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Tips for Buying EarthBound

May 2nd, 2009 | EarthBound, Interviews, Itoi, Uncommon Knowledge

About two years before MOTHER 2 was released in Japan, Famitsu had a really huge interview with Shigesato Itoi. Then the game was nearly canceled, but then Satoru Iwata from HAL Labs swooped in to reprogram the game and save the day.

Which means that the stuff that Itoi talks about in this interview is REALLY interesting. It’s also very long, and I kept pushing it off, saying, “Next month, next month.” Luckily, Chewy, who you might remember helped with the MOTHER 3 translation and the huge Itoi + MOTHER 3 interview, translated this MOTHER 2 interview and formatted it all nice and everything, so that’s a huge relief for me, and EarthBound fans get the cool info earlier. Hurray!

Anyway, check out the interview here!

It’s seriously probably one of the biggest and best interviews about EarthBound in existence. Read it or forever be a worthless protoplasm!


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21 Comments to Big Itoi Interview about MOTHER 2!

Poe said on May. 2, 2009

I’ve been told for years that the Ness/SNES anagram was a mere coincidence, but that article claims it was on purpose. Was that actually in the article or is that something Chewy added?

Mato said on May. 2, 2009

Actually, it says it’s a pun on the NES in America, not the SNES.

Poe said on May. 2, 2009

“The production staff named the main character Ness, a pun on the SNES in America.”

Someone should get that changed, then.

Chewy said on May. 2, 2009

Gah! Freakin scan blur. I fixed it, thank you thank you for pointing that out. 🙂 (Lemme know if you see anything else wrong.)

Thanks for the link, Mato. I’ve got that MOTHER 2 articles site section bookmarked and I’ll try to start working through them little by little; I’ll let you know when I update.

Mato said on May. 2, 2009

Chewy: If you’re interested, try the 9-2-1994 issue, it has a similary awesome 2-page cool info-filled interview with Itoi, where he talks about how he wanted the game to take place on multiple planets, the HP meter was originally supposed to be a pachinko ball thing, “no panties”, and his sister, among other things 😉

Aqy said on May. 2, 2009

His experiences with gold digging have a pretty profound influence it seems! I like that idea that it’s not about actually getting the gold but instead the drama that hangs around it.

In EarthBound, that drama is helping the Runaway Five, keeping your party alive, finding and destroying all the moles and helping out the the digger with an ulcer, of course. It feels like this idea is all through out EarthBound. The sense of purpose isn’t tied into an over abundance of plot points like in many RPGs, but a few that guide you along the way. It’s more like reality.

Thanks Chewy!

Deiphobus said on May. 2, 2009

i don’t want to forever be a worthless protoplasm! must read!

santiagoff said on May. 2, 2009


santiagoff said on May. 2, 2009


Jessie. Alron. said on May. 2, 2009

this. is. a homeboy.

Necrosaroiii said on May. 2, 2009

“Itoi: It’s another fatherless household (laughs). I never make kids who come from a stable home. They’re perfectly happy, anyway.”

no kidding Itoi. No kidding.

Zinco said on May. 2, 2009

In Mother 2’s final script, is it still ambiguous as to whether the Mother 2 kids are the same as those from Mother 1?

Mato said on May. 3, 2009

I don’t really understand the question, but there’s nothing in the script (Japanese or English) to indicate that there’s any connection between the characters in the games, aside from Giygas.

Zinco said on May. 3, 2009

Yes, you got my drift. I ask because I remember in Earthbound that Paula’s psychic messages said something to the gist of Ness/Jeff being friends whom she had yet to meet, but I don’t know if that was thrown in there so that Americans wouldn’t be confused, and whether the Japanese version is merely quiet on whether or not the kids had known each other before. It’d probably be more problematic than not for the plot for them all to be the kids from Mother 1, though.

Mato said on May. 3, 2009

Yeah, the “friends I’ve never met before” thing is in Mother 2, too. You can bet I woulda been all over that for my Mother 2 vs. EB stuff if there’d been a difference there 😛

Darien said on May. 3, 2009

Interesting that Itoi intentionally left it up in the air, though, whether the characters are the same as the ones in the original Mother or not.

K said on Aug. 14, 2009

Really, doubt it is a coincidence, “Ness”? “Ninten”? Cmon…

Nevertheless, the relationship within Mother characters would be somehow like the one in Chrono Trigger/Crusade, they are alike, related misteriously, but not directly… Or we’ll never know, that’s the beauty of it.

anonymous said on Sep. 10, 2009

The page is down… Help?

Anonymous said on Oct. 10, 2009
.GamerBluePK said on Nov. 19, 2009

Thank you Satoru Iwata!!!!

Ricardo said on Jun. 13, 2010

“The player names the main character of MOTHER 2, so it’s entirely up to the player to decide if he’s the same person as MOTHER 1′s main character. If you want them to be the same, then they’re the same. If you don’t want them to be the same, they don’t have to. His suggestion seems to be to think of them as the same, though.”


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