EarthBound is all about strong bonds; not only within the game but also its fan community. There is nothing that may demonstrate this point more fluently in recent days than the story of a special EarthBound cartridge that will soon be auctioned off during the EarthBound Bash marathon.
The cartridge began in the hands of James Hensiek, who gifted it along with the box and player’s guide to his co-worker, Ben Bizzle. Several years later, Bizzle learned Hensiek had been diagnosed with cancer.
Bizzle contacted EarthBound fansite Starmen.net, relaying the story of his friend and asking if anyone may have connections to EarthBound creator Shigesato Itoi. He wished to have the game auctioned off to help Hensiek and his family defray their medical costs, and Itoi’s rare signature would add even more value to an already highly sought package.
As a matter of fact, Starmen.net did have a connection: a translator named Lindsay Nelson who had worked in Itoi’s office. A letter was written to Itoi explaining the request, translated by Nelson, and sent out along with the game.
Several days later, an email was received containing photos of Itoi signing the cartridge. He initially made the mistake of signing it “to James,” but made a clever and meaningful correction so it reads “for James.”
The full story, as told by those involved, can be found in the video below:
The signed cartridge will be auctioned off on 1st December, the third and final day of Fangamer’s EarthBound Bash. To ensure the greatest benefit for Hensiek and his family, this will be a “cutthroat auction,” meaning that although the highest bid will win the game, all bids will be collected as donations.
This auction is the concerted effort of many individuals doing their one thing in support of another human being. It’s an image befitting of the final battle of EarthBound itself.
Will you be tuning in to the EarthBound Bash auction? Are you even considering participating in it? Let us know below.
(Thanks to Tiny Cartridge for creating the post that caught our attention toward this. Keep spreading the word!)