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Tips for Buying EarthBound

December 4th, 2009 | MOTHER 3, Uncommon Knowledge

There’s a topic over on Starmen.Net that caught my eye. In it, people talk about little things they’ve noticed in MOTHER 3. It’s kind of surprising, because there are some things that not even I noticed, like the fact that the flowers at the grave have different colors throughout the game, showing that new flowers are always being brought.

(image by Aerostella)

The game took so long to develop that I suppose it’s natural that there are lots of little things like that everywhere. Some of my other favorites are:

  • Ramming into the Drago from the left
  • When you use the hot spring after you’re covered in soot
  • The way the soot washes off when the rain starts is cool
  • The town “map” of Saturn Valley
  • The little text beep sounds change depending on the character talking, this is something a lot of people don’t notice right away it seems
  • Duster still limps even when in disguise, Kumatora still yawns when in disguise
  • Between Chapters 3 and 4, Kumatora gets three pixels taller and of course Lucas gets much taller too
  • When you first meet Kumatora she throws some sort of ice thing at you, then when she joins you see she’s not at full PP because she had actually used PK Freeze
  • You can meet Fassad in Chapter 1 if you go at the right time

I know there’s a lot more than that, but I can’t remember them all. Have you noticed any cool little details or tiny extra things in the game?


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57 Comments to The Little Things in MOTHER 3

Dante said on Dec. 4, 2009

Esas son las cosas que hacen que un juego sea de los mejores, los pequeños detalles lo hacen mas realistico! Lástima que no salió oficialmente para America… No sabía que se hacian mas altos conforme pasaba el juego!!

Spitball Sparky said on Dec. 4, 2009

The last time I played Mother 3, I pulled the needles in a different order:

Pulling Mixolydia’s needle right after visiting Aeolia is very difficult, but possible and warrants some interesting events. Boney has a lot more dialog and actually suggests that Lucas eats the mushroom. Without Duster, Wes is replaced by Alec after the Zombie Shroom battle and says something surprisingly disturbing to the player. The screen goes dark and he addresses the player like at the beginning of the game. I forget exactly what he says, but I remember it being pretty dark.

If you pull Doria’s needle last before visiting Ionia, Alec and Mapson will be near the Clayman factory.

Digamma said on Dec. 4, 2009

Pigmask Kumatora is a bit slimmer than Pigmask Duster or the other pigmasks.

Omnitarian said on Dec. 4, 2009

Ramming into Hinawa in the Prologue, ramming into the side of the ballbearing statue in ch. 2, the pig with the secret message, going back to the Chimera Lab with Salsa.

I also like the subtle but consistent/logical trends in status weakness: cloth-based enemies (Osohe Cape, Carpet Monster) are the most susceptible to being wall stapled (and the caped pig mask is weaker to wall staples than regular ones). Sad/emotional enemies (Negative Man, Mr. Passion, Gently Weeping Guitar) are weak to crying.

The Nameless Worthless Protoplasm Friend Doctor said on Dec. 4, 2009

@ Sparky: I think I just found a new challenge for my Hard Mode Mother 3 playthrough!! Thanks.

Also, there’s all the Doorknob references spread throughout the game. In capter 3, Fassad will even toss it out of Osohe’s court yard if you examin it!

Portal-Kombat said on Dec. 4, 2009

All the rides in the “Porky Park” of New Pork City have weird descriptions if you examine them- there’s the teacups, the roller coaster, the viking boat and the carousel.

PK Mt. Fuji said on Dec. 4, 2009

A cardboard cut-out of Andonuts Lab can be seen in New Pork.

Darien said on Dec. 4, 2009

My favourites were all the little insights into Porky’s psychology; things like how, when you’re in his room in the Thunder Tower, the only thing you can steal that has an alarm or a guard on it is the Friend’s Yo-Yo. Little things like that that, taken as a whole, make Porky seem more a tragic figure than a straight-up malevolent one.

EmeraldWind said on Dec. 4, 2009

How about the old guy who appears in several of the hot springs in the game.

Mato said on Dec. 4, 2009

Oh yeah, can’t forget the newspaper articles in the old folks home. That was half my doing though.

Oh yeah, if you try to walk back to Tazmily at night during Chapter 4, that Mr. T lookalike’s brother will stop you and say the stuff the Mr. T guy did, only very slightly different.

EmeraldWind said on Dec. 4, 2009

And the insignificant message on the back of the tree…

Godaigamer said on Dec. 4, 2009

I didn’t figure this out by myself (Tim Rogers of action button dot net included it in his Mother 3 review), but one of the Magypsies (Phrygia, perhaps?) says “kietari mo shiteru kedo, watashi wa genki desu.” This is a reference to the slogan created by Itoi for Kiki’s Delivery Service “ochikondari mo shita kedo, watashi wa genki desu.” (The first means something like “I’m fading away, but I’m fine” while the latter is “I was a bit depressed, but I’m fine”). I always smile when I see that reference.

Godaigamer said on Dec. 4, 2009

After seeing the old guy comment, I also recalled noticing the most recent time I played this game is that if you’re hallucinating when you see the hot springs man, he looks like Fassad.

Anonymous said on Dec. 4, 2009

to the comment at the top i say “el comento en espanol”

Komaru said on Dec. 4, 2009

Also, when you fight the Mecha-Drago, he’s missing a tooth.

Fiends said on Dec. 4, 2009

Hey Mato, could you maybe list all of them with some screen shots. This would make a very cool content post, maybe you could compile all these little Easter eggs and it would be very interesting.

Naja said on Dec. 4, 2009

I noticed the flowers thing, in fact if you check them, it says “Flint is always bringing new flowers for Hinawa”, or something like that.

I’m trying to remember stuff, but there’s so much, ,and many had already been mentioned… I remember if you talk to the kael/frog that’s near Lucas’ home in chapter 4 he’ll say something about the time passage, can’t remember exactly what.

lalala said on Dec. 4, 2009

What about the guitar pick in club titiboo after the concert?Isn’t it like the sesame seeds in Earthbound?
I feel special that I maybe one of the few people who noticed it ;D

vivify93 said on Dec. 4, 2009

Actually, I’ve noticed Kumatora is missing 5 PP because the Magic Pendant adds on 5 PP. So theoretically, the character you would get before the event had full PP, but was equipped by an event with the Magic Pendant, thus creating the illusion that she’s missing 5.

Hey, I’m probably wrong, but crack theories are what the EarthBound community is made of!

Sam said on Dec. 4, 2009

Hehe, the soot was funny! But seeing the flowers with different colors was touching…

Father said on Dec. 4, 2009

I noticed this too when playing mother 3

Dan said on Dec. 4, 2009

For the later chapters, the flowers were the only indication I had that Flint was even alive. He really is a pretty bad father, you don’t see him untill late 7 since 3 if I recall.

Linkzcap said on Dec. 5, 2009

lalala, I noticed it too. 🙂

Joshua Johnson said on Dec. 5, 2009

If you get Claus to be on your team via Debug menu, then try going into the hotspring, Claus walks on water

also, I would have never in a million years found out that kumatora dosn’t start out with full PP because she shot a PK frezze at you. How do people find this out?

Lothis said on Dec. 5, 2009

The reason you don’t see Flint for most of the game is because he continues searching for Claus every day. This is stated somewhere, I think in Tazmily in the beginning of chapter 4.

Anonymous said on Dec. 5, 2009

Speaking of Flint, I seem to recall that Lucas yells at him if you talk to Lucas first thing during the Funeral in Chapter 1. And of course there’s Lucas’s other bits of depressing dialogue if you talk to him at various points through Chapters 2-3.

Zinco said on Dec. 5, 2009

The differently-pitched blips and bloops for text is something that goes on in the Dragon Quest series, too.

The Nameless Worthless Protoplasm Friend Doctor said on Dec. 5, 2009

If you speak two times to Lucas and Claus when at the camp fire, they will actually say some words!

Also, when someone’s following you, go speak to Ledder. Your companion will have something to say about him.

PSI Wolf said on Dec. 5, 2009

I thought Kumatora’s missing PP was due to her not having her pendant. If you equip something that raises your HP or PP, the stat will not completely restore to the amount of HP/PP you have after equiping the item, but will remain the same amount as it was BEFORE equiping the item. That DOES look like how PK Freeze appeared in brawl though.

EmeraldWind said on Dec. 5, 2009

Am I the only one who got the feeling that Claus and Lucas switched places at some point?

When I played the game I just felt for some reason that the Lucas you play as is really Claus. For example, Lucas was the more timid and momma’s boy of the two. Claus appears to be more or less in control when he frees Flint, but then he suddenly 180s and goes to avenge his mom. Meanwhile, Lucas suddenly seems to calm down and becomes brave. Add this in with what the halucination “Claus” says later in the game.

Naturally, this is impossible due to the fact that Claus obviously has different colored hair and the fact that ending text would be weird otherwise…

Poe said on Dec. 5, 2009

Hey EmeraldWind – I don’t agree with your theory, but it’s weird how similar it is to the plot of the trilogy of books from which Itoi pulled Lucas and Claus’s names (these). It’d make an interesting fanfic, at least.

Poe said on Dec. 5, 2009

Hmm, I shouldn’t say similar to the plot of the books because there’s a lot of stuff happening in them that have absolutely nothing to do with the game. Your theory is similar to one of the mysteries that exists throughout the three books. Yeah, now I make sense.

EmeraldWind said on Dec. 6, 2009

Well, I don’t really call it a theory, cuz honestly I don’t believe it either. I just got the feeling from some of the events in the game… I was curious if anyone else had thought that.

Poe said on Dec. 6, 2009

For me, I believe that Claus had always intended to go after Drago, he was just trying to play it cool so that nobody would try to stop him. As for Lucas, he’s a late bloomer and he becomes brave because he’s growing up.

FuzzyPicklez said on Dec. 7, 2009

When you check Hinawa’s bed at the beginning of the game, it says, “Hinawa’s bed.”

But when you check it in chapter 1, it says, “The bed that Hinawa used.”

.GamerBluePK said on Dec. 9, 2009

If you look closely, the grave stone also says MLF.

Anonymous said on Dec. 11, 2009


Hey, doesn’t it say in the game a few times that Claus and Lucas are often mistaken for one another?

Hah, puts a new twist on that. But yea, thats a really cool idea you had. I had some odd speculations as I played the game the first time too.

Pyroguy42 said on Dec. 13, 2009

If you talk to Claus in Chapter 1 after the kids are found, he says his usual thing. Talk to him again and he says “Darn it, darn it.” Cursing himself under his breath.

Meyers said on Dec. 22, 2009

Great job Itoi! and Tomato too, for the translation!
Both of you never forget even the smallest of details! That gives an atmosphere on a simplistic design (but GREAT) game.

Mother 3 is my second favourite game of all time, the first is Earthbound!

Alezicarus said on Jan. 3, 2010

I like that Lucas and Claus share the same letters in their name

Pho3n1xN4om1 said on Jan. 6, 2010

@Spitball Sparky

If you visit Tanetane before getting Duster back, Alec says this:
“Where is Hinawa? Have you seen Hinawa anywhere?”
(Dialog is the same whether you answer Yes or No)
“Oh. Then bring her here right away.”
*Alec turns so he’s facing forward, and the screen goes dark.*
“I know you’ve seen her!”

Kinda creepy, really.(Apologies for my dreadful English xDD)

- said on May. 31, 2010

I think that that Kumatora is not at full PP because she has something on her when she joins you that increases her maximum PP by 5.

Matt said on Jul. 22, 2010

In Chapter 2, if you talk to Pusher on you way back to the castle with Wess, he mentions plans on building an old folks home

Matt said on Jul. 27, 2010

Also, prior to chapter 4, one of the graves stones in the cemetary say its reserved. If you check it again after the 3 year skip, you’ll find that Scamp is burried there

DBlue said on Mar. 19, 2011

In the prologue, Claus’s attack sound is a sitar. When the masked man attacks, he can attack twice, and it sounds like a sitar.

Mel said on Dec. 29, 2011

I never knew about Fassad in chapter 1. O_O

G.Wicks said on Jan. 14, 2012

Mega-Drago is missing a tooth when you fight him. Komoru already mentioned it, but it always made me smile. It’s amazing how hugely detailed this tiny little cartridge is. Totally worth waiting eleven years for.

GreatNess said on Feb. 29, 2012

Flints doorknob shows up several times in the story. The last time you see it you accidently kick it off of a cliff.

Banjo said on Apr. 25, 2012

When you dash on different floors,Different sounds play.

Sparklesqueak said on Jul. 30, 2012

Do you guys remember the two sesame seeds in the desert in EarthBound? Well, in the last chapter of MOTHER 3, you can see a single black pixel and a single white pixel, standing side by side, together.
I love how much detail there is in this game. 🙂

100earthbound said on Jul. 30, 2012

uummm… If you hack the game you find some unused sprites.

M1Fan said on Sep. 26, 2012

If you use cheats you can have claus in your party

M1Fan said on Sep. 26, 2012

Oh and I think Mother 3 is pretty hard, considering i’m stll stuck fighting the jealous bass.

BB Gang Zombie said on Sep. 26, 2012

@M1Fan Some tips for the jealous bass:
A shop at the beginning of the dungeon sells Pencil Rockets. If you stock up on those, that battle becomes much simpler. Have Boney unload the rockets, and Lucas use PK Love/whatever you named your favorite thing and that battle will be over in no time. 🙂

Cheeky Lucas said on Jun. 29, 2013

In chapter 4 in the Factory, if you shock yourself in the Clayman device you actually lose health.

Awsonymous said on Jul. 24, 2013

If you check the Yado Inn midway-ish through Chapter 2, the room which Fassad is in in chapter 3 will be locked.

Also, the Thunder Bombs behind what used to be Wess’s house still refill even after the timeskip.


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