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November 7th, 2009 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge, Videos

Probably most people here know about this by now, but I thought I’d make a video out of it since that seems to be more easily shared.

Basically, there’s a whole load of unused text in EarthBound. Some of it is just loose scraps that isn’t fully implemented into the game anymore, but there are some lines of text that work perfectly except for simple programming bugs that prevent the NPCs from appearing. Using the power of ROM hacking, we can see how they were meant to show up:

The bug in those instances were simple event flag settings being incorrectly set. It looks like Threed was probably one of the first few big areas that was developed in the game, so maybe that’s why these bugs snuck in.

BONUS! Here’s a patch that restores those characters: download patch

Some other unused text includes the following, but these lines aren’t tied to any existing NPCs, so they can’t be seen in-game the same way the Threed lines were. We don’t know who was supposed to say this stuff and where.


This text is never used in the game, but it’s located in the part of the program where all the hospital sign text is. Very strange.

@(<Members needed>Popular Music Club.
@Those who have a guitar, bass or drums, apply now.
@Caracas Cathedral, Napalm wound, Minky Cadillac,
@Sun Bunnies, the Creeps,
@Run Around TownKinky Kids, Bjork,
@Takashi Hosokawa or Horenso.
@We welcome anyone who likes to listen to these bands.
@Only serious, mature fans need apply.
@Please contact Lou.


This text is never used, but it’s located with all the other Scaraba NPC text. That, and the content of this lady’s text, makes it somewhat clear that there was supposed to be another NPC walking around Scaraba but the programmers forgot to fully implement her. Oh well.

@In the pyramid there’s hidden treasure.
@My husband was looking for it.
@Before he found it… he slipped on a banana peel.
@…So he gave up the search.


It looks like this text was meant to be said by someone near the pyramid if you didn’t check the hieroglyphs in Summers. It’s not clear if he was in Scaraba or down by the pyramid, though.

@You need to be able to read hieroglyphs to solve the mystery of the Pyramid.
@…I couldn’t solve it, although I read it.
@Didn’t you read the hieroglyphs at the museum in Summers?
Yes / No

If you say yes: @Then, you should be able to solve the mystery somehow.
If you say no: @Well, that means that you must go back, read it and then come back here.

It probably won’t be anytime soon, but I’d love to make a page on EB Central that lists all unused/hidden stuff in one convenient spot sometime 😀


Other Related Posts:


28 Comments to Some Unused Text in EarthBound

Metroid_maniac said on Nov. 7, 2009

Irst comment. But, sounds like a bad bug. That looks awesome.

ReddestDream said on Nov. 7, 2009

Is there a patch anywhere to restore the missing NPCs in Threed?

Mato said on Nov. 7, 2009

I haven’t tested it out, but this patch SHOULD put them back in the game: download patch

ReddestDream said on Nov. 7, 2009

Just tested it with a game save made just after arriving in the desert.

Seems like it works fine. The detective and the old guy are in Threed.

Thanks! 🙂

Anonymous said on Nov. 7, 2009

Is the list of unused/hidden stuff above or behind the completion of M2 vs. EB on your list?

I mean, I love M2 vs. EB.

Mato said on Nov. 7, 2009

It’d probably take a lot less time to do the unused/hidden page. But right now pretty much everything of mine is on hold while I work on something of higher priority. It’s not 100% EarthBound related, but it’s pretty cool and I’ll probably unveil it here on EBC in a few months.

KingDarian said on Nov. 7, 2009

Don’t try to feed me your lies!

EarthBound is just full of memorable quotes. :3

Someone Else said on Nov. 7, 2009

Not really memorable to many, since it’s not even readable in the game normally.

I find these kinds of glitches really saddening, because it makes EarthBound lose a tiny bit of its content.

Ice Sage said on Nov. 7, 2009


‘Cause I know I’ve said this a million times, but I love stuff like this.

And ReddestDream, so the patch works on a ROM that’s already been saved on and stuff? Just making sure so I don’t blow my files up or something. 😉

Spitball Sparky said on Nov. 7, 2009

Thanks for the patch. Ever since I knew about this stuff I always thought it would be cool to have it back in the game…and now it is!

steinmitz said on Nov. 7, 2009

Yokuba from Mother 3 kind of looks like he could be a citizen of Scaraba , and he also slips on banana peels often . I wonder if Itoi’s idea for Yokuba ( at least his appearance and tendency to slip on banana peels ) was inspired by this omitted , text implied character from the previous game . ( Perhaps someone’s already commented on this in the Starmen forums or something , so please ignore this if it is indeed redundant .)

ReddestDream said on Nov. 8, 2009

Ice Sage:

You should be fine with pre-existing “in-game” (.srm) saves.

I tested the patched game with one.

Savestates, especially those made in Threed, might be more problematic.

Just make a backup copy of your important saves/savestates beforehand.

If you need to hardpatch the ROM, make a backup copy beforehand and patch with Lunar IPS or the EB Easy Patcher.

Hope this helps! 🙂

Dadalama said on Nov. 8, 2009

hmm could it be possible that perhaps there was some really early stuff (that was taken out of course) that would let you join a band like runaway 5 so you could use their bus to travel between locations?

Ice Sage said on Nov. 8, 2009

@ReddestDream: Thanks! 😀

Ice Sage said on Nov. 8, 2009

Ugh. The patch isn’t working for me…

G.Wicks said on Nov. 8, 2009

Thanks for the patch, Mato! I’ve wanted those NPC’s to be restored for quite a while, and even though it’s just a little thing, I’m glad they’re in there, saying lines that Itoi intended. I even patched a hard-version romhack of EB I made years ago (with pkhack of course) and it STILL worked. So thanks dood.

ReddestDream said on Nov. 8, 2009

@Ice Sage:

Try this tool to add a header:


Elobo said on Nov. 9, 2009

Poor old dude is the last free range ghost in Threed now ;).

Tansunn said on Nov. 10, 2009

@Mato – Were these characters missing in the original Japanese version as well, or did something happen during translation that caused the bugs?

Mato said on Nov. 10, 2009

Yeah, they’re missing in the Japanese version too.

Ice Sage said on Nov. 22, 2009

That header tool didn’t help either. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong – I patched and ran Radiation’s Halloween hack just fine. I’ve tried redownloading the patch too in case the file was saved weirdly, but no difference. You’re supposed to patch the SMC file, right? Will it only affect save files made after patching the ROM?

Mato said on Nov. 22, 2009

Dunno what to say, but it might also depend on what time in the game you go look for those people. And I guess it’s possible a save file made after/before a certain point might not have them show up, I’d say it’s a low chance though.

Ice Sage said on Nov. 22, 2009

The file is saved right after returning from the 3rd sanctuary. From everyone else’s comments, it looks like it should work…maybe it’s because I saved in Threed (off of ReddestDream’s idea).

Kyoo said on Feb. 26, 2010

I don’t think this is a bug. I think Itoi made a decision to take these out of the game. and to make a patch that makes them visible is to play a game Itoi didn’t intend for us. Itoi was known for changing his mind a lot in the production of all mother games. I think this isn’t a bug. but a last second fix. much like the dog ladder animation. they were even coded. but… taken out for plot and story reasons. so this patch. I feel MIGHT be insult to Itoi’s work. and you’re making visible maybe what he never desired to be visible…. just a thought

somepartsareme said on Jul. 12, 2010

@Kyoo They were just caused by missing event flags. It’s all just silly little dialogue. Earthbound’s full of it already.

Yure said on Aug. 11, 2011

Does the bugged NPCs work fine in MOTHER 1+2?

Mato said on Aug. 11, 2011

No, they don’t appear in M1+2. I haven’t dumped the text/analyzed the data layouts to see if they might still exist in M1+2 in dummied-out form, I suspect that’s the case though.

Ninten said on Jan. 15, 2013



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