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Tips for Buying EarthBound

July 20th, 2011 | Itoi, Uncommon Knowledge

An old Japanese Game Boy game called “For the Frog the Bell Tolls” was recently fan-translated into English, which is cool, since I’ve seen people pick up and drop the project like crazy over the years. But at last it’s done, and you can check it out here.

Why talk about this here, you ask? Well, apparently there’s a character you can talk to in the game that’s a cameo or a reference to Shigesato Itoi:

The treasure trove thing is also a reference to Itoi’s gold mining escapades.

Thanks to Artemis for the tip, and to everyone who helped translate the game!


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24 Comments to Itoi Cameo in Old Game Boy Game

Christie said on Jul. 20, 2011

Just because the person’s name who told you about this is Artemis makes it 39482934820x better.

But in all seriousness, that’s an interesting find.

Miles of SmashWiki said on Jul. 20, 2011

I remember coming across that game from the fact that it has Totaka’s Song in it.

But this is pretty darn cool of a reference to sneak in.

kmeisthax said on Jul. 20, 2011

Itoi was a gold miner? Quick, someone send him a copy of Minecraft…

SoulSlappy said on Jul. 20, 2011

I noticed that while playing the game myself. Great humour in that game, too.

Halloween said on Jul. 20, 2011

Haha wow! Now I’m going to play this game…

Onion said on Jul. 21, 2011

Awesome. Such a great game, too!

JAMESGHOST said on Jul. 21, 2011

this game reminds me so much of Links Awakening,
characters from this game even cameo in it

DD said on Jul. 21, 2011

How interesting. I just started playing this game three days ago, I’ll look out for this easter egg. :]

Linkzcap said on Jul. 21, 2011

Awesome. I remember reading about the gold mining thing as well.

Linkzcap said on Jul. 21, 2011

Oh yeah also I heard about this game before because of Link’s Awakening. I should try it out sometime.

Kafei2006 said on Jul. 21, 2011

Thanks for telling us about that project, which I was totally unaware of. Gonna give it a try (this game is selling at crazy prices from what I’ve seen, mostly due to its similarity to its ties to Link’s Awakening I guess)

JamesBond007 said on Jul. 21, 2011

Link’s Awakening actually runs on For the Frog the Bell Tolls engine. And there is more: Eight intruments of the Sirens (with the main song – Ballad of the Wind Fish) is like Eight Melodies, Koholint Island is like Magicant, and the Wind Fish itself is like the Dark Dragon.

Mark said on Jul. 21, 2011

Gah! I actually played this game 2 days ago, and remember this line. But I didn’t make the connection ><

Someone Else said on Jul. 21, 2011

A while ago I bought this game from eBay just because I heard it was similar to Link’s Awakening, and even if I can’t really read anything, I think it’s a great game!

I didn’t know about the fan translation… Hmm.

Rock said on Jul. 21, 2011

Are the save frogs from MOTHER 3 a reference to the title of this game?

Torchickens said on Jul. 21, 2011

No, the frogs in this game and the Save Frogs in MOTHER 3 are unrelated, unless Itoi wanted to put a rather obscure reference in there.

The title is a reference to the game’s plot.

Spoilers ahead:
In the Sablé Prince and Prince Richard’s race to win the heart of Princess Tirasumu, they eventually discover that many of the residents of the Sablé Kingdom were cursed and transformed into frogs to be fed to the giant snake (forgot its name *_*). The
Prince of Sablé (after being cursed by a witch from a poisonous apple and turning into a frog) gains the ability to transform between a frog (so he can jump higher, eat bug enemies, talk with other frogs) and a human at will after paying a huge sum of money to the witch for a potion, so going into water makes him a frog, and eating another apple (although making him faint) or dying turns him back into a human. Prince Richard can also transform between a frog and a human at will, but unlike Richard the Prince of Sablé learns how to transform into a snake by eating snake eggs, which lets him go under gaps, easily defeat some enemies or turn them into blocks.

The other cursed residents must wait until winter when the kingdom’s bell tolls to turn back into humans.

PorkyMinch said on Jul. 21, 2011

Yeah, i heard of this game because characters from this game cameo in Link’s Awakening and also Wario Land 4.
Also, there is a trailer for Animal Crossing 3D and in one part, the character in it is wearing Ness’s shirt.
Skip to 0:54 to see it.

JamesBond007 said on Jul. 22, 2011

Not only Ness’s shirt, but also Link’s clothes. 🙂

Michael A.K.A Bluflap said on Jul. 22, 2011

stop erasing my comments!

MR. SATURN said on Jul. 23, 2011

actually, he is wearing claus clothes

Danuab said on Jul. 24, 2011

I played this over the last few days and really enjoyed it. There’s a good sense of progression and a couple of trickyish puzzles I enjoyed figuring out. I was surprised by how hands-off the combat system was but it still worked somehow. Good sense of humour too.

neonix said on Jul. 25, 2011

Hm, I had never heard of this game before, but seeing now that it runs the engine that Link’s Awakening was built on, I’m gonna have to play it. Awesome! LA was one of my favorite GB games! 🙂

Brandon said on Dec. 5, 2011

I actually helped translate/edit this, and had changed the line to something like “I write copy, but now I’m digging to the center of the Earth. I’m bound to find a gold mine!”

It ended up for whatever reason not ending up in the released version of the patch that the main coder put out, but he’ll always be Itoi to me! The sprite even looks like him…


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