If given the opportunity to launch something into the stratosphere, to dance among the stars ever so briefly in a show of humanity’s potential, what would you send? If your answer was “the greatest SNES RPG ever made whose localized title makes for good wordplay in that particular instance,” then you might be Ronnie Doyle, a 14 year-old high school student who sent a copy of EarthBound on a trip to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere.
Doyle got the chance to shoot a small object into space as the result of a birthday gift from his grandfather, who made a donation to a group called Earth To Sky Calculus that funds the launching of objects smaller than a lunchbox up where the sun shines. Doyle — realizing the chance for a sick pun when he sees one — decided to send his EarthBound cartridge, which is roughly $200 in value in today’s market. So they attached the sucker to a helium balloon and sent it up to the edge of space, a journey you can see in the accompanying video:
While there was a significant chance of the game not coming back intact, it returned to Earth safely, and Doyle still keeps it in his collection “unless someone wants to trade Stadium Events for it.” As far as he — and the rest of us — knows, this is the only copy of EarthBound that has not been earthbound.
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