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June 19th, 2009 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge, Videos

If you’ve ever used a program to look through the sprite graphics in EarthBound, you probably came across these strange sprites of King, Ness’s dog:

These are clearly King going up and down a ladder or rope or something. But since there are no ropes or ladders in the part of the game where King is part of your party, we never get to see these sprites in action. But you CAN see them if you use codes or hacks or such sorcerery. Here’s a video GreenTL. made, showing it off.

I see two possibilities: 1. Most NPCs that walk around with you needed to have certain sprites programmed anyway, regardless of whether they’ll be used or not. The programmers probably figured it was better to be safe than sorry.

Or 2. King was meant to be playable in other parts of the games, or there were originally ladders or ropes in the beginning part of the game. I don’t remember why, but I vaguely recall this being the case. I’ll have to look over all my old stuff again or something, I think the Onett hillside area might’ve had ropes originally.

Anyway, there you go, another tiny little exploration into the insides of EarthBound!


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28 Comments to Dogs and Ladders

Ice Sage said on Jun. 19, 2009

Oh wow i remember this. I agree with your ideas Mato – perhaps you could go down into Lier’s house early? It was cool to notice things like this in the sprites for MOTHER 3 too.

Yeah, digging things up about games’ alpha/beta info is almost a hobby of mine. Thanks for another interesting tidbit! 😀

Xi said on Jun. 19, 2009

I still need to get around to doing a map of where all the maps are connected, so everyone can have more fun without as much work using the Walk Through Walls cheat.

Jeeves said on Jun. 19, 2009

Lier’s house sprung to mind for me too.

King and Boney must be very talented to use ladders.

TheChiliShark said on Jun. 19, 2009

Psh, a dog using ladders. Absurd!

Miles Vialpando (PK ELECTION) said on Jun. 19, 2009

King and Boney are awesome dogs.

Deiphobus said on Jun. 19, 2009

yeah, i noticed that when messing around with PK hack.

Zinco said on Jun. 19, 2009

I would guess that he was originally planned as a more involved party member, since you name him, he is replete with sprites (*two* different sets of climbing sprites?), and his time in the party is so brief and unimportant that you feel like that they let him join you just briefly so that they didn’t feel like their hard work went entirely to waste. And wouldn’t it be fun to take your dog along on such an adventure?

Zinco said on Jun. 19, 2009

Oh, I guess everyone has two sets of climbing sprites. Well, still.

Mato said on Jun. 19, 2009

Xi: Are you talking about something like the first two things here?

rawpower said on Jun. 19, 2009

I wish you had King throughout the game.

Someone Else said on Jun. 19, 2009

Hey, the last two EarthBound Central posts have had “ladder” in the title. Hmmm…

santiagoff said on Jun. 19, 2009

Interesting ;o

Mato said on Jun. 19, 2009

Crap, my ladder fetish has been discovered

Someone Else said on Jun. 19, 2009

I do have a question, though:

Why would you need to get a teddy bear to see these sprites? Wouldn’t it be enough to have King with you and to walk through walls towards a ladder? I mean, the game does change Ness’s sprite to the climbing sprite when he comes into contact with a ladder, wouldn’t it do exactly that with King?

Alxprit said on Jun. 19, 2009

Thing is, you know how King is all glitched up and appears normal when climbing ladders?

When he’s with you and looks normal, he glitches up whem climbing ladders.

Xi said on Jun. 19, 2009

Mato: If that is the exact spots you encounter the screens when you use the code, then yes.

The title of the maps is rather ambiguous, no? If I was looking for such a map the title of that link wouldn’t jump out at me.

But hey. KFC > Popeye’s.

Supakitsune said on Jun. 19, 2009

@Xi I think you have your symbol flipped.

<3 Popeyes 🙁

Spitball Sparky said on Jun. 19, 2009

It’s kind of nostalgic to see people discussing this again. Mother 3 made everybody focus on the multitude of unused stuff there, it’s nice to see some love for a little doggy climbing.

Chrissii said on Jun. 19, 2009

My fiancee seems to recall seeing a ghost Everdred unused sprite. Truths? Guess he was supposed to die in Fourside… or maybe join the party?! 😮

Deiphobus said on Jun. 20, 2009

there is an everdred ghost sprite.

Joshua Johnson said on Jun. 20, 2009

I was actually looking the the earthbound sprites that I downloaded and came across these a while back. I was thinking maybe they were kings walking sprites when your in four side

Pimpshi said on Jun. 21, 2009

You used to probably be able to go into Lier X’s house at one point before King runs away, but for whatever reason they decided against letting players do that.

Claus said on Jun. 21, 2009


Vivi12000 said on Jun. 24, 2009

I wish my dog could climb ladders.

Garratt H said on Jul. 15, 2009

Woah! I didn’t realize I made EB Central. I didn’t make that video, I just sent it in lol.

G.Wicks said on Jul. 29, 2009

It’s possible that originally Itoi wanted King to be able to accompany Ness into Lier X. Agerate’s underground dig (since it is also on the mountain where you take King), but this would also imply that you could visit his dig earlier (at night) instead of later (after dawn). Just a theory.

GreenTL said on Nov. 12, 2010

I know I’m bumping or whatever, if that’s possible in EB central.
But seriously, I can’t believe I came across this.
I’ve been looking through EB central recently, because I’m in a Earthboundy mood. That’s when I find this, under “Random Post”.
I read through it, and couldn’t believe it.
I made EB central, without even knowing it for over a year.
I made that video.
One thing bugged me though. The post says that Garrat H made it.
At least change that, please.

(Oh, and sorry for the text covering the video half the time. I was new to videos and annotations weren’t on YT yet, I don’t think.)

Z said on Dec. 21, 2011

I’m going with 1.


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