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Tips for Buying EarthBound

February 27th, 2009 | Auctions, EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

A few days ago, there was a Japanese auction for super-rare MOTHER 2 dev documents used during the game’s development. What interesting timing, after we took a look at some early MOTHER 2 beta/in-development stuff just a few days ago 😛

The auction’s title was something like “Nintendo MOTHER 2 Dev Documents for Debugging – Rare Item from Back Then”. The description was:

I acquired this several years ago from an auction here. This is a very dear item to me that I stored with great care.

First, I was not on the game’s staff. This is only an item from the time. This item is an A4-sized clear file folder with documents the game’s staff used for development, play-testing, debugging, and such. It’s printed material, and it has all been stapled together. Some things have also been scribbled in with a pen. The main things are story events (30 pages), battle-related things (20 monster pages, 4 encounter pages, 7 battle progress and status change pages, 5 monster parameter pages) mixed in with 8 fax pages. In all, the document is over 100 pages long. In it you can really see the Nintendo-ish detailed game development process, feelings, and overall outline that this top-notch RPG received. If you’re interested, please consider bidding.

The starting bid was 40,000 yen and it ended at 71,000 yen earlier this week. Here are photos of it:

Here are some quick translations I’ve made from the documents:

First Pic:

  • This pic is too small to really make out much of anything

Second Pic:

  • This is a bug report form made on June 28 (year unknown) and is from Ver 628 of the game. Apparently there’s video of everyone’s testing, and this particular bug shows up at the 1:24:00 mark in his video. This particular bug report is about something in the Lost Underworld part of the game.
  • The bug had something to do with enemy shields not reflecting multiple-target attacks properly – it sounds like in this case using PK Fire against a Chomposaur (he used this as a test because it has a shield at start-up) made it reflect back and only hit the first mini-ghost in the case multiple people have mini-ghosts.

Third Pic:

  • 21: The police officer who talks about “do not enter”
    • Remove the looking-around shifty-eyed part
    • Make it so he doesn’t disappear into the shack again if you go back
    • Slow down the speed he leaves at
  • 22: Fighting the five cops
    • Stop the police captain from walking in place during the pre-battle text
  • 28: Paula’s father going to get Paula
    • Lengthen the pause before he comes back down the stairs
    • Make him animate properly while walking down the stairs
  • 29: Donation lady who follows you
    • Stop her walking while she’s talking to you
    • Make her animate properly while she’s chasing you
  • Everdred, jumping down
    • Change Everdred’s path from northwest to west and then (pic is cut off here) when he disappears into his house
      (it might be good to change it to northwest-then-west)
  • 31: Entering Chaos Theater
    • Stop the receptionist lady from walking once she’s moved out of the way
  • 35: Paula, handing over the Franklin Badge
    • When Pokey catches you, have Ness face Pokey’s direction
  • 36: The Franklin Badge stopping the lightning
    • Insert animation of the lightning being reflected away
  • Pokey’s “See you, sucker!”
    • Speed up his slow walking animation a bit
    • Speed up his running away animation
  • Saying goodbye to Paula’s father
    • When he enters from the east door:
    • DO have the door slam sound effect
    • DON’T face everyone toward him
    • Move the father to the west of Ness before he talks

It would be so, so awesome to have something like this. I don’t know who bought it, but someday we really need to get our hands on it so we can analyze it. It’s like 100 pages long apparently, but I’d totally translate that thing like a translation monster 😛


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19 Comments to MOTHER 2 Dev. Materials Auctioned

Zup said on Feb. 27, 2009

Super cool. This kinda stuff has always interested me. I wish you guys luck in finding whoever has it now!

hollow leviathan said on Feb. 27, 2009

Unless the website obscures the winning bidder, you could ask them directly? If not, you could always contact the previous owner IE who put up the auction and see if they had photocopies of the material. I know I would!

Poe said on Feb. 27, 2009

Damn! 71,000 yen is a completely reasonable price for such a cool item. Wish we’d known about it sooner, maybe we could have started some sort of site fund to get it.

satsy said on Feb. 27, 2009

£500 give or take… Scary thing is I can afford that. 😉 Well, I wouldn’t be able to eat afterward, but still.

Looks like something to keep our eyes out for in future~!

I wonder if the GBA1+2 had something like that as well…

KingDarian said on Feb. 27, 2009

Whoa! :O This is awesome stuff, albeit at a price. I’d love to see this stuff in more detail.

Difegue said on Feb. 27, 2009

Awesome! It would be cool if we could contact the buyer somehow 😀

TheReaper09 said on Feb. 27, 2009

Amazing find Mato and thanks for those translations.

Viewtiful_Justin said on Feb. 27, 2009

I’m excited at just the thought of something like that existing. I never thought about trying to get the production notes for a video game…what a neat idea.

*goes hunting for info*

santiagoff said on Feb. 27, 2009

Amazing find! Good job!

The Alex said on Feb. 27, 2009

My question is how would one even acquire such material to even have up for bid in the first place?

Anyways, an amazing find. Hopefully the winning bidder is aware of Starmen.net….

Starwolf_UK said on Feb. 27, 2009

“I wonder if the GBA1+2 had something like that as well…”
Most likely as computer files only.

About the auction pictures. I can tell you one thing about the third sheet. The various symbols (I’ve seen the triangle and circle used) might indicate the priority of the bug. It depends on how universal bug report protcal is between game companies.

Mato said on Feb. 27, 2009

The Alex: It’s not that hard to imagine, I work on a ton of anime shows and games and such and I have all kinds of internal documents, scripts, and misc. materials lying around. I wouldn’t be so crazy as to sell the stuff I have (contracts and whatnot) but it’s not that much different than say development hardware or beta cartridges finding their way into collectors’ hands/auction sites, which happens regularly.

Pishi said on Feb. 27, 2009

It’s interesting that there’s proof that so much painstaking care went into the making of Mother 2, but I gotta ask – what’s the average length of debug reports, and how does this one compare to the other games’ reports?

Jimi said on Feb. 27, 2009

I for one would support such an action (aquiring said materials). I would help if I can.

The Loser Trinity said on Feb. 28, 2009

Can you contact the auctioner and ask them to ask the winner (whose details they probably have) if they’d be willing to scan the documents for translation purposes?

If they want money for that I offer $100, and I’m sure other people can add lots more.

The Loser Trinity said on Feb. 28, 2009

I’m not sure about email but they’re probably on Yahoo IM with the same ID: “shoutisfreebomb”. If they use Yahoo’s email service then it’s almost definitely the same id @yahoo.co.jp

nekoaitsu said on Feb. 28, 2009

That would be monstrously awesome to red through.

*geeks out now kthnx*

Kurisuellegarden said on Feb. 28, 2009

Yeah, I think Mato should e-mail shoutisfreebomb@yahoo.co.jp

Maybe he could see if he has scans or if he could contact the other buyer about this? 😀

I’d love to know what lies in these documents…

TheReaper09 said on Feb. 28, 2009

Why is this not headline news at starmen.net lol.


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