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November 1st, 2009 | EarthBound, Polls

Big ol’ Japanese entertainment stats/info corporation Oricon recently held a survey to find the games that make people cry the most. The top five results were:

  1. Final Fantasy X
  2. Dragon Quest V
  3. Final Fantasy VII
  4. Clannad
  5. MOTHER 2

Additionally, they list a couple quotes from survey-takers for each one. For MOTHER 2, this is what some survey takers said:

“I cried so much from the last boss fight through to the ending that I couldn’t even see the screen.”
Chiba Prefecture / Age 10-19 / Female

“It’s a fun game; so many things in it are filled with wit.”
Kumamoto Prefecture / Age 20-29 / Male

It’s cool that a MOTHER game ranked so high on such a list, but it seems strange to me that they chose the second game over the third game. But whatever works 😛

There are a number of articles on English gaming sites about this. Check out Kombo’s article, for example. Thanks to O-Suchin and TS for the heads-up!


POLL: Do you think MOTHER 2 / EarthBound is a sad game?

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85 Comments to EarthBound is Sad


Spitball Sparky said on Nov. 1, 2009

MOTHER2 doesn’t get me as much as MOTHER3. 2 makes me the least sad.

The only time it gets to me is when the pictures roll at the end and the music stops…

“I miss you.”

…and then the slideshow concludes.

MOTHER gets me at the end when the Eight Melodies songs closes while Ninten is sleeping. It’s just so pleasant.

Ice Sage said on Nov. 1, 2009

I thought EarthBound was the least saddening of all three games as well. MOTHER has a nice, simplistic story that is pretty sad in retrospect (Youngtown, anyone?), and MOTHER 3 is, well, almost self-explanatory.

I would say that EarthBound is extremely nostalgic at the end, but I don’t think nostalgia and sadness are the same thing. I suppose it can be for some people, though.

Jimi said on Nov. 1, 2009

I always thought that Earthbound was the most badass of the series, as far as final confrontations go, but I was never quite sad at it. Nice to know that other people can remember something with it.

Sisto said on Nov. 1, 2009

EarthBound didn’t really have any sad parts in it. MOTHER 3 had a decent amount of it, MOTHER 1 had it’s moments, and MOTHER 2/EB didn’t really have any of the “This is so sad!,” to it. It was just an RPG with all of the action and none of the drama.

In conclusion, no, MOTHER 2/EB was not a very sad game compared to the other 2 games.

EBfan565 said on Nov. 1, 2009

Truthfully, I would have said Mother 3. Earthbound isn’t sad to me at all really. I just think Earthbound is pretty much just epic , not sad.

Mr. Crosser said on Nov. 1, 2009

Mother 3 should have gotten that spot instead

Matt said on Nov. 1, 2009

I really thing MOTHER 3 beats 2 as far as sadness. Even when Gentle Rain pops up on my iTunes shuffle, I get a little depressed T__T

Churly said on Nov. 1, 2009

Mother 2? Come on now… Mother 2 is sad in a happy way (and that does make sense).

Mother 3 is clearly much more emotional.

Bound2Mother said on Nov. 1, 2009

Well, the poll was about the game which made people cry the most. I don’t believe this is isolated to just sadness. It could also be about tears of longing, joy, etc. In that respect, I thought Earthbound’s ending had a very impacting feel to it. It made me feel at ease and happy, and perhaps that’s where the tears come from… I guess.

I dunno, I guess Mother 3 would’ve been a better game for #5 (or even higher). But I can understand Earthbound’s placing.

Godaigamer said on Nov. 1, 2009

The only part of Earthbound that makes me cry is when I spend 2-3 hours trying to get a Sword of Kings XD

souliscool101 said on Nov. 1, 2009

Mother 3 is more of a sad game then Earthbound 2.
Look at it this way, Earthbound 1-2 is all about saveing the world. When Mother 3 is about saveing the world, but with a mean cruel twist. Your more crying at the end is about how connected you get to the game.

Tansunn said on Nov. 1, 2009

EarthBound had nowhere NEAR the emotional impact on me that Mother 3 did. In fact, that first quote describes my reaction to Mother 3 a lot better than EarthBound. The poll does say Mother 2, however, and some things may have been lost in translation.

In all honesty, the ending of EarthBound left me too confused to get sad. Life is destroyed in the process of traveling through time, so they had to transfer their brain programs into robots, yet Pokey made it through just fine? Did he require the spider mech to do that, or was that constructed once he made it to the past? Or was it that the original Phase Distorter didn’t destroy life? If not, why didn’t Dr. Andonuts just make the new one the same way?

And then once Giygas was defeated, their “brain programs” just leave the robots and travel back through time? They don’t even use the Phase Distorter, they just do it. How? Did they just wait around for years until the right time to rejoin their bodies, or are they actually capable of time travel? If they did wait around, did they help influence their friends to pray for them since they knew they couldn’t have done it alone?

If any of these were answered in the game, I’d sure like to know.

Chimera said on Nov. 1, 2009

I’m just laughing that they put final fantasy, especially FF VII over EB. FF is not sad at all, who can possibly say they cried at Aeris’ death? I’ve been playing FF VII all day, not once have I come close to sadness.

Ryan said on Nov. 1, 2009

Tansunn, I propose an alternate idea to the problem of time travel in EarthBound. Dr. Andonuts may not have actually performed experiments to determine whether or not life is destroyed in the time travel process. It could simply be his calculated hypothesis, and if he believed it as we assume he did, his ethics may have prevented him from testing it. Time travel clearly does have a strong effect on human life, as evidenced by the fact that Pokey never dies. Dr. Andonuts’ solution may have preserved the mortality of the chosen four. When I read Itoi’s comments about Pokey in his Mother 3 interview, I find it logical to assume that preserving the mortality of Ness & his friends effectively saved their lives/souls.

We also know from Mother 3 that Pokey doesn’t heed Andonuts’ warnings, so Pokey may have charged ahead with the original Phase Distorter.

EarthBoundRules said on Nov. 1, 2009

Emotional? Yes. Sad? No.

GoldenEevee said on Nov. 1, 2009

Surely, the Poll should say Mother 3, but EarthBound/Mother 2 is not really that sad of a game, It’s more happy toned than the other two games

Lothis said on Nov. 1, 2009

I thought Japan had more back bone than to find FF7 sad…

wazkatango said on Nov. 1, 2009

I would say that that Mother 2 isn’t a sad game. The combination of the music(which has been played in parts throughout the game) and the photos at the end of the game really can make you emotional. Not sad, just “wow, that was a amazing game”
Few games can really do that.

Elobo said on Nov. 1, 2009

Most of it’s subtext, and how the player reads into things. There’s not much overtly sad in EB, I have to echo that it’s the least of the three in that respect.

Sean Peden said on Nov. 1, 2009

The only thing I found remotely sad in EarthBound was how tragic of a character Giygas is, but even that isn’t as moving as Mother 3.

The Survey is called “games that made you cry the most”, not “Saddest games”. The credits/ending of EarthBound is extremely emotional, enough to move me extremely close to tears, but not sad. Mother was much more sad than EarthBound as well, but I can’t cry playing Mother (unless you mean crying from the pain of grinding and then dying and losing your progress).

Mother 3 though…

I can see why Mother 2 would be up there on the list, but I think Mother 3 should be higher, if not #1.

0 Shift said on Nov. 1, 2009

I KNOW THAT GUY

EmeraldWind said on Nov. 1, 2009

I cried for M3.

If I had played M2 as a kid… Giygas would have made me cry for completely different reasons…

Adman said on Nov. 2, 2009

The game moved me to tears, but I would not call it sad. It was just a powerful f*cking game. >.>

Mother 3 on the other hand…

Assorted Astrology-Related Names said on Nov. 2, 2009

Maybe, for the older gamers, it has something to do with Giygas the first Mother. Like, they’re playing Earthbound with memories of Mother in their mind, and then they come across the ending. Instead of that odd little Mewtwo-Amigara Fault creature they were expecting, they had this big scary face/fetus that was crying out to Ness.

But for the younger gamers, I have no idea. And Mother 3 was the ONLY game to move me to tears *Sniffle*

Vinny said on Nov. 2, 2009

Mother 2 has a lot more tender moments in it that make me get a little misty, but not in a sad way. Only time I get sad is after the last battle, walking around talking to everyone. Mother 3 didn’t make me feel sad as much as it made me go “wow, this really sucks for this kid…”
Even Mother 1 gets the water works going for me. You know the scene in the shed when Ninten and Paula dance? Gets me everytime…

Gaia Dragon said on Nov. 2, 2009

I think they got the numbers wrong.

Dumbo said on Nov. 2, 2009

At first, I didn’t think Mother 2 was too emotionally upsetting, but, when you think about it, all the things Giygas says are very sad, even more so if you played Mother 1 (I don’t know how to explain it, but it just makes the battle even more sad).

With that said, Mother 3 is still the most powerful video game story ever. I always tear up when thinking of Tanetane Island and the very end. :'(

Yoshimad123 said on Nov. 2, 2009

I, too, think they got MOTHER 2 and 3 mixed up.
I didn’t feel sad in MOTHER 2 (apart from the credits), but all of MOTHER 3 is just depressing.

Karma said on Nov. 2, 2009

“FF is not sad at all, who can possibly say they cried at Aeris’ death?”

Oh, I dunno…. try hundreds of self-confessed Final Fantasy 7 fans.

Seriously. Your own opinion on on the game, nonwithstanding, you go and ask 10 FF7 fans this question and I guarantee you 100% that at least 8 of those 10 will tell you they did. And, the other 2 will just deny it even if they did, so they won’t look like a wuss.

Leirin said on Nov. 2, 2009

To me, it’s a perfectly sad game, especially the ending. But because it stays happy throughout the duration of the game, I don’t think it’s the saddest. To me, EB0 has more sad moments, like the town with the parentless children, the ending, the entire mystery of Gyiyg, George and Maria, etc… and MOTHER3 is the only game to have made me cry so much I couldn’t see the screen.

Axl-fox said on Nov. 2, 2009

I think Mother 2 was more…funny than sad, I mean, it had like hundreds of momments that made me laugh so much that I shed tears

the ending is also a bit touching but never sad, if you want sad games, go and play Mother 3

Millhouse said on Nov. 3, 2009

Okay, this is just plain weird. FFVII wasn’t that sad, except for Aeris death, FFX wasn’t sad at all (seriously, how can you feel sorry for Tidus? /Nobody/ likes him. There’s even a penny-arcade comic about how nobody likes him.), and Mother 3 is way sadder than EB. IMO, M3 should be number 1

MarkShark said on Nov. 3, 2009

Japan will always vote FFX for this kind of thing. It’s like Gundam SEED.
Like many have said, I would far agree that Mother 3 should be on there, considering that’s the only game that’s ever made me choke up.
However Clannad, in it’s anime form, probably hit me even harder, so that’s fully acceptable if you ask me.

the dude said on Nov. 3, 2009

mother 3 ending made me wanna cry and i didnt even get that far, i was watching a vid

Gaviollieo said on Nov. 3, 2009

I cant beleive that many people cried at Final Fantasy 7 and 10.I was cheering when Aeris got killed.And I absolutely hated Tidus with a burning intensity of a thousand suns.

liarxagerate said on Nov. 5, 2009

They picked it because MOTHER 2 is the much better game :smug:

flying said on Nov. 8, 2009

both games have this sort of happy sadness to them that i can’t explain well. it’s like an intensely lossful sorrow, and at the same time a surge of affection for the world and for people.

P.F. said on Nov. 8, 2009

Always thought Giygas, his fight, and the ending were disturbing and out-there enough in contrast to the rest of the game to bring on the wetworks. What Giygas is, and the fun little name-twist were always more than enough for me.

Oh, but right. For all my EB pimping, Mother 3 definitely brought more tears. But it was still different. EB was never so much about a direct narrative and a “sad story” like Mother 3 was.

lord said on Nov. 11, 2009

:.[ omg m3 is SOOOOOOO SAD

Frenchman said on Nov. 24, 2009

Earthbound is very quirky, the ending pretty touching. The first 10 minutes of Mother 3 though, that was really sad =(

Ilana_ said on Nov. 27, 2009

I totally agree if it. Mother 2 IS SAD. In a very subjective way. Even with all the neat jokes and stuff, it always made me feel sad at some point, or even bad. But this is one of the motives i think it is a master-piece of a game. *_*

To tell the truth, i cried at some point of the game(it’s a long history, and i’m kinda ashamed, so i’m not telling why it made me cry XDD). But it wasn’t at Giyga’s fight, i swear!

Well, Mother 3 is also sad, but in a different way, sort of. It’s sadness is more tangible, i guess.

Den said on Dec. 3, 2009

Actually, I was talking to a woman in one of my upper division Linguistics classes and she noticed my wall-paper was from M2. She said, “Oh! I know that game! It is sad, isn’t it?” and I was kinda surprised. I asked if she played M1 or M3 but nope, just M2.

I think, as someone else said, it’s the undertones. Unlike other “child-adventures,” your character gets homesick, there’s a real question about where your father is (he’s always supporting you financially but his presence is never really felt), one of your friends has parents who worry about her while the other one calls his dad “Dr.,” the end boss says it’s lonely and what-not… it’s really probably the undertones.

Joshua Johnson said on Dec. 5, 2009

that us weird that they chose the second one over the third.

At the end of Mother 2, I thought is was very heartwarming, and a very good ending to a long quest.

the end of mother 3, I cried my ass off. It made me sad to see two brothers fight, then to see his brother commit suicide. Very touching

Karma said on Dec. 5, 2009

Sorry for being slightly off topic. But this is regarding Final Fantasy X having the #1 spot…..

I have to say I agree with that. But not in the intended sense.

Final Fantasy X almost caused me to cry, due soley to what a horribly, wretchedly BAD game it was.

While attempting to play it for the first time, I recalled the money I wasted on a game where you walk forward, get a horrible, annoying cutscene, walk forward, get another horrible, annoying cutscene, walk forward and get another horrible, annoying cutscene.

I hated FFX. I hated the characters, I hated the story, I hated the gameplay (what little of it there actually was), everything about FFX was an insult to the series and a dismal failure of terrible execution from the very beginning.

I normally would complain about such an unbelievably awful game making the #1 spot. But then I recall my own experiences trying to play FFX. And remember how I almost cried when I discovered how much money I threw away on that garbage.

It’s spot on the list makes sense, to me.

But in all seriousness, this entire list is weird. FFX is awful, corny and ridiculous, Dragon Warrior V had nothing that emotional in it, and was more like a typical standard, dry-eyed RPG, Final Fantasy 7 was a convoluted, overrated, mess of a story, and extremely overrated game, Clannad I have never even heard of before, and Mother 2 of course…. was one of the HAPPIEST games I’ve ever seen.

I think someone needs to redo this entire list, replace these bizarre choices with better picks and just put Mother 3 on the #1 spot.

afag said on Dec. 13, 2009

Mother 3 is more sad

Wafffo! said on Dec. 29, 2009

Mother 3 is much more sad

blah1017 said on Dec. 30, 2009

I’d say Earthbound has the least sad story of the 3, but the nostalgia hits me like a ton of bricks whenever I play it or listen to music from it.

soiherduliekeb said on Jan. 18, 2010

Don’t DIE CLAUS!

Buzzo said on Jan. 26, 2010

Seriously? Mother 3 was throwing the sadness at your face, you really had no choice but to feel ‘sad’ otherwise you’d be a bad person…
For me the subtle sadness of Mother 1, and Earthbound had a much longer lasting impression on me than Mother 3. Earthbound felt saddest to me because I identified so much with it, I grew up on it one could say, and it was much like a loss of innocence. you were not forced to feel it, you had to find the loneliness, and despair permeating the game. There are alot of depressing parts of Earthbound they just aren’t spelled out for you in a big red crayon.
Gyigas was 10x more of an emotional trip than Porky for me at least in both 1 and 2.
I loved Mother 3, and yes it was sad but Mother 2 deserves the list it left a lasting impression that got everyone ready for 3.

Ninessuca said on Jan. 31, 2010

It’s more weird than sad. Mother 3 should have been there instead of Mother 2

Johnwalt said on Feb. 1, 2010

I wonder if they made a typo and put 2 instead of 3?M3 was so depressing in the beginning i had to stop playing,lol. Though i did cry @ the end of EB cuz i didnt want it to end :/

Culex said on Feb. 10, 2010

M3 was sadder than M2.

But I seriously agree with DQV being up there.

The original super famicom release was brutal.

Not only did your childhood friend end up a single, abused barmaid if you didn’t marry her, her father died, her last surviving family member.

Harsh.

death said on Feb. 20, 2010

funny not sad

Lost Hero said on Feb. 23, 2010

WHY THE !@#$ DOES FINAL FANTASY X TOP THE LIST?

Oh, and good news for Earthbound. 🙂

TwinsInTwoson said on Mar. 2, 2010

MOTHER 3 was way more saddening than MOTHER 2. Never cried when playing MOTHER 2, but just when seeing a Let’s Play of MOTHER 3, I was crying roughly every 10 episodes, with the exception of the last few, when each and every time I cried.

Meyers said on Mar. 14, 2010

Seriously? It’s the funniest RPG on SNES! The sad moment comes at the final battle however…

They didn’t know gems like MOTHER 3, Kana: Little Sister, or World of Goo (seriously, the music!)

Remember that is the poll for games that make people cry, not limited to RPGs!

FranklinBadge said on Mar. 23, 2010

Guys think about this maybe the poll was done before Mother 3’s release.

Bob said on Apr. 11, 2010

@franklinbadge
Mother 3 was made in 2006, translation patch in 2008, and this poll in 2009.

JoeShmoe said on Apr. 15, 2010

Right on. While MOTHER 3 is packed with plenty of depressing moments, for me, MOTHER 2 takes the cake merely for its ending. I found it so powerful; like the person in the post, I cried so hard when I “discovered the end” that I could hardly see the remainder of the boss fight, let alone when Ness and co. arrived back in their normal time.

The Dark Giygas said on Apr. 22, 2010

Earthbound’s not even that sad. It’s just bone-chilling. The final battle, anyway.

??? said on Apr. 23, 2010

epic, fun and somewhat disturbing but not sad.

BLMNDEF said on Aug. 7, 2010

Mother 3 is the saddest

tanmac43 said on Oct. 21, 2010

Mother 2 isn’t as sad as it is touching. There’s a difference.

massing ness said on Apr. 18, 2011

no crying till the end!

mister t said on May. 7, 2011

Mother 3, wayyyyyyyy sadder

Rock said on May. 7, 2011

Mother 3 didn’t make me cry. In fact, no game has made me cry yet. Does that make me a bad person?
However, I kinda felt sad for the characters in MOTHER 3. Chapter 1 was the saddest. The ending didn’t made me cry, because I knew what was going to happen (the Magypsies told me everything in Chapter 7).
However, the final battle was totally unexpected in MOTHER 2. It didn’t made me cry, but it gave me a “What the F**k is this?!” feeling.

angryreimu said on Jun. 18, 2011

BUZZ BUZZ! :'(

Karadom said on Jul. 17, 2011

I cried at the end. Not because it was sad, but because it was over.

PK_Love_Omega said on Aug. 12, 2011

(SPOILERS) Tbh, Mother 3 was by far the saddest. I mean, Lucas lost half of his family at what, age 14? 15? You couldn’t help but to feel bad for Claus, commiting suicide for the sake of the world, Hinawa giving her life for her family, and even Pokey, whose fate was much worse than even death…(Would you rather die and be in a peaceful sleep, or be tortured to live forever, in a world where nothing exists anymore?)

Mother 2 didn’t lack sadness though. It made you think…will the four best friends ever meet again? Except for Ness and Paula, they where spread across the world. Jeff was in a distant Alaska/Canada Area, and Poo might have been on a different continent altogether. It made you think, will they meet again, or is this the last time they see each other? Then, there is the whole theory where Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo die after defeating Giygas, and the rest after that is a post-death dream. (End Spoilers)

Earthbound has a lot of sadness, it’s just hidden deep in the game.

RadicOmega said on Sep. 16, 2011

@ PK_Love_Omega Lucas was actual nine at the time he lost him *SPOILERS* Mother. He lost Claus at 12. Other than that he’s expirenced many deaths besides his family. I find MOTHER 3 the sadist game on Earth. I find Earthbound sad as well

Uvaz said on Sep. 17, 2011

Earthbound is not really sad, but is so incredibly touching I couldn’t help but crying.

Uvaz said on Sep. 17, 2011

I echo Den’s and Buzzo’s feelings.

GiegueFanboy said on Feb. 12, 2012

Strange… I always viewed M2 as the most upbeat game in the series.
M3… now that’s another story……..

Ninten=ness said on Feb. 12, 2012

Mother 1 i saw as a game that was half and half on being sad and happy. Mother 2 the only sad thing was the ending, as you never want to see the little pixelated characters go. I think mother 3 was the saddest by far.

SU-Team8 said on Feb. 20, 2012

Obviously it got the spot ONLY because Mother 2 is the fan favorite of the series >.>

GreatNess said on Feb. 29, 2012

Mother 3 WAS VERY SAD! I actually feared up watching the final boss fight

GreatNess said on Feb. 29, 2012

Teared up not feared up (stupid touch screen keyboard)

Ness1985 said on Apr. 26, 2012

I believe MOTHER 3 is the saddest game in the gaming industry. It actually started to effect my personal life in a bad way, so I have to get away from it for a while.

Ryuzekia said on May. 2, 2012

Mother 3 was much sadder than earthbound/mother 2 seriously i found it more comical.

Clockwork64 said on May. 19, 2012

Mother 3 Shoud be 1or2nd

WolfWoods said on Aug. 23, 2012

The question waas what game made you cry the most,so it’s not a question of being sad,but being emotional enough on the player to make him cry.Earthbound can do that.

FranklinBadge said on Aug. 31, 2012

It is kind of understandable why Mother 3 didn’t make this list. Mother 3 is one of those games where you need to have experienced A death of A family member in real life to get the full effect, and i’m sure most people have never experienced something like that.

However I also don’t think Mother 2 deserves this list. I think it only got up there because it’s A popular game like final fantasy.

Kraken of the sea said on Nov. 21, 2012

Mother 2 was rather a happy exciting looking game too me, the storyline is somehow funny either

MOTHER 1 is the nostalgic for me…
and MOTHER 3

Mr. Carpainter said on Sep. 8, 2013

No video game has ever made me cry. IM A MAN

i love mom said on Sep. 9, 2013

the only part of mother 2 i found sad was the final gigys fight when paula prays and ur mom prays and your sister and what made me cry was wen the dog prayed 2


 

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