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September 11th, 2011 | EarthBound

After a lot of work, the MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound comparison section is finally done. It only took me like twelve years, but it’s done, hurray! I still have to fix various typos and I’m sure I’ll need to make little tweaks here and there, but I don’t plan on there being any more updates.

If you haven’t checked out the section recently, I’ve added new stuff to some of the older pages, so give it a look sometime.

You’d think I’d be sick of this game comparison stuff by now, but I actually had a lot of fun with it, especially during the last few months when I finally hit my stride. So much in fact that I’m going to start taking a look at other games’ localizations in a project I call Legends of Localization.

I even already have a full game comparison up for people to read: Super Mario Bros.!

At first I thought there wouldn’t be much to write since it’s such a short, simple game, but it actually turned out pretty interesting. Give it a read if you’re into old Nintendo games – which I assume you are if you’re here 😛


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23 Comments to MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound Done

? said on Sep. 11, 2011

Super Mother Brothers(Lucas/Claus) could be a good rom hack

joeymartin64 said on Sep. 11, 2011

Bowser’s name is supposedly a reference to Jon “Bowzer” Bauman of Sha Na Na. The Koopalings didn’t have names in the Japanese version of SMB3, but the localizers had a little fun and named (most of) them after musicians, and Bowser’s name was supposedly an offshoot of that, having not been mentioned as such prior. However, your scans remind me that he was actually referred to as “Bowser” in the SMB1 manual, so who knows? Maybe the Koopalings musically-inclined names were inspired by Bowser’s rather than the other way around, or maybe one has nothing to do with the other.

Zoom! said on Sep. 11, 2011

Mother 2 vs EarthBound 1999-2011..We will miss you.

Zoom! said on Sep. 11, 2011

@Zoom! But theres more! 😀

EBrent said on Sep. 11, 2011

Tomato, under the “Game Story” heading of the “Manuals” section, you made a comment:

“…the normal Koopas you run into just walk back and forth.”

This tells me that you’ve thought about the Koopa Troopas in the same way I always have. But isn’t it possible that the idea of Bowser and the Koopa Troopas (and related enemies) being part of the same tribe/species only came about because of the renaming of the Noko-noko? That they aren’t “Koopas” who are “troopas,” they are “troopas” *of* “Koopa”?

It seems to me like their relation might be a strictly American idea.

Mato said on Sep. 11, 2011

That’s a really good point, I’ll have to collect my thoughts about that. Also, if a tribe of turtles took over the kingdom but the Koopa Troopas don’t count, who are the other members besides Bowser who invaded with him? Maybe they just made up the story after the game was made, I dunno, heh.

DJMankiewicz said on Sep. 11, 2011

I think the koopa troopas count as the tribe of turtles, it’s just that they’re just trooper turtles under Koopa’s banner, not actually “koopas”.

Well, I think that’s the intention. I’m forever going to consider the whole species “koopas”, and Bowser as “King Koopa”. Yeah, the manual called him Bowser, but every single cartoon, comic, and movie called him Koopa. Isn’t it odd that all that stuff was more accurate in that sense than the US games?

Incidentally, the “Mario Mario” and “Luigi Mario” thing is probably the best part of that cheesy Super Mario Bros. movie. Whatever else one can say about it, and there’s a lot, that one skit in the middle of it was, and is, pure gold. It’s a lame joke, sure, but it’s funny all the same to me, and it wrapped up that little otherwise very egotistical issue of the “Mario Bros.” being called that all the time. I also love that cop’s reaction to hearing them explain it, like even he doesn’t believe how ridiculous it is, and he’s in blade runnerasic park over here.

blahmoomoo said on Sep. 11, 2011

It might be worth mentioning in the minus worlds section that you can actually complete the “-1” world in the FDS version. In fact, you can complete levels through -3, which is a castle stage that ends the game when completed.

You can find a video of the minus worlds for the FDS version here: http://tasvideos.org/1365M.html

Stevesesy said on Sep. 11, 2011

Now what, Mato? One of your dreams is achieved. What’s next? EarthBound to Mother 1 rom hack? Steal the blue disks from Nintendo? BECOME GOD?!

Mato said on Sep. 11, 2011

My next goal is to make a cake made out of NES cartridges. I’m worried it might be fatal though.

Zoom! said on Sep. 11, 2011

@Mato Really?

Saturnome said on Sep. 11, 2011

Glad I lived long enough to see this! Ending such a project must be some kind of milestone in the life of anybody. Now go have a party or something!

Halloween said on Sep. 12, 2011


Anonymous said on Sep. 12, 2011

I don’t think the the King Koopa -> Koopa Troopa thing mentioned earlier is true. On some Iwata Asks interview, Miyamoto mentions designing Bowser based off… I think the Journey to the West character that Ox King from Dragonball is based off of. Since he was supposed to be the leader of the turtles, though, he was instead designed as an turtle by some manga artist, albeit with bull features.

I might have gotten some details wrong, but that’s basically how it goes. The name “Koopa” comes from a Korean dish. I think that was just Miyamoto wierdness.

However, even at that point, there seems to be some cross-pollination between the American and Japanese names. Mario and Luigi’s names come from the name of Nintendo of America’s landlord and a nearby pizzaria. I’ve never heard what joeymartin64 said about Bowser’s name before, but I know that he’s right about Nintendo of America naming the Koopalings, and I know that the names carried over to the Japense version of Super Mario World and later games.

LakituAl said on Sep. 12, 2011


Aw, for Itoi’s sake, not that Mario Segali legend again! I recall there was even a site where they tried desperately to find the guy to see if he even existed, but so far failed miserably. Maybe he got surgery and changed his name as not to be found? Trololo.

Luigi’s name from a pizzeria… Mmmm… Some people think it comes from the Japanese word for “similar, imitation”. I better get out of this subject here, I sense PK Fire coming my direction…

Anonymous said on Sep. 12, 2011


The Seattle Times believes Mario Segale exists, apparently. He’s number 50 on this list.

Now Kirby’s a mystery. As far as I know, even the people who worked on his game can’t remember where the name comes from, but it may have been Nintendo’s lawyer.

Rock said on Sep. 12, 2011

Mato, you’re amazing, as always.
I’d like to see a JP vs US comparison of Pokémon Red/Blue, but just this is mindblowing.
Congratulations on being so cool.

Zoom! said on Sep. 12, 2011

Interesting how those 256 extra levels caused such a sensation

PizzaPasta said on Sep. 13, 2011

This is a cool idea for a site. You should do Bionic Commando at some point since the JP and NA versions of those games are pretty different.

steinmitz said on Sep. 19, 2011

Hope it’s okay to post this here, because I thought it would be excessive to post a third time in the Feedback section of the Mario localization page. Anyway, thank you very much for your response to my post back there; I greatly appreciate it. And I can’t emphasize enough how fascinating your Mario analysis is. I love it. But, really quick, I wanted to correct my bad memory in that Feedback post; the music in Donkey Kong that sounds like “peaknuckle” isn’t the hammer music, but the “running out of time” music. Just wanted to clear that up, for what it’s worth.

TBird said on Sep. 23, 2011

If you want something simple you could do Super Metroid. There’s only a bit of exposition at the beginning and end, but it’d be interesting to see if Samus’s tone or any plot points are different.

Kahran042 said on Sep. 24, 2011

I think that the Starman might have been named after the David Bowie song. Also, to the anonymous poster inquiring about Kirby, I’m pretty sure he was named after the vacuum cleaner.

Zoom! said on Sep. 24, 2011


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