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Tips for Buying EarthBound

May 27th, 2010 | EarthBound, Merchandise

A few months back, an EarthBound (for Super NES) prototype hit eBay. It sold for many hundreds of dollars, and was never seen again.

Sam just messaged me and let me know that the cart is up for sale again by a fellow named DreamTR, for $1250. You can find more details here!

I doubt there are any significant game changes in this prototype – at most, there might be things like the Runaway Five still dressed in black, simple stuff like that. But it could very well be a review copy of the final build for all we know. But it’d be neat to know for sure. So if anyone’s rich, now’s your chance to get this super-duper rare EarthBound merchandise!


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43 Comments to EarthBound Proto For Sale Again

bobbyjkl said on May. 27, 2010

How many of these are thought to be in existence?

Mato said on May. 27, 2010

We only know of one of this kind. There was also this many years back, but it was probably a final build copy.

SmaMan said on May. 27, 2010

Hmm, maybe we should all pitch in as a community and get this? I’d definitely love to get my hands on this and check it out! Even if it is not too different…

neonix said on May. 27, 2010

The crazy in me wants to buy it right now, but the logic in me can’t spend that money.

I wonder if Roo or LT are/will be considering the purchase as well.

Ninji said on May. 27, 2010

Well, I WOULD try for this, but, I’m saving up for a Pac-Man machine, and soon enough, a dog (hopefully I won’t have to pay) Well, does anyone else know what’s the best $800 can get you? 😛

DoseiSan said on May. 27, 2010

Haha, funny you’re saving for a Pac Man machine and can’t get it, Ninji, because I just bought a Virtual On machine and I’m broke =P If only this had come up a bit sooner, heh.

LucasTizma said on May. 27, 2010

Hm. $1250’s a little steep. I’m actually in the process of consolidating all my debt and paying off all my credit cards, so I probably shouldn’t. :-\ Would be nice to play through it and see if there’s anything different though. 😀

Mother 2 kirby said on May. 27, 2010

I noticed it says “©1993 Nintendo” on it even though it has a piece of tape that says “Earthbound”.

GhostSonic said on May. 27, 2010

@kirby I don’t exactly see what that has to do with anything.

GhostSonic said on May. 27, 2010

I’d also love it if some one who could dump a rom would be able to buy this.

Roo said on May. 27, 2010


Noooooo, thank you. I think I’ve fulfilled my quota of crazy EB-related purchases for the decade.

However, it would be great if someone from the community were to pick this up. I’d love to know if there are any differences from the release version.

Hendricks266 said on May. 27, 2010

I’ve heard of DreamTR. He’s a prototype collector. The cart is most likely in good hands.

Gon said on May. 27, 2010

If only it could be dumped so we could scour it for changes and not pay a few months worth of rent to do so.

SmaMan said on May. 27, 2010

It would be awesome if it was that early promo copy seen in that interview with Itoi from 1992. And since it says (C)1993, it very well might be… I have about $5000 in my checking account, but I need to use that to pay college loans… 🙁

JeffMan said on May. 27, 2010

I’m pretty sure the English translation didn’t start until after 1993. It’s likely that they recycled the main circuit boards and simply swapped out the ROM chips (note that they’re removable) for different games.

MG said on May. 27, 2010

I have the money to get this, but it’s my parents’ money and I don’t think they’d let me blow it all on something like this, even if it’s a crazy-rare one-of-a-kind item.

Ginrei said on May. 28, 2010

Tomato, you should start a fundraiser and we’d buy it as a community! =) I would so be willing to chip in for that.

Ricardo said on May. 28, 2010

Hey, guys, the game itself won’t be any different, because it’s an Earthbound proto, not a Mother 2 Proto…

LakituAl said on May. 28, 2010


Let me quote Lex Luthor… Well, I better not. I’ll just tell you to take a look at this.


Even though Super Mario 2 is supposed to be a different game than Doki Doki Panic, the Super Mario Bros. 2 proto has some DDP exclusive sprites and other stuff. I know it differs from what we are seeing, but a prototype of a game localization must have been an unmodified Japanese ROM at some point and therefore have traces. It must.

Ninten said on May. 28, 2010

I want it badly but my 6000$ must go to pay off my debts T_T

meleemario said on May. 28, 2010

Daaaaamn! Someone needs to get their hands on this. I’d love to see this dumped so I can play through the prototype, that’d be awesome@

Violet said on May. 28, 2010

I hate sales like this. People only buy them so they can sell them on for more, to people who also want to sell them on for more. Nobody buying it actually wants to do anything with it. Its like an endless feedback loop.

Staarf said on May. 28, 2010

It’d definitely be cool if someone could get this dumped…

I can dream, can’t I? XD

Anyway, DreamTR sounds like a pretty good guy, so I bet it’ll be going into good hands.

(Plus, only a diehard fan would pay that much for an Earthbound cart @.@)

skyrunner14 said on May. 28, 2010

I’d like to second (third?) joining together as a community to pay for this.

Mato said on May. 28, 2010

I wouldn’t really feel comfortable trying to gather up a bunch of community members’ money in this situation, a lot could go wrong and things could get ugly fast.

If I were in a better situation I’d buy it myself right now and people could chip in a little to help compensate. But as it stands now, either someone with deep pockets will need to get it or someone else will need to try to organize donors.

neonix said on May. 29, 2010

If only we had that EB museum already, we could obtain this piece. 😛

Roo said on May. 30, 2010

Ok neonix, you’ve convinced me. Let’s get on making a museum. 🙂

LucasTizma said on May. 30, 2010

Well hopefully the steep price will prevent some random loser from buying it until one of us can afford to. :-\

neonix said on May. 31, 2010

I was thinking the same thing. I just want a real fan who will at least play through it to own it, not someone who will horde it and eventually resell it for more money.

tigurx said on Jun. 2, 2010

DreamTR is an avid member of nintendoage.com a nintendo collecting forum.

neomew said on Jun. 7, 2010

we all need to do our part in making our voices heard, nintendo needs to know how much everyone loves this game and wants it to come back again. come on nintendo give us back earthbound again plz. its 15 years and e3 is coming up. if your going to e3 plz ask nintendo about earthbound we mustn’t give up.

iwata kicks you know what said on Jan. 3, 2011

I would love to bid! (If only I had about $4000[it’s an auction!] and a Super NES.)

Cube The Starman said on May. 20, 2011

I was thinking, do you think it is possible if someone got the prototype and sent it to starmen.net or tomato to take the ram or rom and put it on the internet as a patch like the earth bound nes prototype? The same thing with Earthbound 64 if someone got the hands on the n64 beta cartridge and sent it to starmen.net or tomato to put it as a patch do you think it is possible? That would be cool though.

Matteomax said on Jul. 7, 2011

What about an entire video game museum? (and it has an entire section of Mother/EarthBound goods!) 😀

Casey Corrigan said on Sep. 25, 2011

I actually have a ROM dump of this cartridge, and have no problem sharing it with the community here, if it’s not been passed around by someone else already. I see this post is quite old, so perhaps someone else has beat me to it.

It is actually quite a bit different than Earthbound. I’ve only played the first 20 minutes or so, so I can’t comment on the whole thing, but what I’ve seen has been different from Earthbound. Some similarities are there though.

JimmyB said on Sep. 26, 2011

Holy cow, Casey. Pass it around, we’d love to check it out! 😀

Mark said on Oct. 9, 2011

That’d be awesome! Share it 🙂

Mark said on Oct. 10, 2011

Seriously, I’ll be checking this page every single day until that ROM is out.

GiegueFanboy said on Feb. 9, 2012

I have skeptisism regarding the legitimacy of this cartridge…

PsiReaper said on Feb. 9, 2012

How is the Proto? Still for sale? NOT saying that I want to buy it, but just curious.

Timothy said on Mar. 24, 2012

What is the current status of this Prototype? Who bought it?


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