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Tips for Buying EarthBound

April 25th, 2009 | EarthBound, Hacking

You know those really crazy battle backgrounds in EarthBound? Have you ever wanted to have them on your computer as screensavers? Well, now you can, thanks to Mr. Accident’s Kraken screensaver program!

Mr. A doesn’t have a homepage for this program, so if you need help or clarification about stuff, try checking out this old forum post of his. I should mention quickly though that this is a Windows program and that it has two requirements:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or later
  • DirectX 9.0 or later

Both can be gotten from Microsoft’s site for free, so if you have an older computer, do a quick search on Google to find what you need.

To install the program, download the file, then right click the program icon and choose “Install”. You can then configure it however you want by going to where you configure screensavers normally (control panel->display->screen saver).

Mr. Accident made the program after studying EarthBound’s programming, so this isn’t a “make it look like EarthBound’s backgrounds”, it’s probably as authentic as you’re going to get without sticking your EarthBound cart into your monitor 😀


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45 Comments to EarthBound Battle Screensaver

jordina said on Apr. 25, 2009

BAWWWW i have a mac D:

PikachuMan said on Apr. 25, 2009

This is awesome. I found a good combination of one of the Giygas backgrounds with one of the Onett backgrounds :3

mitch said on Apr. 25, 2009

Well, this might be possible to replicate on a mac with Quartz. How, I’m not sure – i’ve never worked with it before. Are there any Quartz Composer guys out there that want to give it a try?

Pikmingirl said on Apr. 25, 2009

Holy moly, now I’m switching back to “5 Minute wait” for a screen saver to appear, thanks! 😀

It was a 30 minute wait before. Though the screen just turns off. O:

jmr said on Apr. 25, 2009

Nice. I’ve been looking for a good screensaver for some time now.
Is Mr. Accident still working on this? It’d be great if it randomly cycled through the different background combinations. (…not to say that it isn’t already great.)

Spitball Sparky said on Apr. 25, 2009

I love this thing. It’s been my screensaver for awhile now. Kind of related, does anybody remember that really old screensaver that cycles through about five or so backgrounds? That’s a relic of the past.

This screensaver is cool because you can even find a few unused backgrounds. Some don’t even move!

IWontGetOvertheDam said on Apr. 25, 2009

gfdjhdf mac

Anonymous said on Apr. 25, 2009

jmr: i agree, it would be awesome if it randomized them, and 100x more awesome if it played the actual battle music for each battle background. 😛

Ryan said on Apr. 25, 2009

This thing is excellent. My screensaver has been the coffee break background for a few months now.

Deej said on Apr. 25, 2009

Wouldn’t be hard to do the randomization and music for someone who knows how to handle these things…

Sadly I’m on a mac, and not a programmer by trade.

Leirin said on Apr. 25, 2009

Mac as well here, but that’s still pretty cool!

The Pig King said on Apr. 25, 2009

Gah, I have a Mac, too. It’s awesome, though.

Miles Vialpando (PK ELECTION) said on Apr. 25, 2009

Hahaha…. Sorry, but I use a Mac. I can never go back unless I’m forced by a single program! Still, I’ve got boot camp. In either case, that’s quite nice!

Mato said on Apr. 25, 2009

Site stats say that only 10% of the visitors here use Macs… but man that 10% sure is vocal 😛

Aurilliux said on Apr. 25, 2009

Well, I mean, if it worked great, then why complain?

It seems that this program doesn’t work if you use two monitors (or more, I’d imagine). Dang.

gBev said on Apr. 25, 2009

This program keeps giving me an error message about DirectX, even though I have the latest version.

And now the error message is popping up every 15 minutes even though I haven’t touched the program.

Zach said on Apr. 25, 2009

Gotta say, this is amazing.

Neon Squid said on Apr. 25, 2009

I tried this a couple of months ago. Whenever my computer was on the screensaver too long, it would freeze; forcing me to restart it. Did anyone else have this problem?

blakyoshi7 said on Apr. 26, 2009

This goes great with my Giygas wallpaper.

Giygas’ defenses became unstable!

Jotokun said on Apr. 26, 2009

Too bad its not open source. If it were, then considering it was written in .NET, I may know the language it was written in, and therefore may be able to add very cumbersome sound support….

Anyway, this is awesome. Am I alone in seeing what I think are mother 3 backgrounds?

J.L. said on Apr. 26, 2009

Oh man, this is the perfect compliment to my Earthbound-themed system sounds… It makes me feel like a creepy, obsessed fan person, though, like my love of Earthbound has just progressed to a greater, more sinister level.

It’s still fantastic, though!

SoreThumb said on Apr. 27, 2009

Apparently my computer doesn’t have the Managed DirectX, which this Screensaver may require.
I downloaded the MSI from http://sims.ambertation.de/en/kb/entry/1/ and it seemed to work fine.

Kinda slow, sticks up my PC a bit. :/

Disco said on Apr. 27, 2009

Welp, I’ve been wanting something like this for a while so it’s great…


I’m on a mac.

Disco said on Apr. 27, 2009

I immediately was able to play with it on my girlfriend’s laptop, and agree with the several people who say a randomization option would be extra keen.

I put 231 and 232 up (coffee break?)

Also if we had some sort of guide to what backgrounds appeared with what other backgrounds and what backgrounds appeared alone that would help people really live the dream (especially if a random option knew what goes to what).

Jeagle101 said on Jul. 29, 2009

Oh, i’m downloading this baby right now 😀 I can’t wait to see what this looks like!

Gummidge said on Oct. 2, 2009

Haha, brilliant! I might actually look at some of these for my Graphics project!

beanjavert said on Oct. 14, 2009

Hey, has anyone come up with some good combinations? I rather like the Giygas backgrounds, myself

Clumsy Robot said on Nov. 18, 2009

Boo. The graphics are messed up when they actually appear. Seems so neat on the setup screen blarg

PK-Lovin' said on Dec. 30, 2009

Is this safe? I have a Vista is it safe?

Cal said on Jan. 10, 2010


Darien said on Jan. 10, 2010


Wafffo said on Jan. 14, 2010

if only you could put in enemy sprites…

Mr. Accident said on Jan. 31, 2010

Heh, holy crap, I remember this thing.

To be fair, I didn’t actually study EB’s code per se to write this. It was an entirely empirical process; I basically studied the background distortion patterns, guessed at the formulas it was using, and then tweaked the parameters until I got an exact match. It’s not quite perfect yet; some of the higher-level behaviors of EB’s backgrounds I haven’t completely figured out yet. Most of them transition between several sets of sinewave parameters, for example. There’s also palette rotation, which would need to be factored in for a completely authentic experience.

If there’s interest, I guess I might pick this up again some time and see about finishing it out. I’ve got a lot of other stuff on my plate though, so we’ll see. 😛

Jotokun: while I often don’t bother packaging source with many of my random side projects, I’ll gladly hand it out to anyone on request. I actually did upload the source a while ago. You can find it here:


Kraken was written in C# using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. The code is a bit on the messy side; it was a rush job, frankly. 😀

(I probably should just put together a site sometime that I can put all my stuff/code on though, heh.)

neonix said on Jan. 31, 2010

Bawww, I get several errors and then a still image overlaying my screen. Maybe it’s Vista, or maybe it’s because I use two monitors, or both.. 🙁

neonix said on Jan. 31, 2010

Holy crap, what were the odds that Mr. A would post right above me just seconds before.

Anyway, I encourage you to do more work on this whenever you get some free time for it. I’m sure it would be appreciated by many.

Mr. Accident said on Jan. 31, 2010

Yeah, it’s worth pointing out that the current version has a lot of bugs in it, too. I’ve had reports of issues with multiple monitor setups; it also seems to completely ignore the settings for some people, but only when actually activated as a screensaver by Windows. So it’ll work just fine if you use the “Test” option, but when it comes up normally it reverts to the default layers. XD

It’s the first time I’ve tried writing a screensaver, so obviously some quirks to work out, heh.

Elliotcroft said on Jun. 2, 2010

Can’t really have battle music on – that would be kinda creepy if you didn’t know it was about to happen.

Ness and Sonic said on Dec. 3, 2010

I’ve been thinking about it, and maybe the issue is related to either version 4.0 of .Net framework or the 64-bit version it. Maybe that could help fix it.

thomas1up said on Dec. 5, 2010

Sweet I got a Mani Mani statue backround going wall going really fast 😀

nunzio722 said on Jan. 1, 2011

I wish there was a version of this for linux.

moonspeak said on Apr. 23, 2011

I wish there was a linux version of this (preferably for either KDE or GNOME) 🙁 I know we’re in the minority, but this is just way too cool for me to not get butthurt about!

Zoom! said on Aug. 20, 2011

Very cool to mix and match with

Zoom! said on Aug. 20, 2011

Also, for the e-mail I sent you, Mato I was gonna use Contact, but it didn’t work(although i shouldn’t have used it anyway, as it wasn’t news or anything important). However, sometimes when similar stuff happens to me, sometimes it actually works, I just don’t know it. So in case your e-mail got flooded with similar messages, that must’ve been the case

DJ 2Sang said on Aug. 30, 2011

Does this work on Mother 3 too? I REALLY love that final battle background with the masked man

Minecraft121 said on Sep. 16, 2012

Ok And im awsome i do have a Windows 7


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