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Tips for Buying EarthBound

May 1st, 2013 | Auctions, EarthBound

Every month I manually update the price info on buyearthbound.com so fans can get good deals and avoid spending too much money. Here’s the latest pricing data:

Average Prices:

  • EarthBound cart: $188 (down from $199, lowest: $100.00 / highest: $280.00)
  • EarthBound guide: $127 (up from $115, lowest: $114.99) / highest: $138.99)
  • EarthBound complete set: $628 (down from $713, lowest: $300.00 / highest: $3550.01)

It looks like prices have fallen a bit since last month as a result of the announcement that EarthBound is going to be released on the Wii U Virtual Console this year. But that announcement happened in the middle of the month… what were prices like before and after that? Well, I looked into that too, and there was a definite price change before and after:

Average April price for EarthBound cartridge before announcement:

  • $201.26

Average April price for EarthBound cartridge after announcement:

  • $176.77

I think that when the game actually gets released and as more casual gamers and fans start to learn that EarthBound is available on the Wii U, the prices will lower even more. I don’t think they’ll drop like crazy, but cartridges shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg anymore. Maybe just a leg.

Anyway, as always, check out good ol’ buyearthbound.com if you’re considering getting a physical copy of EarthBound – it’ll save you tons of money!


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19 Comments to EarthBound Price Update (May 2013)

The World Is Square said on May. 1, 2013

I’ve been eyeing the EB prices for a few months, and noticed this trend as well. I’d really advise people to wait a few months for prices to get even lower. You don’t want to jump the gun too early, and ramp up demand again.

2Sang said on May. 1, 2013

I’m expecting it to drop to around $150 maybe a little less. I think it will eventually just go up after a while.

DJMankiewicz said on May. 1, 2013

One of the bigger disappointments for collectors with the virtual console is the total lack of any of the original packin materials. The “manual” is as bare bones as it gets. I would love to see them fully scan in the original manuals so I could page through them. Both the 3DS and Wii U are tailored for this, as their secondary touch screens can be used to scroll through manuals and guides as you play (heck, you could write notes and highlight things, and more importantly, erase those notes later on).

Nintendo could do that and wouldn’t need to write their own manuals. They could just reuse “stock” instructions for the emulator on each game and stick in the manual scans.

In the case of Earthbound, yes, I really want them to add a fully scanned copy of the Player’s Guide to the game. It’d make the game bigger, but I don’t think it would be by a crippling amount.

(On that note, Nintendo Power has been cancelled, but that could work out fine. Nintendo could easily release ALL old issues of Nintendo Power on a special “magazine stand” section of their online store. Further, they could actually recreate the magazine as an entirely digital experience, replacing things like the fan mail section with a special community section. It could be amazing if done well.)

@djmankiewicz said on May. 1, 2013

Thats a good idea! i never played a wii u but i think it similar to the ds in conept anyway. But that would be awsome playing the game and viewing the guide

FlyingManCourage said on May. 1, 2013

I accidentally posted this anonymously earlier, so I had Mato delete it for me for re-posting. It basically goes along very well with DJ’s notion:

I can see the carts continuing to drop but no one seems to be mentioning the guide. Imo, it is a bigger part of this game than other guides are of their games. Chrono Trigger’s original guide still goes for a pretty good price and so does Mario RPG guide among others. Since a VC release definitely won’t come with the guide, I could see the price of the guide increasing quite a bit.

As someone who collects guides as well, I can tell you that no old-school RPG experience is complete without flipping through those artistic guides. I love them. I’ve got multiple guides for some games. The PSX Final Fantasies had really nice European guides that I like quite a bit.

To re-iterate DJ’s/my point, this particular player’s guide was a HUGE part of this game (even if it’s not really needed). I predict it will retain a higher value than other guides.

EpicJackman said on May. 1, 2013

You could always buy the Digital Soap version…that one is cool too.

Bill Lumburg said on May. 1, 2013

Um…yeah Nintendo. I’m gonna need you to goahead and include a digital version of the guide with the game. That would be great.

There is the scanned PDF version of the EarthBound guide, you could look at it on the Wii U gamepad. I don’t think the price on the guide will go up after the rerelease, but it would be nice if Nintendo would include a digital version with the download.

FlyingManCourage said on May. 1, 2013

^ Yeah….I’m gonna need you to go ahead and have those TPS reports on my desk by Friday, mmkay? Grrreeat.

The uniqueness of the guide, the fact that it served as a substitute for a legitimate instruction booklet, and the scratch’n’sniff cards in the back all point towards this guide remaining a valued collector’s piece. I’d be really surprised if the guide didn’t increase by at least a normal amount (meaning reflecting it’s age, etc just like any other guide). As of right now, it’s the only EB item in this article that has increased in price since the VC announcement and I don’t see a reason that trend wouldn’t continue (mostly based on normal rates of increase for items like this over time but also due to the immense popularity of not only EarthBound but this guide itself).

FTR – a reasonable condition Chrono Trigger guide goes for about $60 right now. Mario RPG guides can go for about the same. Those prices have slightly increased in the last couple years (CT’s used to go for about $30 about approximately 3 years ago). No re-releases have dropped the value of those books, so I don’t see EB being any different.

DJMankiewicz said on May. 1, 2013

I still have my Earthbound guide, my Super Mario World guide, and my Link to the Past guide. I also have 3 issues of Nintendo Power with a full part by part guide to Secret of Mana. All of them are AMAZING items to have. Super Mario World’s guide has a history of the whole Mario franchise up until the point of Super Mario World. It even compares details like running speed across games (measured per block) and things like Mario swim speed with frog suit in SMB3 vs swim speed carrying an item in SMW (SMW wins).

Link to the Past’s guide was incredibly detailed, including information on customs of Hyrule, beautiful illustrations, and storyline details behind a lot of the various and sundry items in the game.

The 3 issue long guide to Secret of Mana was told in the form of a hero’s journal. It was very well done, if not as detailed as a full guide would be. It too gave lots of background details behind things like the various weapon upgrades in the game.

All of those guides were actually translated versions of the original Japanese versions of those guides.

So let me ask this. How are the guides to Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG? Are they like, say, the Donkey Kong Country guide? (That guide was much more bare bones in terms of flavor. It was a robust enough guide in that it gave full maps and revealed the game’s hidden areas, but didn’t go the extra mile like the various guides listed above.) Or, are they like the guides I listed and the Earthbound guide, in that they add a LOT of additional details and flavor?

Stevesesy said on May. 2, 2013


FlyingManCourage said on May. 2, 2013

Chrono Trigger’s guide is a little barren. It reminds me a lot of the Nintendo Final Fantasy III (VI) guide. CT has great art, but doesn’t offer a ton of graphs and lists. It’s greatest asset is probably the breakdown of all the different endings and how to get each one. It has all the information you’d be looking for, certainly. I wouldn’t call the additional details “overflowing” but there is plenty there. The art of the book is what makes it worth getting.

Super Mario RPG is pretty scarce. I use it mostly for the lists in the back of the book because I always manage to forget something small and trivial. I wouldn’t put much value on it other than nostalgia and the fact that it is kinda rare. You’ll probably only see a select few on eBay at any given time (the official Nintendo American guide, that is).

For both of them I’d say only get them if you really like guides and enjoy perusing through the art and having an easy reference for weapon lists, etc. Neither are outstanding, but Chrono’s has some pretty stellar art. I have both of them. If you want to see some pictures send me a PM on the forums here or on Starmen.net.

The World Is Square said on May. 2, 2013


I thought you lit your cartridge on fire? Do you have multiple copies of EarthBound? ARE YOU HOARDING THEM?!

Stevesesy said on May. 3, 2013

That was a decoy to make people think that the supply was dwindling. I HAD A MASSIVE, STUPID PLAN AND IT WORKED.

JeffMan said on May. 3, 2013

I was at a retro game shop in Toronto yesterday, they had a boxed Earthbound for $700 and cartridge for $300 :X

DJMankiewicz said on May. 5, 2013

Thanks Flying Man. If the CT guide has a lot of unique artwork not available elsewhere, that gets my attention a bit. Otherwise, those guides sound like a pass.

The World Is Square said on May. 6, 2013

@Jeffman A&C Games, right? I like the store but they overcharge like kuh-razy.

mean_charlie said on May. 6, 2013

i posted in another thread bout the mach pizza air freshener i got the mach pizza air freshener sealed in package with congratulation note and the envelope it was mailed in mine also came with a iron on Mario patch that says i saved the princess around mario? im gettin ready to post it on ebay but not quite sure about the patch. it came with the mach pizza freshener but should i list it seperatly?

Mario500 said on May. 9, 2013

I suggest that no one purchases a physical copy of EarthBound priced more than $20 or bids more than $20 on a physical copy of the game with a starting bid less than $20. If enough folks resist the urge to pay more than $20 on those copies, the sellers who priced the game more than $20 may consider lowering their prices.


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