 1996, and me and my friend have just completed Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The game was incredible, and we wanted to see what other RPGs we could find for the Super Nintendo. Naturally, we heard about EarthBound and how amazing it was. Unfortunately, we lived in a small town and our only store for game purchases was Wal-Mart. EarthBound was nowhere to be found, so we moved on.
A few years later, I was reading a Tips & Tricks magazine and there it was in front of me, a preview for EarthBound 64! I quickly showed it to my friend and we vowed to purchase it on release, so we wouldn’t miss out this time. Well, we all know what happened to THAT game. It was cancelled in 2000 and revived on the Game Boy Advance as Mother 3 (which never saw a release here in the states).
Eventually, I resorted to emulating EarthBound on my computer to play the game, and what a beautiful game it was. It’s probably the greatest RPG I have ever played. Derek from Happy Video Game Nerd probably said it best when he claimed “no game has more heart than EarthBound.” Finding a physical copy of the game was officially a goal for me. I had to experience it on the original hardware.
Fast forward a few years later, when I seriously got into my game collection. Every Saturday, a local auction house held an auction on various items. I would usually check it out and see if I could snag any games for cheap. Unfortunately, I had competition: a local thrift store owner. This lady would always outbid me on the video game auctions, then sell her winnings in her store. Obviously this woman knew the value of some of these games, as she priced them accordingly in the store.
One Saturday, I decided to check out her store to see if she was attending the auction that night. When I approached the counter, I took a peek inside the glass case just to see what new games she snatched up, and there it was. An EarthBound cartridge. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and asked her the price.
My jaw dropped….inside my head. In reality, I was cool as a cucumber. How did she misprice this game? Who cares, I calmly said I would take it, paid my 2 dollars, and never returned (her store closed about 2 weeks later).
Obviously, this is a very rare deal to find. EarthBound regularly goes for about $100 for just the cartridge alone. To find it in the wild for $2.00? Incredible.
Don’t give up hope, readers. There’s a copy of EarthBound somewhere out there for you too.