Tips for Buying EarthBound

March 31st, 2018 | EarthBound, Images, Merchandise | 2 Comments

A longtime EarthBound fan and fan artist named Shane Hunt recently launched a Kickstarter for a book focused on his art creations:

Things are looking good for the book too: it’s already 200% funded and Shane reports that the hard work on the book has already been completed. Here are some samples it’ll feature:

It’s cool seeing fellow fans use their professional areas of expertise to celebrate the series even after all these years. So if this sounds like something you’d enjoy, check out the page here!


March 14th, 2018 | EarthBound, Videos | 11 Comments

A couple months back, Nintendo released a miniature Super NES box with a whole bunch of games on it, including EarthBound. I forget how many times EarthBound has been re-released by this point, but it’s actually quite common for re-released games to get minor changes that most people never notice.

Part of my job involves hunting for these changes though, so I was eager to see what might’ve changed with this latest release. After some technical hurdles, the PK Hack guys and I were able to find a handful of differences, two of which involved special cut-scene data. These two difference turned out to be minor animation changes that were also present in the Wii U Virtual Console release. You can see those tiny differences here:

Note that these were actual code/data changes – someone had to go into EarthBound’s programming and figure out the precise bytes to change, which probably wasn’t an easy feat. Nintendo’s custom emulator also tries to automatically reduce flashing on its own, but I guess these cut scenes needed to be fixed manually for some reason.

I don’t know if they other changes to the SNES Mini release have been figured out yet, but I assume they’re just as minor. If I find anything out though, I’ll be sure to share it here.

If you’re interested in these sorts of “quiet game changes that no one really notices”, here are a few other examples I’ve written about:

I try to document changes like these for my articles and books – my Zelda book covers every re-release of the game and how the game has quietly changed, for example, and my EarthBound book lists all kinds of easy-to-overlook changes that have appeared in MOTHER 2 over the years. Game changes are fun to document but are hard to keep up with!


December 12th, 2017 | EarthBound, Merchandise, MOTHER 1, MOTHER 3 | 13 Comments

Brian Connor (aka level 1 chef) and friends have been planning the ultimate MOTHER series cookbook for some time, and now it’s about to become a reality! They posted a Kickstarter for the project yesterday, and it’s already about to hit its initial goal.

Here are some sample pics:

The project has some stretch goals too:

I’m particularly looking forward to the Moonside recipes. I hope they involve black lights or glow in the dark frosting (if that even exists?)

This is definitely a passion project similar similar to to when I wanted to start my Legends of Localization books but couldn’t quite get them off the ground. I hope you’ll consider helping Brian and his pals get their dream off the ground too!


November 28th, 2017 | Images, MOTHER 1, Uncommon Knowledge | 16 Comments

A reader sent in an e-mail a few weeks back about something I’d never heard of before – there’s possibly a secret message near the end of the game, spelled out using a cave’s layout!

do want to make it clear that I did not make this discovery, but I know the person that did (KonekoFire) and they deserve full credit. I’m doing this as a favor for them.

Anywho, KonekoFire has taken all of the maps from the final Mt. Itoi area, and by moving and turning them around, he has discovered that they spell Gyiyg, as seen below. To many peoples knowledge, this has not been discovered by anyone.
The Reddit post he made on the matter today can be read here.

And here’s the picture:

Note that Giegue/Giygas is known as GYIYG in Japanese:

And for reference, here’s a full map of all the different cave pieces:

Given the bizarre letter combination involved, I feel rather confident this isn’t a coincidence. And if it was intentional, it meant the English spelling of Gyiyg’s name was already determined before MOTHER 2, which I’ve never found any evidence of until now.

Still, the fact that not every map piece is used to spell the name leaves me a tiny bit doubtful too. What do you think? Coincidence or intentional?


October 4th, 2017 | Audio Stuff, EarthBound, MOTHER 1 | 10 Comments

The New Japan BGM Philharmonic Orchestra always puts out some amazing music, and it’s always a treat when there’s new MOTHER series stuff. Here are a couple newer ones that I wasn’t aware of:

M2 – Smiles & Tears

M2 – Gray Hand Bus:

M2 – Hospital Theme:

M1 – All I Needed Was You:

M1 – Wisdom of the World

But wait! That’s not all! There are actually more MOTHER/EarthBound performances to enjoy – you can find them all here!


September 22nd, 2017 | EarthBound, Itoi, Merchandise | 12 Comments

Each year, there seems to be more and more EarthBound (well, MOTHER 2) merchandise in the Hobonichi Planner shop. This year there are four new covers for the original A6 planner, a new Weeks cover, and a Mr. Saturn card case:

All of the MOTHER 2 covers come with a bonus Mr. Saturn notepad:

All of these covers and more are for sale right now! Check out the whole cover lineup here.


July 27th, 2017 | EarthBound, Itoi, Merchandise, MOTHER 1 | 9 Comments

My busy schedule has kept me from EarthBound-related news lately, so here’s a bunch all at once!

Disney is for MOTHER 3

Last month there were two “Localize MOTHER 3” signs at wrestling events and then a plea to localize MOTHER 3 on TV via Adult Swim. This month one of Disney’s official Twitter accounts posted a similar request:

It looks like it’s a new-ish account for a new game-themed entertainment outlet, so I’m guessing that it was (in part) just done to drum up attention, but it’s getting weirder and weirder out there in MOTHER 3 localization land. I feel like something else happened similar to this in the past month too, but I can’t recall what it was…

MOTHER 2 Jacket Sold

One of the super-duper rare MOTHER 2 dragon jackets finally appeared on eBay the other day. Very few were made and they appear so rarely on auction sites that no one really knows how much they sell for on average. Well, this one turned out to go for $1625 USD… but it also came bundled with a complete copy of EarthBound. I’m actually shocked that it went for something so low! Whoever got it, please tell me how it smells so I can re-create it in scratch-n-sniff form someday.

EarthBound Zero Prototype Sold

Last month I posted about how another EarthBound Zero prototype cartridge was discovered at a garage sale. It was well documented and got lots of attention from collectors and gaming sites. A few weeks ago the owner put the cartridge on eBay, where it sold for $8276 USD. As far as all the known prototypes go, I think that might be one of the most expensive ones of all!

Itoi Learns About Toby Fox & Undertale

Toby Fox (aka Radiation from the old days) did an interview for Famitsu recently, because his Undertale game is getting an official Japanese release soon. Shigesato Itoi recently discovered the interview and had this to say:

Which is roughly:

A young man from America who once visited me as a MOTHER series fan is now being interviewed as the creator of a huge hit game.
That makes me feel so happy!

I’m really grateful to hear that he especially liked MOTHER 3. MOTHER 3 hasn’t been released in America, so he’s experienced the game entirely in Japanese.

A year or two ago, Fangamer and Toby ran into Itoi for a few minutes during a trip to Japan. I don’t think Itoi knew who he was at the time, so it’s neat to see his realization now 😛 Hopefully he’ll get a kick out of some of the Japanese writing in the game!

MOTHER 1’s Anniversary

Today marks the 28th anniversary of MOTHER 1’s release! I didn’t plan anything for today, but here’s a thing I put together for the game’s anniversary a few years ago. Oh Giygas that’s from 8 years ago already? EB Central is that old now? Nooooo

I’m probably forgetting more recent big EarthBound series happenings, so if I’ve missed anything let me know in the comments!


June 26th, 2017 | EarthBound, Hacking, Merchandise, MOTHER 1, MOTHER 3, Videos | 7 Comments

I’ve been meaning to post several updates for a while now, so let’s just tackle them all at once!

EarthBound on Super NES Classic Mini

The rumors came true – Nintendo is releasing a Super NES counterpart to the NES Classic Mini. It’s going to have a bunch of classic SNES games… including EarthBound! It’s also going to feature Starfox 2, which should be really interesting to see in official, finalized form.

Hopefully there won’t be release shortages this time – I wanted an NES and Famicom one when it came out but was never able to get one 🙁

Unearthed ROM Hack Demo Released

Over the past few years I’ve posted about an EarthBound hack called “Unearthed”. From the very start it’s been an ambitious project that goes well beyond most EarthBound hacks in terms of size and technical work. A short demo version of the hack was released earlier this month – more details and the patch can be found here.

Another EarthBound Zero Prototype

Another NES prototype copy of EarthBound Zero/EarthBound Beginnings was found at a garage sale recently, and it sounds like Sith, who’s working on the EB Zero documentary, really did his homework in figuring everything out and getting the backstory on this particular cartridge. You can check out a video about the find here:

Super impressive detective work all around!

Adult Swim and MOTHER 3

The other day I posted about another MOTHER 3 sign at a wrestling event. I believe the same sign appeared yet again after that post. The sign made so much news that it was recently featured on an Adult Swim TV bumper!

I guess someone at AS is a fan… or loves wrestling signs 😛


June 19th, 2017 | Images, MOTHER 3 | 8 Comments

During a recent WWE event, a fan could be seen holding up a “LOCALIZE MOTHER 3” sign near the ring:

It turns out that that fan was none other than magypsyparty!

This is actually the second time this has happened. The first time it happened was a year ago, when a different fan held up a similar sign. Is this the start of a new trend?

(P.S. I’m a bit behind on recent EarthBound news, so I’m playing catch-up. More posts in the coming days!)


May 30th, 2017 | Audio Stuff, MOTHER 1, Videos | 4 Comments

A fan named Ari composed an Eight Melodies arrangement last year for a local orchestra to play:

Hiya Mato!

My name is Ari and I’m apart of UT Dallas’ Video Game/Anime Orchestra Ensemble. I’m apart of their music production team, and for the past 9 months I’ve been working on a Eight Melodies Arrangement/Transcription based off the track of the same name from the Mother 1989 album. I chose this specific track because while searching the internet, I haven’t been able to find sheet music remotely similar to this track.

Here’s a link to Anime Orchestra’s performance of Eight Melodies from our latest concert:

In the score I had to improvise some measures of particular parts because they were hard to hear, and also I wanted to have a little fun. The ending was also something I had to come up with as well since the original track fades out and doesn’t have a conclusive ending. This is only my second arrangement I’ve created (and bare in mind I was solely a choir gal in high school), so constructive criticism is welcomed! If you want the score/want to read along, attached to this will be the full orchestra score in a PDF.

If anyone has any questions, concerns, or they want to play my arrangement, please contact me at

Thank you!

Ari included a PDF of the sheet music for this arrangement, which you can here.

I once heard that Eight Melodies was included in some Japanese music books used in schools. It’s neat to see the song spreading into other schools too now!


Recent Comments

  • Leeaux: I can’t wait for the explosion of comments when Tomato eventually posts the AVGN Earthbound episode. It was great!
  • Willro: Nice! I’ve been seeing his art floating around twitter recently, i’ll have to check this out. Probably wont buy it though as im...
  • Leeaux: Good to see you back in action Tomato!
  • DJ: I understand the need to reduce flashes in these old games for the photosensitive epileptics among us. Heck all these games came with warnings...
  • Chairman of the Bored: Yes, I would consider that to be a good thing.
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