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Tips for Buying EarthBound

June 15th, 2011 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

I just updated the MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound section with a new page about Summers. Nothing too much this time, mostly a lot of little nuance things, but we do get to take a look at the prophecy mentioned in the Summers museum. I get asked about that a lot, so hopefully it’ll answer people’s questions about it!


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22 Comments to MOTHER 2 vs. EB: Summers 2

Darien said on Jun. 15, 2011

Glad to see you’re getting back to M2EB lately. Long been a favourite of mine.

Mato said on Jun. 15, 2011

It’s something that’s always in the back of my mind, saying, “Finish meeee finish meeee” I really oughta finish it before it turns into the page’s 20th anniversary 😛 The only thing is I’m worried the pages might be getting a little too pedantic for non-translators. Maybe I should make a tl;dr page featuring just all the really big stuff someday.

Poe said on Jun. 15, 2011

I have been drawing Poo’s hairstyle incorrectly this whole time! Haha.

Jack said on Jun. 15, 2011

Hi Mato,

M vs EB is easily my favorite part of this website. Thanks for updating and keep up at it. I have a couple questions if you don’t mind.

It seems that there is a lot of translating mistakes, I’m not referring to just the summers 2 section but all you’ve translated overall. I know you’ve done translating with other games, or probably played both language versions of a couple games. Would you say EB is poorly translated?

The way you explain these translations really has changed my perception of the game while replaying, making it even better. There is a lot of foreshadowing and storyline that has been missed due to poor translation or lost. When you’ve completed your M2 vs EB comparison, any chance of writing up a patch so we play it in english with a more accurate translation?

Darien said on Jun. 15, 2011

I dunno; I for one appreciate the picky “pedantic” details. Reckon I’d be happy as long as they were around somewhere. 🙂

meleemario said on Jun. 15, 2011

I quite enjoy the M2 vs EB stuff. Makes for a very interesting read I think! Keep up the good work Tomato!!! \m/

MEG said on Jun. 15, 2011

I always love reading these. Thank you for updating so often recently!

MickytheFeline said on Jun. 15, 2011

I always love reading the mouseover text on these things; they’re so funny. Thanks for making these and keeping them funny, Tomato!

Shyamalan said on Jun. 15, 2011

@Jack: From my knowledge of Japanese and the translation business, Earthbound’s translation is pretty much on par with standard quality. The localizers did manage to keep the quirkiness of the dialogue intact, so I say it’s a job well done.

Mato said on Jun. 15, 2011

Jack: EarthBound has a very competent translation, and for its time it was actually phenomenal and possibly groundbreaking. Some things here and there are a little off, but that’s to be expected. It isn’t a poor translation by any means. I hope my updates don’t make it seem that way – I usually try to point out the genuine translation mistakes along with the translation gems.

Making a patch of the game with all the stuff changed would actually be a lot of work and would take more time than I can spare, so I don’t think I’ll ever make a patch like that. A couple of people have tried to make such patches before, one is even keeping up with my new updates.

joeymartin64 said on Jun. 16, 2011

Thrilled to see the subsite getting some love. I love this sort of thing.

Messianic said on Jun. 16, 2011

This is not “pedantic” at all.

This is exactly what we are looking for, the nitty-gritty detail of the story.

Especially for me as I am taking everything you are translating and directly applying it to my hack of Earthbound.

Keep up the good work!

(I am sure the Master Barf/Return of Belch is going to be another lolwut kinda translation, as with Porky’s text when he calls Gyiyg the “evil power” (the devil?))

Mato said on Jun. 16, 2011

Incidentally, I think this update might have pushed the M2 vs. EB stuff past where I left off oh-so-long ago. Apparently I had stopped at Dalaam, then made a page about Magicant to placate the “is Ness really nude in Magicant?” people: http://hijola.fobby.net/m2eb/index.shtml

Godaigamer said on Jun. 16, 2011

For some reason I thought it was “Mr. Chapstick,” but Chopstick makes a lot more sense!

Darien said on Jun. 16, 2011

On the other hand, “Mr. Chapstick” is funnier.

“This site has been tested with Netscape 4.07 and MSIE 5. It is meant to be viewed at 800x600x16-bit.
To best experience this page, please use a browser that supports cascading style sheets.”

Memories! 🙂

Carl said on Jun. 16, 2011

Wow, I didn’t realize the original M2EB site was *that* old!

Mato said on Jun. 16, 2011

*waves cane at kids these days*

DJMankiwitz said on Jun. 16, 2011

I’m a big game nerd, I LOVE the niggling little details about this sort of thing. If this turned into a generic “did you hear that Earthbound was originally Mother 2 in Japan?” sort of “info”, it’d take away from it a lot. I love the details you give.

To be honest, reading your guide makes it all the more clear just how accurate the translation was. Aside from censorship, I really can’t complain about anything. The stuff that had to be changed due to cultural issues is totally understandable. The name changes here and there do range from understandable to “okay why is that better?”, but nothing ends up worse to me. Now, here and there I do prefer the original (that is, your translation of the original since I can’t read Japanese), but all in all I agree with you, the Earthbound translation is one of the best game translations out there, especially for the SNES.

Jack said on Jun. 16, 2011

I guess it is a lot to ask, but I do really appreciate you doing this, and answering my question. There are some situations where the original translation does seem to improve on the original, but overall your interpretation definitely enhances the game for me.

Zinco said on Jun. 17, 2011

I used to follow the heck out of the M2EB site back in the day (and I was pretty disappointed when you stopped updating it). But it’s remarkable how much more detail you’re able to do the site in now than back when you were less familiar with Japanese. Don’t worry about pedantry—I love that sort of stuff. I just wish that the stuff that was impossible to convey in English got a little more elaboration (I’m not sure how often you gloss over this kind of thing since I haven’t been through the whole site in a while, but I was pretty curious about what the guy in Dalaam who mixed him katakana and kanji both said and had intended to say) because even if it was a transliteration of the sentence along with the idea it was attempting to convey, it’s still cool to see the effectiveness of the translator’s compromise.

thisguy said on Jun. 17, 2011

i love this site! i love you Mato!

Sweet-Michiko said on Jun. 19, 2011

Earthbound left me with a lasting impression when I played it on the SNES back in the day.

It’s really cool to see the differences and influences in the game. I’m still studying Japanese. But last time I played Mother 2 a few years back, I picked up some of the differences myself. Like how the photographer says “cheese sandwich” instead of “fuzzy pickles”. It’s neat.

Keep up the great work!


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