DescriptionIn the year 199X, in the village of Onett, on the continent of Eagleland...
Young Ness was asleep one night when a loud crashing noise awoke him suddenly. As he rushes out of bed and up to a nearby hill, he encounters a strange meteor, carrying a single passenger: a mysterious insect-like being named Buzz Buzz. Buzz Buzz tells him that in the future, an evil alien being known as Giygas has conquered the world, and the only one who can stop him are four young kids: three boys and a girl. Ness, of course, is one of the chosen ones, and he must find the other three children: Paula, a young girl with remarkable psychic powers, Jeff, a mechanical genius, and Poo, the young Prince of Dahlaam. Together, these four friends have the power to defeat Giygas and save the world from his chaotic reign!
EarthBound is a sequel to Mother. It is a top-down role-playing game in which the heroes travel around Eagleland and various other, exotic countries, trying to end Giygas' evil influence.
On the way, Ness and his friends will encounter a lot of enemies and battle them in turn-based combat. Unlike in the previous game, enemies are visibly walking on the screen. Each turn, each of the characters in the party can attack with their weapons, use a special ability (some characters have powerful psychic powers that can hurt enemies, heal comrades and more; some also have some other, unique special powers), use an item or try and escape.
The game features "rolling HP meters" - when a character is dealt damage, it's not all taken away from his HP right away, but instead his HP decreases slowly; if the combat is ended quickly, even a massively damaging attack can leave a character with only minor injuries. By winning battles, characters receive experience and thus become stronger. If the player-controlled characters are strong enough, weak enemies will escape from them instead of trying to attack; when chased down, they will be defeated instantly.
Saving the game is done by finding a telephone and calling Ness' father. When the heroes defeat enemies, Ness' bank account receives money, which can be then retrieved from ATM machines throughout the game and spent in shops to buy better equipment or useful items.
- "MOTHER 2 ギーグの逆襲" -- Japanese spelling
- "Mother 2: Gīgu no Gyakushū" -- Japanese title
Part of the Following Groups
|Lightheartedly poking fun, 16-bit style||SNES||prymusferal (25)|
|Awesome Game||SNES||KFactor (98)|
|Good game, if you don't mind the kinks||SNES||Idkbutlike2 (23)|
|This game is pretty fun; try it out!||SNES||Quincy Phaeoile (3)|
|Greatly passes up Mother by far!||SNES||Dason Rise (20)|
|A classic....||SNES||Andrew Douglas (10)|
|A game different even in this era||SNES||SlapHappy (19)|
|Earthbound Review||SNES||Blake Smith (6)|
|I hate Earthbound!!!||SNES||Andrew Taylor (8)|
|Nintendo Life||New Nintendo 3DS||Mar 12, 2016||100|
|Nintendojo||SNES||Feb 28, 2004||9 out of 10||90|
|Lens of Truth||SNES||May 02, 2011||9 out of 10||90|
|RPGFan||SNES||Aug 09, 2000||88 out of 100||88|
|Nintendo Land||SNES||Sep 13, 2003||85 out of 100||85|
|RPGFan||SNES||Feb 02, 1999||80 out of 100||80|
|All Game Guide||SNES||2007||80|
|GameCola.net||SNES||May, 2003||7.2 out of 10||72|
|GamePro (US)||SNES||Jul, 1995||3.5 out of 5||70|
|Game Players||SNES||Jul, 1995||69 out of 100||69|
|Topic||# Posts||Last Post|
|Free Player's Guide?||2||Alaka (55033)
Jun 15, 2011
1001 Video GamesThe SNES version of EarthBound appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
AdvertisementThe game's advertising campaign in the U.S. was quite a disaster. Apparently, the higher-ups at Nintendo of America decided that "kids like farts!" and thus, the ads ran in the magazines all exaggerated the (few and far between) "toilet humor" elements of the game, making the game look like an endless string of burping, puking and farting. (The ads also included scratch-n-sniff stickers.)
The advertising slogan even said: "This game stinks." Who knows how much this contributed to EarthBound's low sales.
A webpage with more info and scans of magazine ads can be found in the related links section.
Copy protectionThe cartridge has a built-in copy protection with nasty effects for pirates. If a hacked game (which bypasses the first layer of protection which would simply prevent the game from starting) is played, there are a lot more random encounters in the game world. If a player endures this, it will freeze during the final battle and delete all save games. More information can be found on the fansite EarthBound Central.
DevelopmentShigesato Itoi, the creator of EarthBound, added a few personal details to the game.
Firstly, Ness's father never appears in person. According to an article from an issue of Edge magazine (either a classic feature on EarthBound or a review of Mother 3), this was inspired by the fact that Itoi's own father was absent for a great part of his childhood.
Secondly, the dialogue of Giygas was inspired by a traumatic childhood experience where Itoi mistakenly walked into an adult movie theatre and caught a glimpse of a sex/rape scene in the 1957 movie Kenpei and the Dismembered Beauty.
- At one point in the Japanese version of EarthBound, Pokey and Picky are punished by their dad for coming home late. He takes them off-screen, and a noise is heard resembling hitting/slapping. If you talk to Pokey afterwards, he complains that his "butt hurts." When Mother 2 was translated for the US, the "hitting" sound effect was changed to a shorter, more comical effect, resembling "yelling". When you talk to Pokey afterwards, instead of complaining about his butt, he whines that his dad took away his dessert privileges.
- In the Japanese version of the game, at a certain point, the main character Ness is nude. This was changed to having Ness appear in his pajamas for the North American release. However, on close inspection of the strategy guide (page 111), there is an image of Ness in the nude on the bottom left of the page. This was an obvious oversight on the part of Nintendo of America.
- In Peaceful Rest Valley, you'll encounter a large statue of a pencil blocking your path. At that point, you'll receive the Pencil Eraser and Apple Kid will jokingly warn you about using the machine nearby a place that sells pencils. In the Japanese version, the statues aren't pencils but instead octopus statues. So in the Japanese version, Apple kid will joke about using the machine nearby a "Takoyaki" (grilled octopus) restaurant which wouldn't make sense to some United States players.
ExtrasThe game included a card of scratch-'n-sniff spots, featuring monsters from the game.
ManualEarthBound was packaged with an Official Nintendo Player's Guide, which also doubled as its manual. Because of this the box was far larger than any other SNES game box.
References to the game
- Jeff appears as an assist trophy in the Wii game Super Smash Bros.: Brawl.
- Ness appears as a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. fighting games. However, he uses moves he didn't learn in EarthBound, such as PK fire and PK thunder.
SongAt the end of the last song, Ending 3 - Smiles and Tears (5:05), during the credits the words "I Miss You" are digitally spoken, presumably by Ness.
Information also contributed by Calpis, CaptainCanuck, Chris Chidester, colm52, JudgeDeadd, KFactor, Mark Ennis, MegaMegaMan, Sciere and Warren McHenry
Related Web Sites
- 16-Bit Gems #10: EarthBound - A History (part 1) video (Roo of the Clan of the Gray Wolf's review of the history of EarthBound and it's related series.)
- 16-Bit Gems #11: EarthBound - The Review (part 1) video (Roo of the Clan of the Gray Wolf's review of the SNES game EarthBound.)
- EarthBound (Official game site for the Wii U version of the game. Includes an interview to Shigesato Itoi (the game's author) and a full digital reproduction of the guide packaged with the game in the original USA SNES release.)
- EarthBound Central (A blog that covers the entire Mother/EarthBound series.)
- EarthBound for Wii U - Official Site (official website (for the Wii U version))
- EarthBound's Marketing Campaign (Trivia about the failed marketing campaign of EarthBound. )
- EarthBound Walkthrough (A walkthrough for the game at Starmen.net. )
- Mother 2 vs. EB (Site devoted to listing the changes made to the game from the Japanese version (Mother 2) to the North American version (Earthbound). Some interesting areas including censoring of Hospitals and soft drink trucks (?!).)
- MOTHER Party (A Japanese fansite for the Mother series. )
- OC ReMix Game Profile (Fan remixes of music from EarthBound.)
- Player's Guide (Official Nintendo Player's Guide from original U.S. SNES release, now digitized.)
- Starmen.Net (One of the largest Earthbound fan sites. It contains information and media on Earthbound as well as other games in the Mother (Japanese name for Earthbound) series released and unreleased.)
- What Earthbound means to me. Shigesato Itoi (19 years later: game's author Shigesato Itoi memories and reflections on what EarthBound means to him.)