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February 20th, 2012 | Images, MOTHER 1, Uncommon Knowledge

After my update yesterday about the EarthBound Zero Map Viewer, H.S quickly discovered that the path leading up to Mt. Itoi is different in MOTHER 1 and EarthBound Zero. The EarthBound Zero version was greatly simplified so the player couldn’t get lost. The MOTHER 1 version was made TO get lost – so essentially an entire challenging part of the game was taken out:

MOTHER 1 Path:

EarthBound Zero / MOTHER 1+2 Path:

This wasn’t the only map simplification in the game though – the underground cave in Magicant also got made easier, as seen here.

I think these changes are interesting, but I wonder what spurred these specific changes on. Were they complaints from Japanese players, or complaints from play testers of the English version? And I wonder if anything else on the map was changed too…


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17 Comments to Pre-Mt. Itoi Path Differences

Mill said on Feb. 20, 2012

I like how you can still see remnants of the old path at the bottom.

Satsy said on Feb. 20, 2012

The Magicant one I got to see for myself at long last and I have to wonder: “Why did they do that?” From a game design perspective not throwing all the later-level stuff on the same path as the early-game paths (such as the dragon, and IIRC, Teddy’s weapon) means you can explore it much clearer later, when you’re meant to.

I mean there’s simplifying the game and then there’s poor design. Frankly I do think several aspects of the EB0 version fall under the latter.

Poe said on Feb. 20, 2012

Huh. So since the M1 port on GBA uses EB Zero’s maps and censored sprites, does that mean the path is easier in the GBA port too?

man said on Feb. 20, 2012

I’m wondering if you could just get the PNG of the EB0 map and a PNG of the Mother map and overlay them on top of each other to directly compare what’s changed.

Or maybe – stick it on Google Earth!

Mato said on Feb. 20, 2012

We already have a full PNG of the EB Zero map, we’d just need one for Mother 1. But I don’t have the time to piece such a humongous image together.

I’d also love to get one from Mother 1+2 just to see if anything else got tweaked. It should actually be relatively simple to copy all the map data over so the map viewer can check it out. But then there’s the problem with making the giant png again 😛

Dosei-San said on Feb. 20, 2012

Has anyone else had a idea for a Earthbound Central Facebook page?

Jason said on Feb. 20, 2012

That looks painful…

Mato said on Feb. 20, 2012

Dosei-San: Yes, I’ve been thinking about it for a while now: https://www.facebook.com/pages/EarthBound-Central/160701307380204?sk=wall

kenisu said on Feb. 20, 2012

@ Poe:


Interesting update BTW, just like with the Magicant sewers being different (and giving off more presence of, y’know, WATER)… I sort of feel a tiny bit betrayed that my mind’s vision of the Mt. Itoi path from ground level is technically “wrong”.

Neko Knight said on Feb. 20, 2012

The complex designs of MOTHER give the game a certain consistency that Earthbound Zero lacks because of the simplifications, especially in the later parts of the game. But that’s just my opinion, though. I would like to play an english translation of the original famicom version of MOTHER. Heck, if I knew how to ROM hack, I would translate it myself. It’s only kana after all!

DD said on Feb. 20, 2012

What an interesting post. I didn’t know that M1+2 used Earthbound Zero’s edited maps.

DJMankiewicz said on Feb. 20, 2012

Gameplay issues aside (I prefer the former but can see the point in lowering random encounters, always an annoyance), I must say the original looks a lot nicer. For one, there’s huge parts of the map the player just won’t even get to see and appreciate. The original map had a lot of attention to detail that’s lost in the simplified version, which appears too “gamelike”.

That said, getting “lost” isn’t much of an issue except for all those random encounters. Mato’s “easy ring” goes a long way towards helping with that, but ideally any future remake would change the entire encounter system to something like Earthbound.

That’s probably the most exciting part of the Earthbound conversion right there. Updated graphics and sound are a small part compared to that. It’s a lot like those fan made King’s Quest remakes. The graphics and sound (and addition of voice acting) are one part of it, but the biggest change is the reworking of the entire interface from text based to cursor based.

BOX said on Feb. 21, 2012

The path through Mt. Itoi is more complicated in the Famicom version, but if I recall correctly there are also some event differences.

Specifically, in the FC version, when you are done with the last song in Magicant, you are teleported to the TOP of the mountain. So, if you save in Magicant right before that event, you never have to scale the mountain (because you get EVE without going very far, and if I remember correctly EVE actually teleports you to Magicant when she is defeated and you get her song).

Then, in EB0 and/or GBA version of Mother, I believe you actually have to scale the mountain, find the tombstone at the top, and THEN you get the last song.

I’m actually going to try these things out when I get home today, but hopefully my memory has served me well enough.

Mato said on Feb. 21, 2012

In EB0/M1+2 I think you can use the Memory Chip to teleport straight to EVE’s remains. I’ve never played the FC version that far so I don’t know what happens there, though.

mudkipNDS said on Feb. 21, 2012

Do I see a question mark in that grove of trees in the MOTHER 1 screenshot? 😀 Clever… something you wouldn’t see unless you viewed the whole map 😉

Pik said on Feb. 21, 2012

There’s also a question mark on Ninten’s face.


dwiese1998 said on Mar. 1, 2012

Ugh I hate eb0 maps… too many hills
its annoying to make remake maps
btw Im working on the residential sections of spookane in the eb0 remake hack


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