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Tips for Buying EarthBound

January 11th, 2016 | EarthBound, Hacking | 2 Comments

There are multiple debug menus hidden in EarthBound, and the big one that lets you do all sorts of cool stuff has always been full of gibberish:

In actuality, this gibberish is just Japanese text, written phonetically in English, with most vowels removed. My interest in this weird menu is actually what led me to join the EarthBound community back in 1998, so it’s always been something I enjoy messing around with. And now you can too, even if you don’t know a lick of Japanese!

Thanks to vince94, there’s now a translation patch for this debug menu, which you can get here!


If you want to access this debug menu, I made a code a few years back that turns the ATM card into a debug menu item. Check it out here!


January 9th, 2016 | Audio Stuff, MOTHER 1 | 4 Comments

A while back, a fan named Ellie sent me an e-mail out of the blue:

Hi! I just wanted to tell you that I’ve recently made a transcription of Earthbound Beginnings’ entire soundtrack for sheet music!

Attached was a fancy 88-page PDF file with a ton of sheet music!



You can download the full PDF here!


January 7th, 2016 | EarthBound, Videos | 2 Comments

After a very long break, we held another EarthBound Central Live stream the other day on Twitch! If you missed it, you can see the archive here:

We covered a bunch of news that happened in the last month or two, then took a look at a dozen or so e-mails from readers. Then we played some more EarthBound while we did some Q&A and did research for my upcoming EarthBound Legends of Localization book!

We’re hoping to bring EBC Live back as a weekly thing again, every Monday night. If you’d like to be there with us live, follow us on Twitch here!


December 18th, 2015 | EarthBound, Videos | 19 Comments

Super Mario Maker is constantly coming out with new characters to play as, and the latest Japanese video has Master Belch from MOTHER 2/EarthBound slated to be playable on Dec. 19th, 2015:

I don’t know if it’s going to be a worldwide release thing all at once, or if it’ll be a Japanese-only thing at first. But holy barf I NEVER expected this! Luckily I have a Japanese Wii U, so maybe in the near future I’ll stream some of it here to get my belch on!

EDIT: And Mr. Saturn too!


December 17th, 2015 | Merchandise, MOTHER 3, Videos | 12 Comments

MOTHER 3 was just re-released on the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console, and to commemorate the event Nintendo has all three of the Japanese games on sale for a limited time.


Japanese fans are now able to buy the entire series on the Wii U:


The MOTHER 3 Miiverse is also filled with lots of cool posts and drawings from Japanese fans. Fans outside of Japan have also taken to asking for a localized release elsewhere around the world.


MOTHER series-themed Nintendo eShop cards have also been released in Japan. You can buy these at different stores around Japan, but I’m not sure if they’re available for import at any of the regular import shops.


I believe the Lucas amiibo is also now available in Japan!


When MOTHER 2 was released on the Japanese Wii U, we held a special EarthBound Central/Fangamer/Starmen.Net live stream to celebrate. We had a similar celebration when EarthBound Beginnings was released. I had hoped to hold a special stream for this MOTHER 3 release too, but Fangamer is in the middle of holiday shipping mode, so Poe and I held a special EarthBound Central Live stream instead. You can check it out here:

We played through the first chapter, took a look at the release trailer, browsed through a bit of the MOTHER 3 Miiverse, shared a lot of fan art, and more. We also talked about the chances of an official release, as well as pogs and 90s fads. It was a pretty goofy, fun stream. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!


December 8th, 2015 | EarthBound, Merchandise | 11 Comments

It looks like a new set of MOTHER series goodies is being released! This time it’s a set of MOTHER 2-themed figure straps:


The characters featured include:

  • Ness
  • Paula
  • Jeff
  • Poo
  • Mr. Saturn in trash can (which we know as Dr. Saturn)
  • Pokey
  • Starman

The straps will be available in capsule machines throughout Japan starting March 2016, but as usual you can count on various import sites and eBay sellers to simplify matters for you if you don’t live in Japan. Right now I know you can preorder some from NCSX here, but if you know of any other outlets where they’ll be available, share your knowledge in the comments!

Thanks to everyone who let me know about this, it was a sudden surprise for me!


December 3rd, 2015 | EarthBound 64, Merchandise | 6 Comments

Back in 1999, a preview version of the N64 MOTHER 3 was playable at Nintendo’s Spaceworld event. Staffers who worked the booth were given special DCMC shirts, they’re so rare that even 15 years later it’s hard to find any good, concrete info about them. Even pictures are hard to come by!

Luckily, one appeared on Yahoo Auctions Japan the other day, and it wound up selling for the equivalent of $2500 USD!


And here are the pictures that were included in the auction listing:




Whoever won this now has one of THE rarest items an EarthBound/MOTHER fan can possibly own!

…I’m still not sure who these characters are and why this phrase was used, though. I guess maybe it’s one of the many things that didn’t make the jump from the N64 game to the GBA game.


December 2nd, 2015 | Hacking, MOTHER 1 | 19 Comments

H.S recently shared some new screenshots from the Mother 1 remake hack that uses the EarthBound ROM as its base:

There have actually been lots of other developments since the last time I posted about the project, so check the big project thread here for anything you might’ve missed!


November 28th, 2015 | EarthBound, Interviews, Itoi, MOTHER 4 | 14 Comments


Fellow translator Jason M. just finished translating Shigesato Itoi’s most recent interview about the MOTHER series – you can check it out here!

This is the same interview where he talks about why he’s not going to make any more MOTHER games, his thoughts on Iwata’s passing, his musings on the series’ popularity outside of Japan, and more. It’s an excellent read, so check it out sometime!


November 24th, 2015 | Interviews, Itoi, MOTHER 4 | 16 Comments

A Japanese MOTHER 2 event is currently being held for a few weeks (more details here) and one thing that came out of it was a really great interview with Shigesato Itoi about the MOTHER series. You can find the original Japanese interview and article here.


Unfortunately I don’t have time to translate the interview, but Kotaku did post a tiny translated snippet that explains why Itoi has no plans for any more games in the MOTHER series. You can read about his reasoning here.

Some other topics that come up in the full interview:

  • Itoi talks about Camp Fangamer
  • He also talks a bit about foreign fans, which makes sense given that he met with a bunch of Fangamer guys again just the other day
  • He touches on the quality of EarthBound’s localization
  • He talks about Mr. Saturn speech and their fonts
  • He wants a Mr. Saturn amiibo, is reluctant to do a Mr. Saturn iPhone case
  • He discusses the idea behind praying and the flashbacks in the final battle of EarthBound
  • Pokey/Porky is Itoi’s favorite character
  • He says foreign fans seem convinced he’s secretly working on a Mother 4 and that he’s been lying that he won’t make a fourth game
  • Itoi discusses Iwata’s passing
  • He discusses why he’s stepped away from games lately
  • Itoi discusses apps he’s working on that aren’t games but are the closest thing to games, including apps for sharing info about lost dogs and cats (a big thing he does on his Twitter account already)

Lots of topics in such a short interview! I’m secretly hoping that someone out there will have the time and skill to translate it in full 😛


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Recent Comments

  • Ness1985: Chances are if Nintendo is actually doing it with their translation, it’ll be neutered, butchered & heavily censored.
  • Esper: I’m impressed with how patiently and kindly Mato just said “STOP MESSAGING ME ABOUT MOTHER 3 RUMORS” Anyway, just keep...
  • Ryan: This is exactly what someone secretly working for Nintendo would say! Mother 3 in English confirmed.
  • Anonymous: I don’t mean to be too much of a conspiracist, but I think it’s perfectly possible that Mato has been contacted by Nintendo....
  • Covarr: Aww, when you hadn’t responded to the rumors before, I’d kinda been hoping there was an NDA involved. I guess this means...
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Master Belch and Mr. Saturn plushes!