Many know of the game Earthbound for the SNES. However, many do not know that it is a sequel to a game that was released only in Japan. Well, back in 1990 or so, Nintendo made an announcement about Earthbound for the American NES console. They claimed i t would be due in the fall of 1991. No such luck for future Earthbound fans. For unknown reasons, the title was just dropped. Maybe someone stole it, or Nintendo thought it would be a better idea to release it for the SNES, since that console would pro vide better graphics. Who knows? Either way it was a bummer.
In January of this year, a man by the name of Mariotti, sold the cart for around $100. A lucky person by the name of Kenny Brooks purchased it. I believe that it was Neo Demiforce that bugged Kenny to the point where he offered to have the cart dumped (transferred into a playable rom for NES emulators) for $400. It seemed like a good deal for everyone. Kenny would get his $400 and still get to keep the cart and people everywhere would be able to play the English version of Mother on their emulators. The reason Kenny was not so apt to do this was the fact that the cart would depreciate in value. True, the cart is still one of a kind, but anyone can play it for free on their computers.
By May, it seems Kenny needed some money to buy a house, so the Earthbound proto seemed like the best bet for some $$. He posted it on EBAY on 05/07/98 and had quite a high reserve price. Many people were ticked off at Kenny for prostituting a cart. Kamikaze bidders just wanted to screw up his auctio n by bidding millions of dollars. A couple of days later, he cancelled the bids and gave out his reserve. It was set for $1,000! At the end of the auction, I was the high bidder at a mere 220 dollars. Man did I want that game. So, I emailed the guy a sking him if he would sell it for cheaper. Yeah right! He wouldn' t budge. I asked for some time to raise the money to buy it from him. He agreed to do so, but only if I agreed to buy it for sure. I agreed. Being only 15 years old at the time, getting $1,000 was quite a challenge. I had no official job.
I worked my butt off for a couple of months, digging ditches, painting, mowing yards, picking weeds, you name it. I didn't have anyone there to tell me I could do it. They all said I would quit. I showed them! I raised enough money in a matter of a couple of months as I had promised. Everyone I knew said that I was crazy. Without a second thought, I sent Kenny the 2 money orders of $500 and waited for the arrival of this marvel of a game. He took great care in shipping it(Thank God!). It had no front label, but 3 stickers on the back that were in the following order from top to bottom:
NES PACKET 23
To: Hiro Yamada / International
RE: Send to Mr. Yamauchii c/o NOCL for Evaluation
Date: February 21, 1994 Due: March 15, 1994
Property of Nintendo of America Inc.
The cartridge is very heavy. The day I received it, I called my best fellow gamer and played all night long. The cart took no jiggling to get it to work(I wouldn't dare jiggle it anyways!). It took my friend and I around 16 hours to beat. It gave a warm feeling when playing it. Kind of like all the programmers and game designers made it all for me. I still don't regret buying it to this day and never w ill. It is under plastic and bubble wrap as I type this. Definitely the best game ever.
This is a scan of the cart itself. Notice that the labels are on the backside of the cartridge. I believe this was to protect any tampering with the cart. The labels are cleverly placed over the positions of the screws. If the cart had been opened, someone would notice a peeled or punctured label. The front of the cart is just blank. No need to put up a scan. The one and only Earthbound for NES!
This is an ad from Nintendo Power. It is just a a TINY preview of the game that was to be released. Such a shame. All that was made was the prototype. Still, the ad is pretty interesting. After looking at this ad, I think I will start a new quest...
The prototype also had copyright precautions built into the game. Here's a frightening screenshot that would scare the crap out of any game lover. Luckily, the game still functions perfectly. There are a few specific points in the game that will give you this screen. I found out about this after I played the game! It's a good thing I didn't trigger this title screen!
The game itself was very enjoyable. It had the same comical atmosphere and gameplay that is composed in Earthbound for SNES.
A lamp attacking you? AHHHH!
Along the way, you will learn 8 different melodies. You need to know all 8 melodies to beat Gigue. HOWEVER, there is a glitch. You will be allowed to enter the domain of Gigue and not know all of the melodies! This is bad if you do not have them all. Without all of them, he cannot be defeated. I believe it was the last one that was easy to overlook and get you into trouble.
This is a crude map of the world of Earthbound that the game provides. It's not a bad sized world for an NES game.
This game is rated 5 stars!!!!!!! Get the rom off the net to play this gem!