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Tips for Buying EarthBound

March 24th, 2016 | EarthBound

EarthBound has just been released on the New 3DS Virtual Console in North America! If you happen to have a New 3DS you can get the game for $9.99.


EarthBound on the Wii U cost a few dollars more than other Super NES games on the Wii U Virtual Console, so I was curious to see if the New 3DS version of EarthBound would have a price difference too. It does – other Super NES games on the New 3DS are $7.99:






I wonder why EarthBound is consistently more expensive. Anyway, if you have a New 3DS and want an official way to play EarthBound on the go, this is it!

(Also, to clear up any confusion: normal 3DS and 2DS users can’t get the game though, it’s only available on the “New 3DS”.)


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32 Comments to EarthBound Now Available on New 3DS for $9.99

Noah said on Mar. 24, 2016

I guess it’s because they already made money off of DKC, Mario World, etc. but they’re still working on making their money back from EarthBound’s initial bomb.
Or maybe they’re just extorting the fans, who knows.
Personally, I’ll do whatever it takes to get them to release Mother 3.

AwelCruiz said on Mar. 24, 2016

Even more expensive in Canada. After taxes, it cost me over $15 CDN.

Still worth it.

EdgeTheLucas said on Mar. 24, 2016

Nice! Hopefully we can receive EarthBound Beginnings on the 3DS Virtual Console as well, someday.

Also Mother 3 on at least the Wii U Virtual Console, if the rumors are true. It’s probably unwise to think that it will happen, at least. Us Mother fans are used to getting almost no recognition or our games getting almost no re-releases, so it’s probably for the best that we be glad they’re getting re-released at all.

Fred Bounder said on Mar. 24, 2016

YAY! Thanks Shigesato Itoi.
The best Earthbound game.

David B. said on Mar. 24, 2016

Maybe the potential legal issues with the music might have driven the price up to appease other parties?

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 24, 2016

At this point, I think the music concerns have been overblown.

I think it just comes down to demand. (Supply isn’t really a part of the equation when you’re talking digital goods, so I’ll leave that out.) People want Earthbound more than most other SNES classics, so Nintendo’s going to charge more, but not enough to turn people off from buying it. For my part, I’ll still pick it up to keep supporting the franchise. While Earthbound wasn’t the breakaway success Nintendo had hoped for, I really don’t think there’s some huge deficit 20 years later that they feel the need to make up for. Their fortunes have changed so dramatically, both ups and downs, since then that the effect of Earthbound’s sales are pretty much washed away.

My bigger concern is whether or not Nintendo has implemented “cross purchasing” for SNES games I already own on the Wii U (basically, just Earthbound, for everything else I’ve got the SNES original and didn’t feel my purchase was needed to support the franchise). Somehow, I doubt it, since they’ve not yet done that for other VC games. That’s disappointing because Sony has instituted cross-purchasing for their library of PS1 (and now PS2) games since day 1. I hope Nintendo gets on board with that policy soon enough.

In the mean time, I’m sure we’ll be seeing Earthbound Beginnings on the 3DS soon enough, and on both new and old models (since the NES emulator works fine on the original 3DS). My biggest hope is to see GBA games finally get sold on the 3DS store.

Ninfan86 said on Mar. 24, 2016

Woo-hoo hoo!!! I have been waiting soooooo long for this. I went and bought it this morning it was such a moment for me finally. Most think why not get it at some rom site but, honestly for me it’s just not the same. I wanna support the series I have bought amiibo of Lucas and ness. So worth buying a new 3ds for this game. I would have bought it on Wii u if my house hadn’t been broken into and stole my Wii u. I had over 75 VC games on it and about 22 Wii u games and about 175 bucks worth of wii/wii u stuff… Sucks still…

In concern for the price I expected it too be at least 9.99 at least. The reasons behind it? I am not overall not at the bit concerned about that. After all the waiting and petition over the years it’s worth it.

Third, I really hope players will support earthbound on 3ds I would like to see Earthbound beginnings happen as well and of course mother 3. My hopes, is that we will see more earthbound / mother stuff in the near future.

Ninfan86 said on Mar. 24, 2016

You finally!! So excited been a long waited moment indeed. I bought it this morning. I personally, am not overall bother paying what I had to pay 9.99 for all these years being a devout mother fan well worth it especially right before it was released on Wii u my console got stolen which was tragic. I hope earthbound beginnings is on its way to 3ds and mother 3 as well. As of now going to go play!! :))

Ninfan86 said on Mar. 24, 2016

Looked on Starmen.net shock nothing about EB… What’s up?

Mato said on Mar. 24, 2016

EarthBound sites like EBC and Starmen.Net tend to be slower to update about stuff these days. In my case it’s just because I’m busy and slower to react to stuff, the same is probably true of Starmen.Net as a whole too.

G.Wicks said on Mar. 24, 2016

Perhaps they increased the price because they know there is a specific high demand for the game…? Why not cash in? Just a thought.

Ayy said on Mar. 25, 2016

I thought they were trying to justify the Wii U price tag because they included the restoration of the player’s guide.

But I believe that was just hosted online for free. So that doesn’t excuse this one being 10.

Ninfan86 said on Mar. 25, 2016

Hello Tomato, been a few years I hope that wasn’t offensive to you me saying that. I have appreciated Reid and your devotion to starman.net and EBcentral over the years.

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 25, 2016

Well, all they did was scan the player’s guide. Actually, that’s a point of minor complaint I have about the Wii U version. They put it online on their web site to access, this is true, but they didn’t embed the file as the default manual in the download. Nintendo’s web site will eventually take down the player’s guide, maybe not even intentionally but as a part of some future major web site overhaul, and then it’ll be gone, so it would be better if it was part of the original download so it’s always sitting in the player’s Wii U memory to access.

The 3DS version also didn’t decide to use the full scan of the guide as the built-in manual, so it’s online again there. It’s worse with the 3DS, because it’s a portable system that will often not be in reach of free wifi.

Again, minor complaint, especially for someone like me who actually owns the player’s guide (the physical book is just a lot easier to handle while playing the game anyway).

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 25, 2016

Ninfan86, don’t worry about being offensive. Mato had to delete someone throwing out nonsensical racial slurs just a bit ago (as well as my Freakazoid quote response which scared them off but wouldn’t make sense out of context… oh what the heck check this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIIvpPGYjLs ).

Darktalon said on Mar. 25, 2016

Do you know anything about the darkened filter overlay on the game? Playing the game on VC causes the game to look much darker than it does originally.

Clockiel said on Mar. 25, 2016

Anyone else notice the sound seems a bit… off? Not a lot, but like it just doesn’t quite sound right in places through the 3DS speakers?

Ninfan86 said on Mar. 26, 2016

OK, I just didn’t wanna sound like I was whining or being rude to the site… I did notice the sound difference in certain music in the game on certain music scores but, not enough to bother me interrupt my play and nostalgia off childhood lol… I started freaking out thinking at first they got rid of spiteful crow enemy lol… My most memorable enemy aside from starman… Live this game so much but, now I want eb beginnings and mother 3 but, keep telling myself one miracle at a time… Lol

power said on Mar. 26, 2016

This is great and all, but I already bought EarthBound on the Wii U eShop. Why do I have to buy it again to play it on the go?

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 27, 2016

power, I’m totally with you. Nintendo needs to get on board the “cross buy” train. It’s the same game, the same ROM, the only difference is the emulator, so buying it once should apply to every console we own. It should be linked to our account rather than the console.

In fact, Nintendo has the ability to do this. They’ve been slowly rolling out a somewhat limited version of crossplay for a bit now. I’ve even linked my Wii to my old Nintendo Fun Club account, which is itself linked to my Nintendo Network ID, which I’ve just recently linked to the upcoming Nintendo Account (one really should have been enough, there was nothing wrong with the old accounts that they couldn’t have imported that data over to a new system without making us pick new logins all the time). Their limited crossbuy on certain games basically tosses out a code for the portable version when you buy the console version, and vice versa, but it’s just not enough.

There’s a lot to complain about when it comes to Nintendo’s handling of their digital store, but at least it’s getting better.

For my part, I usually don’t bother buying VC games for the basic reason of already owning the original games, easily within my reach as they are currently connected to my entertainment center (gargantuan beast as it is these days). I tend to prefer playing the games on their original hardware unless they are actually properly ported (VC games are, after all, just emulated ROMs). The biggest advantage is the save states, but I try to avoid those anyway because it feels like cheating.

With the 3DS, I can play games portably that I only previously could play on my TV, so I’ve got an excuse for the NES, Genesis, and SNES games at least. Though, in practice I still usually don’t bother because I can get those ROMs on other portable hardware like my jailbroken PSP for free (doesn’t really feel much like theft when, as I said, I already own the games physically). To that end, on my 3DS I’ve got the ambassador program games Nintendo gave away, and some of the “3D Classic” remakes, and that’s about it.

I do make exceptions though. I’ll pick up the occasional “Japan exclusive” game, for example, because it’s easier than importing a Famicom and Disk System to play, say, the original version of Lost Levels. Also, it’s nice to see a hacked version of Sin & Punishment with English menus on the store, so I picked that up too. This is also why I bought Earthbound Beginnings, even though it was just an emulated version of the same NES Earthbound prototype that’s been floating around online for years (it was never officially called Earthbound Zero, that was always a fan name and a fan hack onto that prototype ROM’s title screen, though “Beginnings” isn’t that good a name to me either). Earthbound is a special case though. Nintendo has been so hesitant for so long to bother releasing RPGs in the US (excepting Pokémon) that their recent decision to release a few Wii RPGs as well as Earthbound and Earthbound Beginnings seems like something I need to support with my money. As mad as I am about the lack of crossbuy for VC games, I was okay with buying the portable Earthbound just to support the franchise and RPG releases by Nintendo in general. That’s keeping in mind that I actually prefer Mato’s translation of NES Earthbound anyway.

Anonymous said on Mar. 27, 2016

LOL really? Why is this game more expensive? For the exact same reason the cardboard box sells for $150+. Because you hipster idiots are all irresponsibly shelling out ridiculous prices for whatever Earthbound-related items you can find (including thousands of dollars for posters, rulers, etc) and the people who make these decisions aren’t stupid.

You guys have set the market for this game. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Queue said on Mar. 28, 2016

30 Helen’s agree: A slightly more expensive EarthBound is better than no EarthBound at all. “I remember when it came with scratch and sniff cards!”

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 28, 2016

I’m pretty sure the fanbase isn’t the reason those prices are so ridiculous. I already owned the game for years before the price blew up on eBay and the like. I’m not hunting down a cardboard box or a random poster, because I already had a lot of those things. I’m not buying a used car air freshener for $300 or whatever. Also, being two bucks more expensive than than most other VC games isn’t exactly breaking anyone’s bank. I felt $10 was a perfectly fair price for a game that originally sold for around $100 off the shelf (this was during a time in the 90’s when the price of making carts had skyrocketed, so a lot of games were really boosted in price to make up for it, which certainly contributed to Earthbound’s sales being under projection).

Most of us fans are older gamers who played the game as kids. Those who didn’t were a lot more likely to just download a ROM and play it via emulator, until Nintendo finally started selling it, and yes, demand for Earthbound is going to be higher than demand for the 100th release of Super Mario World.

No, I’d say the guilty party are the “shelf collectors”. Lately, the hobby of game collecting has taken off like crazy. Finding certain previously common games like Contra has become harder, much less rarer games. Earthbound is plentiful contrary to rumor, but it still fetches crazy prices because it’s a big feather in a collector’s cap. I say it like that because a lot of the collectors these days treat their collections more like trophies than like games, collecting just for the sake of having the whole set with no real intention of actually playing any of them.

The explosion in game collecting popularity is why these games are going up in price by such ridiculous amounts. Earthbound is just one example. Try searching for Shantae on eBay and you’ll find that game doesn’t go for less than $300 on average.

Heck, of all the sites you could possibly decide to attack, you had to pick this one. Mato is one of the people who’s been pointing out regularly just how overpriced eBay prices can be, often recommending that people wait and look for lower prices rather than buy. These days, it’s as bad as it has ever been, even after the slight lull after the Wii U release.

Ultimately though, you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. I mean fer chrissakes, you’re complaining about $2! So you buy one less liter of pop that week and you’ve made up the difference. Get over yourself.

Dear Q: Do those Helens know the Daves I know?

AwelCruiz said on Mar. 28, 2016

I don’t own a Wii U, but I do question Nintendo’s reluctance to embrace cross-buy. Sony has been doing it for years.

Anon said on Mar. 31, 2016

since my last comment was removed (for the use of the fabled ‘J’ word?) but nintendo obviously know that earthbound fans will pay more for it and *ahem* scammed them, the same reason EB beginnings is literally double the price of ordinary NES games

DJMankiewitz said on Apr. 1, 2016

Anon, no worries, your post wasn’t removed for saying the word Jew.

It was the meaning behind the word, that’s what did it.

For more information, check this video:

Anonymous said on Apr. 5, 2016

DJ you are the king of making mountains out of molehills.

You write a novel to say things “I like this.” Come back to reality.

DJMankiewitz said on Apr. 5, 2016

Yeah I’m a bit long-winded, though I’m not sure what you’re responding to, or which Anonymous you are.

Alex said on Apr. 6, 2016

“Rated T”. So what was the point of all the localization and censorship?

DJMankiewitz said on Apr. 6, 2016

It’s pretty confusing, and a common complaint with the ESRB, what with them being this inconsistent.

The censorship originally didn’t have much to do with the ratings. Earthbound did get a rating, yes, but at the time no one was really sure if the ratings mattered, or if they would even stick around. In fact, there were some competing ratings boards at the time, and only the ESRB proved popular enough to survive.

The odd thing is that NOA would even need to resubmit the game for another rating. Movies being released on a new format, like Bluray, don’t bother resubmitting themselves for another rating, so why did Nintendo feel the need to? Is it part of the ESRB’s terms of service?

G.Wicks said on Apr. 11, 2016

Picked up a New 3DS and EarthBound, and I’m really impressed with how smooth and responsive the emulation is. It runs really well, in case anyone was wondering. The only thing I noticed is that the sound the springs make in the Lost Underworld is kinda scratchy sounding, but thats such a minor thing. The game looks and runs great! It’s awesome to finally play this game portably.

DJMankiewitz said on Apr. 12, 2016

The emulated versions of the game do overcome a few issues with playing on the original SNES. The opening demo with the iris-in iris-out animations on the original hardware tends to have little bits of static pop in and out around the screen during the “irising”. Also, this game is particularly susceptible to the “vertical bar” defect on older SNES hardware. That can be fixed, but it’s a bit of a hassle, and the easier fix tends to be playing it on a “1 chip” SNES. So, basically I’m saying playing it emulated isn’t all bad.


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