Tips for Buying EarthBound

January 12th, 2011 | EarthBound, Merchandise, MOTHER 1, Uncommon Knowledge

A really common e-mail I get is something like this:

Hey, I found this on eBay, I think it’s one of the EarthBound Zero prototypes! Can you tell me if it’s legit or not?

I get this question so often that I thought it’d be a good idea to make a post about it for people to reference.

Generally, if it hasn’t been posted about here or on the front page of Starmen.Net, then it’s almost definitely not one of the actual prototype cartridges. They’re that rare. Probably 95% of the EB0 carts on eBay are reproductions, not the actual prototypes. Only a handful of prototypes are known to exist, and I’ve tried to document their whereabouts in this article, though admittedly it’s not 100% up-to-date (don’t worry Roo, I’ll update it sometime 😛 )

Also, the prototype carts actually look like prototypes. If you come across an EarthBound zero cart with any sort of label or label art, it’s definitely not one of the prototypes. Reproduction makers tend to use a bunch of the same fake labels for their EB0 carts, here are two of the most common:


These are fake

The first one gets it wrong – the game is called “Earth Bound”. The second one uses artwork stolen from our good friend emilio, which you can see here. Never mind the fact that that Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo aren’t in the game whatsoever.

Basically, if a cart has a label, looks like an actually-released game, and isn’t mentioned on any of the big EarthBound sites, it’s almost definitely just a reproduction. If you read the item descriptions carefully, sometimes they’ll even say so. Sometimes they don’t, and pretend that it’s one of the actual prototype carts. Don’t fall for it!

Believe it or not, EarthBound Zero isn’t the only game that’s been getting this treatment lately, either. Fake/pirated Super NES EarthBound carts have been on the rise. Here’s one a PAL version of EarthBound that sold recently:

The problem in this case is that the game was never released outside of North America. Whoever bought this, they spent over $400 on a cart that’s been tampered with. Reproduction carts can go faulty very easily and will suffer from bit rot in as little as five years, making the games unplayable and completely worthless before long.

I won’t argue about the legality of selling these reproduction carts here, just know what you’re getting into if you’re thinking of buying a reproduction on eBay. Especially if someone’s asking for a lot of money.

 

Other Related Posts:

 

73 Comments to EarthBound Carts: Official or Not?


iwata kicks you know what said on Jan. 12, 2011

Thamks for the post Mato. There’s only one thing I have to ask though:
If someone is claiming they have an official prototype, and they really don’t, or the seller is saying it’s something like a PAL version of EarthBound, is there someone in the community that can flag the listing on eBay?

Poe said on Jan. 12, 2011

Luckily, it looks like no one actually bought that fake PAL EarthBound cartridge. I checked the purchase history and four offers were made last month that were all declined. Whew!

@iwata – yes, people with an eBay account can report fraudulent listings.

LakituAl said on Jan. 12, 2011

The second one looks legit… not! Knowing the Graphic Designers during the late 80’s early 90’s, most NES games in America had either pixel madness (see Wrecking Crew and Ice Climber)or severely weird art (See MegaMan!).

Also, does the European SNES have the same colored buttons like the Super Famicom? It escapes me at the moment…

Mato said on Jan. 12, 2011

iwata kicks: there’s probably a way to flag items on eBay, I don’t really know how it works.

LakituAl: Yeah, as far as I know, the European Super NES stuff looked a lot like the Japanese versions, including the controllers.

iwata kicks you know what said on Jan. 12, 2011

I mean is it possible for someone to volunteer to do so? I can’t make an eBay account, otherwise I would’ve already.

Poe said on Jan. 12, 2011

I don’t know how much good it will do now that the auction is over, but I did report the PAL EB cartridge as soon as I read this post. I didn’t want an unsuspecting person to waste all that money on a fake, so hopefully eBay will keep an eye on the seller’s account.

Earthbound_X said on Jan. 12, 2011

I’ve flagged many a fake Earthbound carts over the years, and people selling PC versions of Earthbound, which is just the ROM file on a disc.

So far, I’d say reporting fake items on eBay is pointless, since nothing I’ve ever reported has been taken down.

Poe said on Jan. 12, 2011

@Earthbound_X – I wouldn’t go so far to say that. I’ve been succuessful with reporting fake bootleg crap on eBay, but there’s so much of it being added all the time that the admins at eBay probably can’t keep up.

What usually works best is when a lot of different people report the same item, which seems to get eBay’s attention much quicker.

iwata kicks you know what said on Jan. 12, 2011

@Eathbound_X:
Well, that’s too bad. It seems the pepole at eBay need to step it up. Before EarthBound, I always thought of eBay as “If you want to get ripped, just go to http://www.eBay.com” (If you were wondering, now when I think of eBay I think EarthBound).

Someone Else said on Jan. 12, 2011

I own a few reproduction cartridges. I use them in order to play NES EarthBound (Mother 1) and the English translated Bahamut Lagoon on the real hardware. I prefer this to using emulators. I’m not really much of a PC gamer anyway.

My EarthBound repro looks quite like the first picture with the red label. I don’t like how it has the fake Nintendo Seal of Quality though. I believe that a fake cartridge should not pretend to be real. But oh well.

I love the concept of reproduction cartridges, but if people are passing them off as the real thing, that’s no good. Especially if they’re asking for a lot of money for them. If people want to sell reproduction cartridges, they should make it absolutely clear that it’s a reproduction cartrdige.

Epps said on Jan. 12, 2011

I wouldn’t mind buying a fake Earth Bound Zero cart as long as they don’t try to claim it s a rare copy. Means I could actually play it on my NES instead of my PC or PSX (not kidding).

@LakituAl I know for a fact that the PAL version of the SNES has the same looks as the Super Famicon as I own one. Never liked how the carts and console so so angular on the US version and I still wonder why the US didn’t got the same looks.

Halloween said on Jan. 12, 2011

Haha I saw that PAL Earthbound, the description totally billed it as legit too.

@Epps there are several sites where you can buy any NES game, including translations and hacks. They just put the image into a cart and send it off.

Andromeda said on Jan. 12, 2011

Oh boy. It was only a matter of time till bootlegers realized how much money they could make by selling pirated copies of highly popular games

astrangeoneEB said on Jan. 12, 2011

Seriously? I saw that PAL release. Highly fake, and even the art looks odd for it.

I hate ebay for people who sell fakes and do things like this. Fracking hell.

psi wolf said on Jan. 13, 2011

I ordered an EB0 repo cart but after reading about that bit rot… was it really worth it? I want my cart to last as long as possible..

…Do ALL redproduction carts go that fast?….
Could I replace the battery if something DID go wrong?
Is there ANYTHING I could do to make it last longer?

Like I said, I want it to last as long as possible…

Mato said on Jan. 13, 2011

I’m not sure, I don’t think there’s a whole lot you can do, it’s probably inevitable at some point. It probably depends on who makes the repro carts too and how they make them.

for clarification... said on Jan. 13, 2011

Wow. Maybe it’s me, but it feels like there sure is a lot of heavily implied bashing of reproduction here.

Quite frankly, I find absolutely nothing wrong with a repro, under certain conditions. Certain easy conditions, I might add.

Like a few other commenters have mentioned, I feel the need to also throw my hat in and agree that firstly, it’s totally not cool for these to be resold on Ebay, where the price is jacked up more than the repro site to begin with or claims they are a something they are not: Rare or a prototype. Which they are obviously not.

However, the actual repro site(s) simply asks minimal compensation for the time, shipping and parts made to construct the cart by a hobbyist (usually about a simple 15 bucks or so), fully intended and advertised as a collector’s or retrogaming system owners novelty item.

There seems to be people taking this the wrong way, or leaping to conclusions about what a reproduction is versus what an Ebay reseller is, and lumping every single repro into the same “scam” category, which it isn’t.

The Ebay price jackers and the ones misleading people that the repro is rare or a prototype when it isn’t… these are people that ordered the custom job, then turned around and resold it for twice as much.

But there are two sites in particular that make these to begin with, that aren’t trying to scam anyone. Just someone with a hobby, charging only for the construction and shipping of a casing around an unreleased rom that people were just going to emulate anyway.

However, there are a few people that still have NES systems, with an NES collection (like myself) who just thought to themselves “Man, it’d sure be cool to have an NES cart of EB 0 to put with my other games on the shelf, since there’s no other way to ever play it on a real system”.

And yes, to some people, playing it on a real system is just more important the PC emulation. I’ve proudly ordered one before, knowing full well what it is, for a small price (of constructing it, since I can’t solder and assemble it myself).

Anyway, I just thought that it was important for a clear line to be drawn between having a novelty reproduction of a never released game and knowing what you’re getting, and falling for a scammer reselling a repro that the repro maker would likely even be unhappy to know was being resold on Ebay for more.

And as for the bit-rot line.. Why do I get the feeling that was only thrown in there to try and dissuade people from patronizing the services of a custom cart building hobbyist?

The whole post seems to be a scary “consumer scam alert” warning post, unfairly lumping the repro makers in with the ebay resellers.

Yes, by the way, batteries can be replaced. Someone I know also ordered an Earthbound repro with a defective battery. He merely sent it back to have it swapped the battery for a working one. Or, in fact, one could simply order a battery to replace, just like any other cart that lives past it’s years.

I dunno.. It’s just something about the way this whole thing is worded just seems to me as if it’s saying “repros are all made by evil people trying to rip you off.” which couldn’t be any further from the truth.

I think, that at least in a small way, this post really could have been worded in a more fair and less biased way.

Long story short, in mine and many people’s opinion (especially those that have ordered them for a fair price, knowing it’s not rare and not a prototype, and are happy with them), Repros are fine.. but misleading people and reselling repros on Ebay is the scam, not the repro itself. And I just wanted to say that, I really think the two things should been made clearer, at the least.

Mato said on Jan. 13, 2011

Yeah, I originally intended the article to be about people finding repros on eBay specifically and them being confused/scammed into thinking they’re the actual prototypes. I can see why it might come across as you say, though.

I don’t mind people making repro carts so much (and if they clearly advertise they’re reproductions and if they don’t charge insane amounts), but if I see a site selling fan translations or hacks though, that’s where I personally draw the line.

psi wolf: Yes, you can change the battery in the cart, but that will only make it so your save files work. The game itself (the data and programming) is what will likely degrade over time.

[…] Feature here Permalink […]

Qiezei said on Jan. 13, 2011

I agree that if a reproduction/bootleg is being sold, it should be noted that it IS a reproduction/bootleg. Speaking as somebody who collects various unlicensed/bootleg video games, I can say that some of these bootlegs can be quite well-made, especially some bootleg-original titles from Taiwanese companies and such (Vast Fame, Gamtec, Gowin, etc.) It’s more of a chance of luck on how good the reproduction/bootleg is, unless you can identify the company/person who made it or if it’s stated by the seller.

Honestly, though, people are asking for WAAAAAAY too much for a reproduction cart that costs 1/10 of the price to make. Then again, everything Earthbound (except for Mother 2) is ludicrously expensive.

Qiezei said on Jan. 13, 2011

By the way, I think you should tip the seller off that it’s a bootleg (providing some evidence showing so) before immediately flagging it. Some people don’t do a whole lot of research or testing when selling their stuff, so you can’t always hold it against them, especially if it’s a sibling’s or whatever. If that doesn’t work, then flag it. I know that before I researched it, I didn’t know the difference between an official Pokemon Green and a bootleg version.

BIgjake52 said on Jan. 13, 2011

I plan on buying a repo cart for my nes and a pin conector, as I can not sit down at a computer and play it in an emulator, I think I might also get a turbo controller so i can speed up grinding,

Personally I’m not to concerned about bit-rot,

iwata kicks you know what said on Jan. 13, 2011

I am totally OK with repo EB0 carts, as long as they aren’t being sold for high prices(+$20), won’t get bricked and aren’t claiming to be rare prototypes. When I look through eBay and find stuff like that it really ticks me off. Though when it comes to games that were released in the USA like Super Mario Brothers or The Legend of Zelda, I tend to get ticked off, because I don’t support piracy. I feel piracy is a crime when the game was released in America and the ESA still has an anti-piracy act on the game.

Someone Else said on Jan. 14, 2011

I’ve never heard of this bit rot before.

What makes a reproduction cart more susceptible than an officially-made cartridge?

blahmoomoo said on Jan. 14, 2011

Reproduction cartridges can use low quality electronics if the creator is being cheap and less than trustworthy. Officially-made cartridges are guaranteed to use high quality parts. Also, it is easier to use EEPROM for the ROM rather than using mask ROM, since mask ROM chips need to be fabricated with the data, rather than programmed with the data. This means that official cartridges use mask ROM while reproduction (and prototype and bootleg) cartridges use EEPROM. So if the reproduction cart uses low quality EEPROM, it’s susceptible to bit rot, as the data is not hard wired.

I’m sure reproduction carts made by trustworthy enthusiasts use high quality EEPROM chips, but bootleggers may not.

EEPROM and flash drives alike can suffer from bit rot if the insulation around the parts that actually store the bits is imperfect, allowing the static charge stored by the part to slowly leak out.

Mato said on Jan. 14, 2011

Yeah, the biggest difference is that official carts use mask ROM ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mask_ROM ), while repros use EPROM. Actually, I think a very small handful of official carts use other types of ROM, so they’ll probably be in trouble soon if not already. And a lot of the Nintendo disk-based stuff (like Famicom Disk System and the Super Famicom BS-X stuff) is already suffering from it. Here’s an actual example (good one on left)

ASDFan said on Jan. 14, 2011

I’m not a big fan of playing games on my PC so I bought a EB0 Repro some time ago (Don’t worry, not one of the scam ones on ebay, I only paid $30 for it 🙂 ) and it works great! Never had to clean it in order for it to start, and it feels like an official cart.
The guy I bought it from hates it when people buy his Repros, and sells them on ebay for $100+. So I’m happy with it. 😀

Beefy said on Jan. 15, 2011

while on the topic of official or unofficial, it seems that some Wii Hackers have made it possible to do GB/GBC/GBA Injects and MOTHER 3 is one of their launch releases, it plays smooth as hell. smoother than VBAGX emu on Homebrew. google the below to find since im sure linking is a no-no.

[PRE] + Mother_3_ENG_Translation_REGIONFREE_GBA.iNJECT_iNTERNAL_VC_Wii-0RANGECHiCKEN + [ WII ]

Enjoy folks.

Beefy said on Jan. 15, 2011

“I can tell you, it is an actual feature. A great game to test this out is Mother 3. Mother 3 is known to run out of sync in most emulators. This makes hitting combos difficult if not impossible. Our inject release of Mother 3 on the other hand features a finely tuned emulator that fixes said issue. Mother 3 is much more playable in our injected version than in the GBA emulator.” – Post on Page 3 of the GBA Temp Thread.

Raise Your Voices said on Jan. 15, 2011

I’d be glad to get a cart of any of the three games! Poor Europeans never even got to taste EarthBound…

Alan's bum said on Jan. 15, 2011

The best place to buy reproduction carts is here:
(edited out) (shameless plug I know) Guy sells his reproductions cheep and they come with a lifetime warranty.

Starstormer said on Jan. 15, 2011

I’ve noticed a trend with these repro carts. On ebay very rarely do they actually claim to be EBZ prototype cartridges, they either say they’re reproductions or don’t say anything at all.

Mato said on Jan. 15, 2011

Alan’s bum: that guy sells fan translations and is apparently also the guy who takes people’s fan art to make the labels. That’s not cool IMO, so I edited out the link.

Roo said on Jan. 20, 2011

Glad you posted about this, Mato. I’ve actually had a surprisingly large number of people ask me about these kinds of carts for sale on ebay. Like others have said, I don’t see much wrong with reproductions, but people need to know what they’re buying.

And good call on the eproms. I was able to confirm (at least in my cart), that those chips seem to match others used by Nintendo during the same time period in other prototype games. It’s especially strange though since they don’t seem to have a numbering system that matches a lot of other eproms – especially when it comes to the date of manufacture.

Either way, I’ve got all that research written somewhere so that I can make a comprehensive update to all this madness one day. Let me know if you need any help updating the prototype tracker! 🙂

Mato said on Jan. 20, 2011

Roo: I dunno how to go about doing it yet, but I’ve been thinking of giving you access to edit that page so you can update it whenever something comes up or just to add all the latest info you’ve dug up on it. Not sure how to go about setting that up yet, but it’s been something I’ve been meaning to look into.

Roo said on Jan. 21, 2011

Well, I’d be happy to help however I can. Just let me know if you find a useful way to implement an info dump and I’m there!

iwata kicks you know what said on Jan. 21, 2011

ASDFan:
$30 is a bit steep for a reproduction cart, unless 3/4 of it was shipping or something. A more reasonal price would be $15-$20. At least this is my opinion. I don’t sell repro. carts on ebay, and I don’t know how much the equipment cost, but I imagine it shouldn’t be so pricy your selling the cart for $30.

cipater said on Jan. 22, 2011

I’m pretty amused, one of the people listing the repro red label NES cart for $100 is a poster on a forum I’m on – all he does is buy and resell games for cheap off of people on the forums. Kind of a cheapass, really.

Big A2 said on Jan. 25, 2011

I’m scared now. How do I tell real US EarthBound carts from fake ones?

Starstormer said on Jan. 26, 2011

@: Big A2

I haven’t seen any reproductions of US EarthBound carts so you shouldn’t have to worry. I’ve seen reproductions of PAL EarthBound carts but PAL SNES cartridges look a lot different from US ones so it should be pretty easy to tell.

Alan's Bum said on Jan. 27, 2011

@Mato
I don’t see any harm in selling fan translations, as stealing fanart on the other hand is wrong.
Although I don’t see your point in editing out the link.

Mato said on Jan. 27, 2011

Alan’s Bum: It’s probably harder to see from my perspective, but us ROM hackers and fan translators put a whole ton of work into our projects, probably much more time than people put into fan art, in fact. So most ROM translators don’t appreciate people profiting off of us, just as people who draw fan art wouldn’t like it if other people profited off of their art. I’m sure to some people it probably doesn’t matter, so that’s why I said I personally don’t approve of it.

ScReWaTtAcKeD said on Jan. 28, 2011

I would still like to get the red label repro, since I’ve seen it work many times. Still, start a rebellion!

Zeph101 said on Mar. 6, 2011

I’m not sure if you’ll still read this Mato, but that SNES one MAY be ‘legit’.

It’s never been fully explained but I remember reading quite some time ago that Germany had PAL releases of many SNES games (eg. Chrono Trigger and Mario RPG) that weren’t released anywhere else in Europe or Australia. The indication is the stylised ‘Pal Version’ in bold on the label, just google image search and you may find what I’m talking about.

There are three possible explanations: the first is that they’re all German re-pros (not unlikely). Or that this Earthbound copy is a repro trying to pass off as a German Pal version which would seem the most plausible.

The second is a not-well-known rumour that Germany was a testing ground for translating games for release into NTSC English, seeing not only how profitable sales were on numbers but also the comparison of how much the translation development cost to numbers sold.

The third is a highly unlikely rumor I’ve heard, that Germany had a Very loose relation with licensing of titles and had a dedicated translation group that just worked on every game they thought would sell well. This seems unlikely though.

I’m assuming you’d know a lot more about the history of this era of video games than I do, but it’d be interesting to read your thoughts about this.

Zeph101 said on Mar. 8, 2011

I COULD not find any images of these German Pal cartridges, no matter how hard I tried. I did however find some heresay evidence supporting the idea of German Pal releases for games that weren’t released anywhere else in Europe. Take from this what you will.
http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/715/

Mato said on Mar. 8, 2011

Sounds interesting, not really sure it was released in Germany though. I seem to recall someone posting here (or sending me an email maybe) saying they lived in a US army base in Germany and they got EarthBound through the base, but I’m assuming it was an import from the US.

I wonder if anyone from Germany can shed light on it. I don’t know any though 😐

Alan's bum said on Apr. 4, 2011

Your point is understandable. But when buying a repro, you’re not paying for the game itself, your paying for the service of putting the game on an actual cart.

Would you be POed if a friend charged me $30 for putting the Mother 3 translation on a GBA cart?

Mato said on Apr. 4, 2011

If it’s just one friend to another, then I’d probably be okay with it, though I dunno why money would come into the situation there. But once it starts turning into more of a business model for someone, I would definitely be POed. In fact, most ROM hackers/translators I know feel that way whenever they see their work being sold. One way to justify it is to say it’s the parts and labor that the money goes to, but they’d still be profiting off of others’ work indirectly – the only reason they’re making money is BECAUSE the translations/hacks were created in the first place. It’d be like selling other people’s fanart and saying, “Oh, no, I’m not charging for the art, I’m only charging for the paper, the frame, and labor.” I don’t think the creators of the art would be happy with that.

With ROMs, it’s a sticky situation since basically both sides are doing things less than legal. But personally, I don’t like the idea of people profiting off of my work without permission. That said, I understand why people would want to play these things on real systems, so I always feel conflicted.

Matteomax said on May. 22, 2011

Urk, I bought one of these, (The one with the red label.)I bet the anti-piracy screen will probably screw up my game… 🙁

6you7me said on Jun. 16, 2011

You know, I wouldn’t mind buying a repro of EB0, but I agree that the PAL version is probably a repro. I agree with Mato on this one,@Zeph101.

LocalH said on Aug. 21, 2011

There is no difference between reproducing rare/prototype games or reproducing fan hacks and translations (when the hack doesn’t involve heavy recoding of large portions of the game, as some advanced hacks do). I would guess that game companies feel the same about ROM hackers in general, as ROM hackers do about people selling reproductions. The point is that everyone involved is doing something they technically “shouldn’t” – the hackers by hacking the ROMs, and the reproducers by reproducing them. Now, if someone codes a game or demo from scratch, and it is reproduced on cart without their permission, it’s absolutely wrong on the reproducer.

If you’re against selling repro hacks but not repro protos, then you’re a hypocrite. If you’re against selling repro hacks but not repro rare games (like NWC1990 or VS Super Mario Bros) then you’re a hypocrite. I even know of one place that sells a repro of “Donkey Kong: Original Edition” which was bundled exclusively with European Wiis for SMB’s 25th. How is that any different than what you claim is wrong? Either repros are ok or they’re wrong, no middle ground.

Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011

@LocalH In this case it’s bad because these sellers are fooling people into thinking it’s the real deal

Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011

@LocalH And, as mentioned before, they can be real cruddy repros

Nintendonly said on Sep. 13, 2011

@Mato’s last January 27, 2011 post:

You guys should start selling repros of Mother 3 with your fan translation in it. Stick it to the man. Nintendo won’t do anything because they can’t do anything.

Zoom! said on Sep. 13, 2011

@Nintendonly Yeah they can, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

RadicOmega said on Sep. 19, 2011

Am I the only one who is willing to buy this? Although if it doesn’t work I can hack the cartridge to change the Name and Power thingy. I enjoy hacking things

Zoom! said on Nov. 16, 2011

PAL SNES cartridges and Super Famicom cartridges look so much nicer than North American SNES cartridges.

toadtoad12345 said on Jan. 1, 2012

oh god people are relly geting desprite for eb / mother / mother 2 i hope may be it comes to vc or 3ds

Ninten said on Mar. 18, 2012

Well, I must admit. I do wanna get a repro cart, but I thought they were scarce. Turns out there dime a dozen on the site hvgn showed, so basically not only are they frauding, but jacking the price of some independent sellers work. eBay sellers that’s way past not cool! And why do they stick the unreleased version? The hack demiforce made at least removes the disable stuff. The earthbound with no zero is insult to injury.

Absolute said on Jun. 11, 2012

I don’t understand why some people are making such a big stink about repro carts. If the bigwigs like nintendo are so concerned about “cracking down on piracy” then they could always just—- brace yourselves for this shocker—- RELEASE OFFICAL LEGAL COPIES OF THE GAME IN AMERICA!!

There is that whole concept of supply and demand. The Mother/EB series clearly has a “demand” so uhm,I don’t know.. maybe “supply” it to the consumers? Not only will piracy/hacking/bootlegs greatly decrease but the creators and distributors will make ALOT of money in turn.

Try looking at it from another angle. Authorities dictate that people cannot hack into the roms, translate them and then dump them onto carts. Authorities also dictate that people cannot buy said repro carts. The higher ups have deemed such activites “illegal.”

So then my question to the almighty gaming industry is this…. What is are “legal” alternative? We just don’t get to play and enjoy these games because you say so??

You have the technology to re-release these games but you don’t.

You can make ALOT of money by re-releasing said games but our money isn’t good enough for you.

I guess these people find it far more valuable to create “spooky” pop up nag screens and other bricking “security” software.

Just like Porky described Giygas… the one who is in charge of all this lunacy is an “Almighty Idiot.”

zqhappyville said on Jul. 2, 2012

I came across a reproduction cartridge of the first game the other week at a video game convention. The people selling it were asking for around $50. I chuckled inside but stared at it intensely for a couple of seconds considering I’ve never encountered one of those before. Not even two minutes later, as I was digging through a box of old game boy games, my eye caught a Mom handing over the cash for the game for her ten year old son. I wanted to go over and stop them so badly but I was so shocked that I just stood there silent. Needless to say, as soon as I got home, instead of playing any of the games I bought at the convention, I tossed them all aside and played some Earthbound instead . . . a real copy 🙂

Spidey501 said on Jul. 30, 2012

@Mato You know this has me thinking could there possibly be any Mother 3 Fake GBA carts? I know there are such things as fake GBA Carts like this one time on YT a guy bought a GBA game about Jackie Chan and when he put it on he got a message from the game itself saying whoever bought this was an idiot and stuff like that.

M1Fan said on Sep. 21, 2012

I saw an earthbound Reproduction on eBay and I thought it was a prototype because the guy had a picture of the game playing on his TV and it just said EARTH BOUND not EARTH BOUND Zero. I was so happy when I saw it I actually had a bid on it for ninety bucks. When I lost I was so bummed I thought I lost a the last prototype but now I know it’s just a reproduction so jokes on them!

SuperNess said on Sep. 30, 2012

I doubt its legitimate, I saw a prototype cart ( not In person) and it just had a sticker saying “earthbound”.

joe said on Oct. 28, 2012

i would dump the earthbound zero rom onto a bunch of carts in two different versions if i could. the first would be one with the zero in the title, the other would be like if the game was released. theyd both go for $15/£15.

Matteomax said on Dec. 30, 2012

It really sucks that the PAL reproduction sold for over $400..

Alex said on Apr. 30, 2013

I just bought a PAL version of Earthbound. After reading this article I now know it is a Fake. Here is the link to it.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/121098486680?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

Alex said on Apr. 30, 2013

Hopefully it works though. It will be fun, even if it is a reproduction cart.

Paul said on May. 20, 2013

I just bought the same game Alex, its clearly not genuine. I’ve asked the seller for a refund and will ship it back.

NessSmash said on Jul. 1, 2013

well even though there aren’t any prototypes for it, why are there no Mother 3 english prototype carts? i would love to use one of those. also, a bit spammy, but join my Mother/EarthBound Campaign on miiverse @DonkeyKongSmash
the goal of the campaign: Mother Collection game bundle for both 3DS and Wii U retail/download only! to regions outside of japan.

NessSmash said on Jul. 1, 2013

i mean not prototype carts, but reproduction carts..

Pkingninten said on Jul. 12, 2013

Mato, do these fake protoypes even work?

Mato said on Jul. 12, 2013

If you’re referring to the reproduction cartridges, then yeah, they usually work. Sometimes they’ll still have the anti-piracy issues that will make the games unplayable after certain points, so it’s often hit or miss.


 
 

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