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Tips for Buying EarthBound

January 1st, 2010 | EarthBound, EarthBound 64, Itoi, MOTHER 1, MOTHER 1+2, MOTHER 3, MOTHER 4, Uncommon Knowledge, Videos

Joey D. sent this in yesterday, and it is mighty awesome!

I produce an online review show that tackles the hidden classics of the 16-bit era. And since EarthBound is one of my favorite games (isn’t it for us all), I knew that my episode for that would have to be rather epic.

I’ve passed it around on the Starmen.Net forums and xfisjmg1 thought I should drop you a line about it.

I wound up making an over 30-minute long comprehensive retrospective on the history of the EarthBound series. I’d like to think it’s the definitive video on the subject, and I wanted to show it to you in hopes that you may share it with the wider fan community. Especially since you and all the others from Starmen.Net have been so intertwined with the history of the series in the West over the past 10 years. You can find the 3 parts below (stupid YouTube and their 11 minute limits):

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

I had always hoped someone would do this, glad to see it done and done so well! Usually when people write up the history of the series like this there’ll be a lot of factual mistakes here and there, but it’s clear that much, much homework was done when making this video. It gets an A+ from me!


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53 Comments to EarthBound Series Documentary

IWontGetOvertheDam said on Jan. 1, 2010

Oh, wow. This is truly comprehensive. Excellent job!


OMG! The “Home Again” song made me cry my eyes out.
They really need to stop using such wondefully sad songs 😛

Poe said on Jan. 1, 2010

Aw yeah, Magicant header theme is back! I’ve certainly missed it.

Miles Vialpando said on Jan. 1, 2010

Absolutely amazing. The Wii VC issue perplexes me, too. There is something we don’t know.

Yoshimad123 said on Jan. 1, 2010

Those videos were excellent.
That guy is awesome, especially when he starts showing off his Ness outfit, lol.

adam said on Jan. 1, 2010

dudes and dudetes,I think it is time to hear all the video game nerds of the world out! all the vg nerds : WE NEED SONIC ERASER AND THE OFFICIAL ENGLISH RELEASE OF M1 AND 3 AND ALL THE OTHER GAMES IN IN ENGLISH RESPOND TO THIS MATO OR DIE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheFakePsychic said on Jan. 1, 2010

Whoa there Charl– err, adam. Calm down. Really. Generally, when you have more exclamation marks then words, and possible letters, and end something with “or die”, It’s not accepted.

On the other part, these are quite good videos, and whoever that guy is now has a new follower.

Bound2Mother said on Jan. 1, 2010

Awesome documentary, that did shed a bit more light on the Mother series’ development. The Happy Video Game Nerd actually did a retrospective on the series a while back but he mostly covered Mother 1 and 2. Roo did a great job on explaining Mother 3’s story and the little details in between.

Roo said on Jan. 1, 2010

Hey guys, I just wanted to thank Mato for giving me a nod on the site here. And also thanks to you guys who have been saying such nice things and subscribing to the YouTube channel.

This video wound up taking a lot longer than I thought (It’s nice to finally see the wife again), but I’m happy with how it turned out. I am aware of one factual error, though – Mother 2 has NOT been released for the Japanese Virtual Console. Yet another move that makes little sense on Nintendo’s part, but whatever. I’ll be sure to correct the error in my next video, which is a proper review of EarthBound itself.

Once again, thanks guys, and I’m glad you all like the video. It’s fans like you who have kept Itoi’s world alive for so long!

UltraGamer15 said on Jan. 1, 2010

Two big thumbs up to the creator of these 3 videos; this is the mother of MOTHER Documentaries! [/badpun]

Poe said on Jan. 1, 2010

You can correct the error with annotations on your current video, Roo.

Roo said on Jan. 1, 2010

Good point, Poe. Best to correct it in the original video. I’m on the case.

DGC said on Jan. 1, 2010

Amazing job!

Karma said on Jan. 1, 2010

Hey there.

Really, I have to say that while this was a rather good attempt at a retrospective, I have to say I heavily disagree on many elements of this, particularly as it gradually goes on, and gets closer to the end.

Honestly, I think that you are not only being very unfair towards Nintendo of America’s position on why Earthbound is or is not financially viable in the US, but you are outright refusing to so much as consider many points. It comes off more as ignorant fanboy bashing due to not simply having one’s way instead of considering the many reasons why this is so, and replacing it with fanboy whining.

Even going so far as to state, in your opinion, that the changes required for EB on the Virtual Console are shakey at best.

Uh, no. It’s more like a complete deadlock, rather than an excuse. The game needs to be altered for release to avoid potential lawsuit. Japan says no.

Complete deadlock. More than a “shakey excuse” it’s more of a case of not being able to compromise on required changes.

You completly gloss over Nintendo’s financial state, or the idea that the Game Boy Advance was already obsolete in the US at the time Mother 3 would have been released, meaning the game would have most likely been an instant bomb upon it’s arrival, since people were playin DS, not Game Boy Advance.

It’s the complete ignorance and unwillingness to even consider many issues like this or consider Nintendo’s solid side of the story, even if the sad result is what it is.

Like many of the other worse Mother/Earthbound fanboys out there, it just seems that you are looking for and needing someone to blame for a blameless situation and heaping your derision upon an easy target, in frustration.

Can’t say that I enjoyed this video, and enjoyed it less and less as it went on, due to it becoming more about passing blame and curmeddgony whining than anything else.

I have to say that Derek Alexander from Retoware TV already did a very good retrospective on the series, did it better, and did it in a more concise, thoughtful, and straight to the point manner than this.

This one, I’m sorry but I would have to generally ignore.

Now, i’m not condemning you for trying. It was a very good effort, and I see you put a lot of care into it, but I feel it’s execution (particularly it’s reasoning and rather fanboyish, willful ignorance stance) was far too flawed to be as good as other tributes out there.

In the end, I didn’t much care for it as much as I enjoyed others out there.

Ninji said on Jan. 1, 2010

We need more documentaries like this one fro EB… sigh…

G.Wicks said on Jan. 1, 2010

Well I thought this was pretty damn great. Nice work!

Ninji said on Jan. 1, 2010

*for not fro sorry!

Roo said on Jan. 1, 2010

Well I appreciate the comment, Karma, though as you may guess I disagree with your assessment on the situation with NoA. However, I do find the pro-Nintendo argument in the debate interesting, as it’s not one I’ve heard often.

Obviously, Tomato wrote an excellent article on all the possible legal issues Nintendo may have with putting EarthBound on the VC right now, and there are some fair points in it. I feel NoA may be a little scared of it’s shadow on that one (a “shaky” argument) but putting the VC debate aside for now, there is a long history of NoA screwing the pooch with EarthBound-related properties:

– Not releasing EB0 on the Game Boy Color. This should have required little production cost, and would have already had the EarthBound name to help bolster sales. This makes especially little sense with the success of Super Smash Bros.

– Mother 1+2 was released about a year and a half before the Nintendo DS saw the light of day, when the GBA was still amazingly popular. Once again, it shouldn’t have taken much effort for NoA to produce this cartridge, because they already had well translated scripts available for both games.

– You make a valid point about the GBA being obsolete in the US by the time Mother 3 came out in Japan in 2006. But then again, it was obsolete in Japan by that point too. And the Nintendo DS’s slot 2 was perfectly capable of playing GBA games, so that shouldn’t have been much of a hindrance. Or, conversely, the game could have been ported to the DS. Regardless, NoA’s response was to do yet again do absolutely nothing.

– NoA took a conscious effort to remove EarthBound from the “Masterpieces” section of Super Smash Bros. Brawl when it was present in the Japanese version. There is really no good argument for this. I find it highly unlikely that a non-laughable lawsuit could come from a 5-minute sample of a video game embedded in another video game.

I addition, I’m not sure what you mean by glossing over Nintendo’s “financial state”. They averaged around 90 billion yen net profit per year between 1997 and 2007, according to gamesinvestor.com. In fact, since the majority of Nintendo’s profits during that time were in the handheld market, you’d think they’d be more apt to grow that sector.

Nintendo even allowed a group of hackers to openly tamper with the code to Mother 3, which they wholly owned. (granted, I’m not complaining…) All in all, EarthBound fans are angry with NoA for their complete lack of respect to this series and its fans. They completely ignore us to the point of not giving good explanations as to why they take these courses of action. And that, more than anything else, is what turns a disappointed EB fan into an angry EB fan.

So I’m sorry if I come off as mad at NoA, but that’s just because after over a decade of this crap, I am.

JPLC said on Jan. 1, 2010

Excellent videos. As a long time Earthbound fan, I am delighted to see that word of this game is still spread even to this day. Bravo.

As far as the situation with NoA, I wholly agree with Roo. Earthbound may be tricky in some parts in regards to release, but as a whole, NoA has dropped the ball numerous times.

Keiji Dragon / OKei said on Jan. 2, 2010

(For some reason, my original post didn’t appear!)

That was a very interesting and entertaining documentary about the history of the series. I especially liked the statistics you added John!

You know, I’m making a concise video documentary series named Shat-Canned Legends (Yes that’s what it’s called) that includes one episode about EarthBound 64 / MOTHER 3 and its history. This is the first episode, by the way. =)

I’ve uploaded a “preview” of it on my YouTube Channel just a few days ago. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc2opd1NyIM

Now, I must point out that it is not completed and that its still in the development stages. I’m only posting it right now to stir up anticipation if it can get any. The next time you will see this will be far more complete. Some feedback and suggestions for the video would be very much appreciated.

I’ve already informed Unseen 64 of my documentary and it will be posted in that site when it’s completed. I’d better skedaddle and get the thing finished up soon

Shark Punk said on Jan. 2, 2010

Excellent job dude! Very cool. I wish my super nintendo wasn’t broken. ;(

PK-Lovin' said on Jan. 2, 2010

He said he would do a review, I wonder when taht6’ll come out.

Frank said on Jan. 3, 2010

Those videos were awesome 😀 Btw, you remember that band ”The adventures of Duane and Brand0” who were making EB rapopera. Little while ago Duane left band and Brand0 scrapped earthbound project because Duane was Ness, so he cant finish project ;C But in their new album includes all samples of that project. They are awesome, sad that they had to scrap EB song :C

Gendreavus said on Jan. 4, 2010

I just wanted to make an observation on the whole “NOA is ignoring Earthbound fans!” front…

While it may seem both odd and cruel that Nintendo would ignore one of its franchises, especially one that more and more Americans are learning about thanks to things like Smash bros, part of me also thinks that they may be trying to bless us with the way they are looking the other way. Part of me thinks that Nintendo is saying “We can’t release this officially, so we’ll let those internet folk do what they want with it behind our backs…” I mean, compare them to Square Enix who shuts down things as simple as fan-games and imagine how they would react if someone like Tomato contacted them the way he did Nintendo, outright telling them that he’s hacking a game that never came out stateside, writing an English translation, and posting it for free on the internet. I’d take the way Nintendo responded any day.

That said, I’d still buy an official version of the games launch-day if they ever got released, but with prospects so dim I’d rather be grateful for what I do have then beg for more…

Gummidge said on Jan. 4, 2010

@Frank: All parts containing Duane have been scrapped, and are being redone. It will come out, just much later and without the best member.

Roo said on Jan. 4, 2010

Gendreavus, I do have to agree with you there. Though I believe NoA has been a bad steward of the EarthBound franchise, I am glad that they tacitly approved of the obvious hacking that was going on under their noses. I guess it was their way of saying, “Well, we’re never going to release this in America, so why not let the fanatics have their fun.”

I’ll take that over a lawsuit any day.

Frank said on Jan. 4, 2010


Thats what i thought, but when i readed their blog i found this post http://www.the-adventures-of.com/search?updated-max=2009-12-26T10%3A33%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=1

”Q) What happened to EarthBound?
A) EarthBound was scrapped when it was only partially done due to Duane’s departure. You can hear the parts that did get completed on the LP of Devastation.”

Yeah… I dont know witch info came first, i suppose that i have to email to Brand0 and ask him…

Mojo45 said on Jan. 5, 2010

Wow, this is by far the best review of the Earthbound games I’ve ever seen. Great job!

Zephys said on Jan. 5, 2010

Well I feel loved. Awesome seeing Mother 4 mentioned in there.

Wonderful history of the series. It needs a permanent spot on the Starmen.net home page or something of the like.

Gummidge said on Jan. 5, 2010

@Frank: Oh.

Well… bumholes.

I guess I’ll buy the LP of Devastation then.

Chaisu said on Jan. 5, 2010

Wow, this was really touching, being there to see all of that and now reliving all these great memories.
Starmen.net is the greatest fan-community of all time! I DARE anyone to challenge me on that.
Seeing my work and the work of the team being mentioned on here is also very rewarding 🙂

DeadHeat said on Jan. 6, 2010

That was really informative. It’s nice to see so much attention to detail put into an EB project.

ghostgirl21696 said on Jan. 8, 2010

I have never played these games, I hadn’t played a video game until the Gamecube was starting to droop from popularity,I wasn’t alive when any Idea of thees games touched people, in fact, I still only found out about this game because of brawl and Chuggaaconroy, and this is my favorite game series in the universe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wanna sign up to the earthbound websites.

ghostgirl21696 said on Jan. 10, 2010

I should also mention that this is great documentary. I should have written that a few days ago.

Rozgabound said on Jan. 10, 2010

Very nice.

Alvan said on Jan. 11, 2010

I really im in disagree defending Nintendo of not releasing Mother 3. My common sence tell me “if you have a market, a fan club, and a growing community of those fans, release series and earn more money” but a deep analisis of that topic looks like never was done, and well Nintendo at the end its a company; but looks like he havent notice that he had an analyst grow-up community, tired of the poor coherent answers… 20 years ago were childs, not anymore. Its a entertainment, right, taking it too seriously cant be good. But my weigh its exactly what im telling, poor answers.

In other hand, im those who think that these games are “not for everyone”… the Mother series in general, but especifically the Mother 3, have deep meanings and, we dont have to be media analists no notice that have political meanings too. Yep, im fan, i love them jajajaja.

I really like the retrospective, nice job; keep doing them, its good to have in internet journalists like you.

qpringle1 said on Jan. 13, 2010

Nice vid.

Mr Hanky said on Jan. 14, 2010

I liked this. Keep em coming.

doenothaveanaccount said on Jan. 19, 2010

I was jsut looking through my old (correcton, my moms) nintendo power magzeins…I just found issue 18 that has EB0 pictures :3

No Ide why but I feel…happy.

Ryan9-1 said on Jan. 19, 2010

Screw you Japan. We will get Mother 4.

WintermuteMD said on Jan. 22, 2010

Karma: I don’t know. I saw and also enjoyed Derek’s Earthbound review, but I think these videos go much more in depth with the history of Earthbound. This guy seems to have done more homework and I don’t find the tone to be very negative, just truthful. This was a more complete review than the other one, though they were both great.

Dr. Korea said on Jan. 28, 2010

I guess Tim Rogers’s reviews of Mother 2 and Mother 3 are still the greatest source of information about the Mother series, but I guess that this is the best video review out there.

Jungyin said on Jan. 28, 2010

Actually, Tim Roger’s reviews of Mother 2 and 3 contain a lot of inaccuracies and plain wrong info. I’d say Starmen.net and Earthbound Central here are much better sources of info.

Joshua Johnson said on Feb. 9, 2010

When watching this, I kept thinking “happy video game nerd”

sure, you did mention some stuff that he didn’t, but some of your quotes were similer

Earthbound Wisher said on Feb. 15, 2010

If only NoA can find a “loophole” around the lawsuit problem with Earthbound on VC….

Mr. Saturn said on Apr. 7, 2010

Yes…a “loophole”…

Tessie said on Aug. 3, 2010

Man I hope Nintendo take this one out for the virtual console They will earn tons of my money

PlooKon09 said on Mar. 25, 2011

I just commented to see what my avatar was. I hope its not some ugly Mother 3 enemy.

PlooKon09 said on Mar. 25, 2011

DAMN it is!

picture guy said on Jul. 13, 2011

epic ending this needs a picture ready say fuzzey pickes.a wat a great picture it will bring back the fondest of memoreys

Games Xtreme said on Aug. 7, 2011

Thanks for your videos that me introduced to the Earth Bound/Mother series! After watching the videos countless times I ordered Mother 1+2 and Mother 3 for my GBA from Japan, dumped the ROMs and patched them with the English translations by “Tomato” and the German translation of the Mother 1-Part of Mother 1+2 by “domflo”. Next on my list is the buying of a copy of the American release “Earth Bound” for the SNES, not only because the Mother 2-Part of Mother 1+2 isn’t translated to English or German (my native language by the way) and because I’m a collector who wants his games “for real”.
And because I have a “Retrode” and GBA- and NDS-Flashcarts its posibble for me to dump SNES-, Genesis-, N64-, GameBoy-, GBA- and NDS-Games.
Then I can play and patch them and play them on the real consoles 😀

NatX2 said on Oct. 22, 2011



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