Tips for Buying EarthBound

February 6th, 2009 | MOTHER 3, Uncommon Knowledge

Back while I was working on the MOTHER 3 translation, I frequented Japanese sites a lot and one thing I noticed in a few places was a report of a strange bug. Apparently, if you save with the frog in the playroom area of Thunder Tower and then quit, there’s a chance you might get stuck if you load your game. I tried to make it happen a few times but without any success.


It’s this frog and it happens around here I think

Even so, after we released the translation patch, I started to get reports of this happening to people. I’d like to know more about this, so if anyone has more detailed info, please let me know. Apparently what happens is that you wind up in a spot between the wall and the frog, and the frog won’t move out of the way, so you’re pretty much screwed. I can’t tell what exact spot this happens at though, but given all the reports from Japanese and non-Japanese players, I don’t doubt this is real.

I’d like to know more about it so I can possibly fix it in a future patch, or at least give a warning and tell people how to specifically keep it from happening.

UPDATE: Oh, I found a video of it in action!

 

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48 Comments to The Evil Thunder Tower Save Frog


PikachuMan said on Feb. 6, 2009

Never happened to me.

Then again, I played through in one-sitting with the speed button and save-states :p

ZeroShift said on Feb. 6, 2009
Mato said on Feb. 6, 2009

Aww, that’s no good, I spent all that time on it and you rushed through it that fast? And semi-cheated? ๐Ÿ™

Hopefully you’re replaying it sometimes at least?

XX Stone said on Feb. 6, 2009

Don’t feel bad, Mato. I played through EB0 in one sitting; sometimes when you start playing a Mother game, you just can’t stop. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mr. Munchlax said on Feb. 7, 2009

Don’t worry mato. Not everyone rushed through the game. It took me a few months to finish it the first time. Mainly because every now and then, I’d get stuck on an annoying boss (most notably the Steel Mechorilla and the Barrier Trio GRRRRR!!!) and stop playing for few weeks. I’m already on a second play through and I’m hoping to catch all the lines and things that I may of missed the first time around. (Like some of the stuff on the part where you get hopped up on mushrooms. I talked to all of the characters but I only opened one trash can and only looked in one mailbox) I really loved the Mother 3 translation and I’d also love to see how the Mother 1 + 2 translation would turn out if you and Jeffman ever decide to finish that up.

rayefrenzy said on Feb. 7, 2009

Yeah, I flew through Mother 3, but not with save states or speed buttons. I just took off work (NO LIE) and stayed up for 5 days straight. (okay, I slept maybe 4 hours each night)

Worth it. So, so worth it.

Darien said on Feb. 7, 2009

Oh yeah, the Barrier Trio can bite me.

I took a few weeks getting through Mother 3, I believe. I used the speed button, but only very occasionally — basically I used it to speed through the oxygen machine animation after I’d already seen it about a jillion times. It was funny at first, but, man, it does get old. And it’s long.

ZombiePaul said on Feb. 7, 2009

I took a few (4) days from my vaccation time to play through it when it first came out (the Fan Translation). I’m glad I’m not the only one who did that (rayfrenzy) ๐Ÿ™‚ It took about 27 hours for me, so I played a LOT in those 4 days.

I wouldn’t consider that to be rushing though. I explored and didn’t use the speed button.

Spitball Sparky said on Feb. 7, 2009

For the patch, it took me about three days. I used this particular frog but never had any problems.

I replayed it twice after that. :3 It was spectacular.

Pishi said on Feb. 7, 2009

Oh well, what more can you expect from a frog that belongs to Porky?

Mikhail said on Feb. 7, 2009

Yeah, I made sure I didn’t even accidentally hit the turbo button. I died a couple times and never used save-states… I savored every hour that I spent on this wonderful game… I want to hug you Mato… You are a great man.

I used this frog a couple times as well… I remember being annoyed by the Porky’s robot girl. I think I did use the speed button on the oxygen part, so weird and long…

Tork_110 said on Feb. 15, 2009

Thanks for the link to my video.

This glitch ticked me off so badly that I don’t think I played again for a couple weeks. I have since beaten the game, but I was very careful when I returned to this room and used both save slots carefully.

W. I . G said on Feb. 21, 2009

lol. Theres always a glitch in a mother game that they dont care about. Curse you itoi! lol jk

Bobbyjkl said on Mar. 26, 2009

Mato, it took about a week. Some scenes were very, very touching. Some were way creepy. But you did a very good job. I spent well over 40 hours! My parents thought I had died, since I would stay up all night playing.

Claus said on Mar. 31, 2009

That never happened to me.

Claus said on Mar. 31, 2009

Then again, I wonder if glitches would even occur using a GBA or DS.

DanteAMD said on Apr. 7, 2009

YES. I mean, in my M3 copy I was trapped. I had to re-play everything. It was cool actually! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Someone Else said on May. 12, 2009

Is there a walk throuh walls code for Mother 3, and would it help in this situation?

Mato said on May. 12, 2009

As far as I know, there aren’t any known walk-through-stuff codes right now ๐Ÿ™

Shamu said on May. 27, 2009

Something EVEN MORE WEIRDER happened to me.
I believe I was fighting, pressing the space bar the WHOLE TIME (that’ll speed up the game and all), and when I lost and continued, I ended up in Leder’s house, but not only that, I WAS ON THE WALL.
I couldn’t do anything about it, so I gave up.

zombieslapper said on Aug. 7, 2009

Was this fixed in the 1.1 patch?

Mato said on Aug. 7, 2009

No, there’s no real way to fix it that I can think of – even if we moved the frog somehow it might still get you stuck somewhere else :/

zombieslapper said on Aug. 8, 2009

I guess we’ll all just have to be careful then. ๐Ÿ˜ก

zombieslapper said on Aug. 8, 2009

Wow. I did not mean for that comment to look angry.

PKSTARMAN said on Oct. 14, 2009

That Save Frog is EVIL!!!

neonix said on Dec. 28, 2009

A funny idea would be to change the frog’s text to something like “*hop* I am an evil frog, don’t let me save your game or I might stick you in the wall..” Of course, a more clever message since I’m not very funny…

Yoshimad123 said on Feb. 14, 2010

@Shamu
That happened to me too!
It was weird.

Btandy said on Apr. 8, 2010

Well, i’ve completed it one time in it’s original un-translated version with save-states,one time with the translation and save_states and one time with the translation without anything that isn’t included in the game, so original save.Too good…I’ve restarted the game many times at that point to beat the robot that guards the friend’s yoyo,and i never had that glitch.

Mic said on Jun. 23, 2010

Haha, sliding in place.

oh yeah, and about the game. I haven’t really started on it yet, but when i do, I’ll try to fill the battle memory.

TheJeffster23 said on Jul. 17, 2010

do you need something?
YES I NEED SOMETHING I NEED YOU TO GET THE HECK OUT OF MY WAY YOU AMPHIBIOUS DEMON

PSI Rockin' said on Jan. 1, 2011

Sometimes, that looked wrong, BUT, that’s NOT a frog, it’s a rabid tiny green mutant pig without ears or nose flying on a balloon

Ryan9-1 said on Jan. 23, 2011

That kinda’ happened to me. What I did was some how slipped myself in that spot and then I couldn’t get out. (It’s ok ’cause I didn’t save)

Just wondering, but can you play gba games on ds emulators?

Anonymous said on Jan. 24, 2011

Damn… Damn it! He did it! He finally did it!…

He broke my Mother 3 ROM… Not really, I did save with him but I didn’t turn off so I didn’t get this glitch. But wow. thats a huge glitch

mother freak said on Mar. 21, 2011

wow i better tell my freind about that when he gets there!ยก hes only at chapter 1 and this is the only game that he has liked in a year hes probly playing it now

TheMr.SaturnGuy said on May. 30, 2011

is it just me, or is lucas farting on king tut?

NatX2 said on Jul. 14, 2011

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Lucas should be yelling:

“DO THE STUCK IN THE WALL DANCE!”

I dunno. Looks like they’re dancing ๐Ÿ™‚

stuckonawall713 said on May. 31, 2012

well i got stuck, should i just restart my game?

Mato said on May. 31, 2012

The only thing I can think of is this: http://forum.starmen.net/forum/Games/Mother3/Mother-3-Froggie-Battery-Saves-Library/first

There might be a walk through walls code but I don’t know what it is.

Stuckonawall713 said on Jun. 1, 2012

Well I’ll just restart the game cuz that sounds really confusing, thx anyways think I should grind a little more next time anyways

DJ Mankiewicz said on Apr. 26, 2013

So I reached that spot again on my recent playthrough. I think I know what is going on, so here’s how you avoid this.

Normally, the frog floats all about the room. When you save, you and the frog come back exactly as you last saved, position and all. Now, one thing, this frog does not move at all if you are “touching” it. This is probably to prevent it from clipping into your character. So, if you somehow wedge yourself between the wall and the frog, the frog won’t move out of the way because you are touching it. If you THEN save your game, you’re stuck forever.

This is why the glitch is so rare. It takes some amount of effort or incredibly poor luck to get yourself stuck that way and then save your game.

In other words, only save with this frog when you are out in the open and not when you are against the wall. How to fix this? Not sure, but maybe the frog could be fixed in place instead of floating around, or maybe it could have some invisible walls it can’t “float” past, to prevent it from getting that close to the wall.

DJ Mankiewicz said on Apr. 26, 2013

I guess what I want to stress is that this frog is indeed “safe” to use, if you are just careful about your positioning. This is good considering this room has two hidden boss fights and there’s still a way to go past it to the next save point, so feel free to use it but be careful where you are when you save.

FlyingManCourage said on Apr. 28, 2013

Makes sense to me. Well done DJ. I’ve never fallen victim to the glitch myself, but it has made me consider not using this frog in the future. I know Mato says that Mother 3 is a much more complicated hack than EB, but maybe there is something that he can figure out to help alleviate this sinister threat! ๐Ÿ™‚

Regardless, it’ll be nice to have a “manual fix” of sorts that will at least allow me to use the frog with peace of mind.

Darien said on Apr. 29, 2013

You can always copy your save into the other slot before entering Thunder Tower. That way, if you do get bugged, at least you don’t lose *everything.* It ain’t great, but it’s probably better than nothing.

FlyingManCourage said on Apr. 29, 2013

Are there plenty of save slots in Mother 3? It has been awhile I can’t remember the last time I played. I always hated those games that only give you 3 measly slots. I like to save ALL of my old games.

@Mato – Assuming DJ’s theory is correct, is this something that you think can fix?

Mato said on Apr. 29, 2013

It’s possible but I wouldn’t have the first idea how to go about it. All the hacking we did was mainly focused on the text side of things, the game engine itself is mostly undocumented and a big unknown black hole.

DJMankiewicz said on Apr. 29, 2013

Ideally, the developers would have “forced” mobile NPCs to walk away from you if you pressed into them for a bit (this is the way some Squaresoft RPGs worked back then, in others the NPC wouldn’t do that, but would at least still randomly decide to move away from you). I’m at a loss as to how to implement this in-game, and it seems so is Mato. Game code can be very tricky to reverse engineer from the hex. Someone would need to find a block of code responsible for NPC movement AI.

G.Wicks said on Feb. 13, 2014

This same thing happened to me once in EarthBound, in Summers. I saved my game at a payphone in the store where you buy equipment, and a npc was right next to me. Whenever I loaded my game, the npc lady was stuck next to Ness and I couldn’t move from the spot! Unfortunately i was playing on SNES and not an emulator so I couldn’t rely on save states, so I just stayrrted the game over from the beginning! Arrrgh!


 
 

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