aka: Mother 2: Gīgu no Gyakushū
Moby ID: 6676
SNES Specs
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Description official descriptions

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 ones 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

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Credits (SNES version)

127 People (109 developers, 18 thanks) · View all

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[ full credits ]



Average score: 86% (based on 37 ratings)


Average score: 4.3 out of 5 (based on 137 ratings with 10 reviews)

A classic....

The Good
The story is hilarious. The gameplay is as well, and the characters are quirky.

The Bad
The graphics are kinda wonky.

The Bottom Line
Earthbound is fondly remembered by it's fans for being a loving parody of RPGs. You play as Ness, a young boy whose duty it is to save the world with the help of a few friends and his various baseball bats. You are given this mission by a talking bee who was one of the most powerful warriors in the universe, and who dies by getting skooshed. And you can talk to dogs. It's a wierd game, but it's great fun.

SNES · by Andrew Douglas (7) · 2006

Greatly passes up Mother by far!

The Good
If you remember the hit Mother (Earthbound for NES) then you can get a picture of what this game is like. It's your same ol' preschool psychic hero saving the world except with better graphics, better gameplay, better story, and pretty much better everything. I was extremely pleased with the music. There's different battle music for all kinds of enemies and the other music is great too.

The Bad
Well, not much really. The only thing I can think is that it was a little too tough early in the game. I know part of RPG's is leveling up and getting stronger, and I'm a hardcore RPG fan, but it was a little to tough to beat some of the Shark Gang and the Robot thing. The Gang members could knock you out in three attacks if not less early on and if you didn't level up then you'd be losing each battle.

The Bottom Line
Excellent game for all you Role Players out there. (yah I'm talkin to you)

SNES · by Dason Rise (17) · 2003


The Good
There's a very singular kind of imagination here, and it spills over from the plot to the settings. Areas, though extremely cartoonish, merge seamlessly with the music and mood to create a very solid gameplay experience.

The Bad
I have to dig for bad things, but this definitely isn't for people who can't get along with strange, strange games. Sometimes the difficulty of a new area ramps up a little too high for the player to cope easily.

The Bottom Line
Somebody must have gotten a group of five-year-olds together, fed them acid, and then made frantic arm motions while screaming "You're going on an adventure! YOU'RE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!!!" and then wrote down everything they said afterwards. The story is tweaked, the dialogue is tweaked, even the items... the whole thing is surrealism as expressed by a kindergardner. To top it all off, every new area tends to be genuinely interesting to explore, and the admittedly simple gameplay never gets in the way of the sense of discovery. Overall, a fine RPG for a collector.

SNES · by Vance (94) · 2003

[ View all 10 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Do sealed copies of the American Release exist? WiseNaydra Mar 30, 2023
Free Player's Guide? GNJMSTR (106) Jun 15, 2011


1001 Video Games

The SNES version of EarthBound appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.

New Nintendo 3DS added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. Wii U added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Iris-chan, chirinea, Hitman23, Freeman, CaptainCanuck, Havoc Crow, LepricahnsGold, Patrick Bregger, Thomas Thompson, Victor Vance, FatherJack, click here to win an iPhone9SSSS.

Game added June 10, 2002. Last modified May 5, 2024.