279: Homeward (Earth)Bound

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Homeward (Earth)Bound

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

Read Full Article

Well spoken. :)

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.

EarthBound carries the contemporary motif so well and has such a dedicated following in North America that it honestly never crossed my mind as a JRPG, but that's exactly what it is. It's sad a whole gaming generation is coming up that only knows Ness from Smash Bros.

Tim Latshaw:
EarthBound carries the contemporary motif so well and has such a dedicated following in North America that it honestly never crossed my mind as a JRPG, but that's exactly what it is. It's sad a whole gaming generation is coming up that only knows Ness from Smash Bros.

Hey, at least they know him, right?

Onyx Oblivion:

Tim Latshaw:
EarthBound carries the contemporary motif so well and has such a dedicated following in North America that it honestly never crossed my mind as a JRPG, but that's exactly what it is. It's sad a whole gaming generation is coming up that only knows Ness from Smash Bros.

Hey, at least they know him, right?

Better than them not, sure. But it's kind of like your parents telling you your grandpa was a mailman yet never showing you any of the medals he got as a WWII fighter ace.

I'd like to add that the final boss fight in Earthbound is probably the most haunting moment I've ever seen in a video game, especially in terms of the absolutely perfect soundtrack all through it.

Too bad Ness didn't carry around a coat hanger; that boss might have been a lot easier if so.

Tim Latshaw:
It's sad a whole gaming generation is coming up that only knows Ness from Smash Bros.

Or that the only officially translated game we can know Lucas from at all is Smash Bros.

But absolutely, it is something. Perhaps there's a generation of players with fond memories of spamming PK Fire on Bowser, who at some point will grow interested in a look back. I know that for myself, there are a ton of characters I played first in Smash then sought out their original games: Popo & Nana, Marth, Ike, even Mr. Game & Watch.

Maybe it's because, beneath the bizarre slash-fanfic energy of it all, there's something careful, even curatorial, about how Smash handles its characters: Like they're a part of some greater canon. There's a sense I get, in flipping through the various unlockable stickers or figurines, of standing within a museum. But what kind of museum showcases its inhabitants by having them fight to the death?

The best kind, obviously.

Earthbound will always have a special place in my heart. JRPGs - a genre of which I admittedly very fond - are so often full of angst and tortured souls that Earthbound's silliness is extra refreshing. You're still saving the world, but it's more of a hoot than an ordeal.

This game was probably the only game I played for about 5 years. Not that it took 5 years to beat, just that I love the game that much.

"You may be strapped in on a one-way train, but it'll be one hell of a ride."
I couldn't have said it any better myself.

Who else here would smell those awful scratch and sniff parts of the included players guide over and over, even though you knew they smelled awful?

Oh the awesomeness that is Earthbound. Many of my friends truly enjoyed this game and some make tributes to it like Team Banzai did with their Banzai Arcade Interactive Game Panel which is mostly in its full force at Fanime but also available at PMX and Anime LA. It's truly been too long since I've played this game so its about time I purchase and replay Earthbound.

I really loved Earthbound, I never knew it existed until I randomly played it on an emulator. If they released it on the Wii market, I would buy it. 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.

One of my favorite parts was the Runaway 5, gotta love the Blues Brothers parody. At the time, I kept a save state from each time they played in the game, just so I could listen to them over and over again.

The other reason Mother 3 never got an official release over here is because Earthbound flopped in sales...

I originally read that first word of the title as"Homeworld."

I was like:

"(excited) Ah? Ah?! AH?!!!"

*Reads 'Earthbound'"

"(disappointed) Awwww... man..."

I'm glad to see this game getting the proper respect and attention it deserves. Maybe people won't be so ignorant now whenever I say the name "Ness" or "Lucas" they won't say, "oh, those kids from brawl." No, you idiot....

Snes had some pretty damn epic RPGs back in its day.

Watched a couple of the videos... This looks decently amusing. I kind of want to give it a whirl.

I never got to play Earthbound because of being in the stupid PAL region of Australia and it seems like Earthbound is similar to Psychonauts in terms of normal flipped on it's head. As a JRPG fan of 10 years it seems like the majority of JRPGs have their little security blanket they hide behind, using fantasy and scifi settings and friendship as the foundation and building from there to make what we know as the "stale" JRPG. Earthbound sound like a game I would have loved to play and it sounds like anything was possible in it. Maybe the reason JRPG's over the last 13 years have gotten boring to most is because we know what to expect now and unfortunately nothing truely new is made very often. After looking through my JRPG collection the last game with something truely new was Kingdom Hearts. But JRPGs still have good stories to tell and Lost Odyssey proved it with a well written emotional story. I think maybe in the future we'll see true sucessors to games like Chrono Trigger, Lost Odyssey and Earthbound but until then we're stuck with what we've got and until most people get over their Japanaphobia, we'll keep missing out on games like Mother 3 and Bahamut Lagoon.

The mother series (earthbound) are the best RPG's ever made! :D

That was quite possibly one of the most interesting games I've ever played. I enjoyed that game so much. It has some interesting game mechanics, a great story, and was just so much fun.

Your HP roll down in combat, so if you can finish it before you hit Zero HP, you can have your character survive. That's brilliant.

I will never look at Ness and Lucas in the same way again

Always wanted to play this and Mother. Anyone know how I could do that? I could probably find a cartridge on ebay but it's expenisve.

beema:
Always wanted to play this and Mother. Anyone know how I could do that? I could probably find a cartridge on ebay but it's expenisve.

Unfortunately I think the only way you're ever going to be able to play them is with an emulator. Damn copyright laws.

Edit: I should point out that they are effectively abandonware now; if you buy a copy off ebay then exactly none of it will go to Nintendo.

Torn between this and Golden Sun.

But without a doubt one of the best series of games I've ever played.

Tim Latshaw:
EarthBound carries the contemporary motif so well and has such a dedicated following in North America that it honestly never crossed my mind as a JRPG, but that's exactly what it is. It's sad a whole gaming generation is coming up that only knows Ness from Smash Bros.

I'm really glad for his presence in Smash Bros., as it can inspire people to learn more about the characters and play their games of origin. Lucas in Brawl got me to play Mother 3, and Smash Bros. is also the reason I first tried playing the Fire Emblem series. I'm sure other people have done the same with Ness and Earthbound, even if the majority only know him as a Brawl character.

Hopefully if Costume Quest does well, Nintendo might be inspired to re-release Earthbound (or perhaps do an updated remake!) That would be awesome. I think the market is there, now. We're not dealing with the same, deviation-hating demographic anymore.

To anyone who was a fan of Earthbound (or thinks they might be a fan of Earthbound if they tried it), I highly recommend checking out the latest storyline on http://www.mspaintadventures.com/ It's not a retelling so much as it's an insane, profanity-laden, proudly aliased love letter to the game and to middle school neuroses.

Earthbound is probably my most fond of JRPG, the entire series is a gold mine of genius writing and American parody..especially Mother 3 which imo is as close as games have gotten to books. I urge everyone to try and play Earthbound or any of the the other two Mother games. :D

I discovered EarthBound through Ness in the original Smash Bros. (who, incidentally, was perfectly suited to me; that jump!).
Does anyone else remember how sad they were when they realized we were never going to get EarthBound 64? T_T

EarthBound's music, of course, added to its appeal, and a fine group of folks have made an excellent remix project: Bound Together.

Great article! There are good games, there are great games, then there's that four or five games in my collection that I've gone back to again and again countless times throughout my life. Just a little perspective, but I'm definitely not the type to replay games I've beaten, so this says something.

Earthbound is one of those games. I can practically start the game anew the moment I've beaten it. I still have fond memories of lugging home the ginormous SNES box from the local (whatever was before Wal Mart. K-Mart? Probably K-Mart).

In case anyone's curious, some of the other games are the original Tomb Raider, and Planescape: Torment.

I owe my love of Earthbound to Ness' cameo in Smash Bros. He was the only character I didn't recognise, and as I loved him so much I sought out the game. Earthbound is one of the few JRPGs I've ever completed and loved.

The ending was especially moving. The power of praying and faith winning over aggression (may I add before someone berates me, NOT faith in religion or God, I won't spoil who they're praying to), the wonderful walk with Paula back to Twoson, then home to Onett as you talk with everyone you've saved. Then that wonderful end credits sequence where you finally find out what that strange spinning cameraman was doing, completely with a beautiful theme tune that's making me teary-eyed just typing this and remembering it.

A wonderful experience. If you have to get it on an emulator do so, that's the only way you can and it's fine. I did and I love it.

Pseudopod:

Tim Latshaw:
EarthBound carries the contemporary motif so well and has such a dedicated following in North America that it honestly never crossed my mind as a JRPG, but that's exactly what it is. It's sad a whole gaming generation is coming up that only knows Ness from Smash Bros.

I'm really glad for his presence in Smash Bros., as it can inspire people to learn more about the characters and play their games of origin. Lucas in Brawl got me to play Mother 3, and Smash Bros. is also the reason I first tried playing the Fire Emblem series. I'm sure other people have done the same with Ness and Earthbound, even if the majority only know him as a Brawl character.

You're quite right. But for every person like you who knew how to find Mother 3, there are several more who don't know how or think it's too much of a hassle/illegal/etc. Everyone else in Brawl, at least as I can recall off the top of my head, has a present-day standard method for people to play their games, whether through current generation titles or Virtual Console. Ness and Lucas don't have that in North America.

Mother 3 is the only game I have ever imported and the only completely non-English game I have ever played. I love Earthbound that much. My greatest gaming wish is that they would release the trilogy on the DS, in English of course.

To all the "BLEH! JRPGs Suck because it's all emo spikey hair teenagers with creepy old dudes hanging around them and hyper-sexy-make-no-sense happy happy kawaii girls saving the world and saving the princess that always gets abducted" ignorant and uneducated gamers who are about as ignorant as those who're saying "Every FPS are the same".

Earthbound...

Case closed.

Don't get it? Go screw yourself since it's obvious you've killed what's left of your childhood innocence and started that healthy diet of brainfucking yourself with a taser every night just to ensure your brain damage remains constant.

And that no amount of attempts at enlightening you at the variety of story, style, gaming system, unlinear open and linear closed worlds and innovative concepts (to such an idea that has rarely ever been done such as multi-generational stories with multiple main characters who happen to be the offspring of your own character... SaGa Frontier 2, I'm looking at you) will ever make you change your mind about how superior your lack of knowledge in gaming is to everyone else's ignorant abundant amount of factual knowledge of games.

[Edit]
PS. To those who're saying "Every FPS is the same!".

Deus Ex, and in a way. Killer 7.

Case closed.

I f*cking love Earthbound. It is the under-appreciated gem of the JRPG genre IMO. I will never forget Saturn Valley or that final boss...

Well spoken friend, well spoken.

Sylocat:
The other reason Mother 3 never got an official release over here is because Earthbound flopped in sales...

No, they were gonna give it a chance... if some obscure Brownie Brown DS game (Brownie Brown helped make Mother 3) that received almost no promotion in the states sold well. Way to be, Nintendo.

That said, I do love the Mother series. Still haven't finished the first one. (Fun fact: Nintendo WAS going to release Mother 1 to the States. They even translated it and everything. But poor sales of Dragon Quest made them think that a game that's essentially a parody of Dragon Quest wouldn't do well here.) And I would buy Mother 3 if it was brought Stateside, even though I shamefully pirated it for the sake of using the fan-translation patch.

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.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

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
Register for a free account here