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Tips for Buying EarthBound

August 15th, 2011 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

I finally added a whole bunch of new pages to the MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound section. You can see the new pages here:

As usual, a lot of little nitpicks here and there that don’t matter much, but there are also some really interesting things, so check it out!


Other Related Posts:


32 Comments to M2 vs. EarthBound Mega Update

Pyroguy42 said on Aug. 15, 2011

Kind of sad to this almost over. It’s been quite an ordeal for you I imagine, but it has been quite informative and interesting to read.

I’m guessing you skipped Fire Spring because there was nothing of note?

Mato said on Aug. 15, 2011

Yeah, there wasn’t any real text there, unless you can think of anything I missed?

Miles of SmashWiki said on Aug. 15, 2011

Great stuff as always.

Is there anything noteworthy to compare in Ness’s mother’s dialogue during the invasion of Onett?

Zoom! said on Aug. 15, 2011

You said Mother 2 changed it to Ness’s nightmare when it should be Earthbound!

Matteomax said on Aug. 15, 2011

Your almost there, Mato! Just a few more articles! 🙂

Magicsgame said on Aug. 15, 2011

I haven’t read it yet, but I want to say this is like Christmas. Thanks, Mato!

PK Derp said on Aug. 15, 2011

I believe you made a typo in the “True Evil” part,

“In MOTHER 2, the statue entity in the middle of the Sea of Eden is called “Ness’s Demon” or “Ness’s Devil”. In MOTHER 2, it was changed to be “Ness’s Nightmare” to avoid the religious reference, similar to what we’ve seen in other parts of the game”

correct me if I’m wrong but when talking about its name you refer to mother 2 twice when I think you mean in earthbound the second time 🙂

Pichu said on Aug. 15, 2011

Zoom! commented on what I was going to, in the Magicant section under True Evil Mother 2 was said again, instead of Earthbound. By the way great job and thank you for you work, love you.

Tansunn said on Aug. 15, 2011

I take it Andonuts doesn’t say anything significantly different when he asks Jeff to push the button in the Phase Distorter if you refuse at first?

Mato said on Aug. 15, 2011

Thanks guys, I fixed that mistake. I had to really rush to get it up in time for dinner 😛

Miles: There was nothing especially different. I’m sure I could’ve gotten super-duper nitpicky in some way, but it didn’t seem necessary at all.

Tansunn: Besides those little parts I mentioned, the rest of the text was otherwise the same, as far as I can remember. I’ll double-check it tomorrow though.

Anonymous said on Aug. 15, 2011

It’s kind of sad now that it’s almost done. Hope you’re having as much fun writing as we are reading, Mato.

By the way, did you notice any sort of less-than-obvious connections between the Magicant of EarthBound and EarthBound Zero in either version? It’s one of the few story elements that connects the games, but the only things I see are the Flying Men and the Cave of the Past (both games have a spike in some mysterious cave which are close to Gigyas).

Satsy said on Aug. 16, 2011

Man, so much information~! It is a shame the translations had taken a dip by this point, since in some ways this part is pretty important! 😉

One thing I did want to mention, on the Phase Distorter page, the dancing backwards section, you say:

” Ideally, they would’ve inserted their only little English palindrome in there.”

Did you mean their own palindrome? Just thought I’d bring that to your attention.

Halloween said on Aug. 16, 2011

Awesome, I love reading these.

Yeah, it would have been intense if Ness’s Nightmare said “I am the evil in your heart.” It would be fun to play Earthbound again with a more literal translation, especially this far in the game. I remember being pretty confused by what people said after you collected all the melodies. The Apple, Magicant, universe/destiny stuff, it makes sense in the original text.

Mato said on Aug. 16, 2011

Tansunn: I double-checked and what he says is slightly different, so I added it to the page just now, it’s at the very bottom of the last page.

Anonmymous: Besides the Star Master, no one really talks about Magicant itself in the second game, so I didn’t notice any serious connections between the two Magicants. It’s possible I’m just not thinking on a deep enough level though, I dunno.

Satsy: Thanks, I fixed it. Funny how my page about correcting mistakes has these mistakes in it due to rushing of my own 😛

EnnuiKing said on Aug. 16, 2011

I always assumed that Nico was a reference to Nico of the 60s band the Velvet Underground (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Velvet_Underground and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nico for reference). It would make sense considering that both the development and localization teams added in references to the Beatles, but it isn’t something that can be 100% confirmed without interviewing members of the localization team.

Tansunn said on Aug. 16, 2011

@Mato – Thanks for the update! That’s quite a stark contrast there, starting from a somewhat touching moment where Andonuts acknowledges his son to berating him for being unwilling to activate the machine.

steinmitz said on Aug. 17, 2011

Thank you for all this stuff; these are some of my favorite sections in the game (Magicant at least, and all the philosophical stuff). I didn’t even remember some of those english mr. saturn lines from when I played the game some time ago, let alone everything about the japanese text. Also, I noticed for the first time that the shy guy sprite from the library (which I know is used elsewhere, too)looks a lot like shy guys from SMB2.

Also, I was wondering if perhaps the tenda in Lost Underworld who refers to Pokey saying something “heartrending” is the same in japanese? Because I know that Itoi described Mother 3 as heartrending, didn’t he? Maybe he likes that word or something.

DJMankiewicz said on Aug. 17, 2011

Going purely off your translation, I came up with a few ways they could have handled some of the nuances you mentioned. No big deal, as the Earthbound translation is still doin’ fine by me, and lacking knowledge of Japanese I still could be missing something, but I thought I’d share them.

Hearing about the “your name in two alphabets” thing, I considered what sort of slightly “outsider” alphabet could have been used (assuming space issues wouldn’t have prohibited it). I think the first one could have used the Greek alphabet, as that’s much more familiar to American speakers than Japanese letters. Alternatively, if space was a premium on the cart or the greek letters were still considered too outside a kid’s understanding (or simply considered a little too out of place), then the first could simply be limited entirely to upper case lettering, with the second asking to confirm if the conversion to mixed case letters is correct (perhaps an added note about him needing to confirm because he updated his computer record software, or maybe not).

The first paragraph of the tea time seems better to me in the Japanese actually, namely because it comes off as more “Itoi” to bring up a shoddy carpet in an analogy, more “down to earth” and a little quirky that way. As for handling “encounters and farewells”, I’d have simply translated that as “hellos and goodbyes”, as that’s a pretty common saying in English that seems to cover the idea well enough from what I can see.

The “shy guy” REALLY coming out of his shell, that’s a tough one indeed. I think I might have had him talk in a very boisterous way, something like “Hey hey there pal, nice ta meet ya great ta see ya!” Alternatively, he could have tossed in some french words as that seems the closest to an American equivalent.

DJMankiewicz said on Aug. 17, 2011

So here’s a thought. They talk about the apple of enlightenment all the time in the game. Bringing up the link between Ness’ wisdom and the apple’s wisdom made me think… Is Ness the apple? I mean, from the future? Sure he doesn’t remember the robots in the past because of the great circuiting, but in the future, the past has occurred. Thousands of years ago….

I just had that idea because Ness’ red hat is red, like an apple? Also, that expression, “apple of my eye”… I dunno, it’s kinda a tenuous link, but just an idea I’m tossing out there.

DJMankiewicz said on Aug. 17, 2011

Oh one extra thought, that “machine” could be anything, including captured future Ness. Or, it could just be the iPad 3.

Miche said on Aug. 17, 2011

I assumed the “mUST maKe! DaDDY! B@inG!” was some kind of reverse of making babies, but now I see it was a sloppy mistranslation (if funny for its absurdity).

Miles of SmashWiki said on Aug. 17, 2011

リンゴ, “apple” in the Japanese name for the machine… is pronounced “ringo.” Any chance it got this name just to insert another Beatles pun?

Zinco said on Aug. 17, 2011

Probably not, but I am fond of the idea that Giygas is holding Ringo captive as he spouts out prophetic malapropisms in his goofy Liverpudlian accent

Awesomeguynumber1 said on Aug. 17, 2011

Heh im from north dakota lol

DJMankiewicz said on Aug. 17, 2011

Zinco, that is about 1000% more awesome than my idea.

MightyYT said on Aug. 18, 2011

While reading “Tenda Village 2: A Holey Hall”, my aesthetic eye happened to notice a minor graphical oddity that lends itself to Mato’s explanation that “ホール can be translated as either “hall” or “hole”, it depends entirely on context.”

If you’re not looking for it, it would be difficult to notice, but upon closer examination, you’ll see that what we’ve assumed is an “a” in “Lumine Hall” is actually quite ambiguous, especially once compared to other iterations of “a” and “o” on the same screen:

1. What is clearly an “a” is used 3 times total (in “Giant”, “Rainy”, and “Magnet”) and its design is consistent in each iteration.
2. What is clearly an “o” is used just once (in “Cloud”).
3. Also of note, the design of the “e” is identical to that of the “a”, it’s simply been flipped and rotated, and the design of the “e” is consistently used 7 times total.

This evidence only exemplifies how unusual the design of the “a/o” is in “Hall/Hole”. I suspect that because of the lack of proper context in this instance, the translators just went with a design that combined those of the 2 letters in question, therefore making it purposely ambiguous and open to interpretation.

To help you see what I’m talking about, here’s a link to a sprite sheet I made of the font used on the Soundstone screen:

Wow, looking back over that, I’m realizing that everything I just said was probably overly-analytical and nitpicky for such a minor aspect. Oh well, hopefully this crowd can appreciate it nonetheless 😛

MightyYT said on Aug. 18, 2011

Sorry for double posting and sorry for going off-topic, but how the heck do I change my little avatar? I’m not even sure how it got to be Monotoli’s maid in the first place.

Poe said on Aug. 18, 2011

You’re issued a random sprite when you register an account here, MightyYT. There’s no way for users to change the sprite themselves, but Mato can change it if you really hate it or something. Send him an email?

Someone Else said on Aug. 18, 2011


Wait. What? It says “Lumine Hall” in the sound stone. I don’t see any ambiguity there. “Holl” isn’t even a word.

The problem comes from the fact that the only Japanese sound they have for the word is the “ホ” sound, which is is sort of in-between the “hoe” and “haw” sounds that we use for hole and hall, respectively.

Mato said on Aug. 18, 2011

I gotta agree, I see how the “a” looks slightly different, but it still looks like an “a” and would only turn it into “Holl”.

Other games have this “hole” and “hall” mixup too because ホール’s translation can be either one, it just depends on context. I haven’t played it in like ten years so I might be wrong, but I think something similar happened with “Zora Hole” and “Zora Hall” in the translation for Majora’s Mask too, for example.

MightyYT said on Aug. 18, 2011

Lol, wow, I feel dumb :-/ You’ll have to forgive me, I was half asleep when I “noticed” that and wrote that up. Evidently my spelling skills and my “aesthetic eye” greatly deteriorate at 4-5 AM (and I can’t make the obvious distinction between “Hole” vs “Holl”). Sorry all 😛

Someone Else said on Aug. 18, 2011

However, I have to say, it is a bit strange that the A used in Lumine hall is different from the A used in Magnet Hill.
Though…I think, all that means is that there isn’t really a font they used, instead they just drew in the letters as part of the little picture. I don’t know.


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