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Tips for Buying EarthBound

April 10th, 2009 | EarthBound, Hacking, Uncommon Knowledge

Earlier today, I made a post on the PK Hack board, seeing if anyone with technical skill and free time would be willing to look for tiny technical differences between MOTHER 2 and EarthBound.

I did start on the easiest task myself though: comparing the sprite data between the two games. Most of the changes we already know about, like the pencil statue/octopus statue, the Runaway Five bus and the Tonzura bus, the Runaway Five having different-colored clothes, etc.

One thing I never noticed though was that the keyboardist person also got changed a tiny, tiny bit, for seemingly no reason:

I haven’t looked through all the sprite changes yet, but I don’t expect a whole lot more than this. I’m mostly interested in things like enemy graphics, map data, event data, stuff like that that might be slightly different in MOTHER 2 and can help us discover new things about the game.


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11 Comments to EarthBound Keyboard Guy

Harveyjames said on Apr. 10, 2009

Looks like they added pixels to represent beaded braids, probably because they thought it would be fun to play up a resemblance to Stevie Wonder.

Zaxtur said on Apr. 10, 2009

Yeah, I noticed this when I was working on my M2EB EarthBound Uncensored patch. It seems like such a random/insignificant change to make. It really makes you wonder why they did it. Another thing I noticed was that several of the Runaway five sprites have different skin tones in Mother 2 than they have in EarthBound. In one version, they have a slightly darker tone of skin than the other, but I can’t remember which is which. Also, I think one of the Runaway Five member’s hat is a slightly wider brim in one version. So Random.

Spitball Sparky said on Apr. 10, 2009

Must just be a personal preference like Threed.

Darien said on Apr. 10, 2009

If I had to guess, I’d say the change was made to emphasise the weird hair and distance the appearance of the sprite somewhat from that of Paul Shaffer, who served as the music director for the Blues Brothers and frequently played keyboards for them.

Simon said on Apr. 11, 2009

Or it’s just to add a little colour and separate the Five from the Blues Brothers that little bit more.

BeezoWeldar said on Apr. 11, 2009

Well, the braids on the right have the same colors and pattern as the buttons (A,B,X,Y) on the Japanese Super Famicom.
If that’s the Japanese sprite then it would make sense, wouldn’t it?
They did something similar for Super Mario RPG.

Tansunn said on Apr. 11, 2009

@BeezoWeldar – Not quite the same pattern. Starting from the top and going clockwise, the Super Famicom controller is blue, red, yellow, green. Here, he’s got yellow, green, red, green on the left and yellow, red, blue, red on the right.

Mato said on Apr. 11, 2009

Plus, the guy on the right is the EarthBound version.

Someone Else said on May. 30, 2009

I’ve always liked the keyboardist’s sprite, he looks cheerful. And it’s also funny how he’s the “sixth” Runaway Five member.

Maybe he got changed because the guys at the localisation team were told, “Hey, change the Runaway Five’s sprites! Make ’em look different from each other”, and they ended up changing ALL of the band members’ sprites, just for the fun of it.

I like him better changed, anyway.

Someone Else said on May. 30, 2009

By the way, I forgot to add: Does anyone else think this guy looks kinda like Shimmy Zmizz from DCMC? Hmm…

Vitaliy said on Jun. 2, 2009

I think it is Shimmy!


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