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A few years ago I made a post explaining that legal issues were the cause of why EarthBound isn’t on the Virtual Console (see here). The quick summary is that NOA wanted to make some changes to the game to avoid legal issues, but NCL didn’t want to make those changes.
At the time I made the post, I was asked by our source not to mention specifics. After some prodding recently, though, I was finally given the OK to list the specific issues, which are:
- The Sky Runner song needs to be changed
- The Chuck Berry battle song needs to be changed
- The Dali’s Clock enemy name needs to be changed
The Chuck Berry song is easily replaced with one of the other dozen or so battle songs, so that’s not a big problem. The Dali’s Clock sprite is apparently fine, just the name needs to be changed. The show-stopper is the Sky Runner song, which was made specifically for the Sky Runner scenes. They feel a new song would need to be made, and apparently NCL or someone else on the Japanese side of things isn’t happy with that or finds it too much of a bother, so the game has been in limbo for the past five years.
For some more background info, see here:
As I hear it, EarthBound was basically ready to be released on the Virtual Console, even the VC game instructions for it were apparently ready. Only at the last second did this situation arise.
Will this ever get resolved? I hope so, but after five years of this, I’m not expecting it to happen anytime soon.
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255 Comments to EarthBound’s Specific Legal Issues
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