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EarthBound

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
[embed]266680:51620:0[/embed]
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 -...
Earthbound photo
Earthbound

Earthbound Bash celebrates Mother for charity


Earthbound could be a life saver
Nov 30
// Jonathan Holmes
Ben Bizzle is an Earthbound fan. His friend James Hensiek is also an Earthbound fan. James has been diagnosed with cancer. When Ben found out about his friends diagnosis, he got in touch with Fangamer/Starman.net, who in tur...

EarthBound's English editor talks about his masterpiece

Aug 24 // Tony Ponce
Working from an essentially context-free text file was, as he described, "like free-form jazz." But such freedom allowed him to whip up real magic -- the jokes and Easter eggs are basically all Lindblom. He named a character after his daughter Nico, used his wife's name as one of Paula's default names, and called Pokey's mom "Lardna" just because he felt like it. He also confirmed and disproved popular myths. For example, the "BH" in Onett mayor BH Pirkle's name does indeed stand for "Bald Head." Also, the fact that Giygas sort of looks like a baby fetus is a complete coincidence. There's more at the Kotaku link below, so do give it a read and show some love for the man who helped make one of your favorite games that much better. The Man Who Wrote Earthbound [Kotaku]
EarthBound photo
Marcus Lindblom is happy that his writing is now remembered fondly
With EarthBound tearing up the Wii U eShop and finding its way into some gamers' hearts for the very first time, those responsible for breathing life into that world can look back on their handiwork with pride. Series creator...

Itoi on EarthBound photo
Itoi on EarthBound

EarthBound director Itoi reflects on what it means to him


Life, death, and playgrounds
Jul 30
// Darren Nakamura
The nearly twenty-year-old cult classic EarthBound means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. On EarthBound's official page, series creator Shigesato Itoi reflects on what the game means to him after all th...
EarthBound photo
EarthBound

Nintendo comments on EarthBound's pricing


Pricing is done on a case-by-case basis
Jul 22
// Jonathan Holmes
[Art by Zac Gorman] The cult classic SNES game EarthBound was released on the Wii U Virtual Console last week for $10. That's $2 more than most SNES Virtual Consoles games cost. A couple days later, we posted a feature on wha...

EarthBound: So what's the big deal?

Jul 20 // Jonathan Holmes
[embed]258465:49674:0[/embed] The granddaddy of modern surrealist adventure games The first time I played Pokemon, I thought, "Cool. This is like the new EarthBound." The similarities were everywhere, from obvious traits like the striking resemblances between the player characters, to "boy sets out on his own in a big adult world for a vaguely aimless adventure" theme, to the sense of humor, art direction battle system, and even the bicycle. The same thing happened when I first played Animal Crossing, and Majora's Mask, and Chibi Robo, and Snowpack Park. Almost every "quirky" Nintendo game released after 1995 seems to have some tonal or thematic link to EarthBound. It seemed to play a major role in forming the company's narrative identity. The game's presumed influence doesn't stop at Nintendo franchises. Persona feels a lot like EarthBound with skinny teenagers. Others have drawn parallels between EarthBound and No More Heroes, Retro City Rampage, Homestuck, and even the more ridiculous parts of Grand Theft Auto. The validity of those comparisons are subjective, but there is no questioning how much more EarthBound stood out from the crowd in the '90s than it does now. Fifteen years ago, nearly every videogame was a work up of some manga, Tolkien, or Western sci-fi/fantasty convention, and they almost never tried to be funny. EarthBound sends the message that the real world was just as compelling and extraordinary as any fictional world you could dream up, and it sent that message with a decidedly irreverent comedic bent. It was a wildly risky departure from convention, one that paved the way for many of the franchises that we take for granted today. Being a child doesn't have to be childish One of the main things EarthBound has going against it in terms or marketability is its mismatch between target audience and its surface-level appeal. It's a simple-looking game about children, which implies that it's a simple game for children. Like many of Nintendo's best properties, there is plenty for kids to enjoy in EarthBound, but it's not a "kids game." EarthBound is a reflection upon childhood from an adult's perspective. The game has been compared many times to Catcher in the Rye and works of Maurice Sendak, and for good reason. In EarthBound, the children are the genuine, selfless heroes and the adults are the ridiculous, misguided, hubris-laiden fools, caught up in classism, selfish ambition, and immaterial goods like "money" and "power" (but more on that later). It's all made more pointed by the fact that it's coming from a child's vantage point. While it's easier to see a child's place as initially disempowered and unattractive, their starting point of weakness only extenuates their displays of strengths. When Robin takes on a room full of gun-toting criminals, it means more than when a full grown man dressed as a bat, armed with years of training and millions in body armor does the same. The same could be said for all the children of EarthBound achieve (even that little jerk Pokey). A masterpiece of rebellious craftsmanship EarthBound does not look impressive, but the game's unified melding of music, writing, and visual design is masterful. The tone of sweetly strange obliviousness to convention is retained in every aspect of the game. The graphics often look like discarded doodles from a technically accomplished artist's sketchbook, which matches perfectly with the reams of NPC dialogue that lack even a hint of self-awareness or self-consciousness. The music similarly defies conventional characterization, coming across like the sonic sketches from a composer who is skilled to the point where even their most effortlessly constructed melodies are endlessly infectious. Beneath all that is a turn-based RPG that works to correct many of the genre's flaws. Unlike in Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or many other RPGs of the time, enemies appear outside of the battle scene, allowing the player to try to avoid them or even surprise them before battle. Even better, when you enter combat with an enemy that's far below your experience level, the combat ends instantaneously, netting you the XP and potential item rewards with none of the potentiality tedious combat. EarthBound focuses on minutia but never feels trivial. Everything in the game, from the dialogue of the most inconsequential NPC to the overworld sprites of the tiniest attack slug, feels intensely cared about while defying the status quo at every turn. A candy shell concealing a deep well of humanity EarthBound was originally released before the ESRB was in full effect. In 1995, it was rated KA (Kids to Adults). In 2013, it was rated T for teen. My guess is that upon initial review, the game was only scanned for nudity, blood, and swears, providing it with a "kid appropriate" stamp of approval. Somewhere along the line, the ESRB must have noticed all the stuff about America, politicians, post-traumatic stress, corporations, depression, capitalism, homosexuality, religious cults, and xenophobia. While I don't agree with the assessment that EarthBound is in any way inappropriate for children, I could see why some of this stuff could be seen as a little strong for some kids to process. It's hard to get into the better details without spoiling them, but I really want to. I really want to let you know that the last hour of EarthBound has had me thinking for years about my relationship with videogames, victims of child abuse, the meanings of evil, heroism, religion, and life in general.  I get why some people are angry that EarthBound is being sold for $10. It feels to them like Nintendo is selling them something that they could provide to the consumer for much less without suffering any financial burden. That said, I'm glad EarthBound costs what it does. I may be even happier if it cost more. This game has value. There should be no ambiguity about that. If you have any interest in poetic, experimental, heartfelt, satirical, or culture-critical games, then you will appreciate EarthBound. It does what it aims to do in a flawless manner. If that's not worth $10 (or more) then nothing is.
EarthBound photo
Why people care about Mother 2
[Image by Anonymous] EarthBound was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Consoles this week, with off-TV play and online access to the packed-in strategy guide from the game's original 1995 release on the SNES. Many fans of the g...

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The DTOID Show: Seaman, Strider, & Adam Sessler!


Together, at last.
Jul 19
// Tara Long
Howdy, folks! Max is off in Hawaii being attacked by giant birds this week, so I got television's Adam Sessler to take his place on today's show. For the record, his hosting skills are impeccable but his drawings c...
Nintendo Directs photo
Nintendo Directs

Nintendo debuts two mini-Directs today


Mostly on Animal Crossing, plus the Earthbound announcement
Jul 18
// Chris Carter
Today, Nintendo dropped a pair of stealthy mini-Direct presentations that mostly went over information we already knew. Specifically, both videos address the success of Animal Crossing, and talk a bit about Pikmin 3 and Wond...
EarthBound on Wii U photo
Wait what?! The classic RPG hits the Wii U for $9.99
[Update: Nintendo has confirmed today's release date and the $9.99 price point. You can find the official Player's Guide here, and the trailer above.] In a bizarre turn of events, Nintendo may be gearing up to release EarthB...

Videogame dolls photo
Videogame dolls

Too cute! Mega Man, Mr. Saturn, and Samus crotchet dolls


Aren't they just the snuggliest?
May 24
// Tony Ponce
D'AAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWW!!! Etsy member Sam Wilding loves making pixel art. Sometimes, his partner in crime Natasha will take Sam's pixel art and transform them into "amigurumi," crotchet dolls whose sole purpose is to sit there ...
EarthBound photo
EarthBound

Why is EarthBound for Wii U listed on Amazon UK?


Could it be... a trilogy pack!?
May 23
// Tony Ponce
After years of waiting, the SNES underdog classic EarthBound is finally coming to the Wii U eShop in America and Europe. EarthBound is the second game in the Mother trilogy, though the other two have never officially made the...
Mother 3 photo
Mother 3

Mother 3 fan translators offer their patch to Nintendo


... for free, of course
Apr 20
// Jonathan Holmes
Nintendo recently announced that they're releasing EarthBound on the Wii U virtual console in the U.S. and Europe. Then they debunked the theories that it hadn't been previously re-released because the music sounded too ...
EarthBound photo
EarthBound

EarthBound's music wasn't what held back VC release


At least not that Nintendo's Bill Trinen is aware
Apr 19
// Jordan Devore
There has long been speculation about the reason(s) why Nintendo chose not to re-release EarthBound outside of Japan. Given the passionate nature of series fans, the theories are, in short, fascinating to read about. One theo...
Earthbound photo
Earthbound

EarthBound coming to North America and Europe!!!


Get hype!
Apr 17
// Kyle MacGregor
EarthBound is returning to North America and Europe! Announced today as a part of today's Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata revealed that years of clamoring has not fallen on deaf ears, as the platform holder is finally preparing to release a downloadable version of the beloved RPG. Look out for it on Wii U Virtual Console sometime later this year.
HAWP: EarthBound photo
HAWP: EarthBound

HAWP: Anthony Burch is a big mama's boy


Loving tribute (sorta) to EarthBound
Feb 25
// Tony Ponce
Anthony tried to be a big boy -- get married, get a job, move to a new house. But the real world was just too tough for him. With a little prodding from Ash, he realizes that he misses his mommy. But does his mommy miss him ...
EarthBound on VC photo
EarthBound on VC

Japan finally gets EarthBound on VC, rest of us don't


Nintendo, why must you be so.... NNNGG!!
Jan 23
// Tony Ponce
As we learned earlier today, the Wii U will finally be getting a proper Virtual Console this spring, and part of the grand opening is a "Wii U Virtual Console Trial Campaign" in which select titles will be available for a red...
EarthBound photo
EarthBound

MAGFest: Bad Dudes to tackle EarthBound for next album


New Fangamer product line to include Bad Dudes album
Jan 06
// Jayson Napolitano
Despite numerous scheduling conflicts yesterday at MAGFest, we did get the chance to pop in on the Bad Dudes panel where they announced that their next project will be a physical remix album dedicated to EarthBound. We've bee...
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Shigesato Itoi hints at something related to Mother


This can't possibly end in disappointment
Dec 21
// Jordan Devore
The folks at EarthBound Central have been following Mother designer Shigesato Itoi's Twitter like they presumably always do, and apparently something is a brewing. The outlet translated two recent tweets: "Since it's now okay...
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Duane & BrandO are... the Runaway Five!


The greatest Blues Brothers knockoff this side of Twoson!
Dec 02
// Tony Ponce
Duane and BrandO, of the recently reformed The Adventures of DnB, are doing their best Jake and Elwood impersonations as they take to the stage as EarthBound's famous jazz band Runaway Five. Duane is Gorgeous, BrandO is Luck...
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The return of The Adventures of Duane & BrandO!


MAH BAWLS!
Nov 11
// Tony Ponce
The first "game music with lyrics" group I remember falling in love with was The Adventures of Duane & BrandO, the white boy nerdcore tag team of Duane Zuwala and Brandon Lackey. Their curse-laden rhymes were loads of fu...

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