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Tips for Buying EarthBound

May 5th, 2011 | Audio Stuff, EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

The other day I posted about how a tiny clip from a Beach Boys song was used in the “Cave of the Past” music in EarthBound. Shortly after, sKaNkPiT, a long-time fan and music dude extraordinaire sent me an e-mail with some more interesting information:

saw that beach boys post and did some work on it. it really is from deirdre, the sample extracted from the SPC file has been pitched down by about 17 semitones.

i tracked out the song using a clearer sample of the song (320 kbps mp3), similar to what i did with the moonside & cave of the past tracked files. the whole thing consists of just that single sample, played back at different pitches, layered over itself.

its not entirely accurate in some aspects (tempo should be more around 102.5 BPM, pitch effects have been oversimplified), but since its an IT file anyone can mess around with it if they wish.

moonside & the cave of the past are similar, made entirely out of a single sample. i tracked those out a few years ago as well.

with the higher quality samples, the cave of the past & robots BGMs dont sound too improved over the SPCs, but the moonside theme has a slight improvement in detail on the higher frequencies.

In other words: we already knew that EarthBound music uses a lot of samples from famous music and bands, but it turns out that some songs in EarthBound are nothing BUT these samples. Here are three we know of:

Cave of the Past:
Sound effect taken straight from the ROM: download
MP3 of the song:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Reconstructed song in .IT format: download here
Sound sample comes from Deirdre by The Beach Boys

Sound effect taken straight from the ROM: download
MP3 of the song:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Reconstructed song in .IT format: download here
Sound sample comes from Ric Ocacek’s “Keep on Laughin'”

Cave of the Present:
Sound effect taken straight from the ROM: download
MP3 of the song:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Reconstructed song in .IT format: download here
Sound sample is from “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles.

You can find ALL the ripped sound effects from EarthBound here – who knows, maybe there’s some stuff we missed or forgot about after all this time.

Thanks of course go to sKaNkPiT for noticing this and making the .IT files!


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24 Comments to EarthBound’s All-Sample Music

Linkdude said on May. 5, 2011

How does one go about playing an .it file? Wikipedia says Media Player Classic can play them, but that’s what I have, and it’s not working… :/

I’m gonna try Winamp, I guess.

Mato said on May. 5, 2011

Dunno about MPC, but I’m pretty sure Winamp can play it. Might need a plugin, I’m not sure.

Linkdude said on May. 5, 2011

It worked. I downloaded Winamp right away, but then the site was acting all funky so I couldn’t post another comment.

Anyways, the reconstructed songs really show how awesome Mother fans are. So, way to go, sKaNkPiT! 😀

man said on May. 5, 2011

That’s actually pretty innovative, especially considering that hardware.

Matt said on May. 5, 2011

I know that the “WOW” sound effect must from James Brown singing “I Feel Good”. But I can’t find a version of the song that matches up close enough.

EnnuiKing said on May. 5, 2011

Those reconstructions are shockingly faithful. Nice job, sKaNkPiT!

I think the last note of the Cave of the Past loop really gives away its origins; it’s the exact same pitch as the first note of the original song.

Rhyselinn said on May. 5, 2011

Dude… that is really cool. sKaNkPiT, my respect goes out to you for doing that! That’s a cool realization.

I wonder if there are any other songs on Earthbound like that? Or maybe others in the series?

PKSTARMAN said on May. 5, 2011

Reminds me of the Virtual Console issues article with all does curios samples.

DJMankiwitz said on May. 5, 2011

Eh rappers use samples all the time. This shouldn’t be a legal issue.

What worries me more is that sites like this one are going to inform the lawyers of things they wouldn’t have noticed and scare them.

Komaru said on May. 5, 2011

An IT file is the format for music production software that ran on DOS, called ImpulseTracker. They can easily be played with VLC, or with your top of the line Gravis Ultrasound card!

SpecLad said on May. 5, 2011

XMPlay will play IT files (as well as any other tracker music files).

sci said on May. 5, 2011

ok, 1. awesome.
2. omg fellow modplug users on my starmans! 😀
3. I’d include an *.mp3 for anybody that doesn’t have modplug.

So here are some *.mp3’s I converted for anybody that can’t play an *.it file:

tomato, if you could put that on your sever instead of mine, that’d be nice. (I’m not supposed to have a stuff folder… 😉
sKaNkPiT : if you want me to delete these, just ask. 🙂

Linkzcap said on May. 5, 2011

The first 5 seconds of Dierdre is now the scariest song in the world.

SaturnDjinni said on May. 5, 2011

I always figured the fanfare in the Cave of the Past was from AYNIL, considering all the other Beatles references in the game.

These are neat, you guys must have some seriously superhuman ears to catch all of it. I’m unable to open the sound files on this computer though…

H.S said on May. 6, 2011

I’ve been using the EarthBound Music Editor a lot recently, and I’ve been finding some pretty interesting stuff. EarthBound’s music has a lot of sound samples that are used as instruments. They can be played as any of the 72 notes EarthBound supports, and the lower the note, the lower the pitch and the slower the speed of the sound.

For example, the sound of the Monotoli building’s elevator starting and stopping is just the cash register sound effect, slowed down (technically the elevator sounds are stored as songs in the game). Similarly, the door opening, door closing, generic knocking sound, and all of Pokey’s annoying knocking is just the same sound played at different pitches.

As for another song that entirely consists of a single sample, the second song of Magicant (the part with the enemies) is the same sample being played at different pitches across seven channels. I’m not sure if the sound sample is taken from any particular song, though.

sKaNkPiT!!! said on May. 6, 2011

thanks everyone!
sci, no problem.

although the .IT file format is less conventional, it’s basically the “source code” if you know how to work with trackers, so people have free reign to make adjustments to it if they want: loop it as many times as you want, update the samples with something better, export to mp3, flac, wav, ect.

VLC can play .IT files decently, but if you just want to listen to it and have no interest in viewing or altering the song, use the mp3s provided by sci.

there are more samples used in the game, but these 3 BGMs are the only ones i noticed that are made solely from a single sample.

EnnuiKing said on May. 6, 2011

I wish we had a big list of who composed which songs. You can only kind of guess the artist of each song (I’m almost 100% confident File Select was Tanaka’s doing, and Smiles and Tears is probably Suzuki’s), and it’d be interesting to see which composer embraced the usage of sampling more.

Anonymous said on May. 6, 2011

Yes, rappers do use samples. They also get permission to do so and often pay for the use of the samples. They can be sued for using samples without permission and numerous legal cases have occurred due to that.

If the Starmen community wants to see an EarthBound rerelease, try to contact every artist sampled and see if they (and their recording companies) are willing to allow their use, CCing Nintendo in the e-mails.

I’ll bet that not a single company would be willing to let those samples go for free. But that’s probably the only way you’re getting an EarthBound collection for 3DS or EarthBound for Virtual Console.

Linkdude said on May. 10, 2011


The File Select song was probably Tanaka since he also composed Twinkle Elementary School.

Smiles and Tears, as well as Eight Melodies, was a joint effort between Suzuki and Tanaka.

The three songs in this post (The Place, Moonside Swing, and Cross Over Time and Space) were all by Tanaka.

pho-ku said on May. 15, 2011

Ahhh, this is really great! Another reason why the SPC700 was so important to the SNES.

PK Solarstorm said on Jun. 17, 2011

Earthbound/Mother 2’s soundtrack DOES seem to have some issues with it. Like in Mother 3, that one part that plays homage to much of Earthbound(you know which one), it uses Pollyanna from Mother 1 as the background music, despite the area not having any Mother 1 stuff.

Also note that Onett in SSBM only used Mother 1 tracks. Only Fourside used an actual EB/M2 track, and said track did not reappear in Brawl. New Pork City was only M1/M3 tracks as well.

And finally, EB hasn’t been released on the VC even in Japan.

Anonymous said on Jan. 6, 2013

I made a video about the sampling of ‘Cave of the Past’. I also believe the melody was sampled from a Beatles song.


Ness and Sonic said on Aug. 1, 2013

My cousin thinks the Chiptune part of Cease to exist is from one of the NES Zelda games. Probably the first one. He has played both the Classic NES Zelda games on GBA.


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