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Tips for Buying EarthBound

February 19th, 2009 | Images, MOTHER 1, Uncommon Knowledge

A recent Weekly Famitsu included a look back at the old ad flier for MOTHER 1. Fliers were (and still are) a popular way of advertising games in Japan, and I guess they bring back fond memories for some people.

Anyway, here are the scans from the retrospective:

mother1 mother2

I don’t have time to translate all the commentary text, but here are some key points of interest:

  • MOTHER was released July 27, 1989. We’re almost at the 20 year annivesary.
  • Itoi liked games, but decided to put his own unique spin on what was an absolute standard back then – he put the game in the modern times, took out magic swords and stuff like that, and gave it an American feel.
  • Itoi thought it was really weird for monsters to be carrying money around, so he came up with the idea of your dad putting money in your bank account
  • The map you walk on doesn’t have little town icons you step on to enter a town – it’s all one huge, connected map. The map on the flier served as an actual world map for the game.
  • The front of the flier has the slogans “Guaranteed Masterpiece” and “No crying until the end”, taken straight from the TV commercial, and even has a picture of the kids from the commercial. Of course, Itoi had no idea if it would really become a famous hit or not, but he put it there anyway.
  • The idea of the map on the back of the flier was taken straight from Dragon Quest fliers.
  • The slogan “No crying until the end” wasn’t Itoi’s creation. Hiroshi Ichikura, another famous copywriter, came up with it.

POLL: If EarthBound Zero had been released on the NES in 1991 as originally planned, would you have played it back then?

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39 Comments to 1989 MOTHER 1 Flier

otherhand said on Feb. 19, 2009

This is pretty cool – I like the map a lot, seeing as there really isn’t much Mother concept art that I have seen before.

santiagoff said on Feb. 19, 2009

I wasn’t alive back there… and I never had a NES , hehe.

pooppoop said on Feb. 19, 2009

i was alive, but i was only like 4
i didn’t have a choice on what games got bought

ZombiePaul said on Feb. 19, 2009

Very cool map. It’s nice to see some Mother 1 promo art. I remember reading about “EarthBound” (when they were going to call M1 EB) in Nintendo Power and thinking how cool it looked. I don’t think the young ones have the full concept of just how unique the idea of a modern RPG was at the time… and back in my day I had to walk to school in the snow uphill, both ways dodging rabid dinosaurs all the while.

Poe said on Feb. 19, 2009

I didn’t get my own NES until Christmas ’92, and ’99 was when I played my first RPG. Nope, looks like I would have totally ignored this game. :/

Dr Shlub said on Feb. 19, 2009

That was back during my previous life so I wouldn’t know, but if it made it’s way to Europe there’s a chance it would have ended up in my dad’s NES games (Which I still play now!)

Cafechan said on Feb. 19, 2009

I wasn’t alive back in 1991, haha. But if I were, I would have played it. 🙂

That’s a cool map, and thanks for the translations!

madammina said on Feb. 19, 2009

I was 2. I REALLY doubt I would have played it.

But now? YES! RPGs are my favorite style of games.

Vanessah said on Feb. 19, 2009

I was born in 1988 and the first console I played was the Super Nintendo. So, I think I would have been too young / clueless.

Jeeves said on Feb. 19, 2009

I was alive but hadn’t played my first videogame until at least the following year. On top of that I didn’t like enjoy/understand RPGs until Pokemon, and even then I wasn’t really open to the genre.

Actually, at some point in the N64’s lifespan before Smash Bros., I saw EarthBound in a video store. I wanted to rent it, but didn’t because I thought the big box meant it came with the whole system, which I didn’t need. But I’m thankful I didn’t play back then, because I most likely would’ve disliked it for being an RPG and not given it another chance when I was older.

When Smash Bros. came out and I was viewing Ness’s profile, I thought “EarthBound? Oh yeah, that’s that game in that video store that comes with a SNES.”

EEdracon said on Feb. 19, 2009

Not alive, but my first game console was the NES

Mr. Tenda said on Feb. 19, 2009

The map seems similar to the map of the Kanto region in the original Pokemon Red/Blue: http://archives.bulbagarden.net/w/upload/5/5f/Kanto-map.jpg

Mr. Munchlax said on Feb. 19, 2009

I was born a year after that. The first gaming console I had was a gameboy pocket and then later an N64 so yeah, I probably wouldn’t have played it.

cj said on Feb. 19, 2009

1992 baby here. I don’t think I would have been able to play it without shattering the rules of nature, time, space and science into a trillion pieces.

NovaMan XP said on Feb. 19, 2009

I WAS ALIVE IN 1991, BUT I COULDN’T REALLY PLAY VIDEO GAMES AT THE AGE OF ZERO. (but omg its earthbound zero lolz its like a coincidence!)

I don’t want to vote the last option, because it makes no sense for me. <_<

Aaanyway, maybe I should vote for the 3rd option…

a said on Feb. 19, 2009

I was a baby in 1991, so I doubt I would have played it then. Maybe I would have a few years later when I actually had an NES.

Deiphobus said on Feb. 19, 2009

i’m not getting off your lawn!

NessRules said on Feb. 19, 2009

Lol at how mount itoi looks like a mini-mountain. 🙂

LuffyDan said on Feb. 19, 2009

Here’s a quick two questions, and hopefully it is okay if I ask them here, and if not, you can pelt me with hamburgers found in trashcans:

1.) What are the original names of the towns/cities in Mother 1? I know they differ from EB Zero, but I haven’t been able to find out what they were supposed to be originally.

2.) How common is it to find a copy of Mother 1 with the map? Was it packaged that way, or can you only get it through the old flier? My quest this summer is to get caught up on some retro game collecting and Mother 1: Complete is one of the things on my list.

Serph said on Feb. 19, 2009

I don’t think they’ve would’ve released it in AUSTRALIA anyway. 😛 So, nah, couldn’t play it.

PriestessPaula said on Feb. 19, 2009

I’m not getting off your lawn.

NovaMan XP said on Feb. 19, 2009

Strangely enough, my first console was an NES, in ’95 or ’96 or earlier. So if EarthBound Zero was released I most likely would’ve gotten it.

Giegue said on Feb. 19, 2009

@Luffy: The town’s were originally named after holidays. For example, Podunk was Mother’s Day, Youngtown was Easter, and Spookane was Halloween.

Something that I’ve always found odd about this map is that it places Mt. Itoi right in the center, but in game it’s off to the right of Ellay. Any idea what’s up with that?

Deiphobus said on Feb. 19, 2009

I think the original names were holidays… but I’m not exactly sure.

LuffyDan said on Feb. 19, 2009

Nice! Thanks guys. I thought they were holidays. Man, I really want a solid copy of the map. >__< This version is covered up with some many text boxes I can’t see all the minor details.

Charles said on Feb. 20, 2009

I was a baby in 1991, so I opted for the “not born” option.

EBP said on Feb. 20, 2009

1992 FTW…but i was born on the 27th of July so…

anyway thats a pretty kickass flier

Lothis said on Feb. 20, 2009

I was alive and I was 6, almost 7, but I didn’t like RPG’s at all back then. Oddly enough though, I think I would have played it if the advertising had been good. After all, EarthBound was the game that started my rabid addiction to, my now favorite game genre, RPG’s.

NecrosaroIII said on Feb. 20, 2009

I was wondering when you were going to talk about this. Pretty interesting read.

SoreThumb said on Feb. 20, 2009

If I played the game or not at that age, I wouldn’t’ve had much of a choice. I first started asking for games I wanted in the SNES era– I was a bit too young to be swayed by NES game advertising, I think.

XX Stone said on Feb. 22, 2009

I am lovin’ this map. It kind of reminds me of the map I had for the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

Leirin said on Feb. 23, 2009

Neat scans, love the cosplayers 😛 Were they American? Their faces didn’t look Japanese in the commercials…

I am a whippersnapper and I was just born yesterday. …I’m good with typing, okay?!

Oh, and on the topic of Famitsu, does anybody know what score they gave to MOTHER/EB Zero? Wikipedia doesn’t say, although they did give it a 35/40 for the MOTHER 1+2 rerelease.

Mt Itoi said on Feb. 23, 2009

I used to think (When i saw the commercial) that Mt Itoi was actually a mushroom cloud coming from a bomb 0_0

Rosecloud said on Feb. 26, 2009

Nope because in 1991 I was a little baby XD
I imagine me baby playing EB Zero XD

boingy%boings# said on Apr. 30, 2009

Nope, I was born in 1993, and my first console was the SNES. I think my parents had and NES but gave it away once the SNES came out. I probably wouldn’t have played it anyway, but I might have played Earthbound if it was more well known.

BlueLightning said on Jun. 23, 2009

i wasn’t alive unfortunately. 🙁 i was born in 1995.

YesGirl Jr. said on Aug. 14, 2009

I born in 1995 >_> So, I wasn’t alive

Slovaksiren said on Aug. 20, 2009

Sorry! I was born at the end of 1992 (Kwanzaa and boxing day baby!) and even when Earthbound did come out, I would have been about two and a half years old.

Though my cousin, a gamer who got me into video games (and his mom who persuaded my mom into buying an N64 for my brother and me…) he would have been about six, I don’t know what kind of games he likes, but there is a chance, I mean he bought Earthbound, but for all the wrong reasons, he just looked at the box and the starman picture and he was like

“Awesome! It’s a space shooter that takes place on Earth! I want it!”

So he got it for Christmas and lo and behold, it turned out not to be, but by the time he figured it out, he was hooked!

Dude said on Jun. 26, 2010

I was born in ’91, so unfortunately no.


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