When asked what games inspired the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creative minds behind the iconic series, jokingly answered "Crash Bandicoot 2."
While the comment garnered an instant laugh and cheer from the crowd, when all things settled down the duo's actual answer provided a much deeper insight into the passion the two have for creating something that is more than another videogame slapped with the South Park label on it.
"We're big gamers and I think what was inspiring the game was a lot more lofty than what we could pull off," Parker said. "I was a big fan of it and what I kept thinking in my mind was EarthBound."
"I haven't played it [EarthBound] again in forever, but I just remember something being about 'Oh wow, I'm a little kid in a house and there's my mom and I go outside my house and am fighting like an ant and a little mouse.' It started out feeling so real," Parker added. "I kept having in my head 'do I really want [South Park: The Stick of Truth] to feel like that you are a little kid and you're playing this game and bigger shit ends up happening.' But I really loved that feeling that EarthBound had of I'm a cute little kid in my neighborhood and we're running around playing a game.'"
In addition to EarthBound, Parker and Stone also noted that The Legend of Zelda's silent protagonist Link and the 2D/3D visuals of Paper Mario were other big influences to the to the design of the game.
That's a whole lot of Nintendo love guiding the way for South Park: The Stick of Truth and three more reasons I'm looking forward to the upcoming RPG. Looks like I found another reason to download EarthBound when I get back from San Diego. Not that I really needed one.