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February 19th, 2012 | MOTHER 1

Yesterday I got an e-mail from H.S (the awesome guy doing a lot of EarthBound Zero remake hack stuff):

I had a question about something. In this page on Earthbound Central, you had a map of the Magicant caves from the Famicom version of Mother 1. I was wondering if you knew where to get some other maps from Mother 1, that were changed in EarthBoung Zero and the Mother 1+2 port. Specifically, I was curious to see a map of the original version of the base of Holy Loly Mountain. I played through the Famicom version of Mother 1 a few years ago and seem to recall that that area was different. Before I start to work on the map of that area for the EB0 Remake, I wanted to see the Famicom version of that map, to use as a reference while making the new map.

So, I guess my question would be, is there a Japanese site or something that would have these maps?

I would’ve sent a personal reply but every so often I get a question about EarthBound Zero maps, so I’ll post this here.

Back in 2006, when a bunch of us Starmen.Net folks started putting together the EarthBound Zero walkthrough, a cool hacker by the name of Goplat made a map viewer for EarthBound Zero. Not many people know about it, so here it is:

Why use a map viewer instead of just dumping it all into a giant .png file? The EarthBound Zero map is 16384 x 14384 and even in super-compressed PNG form it comes out to 6.6 MB (you can get it here). That was enough to stop a lot of our computers in their tracks back then, so this program helped save the day.

Anyway, the above program is meant for Windows systems, and you’ll probably need to run it from the command line, ala:

mapview “earthbound zero.nes”

You might be able to drag the ROM icon onto the program to make it work, I dunno. Also, the program comes as-is so use it at your own risk. I personally haven’t had any trouble with it, though.

What’s interesting is that I’m pretty certain this program can be used with the Japanese MOTHER 1 ROM too. Or at least I got it to work somehow, which is how I produced those Magicant comparison images. So using this, you can look through the maps in both versions to see what other map changes might’ve been made between MOTHER 1 and EarthBound Zero!

If anyone finds any other differences besides those Magicant caverns, let me know!


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25 Comments to EarthBound Zero Map Viewer

METC said on Feb. 19, 2012

Couldn’t find it elsewhere so I added it to the section

Mato said on Feb. 19, 2012

Glad to see you’re on top of this stuff 😛

The only way you’d find it otherwise is if you dug in the old walkthrough construction board, which I don’t think anyone does (or can do). So it was nearly lost to the dust of time!

H.S said on Feb. 19, 2012

Nice, thanks for this! This should help out a lot.

Satsy said on Feb. 19, 2012

Haha funny this shows up as I organize my own rips of the insides of buildings into outside-map locations. 😉 This could be helpful!

Won’t stop me going along with the ROM, though — I’m gonna have a lark running around the zoo with Pippi, Loid and Ana when I get her. 😛

Kasumi said on Feb. 19, 2012

“EarthBoung Zero and the Mother 1+2 port”

It should be EarthBound.

H.S said on Feb. 19, 2012

It does indeed work with the Japanese rom. I’ve already gone in and made comparison images of the mountain base area.

Mother 1:

EarthBound Zero:

So, just as I had heard before, the path was just simplified in EB0.

Mato said on Feb. 19, 2012

Ha, that’s really cool! I wonder what else got changed.

EBfan said on Feb. 19, 2012

When I clicked to open the .exe map viewer my virus protection flashed a warning that it was a trojan dropper.

Poe said on Feb. 19, 2012

Which anti-virus program do you use?

EBfan said on Feb. 19, 2012

this was using pro version of mwarebytes. I’ve had good luck with it in the past. Not sure what to think!

Darien said on Feb. 19, 2012

Just scanned it with AVG; says it’s clean. For what that’s worth.

blan said on Feb. 19, 2012

it’s a false positive, just scanned it with mbam and got the same result but scans with avast and avg are both clean

that’s just how it is with .exe files sometimes

Earthbound_X said on Feb. 19, 2012

6.6 MBs used to stop computers in their tracks?

What time period are you referring to?

Even on dialup, that wouldn’t take forever.

Or is there something I’m not getting?

Mato said on Feb. 19, 2012

Downloading it isn’t the issue. The issue is that opening a png file that size requires a ton of memory and CPU power.

Crav said on Feb. 19, 2012

Huh, I can’t believe I never thought to ask you this until now.
I’ve been playing through the game to make a list of possible enemy groups to help with with the remake project, along with possible actions each enemy can take.

I’ve found some mostly complete lists of the actions, but has a list of enemy groups ever been made before? Even though I’m pretty far into the game, it would still save me a lot of time if something like that already existed.

Mato said on Feb. 19, 2012

I personally don’t know where to find a dump of that info, but I do know that most of the data *about* it has been documented on Data Crystal: http://datacrystal.romhacking.net/wiki/EarthBound_Zero:ROM_map

I honestly don’t know what to make of the enemy groups info, but it’s all laid out there if someone wants to try dumping it for you.

RandomGuardian said on Feb. 19, 2012

Duncan’s Factory: We’re bigger than an effing desert!

Crav said on Feb. 20, 2012

Many thanks Mato.

SamuelTurn said on Feb. 20, 2012

What are all those grey areas w/ white polka dots in them? And the same with the areas with glitched up towns?

man said on Feb. 20, 2012

God one of the things that utterly shocks me about M1 was the amount of STUFF there is in it. A rather, a total absense of stuff. Why is there so much land, and why does so much of it leads in circles, to nothing?

Can’t help but think that Itoi had greater plans for the game, but judging by how they admittedly rushed HL Mountain, they didn’t have time to do much more stuff.

Or perhaps they ran out of space on the cart. Does anyone know if there was much space left spare on the original Mother cart, or if it was nearly all used up?

Crav said on Feb. 20, 2012

SamuelTurn: That’s all leftover map space that wasn’t used in the actual game. As for why it has glitchy graphics, who knows? Possibly leftovers from when they organised the map and just didn’t bother cleaning it up because nobody would ever see it.

Dialga Thunderstar said on Feb. 20, 2012

EB0 has a ton of unneeded map space compared to EB. I have to wonder: just why is there so much space?

TPP said on Feb. 21, 2012

There are so many little structures in there that have no relevance whatsoever to the game. Like the infinity symbol and peace symbols seen around the desert.

I’m just imagining some bored map layout programmer in 1988 or 1989 in some cramped room at Nintendo just goofing around with the program while waiting for the map designer to tell him what to do.

Gives the whole game a kind of grounded reality that I find interesting for some reason.

KingOfSwords said on Feb. 23, 2012

I feel like getting EB0 out again and just spending a few days exploring the world.

Douglas said on Mar. 10, 2012

A thing that fascinates me with both MOTHER and EarthBound is how the game’s entire set of maps was arrayed like this, as one contiguous whole, and I find myself quite surprised that the Famicom/NES could even handle something of that size. To my knowledge it doesn’t seem like a thing that happens much if at all, and for a very good reason judging by the sheer filesizes.


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