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EarthBound

EarthBound vinyl photo
EarthBound vinyl

The EarthBound soundtrack is getting a vinyl release next year


Available for pre-order tomorrow
Aug 25
// Ben Davis
[Disclosure: I backed the Kickstarter for the Mother original arranged soundtrack on vinyl.] Earlier this year, independent record label Ship to Shore PhonoCo. acquired the licensing rights to release the Mother soundtrack on...
Camp Fangamer photo
Camp Fangamer

Camp Fangamer celebrates EarthBound's 25th anniversary for charity


PK Livestream!
Jul 18
// Ben Davis
A few years back, the folks at Fangamer and Starmen.net held an EarthBound Bash which raised $23,420 for charity. This year, in celebration of EarthBound's 25th anniversary, they're hosting a similar event known as Camp Fanga...
Promoted blog photo
Promoted blog

Better with Age: From the bargain bin to Japan


Promoted from our community blogs!
Jul 11
// Dengar
[For our next Bloggers Wanted promotion, Dengar tells us how EarthBound revealed more and more to him starting from his youth and into adulthood. Keep on truckin' with this month's theme, folks, there's more to come! - Pixie ...

Lucas goes big and goes home in Super Smash Bros. 4

Jun 14 // Jonathan Holmes
First, the cosmetic changes. Lucas now has alt shirts that feature his dog Boney, a baby drago, and even Mother 3 antagonist The Masked Man. Again, if you've played Mother 3, that will all mean a lot more to you. I don't want to spoil anything, but I think it's fair to say that seeing Lucas in that last shirt is a lot like seeing Luke Skywalker lounging around in a Darth Vader bath robe. It cool, but also a little creepy if you think about it for too long.  As for how Lucas plays, he seems to have all the same basic moves that he had in Brawl, but many have seen drastic changes. PK Magnet, his down B, is now much bigger, comes out a lot faster, does more damage, and can heal Lucas a lot more than before. Absorbing a fireball from Mario heals Lucas by about 12% now. It looks like he can only heal a total of 30% damage or so per stock, but more than that might be bordering on over powered, especially in light of how much more deadly this attack is as an offensive maneuver. Lucas's up smash also seems to have a larger hit box than it used to, traveling farther up and out than before. It's hard to say if that's just how it looks though, as Smash 4 is much more flashy than Brawl in general. We're also hearing that his rope snake throw/tether has longer reach than it used to, though he can't seem to use it to grab opponents in the air. It also looks like he can't combo for as many hits with his neutral air.  So that's a little about how Lucas looks in Smash Bros. 4. PK Magnet seems to have gotten the biggest buff in his arsenal so far, and the rest of his moves seem solid enough to keep him competitive. Sadly, he's already been banned from EVO, so we won't see how tournament level players handle him there, but I'm sure it won't be long before some professional Smash 4 player shows us more of what Lucas has to offer. 
Smash Bros. photo
It's hard out there for a PK imp
Lucas is one of those characters that people will play no matter how good or bad he is in a given Smash Bros. game. Mother/Earthbound fans are like that. Just look at the comments in the announcement post for Earthbound Begin...


Earthbound prequel!  photo
Earthbound prequel!

Earthbound Beginnings announced, available today on Wii U Virtual Console


Mother is finally localized!
Jun 14
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: Included special message from Mother/Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi below.] If you were hoping that Nintendo would announce the release of Mother 3 for the U.S. and Europe today to coincide with the Lucas Smash 4...
Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: EarthBound, The Last of Us, Mortal Kombat X, and more


Zen distilled stories
Apr 14
// Darren Nakamura
I wrote a thing about The Last of Us last week, and despite the use of measured language, there were accusations of extreme opinions on either side. Come on, people. That is not very zen. Find your nirvana. In this series, w...
Earthbound photo
Earthbound

Earthbound is back up at Club Nintendo


After running out of digital codes
Apr 07
// Chris Carter
Earlier this week we noticed that Earthbound had been removed from Club Nintendo, despite the fact that it's a digital release. Thanks to a tip from a reader, I logged into the service this morning to find out that it ha...
EarthBound photo
EarthBound

First Ness, now his game? EarthBound 'sold out' on Club Nintendo reward list


Sad-Ness
Apr 05
// Jonathan Holmes
[Please Give Us Strength art by Zarla] Pre-orders for the GameStop exclusive Ness amiibo went up last week, and it was pretty much a disaster. GameStop.com ended up being taken offline as a result, and in-store orders took up...
Mother OST photo
Mother OST

Mother original arranged soundtrack is being printed on vinyl


I believe in second chances and that's why I believe in you~
Mar 10
// Ben Davis
Mother (aka EarthBound Zero) had a very peculiar official soundtrack which, until now, has never been released outside of Japan. Rather than taking music straight from the game, composers Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka (Metroid, Kid ...
Ness amiibo photo
Ness amiibo

Rumor: Ness amiibo leaked, selling on Chinese auction site


PK leaker!
Feb 28
// Jed Whitaker
A Ness amiibo has been spotted for sale on a Chinese auction site and appears to be in European packaging. Currently it sits at about $55, though I don't imagine that price will stay there for long. Comparing the images in the gallery to the official Ness amiibo pictures, I'd say it looks to be the real deal. What do you think, real or fake? Ness amiibo leaked in China [My amiibo News]
Mother 4 trailer photo
Mother 4 trailer

Fan-made Mother 4 still on track, finally gets a gameplay trailer


Ben started sweating generously!
Feb 24
// Ben Davis
EarthBound creator Shigesato Itoi has already confirmed multiple times that he's not interested in working on any more games in the Mother series, but he wouldn't mind playing Mother 4 if it was made by somebody el...
Mother 3 fan art photo
Mother 3 fan art

Mother 3 hot springs man lovingly recreated with polygons


Yes?
Feb 11
// Ben Davis
YouTuber KamiWasa created a short animation of the mysterious old man from Mother 3, who is sometimes seen hanging out in the hot springs. It's just a quick loop of the man appearing and disappearing, as he often does, and u...

Experience Points .03: EarthBound

Feb 07 // Ben Davis
Know your enemy One of the first things that stuck out to me in EarthBound was the enemies. Once Ness leaves his house, wild animals begin to attack him. They seem like somewhat normal enemies at first; crows, snakes, dogs. Except they aren't just crows, snakes, or dogs. They're Spiteful Crows, Coil Snakes, and Runaway Dogs. They could've just been plain old animals, but these additional descriptors really make the enemies sound way more interesting. Why is this crow so spiteful? Where did this dog run away from? Am I beating up someone's lost pet? This is a running theme for all of the enemies you fight throughout EarthBound. You won't find any run-of-the-mill ghosts or goblins here. Instead, you'll go up against weird foes like Ramblin' Evil Mushrooms, Moles Playing Rough, No Good Flies, and the Plague Rat of Doom. You'll also run into humans gone bad, like the Cranky Lady, the Unassuming Local Guy, the Annoying Old Party Man, and the New Age Retro Hippie (a personal favorite). And then things start to get straight-up crazy, with unusual enemies like Scalding Coffee Cups, Mad Taxis, Crazed Signs (which are apparently from Ohio?), Big Piles of Puke, French Kisses of Death... what the heck is going on in this game? The wide variety of quirky, unexpected enemies really makes this game stand out; it's not going to be any old RPG. I mean, what other game has you beating up mean old ladies and possessed vehicles with a baseball bat? It's completely bonkers, but that's exactly what's so great about it. You really can't help but smile whenever you run into a new enemy only to find out it's called a Worthless Protoplasm. The 13-year-old homeowner While exploring Ness's hometown of Onett, you'll probably notice a house that's for sale near a cliff by the sea. The current owner is willing to sell you the house for $7,500. Since Onett is the very first town, there's no way you'd be able to afford it unless you felt like grinding enemies like crazy, so most players will probably move on and eventually forget about the house. Later in the game, when your bank account is literally overflowing (geez, Dad, don't you think you're spoiling me a bit here?), you can return to Onett and the house will still be up for sale. Pay the steep fee, and Ness will become the proud owner of a beautiful seaside cottage. The things kids spend their money on these days, sheesh... Then you step inside your humble abode and... ummm... what the hell happened to this place? There are gaping holes in the floor, the furniture is all torn up, and what on earth happened to the entire back wall?! It's just not there, it's straight up gone. Is this what the guy meant when he said the house had "an ocean view?" What a jerk! I guess this will teach Ness to inspect a house first before buying it, at least. You gotta learn these things young, you know? The strangest thing about this ramshackle house, though, is a weird magazine you can find in the open drawer. It contains an excerpt from a story called "My Secret Life" and describes an incident where a man tries to get out of a speeding ticket by claiming his wife is in labor, and then when the officer offers to escort them to the hospital, the man refuses and exclaims that the baby is actually a demon child. It's truly a bizarre find, and along with the decrepit state of the place, it really makes you wonder just what kind of person owned this house before Ness. A cure for what ails you Most RPGs have status ailments that affect your party during battles, and EarthBound is no exception. There are your RPG staples, of course, like falling asleep, getting poisoned, or becoming paralyzed. But then EarthBound gets a little more creative with its ailments. Ness and friends can catch colds, start feeling nauseous, begin crying uncontrollably, get sunstroke from walking in the desert, become possessed by a ghost, get turned into a diamond, and more. One of the strangest status ailments happens when a mushroom enemy scatters spores all around and you become "mushroomized." In battle, this basically works like confusion; you'll randomly attack your allies sometimes. Outside of battle, you'll have a mushroom growing out of the top of your head, and the controls will be all scrambled, causing you to move in random directions. These have to be removed by healers rather than doctors, and the healers actually pay you $50 for each mushroom, so it's almost worth it to be hit with spores. The effect is kind of annoying, but it always made me laugh whenever it happened, because of how silly everyone looks with a fungus on their head. My favorite EarthBound ailment, however, is homesickness. Ness is the only character who can become homesick, and it could happen randomly at any point during your adventure. This causes him to occasionally waste a turn with messages like, "Ness misses home," or, "Ness suddenly thought about his Mom." To cure homesickness, all you have to do is find a phone and give your mother a call. Is that not the most heartwarming game mechanic ever? Star-crossed sesames The Dusty Dunes Desert may seem vast and empty, but if you take the time to explore, you can find some really neat stuff out in the sand. There are items to be found, skeletons to talk to, sunbathers that sleep out in the desert (how are they still alive?), an oasis, a lost contact lens, and more. My favorite desert attraction, however, is probably even more difficult to find in the sand than the contact lens. If you're observant enough, you may notice a couple of off-colored pixels out in the dunes; one black pixel and one white pixel amid a sea of orange and yellow. If you try interacting with these tiny specks, you'll learn that they're actually sesame seeds, and they can talk (?), and the pair of them were once in love. The black sesame wishes he could apologize to the white sesame for hurting her, while the white sesame wants you to tell the black sesame that she still loves him. You can walk back and forth between the two and relate their tales to each other, which seems to bring comfort to the white one, and causes the black one to begin weeping. I still don't know why Ness couldn't just pick them up and reunite them. Instead, he heartlessly leaves them separated out in the vast desert like a jerk. It's still a lovely moment, though. Incredibly random, sure, but heartwarming nonetheless. And it's something that most players will probably pass right by without even noticing. Music to my ears It would be remiss to talk about EarthBound and not mention the music, but choosing a favorite song from the soundtrack is nearly impossible. There are so many wonderful tunes that evoke a range of emotions, each one more memorable than the last. There's the comforting song that plays in your home, the upbeat Onett theme, the silly shop tune, the pleasantly mystical melody of the Snow Wood Boarding House, the ritzy Fourside theme, the funky music that plays when you fight a hippie, and so much more. EarthBound's music is just as important for setting the tone of the game as its witty dialogue and modern setting. Ness' main quest revolves entirely around music, as he goes in search of melodies from his childhood and records them all in a Sound Stone in order to truly understand himself. Plus, you befriend and follow around a band, attending several of their concerts throughout the game. Music is a central theme, and the accompanying soundtrack definitely does not disappoint. I'm sure if you asked anyone who has played EarthBound what their favorite track was, you'd probably get a wide range of answers. If I was forced to choose just one, I might go with "Home Sweet Home" or "Snowman" (see? I still can't decide!), but I could easily make a convincing case for pretty much the entirety of the soundtrack.   An insignificant quest There's one side quest in EarthBound which is so hidden that you'd be hard-pressed to even discover it without a guide, but it involves a very peculiar item that never fails to make me smile. There's a man in the Twoson hospital who apparently left something very precious to him at the Threed hospital. You can go and look around for it if you happen to remember the man's offhand comment, but its location is not obvious. Rather than being inside of a gift box, like most items, you actually have to go up and search one of the hospital drawers. There you'll find the man's precious... "insignificant item?" Well, that was a little anti-climactic... but also kind of hilarious. If you try to use the object, you get the following message: "By using the insignificant item, you had a very fruitful experience that cannot be understood by someone who does not use something insignificant." For some reason, that message always spoke to me. It's like it perfectly describes the essence of side quests in general and what they mean to the player. They may not be important to the main storyline, and they usually involve searching for trivial junk, but they're oddly comforting to complete anyway. After this revelation, you can return to Twoson and give the man his pointless thing back. He's very thankful, and rewards you with a Magic Truffle, which is actually pretty useful. So, hooray! You had an epiphany and you got a neat gift! Hi, hi, hi! Even if you haven't played EarthBound, you've probably heard of Mr. Saturn before. He's that weird walking head creature with a huge nose, whiskers, and a bow that you can throw around in Super Smash Bros. There's a reason why he made it into Super Smash Bros., because he happens to be the most adorable, cheerful character in all of EarthBound. Mr. Saturns are actually a species of alien creatures who reside in Saturn Valley. They speak in broken English, which is characterized by a strange, swirly font. They have a habit of using words like "boing," "ding," and "zoom," after every thought, or shouting unexpected things like, "Dakota!" Just going around and talking to each Mr. Saturn is a delight. Their dialogue is incredibly random and silly; it's really hard not to smile at everything they have to say. They're also very peaceful and kind, offering you free coffee, free health care, and a place to rest. They like to eat weird foods like peanut cheese bars and piggy jelly (whatever that is) and play strange games like "ladder," where they pile up on top of each other. Mr. Saturns are just so innocent and positive that it's impossible to dislike them. I probably spent way too much time in Saturn Valley just playing around and chatting with them, but their happiness is so infectious that I couldn't help myself. "I so happy, happy, happy... Zoom!" Past Experience Points .01: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.02: Shadow of the Colossus
EarthBound highlights photo
Say, 'fuzzy pickles!'
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a p...

Y2K photo
Y2K

This new footage from the EarthBound-inspired Y2K looks soothing


Digging the style
Jan 05
// Chris Carter
Y2K is still in development, and it wears its EarthBound/Mother inspirations on its sleeve. The latest footage of the RPG shows the protagonist running around in the "East Mainstreet" town area, taking in the sights whi...
EarthBound photo
EarthBound

EarthBound documentary Kickstarter success leads to convention


The most passionate fan base in gaming strikes again
Nov 15
// Jonathan Holmes
The EarthBound fanbase is an ever growing blob of sweetness and joy. Just when you think you've seen how far it can go, it gets even bigger and even more happy. Did you know that the game was #10 on the Wii U eshop charts las...
EarthBound FanGamer photo
EarthBound FanGamer

Fangamer is going all out for this EarthBound project


Handbook, documentary, album, and zine
Oct 27
// Darren Nakamura
Fangamer has come a long way from its beginnings at Starmen.net. What started as a Mother/EarthBound-focused fandom now sells all sorts of videogame-related merchandise. With this current project, titled You Are Now EarthBou...

Missing EarthBound is my biggest gaming regret

Oct 18 // Jordan Devore
It's frustrating to hear people list off their favorite games only to find yourself unable to relate. The same names pop up, too. Each one another reminder that you missed out; that it's too late to get into this cool thing and fully appreciate it the way these folks do. That's EarthBound, for me. A huge regret. My biggest in all of videogames. How did this happen? I technically grew up with an NES but my formative years were spent playing Super Nintendo. Yoshi's Island, Mega Man X, Donkey Kong Country -- platformers and action titles, mostly. I'd stick with them for months, sometimes years, until I hit full completion even if that meant reaching 103 percent. Then I'd start over and do it all again because I was still entertained. Why stop? What I didn't play as a kid was role-playing games. No Chrono Trigger. No Secret of Mana, Ogre Battle, or Breath of Fire, either. Not even a single Final Fantasy. I could go on but my grave is deep enough as is, thank you very much. Truth be told, I often liked the idea of 16-bit RPGs. While their graphics might be crude by today's standards, they were grand adventures back then -- or so I was told. Some still are. I also liked looking at RPGs in magazines where illustrations would bring their characters and worlds to life. To be clear, this genre avoidance wasn't intentional. It just happened. I naturally gravitated toward a certain type of game back then and I'd get to own a select few titles each year while the rest would enter our home as Blockbuster rentals. RPGs simply weren't on my radar as something I was curious enough to try, at least not until Super Mario RPG came into my life. Yes, those sly dogs at Square got me and I'm not alone. They eased me in with a familiar setting, characters, and story before branching out into territory that was wholly new to me. Geno? Such a badass. I adored Super Mario RPG at the time -- still do! -- but for whatever reason my affection stopped there. It was exclusive to this one specific game, this outlier in my SNES library. I would go on to buy a Nintendo 64 -- not a PlayStation, as many friends did -- and once again spend my gaming time on anything but RPGs. (Until, haha, you guessed it: Paper Mario.) Perhaps I was exposed to EarthBound in the mid-'90s, but I don't recall; there are so many things about my childhood that have left my memory. If I was, I must've glossed over the game -- I remember not really knowing who this Ness kid was when Super Smash Bros. rolled around. Had I given it a chance back then, my shortlist of sins against RPGs wouldn't be up there. Playing EarthBound on or around its release would have put my interest in videogames on a much different trajectory. Opened my eyes to what else was out there. Gotten me comfortable with more passive, slower-paced games featuring rich stories that couldn't be experienced elsewhere. I can't celebrate EarthBound, not in the way you can. I can hear your fond memories and try to put myself in your shoes but, at the end of the day, they're still your memories, not mine. The game is within easier reach than ever before now that it's available on Wii U, so there's hope. I genuinely believe it's not too late for me to get into EarthBound. It can't be. [Image credit: The Spriters Resource, Hardcore Gaming 101, Secret of Evermore Wiki, and Starmen.Net]
My biggest regret photo
Sorry, Ness
Every so often on Destructoid, we publish a post celebrating EarthBound and, right on cue, I come away impressed. Whether it's Chad recounting an emotional, fourth-wall-breaking moment, Jonathan explaining the game's greatne...

EarthBound fan video photo
Four years in the making
Fans of EarthBound celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Japanese release a little over a month ago on August 27. Followers of the series are known for going above and beyond in celebrating it, so of course one would s...

EarthBound photo
EarthBound

EarthBound localization dev chats about the old days on his new Kickstarter


Art changes, daughter cameos, and big tanks
Jul 20
// Jonathan Holmes
Marcus Lindblom is a heck of a guy. Every time you think he's let loose everything there is to tell about taking Shigesato Itoi's Mother 2 and transforming it into EarthBound, he pulls out some new stories to shares. Right no...
Mother 2 photo
Mother 2

Import this Mother 2 figure set just in time for the game's 20th anniversary


Reggie Fils-Aime will continue to bathe in your tears
Jul 07
// Brittany Vincent
Takara Tomy Arts continues their line of Mother 2 (EarthBound) releases with these adorable gashapon figures. Ness, Paula, Jeff, Poo, and Mr. Saturn comprise the set and all are around 2.5 inches tall, with the exception of...
Earthbound photo
Earthbound

The Beatles, Beach Boys and Monty Python really were in Earthbound


An oldie but goodie
Jun 28
// Jonathan Holmes
If you're one of the many new Wii U owners out there who picked up the console for Mario Kart 8, or for all the exciting new games that Nintendo showed off at E3, you may not be caught up on all the great games already on th...
Mother 3 tease photo
Mother 3 tease

Nintendo pokes fun at fans, jokes about Mother 3


The platform holder strikes back
Jun 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Nintendo draws a lot of criticism for things it both does and doesn't do. Usually the venerable platform holder quietly takes it all on the chin, rather than responding to irate fans and hecklers. Not today, though. The Ninte...
Mr. Saturn  photo
Mr. Saturn

Stay cozy with these Mr. Saturn 'belly warmers'


Or you could just wear a sweater like a normal person
Jun 06
// Brittany Vincent
Have you ever had a hankering for an official Mr. Saturn belly warmer? I have. It's called "buying a T-shirt with Mr. Saturn on it." The cool thing about that is your shirt doubles as a torso warmer as well. If you buy a long...
EarthBound photo
EarthBound

Travel to EarthBound, USA in this fanmade documentary


Let us first travel to Happy Happy Village
Apr 29
// Brittany Vincent
Don't spit out your Cup of Lifenoodles, but there's some interesting EarthBound news on the horizon. Fangamer and Jeff Benson, whom you may recognize from EarthBound Saga on YouTube, are collaborating on a movie! Now you can ...
Story Bundle photo
Story Bundle

The eBook Video Game Bundle is out now


There's some great titles on the rise and fall of SEGA and Atari available
Apr 04
// Alasdair Duncan
The previous videogame-themed collection of eBooks from Story Bundle kept me well read for quite some time, so I'm more than ready to dip into the new 3.0 bundle. There's some really eye-catching titles in the bundle, includi...
EarthBound compilation photo
EarthBound compilation

Fan compiles all three Mother games for Wii


'MOTHER was turned on...'
Mar 18
// Darren Nakamura
EarthBound (Mother 2 in Japan) holds a special place in the hearts of many, but despite the clamor for it, Nintendo has never officially released Mother or Mother 3 outside of Japan. Mother went through official localiz...
Earthbound photo
Earthbound

Nintendo doesn't want story of EarthBound published


NDA prevents game's localizer from telling his story of development
Jan 19
// Wesley Ruscher
Earthbound stands as one of Nintendo's most beloved cult classics. Known as Mother 2 in Japan, the franchise's loan release in North America is still highly regarded for its unique setting and characters, and, above all,...

Sup Holmes gets dismal with Lisa's Austin Jorgensen

Jan 12 // Jonathan Holmes
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Lisa photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
This week on Sup Holmes we welcome Austin Jorgensen to the program. Austin is a professional martial artist and part time hunk, but that hasn't stopped him from setting forth on developing one of the most unhinged role playin...

Sup Holmes photo
Get to know the people who make great videogames
Last week on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes), we spent a fast hour and a half with Marcus Lindblom, localization and translation head on Earthbound. Having gotten his start as a tech adviser and game counselor, he was eventually ...

Earthbound photo
Earthbound

Fan recreates Earthbound with HD visuals


Artist Christopher Behr gives the retro cult hit a new look
Dec 18
// Alessandro Fillari
To say that Earthbound, or Mother as it's referred to in Japan, is a much loved and admired game, is an understatement. From fans creating charity drives, to organized campaigns to get the game on Nintendo's virtual console -...

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