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Tips for Buying EarthBound

August 28th, 2012 | EarthBound, Images, Merchandise, Uncommon Knowledge

Olivier recently e-mailed me about a counterfeit EarthBound experience he had. Here’s his post over on Nintendoage:

About more than 1 mounth I was around Kijiji (Canadian seller/buyer website) and saw an Earthbound listed as an excellent shape for $140. I jumped on it and bought it to the guy paying by Paypal. After like 2 weeks I still didn’t received the game, and I saw he relist it on Kijiji. So I contact the guy and he told me it was a mistake (The listed game was his game, and the one I bought was one from his friend or something) and the game was going to be shipped for real since it was his friend who had it and he had some problems or something. Then 1 week after (3 weeks from when I bought it) I write to the guy saying I didn’t received it. No answer/no game 1 week after I contacted him. So I sent him a warning message saying I’ll active a dispute through Paypal if he didn’t refund me. Surprisingly he answer me pretty quickly this time saying something weird about his friend had the cart and it was a mistake again and he was going to shipped it to me.

So I just received the game today. When I opened the package and take the cart in my hands I already feeled like it’s had something weird. Label was too beautiful (really shinny really looking like a “like new” condition). Label looks also like it’s a little blury like if the printer isn’t that neat. The fake label have also some kind of «waves» on it. I compared the fake cart whith a real cart I already had and found some differences between the 2 carts, so I already knew I had a fake cart or something. I tested it in my Snes and it worked. Then I tryed to open the carts to see the differences between the 2 and guess what? The fake cart have some glue on one of the screw, so I can’t open it. Also it looks like they “damaged” the label a little to make it looks like more legit, but it still looks too “fresh and new” to be real.

You can see the full post with more details and pics here.

This actually isn’t the first time I’ve heard of fake EarthBound problems from Kijiji. Once every couple of weeks I hear something like this – I’ve never heard of any good experiences of EarthBound carts coming out of there. Basically, if you see an EarthBound cart anywhere for sale but it looks too good to be true, it’s probably pretty risky.

Here are some quick photos for reference:

If you recall, some of these same things were documented in an old post here, so this is certainly nothing new.


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18 Comments to More EarthBound Counterfeits

Ness1985 said on Aug. 28, 2012

*shakes head in disgust*

Brian said on Aug. 28, 2012

These people are just total dirtbags.

Jimbobimmy said on Aug. 28, 2012

I bought my Earthbound copy off eBay, and it was $152 Buy-It-Now.
I thought it was too good to be true, with such a low price for a Buy-It-Now, and that it might be a counterfeit, but luckily it was a legit copy.

Poe said on Aug. 28, 2012

Sucks that he got scammed, but I really appreciate the pictures.

manoverboard1619 said on Aug. 28, 2012

so briefly explain how its a fake.

Reficul said on Aug. 28, 2012

Did he open up a dispute for his money back, along with proof, that the cart was a fake?

Because that probably would have been the first thing I had done.

Halloween said on Aug. 28, 2012

This is why I’ll never buy used Earthbound (for so much money). There are SO many fakes, and you have to constantly be on guard by looking at things like stickers.
And what do you get if you buy a fake cartridge? The same thing you get with a real one. Yeah, I understand how it isn’t the original chip from Nintendo but what’s the point? You’re not getting your money’s worth or supporting anybody.
I like Earthbound as much as the next guy but it’s too ridiculous. With such a high chance of being fake I would never “jump at the chance” to buy a used copy for $140, $100, or even $50.
It’s a great game but not worth the ridiculous price.

Mato said on Aug. 28, 2012

I’d say the biggest difference, barring poor workmanship and such, is that repros with EPROMS will have a much shorter lifespan than actual mask ROM carts.

Tayo said on Aug. 29, 2012

Glad I have a legit copy.

Earthbounder said on Aug. 29, 2012

Wow them are pretty close thanks for the heads up but man the fakes look good

kal said on Aug. 29, 2012

Reminds me of how counterfiet pokemon cards always have slightly off text or slightly smaller symbols. The trained eye should spot these with ease.

Rina said on Aug. 29, 2012

what do you do when you end up with a fake copy? Just throw it out or send it somewhere or what? As an Earthbound fan, it feels like a big crime to make these fakes and I feel like the fake cart is an important piece of evidence, But in reality, there’s not really much we can do, is there?

Jondo said on Aug. 31, 2012

One thing I’ve been noticing with all these repro carts lately is that they just cannot replicate the small details. Just like with Corey/segaboy’s bootleg cart, you can differentiate between a real and a fake based on these things.

* In the fake, the Nintendo logo is too big and almost a little blurry.
* The purple triangle is also too big, and because of this, the right part of the arrow doesn’t line up between the “Ni” and the “ntendo” in the logo. Ozwalled mentioned this in the last counterfeit cart post, and this is true for all EarthBound carts.
* The seal approval is also larger on the fake, but this detail is hard to differentiate between. However, the color in a real seal is a true gold, whereas the fake one is tan or even a little orange.
* The most noticeable difference (for me, at least) is the code in the bottom left. The font is completely different from the real thing. It should a bold, small font type, but the fake is very thin, and the letters are just too big.
* Another easy thing to look for is the “TM*” by the logo of EarthBound. Most (if not all) SNES games have the TM by the logo, for obvious reasons. This counterfeit didn’t even try to replicate it and just left it off completely.

There are plenty of other even smaller details, like the asterisk next to the title on the top of the sticker and the stamped number on the back of the cartridge, but these are just the main differences I’ve been noticing with fakes.

RetoEnthusiast said on Sep. 2, 2012

Hey Guy’s, as an avid collector of retro games it of course pains me to see fake or counterfeit games being sold on Ebay as originals. It’s even worse when you see that someone has been duped and actually laid down the cash for it, I know this cart has surfaced before, but it’s back up again. Not only that but the seller has just sold exactly the same item a few days back to someone that I now feel very sorry for. This particular Earthbound seems to be dodgy in every way, including the fact that it’s a Pal version, and we know that it was never released as such, the original is US, yet the cart for sale is of Pal/Japan style, wrong sticker, price too low (as it’s boxed mint) and it’s being sold with a general looking Snes manual (to the best of my knowledge it didn’t come with normal booklet, it had an Earthbound strategy guide. I also noticed that the seller has his own website (even worse as more ways to get these prized games into the market) Oh and for the record it kind of looks like he’s also trying to sell a single drawing pin for £500.
Hmmm, do you think it’s worth reporting it to Ebay. Since it takes quite a while to save up for some of these specialized games, the last thing we want to find is that we have just purchased a fake and aided in the continuation of this happening in the future.

Link to item: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EARTHBOUND-PAL-SNES-/290768857879?pt=UK_PC_Video_Games_Video_Games_JS&hash=item43b32cab17

Link to item that sold: http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=earthbound+snes&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=&_sacat=0&_okw=&_oexkw=&_adv=1&LH_Complete=1&_udlo=&_udhi=&_samilow=&_samihi=&_sadis=200&_fpos=&LH_SALE_CURRENCY=0&_sop=12&_dmd=1&_ipg=50

TomServo said on Sep. 2, 2012

The seller said all items are custom made, he’s not passing it off as legit.

Corey/segaboy7 said on Sep. 8, 2012

This fake cart is almost exactly the same as the one I ended up with. Usually the biggest sign that it is a fake is the fake label doesn’t have the small yellow *tm sign by the Earthbound title. Sorry this happened to you man, but I certainly do feel your pain %100

Matteomax said on Nov. 9, 2012

Oh THANK GOD! You scared me for a second there Mato!

Mine’s totally real..

me said on Jan. 20, 2013

dude, in all realness, i understand that you wanted a legit copy, but damn man the game still worked so i dont see why you’d care, did you not buy the game to play it???


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