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Tips for Buying EarthBound

March 11th, 2010 | EarthBound, Images, Uncommon Knowledge

All this really old and rare merchandise lately has me reminiscing about when EarthBound was first announced. While the actual advertising for the game was dumb, the articles for it in Nintendo Power were awesome and completely the reason I bought the game.

So I thought it’d be neat to take a look back at some of that early Nintendo Power stuff. Here’s a big preview for the game they put in issue 70.

Seeing a lot of the unfinished localization stuff in there is interesting in its own way, like Giygas almost being called “The Geek” and the different gas station screen. But more than anything, the feeling the preview captured was really interesting and unique, and as a kid at the time I was instantly convinced to get this game after seeing this.

A few issues later, Issue #73, had an equally as big article about EarthBound that was really cool. It even talked about Shigesato Itoi and his unusual-ness. I’ll post that full article in the near future. For now, check out this preview and relive the past 😀


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46 Comments to EarthBound Preview in NP #70

ghostgirl21696 said on Mar. 11, 2010


Ricardo said on Mar. 11, 2010

Earthbound … The War against The Geek!

Nooblet said on Mar. 11, 2010

I have this and 73, 73s article is HUGE.

Roo said on Mar. 11, 2010

I totally agree. NP was basically my source for video game info before internet journalism broke out. I remember reading articles like this over and over, becoming more interested in certain games as I noticed more small tidbits with each readthrough.

EarthBound was definitely like that for me. Having a game set in a modern (albeit silly) setting with a hero that’s a normal boy that just happened to be my age? It’s hard to understand how a young RPG fan could not get excited reading those excellent NP articles back in the day.

P Philosophy said on Mar. 11, 2010

I really miss Nintendo Power. Always had humor or something unique in their articles. Seems like articles today in game magazines are too serious or just straight to the point. Very bland compared to what we had back then.

Johnwalt said on Mar. 11, 2010

Lol the geek, Pu, threek 😛
Interesting though 😀

pooppoop said on Mar. 11, 2010

so why did they change it from pu to poo? seems like pu would be a lot less mockable. in my mind some low level nintendo worker snuck in and changed it to poo as a joke and then no one ever spotted it

neonix said on Mar. 11, 2010

@Nooblet, can you scan and upload 73’s article for us? I’d liek to see it. Unless it’s already online someplace, anyone know?

It seems like they had very poor QC’ing back in the day, especially with EarthBound. Every time I see ads or coverage like this for EB, there’s always so many typos and misinformation. Maybe it was because EB was so unknown and the NP writers/editors knew next to nothing about the game at the time, so they just went with what they were given, and improvised what they weren’t?

That goes in-hand with the pre-production screenshots and early versions of names (Pu, Gyiyg), but I don’t understand the inconsistency? The Geek? I wouldn’t question it if the intro shot said “THE GEEK STRIKES BACK!”, but I really wonder who came up with that, and where they pulled it from.

Carl said on Mar. 11, 2010

Nintendo Power’s coverage of Earthbound is the whole reason I bought the game. I still have all those old issues, too.

I presume “the geek” is just a poor Anglicization of the character’s Japanese name, which is more-or-less pronounced “Geeg.” In fact, the final character of the Japanese name, “gu,” looks almost identical to the character for “ku,” so I can understand the error, sloppy though it was.

Psi-Rockin said on Mar. 11, 2010

I think for my next playthru I am going to name Poo Pu. (I said Poopoo) 8}

Son of Welcome said on Mar. 11, 2010

Interesting article. Gives me a few ideas…

I like how they use the Japanese clay models instead of the horrendous U.S. versions. They should’ve stick to those.

Fred McNanner said on Mar. 11, 2010

Wait…Son of Welcome, what other American clay models are there? The only one I know of is Ness, which actually isn’t that bad.

I really like how NOA did the whole newspaper deal for these articles and the player’s guide. I know the Mother Encyclopedia and a Mother 2 guide had newspaper sections, but did Japanese magazines do creative things to promote the game, or did it just rely on SMAP promoting it and the fact it was a sequel?

Carl said on Mar. 11, 2010

I’ve always thought there were two sets of clay models for the four main characters, one for Japan and one for the U.S., the main difference being that the U.S. models had necks. I just checked the gallery on Starmen.net to show Fred the difference, and while it had U.S. and Japanese versions of all four models listed, only the Ness and Paula models were appreciably different. The U.S. Jeff and Poo models look exactly like the Japanese versions, as far as I can tell, except that the photos of them are from SLIGHTLY different angles.

Anyone know what’s up with that?

Matt said on Mar. 11, 2010

This is probably completely off-topic and in the wrong spot, so apologies in advance. I was out looking for random RPGs that’ve been released on PC and thought the last line at http://www.germware.com was very neat and obscure.

Just goes to show that there are people everywhere who loved (and still love apparently) this game. I know… kinda far out there, but thought I’d drop in and mention it.


Darien said on Mar. 11, 2010

Check-plus for the spoon-bending joke in Paula’s profile.

LightningLuigi said on Mar. 11, 2010

So…the screenshot says “Gyiyg Strikes Back”, but the artical says “the Geek”? Someone didn’t proofread that artical very well. I can’t decide if Geek was an early localization change, or just a sloppy mistranslation. Either way, very interesting.

FuzzyPicklez said on Mar. 11, 2010

Runaway Bros.? It looks like they hadn’t changed the Tonzura Bros.’ name yet.

Fred McNanner said on Mar. 11, 2010

Oh crap, I totally forgot about the American Paula figure. I always think it’s the first Paula figure that wasn’t used much.
Then there’s the recolored Lucky and Gorgeous figures. I’m still not sure why there are two Jeff figures. They just look like they were shot in different lighting.

GmX said on Mar. 11, 2010

lol Giygas being called “The Geek”. This is a pretty awesome preview of EarthBound though. Can’t wait to see the issue #73 scans though.

BroBuzz said on Mar. 11, 2010

The geek lol

MoonSide said on Mar. 11, 2010

I would have totally begged my parents to buy this for me…
NP’s ads now are just boring walkthroughs.

mustangbrian said on Mar. 11, 2010

I know this is a bit off topic, but it is about EarthBound. Did anyone else notice that while you go into Pokey’s house (right now, I’m playing through Mother 1+2, I made it to Twoson and I went back to Onett, IDK if it makes a difference `cause I didn’t check this out the last time I played EB), but the music if you listen to it for a while, a few bars of the Mario underwater theme loops. Just found that interesting.

Nooblet said on Mar. 11, 2010

Sorry, In dont have a scanner D>

NessLucas-zero said on Mar. 11, 2010

God this is so awesome.

Userofdoom said on Mar. 11, 2010

Kind of weird that they’d call him Pu when the picture above clearly says Poo.

Sora444 said on Mar. 11, 2010

I love the fact that on the title screen, its the Japanese one mixed with the US one. EarthBound: Giygas strikes back. XD

Fred McNanner said on Mar. 11, 2010

If you’re talking about the part of the song I think you are, that sounds more like the Outset Island theme to me more than the Mario underwater music.

Vanasto said on Mar. 11, 2010

I don’t remember seeing that shot of Paula jumping with arms up being in the game… anybody know where it’s from?

Roo said on Mar. 11, 2010

Vanasto: Possibly the naming screen?

Kyoo said on Mar. 11, 2010

thanks for posting this. my wife has all my copies of NP. it’s nice to have the articles again even if I don’t have them.


I think Roo is correct

Vinny said on Mar. 11, 2010

I should dig out all my old Nintendo Powers. I think I have the first hundred or so issues from when I was a kid.

Carl said on Mar. 11, 2010

That shot of Paula jumping is definitely from the naming screen; you can see the blue-checkered background.

Was that jumping sprite used anywhere else in the game, though?

pooppoop said on Mar. 12, 2010

uh, when you hit something during a teleport?
or does that only show charred sprites

Dlakii said on Mar. 12, 2010

I actually kinda like “Pu” as an alternate translation of Poo’s name; the same goes for “Gyiyg” being carried over as Giygas’s English name. That said, “The Geek”… ugh.

Kyoo said on Mar. 12, 2010

I actually remember reading about that and picturing a pimple guy with glasses and a pocket protector. I was thinking. that’s going to be the oddest boss in an rpg ever. and I was correct. he was the oddest boss ever… just not how I imagined him though. in fact I’m pretty sure anyone who has never seen giygas before hand. was shocked to find him how they did.

Omnomnominous said on Mar. 12, 2010

‘The Geek’…This made my day. xD

neonix said on Mar. 12, 2010

As for the models, I’m pretty sure some had a few different versions. Paula had 3 (or more) herself. There was an early one where her eyes were weird and her face looked like a goat. It’s used on some Japanese promo stuff like that poster with the TV on it. Then there was a better Japanese Paula model, and then there was a US Paula model that was missing her bow for some reason. I’m not sure about the others.

Carl said on Mar. 12, 2010

Yeah, but those are entirely different models. As far as I can tell, the same model was used for both shots of Jeff and Poo. And it’s not like the pictures are from entirely different angles (like the two images of Mr. Saturn); they’re only ever-so-slightly different. Weird.

Mato said on Mar. 12, 2010

I was always under the impression that the different EarthBound Ness and Paula figures were just the Japanese ones that had been graphically manipulated to have necks and look slightly different in other ways.

Churly said on Mar. 12, 2010

I had (and still do, somewhat) this issue, as a child when I read this, I thought it had the dumbest looking things ever (not a fan of claymation) and probably wouldn’t have gotten the game.

Today I look at the article as a treasure, and think of how stupid I was to judge this game based on its cover.

jeffy05 said on Mar. 13, 2010

cooooool! it’s interesting with the journalist style.
i think Pu would havemade Poo get made fun of less.
what if the Dalaam girls found out its english meaning? would they still have a crush on him?

NP said on Oct. 30, 2010

I have this issue!

Zoom! said on Aug. 9, 2011

@NP I need this issue 🙂

Zoom! said on Aug. 9, 2011

“The Runaway Bros.” Likely just another one those Japanese-English errors, mixing Tonzura Bros. with Runaway Five

Someone said on Jun. 26, 2013

in the preview, the title screen said “EARTHBOUND,” but on the actual game, it says “EARTH BOUND” (with a space)

I wonder why they put that space in…

Bob McBob said on Jul. 8, 2013

So they had a kick-ass preview in Issue 70, but then 3 issues later had a preview that basically made you go from “This game’s gonna rock!” to “They said the game ‘stinks’…screw this, I’m getting Chrono Trigger.”? MARKETING FAIL.


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