Finishing EarthBound in One Hour!
We EarthBound hackers have known about a couple different debug menus in EarthBound for years now, only just the other day was it discovered that there’s an actual, usable battle debug menu too. I don’t know much about the order of things, but I think it was the Fangamer guys who ran into it first, as explained by Reid:
Hey guys, we’re working here at the Fangamer office and Jeff decides to take a break and play some EarthBound. He starts up a new game with EB Saga-themed names, checked out the meteor, and as soon as he walked past Tracy to answer Pokey’s knock, he gets knocked into the Battle Debug screen.
We got video of it because it was so bizarre — as far as I know, you can’t access the Debug without a game genie or ROM, right?
Awesome ROM hacker Penguin also dug into the ROM and made a patch that makes the debug menu accessible by pressing the Y button outside of battle. You can find the details and controls for it here, and the patches here:
- Battle Debug patch – for headered EarthBound ROMs (most common)
- Battle Debug patch – for non-headered EarthBound ROMs, try this if the one above doesn’t work
Try it out and see what you can find!
I wonder how the menu is accessible normally. The Kirby debug menu in the game always had some battle-related option on it, but we never got it to work. I’m guessing that’s what this is, but who knows.
Hopefully someday we’ll find out more about this mode, it’s awesome that there are still hidden secrets in the game after more than ten years of hacking the game!
Incidentally, there appears to be a similar debug menu in MOTHER 3, but we’ve never been able to figure out how to access it. Maybe someday someone will come across it randomly too!
Note that this isn’t the first time an EarthBound cart has really glitched out. My own cart had some weird glitches too, which I started to document a while back here. I’m guessing that maybe as all the carts out there get older and more worn these weird things will start happening more often.
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