Region: Japan
Release date: 20.12.1991

Japan was the first country to receive the Mega CD system, which arrived at the start of December 1991. Earnest Evans was one of the first games available for it, released exactly three months after the Japanese version of El Viento. This is the version that has all of the cutscenes (all in Japanese, naturally) and also has superior music, with it having the advantage of being on CD. This version of the game was only ever released in Japan, but you should be able to find it on eBay. The prices have increased a little over the years, but at most you should be able to get a copy for between 15 to 20 dollars.

However, playing it might be difficult as you'll need a Japanese Mega CD and Mega Drive, and getting a Japanese Mega CD console is going to cost a lot. There are import converter CDs available which in theory can play Japanese games on American or European systems, but I've never tried them and have heard they aren't that reliable.

Region: USA
Release date: 31.12.1992

Just over a year after the CD version was released, Renovation Products published the cartridge version for the SEGA Genesis in America. Renovation has also published El Viento in the USA, but they opted not to release Earnest Evans on CD. I can only guess why they did this, but I imagine they were more interested in the cartridge market than the CD one -the SEGA CD console had been released in America in October, so had only been out for a couple of months at that point. They may also have not had the time or money to translate the game's cutscenes into English, and hire voice actors to record the dialogue -although given the low quality of English voice acting in CD games around this time, this may have been a blessing in disguise. The cartridge version features new cover art for the box, which was drawn by an unknown artist. Earnest's design is quite clearly based on Indiana Jones. The art takes inspiration from the game's fifth level, with Earnest fighting bad guys on a train, whilst a plane attacks him.

The game is mostly the same as the CD version, but the cutscenes are almost entirely removed. The only one left is part of the intro sequence, which has been edited to just show a few shots of Earnest on the boat, heading towards the temple. The music obviously sounds different, although it was still Motoi Sakuraba who composed it -he had also done the CD version. The storyline was also re-written so the game takes place in the 1980s, as the back of the box reveals that the Earnest Evans you are playing as is actually the grandson of the one from El Viento. An advert for the game also makes it clear that Annet is the new Earnest's mother. There are a few other minor differences between the two versions, which can be read about here.

Renovation potentially had bigger plans for the cartridge version of the game, as a prototype of it reveals it originally had a much longer intro sequence. This intro was an accurate translation of the CD version's story, and mentions things like the Necronomicon and President Coolidge. Unfortunately all of this stuff was removed from the released version, and the story is only revealed in the manual and the back of the box.

The cartridge version of Earnest Evans has no region protection, so it'll play on any Genesis or Mega Drive console. At one point, the game could be picked up for next to nothing on eBay, but over the years its value has cryptically increased. It's not as bad as the price-hike El Viento has suffered from, but expect to be paying over $30 for a boxed copy.