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January 13th, 2009 | EarthBound, MOTHER 3, Uncommon Knowledge

A lot of people don’t know about this, and every once in a while I’ll see someone say, “Dude! I got this weird message when I went to load a game!” And then other people will be like, “Yeah, right.” But it’s true: sometimes your save files can get corrupted in MOTHER 2 and EarthBound. And if the game detects this, you’ll get an unexpected message at the file load screen:

The Japanese line is pretty cool, but the English version has the “What the…?!” part taken out and it’s not even formatted right. I guess the testers and/or translators never really bothered to look into this line of text, since it is pretty rare.

The same thing also happens in MOTHER 3:

For the translation, I didn’t neglect this line of text, because we got it to happen every once in a while while doing all that evil hacking 😛 I don’t know if MOTHER 1/EB0 has anything similar, though.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: watch out for the evil gremlins (or evil mushrooms) that will try to delete your hard work!

POLL: Have you ever had your MOTHER 2, EarthBound, or MOTHER 3 saves suddenly get deleted?

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54 Comments to Ness Used the Save Eraser!

Crescendo said on Jan. 13, 2009

Oww, I remember when this happened in Mother 3.
Luckily I already finished the game and I didn’t need that save anymore, I guess it got corrupted when I patched the rom, or something.

Difegue said on Jan. 13, 2009

What says the Japanses line in MOTHER 2 precisely?

Alxprit said on Jan. 13, 2009

Difegue, it’s probably just “We’re very sorry…” replaced with “What the?!…”. That’s my guess, anyway.

Rufus said on Jan. 13, 2009

This is really interesting, and I’m also amazed how I never got this message before, though I could’ve just forgotten.

Anyway, no matter how many times I would play EarthBound on the SNES, I would end up accidentally kicking it, nudging it, or disturbing it in some way and causing quirky things to happen.

One time during battle in Peaceful Rest Valley with a Territorial Oak, I absent-mindedly nudged the SNES right after the Oak blew up, and the window was showing how much experience I was earning from the fight.

Except, the numbers just kept on going!

I couldn’t believe it, because I was getting somewhere around 32489203482304982340823410239~ for just this one battle. The numbers eventually printed out and off the window edges, flooding into the battle screen proper.

It took me a minute to figure out that I messed it up and had to start back in Twoson.

gBev said on Jan. 13, 2009

I’ve been lucky enough not to happen to me yet (in either game), but I feel like it’s bound to happen eventually…

vivi3000 said on Jan. 13, 2009

Hasn’t happened to me, which I’m glad for. But it’s neat that they included these messages.

Looking at the screenshots too also reminded me: I’m pretty thankful, as a learner of Japanese, that the majority of the text in the Mother games is in kana.

Mato said on Jan. 14, 2009

The Japanese one is something like, “What the…?! I’m/we’re very sorry to say this, but adventure record #1 has been lost.”

The English version is basically a literal translation, but it sounds awkward, is formatted oddly, and is missing the first part, which adds a tiny touch of humor to an otherwise unhappy message.

Spitball Sparky said on Jan. 14, 2009

Thank you! Everytime I bring this up anywhere people say I’m nuts…also, I am very happy to have a screenshot. <3

Silver Streak said on Jan. 14, 2009

Luckily I’ve never had this happen to me; is this more common on the actual game as opposed to using a ROM image on an emulator?

Skulryk said on Jan. 14, 2009

I remember getting this before. I guess the English is phrased a little strangely, but the way it was worded makes it seem like the game designers are truly sorry for losing your game save. I guess it’s a little comforting to know that they’re sorry after you lost 20 hours of gameplay…

Smash Bass said on Jan. 16, 2009

It’s nice to see little hidden details like this. I mean, if my save were deleted, well, at least I got a little apologizing message. 😛 To me it seems like the programmers (or whoever had the idea of putting that text) had genuine concern of such a situation could occur, and while it would be almost impossible to prevent completely this kind of incidents in the specific conditions, at least they are sorry.

And Silver Streak, dunno if you’re gonna see this comment but it happens more often on the actual cartridge.

ZombiePaul said on Jan. 16, 2009

I’m among the few that have had this happen. I’ve been called a liar more than once when I tried posting about it (years back, not on Starmen.net).

I’ve never encountered anyone else who has seen it so this makes me question my sanity a little less.

Thanks Mato 🙂

SutterCane said on Jan. 18, 2009

Yep, this happened to me a couple times on my EB cart. Nothing to do with this message or corrupted files, but I would just go to play the game and all my files were gone. It really sucked.

Teal said on Jan. 22, 2009

This happened to me on my first playthrough. The game froze when Pokey turned off the Devil’s Machine. I reset my game and my saves where gone…But I liked the game so much and played again but it didn’t freeze the second time. Weird faulty cart…

Masheysoup23 said on Jan. 22, 2009

This happened to me when I was playing through Mother 3 the first time. At first, I was really upset, since I had gotten pretty far. Then I remember I had saved a state recently. 😀

Heero0m said on Mar. 8, 2009

I had this happen when playing a rental game. Though I’ve also had it occur in other games like Dragon Quest which had a similar message, though it also played the curse sound when it happened. I think most games have this, someone needs to try corrupting their save file in EB0/M1 and see if this occurs.

SamWibatt said on Mar. 19, 2009

I believe that Nintendo’s technical specifications for games require that developers test save-file integrity when starting up or loading, and to report errors and recover as gracefully as possible if problems are found.

Happily, as you say, this doesn’t come up a whole lot.

ZEROGRAVITY-A01! said on Mar. 24, 2009

I hardly able to replicate the worst case scenario, and it’s because of the game’s inexplicably fast saving. Other games didn’t do as well as EB does, because they took a little longer to save.

Wiseman said on Mar. 28, 2009

@Rufus That happened to me before, you have to die at the same time the Territorial Oak does when he bursts into flames.

This has happened to me some many times! The game and the console is so fragile, a lot of the times it would just clear all my saves without the notice, but I have seen this screen many times.
I used to have to hope not to see the screen when I went to load.

Batandy said on Apr. 5, 2009

My poor Mother 3… *sniff* *cough*

mother 3 fan said on Apr. 10, 2009

I think it is crap to delete a file from a good game

GhostSonic said on Apr. 11, 2009

That was an anti-piracy measure in the game. Those silly anti-pirates and their false positives.

FuzzyPicklez said on May. 24, 2009

The first time I played Mother 3, my save went corrupt along the line. It was gone, but I didn’t realize it until I lost at the volcano and chose not to try again. But I used save states, so I made it to the end.

PSIchopath said on Jul. 12, 2009

Your file has been corrupted… BY THE EVIL FORCES OF GIYGAS. I’d like to see THAT message 😀

Ness and Sonic said on Nov. 4, 2009

The SNES game is unstable in my SNES. If someone (like a young child) touches the SNES game while I am playing it will result in all the data being erased. I want to see it on Virtual Console or something.

Steak said on Nov. 10, 2009

Never had this happen suddenly, but I think I’ve seen the Mother 3 screen after messing around with saves.

you don't know me, so my name doesn't matter said on Dec. 10, 2009

Well, since my mom decided to get a cheap FC Twin instead of an acutal SNES without even remembering how clumsy I am, although this hasn’t happened, there was one time when I was walking through the room in the dark and I knocked the thing off the pile of shoeboxes my mom set it on. I have no idea how, it felt like I almost tripped on a cord but I couldn’t have. Well the next day when my little brother wanted to play Earthbound (since he can’t read very well I help him) I turned it on and the screen was black. I took out the cart and blew into it and the console, and put it back in (it doesn’t stay in very well anymore, since I knocked it down, but all the other times I knocked it down it was fine). When I turned it on this time it loaded fine, but all the save files were blank. No message or anything, just a bunch of blank save files that used to be full. I blame the FC Twin and my mom because she knew it was going to be fragile and that I am clumsy.

Ricardo said on Dec. 30, 2009

you don’t know me: Probably the battery got hurt. Can you save properly?
Same thing happened to me in a Pokemon Gold Pirate Cart =(

Mr weird said on Jan. 1, 2010

A few years ago, when I had a working SNES i had Earthbound, and i got to the cave of the past and I saved it. When I got to Giygas, i realised that Paula was down and out, so I couldn’t use pray. I was really angry, so i punched the SNES. I must have punched it harder than i thought, because the cart came out. I put it back in, and
(continued on next comment)

Mr weird said on Jan. 1, 2010

all i saw was a bunch of letters and numbers. I blew into it, and it still didn’t work. After doing everything I could, I just had to accept that the cartridge was broken. Luckily, my brother had a copy of it. That one worked, but all the save data was deleted. I felt a bit bad, because it took him ages to beat the game. Unfortunatly for me,
(next comment)

Mr weird said on Jan. 1, 2010

none of my games worked. (or my brother’s) I opened up my SNES, and something was smashed. i fixed it, and all of my games worked, except for Earthbound…

Ice Sage said on Mar. 4, 2010

I’ve had a save files on EB0 revert back to previous points at least twice, both times with apparently no reason (I suspect it happens when saving right after an area like the zoo or Rosemary Manor, when the game has a lot of data to save, but I don’t know). For instance, once I saved after completing Rosemary Manor with Ninten around level 32-ish. When I next turned on the game, the file said my level was at 20, and when I opened it I had just gotten Lloyd. Thank God for savestates, which I had just tested out for the first time.

Both instances were at different points in the game, but reverted about the same amount (Ninten lost around 10 levels both times). Of course, this may have been an emulator issue, so I can’t really say this is a flaw with EB0 or with Jnes. But it’s there.

Mr. Saturn said on Mar. 21, 2010

This reminds me of a puzz-I mean bug in the English translation of Mother 3.
I got to the bit where Wess shouts at you for getting the wrong thing from Oshoe Castle, and I saved it. I turned my GBA Emulator off. Later, I turned it on, and the data from the English version had somehow transferred to the original Japanese ROM.

Staarf said on Apr. 11, 2010

This happened to me a few times. I was playing on an emulator and I’d saved at Dungeon Man after having gone through him the second time to get the Yellow Submarine. However, when I went back the next day to play it dropped back at like… Twoson.
So I got impatient and said, “Screw it D:<" and opened up an old Savestate I had at Stonehenge Base. I hate Deep Darkness, so I guess it's a plus. XD

The Dark Giygas said on May. 22, 2010

Yeah, that’s never happened to me. Yes, thank me!

Mic said on Jun. 23, 2010

Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if, when saves get erased, Apple Kid appears and says: “I’m terribly sorry, but the Save Eraser i was working on seems to have malfunctioned. I live next door to the Save House, so your save got corrupted. Again, I’m sorry.”

PK Saturn said on Jul. 6, 2010

This never happened to me on EB but it has happened to me on other games such as Kirby Super Star and Pokemon Silver (and it really sucked on Pokemon Silver because I had like 150 hours of gameplay 😛

DJ 2Sang said on Oct. 30, 2010

This only happened to me @ the beginning…

THIS IS NOT A TRAP said on Nov. 9, 2010


SilthCo. said on Jan. 1, 2011

Is it known what causes this? My M3 save was corrupted.

Some Random Guy From Onett said on Jan. 1, 2011

Who know’s maybe the next major item to hit the shelves will be the Apple Corps Save file eraser only for the forces of evil..

man said on Apr. 30, 2011

I’m the guy on the forums who got it working on a PAL SNES.

No problems whatsoever.

y u no perv said on Jun. 3, 2011

giygas has devowerd your saves

Matteomax said on Jul. 23, 2011

Ugh.. This happenen when i was playing EarthBound and a fly, (I thought it was a bee from the future.)flew into my cart HARD. ( Just kidding… the graphics began to screw up and i accidentily moved the cart. My game froze, I reseted the system and the error message came up!) 🙁

Matteomax said on Jul. 23, 2011

And I am not a young child! >:(

iRateGamer said on Jul. 9, 2012

Save file 1 got hurt and collapsed…

Spidey501 said on Jul. 30, 2012

The save file lost the battle(sad music plays)^

Would you like to continue?

Yes No

*chooses yes*

We’re sorry but because you’re save file died, it will have to be erased.

Me: WTF!

you can not grasp the true form of my username said on Nov. 3, 2012

it happend to meh but ic WAS useing cheats (presicesly the anti-piracy one)

Earthbound912 said on Nov. 3, 2012

I heard that this once happened on a FULL TAS.

zen said on Nov. 10, 2012

never happend to me because i play a it on zsnes idk if it is possible on a emulator if it is possible plz reply

MandyLandy62 said on Apr. 11, 2013

This happened to me… 🙁

100% Completed file, Level 99 on all chars

zen said on May. 15, 2013

im getting a snes version of earthbound+book!
so i might find out!

Someone said on Jun. 26, 2013

This happened to Chuggaaconroy on the Mother Marathon livestream

VixOnAMoonsideTrip said on Jan. 2, 2014

@Someone …I know this is last year, but… I wonder if there’s still a link to that video? I wana see his reaction.


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