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August 26th, 2011 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

I’m getting very close to finishing up the MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound comparison section, I added some new pages and tweaked some existing ones, and also added a tl;dr version for people who don’t want to read through a million pages of nitpicking 😛

Anyway, I was hoping the fair readers of EB Central could help go over the existing pages and give any last-minute constructive suggestions, or if I missed anything that you think I should’ve covered, let me know so I can look into it. Also, let me know what you think of the tl;dr page – is it too long as it is? Should I add more?

I hope to have everything finalized in the next week or two, and then after that I’ll consider the project finally done after 12 long years. Man, I bet that’s as old as some visitors here 😯


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43 Comments to MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound, Last Call

Troy said on Aug. 26, 2011

I remember first seeing it back in the early days of starmen.net, so I’m glad it finally got completed!

Ninten1 said on Aug. 26, 2011

Are there any significant differences in the battle text between the two games? Lines like “The Farm Zombie did something mysterious” or “Electro Swoosh sends a greeting” always made me wonder.

Also, are any item descriptions way different between the games?

Mato said on Aug. 26, 2011

For your item description question, see here, I recently added stuff about descriptions there.

Dave said on Aug. 26, 2011

Sometimes when you think you’re being too “picky” or are “nitpicking”, the subtlety of the mistranslation is what makes it the most interesting.

For example, the guy in Moonside whose text goes from “I’m a very forgetful man. I’ve forgotten why I’m here. …Wait, what did I just forget? ………What kind of man was I again? Am I a man?” to “I’m pretty forgetful. I even forgot why I’m here. Hmm… I just forgot something… Who am I? Am I a man?”

I don’t think it’s being picky at all! You pointed out that you no longer get to see him forgetting mid-thought that he’s a man. What you failed to mention (or realize) is what I consider to be the funniest part. He says “What kind of man was I again?” (the answer being ‘forgetful’), indicating that he’s even managed to -forget the fact that he’s forgetful-. Translating that to “Who am I?” is a great example of the original translators missing the point, which is why I’m so happy you made your site, and makes me wish I knew Japanese so I could experience the game the way it was written and love it even more. (This is also an example of why I greatly prefer when you provide a translation, as opposed to just summarizing the original text.)

If this is a sort of comment you enjoy, I might go through the whole M2EB section again and let you know what else I notice.

Anonyperson said on Aug. 26, 2011

In the name section, you have Take Me Out to the Ballgame under Mother 2 and Tokyo Ondo with EarthBound. I think it should be the other way around.

Mato said on Aug. 26, 2011

Thanks, I just fixed it 🙂

MetallicaBreath said on Aug. 26, 2011

Very nitpicky thing, but on the Lost Underworld page where you’re comparing the speech the talking rock gives you in both versions, under the Mother 2 version you use “Giygas” instead of “Gyiyg.” Was this intentioal?

Nesskid said on Aug. 26, 2011

I’m not sure how you feel about it Mr. Mato but another game I’d love to see the translation differences for is Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon.

The Great Morgil said on Aug. 26, 2011

What exactly does “TL;DR” mean, anyway? Is it an acronym or something? The page looks like just a brief summery of everything, but i don’t get what the title means.

Mato said on Aug. 26, 2011

It’s a common internet abbreviation meaning “too long didn’t read”.

Dave said on Aug. 26, 2011

I went through the first few pages and noticed some things.

– Intro/Credits / The Truth About Burglin Park, and Twoson / No Cross For You: you misspelled Burglin as Burlin in these two.

– Onett / Starman Speech: you mention that the Starman Jr speaks in katakana, which makes it come across as robotic. You mention the clicks and whirrs, and say “those were also in the original Japanese”. Later, in Stonehenge, you mention the same thing with Starman DX, except you state that he does not make clicks or whirrs, and that because of this the Starmen might actually be biological and not robotic. Is that correct? The Starman Jr does, but DX doesn’t? Either way, you might want to look at these two sections and see if they both properly match up to your thoughts.

Darien said on Aug. 26, 2011

Geez. m2eb was what first brought me to starmen.net all those years ago. Seems nuts to think it’s finally finished. I notice the earlier material is far harsher in its treatment of the translators — I guess one mellows a bit with age and experience, hey? 🙂

Mato said on Aug. 26, 2011

Haha, the fact you call it m2eb too definitely shows you were around back in the day 😛

I wonder if in the future someone will do this with my Mother 3 translation. Which reminds me, I gotta do those translation notes someday.

Dave: thanks, I appreciate it. Keep looking for stuff if you can find the time and I’ll make the fixes. I want to leave the section as finished and polished as possible, I want to finally put it behind me~

GhostSonic said on Aug. 26, 2011

You started this when I was 4? Wow.

Mato said on Aug. 26, 2011

Hey is that my lawn you’re on?

Zoom! said on Aug. 26, 2011

Yup, M2vsEB is as old as me

Zoom! said on Aug. 26, 2011

And now…Project Spacebound begins 🙂

Starman 99 said on Aug. 26, 2011

Man, I remember when this had its own cheesy webpage all those years ago. Must have only had updates through Threed back then. How the time goes by… I’ll look at a few pages later and see if I notice anything odd.

One thing just struck me. Pokey’s line if you refuse to help him find Picky, something like “If you refuse me, I’ll say something that will cut you like a knife!” seems like the sort of thing they would have written around a bit, based on some of the other changes. Interesting that even at the beginning, he’s portrayed in such a dark way.

Zoom! said on Aug. 26, 2011

@Starman99 A scresnshot of that cheesy webpage is on “Links”.

Mato said on Aug. 26, 2011

Okay, I think I made all the fixes suggested here so far, keep up the hunt!

Zoom! said on Aug. 26, 2011

This m2eb stuff has inspired me to do something Mato-ish:Translation! 🙂

Zoom! said on Aug. 26, 2011

But it’ll take a while..boo-hoo 🙁

Anonymous said on Aug. 26, 2011

Mother 2 to EarthBound…
…And back again.

Darien said on Aug. 26, 2011

There are a bunch of places in the “Onett” section where you should have a space after a period, but don’t. Not sure if you care about something this trivial, but, if you do, here we go.


Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!:

“…the same guy is called Lier Horando.In Japanese…”

Stop With the Hurting:

“I was really scolded by my father.Aa, my butt hurts.”
“…my butt hurts”.But, in Earthbound…”
“…got after me.He said I get…”

The Blue Button:

“…how to use it.In MOTHER 2…”
“…map will pop up.She then tells you…”
“…the blue button.In EarthBound…”

Trick Questions:

“…Girl of the Alps’.What goes in…”

No Crosses Allowed!!!:

“…Onett are different.The MOTHER 2 hospital…”
“…version does not.To make the change…”
“…the EarthBound sign.But who would…”
“…a tall building?EarthBound truly is…”

Captain Strong’s Moves:

“…Mambo-Tango-Foxtrot martial arts”.In MOTHER 2…”

Darien said on Aug. 26, 2011

In the Twoson 2 “It’s Showtime!” section, the Mother 2 description of the Tonzura Brothers is given as:

The Chaos Theater soulmeeeeen!
Sexy and exciting!
A dynamite performance!
Come on!
Greatest bluesmen….
Tonzura Brothers Band!
Here we come!<
Gotcha! Gotcha!

There appears to be a stray period after the ellipsis on line 6, and a less-than on line 8.

steinmitz said on Aug. 26, 2011

I may have made a comment about this before, but I always thought some of the funnest parts of Earthbound were experimenting with what the various “For sale” sign respondents say when you turn down their offers and so on. If you could (or if it’s even that much different in Japanese)it would be neat if there were some comparisons there. Regardless, I love what you’ve done, and it’s definitely something that someone like me could ONLY find on the internet. All this translation material, like the translations of Itoi’s interviews and everything else, was virtually nonexistent on internet searches only a few years ago; thank you very much to you and all the others who have made this obscure trivia so accessible.

Anonymous said on Aug. 26, 2011

Not sure if this comment is made, but looking at the Summers page, a character mention looking for a small medal in a newlywed’s drawers in Mother 2.

This might be a direct Dragon Quest reference, since by EarthBound’s release Dragon Quest players would actually be scouring people’s rooms looking for mini medals. It’s sort of a treasure hunt for bonus items. “Newlyweds” I don’t know about, but the latest Dragon Quest at the time did have the main characters getting married.

Daniel B. said on Aug. 27, 2011

I was always interested in what Everdred says in Magicant, since it’s the last time he appears.

Also, I found this video of a 16-in-1 GBA multicart: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDAiQcTuHj8 — the game at 10:59 stars Ness.

TBird said on Aug. 27, 2011

One issue that I don’t think you’ve resolved yet:
There was a sign saying “Just Play It!” that originally had the slogan to Mother 2. You wondered why they did that. It’s actually a play on Nike’s slogan at the time, “Just Do it” probably combined with the SNES slogan at the time, “Play it Loud.”

Mato said on Aug. 27, 2011

I think I fixed that a day or two ago, I wonder if I accidentally undid those changes somehow.

Anonymous said on Aug. 27, 2011

Here’s something you haven’t mentioned. You mentioned that Captain Strong’s fighting style in the English release is “Super Ultra Mambo-Tango-Foxtrot” while Japanese Captain Strong uses “Super Ultra Sambo Mambo”.

Mambo, tango, and foxtrot are all dances, but only the Japanese version mentions sambo, the name of a few Soviet martial arts. It was originally designed for the military. Scary stuff.

Brian said on Aug. 28, 2011

How about PSI names?

Brian said on Aug. 28, 2011

Oh wait, you have them already. Didn’t notice you updated that page.

Magicsgame said on Aug. 28, 2011

From Summers 1 to Winters 3, the pictures are above the text. Are you going to change the order for consistency’s sake?

TBird said on Aug. 28, 2011

@Mato Sorry I haven’t checked that section in a long time.

ben said on Aug. 29, 2011

what is that imagine in the thumbnail for this post? looks cool

Mato said on Aug. 29, 2011

ben: here’s the full size: http://earthboundcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/06.png I dunno where it comes from though.


Everyone: I added a few more pages to the M2 vs. EB stuff, one with newspaper headline info and one with some final thoughts. Let me know if you think I missed anything.

Giovanni said on Aug. 30, 2011

Buzz Buzz. You ended up covering most of the other big speeches in the game with line-by-line comparisons, and other similar instances of mistranslated dialects and recurring phrases, but glossed over all of the key subtle distinctions in the prologue’s two big plot expositions back when you first revived this whole M2-to-EB project years ago.

Mainly, things like Buzz’s samurai-esque affectation reinforcing the whole horned-helmet-beetle impression, the “legend from the future” not necessarily being so “ancient” and Magicant / “that place” being alluded to in it familiarly, the return of M1’s unique Son of Starman enemy and his implicit old grudge, etc.

Taken all together with plot points like Gyiyg’s “insect” putdowns in M1 and the introduction of a spirit-transplant plot device at the end of M2, it should have been apparent to Japanese fans that Itoi was trying to offer a veiled conclusion to the unresolved interpersonal issues from Part 1 of his trilogy.

wekhter said on Sep. 2, 2011

Stuff I noticed, by page.

Onett: says “@Argh!” during Buzz Buzz’s speech.

Twoson: Alt text for sections “You’re a Queue-T” and “Octopuses vs. Pencils” are repeats.

Happy-Happy-Village: Alt text for “Not VIP Enough” is a repeat. And it’s not really worth noting but they didn’t add the puff to the official guide book (probably since it’s a whole statue).

Twoson-2: You say “Hand-aid” is a trademarked name, pretty sure you meant “Band-aid” :>

Threed-2: Missing space in “pass away… Ha!I’m dead”

Saturn-Valley: In “Gi” section, shouldn’t you say he doesn’t know Gyiyg’s full name in MOTHER 2? (As in, not Giygas)

Threed-3: In “Hidden Character #1” section, you misspell “unaccessible” (as “unaccessable”)

Fourside-3: Pretty sure Strawberry Tofu is a fashionable dessert, not a fashionable desert. In “Monotoli Speaks” MOTHER 2 side says Giygas instead of Gyiyg again (“The devil… Giygas…”). Finally, in EarthBound the guard says “body guard” (with space), you write it as bodyguard (correct word).

Fourside-4: In “Ice Scream” alt text, you say “if it mean’s anything”. Aggghh apostrophes

Winters-3: In “Wondrous Sights” section, you are inconsistent, saying “Tessie” in the MOTHER 2 section (not “Tassie”).

That’s all I noticed so far when going through.

Finally, this isn’t an error, but in the Moonside section you write about the “Wel come” speech. I agree that the Japanese version sounds better if you think in terms of speaking (the “nsai nsai nsai” part actually really creeps me out) but it’s interesting that in EarthBound it looks like he says “Welcome to demonside” when rearranging Moonside letters. I don’t know if it’s on purpose, but I thought it was cool.

Mato said on Sep. 3, 2011

Ooh, many thanks! I’ll get on this sometime during this weekend.

Kahran042 said on Sep. 24, 2011

I’m not sure if it’s too late, but was there any significance to all of the Guardian Diggers claiming to be the third-strongest?

Strawberry Tofu said on Dec. 1, 2011

I don’t know if there’s a good place to put this at all (or if you already mentioned it somewhere), but I’ve been playing MOTHER 2 and when Ness got homesick, I noticed something that probably got covered up in localization. Here’s a transcript of the whole thing (attempted to mimic the game’s formatting, fwiw):

♦まあ ネスちゃん。
そんな さみしそうなこえで。
♦うちが こいしくなったのかな?
….ま そんなひも あるわよね。
♦ママの セクシーでステキな
こえを きいて
♦じゃ アイロンをかけてる
ガチャン ツーツーツー

I know セクシー doesn’t have the same… impact in Japanese, but it caught my attention. (shrug)

Strawberry Tofu said on Dec. 1, 2011

(AH! That’s what happens when you call your mom, I mean. I mean, you could probably guess, but I left out that bit and it bugs me that I did.)


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