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Tips for Buying EarthBound

August 3rd, 2012 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge, Videos

A few years ago I made a video about how to skip the Starman Junior at the start of EarthBound. Apparently I never shared it on EarthBound Central, so here it is!

Basically, you have an enemy follow you up to the top of the hillside, making sure that it’s still on-screen during the whole scene where you find Picky and Buzz Buzz. Afterward, you let that enemy kill you. You’ll be taken back to your house with Picky and Pokey still in your party! This way you can skip the battle with Starman Junior, which is normally an unavoidable, un-losable battle.

If you’re really brave, you can use this to try to beat Frank at Level 1 – but you’ll probably just end up punching lots of holes in your wall out of frustration.


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11 Comments to Skipping Starman Junior

LucasPSI said on Aug. 3, 2012

Wasn’t this posted before?

Mato said on Aug. 3, 2012

I checked around but couldn’t find it on here. I made the video before I started EB Central though.

Someone said on Aug. 3, 2012

Wouldn’t that Yesmanjr level you up before you hit Frank and the MkII?

Tobias said on Aug. 3, 2012

I wonder what would happen if you went there after you lost buzz buzz, would the game bug up (pun not intended), or just give an absent buzz buzz some dialogue?

Madotsuki said on Aug. 3, 2012


In the tool-assisted speedrun world, there’s also a way to skip the Starman Jr. by “stutter-stepping” – at least as the TAS for EarthBound has written: http://tasvideos.org/2200S.html

” You can ignore some of hotspots by releasing the arrow key periodically. In the early part of the run, Ness skips Starman Junior battle. This is one of major use of stutter-stepping. The pattern to perform the skip is to press arrow key in one frame, then release it in one frame, and repeat. ”

I don’t imagine this is very feasible playing realtime, though!

Mato said on Aug. 3, 2012

Someone: You can run away from those Shark fights, you don’t have to beat them. Granted, trying to run away at such a low level is probably headache-inducing enough 😛

Tobias: I don’t remember but I’m fairly certain that the event won’t happen after you lose Buzz Buzz.

Anonymous said on Aug. 3, 2012

Can you also run away from the Shark that is blocking the doorway to the boss fight?

Mato said on Aug. 3, 2012

Yeah, I’m almost certain you can.

HexploringUser said on Aug. 4, 2012

If Ness goes to the spot where he fights Starman Junior after losing Buzz Buzz and acquiring the Sound Stone, Starman Junior will not appear.

However, it is already daylight by the time Ness reaches that spot. So, I tried an experiment:

Buzz Buzz’s presence in the party is controlled by event flag 0x0012 (18 in decimal). If this flag is turned on by custom text, Buzz Buzz will join the party and be available in battles (to make him appear on the map, just go through a door after turning on the flag). To remove Buzz Buzz from the party, simple turn off event flag 0x0012 (18 in decimal).

I do not think the Debug Menu in the unmodified ROM has the ability to turn on and off flags so you will need to add that functionality somehow. The control code to turn on Buzz Buzz’s flag is [04 12 00]. In CCScript, you can use “set(0x12)” or “set(18)”. To turn off a flag, use [05 12 00], or for CCScript, “unset(0x12)” or “unset(18)”.

After adding the code to remove Buzz Buzz, I did the following:

1. Get Picky and Buzz Buzz at the meteorite.

2. Remove Buzz Buzz by turning off event flag 0x0012 (18 in decimal).

3. Enter and leave a house to make Buzz Buzz’s sprite disappear. You may either use the trick described in this article or use the walk through walls code. Do not talk to Aloysius yet! That action will give Ness the Sound Stone and turn night into day.

4. Return to the spot where Ness usually fights Starman Junior.

When I did this, Starman Junior still appeared! Buzz Buzz talked even though he was not in the party, and I entered the battle without any glitches.

Because I had removed Buzz Buzz from the party, he could not cast PSI Shield Σ, so Ness was defenseless against Starman Junior. When he casted PK Fire β on Ness, Ness took 181 damage, more than enough to knock him out at such a low level.

BusterTheFox said on Aug. 5, 2012

Lol, just messing with it to see what happens. Know what would be a cool hack to play? One where Buzz Buzz gets to stay in your party through the whole thing. Just change his dying text so that he doesn’t actually die and then he comes with you. xD Heck, I could probably make that using the info above! Even though I’ve never tried PK Hack before.

More in context, I remember stumbling across this video somewhere long ago. I can never get it to work, though, because enemies are faster than you most of the time… It’s tough to get them stuck as perfectly as you did.

Herobrine said on Aug. 9, 2012

I punched a hole in a house out of frustration.


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