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Tips for Buying EarthBound

January 20th, 2010 | EarthBound, Hacking, Videos

I guess it’s no secret that games on the Wii Virtual Console are basically ROMs wrapped in a bunch of other stuff, so shortly after the system was released people figured out how to put custom ROMs onto the Virtual Console. I know you can use the Homebrew Channel to play almost any old game you want, but some people prefer that feel of authenticity. Here’s one guy who went the extra mile to make it look like an authentic, official Nintendo release of EarthBound for the VC:

I don’t know how to do any of this fancy schmancy console modding/hacking stuff, so I can’t help you. But if you’re tired of waiting for the game, this is an option that might tide you over.

For a little more of that authentic feel, you can also try applying a small patch I made that makes some changes to the game that Nintendo would probably make before releasing the game. It’s a very small patch, I only had to change 7 bytes to fix some of the probably more legally troublesome songs in the game. If I can do it, surely Nintendo can, but oh well. I documented the changes in a readme file just in case anyone wants to build off of it. Have fun!


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100 Comments to EarthBound, Virtual Console-Style

Supakitsune said on Jan. 20, 2010

I’ve always wanted to do something like this, but…
Personally, I always wanted to re-create the title screen in high resolution for the game’s Wii Menu banner. I think that’d be pretty classy. 😀

LeonardoGolden said on Jan. 20, 2010

Well, that’s not really as authentic because the channel jingle isn’t supposed to be that.

Other than that, it’s pretty good.

fael said on Jan. 20, 2010

what are the more troublesome songs?

fael said on Jan. 20, 2010

oh crap, which*

Mato said on Jan. 20, 2010

Yeah, most of the videos I saw were actually a lot worse, with the Donkey Kong Country 2 title screen and everything. I doubt it’s 100% what a real release would look like on a Wii but it’s the best I’ve seen so far 😛

SuperTrainStationH said on Jan. 20, 2010

Someone should actually make a rom hack making all the changes NOA wanted to make, perhaps re-adapting some music from MOTHER 3 in place of the overtly infringing music used in EarthBound, like the Hotel theme for instance.

LeonardoGolden said on Jan. 20, 2010

Also the “THE WAR AGAINS GIYGAS” screen inside the channel should just be the EarthBound one. BUT ENOUGH NITPICKING this guy sure went out of his way to make it look authentic and _cool_ I guess :p

Cuflock said on Jan. 20, 2010

I have it and Mother 1
Is really cool to play on the Wii 😀

Cape_Mario said on Jan. 20, 2010

Do you need homebrew to play it. To be honest I was thinking the same thing just yesterday about hack a VC rom to see how its put together then doing that to Earth Bound so I can play it on my Wii, I think my copy of EB’s battery is dying or worse that the game is going all together.

hylatio said on Jan. 20, 2010

Yeah, for this to be really accurate the VC jingle would have to be playing at the start instead of the title screen theme. Though it is pretty cool that he made up an entire operations guide for it just like a real VC release would.

@Cape_Mario: You need the homebrew channel to hack a VC rom, though I wouldn’t know how to do it because I’ve never done it before. A much easier way to play EarthBound on Wii is to use the Snes9xGX emulator… which also needs the homebrew channel of course.

neonix said on Jan. 20, 2010

Glad to see I’ll be getting more views on this video lol. I made a version that has the official jingle, but I personally love the EB intro music better 🙂

Hey Mato, if you don’t mind hosting the WAD file on your site, I could send it to you. If you don’t want to risk and legal issues, then I understand.

Mato said on Jan. 20, 2010

Yeah, it’s probably best if I don’t host it. They’ll send their Big N Ninjas with big N logos on their foreheads.

Ricardo said on Jan. 20, 2010

Holy S***!!! This is the best day of my life! Earthbound released on the VC!!! Oh wait… It’s a hack… crap…

Sora444 said on Jan. 20, 2010

that jingle is pretty fitting since it feels like “Finally, its here” moment.

SmaMan said on Jan. 20, 2010

Yeah, you don’t wanna mess with WAD files too much. With all the new system updates and revisions this is very hard to do now. And if you happen to get one pixel off on your custom channel’s title screen or anything, you could risk bricking your console.

So please, try this at your own risk and only if you know EXACTLY what you’re doing!

Cape_Mario said on Jan. 20, 2010

ah, Well I’m not into causing a my Wii to brick with home brew on it, so I’ll just stop being lazy and fix my copy of Earth bound for my SNES.

Thanks for the advace.

Gabriel Rodriguez said on Jan. 20, 2010

I checked out the hack file Tomato made, and the changes sounded rather interesting. If somebody could use that file and make a video of it, that’d be cool.

I said on Jan. 20, 2010

OMG how do u do that?!! I need to find that pronto!! I have been DYING to play that game! Especially on WII!!!

StageProps said on Jan. 20, 2010

Actually injecting a ROM into a WAD isn’t that hard, but doing up the WAD file with all the bells and whistles (banner, save file picture, etc) is kinda hard and messy. It took me a lot of trial and error to make my own WAD file (mainly with the hexadecimal), but it ultimately didn’t end up bricking my Wii. But if it’s easier to brick your Wii now, and the process is still as messy as it was, then you probably shouldn’t try unless you know what you’re doing.

Anonymous said on Jan. 20, 2010

Actually, not all VC games use that standard jingle. Megaman 9 had it’s own jingle. =p

Anonymous said on Jan. 20, 2010

To add to my above post, so did Pokemon Rumble, but then again, those are Wiiware (original games) and not rereleases so yeah…

Gon2161 said on Jan. 20, 2010

@Anonymous, MM9 was wiiware not VC.

Gon2161 said on Jan. 20, 2010

Ha posted that when your second comment wasn’t up XD.

GamerBlueX said on Jan. 20, 2010

Hey, I have this, and I know how to do it, I’ll make a tutorial on how to do it later, and post it on YouTube, look out for it.

kamanashi said on Jan. 20, 2010

I did this on my Wii about a year and a half ago. But I play it on my PSP and on the Cartridge more.

Anonymous said on Jan. 20, 2010

I did this… I’m sure I have the same version as the one in the video too, I was really surprised that the guy actually took the time to change the operations guide. Made it feel very authentic.

Just to cover my ass, this and Dracula X are the only games I ever did this for – I’ve got what feels like about a million damn dollars worth of VC and WiiWare bought all legit style.

Also EB looks fantastic over component by the way. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

It’s actually surprisingly easy to set all this stuff up, for anyone who wants to do it… all you need is an SD and some decent instructions.

Dr. Meat said on Jan. 20, 2010

Forgot to put my name on that last post.. not that anyone cares, I’m sure.

sticktendo said on Jan. 20, 2010

Say, thanks for the reminder to finish doing Homebrew stuff with my Wii. I just couldn’t get WAD Manager to work in Wii 4.2, so maybe I’ll try again or wait until people crack it completely.

MarioFan3 said on Jan. 20, 2010

Heh, as others have said, this is really easy to do, I can’t be bothered so I haven’t done it.
For all those people worrying about you’re Wii getting bricked, don’t worry because if it DOES happen, use BootMii, which you can get info about it here:


All Homebrewers should be using this already, it’s free, open source, and extremely easy to use, it was one of the first things I installed before anything else.
Using this will completely bybass the Wii System Menu, (not that you need to use it anymore anyway) preventing any permanent loss of Wii data and it’s functions.

SmaMan said on Jan. 21, 2010

Well it’s been about a year since I did mine, but if I’m not mistaken, don’t you have to downgrade your IOS’s to let it install the custom channels? If it ever comes to this, IT’S NOT WORTH IT! It might not muck things up too much now, but later on down the line it will…

Chrissii said on Jan. 21, 2010

Heh, I have just installed neonix’s WAD file onto our Wii last week! It runs wonderfully. We have two Wiis as a result of my fiancee and I moving in together, so we have one that we don’t update to use for Homebrew, and one that is up-to-date and hack-free 😛

I wonder if now that the WAD is installed, if it could be transferred to the main Wii via SD card without needing the Homebrew Channel, but I’m way too scared to try without knowing if someone else has done it successfully or not. 😐

Matoking said on Jan. 21, 2010

Custom WADs is Russian roulette without proper brick-protection, FYI. Most of the custom WADs/methods to install them are illegal anyway, especially Waninkoko’s tools which people prefer to use for some reason…

CustomizeMii makes it easy to create custom WADs with legal custom-made templates or Nintendo’s WADs (provided you own them legally) and edit the graphic files inside them making custom channels like this quite easy in the end.

Mr. Nosy said on Jan. 21, 2010

I wonder…
…did Mr. Itoi ever promise that Mother 2 will come out in Virtual Console?

(Either way, I think the hack should have instead given the title screen of Earthbound and used the generic VC sound effect.)

Zaxtur said on Jan. 21, 2010

The older Wii firmware used to allow to copy such wads to the SD card and back again, but the newer firmware prevents this. I’m not exactly sure which version put an end to it. There IS a way to hack to the Wii further to allow you to do this again, but I haven’t tried it cuz it seems kinda risky.

Also, if someone hasn’t pointed it out yet, Virtual Console titles don’t play the games theme when you select them on the Wii homescreen. They just play a little two-second beep tone. There is another version of this WAD out there that has the tone instead of the EarthBound title screen music, which I prefer. It seems more authentic to me.

Poe said on Jan. 21, 2010

Mr. Nosy – No, Itoi never promised anything. He’s not the person who can make stuff like that happen anyway.

The Great Morgil said on Jan. 21, 2010

While I am interested in what was changed in that patch tomato gave us, i don’t really feel like playing through an entire game right now to hear it. It’d be nice if somebody were to post a video of the changes.

Mato said on Jan. 21, 2010

I only changed 7 bytes, and the only changes are that some music tracks are replaced with others.

Gyiyg said on Jan. 21, 2010

It’s good. It’s realy good. The only thing bothering me is the EB Logo music playing before loading the game up. It takes the whole fun of looking realistic on the Wii console.

no name given said on Jan. 21, 2010

what about earthbound zero?

Chrissii said on Jan. 22, 2010

@Zaxtur Thank you for the info! That’s about what I figured, and with all the legit game savedata on the unhacked Wii, it’s just not worth the risk (as much as I would love for EB to be on our primary Wii). I personally use the version of the WAD that has the regular VC sound… makes it feel more real. At least, about as real as we’ll ever get 😛

@Matoking I didn’t realize the Waninkoko software was so dangerous! I primarily use Homebrew only to run SNES/NES emulators for the games I own that I don’t foresee ever coming to VC for me to give them money for (Mother 3, EB, the old Disney+Capcom games, etc.). If I remove Waninkoko’s WAD installer from my SD card, will the EarthBound WAD I’ve already installed still work?

SmaMan said on Jan. 22, 2010

Don’t worry, removing Waninkoko’s ripped off and repackaged programs will leave your custom VC channel untouched… but whatever you do, don’t send the channel to your SD card… it’ll get stuck there!

neonix said on Jan. 22, 2010

Just if anyone cares, I used EB’s intro music and the WAR AGAINST GIYGAS screen instead of the title screen because when it came down to officialism versus being more custom (to my liking) and reminding me of an amazing part of my childhood every time I click on it, I had to go with the nostalgic touch.
Official doesn’t always mean best, right? If you have the ability to make something better, why not do it? That’s the goal of hacking and modding as I see it. 😉

Bluedude3 said on Jan. 22, 2010

D: this makes me feel sad inside XP

PKSTARMAN said on Jan. 22, 2010

-_- …WTF?!

PKSTARMAN said on Jan. 22, 2010

You need something called “Homebrew Channel”. With that, you can hack your Wii without doing a several damage. Thats also the way to get SSMB hacks.

PKSTARMAN said on Jan. 22, 2010

For that, you download it on Internet AND put it in your SD card.

PKSTARMAN said on Jan. 22, 2010


Exactly, without that, your Wii will be damaged.

PKSTARMAN said on Jan. 22, 2010

It seems you are all scared cause the Homebrew channel. Dont worry, just use it with boot mii and there it is.

PKSTARMAN said on Jan. 22, 2010


Congratulations! I have it too. Its too easy to put them in a Wii. For those Homebrewers with DSi, A program named DSi homebrew will be released soon. That way, you can play your MOTHER 3 in your DSi using the also released soon VBA emulator for DSi.

neonix said on Jan. 22, 2010

^You should read all the comments and reply to them in one post, PKSTARMAN. 😛

MarioFan3 said on Jan. 23, 2010

When I joined the Wii Homebrew scene back in April 2008, there was none of this BootMii safety stuff, no decent emus, nothing!
And it was all done with Twilight Hack, with a risk warning, that’s it! That was your protection, a “use at own risk” warning! W00T! The rest was up to you, and if it bricked (which was very common in those days) too bad! Luckily, I never got bricked once, and I still have the original Twilight Hack on my SD card for keepsake. 😀

Now though, things are SO secure, all you have to do these days is download the installer, the HomeBrew channel, the HomeBrew Browser, and the BootMii app (just to be safe), chuck it on the Wii SD card and you’re set! Then just load the installer on the SD menu, follow the easy to follow instructions, and voila, it’s done!
You have HomeBrew, you’re fully protected and you’re free to do whatever you want with the console! So much freedom, these days are SO much easier for Wii HomeBrew than they used to be!

I agree with neonix, it’s better to have one long post rather than have a sextuple post, which is extremely off-limits in most places on the internet, considering double-posting is off-limits as it is, just warning you for future reference so you don’t get banned at every forum. 😉

Gummidge said on Jan. 23, 2010

If I had a Wii, I would definately try this.

Until then, if I want to play Earthbound on a console, I’ll have to buy the game along with a universal SNES adapter.

Bluedude3 said on Jan. 25, 2010

if you were confused by what I ment, I mean that it reminds me that I havent played earthbound yet ;.;

DCH said on Jan. 25, 2010

can you make a earthbound game on the ds? ”Earthbound:The First”, it’s a remake game of Mother

TacoMan said on Jan. 25, 2010


Are you serious about the DSi Homebrew? If so, you have just made me very excited. =D

Salsa9090 said on Jan. 26, 2010

if you update ur wii it wont get deleted, right? ._.

VGMaster64 said on Feb. 3, 2010

No. Updating your Wii will not delete the game. I’ve done and update twice and my EB game is still there.

Arutoa said on Feb. 7, 2010

I have this and EB0, if only there was a way to put Mother 3 on it like that.

Also, in breaking news, I’m still too lazy to make a WAD of Clock Tower: The First Fear.

Joshua Johnson said on Feb. 7, 2010

I play earthbound on my SNES or my Homebrew. I never actually imagined what it would be like if Nintendo released the gme on virtual console.

But this is as close as it probobly gets. good job

Anonymous said on Feb. 10, 2010

Awesome, this is the game injection from us at wiiso.

EarthBound015 said on Feb. 10, 2010

I don’t know what I would do without my Wii and DS homebrew. I cant wait until everything for the DSi is ready \o/

Matoking said on Feb. 15, 2010

“This video has been removed removed due to terms of use violation”

Mato said on Feb. 15, 2010

Seems to be a bug with YouTube, it works fine from YouTube itself.

neonix said on Feb. 16, 2010

Actually, it’s no bug. YouTube terminated my account for three supposed copyright infringements, only one of which I was only notified of (the very last one). >_> I’d re-upload the video to my new account, but I don’t think I saved the video on my computer anywhere; I might just re-shoot it at some point, but YouTube has royally pissed me off.

Matoking said on Feb. 18, 2010

Wiiso site the anonymous guy a few posts back mentioned seems to be just a plain piracy site.


Waterwing said on Feb. 20, 2010

I actually put his game on my Wii but I couldn’t get it on as a channel and stuff. I have to keep going onto the Homebrew Channel and bad thing is if theres no save file on the SD card then you gotta redo everything from before. But its still awsome!

Jake said on Feb. 23, 2010

Its funner to play on the psp, as no one in my school knows what EB is so, they think its a regular psp game lolz,i’m going to work on my file so later


youtube user: KingN641994 said on Mar. 2, 2010

This makes me furious that this game isn’t on the VC over some copyright issues. It’s a crying shame why the heck would they still bark like a female dog over it now. Come on we have HD music an even HD2. Now back then I’m OK it’s understandable, but now it’s just so stupid fight over a game just because some 16 bit music!!!WTF. Why can’t these music artists get over with themselves. Like they won’t complain if someone got their songs illegally but they’ll still complain over a game in 16 bit too. >XO Hey it’s only for Earthbound but a bigger question is that where the heck is Mother 3!!! They have it for Japan but not for America WTF. This is almost upsetting when they Showed Ed Edd an Eddy big picture (the movie) on Scandinavia and showed the US second to last about 5 months to play it. There should be no excuse why Mother 3 shouldn’t be in America. If they can put those crappy party games on the wii then why not Mother3. What a crying shame. He really shouldn’t as worried that the franchise won’t be as big as Japan, but still there’s no excuse like Fire emblem did it, why not Mother3. If they really didn’t really want us to know our curious head about the game then why bother put Lucas in Super smash brothers series. It’s a big slap to the face. Like Ness’s game (earthbound/Mother2) was already in the US, but not Mother3. I like what some of the earthbound/Mother fans are doing and translating the games, and others are even trying to make a fourth game. Good luck to them can’t wait till it’s made. Also I hope if any chance Mother3 came to America I just hope it doesn’t get any scenes cut out or dramatically changed. I just hope it hits to the DS soon or else.

G.Wicks said on Mar. 2, 2010

There’s such a thing as HD music? I’m a sound engineer, so why wasn’t I informed of this? 🙂

youtube user: KingN641994 said on Mar. 6, 2010

well there is just look it up. Also one thing that makes me mad about how under appreciated earthbound and Mother3 is it’s how they’re not even mention once in SSBB in the chronicles or the masterpieces, but they’ll mention about virtual boy! Yah everyone remembers that crappy games portable which is as big as a super nintendo and only has 30 games or less and 28 of them sucked. Watch the AVGN he tells all about it on youtube and on Gametrailers.com. Overall I wish I live the day to play Earthbound on my wii or DS, also to play pyschonauts 2, Splinter cell conviction, Super Mario Brothers 3 II (screw attack joke) and even rayman 4 but chances are it’s going to happen.

youtube user:KingN641994 said on Mar. 6, 2010

well there is just look it up. Also one thing that makes me mad about how under appreciated earthbound and Mother3 is it’s how they’re not even mention once in SSBB in the chronicles or the masterpieces, but they’ll mention about virtual boy! Yah everyone remembers that crappy games portable which is as big as a super nintendo and only has 30 games or less and 28 of them sucked. Watch the AVGN he tells all about it on youtube and on Gametrailers.com. Overall I wish I live the day to play Earthbound on my wii or DS, also to play pyschonauts 2, Splinter cell conviction, Super Mario Brothers 3 II (screw attack joke) and even rayman 4 but chances are it’s going to happen.

Mr. Saturn said on Mar. 10, 2010

I once did something like this on paint.NET.

Gabo said on Apr. 8, 2010

Some help me how i can put it!!!!!

Susan said on May. 10, 2010

Wow! That’s SOO cool!! This is amazing~! Too bad it’s not real… :,(

Konata24 said on May. 20, 2010

It got removed…

Elliotcroft said on Jun. 2, 2010

One of the reasons that earthbound was never released on the virtual console is because of the Dali’s clock enemy. Do they expect that a dead person is going to sue them?

Fortenium said on Jun. 22, 2010

His estate will. They already got mad at Google for using the clock.

yetikirby said on Jun. 30, 2010

I was sad when I read that the new wii menu update removes non-wii-counsle-bought ROMs like these. That proboly means that they’re on to us.

RchUncleSkeleton said on Jul. 19, 2010

who cares about this, just get snes9x and you can play all of your Super Nintendo Roms and each rom will only take up about 1/10th of the space these injected Virtual Console Roms do. There are also emualtors for Sega Genesis, Nintendo, Gameboy Advance(which can also play gameboy and gameboy color games) and several others. You can play mother 3 on your wii by installing VBA-GX(Visual Boy Advance for Wii, a Gameboy Advanced Emulator) so just bypass this whole problem altogther and play the games directly from your SD card and never worry about your games getting erased due to a system update.

JamesBond007 said on Nov. 16, 2010

I found one thing – multiple people are uploading New Age Retro Hippie music on YouTube, but none of them was muted out “because it’s Johnny B. Goode”. The reason – Nintendo is stupid. BTW, is there any official statement from Nintendo about not releasing EarthBound on Virtual Console due to “copright issues” ???

Rukas said on Nov. 23, 2010

Is nintendo taunting us or something? They have a MOTHER 3 SOUNDTRACK ON I TUNES!! You can play as Lucas on Brawl!

StarFan said on Nov. 25, 2010


Scathee said on Dec. 27, 2010

@KingN641994 – Stop flaming and trolling. Nintendo didn’t release Mother 3 b/c EB didn’t sell anything. The same reason why the story wasn’t in Brawl, because nobody would have an earthly clue what it was…

@RchUncleSkeleton – The point is so we can look at our big TV screens as opposed to our small monitors. Hold a controller rather than punch a keyboard. Playing on a computer takes away the joy of playing a video game!

As for the console itself: We’d have a faster time getting enough money to buy Nintendo, Dali’s Clock’s royalties, and all the music rights before Nintendo got smart enough to release M3 in America or EB on VC.

CaptainMoose said on Dec. 27, 2010

I’m not telling you guys not to download this, but I figured you guys might like to know that if you’re Wii breaks down, Nintendo will it fix it for free, with absolutley no cost to you (even if the problem was caused by you), and all done in less then a week. But obviously they won’t do it at all if you have any traces of this kind of stuff on your Wii.

PSI Rockin' said on Jan. 5, 2011

I’ll be impressed when Mother 3 in english is put there

Bigjake52 said on Jan. 10, 2011

the one on my wii is nicely done, the save picture glitches up and does not show an eb logo it shows dkc2

Dreamer said on May. 8, 2011

I got news from Nintendo saying they have no plans of rerealeasing it in the u.s.
So sad indeed…

Zoom! said on Jul. 20, 2011

I wish someone could help me do this….. 🙁

BigDream said on Aug. 1, 2011


Zoom! said on Aug. 26, 2011

Didn’t the SNES Lodgenet have Earthbound?

TheMr.SaturnGuy said on Sep. 17, 2011

I think I saw this post before the channel was termanated.It was cool to see the words “Earthbound” on a wii menu, but now all hope has dissappeared.

OctobotFire said on Oct. 9, 2011

I know this is a little off topic but I would LOVE Earthbound on the 3DS virtual console *wink, wink, sparkle*

Ness said on Oct. 31, 2011

Nintendo used PK no-EarthBound for VC.

EarthBound fans took mortal damage.

EarthBound fans got hurt and collapsed.

BigDream said on Nov. 12, 2011
coljohn said on Apr. 13, 2012

we all know what we gotta do…


psychic psycho said on May. 11, 2012

Hey, i just typed in earthbound at the esrb website, and it says that earthbound is for wii! What is nintendo not telling us? Of course, it could be a different game… but i still have hope!

Mato said on May. 11, 2012

It’s been like that for five years now. You can read more here: http://starmen.net/ebvc/

Kaabii said on Apr. 17, 2013

This video is no longer avaliable!

Mr. Nosy said on Apr. 20, 2013

…not that we need the video, since Mother 2 came out officially.

…how coincidental.


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