The Completionist: EarthBound
MOTHER 3 was released on the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console last year but no one really knew if it had undergone any changes from its original Game Boy Advance release. That changed last month, when some of the EarthBound hacker guys and I finally got to dig into the new game’s data!
In all, it appears that three small changes were made. The programming code that makes these changes work were manually added tot he end of the game’s data, much like the hacking work we did with the fan translation. Here’s a run-down of what these changes involve:
Change 1: Lightning Flashes
A few scenes in the game feature flashing screens meant to seem like lightning. These flashes were changed, but the difference is so subtle that it’s almost imperceptible. In fact, none of us noticed it during our playthrough last year! I was only able to notice it when I put some of the scenes side-by-side, but even then it’s so slight. Here’s an example:
It’s assumed that this was changed to adhere to the company’s guidelines for avoiding epileptic seizures.
Change 2: Lightning Graphic
Looking at another change with Jeffman’s graphic viewer shows that a lightning bolt image was given some added color for some reason:
And here it is in action:
I’m not sure why this change was made. All I can guess is that it’s similar to the reasoning for the other lightning change.
Change 3: Battle Background
The third and final change made involves one of the battle background image layers. It affects battles with the Top Dogfish and the blue mushroom enemies on the crazy island.
The difference is clear using Jeffman’s editor, but in-game it’s almost imperceptible. This particular battle background slowly changes brightness over time, and the Wii U version reaches a higher brightness than the GBA version:
(GBA on left, Wii U on right)
Again, implementing this change required a decent amount of effort, so it must’ve been made for some good reason.
So, if you’ve ever wondered if the Japanese re-release of MOTHER 3 was different from the original release, now you know!
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11 Comments to MOTHER 3: Japanese GBA vs. Japanese Wii U Differences
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