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May 14th, 2011 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

A few years back I posted a page on Starmen.Net about EarthBound’s copy protection and posted a video about it on YouTube. Since then, they’ve really made the rounds, but not without a lot of people misinterpreting (or just not paying attention) to the info given. So I want to try to make things clearer here.

Super NES Copy Protection

Many Nintendo Super Famicom/Super NES games had some sort of copy protection in them – just from personal memory I know Super Metroid and Super Punch-out had copy protection that would go off on accident sometimes. I’m sure many others did too. In the case of MOTHER 2 (Japanese version of EarthBound), the programmers went the extra mile by including several layers of copy protection.

The really important thing to mention first is this:

This copy protection targets bootleg cartridges and cartridge copiers. ROMs are NOT affected, unless you’re using a crappy emulator or playing a ROM someone hacked as a prank.

How This Was Discovered

For years and years, EarthBound ROM hackers were confused as to why there were apparently two types of EarthBound ROMs out there. The only difference between them was a couple changed bytes. In 2007, Goplat, an especially skilled hacker, looked into those differences and saw that those bytes were different because software pirates (presumably in the mid 90s) had gone in and undone a bunch of anti-piracy mechanisms. That’s how we fans discovered the existence of these copy protection schemes.

Copy Protection Layer #1

The first layer in EarthBound’s protection is simple – it just makes sure you’re not running on a European/PAL system. If you are, it gives you this screen and freezes:


Copy Protection Layer #2

The first REAL line of defense against pirates happens when the system is turned on. It checks to make sure the cart only has 8 KB of SRAM, which is the part of memory that holds save games. Bootleg carts and cartridge copiers tend to have more (so that it’ll be easy to slap any game onto them), so if it notices that there’s more than 8 KB, the game will give you the following screen:


(Japanese version on left, North American version on right)

The game then freezes on this screen. There’s no way to get past it without hacking the game’s code, so for most average bootleggers this would be the end of the line.

Copy Protection Layer #3

Obviously, a pirate wouldn’t want to play or sell a game that doesn’t run, so the next logical step would be to simply reprogram the above check and keep it from happening. It’s easy, just alter a specific byte or two and voila!

The MOTHER 2/EarthBound programmers anticipated this, so they laid another trap: they look to see if the above check was disabled in any way or if it was skipped over. If the programming notices something isn’t right, it triggers its next defense mechanism and makes a LOT more random enemies appear for the entirety of the game. This was probably to make it much less enjoyable.

Here are some examples:

It’s not obvious if you haven’t played EarthBound much, but the enemies on the beach only appear very rarely, never this often. In fact, many players go through the game without even realizing these enemies even exist!

Likewise, outside the pyramid, it’s common to see a handful of enemies at any one time, but never quite this many.

Some places will even have weird enemies that don’t belong there! Here we see Spiteful Crows in the pyramid, but they don’t belong there at all, as you can tell from the glitchy background.

Copy Protection Layer #4

There are actually some other checks that are sprinkled throughout the game’s programming, but it’s not clear what they do yet, if anything. They appear to do the SRAM check again. We think they probably happen at various events throughout the game, like what happens with the EarthBound Zero NES ROM. But it isn’t 100% certain yet.

Copy Protection Layer #5

Having lots of enemies is annoying, but doesn’t make the game unplayable. So one final layer of protection was added to prevent pirates from fully enjoying the game – the game will freeze your game during the final battle with Giygas, delete all your save games, and then reset.

To get this to happen, you have to have defeated all the previous layers of copy protection, so it isn’t as if some random, innocent guy would have this happen to him. Random Innocent Guy would’ve been stopped at Layer #1 or Layer #2 and known something was up.

Also, the sound and graphics shown when the Giygas freeze happens is random each time. You can see that here.

Trying It Out

If you’re crazy and want to try the Giygas thing out for yourself, use the Game Genie code 2DE2-546E.

If you want to try out the “tons of enemies” mode without actually triggering any of the anti-piracy stuff, use the Game Genie codes listed here.

I Think This is Happening on My Game!

I get e-mails and private messages all the time from people saying they think their cartridge or ROM has the anti-piracy stuff enabled somehow.

Basically, unless you’re playing EarthBound on a bootleg cartridge, anything from Layer #3 or later will not happen by accident to a normal cartridge.

The only possible way is if cosmic rays from the other side of the universe messed with your cartridge in such a perfect way that it reprogrammed around the copy protection but left everything else intact. Sometimes, very rarely, old Super NES games accidentally show piracy warnings at boot-up, usually you can just reset the game and they’ll work fine after that. It’s possible this might happen with EarthBound, but it won’t cause the other things to trigger.

If you’re playing a ROM, then there’s always a slight chance someone pulled a prank and you downloaded a corrupt version of the ROM specifically hacked to make this stuff trigger. You can tell if you have the proper, clean version of the ROM by checking its MD5 checksum, which should be: ABE493B665F7467000BCF8C373B323FD If you don’t know what that means but want to check, look up MD5 checking programs on Google, it should be easy to figure out.

But in short, if you think your cart has the anti-piracy thing enabled (possibly because of the number of enemies), it’s almost 99.99999% the case that your cart is fine.

Summary

MOTHER 2 / EarthBound had anti-piracy protection that went several levels down, almost set up as a series of traps meant to snag pirates/bootleggers. I wonder if any other games at the time had this level of protection, and if they did, if they’ve been figured out yet. It took EarthBound fans 12 years to find this out, after all!

 

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90 Comments to EarthBound’s Copy Protection


Mato said on May. 14, 2011

I have a couple requests if anyone has time:

  • I’d love to have better screenshots showing off the “lots of enemies” mode. The ones I took aren’t so great, and mostly I wind up getting “that’s nothing, I get that many enemies all the time” or “OMG is my ROM doing the piracy thing??? i got lots of enemiez!”
  • Is anything not clear enough in my descriptions here? My article on Starmen.Net wasn’t 100% clear, which is why I wrote this article. I wanna make sure I have everything covered.
  • For the icon for this post, I’d love to have a copyright symbol (the c with a circle around it) that looks kinda like Giygas. Anyone up for that? :P
motherpwns!!! said on May. 14, 2011

maybe i can tommorow… kinda off topic but i think i found a typo in m1+2 by the healers house at the edge of mothersday theres a sign that has some random spaces in between 2 words

platinatina said on May. 14, 2011

Copyright symbol as Giygas? Challenge accepted.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3784170/copyrightgiygas.png

TGP said on May. 14, 2011

I tried my hand at it too.
http://i56.tinypic.com/14ae794.png

Mark said on May. 14, 2011

I’m curious why the giygas glitching out is random each time, since true randomness isn’t something easily achieved in software.

What exactly does it do that causes it to freeze?

Mato said on May. 14, 2011

I haven’t looked at it, it’s possible the programmers just stuff random numbers (via EB’s random number generator) into some key locations before resetting. I don’t know what the freeze is/does, I’m not very experienced with SNES ASM. I figure it’s just a really big “for” loop.

Rock said on May. 14, 2011

Does the anti-piracy stuff still happens in MOTHER 1+2?

Mato said on May. 14, 2011

I dunno. I doubt it, though.

Naoto said on May. 14, 2011

Just wondering, (Sorry if its a stupid question) if I played Mother 2 on my Modded Snes (Tabs in cartridge slot removed. Would the Anti Piracy stuff kick in? I kinda doubt it, but Its just something I’ve been wondering about since I recently ordered a copy.

Mato said on May. 14, 2011

I doubt it – I think that’s how many collectors here play Mother 2 actually. If the piracy stuff were to kick in, you’d know right away though, as soon as you turn it in.

GhostSonic said on May. 14, 2011

I highly suggest you include this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZd6gJxwDAw It shows what happens at the Giygas anti-piracy screen on a real SNES. It behaves differently from the ZSNES video you included.

Mato said on May. 14, 2011

I considered it briefly, but 1. I can’t really tell how it differs and 2. I’d prefer to include video of it happening on an actual cart rather than on something like the Game Doctor. I’m too attached to my screwed-up cart to take a video of it happening though.

GhostSonic said on May. 14, 2011

It’s a hell of a way to delete your save files.

PK Rockin said on May. 15, 2011

Sometime I have to mod my SNES…

Anonymoose said on May. 15, 2011

Uh, wait, so you COULD play this in Europe on European Snes’s? I feel kicked in the nuts….

Mr. Saturn said on May. 15, 2011

On my EarthBound, I’m stuck just before you’re supposed to go back to Onett to get the material from the meteorite. I talked to everyone in Saturn Valley and Apple Kid says that there’s still something in Lost Underworld…I can’t advance any further..

Hukky said on May. 15, 2011

My shot at the Giygas C symbol:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26599542/giygas.png

Claus said on May. 15, 2011

Wait, but I thought Japan didn’t have copyright laws. Why would they put all this stuff in?

Satsy said on May. 15, 2011

Claus – I’m pretty sure they have bootlegging and piracy laws. Copyright is one thing but that doesn’t mean they’re just going to let their games be dumped to ROMs and played for free. Loosely ripping one another off isn’t the same as blatant theft.

Randomguardian said on May. 15, 2011

Isn’t the crows in the desert intended to be there as an easter egg a la dalis clock in brick road. The glitchy background is the fact that you were not meant to be at such a low level that you fight the crow instead of insta-win. Regardless, the fact that they show up at all proves the point of the anti piracy mesure.

Globulous said on May. 15, 2011

Mato, I’ve got a question. Is it known for a cartridge to run into problems through age. My cartridge has been spawning a lot of enemies wherever it can, much like the piracy check does. When it happens, game slowdown occurs due to too many sprites on screen.

Mato said on May. 15, 2011

Almost certain the piracy thing isn’t accidentally enabled. The game sometimes spawns lots of enemies normally, that’s why I was hoping people could get better screenshots, the ones I took aren’t so great and look a tad bit like the normal game.

Shyamalan said on May. 15, 2011

It would be interesting to see someone try to play through the game with the extra enemies as an added challenge.

LucasTizma said on May. 16, 2011

@Mato: I dunno. Those are a TON of enemies in the desert! Does the anti-piracy trigger any more than that?

Globulous said on May. 16, 2011

See there’s the thing, my cartridge never used to do that until a few years ago, not as often at least. Yes there was still some slow down but now it happens very regularly.

Mato said on May. 16, 2011

LucasTizma: probably, I just didn’t try hard to get better screenshots.

Globulous: Does the game place weird enemies in weird places? Like spiteful crows outside the arcade after you beat the sharks? Are there crows in the pyramid? Any other weird stuff? If not, then I highly, highly doubt you have the anti-piracy thing on.

DJMankiwitz said on May. 16, 2011

While I can’t say how the check is handled in Earthbound, I have some experience with odd triggering of copyright protection.

One day when I was turning on DKC3, I got a screen with Diddy and Dixie in a crib with a message saying that the game had detected some sort of counterfeiter device. This was years ago, when it was still in stores. It hasn’t happened since then, it was a one-off error, and I wasn’t using anything like a Game Genie. Simply powering down and powering up the system cleared it up. I’ve read numerous things about the protection measures the SNES used, and my only guess is that maybe there was an odd voltage spike that prevented the 10NES chips in the SNES and the cartridge itself from properly syncing for a moment shortly after it powered on, causing the error. Other than that, I really don’t know. I do know it’s a lot more common for the same issue to cause the “infinite reset” on the first model NES.

DJMankiwitz said on May. 16, 2011

Mark, true randomness is hard to achieve in real life too. Coin flipping is actually predictable if you know all the starting conditions and do it in a vacuum.

If I were to guess, it seems to occur when you finish Pokey’s little speech, and the random element may be where the background animation is or your character’s condition when you hit “A”. It could also be what Mato mentioned.

Rafael R120 said on May. 16, 2011

Wow, Nintendo was really tight about protection these days…

EmeraldWind said on May. 16, 2011

I don’t know if it was Nintendo being uptight. It was probably a programmer that got bored and thought it would be funny. I mean, I have a friend who pirated most of the GBA games he played and something like this would have ticked him off. The increase in enemies probably would have discouraged him because he would have thought that was just how the game was. Personally, I would have done stuff like this to games just for the laughs when pirates complain.

Satsy said on May. 16, 2011

Globulous: Slowdown is just something that happens when there’s too much going on on-screen at once. The slowdown alone isn’t something related to the piracy measures. EarthBound isn’t the only game subject to such instances, either. So if you’re experiencing slowdown more than usual, you can probably chalk that up to your cart being old.

Globulous said on May. 16, 2011

I know about what causes the slowdown, I can recall a few points where it’s unavoidable (Market in Scaraba and monster museum in Dungeon Man).

PK Eggs said on May. 16, 2011

I have a theory that after beating the game, the next new game on the same cart will have higher monster spawn rates… a sort of “bonus” hardmode perhaps? My reasoning for this is that I decided to play EB a second time on the same cart with a new save… there were significantly more monsters, enough so that my party was almost 10 levels higher at the end of the game, and I’d done *less* experience grinding. It’s either that, or perhaps EB has a specific random seed for monster rates when you start a new game? Anyone else notice something like this? I suspect it could be causing people to think their cart is behaving like the copy protection is running even when it’s not… if this theory is true, that is.

Some Guy From Onett said on May. 16, 2011

if i ever become a game designer ill definately do that to them

Komaru said on May. 16, 2011

I once bought a bootleg SNES game by accident that simply had an SMC file loaded on to an EPROM chip. I’d be interested in swapping out the EPROM with one containing EarthBound to see if it would trigger any of the Anti-Piracy effects…

EBIsumaru said on May. 18, 2011

So basically… If the game catches you pirating, and you make it past the first two gates, it’ll make you play Mother 1.

Amras Felagund said on May. 18, 2011

Here is an image I took with the Game Genie code in place while playing through Happy Happy Village:
http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/651/earthboundcrazyenemies3.png

NOTE: This is AFTER I’ve defeated Carpainter. Those Insane Cultists are still hanging around for some reason. They stay around even after you’ve cleared the Lilliput Steps Sanctuary location.

EvilMag said on May. 21, 2011

Have you ever tried the Cartridge tilting trick on EB? Could that trigger the Copy protection?

DaVince said on May. 22, 2011

Green insane cultists?! That’s awesome! That should be in the article.

BurpBelch said on May. 22, 2011

So this doesn’t happen on the SNES clones? I thought i heard it did, guess that’s a lie. :p

And that’s clever of the programmers. Better than mutliple lockout screens.

A-wel Cruiz said on May. 27, 2011

A few years ago, my girlfriend bought a bootleg NES cartridge of Earthbound Zero at a flea market. Did that have any kind of copy protection I should worry about?

Mato said on May. 27, 2011

Yeah, EB Zero has its own things that I don’t know 100% about. If it’s triggered, then the game will show a piracy screen at certain parts in the game and flip some bits in the save RAM which bricks your cart from then on.

Some bootleg carts have this fully removed, but some don’t. There’s no real way to tell for sure without playing the game.

A-wel Cruiz said on May. 27, 2011

I never seen any piracy screens. Is that a good sign at least?

Mato said on May. 28, 2011

Yeah, if you haven’t had anything go wrong it’s probably a good sign.

Eggplant Cat said on Jun. 13, 2011

@DJMankiwitz DKC games on the SNES are known to often show anti-piracy screens, even if your cart is legit. It’s very tempermental; wether you put it in too fast or it just feels like putting up the “dun steal ower gaems kthx bai -nienteendoe” screen.

To my knowledge, EB is the only SNES/SF game that had anti-piracy measures like that. All the others I’ve seen have the “No steelin our gams ok? ok thanks baibai” screens (Though EB0 has a “Neeeigh RARE GAM WE BREAK UR COPIED CART B4 Gam’s last arreea bllarg. ©Ninten-chan” screen.). I haven’t heard of any other games that freeze right before the end and force you to reset, just to see that all your saves are deleted. (And I know that this thread is one month old, I just felt the need to answer DJMankiwitz’s question. o wo”’)

Zoom! said on Jul. 8, 2011

Maybe #4 is a check to setup the final defense.

Zoom! said on Jul. 8, 2011

What about Mother 3?

Josh said on Oct. 4, 2011

Is there any other MD5 codes that are different from ABE493B665F7467000BCF8C373B323FD? Because I can’t find a single ROM without that code, is there any other clean ROMs?

Mato said on Oct. 4, 2011

That’s the only clean ROM there is. Any others are edited/not clean ROMs.

Anonymous said on Oct. 5, 2011

If I remember correctly, the ABE493B665F7467000BCF8C373B323FD ROM is the one with the extra 512-byte header that was prepended by game copiers (http://romhack.wikia.com/wiki/SMC_header).

The MD5 hash for the unheadered (and thus truly clean) EarthBound ROM is a864b2e5c141d2dec1c4cbed75a42a85.

However, PK Hack (JHack.05e.jar) only seems to work with the headered ROM.

Both of these ROMs appear to run perfectly fine in emulators.

Josh said on Oct. 17, 2011

Thanks Anonymous.

Anonymous said on Oct. 17, 2011

What type of file is the one with the clean Earthbound? Are the files different and like if it’s a .smc it’s clean but if a .rar it’s not? Just a example.

Mato said on Oct. 18, 2011

The file extension has no connection with whether you have a clean ROM or not. The only way to tell is to check the uncompressed ROM’s checksum, which I explain here:

You can tell if you have the proper, clean version of the ROM by checking its MD5 checksum, which should be: ABE493B665F7467000BCF8C373B323FD If you don’t know what that means but want to check, look up MD5 checking programs on Google, it should be easy to figure out.

[…] of “Nintendo hard,” cult classical RPG Mother 2 (a.k.a. Earthbound) used mixed layers of DRM to poke pirates towards a purchase. The DRM initial creates itself famous by simply popping adult a FBI-esque warning, reminding a […]

UFO said on Dec. 27, 2011

Whenever I go to Summers, I always find a cop or beach bum. Sometimes, both in the same battle.

It’s safe to assume my ROM has the anti-piracy on, isn’t it?

RadicOmega said on Dec. 28, 2011

@UFO, When they ALWAYS appear is when you can tell.
Go further in the game, and if you see Crows in the Pyrimid, then you know that your dealing with anti piracy.

UFO said on Dec. 28, 2011

Oh crap. Is there an way to fix it? If I switch to another rom but keep the save data file, will I be able to continue? It took me a week to get to Summers. I can’t re-do it all.

Mato said on Dec. 28, 2011

The save file should probably transfer fine.

UFO said on Dec. 28, 2011

I’ve tried four different roms from four different sites. Whenever I go to the beach, there’s still cops and beach bums. Are there any other ways to fix it?

Schlupi said on Dec. 28, 2011

Try using a different emulator/flashcart.

RadicOmega said on Dec. 28, 2011

@UFO, likely you downloaded a hacked game. The only solution is to try it on another ROM as Mato and Schlupi just said.

It should save just fine.

UFO said on Dec. 28, 2011

Thank you for the help.

toadtoad12345 said on Jan. 1, 2012

omg scary i’v sean lots of badies mode my self and i stoped playing (kepp in mind that i did on emu not snes)

toadtoad12345 said on Jan. 1, 2012

also im relly lucky i have dkc1 2 and 3 on vc sounds scary as s***

toadtoad12345 said on Jan. 1, 2012

one more thing i hate anti-piracy

Dialga Thunderstar said on Jan. 5, 2012

Huh. I hope the Earthbound cart I got for Christmas isn’t going to do the anitpiracy junk. I Don’t know if it is old or not…

Rob said on Feb. 2, 2012

Maybe it’s because I was unlucky enough to be a Sega gamer growing up; so it’s probably just that I dont know any better. It’s a shame; I cant get a cartridge and had to go with the big E, but I’m kinda new to emulation; I noticed while using SNES9x with checksum 1871c66bc28f7f5dd0f6967c5764b6b9 (With the (U) F1+C in the name) that I had to fight through seemingly endless sharks OUTSIDE of the arcade at Onett on my first play through (I counted at least 8 and there were more, I just got jumped before I finished counting) and I was getting smashed with critical hits on nearly every battle regardless of what I was facing; So I tried the ABE rom and there were maybe 3 sharks outside the arcade? And battle’s with far less critical hits… I’ve heard EB is generally recognized as being easier than Mother on NES; are there versions of the ROM out there that use the spawning rates as a way just to make it more challenging? Or is it more likely to be a bad rom?

PS – Dont get me wrong, I generally dont like Emulation; I’d buy a genuine cart if I could, but I cant afford it and I’m sick of putting off playin’ EB for the 1st time. I’d like to play it, the way it was intended to be played when it was released. Not with the difficulty jacked up (yeah, I suck at RPGs) – or worse, to get my ending spoiled cuz some jerk released a ROM with copy protection enabled to trip regardless of your Emulator… Either way, I think you all helped answer my question before I posted it; I think I’ll just stick with ABE If I’m going to emulate.

THanks!

Rob said on Feb. 2, 2012

PS Great article; I find some of nintendo’s Copy Protection measures interesting (and way people found ways around them; AHEM Tengen cough cough)

EB was obviously a clever case

Mato said on Feb. 2, 2012

Sometimes there just happen to be a lot of Sharks – it sounds kind of normal to me. If there were crazy amounts of enemies EVERYWHERE and even sometimes enemies in places they don’t belong, then I’d be suspicious.

I think after I revealed this info and gave out codes on how to do it, it’s possible some people might’ve distributed hacked versions of the ROM while saying it’s a clean ROM. The likelihood is pretty low but it’s possible.

The possibility of a bad ROM that just accidentally happens to trigger the stuff is pretty low though, you’d probably have a better chance of winning the lottery jackpot a hundred times in a row.

I’m not up on my ROM naming conventions so I don’t know what F1+C there stand for, maybe that has something to do with it?

FlyingManCourage said on Feb. 2, 2012

I have to admit, ever since I read about these anti-piracy measures, there’s always some part of going through crazy, unlikely scenarios of how my cart and/or ROM somehow became tainted since I last played. Even though I know it about as likely as getting bitten by a shark…..in a Walmart.

Still, every time I approach the final fight these days, there’s always that small part of me secretly fearing that I’m about to lose all my saves and get the big anti-piracy finger….

…this is yet to happen. :)

FlyingManCourage said on Feb. 2, 2012

Wow…never got to the point there.

The point was that after many plays of EB post anti-piracy discovery, there have been tons of moments where I notice a slightly increased amount of enemies. Obviously, this is what gets the irrational fears started. So, my point being that Mato is very correct, sometimes there are just a lot of enemies.

I think the biggest hint for anti-piracy measures would be the enemies that in extremely odd locations, like a Mad Taxi in Saturn Valley or something insane like that.

Rob said on Feb. 25, 2012

That makes me feel better; just because most of us dont expect copy protection to be that cunning (or perhaps, just unique) – so even though I now think my ROM is perfectly fine, there was at least a week of wondering if something was wrong.

I appreciate the help; I’m enjoying my first play through (even if I’m takin’ my time doing so)

Dialga Thunderstar said on Mar. 19, 2012

I actually did get some anti-piracy junk a few times. I’m recording my first EarthBound playthrough for my friend since SHE DOESN’T PLAY ANY VIDEO GAMES AT ALL. During one of the first recordings I accidentally pushed the cartridge a little bit. I tried again and I got anti piracy crap like the “It is a serious crime to blahblahblah”. I tried again, got fuzzy blackness, called the Gametrade(better than Gamestop), all that jazz. After that call I tried again and switched TVs because I thought it would help. 5th most traumatic experience in my life(after finding my dad having a stroke, finding out my dog was leaving, getting my finger slammed in a doorway, and something I don’t bother telling). I finally got it to work after taking the cart out and blowing on it. I never want to go through that ever again.

Captain Burrito said on Apr. 8, 2012

Perhaps the save wipe should have happened earlier. At that point in the game you have already experienced almost all of the game anyway.

psychic psycho said on May. 22, 2012

i`m the random, innocent guy… -_-‘

Pinwheel said on Jun. 8, 2012

my rom messes up once you encouter buzz buzz on the hill. The light coming from the meteor give the screen a yellow tint and once buzz buzz asks you if you listened the game thinks you said “no” even if you click yes. Is this a line of defense against pirates?

Mato said on Jun. 8, 2012

No, all I can think is that maybe you used a hacked ROM as the base ROM or that you’re pressing the wrong button when you’re trying to say “yes”. I’ve seen people do that before, so that’s most likely the case.

NessObsessed said on Jul. 29, 2012

That i some serious stuff, erasing files. I could never replay a game if i didn’t finish it the first time

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Feb. 1, 2013

Hehe, I seriously hacked an EarthBound ROM with JHack (v0.5e, I know about CoilSnake but I’m just doing simple edits for fun), loaded up a save state in the middle of Deep Darkness, and freezes the game in the middle of the swamp and throws up the first copy protection barrier (which apparently is supposed to protect against PAL SNES consoles).

I think it had something to do with slapping Krakens (a boss enemy) into the battle formations but I do not know for sure!

Toadtoad12345 said on Apr. 11, 2013

the problem stopped :)

[…] would spontaneously blow up all your assets. And then there was EarthBound. You don’t even want to know about EarthBound. However, Greenheart Games had a fantastic opportunity to slyly let pirates feel the effects of […]

[…] would spontaneously blow up all your assets. And then there was EarthBound. You don’t even want to know about EarthBound. However, Greenheart Games had a fantastic opportunity to slyly let pirates feel the effects of […]

[…] spontaneously blow adult all your assets. And afterwards there was EarthBound. You don’t even want to know about EarthBound. However, Greenheart Games had a illusory event to skilfully let pirates feel a effects of their […]

[…] an almost normal game. But the program still knew it was not running on a legit cartridge—EarthBound Central has the technical details—so it would annoy players by flooding the world with way too many enemies. Still, while this […]

redlionboy1212 said on Sep. 1, 2013

i got Earthbound on the Wii U and it froze on the ‘THE END…?’ sign. I cant get passed it…

Anonymous said on Sep. 1, 2013

I’m fairly sure that’s supposed to happen, redlionboy1212.

You can still keep playing if you reset and load up your save file.

Dat Shambler said on Oct. 12, 2013

Someone tell me. Does something come up on screen when Giygas freezes?

Mato said on Oct. 12, 2013

No, I’m pretty sure nothing appears.

XenoStryker said on Nov. 23, 2013

Can tampering with the cartridge cause the copy protection to become enabled? Say somebody didn’t do a good job changing the battery or something like that?

Mato said on Nov. 23, 2013

Sometimes the piracy warning screen pops up on legit carts for no real reason. Usually just resetting the game will fix it. I’m not sure why this happens, it happens with other games with similar checks, like Super Metroid.

So I assume that messing with the cart itself COULD cause some problems, but probably not a whole lot. If something did happen, you’d almost definitely hit and stop at the first copyright screen immediately, though.


 
 

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  • Dr.x: Thanks. I’ll do that Crav.
  • ohgreat: @justin k no, do not do that. Sending a virtual machine with commercial software installed is illegal if you are not authorized to do so.
  • Crav: Dr. X, if you’re in chapter 7, just check your ship’s console next to Zarbol. Niiue made it available as soon as you came back.
  • Ejruss25: Ah, I remember this game. I distinctly remember being profoundly disturbed by it towards the end. It does a very excellent job of keeping...
  • Dr.x: I had fun just reading the pictures just now.
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