EarthBound Collections Up for Grabs
In the November 1994 issue of Famicom Tsushin (later renamed to Famitsu) was a section about what Shigeru Miyamoto and some other famous people thought of MOTHER 2, which had been released a few months earlier. I’ve translated the article below. I don’t have a copy of this issue myself, so I can’t provide scans or other info, so if anyone comes across this issue, let me know!
It’s probably worth noting in advance that Miyamoto is kind of notorious for his dislike of RPGs, which he’s talked about in the past on several occasions.
What Famous People Think About MOTHER 2
–We heard from Mr. Itoi about this, but is it true that MOTHER 2 was the first RPG you ever beat?
Miyamoto: I’ve finished MOTHER 1, too. Though I had to use the debug mode. (laugh) But this is the first one I ever finished on my own. I even restarted from the very beginning when I lost my save file. I was pretty impressed with myself, to be honest. (laugh)
–So, what is your honest opinion of the game?
Miyamoto: Mostly, it made realize just how lacking games have been in terms of writing until now. Seeing how well things can be explained in only one or two lines of text had an impact on me, as did seeing words used in ways that I can’t use them. Playing the game, I realized that vocabulary isn’t about knowing lots of difficult words, but about how many simpler words you know.
–What did you think of the story?
Miyamoto: A story isn’t an outline. An example is “Twin Peaks”, with its cast of colorful characters. The story is what’s born from having a bunch of colorful characters together. My opinion is that it isn’t just a simple outline of event after event. In that sense, MOTHER 2’s story made a real impression on me.
–The townspeople are really unique and well-crafted, aren’t they?
Miyamoto: The characters are really well-done, even down to the moles that explain things to you. What left the biggest impression on me was the scene where Everdred was lying in the street. When he gets up, the middle-aged ladies back away. It was so obvious and natural, and made me wonder why video games had never used that level of expressiveness before. It perfectly portrays people’s emotions. We treat game characters as parodies of people and nothing else, so seeing how Mr. Itoi handles his characters so properly left a great impression on me.
–What are your thoughts on the graphics and the battle system?
Miyamoto: Saving Fourside’s graphic style for the fourth town was really effective. It’s a little dizzying, but that change of perspective was really good. I do have to say, though, that the battles aren’t very interesting. (laugh) Even though I was involved with them a little bit. (laugh) It’s no more than a few pictures plastered on the screen, so it lacks a feeling of uniqueness or personality. I think we could make something even more Mr. Itoi-like if we tried, though. I’d love to improve it for MOTHER 3.
–Lastly, what do you feel an RPG should be like?
Miyamoto: Let’s say you tie someone completely up – even their individual fingers – and then wait a while. Then, if you start to untie the ropes one by one, they’ll of course be happy. Anyone would. The method of sticking someone in an incredibly tight situation then untightening it little by little and then saying, “There! Aren’t you happy now?” becomes very boring as soon as it becomes evident. So, instead of that, my personal theme when making RPG-like games is, “What can I do?” I don’t think creating happiness comes from starting from a negative and returning to zero. It’s starting from zero and ending at one hundred, and I try to think of ways to allow that.
Character Names: Miyahon / Lui / Raymond / Yasuko
Pet Name: Lon
Favorite Food: Natto and Rice
Favorite Thing: Multimedia
Takuya Kimura (famous SMAP member and guy in the MOTHER 2 commercials/ads)
Character Names: Takuya / Anda / Tsuyoshi / Shigesato
Pet Name: Michael
Favorite Food: Spaghetti
Favorite Thing: SMAP
Shingo Katori (another SMAP member, most of these answers are sushi/food-related)
Character Names: Riiga / Susshi / Tooro / Tagoma
Pet Name: Kai
Favorite Food: Negitoro
Favorite Thing: Chef
Character Names: Tamakichi / Lumbini / Jouro / Mage (ponytail)
Pet Name: Maru
Favorite Food: Okara (bean curd refuse)
Favorite Thing: Sokushinbutsu (Buddhist monks who get mummified)
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