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

10:00 PM on 06.28.2014 // Jonathan Holmes

An oldie but goodie

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 the thing. Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, Rayman Legends, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, ZombiU and The Wonderful 101 at retail. Ittle Dew, Little Inferno, Mighty Switch Force! HD, 1001 Spikes, Pushmo World, and Shovel Knight on the eShop. Those are some pretty neat videogames, guys.

One that I'm worried will get overlooked (again) is Earthbound, the game that best defines a side of Nintendo that we don't see enough of these days. Its release on the Wii U virtual console reportedly has seen more sales than its original run on the SNES, which is great, but I still get the feeling that the game is yet to find its full audience.

Sadly, Nintendo is in part to blame for Earthbound's under exposure. They did make a nifty trailer for it a while back, but they've also stayed away from releasing the game's multiple re-issues (Wii VC, DS) and its lone sequel (Mother 3) outside of Japan for years. Many believed this was because the game features samples from The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and the opening theme to Monty Python's Flying Circus.

That explanation never washed with me, as that didn't stop it from being released on the SNES in the first place, or from being rereleased in Japan a bunch of times. The 80s and 90s were a glorious time for sampling without recourse, and Earthbound was just another part of that. Just look at how many times La Di Da Di was sampled. If Biggie and Miley can do it, so can Iwata and Itoi. 

So this may be old news, but it's fun news that not everyone might know, so here it is. Also, Earthbound was on Frasier, and you weren't. All the more reason you should want to play it and or read old news about it all day.

Jonathan Holmes, Bad Joke Uncle
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"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Ju... more   |   staff directory

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