279: Homeward (Earth)Bound

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

Brendan Main:
Homeward (Earth)Bound

The final conflict pits the heroes against the jerky kid next door who just might have it in him to destroy the entire universe, if he didn't think he'd earn himself a spanking. Usually I find these types of schemes laughably grandiose, with the "destroy the universe" plot a stale and stupid cliché. But, you know? With this sniveling little turd, I believe it. Remember back in third grade, when some kid broke a rule and the whole class got punished? Same rules, infinitely bigger classroom.

Read Full Article

So, the main villain is Cartman?

Also!

A friend of mine has just pointed out a scanned version of the original EarthBound strategy guide that came bundled with the game. A portion of it is done up as a travel guide, describing the game in terms of hot spots and tourist vistas. It also contains some of the quirky clay art that came in the instruction booklet as well.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/8476/Earthbound-Nintendo-Players-Guide

Great article. Not beeing american, I can`t really relate to most of what you said, but it`s good to know that it feels like that for you americans. For me it was more like of a fable book about the perfect childhood, and that inconscious travel realle put me in the mood, at the time, to remember my own childhood.

Brendan Main:
Homeward (Earth)Bound

Few games are as true-blue American as Nintendo's classic JRPG Earthbound.

Read Full Article

I love the entire letter, describing perfectly what Earthbound and the Mother series are really about. You encapsulated many, many parts of what makes the game amazing, from the fact that you encounter deranged hippies to the chaotic sense of depth the game offers. Remember when you first step into Giygas' lair, and that twisted, dying version of the french anthem plays for a few seconds, giving that sense of darkness and turmoil? Or getting the signed banana? Or the Pencil statues?

Though, I do have a small issue, and it is thus:

Importing the standard mechanics of an RPG into small-town American life seems weird enough, but EarthBound pushes onward, and weird becomes weirder. The story comes to include a haunted guitar, rampant psychic abilities, a zombie invasion, and a trip into a character's subconscious, all culminating in the heroes swapping their minds into robots and sending them hurtling into the furthest reaches of time and space.

The Gently Weeping Guitar (to say nothing of the Jealous Bass) was in Mother 3, not in Earthbound, I'm afraid. And including the soul-searching depth and bizarre caricatures of everything in that game would be another column all on it's own, and that's not even discussing being attacked by your own lamp in the first entry of the series.

Though, I did find it odd that most of the PSI that Ness and Lucas have in Brawl doesn't belong to them...

You actually aren't allowed to use the bicycle once you get your first additional party member, but you can bike over the entire game world after you win if you want. In fact, there's a sound effect that only plays if you're using the bike in the swamp which you can only do after you've won.

I haven't even played Earthbound, but I still love it.

Never ever got into Earthbound and have never really understood it's appeal. To me it's sort of like a popular sitcom (I'd name one, but there are so many of them) that everyone thinks is so clever and funny but that I just think completely fails for trying too hard. I know that Earthbound is supposed to be cute and clever as it pokes fun at itself and the genre as a whole.. but it just comes across to me as not funny or pleasing in any way.

Now that I think about it, Earthbound reminds me of that Matt Hazard game that was released not too long ago. The main thrust of the game was how it made fun of various game archetypes and tropes in the context of a standard 3rd person shooter, but the jokes were too obvious to be funny and the gameplay too run of the mill to be enjoyable so all you were left with was a shoddy version of what it was trying to imitate.

StriderShinryu:
Never ever got into Earthbound and have never really understood it's appeal. To me it's sort of like a popular sitcom (I'd name one, but there are so many of them) that everyone thinks is so clever and funny but that I just think completely fails for trying too hard. I know that Earthbound is supposed to be cute and clever as it pokes fun at itself and the genre as a whole.. but it just comes across to me as not funny or pleasing in any way.

Now that I think about it, Earthbound reminds me of that Matt Hazard game that was released not too long ago. The main thrust of the game was how it made fun of various game archetypes and tropes in the context of a standard 3rd person shooter, but the jokes were too obvious to be funny and the gameplay too run of the mill to be enjoyable so all you were left with was a shoddy version of what it was trying to imitate.

It's true that mechanically, Earthbound's core is a simple Dragon Quest rip-off. But aesthetically and narratively, it's a few steps beyond Matt Hazard. I found it - and it's predecessor, Mother - best played using an emulator, so the Fast-Forward function is available. But only to rush through the tiresome JRPG menu-combat when the quirky enemies stop being so humorous and/or challenging.

Despite having a vocal fanbase, the Mother series have yet to see an official translation, or a virtual rerelease. The reasons for this are partly pedestrian, hinging on difficulties in copyright - as it turns out, imagining an America of Coca-Cola and McDonalds is a really great way of running afoul with those actual trademarks, and the localization of such a property may have people skittish.

I'd argue that there's more to it than that. It seems that Nintendo of Japan just doesn't give a damn about the Mother franchise anymore. If they did, then why was Mother 3 released on the GameBoy Advance in 2006 instead of the Nintendo DS? And why aren't any of the Mother games on Virtual Console in Japan, where the legal issues are much less of a problem (or rather, no one cares about them). The fact that the franchise was never a big seller to begin with probably doesn't help either.

It's a bit of a shame, but I think we just have to accept that the whole franchise is in a limbo that it's never getting out of.

Funny that this article came out today because I've been watching chuggaconroy's Let's Play Earthbound on Youtube as well as playing that Mother 3 translation.

1. Brush teeth.
2. Paralyze enemy.
3. ???
4. Win battle.

Tharticus:
I have loved this game ever since I've got my hands on it.

What made Earthbound more special than the others because not only for its parody of other RPGs but entire charm and appeal. Instead of the typical hero, you're playing a ragtag team of kids. Instead of typical weapons like swords and staffs, you equip daily household items. This goes on and on and it shows well. Earthbound has a lot of memorable moments too. A good music soundtrack, such as this when you decide to drink with one of the NPCs.

I also enjoyed the NPC dialogs because they are funny to read. One of the NPCs say when you beat the final boss "I've beaten Earthbound and I can't wait for the sequel!" I'm seeing quite a bit on Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door.

And who wouldn't forget Mr. Saturn? Boing! Ding Ding!

We have to thank Shigesato Itoi for bringing Earthbound to the west... except that Nintendo still hasn't released Mother 3 outside of Japan.

there is a free pc based fan-sequel to it, here

Brendan Main:

Few games are as true-blue American as Nintendo's classic JRPG Earthbound.

Have you played the Sailor Moon series of RPGs? They're a pre-cursor - halfway between Earthbound and Final Fantasy that uses makeup to replenish their magic power.

Officially, Earthbound and Breath of Fire are tied on my list of top JRPGs ever. Seriously though, the SNES has the best RPGs out of any console generation thus far IMO.

hurricanejbb:
This fine analysis is yet another reason they NEED to bring Earthbound to the Virtual Console, so more people can experience how incredible it is.

/agree 100%

Has anyone on Nintendo's side ever stated a reason they are delaying bringing it over to the VC?

Yes, the game had a lot of references tot he likes of Beatles and such. I think that's the main problem with releasing it here.

I still hold my hopes that Mother 3 will be on the 3DS VC

Mr. Fister:

Despite having a vocal fanbase, the Mother series have yet to see an official translation, or a virtual rerelease. The reasons for this are partly pedestrian, hinging on difficulties in copyright - as it turns out, imagining an America of Coca-Cola and McDonalds is a really great way of running afoul with those actual trademarks, and the localization of such a property may have people skittish.

I'd argue that there's more to it than that. It seems that Nintendo of Japan just doesn't give a damn about the Mother franchise anymore. If they did, then why was Mother 3 released on the GameBoy Advance in 2006 instead of the Nintendo DS? And why aren't any of the Mother games on Virtual Console in Japan, where the legal issues are much less of a problem (or rather, no one cares about them). The fact that the franchise was never a big seller to begin with probably doesn't help either.

It's a bit of a shame, but I think we just have to accept that the whole franchise is in a limbo that it's never getting out of.

I do believe it's this.

It's not because of copyright/trademark issues, which any decent localization team would be able to work around - it's certainly no more difficult that the changes that regularly had to be made to games to get around Nintendo of America's censorship policies in the 8- and 16-bit eras.

It's not because Earthbound flopped in the US; it sold 140,000 copies in the US, which is in the same league as other JRPGs of the era (in the US, Final Fantasy 2 sold 240,000, Chrono Trigger sold 280,000, and Final Fantasy 3 sold 870,000), even though it certainly wasn't in their league in Japan (Mother 2 sold about 300,000 copies in Japan, compared to 1.4 million for Final Fantasy 4, 2 million for Chrono Trigger, and 2.5 million for Final Fantasy 6). Earthbound sold more copies the the US release of Breath of Fire, a franchise for which every single game, including re-releases, has been released in the US.

And they didn't cancel the US release of Mother because Dragon Warrior flopped in the US - in fact, it seems the main reason the first Mother was never released in the US is that Nintendo decided it would be to expensive to market it properly following the release of the SNES (because if they were discouraged by the relatively poor performance of Dragon Warrior, they never would have started localization in the first place).

The simple fact of the matter is that Nintendo simply does not care about the Mother franchise outside of Japan.

Grygor:

Mr. Fister:

Despite having a vocal fanbase, the Mother series have yet to see an official translation, or a virtual rerelease. The reasons for this are partly pedestrian, hinging on difficulties in copyright - as it turns out, imagining an America of Coca-Cola and McDonalds is a really great way of running afoul with those actual trademarks, and the localization of such a property may have people skittish.

I'd argue that there's more to it than that. It seems that Nintendo of Japan just doesn't give a damn about the Mother franchise anymore. If they did, then why was Mother 3 released on the GameBoy Advance in 2006 instead of the Nintendo DS? And why aren't any of the Mother games on Virtual Console in Japan, where the legal issues are much less of a problem (or rather, no one cares about them). The fact that the franchise was never a big seller to begin with probably doesn't help either.

It's a bit of a shame, but I think we just have to accept that the whole franchise is in a limbo that it's never getting out of.

I do believe it's this.

It's not because of copyright/trademark issues, which any decent localization team would be able to work around - it's certainly no more difficult that the changes that regularly had to be made to games to get around Nintendo of America's censorship policies in the 8- and 16-bit eras.

It's not because Earthbound flopped in the US; it sold 140,000 copies in the US, which is in the same league as other JRPGs of the era (in the US, Final Fantasy 2 sold 240,000, Chrono Trigger sold 280,000, and Final Fantasy 3 sold 870,000), even though it certainly wasn't in their league in Japan (Mother 2 sold about 300,000 copies in Japan, compared to 1.4 million for Final Fantasy 4, 2 million for Chrono Trigger, and 2.5 million for Final Fantasy 6). Earthbound sold more copies the the US release of Breath of Fire, a franchise for which every single game, including re-releases, has been released in the US.

And they didn't cancel the US release of Mother because Dragon Warrior flopped in the US - in fact, it seems the main reason the first Mother was never released in the US is that Nintendo decided it would be to expensive to market it properly following the release of the SNES (because if they were discouraged by the relatively poor performance of Dragon Warrior, they never would have started localization in the first place).

The simple fact of the matter is that Nintendo simply does not care about the Mother franchise outside of Japan.

EDIT: Whoops, I didn't see that you were agreeing with me there. I gotta learn to read.

I've never played Earthbound, but I'm all too familiar with the games ultimate encounter - it's actually really refreshing to see a take on Earthbound that's not about Giygas. It's a pity that I'm fundamentally incompatible with the JRPG format (never finished one I didn't cheat through) as it seems a poignant moment in gaming history that I'm a little bit lesser for having missed out on. Thanks for your thoughts on it. :)

heavymedicombo:
there is a free pc based fan-sequel to it, here

I'm well aware that there's a sequel but it's not developed by him or the company. And chances are that Nintendo will probably shoot it down.

Tharticus:

heavymedicombo:
there is a free pc based fan-sequel to it, here

I'm well aware that there's a sequel but it's not developed by him or the company. And chances are that Nintendo will probably shoot it down.

It is however developed by people that both get the games and want them to evolve. that's the next best thing. It wont be translated into japanese and as no mother games have been out anywhere except japan, they have no rreason to sue.

matrix3509:
Officially, Earthbound and Breath of Fire are tied on my list of top JRPGs ever. Seriously though, the SNES has the best RPGs out of any console generation thus far IMO.

I respectfully disagree.
The gameboy as a collective has basically most snes rpgs, pokemon, dragonquest, etc.
It really has a huge library.

Sonic Doctor:
. I believe I tried to play through it twice, the first time I stopped because I got distracted by something else, and the second time I believe I got to the last boss, couldn't beat him for some reason, got angry, and quit.

I love the series, and one of the things I like, while it might seem kind of minor, is just how different the final boss fights are compared to most other RPG games. In each game, the final boss is more of an endurance round where you fight to survive while you rely on something other than the strength of your attacks in order to win.
In Mother 1, you have to sing the song you've learned while traveling, which has a special significance.
In Mother 3, you just have to trust that eventually the enemy will come to his senses.
In Earthbound, I won't give it away for you if you're going to try playing again, but as a hint let's just say you need faith more that PSI...

After I read this thread I feel ashamed of myself, as I have never played Earthbound.
And this JRPG talk, speacially about Mother, made me think about Terranigma.

image

I made this about a week ago ^_^ I've got some EB posters framed on my walls at home >.>

Makes me want to play Earth Bound.

Yup.

Earthbound/Mother2 rocks.

The graphical style might look innocent and childish, but once you get a whiff of the musical stuff they did, fight a couple of fights with absolutely weird foes in front of wobbly psychedelic pixel art and get a grip on what ATMs do for you, you might already be hooked on the unique excellent experience that is Earthbound.

In a way, this one game impressed me more than a fistful of Final Fantasies.

It's no Secret of Mana. It's no Chrono Trigger. But for me, it's right up there with them, even though it's so brutally odd and completely different in its humour and style.

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here