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July 12th, 2019 | EarthBound 64, Uncommon Knowledge, Videos | 10 Comments

A video surfaced showing a tiny morsel of new footage from MOTHER 3 for the Nintendo 64 (usually referred to as EarthBound 64 outside of Japan). Most of the clips from the video have been known about since the turn of the century, but the one small part of the forest/jungle area is brand new to most fans:

This is a small snippet of a show called Game Catalogue 2 that aired in Japan in December 1996. I highly recommend watching the whole thing here, even if you don’t know Japanese. It’s chock full of cool Spaceworld ’96 stuff like hands-on play with the N64DD, the host being wowed by the rumble pak, and early development footage of a bunch of N64 games – even Shigesato Itoi’s No. 1 Bass Fishing! Lots of PlayStation games too.

The short clip above was shown a full 3 years before the fabled demo was playable at Spaceworld ’99. Really makes you think about how long MOTHER 3‘s original development took, and how much it must have hurt to cancel it.

-Poe

 

March 27th, 2019 | EarthBound, Food, Merchandise, MOTHER 3 | 8 Comments

We covered the Mother’s Cookbook Kickstarter a while back, which was successfully funded and recently fulfilled! If you missed out, you can now buy a copy at Fangamer.

I’m incredibly impressed with this cookbook. The recipes are creative and easy to follow, the photography is beautiful, and the entire book is dripping with love. Not only do you get recipes for foods that appear in EarthBound and MOTHER 3:

You also get recipes inspired by other parts of the game like the New Age Retro Hummus and even some drinks!

Don’t worry, there’s a recipe for the infamous Trout Yogurt in there, and it… actually looks delicious. The recipes were written by level1chef, check out his site for other video game-inspired recipes!

If you feel like you need a copy of this cookbook in your life, head on over to Fangamer and pick one up. There’s even a PDF version if you don’t like owning physical things. And don’t worry if you’re not a master chef – there are recipes for beginners too!

-Poe

 

February 26th, 2019 | Hacking, MOTHER 3, Uncommon Knowledge, Videos | 7 Comments

lorenzoone, who headed one of the Italian MOTHER 3 fan translations, has been doing lots of work with the game’s programming, including fixing bugs in the original game and uncovering unused/missing content.

This latest video shows off how the MOTHER 3 debug room was actually intended to work: there’s actually more than one room in the debug room! The video also shows some unused sprite placement code for some early scenes. There’s even one that one that includes Hinawa, Claus, and Lucas running away from stuff.

I don’t think there are any cheat codes to activate these extra rooms yet, but it sounds like lorenzoone is considering adding them back in for any future translation patches.

I gotta say, this is stuff that I never even knew about, and I’m even pleasantly surprised to see that the other debug rooms actually work with the translation.

The MOTHER 3 ROM is so huge that I bet we’ll be seeing discoveries like this for years to come. That, plus the game’s lengthy development, means we can almost see different stages of the game’s development, kind of like digital tree rings or sediment layers. Neat stuff!

 

January 24th, 2019 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge, Videos | 6 Comments

CWillyHD recently documented a way to skip ahead to Twoson well before you should be able to visit it. It’s more intended for speedrunners and just for fun, but it’s really cool to see:

I never even imagined that this sort of trick was possible, but I bet it could be used for all kinds of other tricks, although none will probably be as useful as this one. I’m always amazed at how fans find new ways to mess with the game after all these years!

 

December 23rd, 2018 | Misc. | 20 Comments

It’s hard to believe, but today marks the 10th anniversary of when I started this EarthBound blog. I remember it like it was yesterday – I remember drinking lots of weird smelling coffee, I remember what translation job I was working on, I remember looking around online for layout ideas, etc. And now it’s 10 years later 😯

A lot of EarthBound stuff has happened over the past 10 years, and it’s always been fun sharing it with fellow fans. Today, there’s actually more stuff than ever going on, so much so that it’s hard for me to keep track of anymore!

Updates on the site have clearly slowed down quite a bit compared to ten years ago – I even remember posting multiple things per day early on. Part of the reason for the recent slowdown is that I burned myself out on EarthBound after writing my big 400+ page EarthBound localization book a while back. And more recently, I wrote that huge article about MOTHER 3’s history with fans. But I still love the series and will keep posting things on EarthBound Central from time to time. I’d also recommend the Mother to Earth Twitter if you want to keep up with more EarthBound news.

I can’t even imagine what things will be like 10 years from now. Will we all be too old to care anymore? Will blogs become a thing of the past? Will MOTHER 3 finally get released? I have no idea, but for now I’m just happy EarthBound Central has made it this far!

 

October 25th, 2018 | MOTHER 2, Uncommon Knowledge, 日本語 | 13 Comments

There’s a show about video games in Japan called Yusha AAAA. A few weeks ago, Mato & I happened to catch an episode centered around MOTHER 2. There were five people invited to the show, three of which were real MOTHER 2 fans. The other two were lying. Could the hosts figure out who was who based on their answers?

I gave them numbers to make it easier.

Question 1: What’s your favorite MOTHER food?

1 – (I couldn’t quite make out what he said)
2 – (said a line from the game)
3 – “Corn pizza”
4 – “Ramen”
5 – *excitedly pulls all sorts of MOTHER 2 merchandise out of her bag and starts showing everything off*

She even has a boxed copy of EarthBound!

I asked Mato, “Do you think she’s tricking them?” He replied, “That’s a really expensive trick.”

Question 2: What’s your favorite scene from the game?

1 – “Grapefruit Falls” (He liked that you can go there with Paula at the end of the game.)
2 – “The five moles underground. They’re all the third strongest.”
3 – “Magicant and the Flying Men. If one dies, there’s a grave. If another dies, there’s a grave. The last grave just says ‘grave’.”
4 – “Mr. Saturn. The coffee break is very soothing.”
5 – (She’d been giving trivia to go along with people’s answers the whole time. She said her first favorite scene is how the hotel newspaper changes after every event. She kept talking for 10 minutes but they cut the rest of her answers out. Boooo!)

At this point, the hosts had concluded that #5 was a true fan, so they focused on trying to see which of the remaining four were just pretending to be fans.

Question 3: What’s your favorite food item in the game?

1 – (He liked the condiments and how they change food stats based on how well they go with the food you’re carrying.)
2 – “You start throwing away cookies after a while.”
3 – “Hamburger”
4 – “Grilled butter porridge”

Mato, myself, and the hosts became very suspicious of contestants 3 and 4.

Question 4: Hum your favorite song.

3 – (He hummed something, said it’s the Magicant theme. It doesn’t sound like Magicant.)
4 – (She hummed something that doesn’t sound like anything. Said it’s the “taking a bath” song in Saturn Valley.)

Question 5: What’s the town you want to visit the most? Name the 3 best towns.

4 – (She couldn’t think of an answer, so #2 started helping her. They teased #2 about having a crush on #4.)
3 – “Onett, Twoson, Threed”

Me: “He just knows that the towns are numbered!”

It’s obvious now that numbers 3 and 4 are the fakes, so the hosts asked #3 what he did to prepare for today. He said he looked at a few YouTube videos before coming in. And #4 said her real hobby is shopping, not video games.

The hosts were so impressed with #5’s passion that they invited her back to talk about MOTHER 3 on a future episode. That episode aired recently, so we’ll have another report for you soon!

– Poe

 

October 17th, 2018 | EarthBound 64, Interviews, Itoi, MOTHER 3, Rumors, Uncommon Knowledge | 6 Comments

Today is the 10th anniversary of the MOTHER 3 fan translation. To commemorate, Mato wrote a huge article documenting the cycle of hope, hype, and disappointment that surrounds the demand for an official MOTHER 3 translation from Nintendo.

Some fans have been on this rollercoaster ride for 23 years and counting. For older fans, this article is a strange, funny, and heartrending trip down memory lane. For newer fans, this article sheds light on how the cycle has been happening forever.

For me, it’s weird to see things go from magazines talking about EarthBound 64’s definite upcoming release in the late 1990s, to corporate Twitter accounts begging for MOTHER 3 and signs showing up at WWE wrestling events in 2018.

Brew some tea, grab a snack, and set aside a good chunk of time to enjoy this article.

Read MOTHER 3’s Timeline of Hope.

– Poe

 

October 8th, 2018 | EarthBound, Fan Games, Hacking | 7 Comments

Look out! It’s the Haunted Hoopster!

Wanna experience EarthBound in a totally new and weird way? pickfifteen recently released an updated version of the EarthBound Randomizer. The URL’s easy to remember, too! It’s earthbound.app

There are 3 modes to choose from: Normal, Keysanity, and Ancient Caves. “Normal” is the vanilla game with many things randomized, like gift contents, backgrounds, shop items, enemy stats, etc. “Keysanity” is like “Normal”, except all the key items are shuffled around. You’re given PSI Teleport and all teleportation locations are unlocked in this mode so you can progress through the game if you get stuck without a key item. “Ancient Caves” is the bonkers mode where you play through multi-level mazes with doors and rooms shuffled around.

Here are some screenshots of my short trek around Onett:

Give the new EarthBound Randomizer a try! Share your funny screenshots on Twitter with #EBrandomizer so we can all see them 😀

– Poe

 

October 1st, 2018 | MOTHER 1, Music Talk, Videos | 1 Comment

insaneintherainmusic recently posted a jazz/funk cover of “Pollyanna” from the MOTHER soundtrack. He’s joined by FamilyJules, Adrisaurus, and Sab Irene, making this an incredibly uplifting collaboration:

The song is also available on all sorts of digital music services (check the YouTube description for more info).

Please make more stuff like this! It’s lovely <3

– Poe

 

September 8th, 2018 | EarthBound, Merchandise | Comments Off on Grab an EB Calendar via the Batter’s Almanac Kickstarter

A group of EarthBound fans and friends recently got together to design and produce a 2019 calendar filled with EarthBoundy goodness. Called the Batter’s Almanac, it’s… already funded on Kickstarter! And it only launched yesterday. 😮

The Batter’s Almanac not only features gorgeous artwork for each month, it also lists dates and holidays that EarthBound fans care about. Stuff like Shigesato Itoi’s birthday, the release dates of the games, and even National Cheeseburger Day.

Head on over to the Kickstarter page to secure yourself a copy. There are lots of additional rewards like stickers, posters, and an opportunity to have your face illustrated on the calendar’s cover!

– Poe

 

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