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Tips for Buying EarthBound

November 16th, 2011 | Audio Stuff, MOTHER 3, Uncommon Knowledge

For a long time now people have been telling me that various stuff from Pokemon seems very MOTHER-ish and especially MOTHER 3-ish. Here’s a song that especially gets cited:

I can hear similarities, but are they really on purpose? I haven’t played any Pokemon games since Red/Blue (get off my lawn ya kids there’s only 151 pokemon as far as i’m concerned *shakes double canes*) so I don’t know if there are hidden connections/similarities or anything. I know some folks from APE went on to work at Creatures, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

So if you know of any other MOTHER/Pokemon similarities, share them in the comments here!


Other Related Posts:


79 Comments to MOTHER & Pokemon Stuff

N said on Nov. 16, 2011

Pokemon B/W steals so much from MOTHER 3 it might as well be the english release

Poe said on Nov. 16, 2011

Nah, I think it’s coincidence. I surf all the time in B/W and the song never once made me think of MOTHER 3.

valiant_dreamer9 said on Nov. 16, 2011

Well, ever since I heard N’s Farewell theme, it’s so obvious it cam from The Theme of Love.

The Pokemon series actually made a few shout-outs to the MOTHER series, ever since. In fact, the Black and White generation is probably supposed to be a HUGE shout-out to MOTHER 3, or even its spiritual successor.

And it’s not limited to the music. There are some sprites that resemble some MOTHER 3 characters, like a maid character who looks just like Tessie, and a mole Pokemon who looks similar to the mole creature in MOTHER 3 (forgot the names, pfbt).

You can check out the TV Tropes page, and check out the “Shout Out” trope. 😀 http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite?from=Main.PokemonBlackandWhite

Miles of SmashWiki said on Nov. 16, 2011

The N’s Farewell one is pretty blatantly similar.

Another one that people aren’t as aware of: Ken Sugimori revealed in an interview with Nintendo Dream that the Hydreigon family (notably used by the game’s final antagonist) was originally supposed to resemble “cybernetic dragons” before being redesigned. Does that sound familiar?

kaialone said on Nov. 16, 2011

I can only point to “N´s Farewell theme” Its so similar to Mother 3´s “Theme of Love” it cant be coincidence. And then there is the black and white dragons, and two fighting brothers thing.

Zoom! said on Nov. 16, 2011

Somebody mentioned that “Surf” from B/W is similar to “The Green Train’s Fun Too!”.

TWM said on Nov. 16, 2011

Route 113 from Pokemon Emerald’s theme sounds an awful lot like Snowman.

Chicobo said on Nov. 16, 2011

It’s not intentional I believe but the bug is very similar to the Earth Bound NES prototype/Mother 1 GBA. At Route 9, outside the Department Store are NPC trainers on motorcycles that ride around. If you run (or even just stand still and hold the run button), they will speed up along with you.

It’s a bug and I’m pretty sure they didn’t have it in mind, but the first thing I did think of was the EB0 run bug :^D

LakituAl said on Nov. 16, 2011


Oh yeah, I remember some time they even mentioned Excadrill, right?

Oh great, you linked me to TV Tropes, there goes my day…

RadicOmega said on Nov. 16, 2011

@TMW yeah it does. I included it but it didnt reach this post

Mr. Tenda said on Nov. 16, 2011

The backstory of Pokemon B/W and the plot of Mother 3 are eerily similar. Pokemon B/W’s backstory is a legend of twins who fought with each other and a legendary dragon which they both controlled. As a result of their disagreements, the dragon split into two (a light dragon and a dark dragon, aka Reshiram and Zekrom). In the end, the fight between these two opposites results in the complete destruction of the region. The similarities to Mother 3’s story should be EXTREMELY obvious. It’s almost like Pokemon is trying to be like a sequel to Mother 3 or something.

As for the music stuff, I think it can be partially attributed to the fact that Pokemon B/W references a LOT of music from other video games such as Zelda and Chrono Trigger. But yeah, the Mother 3 Love Theme is definitely played in Pokemon B/W at a very important moment in the game (when you defeat the main antagonist N iirc).

moonbound said on Nov. 16, 2011

Audino=Bushie. Both are harmless enemies that have a unique overworld appearance (Bushie needs to be checked to fight, Audino only appears in shaking grass) that will heal you instead of hurting you.

Magicxgame said on Nov. 16, 2011

Oh man, Red/Blue are filled with similarities to EB0 and EB.

First of all, here are the staff members that worked on the Pokemon series and the Mother series (found on starmen.net and Bulbapedia):
-Tsunekaz Ishihara, the producer of Pokemon RB, worked on Earthbound.
-Hirokazu Tanaka worked on the music in Mother and EarthBound.
-Hiroshi Yamauchi was Mother’s executive producer, along with Poekmon RB.
-Takashi Kawaguchi worked as the debugger (lol) in Pokemon RB and is listed under “co-ordinate” for Mother, project manager for EarthBound.
-Hiroyuki Jinnai worked as the scenario writer for EarthBound and Pokemon RB.
-Tsunekaz Ishihara was the line producer for EarthBound and a debugger (lol) for Pokemon RB.

Now, the similarities:
-Mewtwo and Giegue are extremely similar. Both have psychic powers; both have similar appearances; both are fought in caves at the end of the game; etc.
-Ness and Pokey’s relationship is similar to Red (the player) and Blue(the rival)’s, as the rivals are both obnoxious next-door neighbors that you end up fighting at the end of the game.
-Red’s sprite is similar to Ness/Ninten’s.
-The Safari Zone warden loses his dentures, while there’s an old man in EB0 that also loses his dentures.
-Like the Mother games,Pokemon Red/Blue took place in a fairly modern setting, which IIRC was still unusual back in 1996 (when they were first released in Japan)

Finally, in Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver, Blue’s attire is similar to the Masked Man’s.

Some of the big-shots at Game Freak show up at the Pokemon World Championships, so someone needs to ask them about the similarities at 2012 Worlds.

RandomGuardian said on Nov. 16, 2011

I thought it was common knowledge that MOTHER development members went on to do pokemon but oh well.

BTW come on mato! I still see high schoolers playing pokemon gold! I still don’t understand why you think your old. (besides the Saved by the bell thing. I looked it up. That stuffs old)

Poe said on Nov. 16, 2011

I dunno, a lot of people around my age don’t much like any of the Pokemon beyond #151. I still play the new Pokemon games at age 27, but the first 151 will still be the only TRUE Pokemon to me. Dunno why I feel that way.

RandomGuardian said on Nov. 16, 2011

Because it’s easier to catch 151 instead of over 400-something XD
Also you didn’t mention N’s farewell song? I thought the simularity of that and M3s love song was the best proof.

PKJohnny said on Nov. 16, 2011

Very interesting, I didn’t notice it when I first played Pokemon White. I think its just a coincidence. All though N’s theme does sound like the Love theme in mother 3 so I could be wrong. :/

DD said on Nov. 16, 2011

@MagicxGame: I had no idea about Blue’s outfit similarity in HeartGold and SoulSilver. That’s an interesting tidbit. Maybe I now have an excuse to go out and buy a copy. I also forgot about the warden guy losing his dentures.

I still have my old copy of red. It’s too bad the batteries died. It would be nice if Nintendo released the original on virtual console. That and the Mother series for western consumers.

Mato said on Nov. 16, 2011

Honestly, I only know Blue/Red and then Yellow. Everything after that is all a huge jumble, so I don’t even know which generation “Gold” is. The fact I haven’t kept up is what makes me feel old – it’s basically just one step above parents who call it “Pokeymans” 😛

DragonBattousai said on Nov. 16, 2011

The similarities between both series started to pop out to me when I first acquired the Bag of Dragonite in EarthBound. After that, I started seeing certain things matching up throughout my playthroughs of Pokemon.

Strawberry Tofu said on Nov. 17, 2011

I normally dislike it when I see people pointing out the most insignificant similarities to MOTHER in other media, but I’m sort of surprised that this post never mentioned that this song and MOTHER 3’s Love Theme literally have THE EXACT SAME FIRST 5 NOTES at more or less the same tempo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzKRuwKyJmY

The Joker said on Nov. 17, 2011

MOTHER/Earthbound is a really great game.

But Pokemon will ALWAYS be far more superior. Now keep your rant to yourself, guys. Y’know it’s true.

Bread said on Nov. 17, 2011

@ The Joker
I think Pokemon gets old really fast. Earthbound I could play several times. Pokemon makes lots of
games but most of them are fails. Like for example
Pokemon Diamond was not very fun. Or Black and White,
You can not catch a Pikachu. So here is what I am saying.

Pokemon is a really great game.

But Earthbound will ALWAYS be far more superior. Now keep your rant to yourself, guys. Y’know it’s true.

questionsleep said on Nov. 17, 2011

Among fans of both Pokémon and Mother, it’s generally known that Pokémon has Mother influences or vice versa. Pocket Monsters Red and Green had been in development since 1990, and finally released in 1996 in Japan. Magicxgame cited some of the things, but TL;DR the same staffs worked on each Mother game and each Pokémon game, as they overlapped development.

There may be music similarities in past games, but I noticed it on my own especially while playing Black and White, and I’ve discussed this very subject with my Pokémon friends. I hadn’t noticed the Surfing theme, but this is definitely another case. The end credits of BW, or one of the last songs, sounds like another Mother song.

Also, there was even a deleted TV Tropes page early on when BW released, which cited evidences for Black and White being Mother 4. Thankfully I saved it before it was deleted.

tapioca said on Nov. 17, 2011

wow, i’m kind of surprised nobody’s pointed this out yet. after APE disbanded, the music director involved in earthbound took some of the staff and went on to found creatures inc which is the other company behind pokemon. he later took a break from working on pokemon to do mother3. if they’re similar it’s because they have the same director.

Mato said on Nov. 17, 2011

He didn’t work on Mother 3 though, Shogo Sakai did.

platinatina said on Nov. 17, 2011

I always make it a point to nickname every Mewtwo I catch “Giegue”. 😀 There’s a bunch of similarities to the two- appearance-wise, psychic being you fight at the end of the game, and there’s an anime-only backstory for Mewtwo that’s pretty similar to Giegue’s too. (Or at least I always thought so, anyway. People’s feelings may differ.)

RadicOmega said on Nov. 17, 2011

@paltina Here are also some more exact into details with Giegue and Mewtwo;
1.) They both hate humans.
2.) They both appear at the end of the game.
3.) They both have phycic powers and come from outer space.
4.) They LOOK the same.
5.) They are both (In rivalry wiht Mew actually) The most powerful beings in the game. And can’t you here a resemblance in name? GIEGUE…MEWTWO? I might be crazy though.

SomeUser said on Nov. 17, 2011

I wonder why the Pokemon White side says “Pokemon Howaito”.
I find it weird. If I was doing that, I would just put “ワイト” (waito), not “ホワイト” (howaito).

tapioca said on Nov. 17, 2011

@mato yea wiki was lying to me on that one, haha. mother fans should really organize a cleanup of all the pages referencing mother, i’ve caught some really bad inconsistencies on it.

TomServo said on Nov. 17, 2011

Then go to WikiBound.

platinatina said on Nov. 17, 2011


Wait people actually use WikiBound!?


TomServo said on Nov. 17, 2011

Miles of SmashWiki is an admin there and EBCentral affiliated with it, thank god because EarthBound Wikia sucks. They only have so many articles because a bunch of them are pointless stubs about every single song.

Gooptek said on Nov. 17, 2011

Um, sorry, but some people here are confusing me with that talk about “EarthBound is better than Pokemon!” and vice versa. Look, for me they’re the same coolness for a number of reasons, though if you think that one is better than the other, I won’t force you to change your mind. Also, Mato, when do I use “-sama” in japanese! (Sorry for not placing a question mark there, my keyboard just won’t type it!). Also, Valiant Dreamer, you may be talking about Drilbur (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Drilbur) and the Mischievous Mole (http://wikibound.info/Mischievous_Mole).

platinatina said on Nov. 17, 2011

@TomServo I’m the Editor-in-Chief of there, hahah. It always makes me die a little inside when people link to EB Wikia. 8(

TomServo said on Nov. 17, 2011

Well, they were first. But yeah, it is sad…

TomServo said on Nov. 17, 2011

Oh so you must be Tina right?

DD said on Nov. 17, 2011

Honestly I love both Pocket Monsters and the Mother series. I just never played beyond the ruby/sapphire games.

I don’t know if others are on the same boat, but I never really liked most of the spin off games besides Stadium and Mystery Dungeon. It would be great if Creatures and Game Freak took a break from making Pokemon spin offs for a while, so they can develop new original games.

Back to the Mother series. I really had no idea about all these interesting similarities. I never really knew much about this besides Mewtwo, and the fact that some of the developers from Mother also worked on the Pokemon series.

Christina said on Nov. 18, 2011

The part at :25 and 1:35? I think it’s a fairly commonplace note sequence. Check out the chorus at 1:08 this character song from the anime Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which was the first thing I thought of upon hearing both of those. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrBFSVOeKeE

I know it’s a sequence I’ve heard other places as well.

That One Guy said on Nov. 18, 2011

I also see a similarity between Pokemon Black/White and Mother 3 with Team Plasma. They’re a lot like Porky’s minions, since Team Plasma goes around preaching about what’s best for Pokemon is for them to be released, which is very similar to how the Porky’s minions went around preaching what’s best for people to be “happy”.

FuzzyPicklez said on Nov. 18, 2011

Perhaps we didn’t see so much of a MOTHER influence last generation because all the Diamond and Pearl development was taking place at the same time as MOTHER 3’s. Then, maybe when they moved on to work on Black and White, which was supposed to have that American and urban feel, and a lot better plot than the last games, they couldn’t resist making homages to their beloved MOTHER 3.

PlooKon09 said on Nov. 18, 2011

We Mother fans seem to find cameos and references everywhere 🙂

Matteomax said on Nov. 19, 2011

I was once completley addicted to Pokemon when I was 8, but now that I’m a teen, I dont play it at all anymore,and instead, I play EarthBound, and other SNES and NES games now..

( BTW, I really think Pokemon is a huge ripoff of Eathbound…)

OctobotFire said on Nov. 19, 2011

That reminds me. Yesterday I brought my Mother 3 perfect guide (in Japanese, grumble) tip school. Good lord, nobody could read it and everyone was like “is this Pokemon?” and I had to point at the big silver leaders that says Mother 3.

OctobotFire said on Nov. 19, 2011

I ment “letters”, not “leaders”

Karadom said on Nov. 20, 2011

There is a ton of musical references from other games in Black and White. It’s awesome.
And quite ironic. EarthBound is famous for having songs inspired by other music, and now this game has music inspired by EarthBound.

Durandal said on Nov. 20, 2011

Yeah some of the people who worked on Earthbound went on to design Blue/Red:


I also remember reading somewhere that the development team behind Red/Blue (or Red/Green..whatever) was inspired by Earthbound. They do certainly look similar. When I was a kid and I introduced friends to Earthbound back in the late 90’s, they even commented that it looked like Pokemon.

And I played up to Gold and Silver but still, it’s just 151 pokemon for me :p

Dosei-san said on Nov. 20, 2011

well also the post from a while ago with pigmasks in the dsi ware game a kappas trail

Anonymous said on Nov. 22, 2011

From what I heard, APE simply changed its name to Creatures. Hip Tanaka actually left Nintendo to work with Pokemon: he was briefly working with the music of the anime and ended up enjoying himself better there.

RadicOmega said on Nov. 22, 2011

@Anonymous, I don’t understand how he quit Nintendo to work on Pokemon. Game Freak is apart of Nintendo, Like ape, they make games for them. If Game Freak wasn’t apart of Nintendo they’d be sued for stealing there music. And btw, game freak has big bucks, so if what you are saying is true, Game Freak is screwed.

Anonymous said on Nov. 22, 2011

Yes, “N’s Farewell” is heavily incorporates a letter theme as well as the love theme.
Route 10 (Unova) has elements of “Run, My Dog, Run”.

RadicOmega said on Nov. 22, 2011

@Anonymous, Do you also hear Fourside in Nimbasa city?

EmotionlessCyborg said on Nov. 23, 2011

People, we’re not supposed to fight over wich game is better, we’re talking about the coincidences between the games. What about N’s room? Shit’s creepy in there. It reminds me of Porky’s room in Chapter 5.

RadicOmega said on Nov. 23, 2011

You know what I just noticed? Team Plazma is basically the Pig Mask army! Pig Masks whant to spread Happy Happyism (All over again) and Team Plazma goes around telling people to stop ising Pokemon. And at the end of MOTHER 3, you face Porky the leader of the pigmask army. And then you fight his top general/commander. In POKEMON, You face N, and then you go on and face the top sage.

RadicOmega said on Nov. 23, 2011

Tina, everyone uses WikiBound. It has tons of information on MOTHER and stuff on theories. Befor I knew a out this site I always went on WikiBound. I still do to!

TomServo said on Nov. 23, 2011

Sadly, more people use EarthBound Wikia

RadicOmega said on Nov. 23, 2011

@TomServo wow that’s surprising even though

TomServo said on Nov. 23, 2011

Not really, EarthBound Wiki came first and thus dominates the search results, while WikiBound is less than 2 years old (It’s part NIWA a alliance of independent Nintendo wikis). Tacopill, part of NIWA if I’m correct made a topic on starmen about affiliation with WikiBound, but it was locked. However, as you can see, WikiBound did manage to affiliate with good ol’ EarthBound Central.

RadicOmega said on Nov. 23, 2011

@TomServo I owe one to Tina, WikiBound us a big reason on how I’m a EarthBound fan. And is why I remain loyal to this site and WikiBound. I am not
So much on track with STARMEN.NET. Unless of course the projects, I check Into thoughes.

johnr754 said on Nov. 24, 2011

I don’t know if this is a concidence or just something the writers though of, but the first movie was called Mewtwo Strikes Back. Mother 2 was called Gyiyg Strikes Back. Hmm…..

black6 said on Nov. 24, 2011

Ahahahaha, this reminds me of the time when Serebii flipped his shit on a Starmen.net thread on this exact topic, going on about how POKéMON ISNT STEALING FROM EARTHBOUND YOURE ALL HORRIBLE PEOPLE UNTIL NEXT TIME SEE YA etc etc

Good times.

Also, as much as I love both series to death, anyone who considers Pokémon in any way superior to MOTHER should probably seek help for their ADD or something.

Anonymous said on Nov. 25, 2011

johnr754 they were both taken from star wars: the empire strikes back…

johnr754 said on Nov. 26, 2011

@Anonymous Oh… Okay then. But most of Mewtwo’s behavior and stuff like that (Ambertwo’s death) seemed to be simliar to MOTHER 1.

RadicOmega said on Nov. 26, 2011

@Anonymous, It might be a mear coinsidence. But knowing Itoi and the refrences, it was probobly meant like that.

OH BABY!! said on Nov. 30, 2011


Durandal said on Nov. 30, 2011

All this talk of Pokemon brings me back. I can still remember the time when I collected Pokemon cards and went apeshit to go see the movies in theaters…

Mr.Fobby said on Dec. 12, 2011

i use to be a huge pokemon fan cards, anime, games,
books, i loved itbut then came a long pwnd pokemon

Mr.Fobby said on Dec. 12, 2011

@my typo earthbound came long and pwned

Nostnostnost said on Dec. 17, 2011

Kouichi Ooyama worked on Earthbound as a art director, graphic designer & game desigener. He later worked for media factory and was one of the original designers of the pokemon trading card game.


Anonymous said on Dec. 24, 2011

I saw an early poster of Pokemon with the APE Inc. logo on it, but I can’t seem to find it.

TehStarman said on Dec. 29, 2011

On the subject of EarthBound Wiki and WikiBound, I personally prefer the latter over the former, the only advantage the former has is their M3 enemy list (complete with the MODIFIERS FOR THE ENCOUNTER CODES), and some backsprites.

“This wiki stinks”? Yep, sure does. :p

Opinionated said on May. 31, 2012

The bump noise in Mother 3 is the same one in the DS Pokemon games.

Digsu said on Jun. 6, 2012

Just an amusing coincidence, but in FireRed/LeafGreen there’s a Burglar named Dusty in Cinnabar Gym. I can’t be the only one who’s reminded of a certain Mother 3 character with a very similar profession and name…

MotherFan said on Dec. 2, 2012

They are both RPG’s. xD

Kraken of the sea said on Dec. 23, 2012

Also Clefairy’s japanase name is Pippi

Bob0mb said on Mar. 3, 2013

you can tell me that I have bad hearing, but I just can’t hear the resemblance.

Nintendofan146 said on Aug. 27, 2013

Drilbur is literally a redesign of a MOTHER 3 enemy. Route 10 is also Run, My Dog, Run!

Starmannn said on Feb. 15, 2014

The hotel theme reminds me of the song from pokemon hg and ss (especialy the hotel x remix)


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