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February 25th, 2009 | EarthBound, Images, Uncommon Knowledge

In 2007, KingDarian and I ponied up a ton of money to get our hands on a whole bunch of really old Japanese game magazines that had to do with the MOTHER games. On some occasions we hit the jackpot, like with this Nov. 1992 issue of Super Famicom Magazine.

This is one of the earliest looks we have of MOTHER 2. It was shortly after this that the game was reprogrammed from scratch with the help of HAL Labs and especially Satoru Iwata. Because this was printed before the game was redone, it’s one of our very few glimpses into the game as it looked before it was nearly canceled, this video being our only other major source for old stuff. What’s funny, though, is that this article says the game’s release date will be in January 1993 and will be 12 megabits. In actuality, it was almost two years later than that and twice as big.

Anyway, some of the main things that stand out in this article are:

  • Ness doesn’t have his backpack
  • The weird-looking bus station, and the layout of the map around it
  • The bus stop graphic
  • The outside of Ness’ house looks odd, and it shows Ness with King in his yard during the day. The mailbox is also missing
  • Lots of out-of-place characters in Onett. A trash can is also out of place
  • Two ladies in the burger shop
  • The HP/PP box looks odd
  • There’s a really weird-looking guy in Toto (the area east of Summers)
  • Some more out-of-place characters and trash can by the Onett drugstore
  • A weird-looking guy in front of the Chaos Theater. The theater itself also looks odd
  • An early version of Dalaam. Apparently it was meant to be a snowy place. The palace also looks pretty weird
  • And probably more stuff

While I’m here, here’s that preview video again just because:

For one of my big monthly articles, I’d like to do a lot of research and gather information and write about this beta stuff, include translated interviews about it, and write about the rocky history of MOTHER 2’s development. For now, these pics and videos are still pretty cool on their own 😀

POLL: Do you think we'll ever get leaked ROMs of this early MOTHER 2 stuff?

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49 Comments to MOTHER 2 Beta Preview

SHYKOOPA said on Feb. 25, 2009


Wait, there is an image of Ness’s family, but a ? mark in the place of his dad. What does that mean?

santiagoff said on Feb. 25, 2009

Wow… I remember seeing the video. And it really is different. The HP-PP boxes look sharper , but weird. And I don’t know what’s going on with Ness’ house , but it looks weird… something’s not right , but I can’t figure out what.
Anyway , nice info!

santiagoff said on Feb. 25, 2009

The ? mark must have been put as not to put a telephone there XD

Andronian said on Feb. 25, 2009

That picture of Dalaam looks like it might be floating in the clouds instead of being in a snowy place, but maybe that’s just me.

And this would coincide with the Pink Cloud sanctuary, as it would have stood out for being pink as opposed to the rest of the clouds you would be standing on in Dalaam.

Poe said on Feb. 25, 2009

Yeah, I thought Dalaam was in the clouds from that pic too. Really weird stuff.

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2009

Probably it seemed like snow to me because the caption said it was snow, so the idea got burned into my brain. The original idea for Dalaam had it as a land mass really high in the air (supported by an elephant trunk) though, so it still seems strange that it would be cloud land.

Sonicandtails said on Feb. 25, 2009

Is that blur supposed to be the Sky Runner?

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2009

Yeah, they’re keeping it a mystery because it’s a preview.

mitch said on Feb. 25, 2009

Anyone else notice that the marquee says ‘Blues Brothers’?

mitch said on Feb. 25, 2009

Oh wait. That’s probably Tonzura Brothers. Oh well!

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2009

They remind me of that movie Animal House 😉

Cpt. Obvious said on Feb. 25, 2009

I think that’s a cloud, not snow, in Dalaam… I might be wrong too…

Cpt. Obvious said on Feb. 25, 2009

Never mind, Ninja’d big times.

Difegue said on Feb. 25, 2009

This stuff is pretty interesting, however I doubt we will ever gain access to this protoype, However I think NOJ or Hobonichi still may have a copy of it somewhere, who knows

Kris said on Feb. 25, 2009

Don’t think that’s a cloud; look at the lower left.

MotherFTW said on Feb. 25, 2009

Ness looks better with his back pack.

Zaxtur said on Feb. 25, 2009

The question mark in place of Ness’s father means that Ness’s mom slept around a lot in her early twenties and paternity tests are required.

pooppoop said on Feb. 25, 2009

no poo!
i mean, poo isn’t pictured with the other three characters. maybe that character was a late addition

IWontGetOvertheDam said on Feb. 25, 2009

Ha. I love seeing beta stuff for games. 😀

Zaxtur said on Feb. 25, 2009

It’s not a cloud. It’s snow. You can see the front-side of the cliff in the bottom-left corner of the screenshot.

PriestessPaula said on Feb. 25, 2009

wow, it really was a lot different…

Doubt we’ll get the rom of it, but we can hope right?

Darien said on Feb. 25, 2009

The train running through what appears to be Winters is interesting. Wonder what purpose that was to serve. Perhaps an early idea for the obstacle that became Lake Tess and Tessie.

Olias said on Feb. 25, 2009

ramma wasn’t supposed to be snowy, that white stuff is probably clouds!

Olias said on Feb. 25, 2009

remember in the illustration where the elephant’s trunk was shooting out clouds or something?

GoldenEevee said on Feb. 25, 2009

If we had our hands on the beta, Imagine the PK hacks we could make, well, as soon as we translate the beta…….

Teal said on Feb. 25, 2009

Is it just me or does it look like the walking speed is slower on this beta? I’m glad they sped it up a bit in the final.

DrGlove said on Feb. 25, 2009

That train looks awesome!

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2009

I think people are confused, that train is just a picture from Mother 1.

Darien said on Feb. 25, 2009

Ah, my mistook then. 🙂

zedrien said on Feb. 25, 2009

The final build of the game is obviously superior, but I’d love to play the original version to see if there was even more NPC characters throughout the land and what they say!

SherriAnn said on Feb. 25, 2009

Ah… pretty interesting. ^^ Thanks for posting them up.

Dalaam is snowy. I wonder how it would have went if they kept that… Oh well.

Tokoro said on Feb. 26, 2009

That’s why Ness looked so skinny when he was walking sideways! No backpack, lol. I could not figure that out.

Interesting stuff.

Tokoro said on Feb. 26, 2009

Whoa, and I like how they called PSI, ESP (in Paula’s description) That’s really awesome stuff. Just seeing all the little things like that.

TBird said on Feb. 26, 2009

Mato, is this stuff up on Unseen64 yet? I love that site. It’s crazy to see how different games can turn out during production. Shiny’s products often turn out much different than the previews. I remember Earthworm Jim 2 had an Evil Carnival level that turned out to be much more boring than the preview versions. And of course Bungie’s original Halo build is pretty much a completely different game.

satsy said on Feb. 26, 2009

I’d love to see the beta, it’d be kinda cool. :3

Granted I’d have no idea what was going on… but hey, it could be the 2.5 people pine for. 😛 Even though it actually isn’t. 😉 … Something like that.

Belasted said on Feb. 26, 2009

Do the unused NPC character sprites from the beta appear anywhere in the ROM data?

Kirby Phelps (PK) said on Feb. 26, 2009

Ness doesn’t have his backpack? But Ness NEEDS his backpack, without it, he’s Ninten.

Jungyin said on Feb. 27, 2009

I never noticed the buses said “GRAY HAND BUS” when I played the game, but then again back then I didn’t know of Gray Hound.

Hunter Coates said on Feb. 27, 2009

I think Ness’ mom didn’t buy him a backpack in the beta.

Belasted said on Feb. 27, 2009

Jungyin, “Gray hand bus”, did that appear in the final American product? I Never noticed either. I probably just figured it was just some squiggly lines.

me. why are u asking my name!? said on Mar. 3, 2009

it doesn’t look like they had diagonal sprites, like in mother 1

neonix said on Mar. 9, 2009

That shot of Dalaam really gets to me. I’d love to see the entire map from this early version.

the retard of epic proportions said on Mar. 13, 2009

Belasted: Yes, the gray hand bus was included in the american version, I make several notes to it whenever I play through it. And I’ve played it about 7 times since Christmas!

oinkyescommander said on Jun. 29, 2009

at which second do you see dalaam?

Ricardo said on Jan. 29, 2010

Oh, man, why other games like Sonic 2 get 2 betas and a gem like EB doesn’t get any??? NOT FAIR, NOT FAIR!

Nintendavin said on Mar. 6, 2010

Why isn’t Ness smiling when he rides his bike?

I guess he doesn’t enjoy it as much in the Beta…

legojimmie said on Jun. 21, 2011

I bet this is what’s on the EarthBound Proto carts.

BigDream said on Sep. 6, 2011

Beta looks cooler tahn final version.
Wanna try it someday.

AltoMaximus said on Jan. 5, 2012

I don’t mean to be nit picky, but you misssed a couple of things
1.) When you walk diagnoly in the beta version, it is the same sprite as walking forward,like in EB0
2.) There is a little noise that comes out when you open up the chat screen.
3.)There is a truck randomly located outside the road (Not sure if that was in the official or not)
4.)There was a guy in the car in the official, in the beta there is not.
5.)There were mummies in the beta version inside the temple (Am I going crazy? Were those in the official?!)
6.)I’ve noticed the Tendas were black.
That is akk I found, just making sure, not asking you to do anything.


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