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