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Tips for Buying EarthBound

January 20th, 2009 | EarthBound, Itoi, Uncommon Knowledge, Videos

Many probably know by now that Giygas in EarthBound was partly inspired by a really old murder mystery movie. I even tracked down a copy and wrote a huge thing about it here.

This afternoon, I finally got around to making a short video of stuff from the movie, mostly THE scene and some stuff that happens after. It’s like a super quick version of the movie: Title screen, movie climax, end screen. All in five minutes. I even subtitled stuff into English so people would understand things a tiny bit better. You can see the video here:

I wish I could translate the whole movie, I liked it quite a bit actually. But alas, I don’t have much time and since I do this kind of stuff as my day job, I’m not that eager to go and do the same thing in my spare time 😉

Anyway, I’ve noticed that the movie’s getting rarer and going up in price, so if you’re a collector of EarthBound and EarthBound-related stuff, you might still be able to find a copy at Play-Asia or Amazon Japan.

Oh, I should note, since I cut out so much of the movie, that just before the grassy scene, the guy had agreed to marry the woman. What’s funny is that 1. there was no rape and 2. there wasn’t even any sex, and 3. there wasn’t even really any love-making. Itoi’s memory of the movie must’ve really changed in those 50+ years.

POLL: If you saw this as a 5-10 year old kid, would you be traumatized?

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62 Comments to The Scene that Inspired Giygas

ColdasIce said on Jan. 20, 2009

I can see how someone would mistake it for rape. creepy stuff. thanks for the vid and translation.

Poe said on Jan. 20, 2009

Rumors of the movie that Itoi saw when he was a kid went from, “it was a porno” to “it was a rape scene”, which was slightly closer to the truth, yet still not completely there. I’m glad we have this video now as visual proof. This will certainly put a few debates to rest.

MotherFTW said on Jan. 20, 2009



Clockerstance said on Jan. 20, 2009

Hey, I thought he promised boob squish. 🙁

Mato said on Jan. 20, 2009

Heh, yeah, even that wasn’t correct in his memory.

Darien said on Jan. 20, 2009

I think very likely if I had seen this as a child, I wouldn’t have had any idea what was going on. It’s a bit too indirect for my ability to grasp when I was ten. 😮

ChickenHunter said on Jan. 20, 2009

Well this now means false rape scene tramua at young age means awesome game?
Anyway interesting

madammina said on Jan. 21, 2009

Well, the strangling would creep ANYONE out.

and if he saw the dismemberment….

~Francis~ said on Jan. 21, 2009

Notice how the lady twists the grass in her hand as she dies. That’s probably the scene Itoi misremembered.

Mato said on Jan. 21, 2009

Maybe, but he specifically mentioned some kind of boob-grabbing and how it turns into a ball shape. Oh well, it doesn’t really matter, I’d be shocked if I remembered a movie in detail after 50 years 😛

an said on Jan. 21, 2009

I wonder if he’ll get around to watching it again. I bet it’d be really trippy to get an accurate beginning to end perspective to the whole scene that had once traumatized you.

Briianz said on Jan. 21, 2009

I wonder if the pplz who directed this movie knows that it traumatized Itoi and created Giygas. XD

Mato said on Jan. 21, 2009

I dunno, they’re probably long dead or extreeemely old by now.

Katon said on Jan. 22, 2009

Well I dunno, you do see a fair amount of her chest, and the guy’s pretty grabby in the scene, generally speaking. I don’t think his memory is TOO far off, especially without knowing the context of the scene.

Very interesting! I’ve officially done more studying about a 14 year old game than I have any school work I’ve had for the past 19 years.

Aqy said on Jan. 22, 2009

It is certainly a bit odd how he only uncovers her slightly.

ZN said on Feb. 4, 2009

In my view of that part. The man trick her that he is having sex but instead choke her so that is why she is uncover only slightly and that will make it kinda like a porno if he do it all the way

Saturnome said on Feb. 12, 2009

It’s quite interesting to see a old Japanese film without any reputation out of it’s country (which is never the case of old Japanese subtitled films).

Unclever title said on Feb. 16, 2009

It’s really a tough call to say if I would be traumatized by such a thing at 5-10 years old. Truth be told I would have never watched this at around that age region.

1. Cause it’s black and white and I didn’t see any
merit in such films at the time

2. That’s not the kind of movie I’d ever be allowed to see (considering I’ve never snuck in to see a movie in my life).

I certainly found Giygas more frightening (though I don’t think I faced him by myself before age 13-ish usually watched my brother play. So I also had the spoiler knowledge on precisely how to defeat Giygas). Particularly the walking up the entrails of the nightmare machine. That still kind of grosses me out.

It’s interesting that over time our nightmares grow as we do. So the imposing shadow stands just as high over us as when we were 2 1/2 feet tall.

I’m very glad I stopped having nightmares a long time ago. Closest thing I get now are REALLY weird dreams that I forget five minutes later…

Aerostella said on Feb. 17, 2009

Unclever title:
1. This was made in a time period where a majority of movies movies were in black and white, I believe.
2. He accidentally walked into the wrong movie. He didn’t sneak in.

Unclever title said on Feb. 18, 2009

I understand number 1, but my point is I didn’t live in that time period making it less likely for me. If I were to see a cultural equivalent film that was in theaters in my youth at then yes, I’d probably be scared witless, but due to the progression of time and culture it would also be a worse and more frightening film even if it’s still very borderline. I feel like that came out in a confusing way… but I’m not too sure how to further clarify. Hmm…

Thanks for the clarification on #2 I remembered the story incorrectly.

DarkLink9393 said on Feb. 18, 2009

It would creep me out, but I wouldn’t have been traumatized.

LuffyDan said on Feb. 22, 2009

Here’s on thing that’s always gotten me about the whole Giygas thing.

Are the lines that Giygas says during the battle lifted from the movie? What is the meaning behind them? Is there even any meaning behind them?

Mato said on Feb. 22, 2009

No, his text isn’t from the movie. Like Itoi said in the interview, the text was only meant to evoke the same feelings in the player that this scene evoked in him.

Vitaliy said on Mar. 2, 2009

Well, if he thought it was rape, he probably would have known what is was in the first place. Also, the way the cop grabbed her shoulder may have looked like the cop grabbing her tit. And that shrieking sound is VERY suggestive of rape…

. . . said on Mar. 4, 2009

well seeing as I saw Akira around that age than no it wouldn’t have Traumatized me….

IronROB said on Mar. 28, 2009

I can understand why Ito mistaked it for rape, that was kinda scary.

Oinkyescommander said on May. 28, 2009

I would not be traumatized if I was over 7

me said on May. 29, 2009

I haven’t played earthbound for a while btw but how did this influence giygas

jesusjuice said on May. 30, 2009

I think around 1:56 when the body is lying there about to be pulled away serves as a primary inspiration.

zigzag said on Jun. 21, 2009

I’m just learning about the backstory behind the game…interesting stuff. Of course it’s hard to say whether I’d be traumatized by something like this at that age, or rather it’s hard to say if it’s even possible to make a fair comparison in the first place.

Kids are pretty desensitized to a lot of things in movies now that would have been considered shocking to adults of that time period…hell, stuff that freaked ME out at that age probably wouldn’t even phase my nephew today, and that’s only a 20 year gap.

David said on Jun. 26, 2009

I had a similar experience watching Watership Down as a kid. This scene (at the start of the clip) terrified me and gave me nightmares:


I can understand how that other movie scene scared Itoi enough as a kid to inspire Giygas…the implications are pretty horrifying. He has sex with her (scary enough to a very young boy), strangles her, then saws her dead body apart. Imagine that happening to Mommy.

Mister Owen said on Oct. 2, 2009

Around that age, I was traumatized by two things I saw on TV. 1) A movie I don’t know the name of where a guy was being strangled by a possessed waterhose 2) A TV show where a guy was tied down to a bed being injected with some kind of poison while his killer watches and sings karaoke at the same time. So yes, this scene would probably traumatize me most likely out of not being able to understand the context.

justin said on Dec. 1, 2009

Shigesato Itoi was traumatized by this movie as a young child. He wanted people to experience what he experienced by creating Giygas.

Queenie Z said on Feb. 1, 2010

What Itoi had was a false memory of the scene. The lack of understanding at what was going on when he first saw it must have been filled in via association (touching + strangling = rape) as he got older, and from there he unconsciously invented the other details.

It’s a very common phenomena with childhood experiences, and I bet all of you have remembered something that didn’t really happen the way you thought it did.

Gabo said on Mar. 19, 2010

OK, IT KINDA SHOCKED ME, not in itoi’s way!

Marianne said on Mar. 27, 2010

To be honest it kind of bothered/unsettled me watching it now (I’m 26), and I think I’d have been really bothered by this old movie scene had I seen it as a little girl… Then again, the concept and presentation of Giygas unsettles me too (he goes from being a bit of a wanker in Mother 1 to a cosmic horror in Mother 2), and I’d have loved playing Mother 2/Earthbound when I was younger, I loved (and still love) games that could creep me out and had a more developed storyline than Mario/Sonic type games, like Ecco the Dolphin 🙂

Dermil said on May. 13, 2010

That not traumatizing for a 10 year old. try watching stay alive when you’re 10,the peak of your gaming life,after watching that when i was 4 i couldn’t go to sleep or play games for weeks. But it could just be me,you should go watch it

Yammonster said on Jun. 5, 2010

Wait, why did he kill her?

BTW, I do think that would be seriously creepy to a kid. I remember being terrified of choking to death when I was little because I heard about how a woman choked on a fork. The world is pretty different to children.

germany :) said on Jun. 26, 2010

i have look the really movie its scary …
i know this dream

jsmizzle said on Jul. 23, 2010

That’s so wild. I’m friends with Hisako Tsukuba. She’s still alive and she’s executive producing Piranha 3D, which will come out in theaters on August 21st, 2010. I’ll let her know that one of her scenes inspired one of my favorite video games!

jsmizzle said on Jul. 23, 2010

Acutally, the woman may have been Katsuko Wakasugi, not HIsako Tsukuba.


CharryChuCinder12 said on Aug. 8, 2010

I’m not even going to watch the scene after seeing what everybody else said. But unlike everybody else I didn’t think Giygas was that distubing. And yes I do know what Itio wanted us to witness but instead I witnessed a red bloody lump floating in space that had a giant jaw and was screaming at you. but I guess that’s what happens when your used to Zelda and Sonic then you suddenly play an Earthbound game. And about the tramatized thing I once saw a girl’s face being eaten off by rats in a movie so I try to stay away from rats now. And if I ever made a game a faceless girl would be a boss. But giygas isn’t that scary in my opinion.

kIRUCHAN said on Sep. 13, 2010

o,O is is STUPID, idk how it traumated itoi

anonymous said on Sep. 29, 2010

after the end of the film he was like. (O_O)

Ness and the Hippies said on Oct. 18, 2010

I have never been scared of Giiygas, but to be honest with you guys, the lucas nightmare boss freaked me out.

mk said on May. 22, 2011

given that sex scenes in old movies usually played out like that (shot of the characters lying down together, maybe a little skin on show, then a pan out to something on the edge of the scene), the strangled crying from the girl amd the fact he initially thought he was watching a porno flick its not hard to see how he could come to the conclusion that he watched a rape. also what with the shots of the guys hands cushing the girls neck and her hand spasming and the brains tendency to remember what you think you must have seen rather than what you actually saw the mental images he came up with aren’t that suprising.

psychoTR2 said on Jul. 8, 2011

I fail to see how this scene could traumatize anyone. Was this exactly the scene that Itoi saw?

Mato said on Jul. 8, 2011

Yes, this was the scene he saw. Keep in mind he saw it in the 50s and was a little kid.

uyuyuy99 said on Jul. 15, 2011

Seeing as how people tend to remember childhood memories as scarier than they really were, I guess it makes sense.

Bre said on Aug. 5, 2011

That imagery is pretty powerful. I can see why he was traumatized. I’m sort of traumatized now!

On a side note, why kill a beautiful woman who’s ready to give herself to you? What kind of dummy would you have to be?!

Meat Knight said on Nov. 12, 2011

Itoi: AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: Will somebody get their freaking kid out of this theater?!!

SuneLadyFireHair said on Dec. 18, 2011

I have been traumatized in similar ways, I remember seeing something when I was like 5 and thinking how jacked up it was… then I re-watched it later, or talked to my parents or siblings–and they look at me like I am a psychopath, or I wonder if I am because “it was SO vivid” in my mind how it was! Without complete understanding of what’s going on, we sometimes go to worse case scenario.

There was boobie squishies! For a small child it was just magnified.

Loo said on Jan. 26, 2012

When I was seven I saw the ending of the movie The Blair Witches Project and in my memory the ending was completely different than the actual movie (that I only discovered last year with 15 years old). It was really scary and off, and just one or two pictures were truly of the actual movie. My mind made everything, and i was very afraid of that memory. So, I think Itoi just messed things up with the age. I think I would chock too…

Bionic said on Jan. 26, 2012

I think as a modern society, it’s not as creepy to us because we’re used to high-octane gore and violence. But what does make this scene kind of scary is the look in their eyes, like in the murderer’s eyes and in the woman’s eyes when she’s on the table about to be sawed. Sometimes I think the older movies were even creepier this way, because they don’t show you everything…you merely feel the implied effects of being shown part of what is about to happen. Poor Itoi! I can totally see how this would frighten a little boy, especially in that time period! And yet…his trauma helped make the best video game ever! Suh-weet! 🙂

Earthbound lover said on Feb. 18, 2012

It’s funny I am 11 and that looked like a normal kind of movie

GiegueFanboy said on Feb. 22, 2012

Funfact: You know how Itoi said the guy grabbed her breast and it contorted? Well, there is a scene where she is getting strangeled and she grasps the grass tightly and squeezes it. He probably mistook that for her breast. Not to mention the music in the scene sounds EERILY similair to the part in Earthbound when the Devil’s Machine makes it’s first appearance and the room shakes and Ness’ face pops up on the eye…

GiegueFanboy said on Feb. 22, 2012

Oh yeah, and, you want traumatizingly horrifying? Watch “Begotten”.

sonic fan boy said on Oct. 29, 2012


Noobfroob said on Nov. 17, 2012

Well, atleast now that theory isn’t right 😀

Gmonee99 said on Aug. 16, 2013

Well its an old movie, so it would be scarier back then when special effects werent thet good

Kairi said on Oct. 2, 2013

Well where he talks about her breast being round, when the guy pulls her sleeves down, you can see the shape, and it looks like he touches her breast for a second.
Then, when he moves his hands down from her neck, Itoi might’ve mixed up the strange visual of a woman’s breast (that would most likely stick in the head of a small child who normally doesn’t see these things) and the guy grabbing at her.
Anyways, considering it was so long ago, it’s impressive he remembers much. When I was little, I saw a tall, skinny figure in a tight red suit with a white mask and long, claw-like nails drag a little girl under her bed, and that honestly disturbed me. When I go into my room at night, I don’t walk near the bed, I just stand in the doorway and jump to it xD But I don’t remember anything too vividly.


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