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Tips for Buying EarthBound

August 21st, 2011 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

It took a ton of work, but I’ve updated the MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound section with a page about the ending, which you can check out here.

In all, I wound up taking like 2500 screenshots which took forever to go through, weed out, put together, write up stuff about, and all that. I also think I wound up being extra picky on some of the more minor things, so with all that in mind, be prepared to do a lot of reading 😯

I’m not actually done with the comparison stuff yet, I still need to do the following:

  • Add an item name page
  • Add a page for character, place, etc. names for easy reference
  • Add a tl;dr page, since I know most people don’t want to read through a zillion pages of picky translator madness
  • Fix up a few existing pages with new info sent in by people
  • Possibly beef up a few existing pages with more details since my earlier pages are sparser than later ones now that I look back

I really want to finish this stuff though – I’m hoping to start a site that looks into other Japanese games this same way, just not at nearly the same insane level of detail of course 😛 I wrote more about it here, and I’m thinking of tackling some popular NES games to start with. If you guys got any ideas for other games though, lemme know.

Anyway, enjoy!

P.S. I learned a ton about the ending of EarthBound through this, and none of the FAQs I’ve read have it all listed. I discovered so much stuff I never knew about, it’s cool. If you ever get to the ending again, you really should try talking to everybody you can, some people say the same old stuff, but a lot say new stuff, even really insignificant characters!


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67 Comments to MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound: Ending

Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011


Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011

You’ve done a great job comparing the differences. Also, thank you for sharing links with WikiBound!

Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011

Wait, there’s a bit more? YAY! BUT THAT MEANS IT’S ALMOST OVER!! WAAH!! 🙂

Oven Man said on Aug. 21, 2011

You’ve got the same image for the Picky is Okay segment as the Lardna on the Loose bit

(sorry for being so… picky)

Tansunn said on Aug. 21, 2011

“…I had forgotten that in MOTHER 2 he talks like an old guy, but you don’t get that at all from the English version. In fact, this line in EarthBound ends with “Tee hee hee”, which gives the exact opposite impression.”

The screenshot actually says “Tee tee tee” which I can only assume is supposed to be mouse chittering. I agree that it doesn’t sound very elderly, though.

Mato said on Aug. 21, 2011

Thanks Oven Man, I’ll fix that later tonight. Wouldn’t have noticed that for a long time had someone not mentioned it 😛

Tansunn: thanks again, I just updated it.

Anonymous said on Aug. 21, 2011

Frank mentions Akira Maeda? Huh, he was in Fire Pro Wrestling.

Wait a sec – Akira Maeda exists in Earthbound and in Fire Pro Wrestling, the Job Center Manager in No More Heroes has a t-shirt based off the RINGS federation, which means… No More Heroes and Earthbound share the same universe!

Or maybe not.

Anonymous said on Aug. 21, 2011

I always picked up on that caps thing in the “Are you here to celebrate?” question when I was young, for some reason I thought Mayor Pirkle was hard of hearing and Ness had to shout.

platinatina said on Aug. 21, 2011

I would love to have some Japanese Mother fonts! I haven’t been able to find the Mr. Saturn one, particularly. (Copy-pasting from a sprite sheet all the time isn’t fun.) It’s gotta be somewhere… :v

I absolutely love translation comparisons, heh. I look forward to seeing any future game comparisons!

madammina said on Aug. 21, 2011

I have always enjoyed reading this, and I’m sad it is almost over.

Can you do Final Fantasy VI next?

(goes to reading it, the favorite part of her day)

Anonymous said on Aug. 21, 2011

whenever a big earthbound project like this nears completion or is finished, I get a horrible feeling in my gut that one day we will have done everything there is to be done concerning Earthbound. Everything will have been translated, everything will have been compared and gone into, and all the unused stuff will be explained… or am i just being pessimistic?

I still love it though, it’s just amazing what’s been done

LucasTizma said on Aug. 21, 2011

Just being nit picky, but the image you use for “Everdead Part Two” has the EarthBound screen shot on the left and the MOTHER 2 screen shot on the right, which is opposite of how you have it for everything else.

Thanks for the analysis. 🙂

EBrent said on Aug. 21, 2011

I can’t believe it’s almost complete. M2EB has been in progress since before I even had internet access (I think).

I’m using it for reference a lot. I wish there was a side-by-side English/Japanese script somewhere. It would be great for quick comparisons.

Speaking of which, I made a comment on your “MOTHER Manga Scans” post that I think might want to read, Tomato.

Zinco said on Aug. 21, 2011

On the M2 v. EB page proper, the Ending link goes to the Giygas page. Anyway, congrats on finishing the bulk of the comparisons! I’ve been waiting forever for this.

Anonymous said on Aug. 21, 2011

Isn’t Akira Maeda a real guy? I know Fire Pro has knockoff wrestlings like Bulk Bogan or whatnot, but he’d probably be in there. Where do people watch Japanese wrestling anyway?

Mato, can you explain a little bit about what Japanese things mean by “Jigoku”? I guess it refers to the Christian Hell here due to the setting, but why would the Shinto-Buddhist Japanese like to use that word?

Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011

@Zinco It doesn’t for me

Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011

If the Monotoli building was changed to Enfrich Flavor or whatever, then Earthbound 64 would’ve had a semi-major continuity error. 🙂

Linkzcap said on Aug. 21, 2011


Tonch said on Aug. 21, 2011

Well done, I’ve been having a really great time reading all of your comparisons, and it’s a commendable thing you’ve done to almost have completed this!

I often wish I knew Japanese so I’d be able to do this sort of thing. I always thought I’d have a lot of fun localizing something, because I love writing character dialogue and thinking of ways to work around culture-specific jokes. It’s kind of like a challenge or a puzzle sometimes, thinking of a witty way to make dialogue work with a similar result as the original.

Anyway, great job and thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us!

CodyStation3 said on Aug. 21, 2011

Am I the only one seeing that it looks like the Back to the Future “To Be Continued…” font?

Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011

@CodyStation3 That was mentioned in the post lol

Crav said on Aug. 21, 2011

Mato, I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but you are just awesome. All the work you’ve done for the community over the years is increadible.

All I can say is thank you.

Mato said on Aug. 21, 2011

platinatina: dunno if it helps, but the Japanese have had a Doseisan font for as long as I’ve been running EB sites: http://homepage3.nifty.com/hifuni/dosei/ It’s stored in that .lzh file I think.

Mato said on Aug. 21, 2011

Anonymous (the one asking about jigoky/hell): I’m not an expert on religion so I can’t really say much – for the most part in light Japanese entertainment like this or most anime, “jigoku” is just the very vague “bad place you go after you die”. It’s lucky for me it usually works out that way, otherwise it’d make things a lot tougher to translate.

Mato said on Aug. 21, 2011

Okay, I think I fixed all the issues everyone’s mentioned, thanks for letting me know. I’m surprised there haven’t been more, given the amount of stuff on the page and how quickly I threw it all together 😯

kenisu said on Aug. 21, 2011

Philosophy isn’t the study of stones… it’s the study of guys named Phil!

…Well, you know SOMEBODY was going to say it sooner or later.

Anonymous said on Aug. 21, 2011

Just in case anyone’s confused, philosophy isn’t actually about staying up all night. It’s the study of weird fetishes.

Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011

@Anonymous Okay….

Zoom! said on Aug. 21, 2011

And Megolavania is out of the popular posts! 🙂 It’s a good mix

NPC said on Aug. 21, 2011

Battle Stuff is currently redirecting to Ending… you’ve done an excellent job, Tomato! Thanks and God bless!!

Mrs. Saturn said on Aug. 21, 2011

Great work as always! This has been such an entertaining and informative read… I’m sad it’s almost over, but I also understand that it’s been a huge endeavor, so in the end it’s all for the best~

Anonymous said on Aug. 22, 2011

The Mole Hole
“It seems like it was almost made for you.”

avaquizzer said on Aug. 22, 2011

Hey, I absolutely LOVE your comparisons! I love learning about the things that are lost in translation, as well as the cultural differences (especially through a medium that I grew up with).

One thing, in the last update, the section “Haikus Again”, when you mention the translators got it right, and then you write the haiku, the last line you wrote isn’t the last line of the haiku; that’s what he says after it. I think it should say “You’re back Sebastian”, not “…I just love making Haiku.””

I figured since other people were being picky, I could chime in too. 🙂

Thank you again for providing a fun (and educational) read!

Springymajig said on Aug. 22, 2011

I just wanted to say thanks so much for putting in so much time and effort to do all this, it has been thoroughly interesting to read through. I’m sad to see it coming to a close, so I’m really excited to see you have plans to do it with other games.

Thank you so much, you’re awesome!

DJMankiewicz said on Aug. 22, 2011

Oh great Mother 2, now you got the theme song from Back to the Future in my head.

A-wel Cruiz said on Aug. 22, 2011

What was up with the Alt-Tags on those images?

ben said on Aug. 22, 2011

^holy crap! hahaha
reading through those was as entertaining as the actual update

Mato said on Aug. 22, 2011

avaquizzer: Thanks, I fixed it.

GhostSonic said on Aug. 22, 2011


Why is this redirecting to the endings page?

Mato said on Aug. 22, 2011

For those getting a weird redirect thing, it’s a WordPress bug. It affects some people but not all, for reasons unknown. It usually fixes itself over time, usually every 15 minutes or so. Another surefire way to fix it is to delete any earthboundcentral.com cookies you have, reload your browser, and try again – it should work then.

It’s annoying and the supposed fix for this doesn’t seem to work after all. I wish I knew how to fix it myself 🙁

LucasTizma said on Aug. 22, 2011

About the picnic and horseshoes thing, I don’t think that’s too strange of a pairing. My family and friends used to typically play some outdoor game like Bocce Ball or Horseshoes when we went on picnics. 🙂

Hyper Emerson said on Aug. 22, 2011

I find the “End…?” message at Earthbound more fitting than the one in Mother 2, considering how much of it’s story Mother 3 continues.

FuzzyPicklez said on Aug. 22, 2011

If they had left it as “To Be Continued”, international EarthBound fans would have been even more angry that we didn’t get the sequel.

Crysta said on Aug. 22, 2011

So… I take it this means there’s nothing much different about the final post-ending scene then?

SomeUser said on Aug. 22, 2011

Weird. For me, the link to the M2 vs EB ending in the article doesn’t work, but going to the M2 vs EB page and clicking on the “Ending” button works.

SomeUser said on Aug. 22, 2011

When I say “doesn’t work”, I mean that the page doesn’t pull up.

Strawberry Tofu said on Aug. 22, 2011

Let it be known that as a bit of a localization nerd myself, I would love a website like that (and a tl;dr section for translation subtleties like you mentioned).

On an unrelated note, OH WORDPRESS: http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b336/berrytofu/eblipstick.png

Pwesty said on Aug. 22, 2011

I loved the whole thing, the pictures and the story within them… You could say.

SuperBlooper057 said on Aug. 22, 2011

THE end

DJMankiewicz said on Aug. 22, 2011

Crysta, good point. I think about the only thing I can think of based on what Mato said in the first article is the “knock” sound effect is also translated in the ending.

EBrent said on Aug. 22, 2011

I’m sorry add another gripes so late, but…

Isn’t the joke-teller asking what bread’s favorite animal is, rather than a panda’s? You gave away the punchline. :*

And in the “No More Cake” section, you wrote “it makes to finish making something” instead of “it means to finish making something.”

By the way, my last name is “Seger.” I can’t believe it took me so long to notice “M.D. Seeger” in the credits.

You’re more likely to transliterate “Seger”/”Seeger” as “Shigaa” (シガー) or “Shiigaa” (シーガー), but I think “Shigeru” (シゲル) would word just as well, too. I have no idea about the “M.D.” part, though.

People misspell my name as “Seeger” all the time. >:(

Nesskid said on Aug. 23, 2011

What about the stuff that happens after the credits? AKA picky knocking on your door?

Cranberry Tofu said on Aug. 23, 2011

Were there any differences in Paula’s lines when she says goodbye to Ness at her house?

Floisonkeya said on Aug. 23, 2011

Thank you very much for doing all this work Mato, I has been a very interesting read 🙂

I have one question though, (And now that I read the comments I notice that EBrent has the same question)
When the Joker guy in Jackie’s café says ‘Pan no sukina doubutsu wa nan darou?’ the kana for ‘da’ is not present so wouldn’t it be “What is bread’s favourite animal?” not a panda? (Unless ‘pan’ is a shortened way of saying panda).

On additional thoughts, in Japanese the word ‘pan’ means bread but PERHAPS the writers knew the English word ‘pun’ …
So maybe this deformed joke could in fact mean that
A pun’s favourite animal is a human (As in human’s are the only animals that can make puns?)
I dunno

Angryeyebrows17 said on Aug. 23, 2011

As for the philosophy joke, one example that would work is:

“I’m embarrased to admit it after all this time, but the truth is… I thought psychology was about studying psychopaths, but it turns out it’s about the study of psychic readings instead… …Huh? It’s not?””

Mato said on Aug. 23, 2011

Oops, good catch with that pun guy, I’ll fix that.

For people asking about the post-credits stuff, it’s pretty much the same. There’s barely any text too, so there wasn’t much room for differences.

Paula’s text when you take her home (or to her home) is basically the same too, I definitely would’ve posted about that if there’d been anything to say.

Trig said on Aug. 23, 2011

Wait, was the The End…? thing before the credits of MOTHER 3 inspired by the EarthBound translation or what?

HexploringUser said on Aug. 23, 2011

Why does the mouse-over text for each image have a different tone than in other pages? On other pages, many of them are comments and/or jokes that are relevant or semi-relevant to the topic, but these ones seem to tell a story of a person trying to escape from baddies, ending in the death of the reader. One of them told the reader to press Alt+F4.

The only one I noticed to have any relevance is for when Ness’s father says that his voice has matured, where the comment “—” points out his status as a silent protagonist.

Why are these unusual mouse-over comments different from the norm?

Sorry if I sound rude. This post is my third one thus far.

Mato said on Aug. 23, 2011

There were so many pictures on this particular page that I wanted to try something different with them this time around.

Satsy said on Aug. 24, 2011

EBrent: Regarding M.D Seeger, how would ‘m’ and ‘d’ be pronounced in Japanese? I’m thinking from the characters ‘mu’ and ‘do’, which probably still doesn’t make sense, but speaking, you’d get something like mudo seeger or something, right? Or their way of naming would be more like seeger mu do.

…. It still doesn’t make sense, I admit. Basically I’m trying to see if it’d be an audible short-hand for his full name, backwards maybe.

Ninjapocalypse said on Aug. 31, 2011

I realize that this is a bit of a necro post, but for the record, the Lucky Nice Company is the Japanese (and English, I suppose) operating name for a Japanese company called the Crown Ya Co. Ltd. (or possibly Guan Ya Co Ltd., I’ve seen both come up), which seems to be an electronics manufacturing concern in Hong Kong.

Damon said on Sep. 4, 2011

Huh, To be continued would have been better but when it comes to movies, they didn’t want to get sued….

Thenumber1Yoshi said on Sep. 12, 2011

I once remember reading a comment on Youtube on one of the Earthbound 64 videos that said Pokey’s letter to Ness that Picky brings over at the end of the game was not the simple “Come and get Me loser!” that was in the English translation from what they said it was a lot more complex than that and made more sense in Mother 2’s connections with Mother 3. Of course I have no idea if the source is wrong about this or not but I really would like to know if it’s true that Pokey’s letter to Ness at the end of the game is different than it is in the English translation and if it is I’d like to know what it really said.

Mato said on Sep. 12, 2011

It’s pretty much the same in both games, so that sounds like it was one of those fake rumors that somehow spread so easily 😛

Poe said on Sep. 13, 2011


TalonKhan said on Sep. 13, 2011


Kaabii said on May. 22, 2013

I like “TO BE CONTINUED…” better because it hints at MOTHER 3’s events…


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