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EarthBound (SNES)

84
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.2
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5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

In 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.

Screenshots

EarthBound SNES Worst pun ever.
EarthBound SNES The house of Pokey the coward
EarthBound SNES Outside of the house, at night
EarthBound SNES A potty mouth in a Nintendo game?

Alternate Titles

  • "MOTHER2 ギーグの逆襲" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Mother 2: Revenge of Gigyas!" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Lightheartedly poking fun, 16-bit style prymusferal (25) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars
Awesome Game KFactor (82) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Good game, if you don't mind the kinks Idkbutlike2 (23) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
This game is pretty fun; try it out! Quincy Phaeoile (3) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
Greatly passes up Mother by far! Dason Rise (20) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
Sweeeeet! Vance (98) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
A classic.... Andrew Douglas (10) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
A game different even in this era SlapHappy (19) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
Earthbound Review Blake Smith (6) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
I hate Earthbound!!! Andrew Taylor (8) 0.6 Stars0.6 Stars0.6 Stars0.6 Stars0.6 Stars

The Press Says

Gaming since 198x Mar 09, 2010 5 out of 5 100
AllRPG 2001 9.2 out of 10 92
HonestGamers Dec 30, 2012 9 out of 10 90
Jaded Gamer, The Aug 17, 2005 86 out of 100 86
Nintendo Land Sep 13, 2003 85 out of 100 85
All Game Guide 2007 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GamersMark Aug 03, 2001 8 out of 10 80
GameCola.net May, 2003 7.2 out of 10 72
GamePro (US) Jul, 1995 3.5 out of 5 70
Video Games & Computer Entertainment Jul, 1995 6 out of 10 60

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Free Player's Guide? 2 Alaka (30005)
Jun 15, 2011

Trivia

Advertisement

The 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 protection

The 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.

Development

Shigesato 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.

Version differences

  • 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.

Extras

The game included a card of scratch-'n-sniff spots, featuring monsters from the game.

Manual

EarthBound 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.

Song

At 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

Satoshi Kunsai (1817) added EarthBound (SNES) on Jun 10, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Sciere (233834)