Part of being a fan of Nintendo's neglected series EarthBound involves spreading the word of the game and its fan-translated sequel as if it were a religion. I know I've been telling game-playing friends for more than a decade that they need to play the Super NES RPG classic, but few do (and none of those who have taken up the quest have finished it). As the original game pak becomes more and more obscure (and expensive) and with it's non-arrival on the Wii's Virtual Console, what's an EarthBound enthusiast to do? If you're a gamer named Chris with a blog at 1UP, you assemble everything a friend would need on a single CD and start handing them out.
I understand that the method I used to share these games is a little in the gray area, but... The end of high school was nearing. There were two people I had determined needed to play Earthbound and Mother 3. These were James and Lydia, respectively. Just hinting, "you should play Mother 3" did not get anywhere. So I decided that the best way to get the Mother series into their lives would be to hand it to them on a shiny disk.
The disks themselves came filled with a SNES emulator, Earthbound, GBA Emulator, Mother 3 with the English patch applied, some fanart/fanmusic from each game, and of course, links to starmen.net, earthboundcentral, etc. :) And so I handed these out like candy.
Way to go, Chris, for keeping EarthBound alive even if you had to dip into the gray area of the pool. This is the kind of emulation experience that I love in that we have a single person with a passion for a game who wants to spread the word. Back in the early days of console emulation on a PC, we didn't have massive ROM archives packed with every game known to man. In the beginning there were simple GeoCities pages created by people who really wanted to share just one or two games with the world. The downloadable ROM would come with screenshots of favorite moments and short essays on why the game was worth one's time. Now it's all about gigabytes of copyright infringement mixed with seedy advertisements. Today it's easier to acquire ROMs and emulators, but the soul of the experience has been greatly diminished.
(via EarthBound Central)