News Article

Signed EarthBound Cartridge to Be Auctioned Off for Cancer Patient

Posted by Tim Latshaw

“For James”

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!)

[via earthboundbash.com, tinycartridge.com]

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User Comments (32)

ljinkakidd

#2

ljinkakidd said:

If you've played Earthbound, this is a really powerful story indeed. I don't usually say that about videogames either.

Discipledoctor

#4

Discipledoctor said:

Welp, time for another Earthbound playthrough. Thanks for posting this, stuff like this is just...enriching to hear.

Giygas_95

#6

Giygas_95 said:

Great story! That's really appropriate given what Earthbound is all about. I hope James is able to recover from cancer.

Kaze_Memaryu

#7

Kaze_Memaryu said:

That's really touching, to be honest. I'll see if I can manage to participate, just to send in some money - there's no way I'll get the game, though. It already sells for more than I can offer, and this copy has Ito's signature plus the donation background! The value of this very Earthbound cartridge is already skyrocketing!

shigulicious

#8

shigulicious said:

Great, touching story. So many sedimental stories about Nintendos products and experiences.

2Sang

#12

2Sang said:

Seriously Itoi is the greatest thing that ever happened to video games. Miyamoto and Sakurai both can make legendary games that people can play for years later, but Itoi created 2 (EB zero aged terribly) of the greatest games ever, games that can unite thousands of other fans that turned into a second family for most.

Undead_terror

#13

Undead_terror said:

The sad thing is that they already found a cure or something that fights cancer strongly but it's dirt cheap to get and doctors won't use it because they won't make much of a profit.

astarisborn94

#14

astarisborn94 said:

The thing that I always loved about Earthbound's fan base is how much they care about other people. Having seen Earthbound's fan base being involved in many charity for people, it really is amazing to see what the community does.

SomeBitTripFan

#16

SomeBitTripFan said:

It's always nice to hear there is good in the world. Even though I haven't played Earthbound, I have a deep respect for Itoi just because of how much passion he puts into his work. Hopefully his signature should be enough to make that cartridge's price skyrocket. Hopefully, James Hensiek will recover, and not be in any significant debt.

Einherjar

#17

Einherjar said:

Its funny that if we over here get such a diagnosis, we get to the hospital and get treated without any big fuss, because we are medically insured by law and dont have to auction off all of our most precious belongings just to have the chance to survive and a country like the US is fighting against a similar system.
Sadly, im not in a financial situation to bid in the auction to support him, but i sure hope with all my heart that it will net them all the money that is needed and that he gets his chance to fight cancer.

@Undead_terror Such is the world. Whatever is able to to make money will be used to make money. And since there is nothing more valuable than a human life, it is the most costly thing. You may haggle over a car, but you wont haggle if its about your own life. And with a system like this, its sad to imagine that people have to sell so much of their stuff, sometimes getting into a deep debt just to be able to life with the consequences. And even if you beat the cancer, the chemotherapy will leave you most likely in a state, where its not that easy to make back the needed money. And therefore i can not understand that a whole countra fights against a system in which you have to pay a monthly fee for an insurance, but get treated without questions when such a diagnosis comes up. Sure, a monthly fee isnt always that easy to handle, but if the case happens, its much more bareable than to sholder the medical costs all by yourself. It can literally save your life and make the time after the treatment much more liveable.

ogo79

#18

ogo79 said:

i cant participate this year due to my scheduling, but it looks like someone took one home for the team this year already!

StarDust4Ever

#22

StarDust4Ever said:

Cutthroat auction? That game's gonna return a crap-ton of money. I feel sorry for the second placed bidder though. :p

Deathgaze

#23

Deathgaze said:

As someone who thinks Mother is the 2nd best series of all time (Final Fantasy #1) I hope this sells for a lot!

Fuzzy

#25

Fuzzy said:

Great story. Hopefully it sells for a large amount to help out James.

KnightRider666

#29

KnightRider666 said:

This is a nice gesture indeed, but personally I wouldn't want anything written on my games no offense.

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