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Tips for Buying EarthBound

November 25th, 2012 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

So by now you know that EarthBound has various layers of copy protection, one of which is that it will spawn lots of enemies throughout the game. Years ago, a cheat code was created that allows players to experience the game with just this one aspect activated – see here.

Well, MCsq2 recently tried playing through the game with this code on and reported the results:

I’ve only played up till the Dept. Store Spook, but noticed some very interesting things along my way of playing…

  • After beating Frank, the Sharks disappear, but a huge flock of Spiteful Crows take its place.
  • Enemy spawn rates, especially in Twoson and Peaceful Rest Valley, are increased to a ridiculous degree – it took me over 20 tries just to cross Peaceful Rest Valley. =.=
  • After beating Mr. Carpainter, the Insane Cultists remain, but their out-of-battle sprites turn green.
  • The cave that leads to Paula’s cabin seems to spawn Insane Cultists it seems. This persists even after Mr. Carpainter is defeated. Oddly enough, the ones in the cave retain their blue out-of-battle sprites.
  • Although mentioned on the site, I’ve personally never seen a Mad Duck in Saturn Valley in any of my playthroughs. But for some reason the game decides to spawn one nearly every time when I enter Saturn Valley.
  • For some reason, in most dungeons the spawn rate is only very slightly more frequent (or in some cases, the same) from the original game. This is very noticeable in the gold mine with the 5 moles. Perhaps monsters were only meant to spawn in certain quantities in these areas?
  • The enemies from the Fourside Dept. Store appear before the blackout, and remain after the blackout.

Now, here’s a very interesting glitch I’ve just encountered at the Dept. Store Spook… the screenshots show this nicely, but I thought it was pretty cool. (The game actually froze the first time I tried to enter the area )

The Spiteful Crows that appeared in there had very messed up backgrounds, possibly because it wasn’t meant to appear there. They fought in groups of threes.

Not sure why there were Ness sprites all over the room. When I touched one, it gave me a boss battle swirl and it even changed color depending on my position at the time! For obvious reasons, these “battles” gave me 0 xp each. When I purposely got a red swirl on these things (they only run from you, by the way), the game froze. Interesting, eh?

Anyone else played through the game with this cheat code? If so, noticed anything else that felt odd?

EDIT: Apparently this code also causes after-zombie Threed to freeze… as I learned when trying to reach the crashed Sky Runner.

This is really interesting info, and it sounds like there might’ve been a few other parts in the game that would’ve locked the game up, not just the final battle with Giygas. Someday I’d love to play through EarthBound with this code on to see all the weird stuff for myself.

You can check out the original forum post with these findings here. And if you try playing through this crazy version of the game, share your results too!


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15 Comments to EarthBound Crazy Enemies Playthrough

MrKoopan said on Nov. 25, 2012

that’s weird, all the Ness’s, I wonder why none of this has ever really gotten out there until now..

Radic said on Nov. 25, 2012

When running into HerobrineNess (yes that’s what I’m going to call him) is it possible to use another code, (walk threw walls) to get into the room and challenge them at a lower level, activating a battle? Or is it an automatic win no matter what?

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Nov. 25, 2012

I was using PK Hack’s map feature to see enemy formations. I saved the ROM with that window open and next thing I saw, I got a billion Nesses chasing after me on the path to PRV east of Twoson, each of them getting nuked instantly no matter what swirl.

Then I fought a Conducting Menace in the cave to PRV…

(Yes, I know PK Hack’s map feature fcks up your ROM. Don’t tell me.)

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Nov. 25, 2012

Oh, and one more thing I just thought of…

Those Nesses may actually be enemy #0 in the ROM (in other words, the blank filler space). So they will die no matter what.

PSIcicle said on Nov. 25, 2012

With so many Ness clones, Giygas will surely lose!

Xi said on Nov. 25, 2012

I played through the game with Hard mode on recently. An interesting glitch that starts occurring later on in the game is whenever you teleport somewhere, Paula turns into an object from that town. This could be an NPC, or an inanimate object such as a lamppost.

Also, if you decide to play through the game yourself, you need to be sure to keep multiple save states running, as the game gives absolutely no warning as to when it might lock up. There are some areas of the game which are “freeze zones” where the game will lock up without warning. Threed during the daytime is the best example of this. (Also, if you teleport to daytime Threed, it will permanently mess up your menu boxes).

Xi said on Nov. 25, 2012

Specifically to due with the army of Ness’s spawning, I have seen this happen in three areas of the game: In the excavation in Dusty Dunes Desert at the bottom right of the map after you beat all 5 moles, the “zoo” floor of the Dungeon man, and by the Dept. Store Spook. It should be noted that Ness is not the only army of boss’s that appear in that room. You can get an army of walking mushrooms, an army of slugs, or, on rare occasions, an army of EYES (It uses the sprite of one of the Boogey Tent’s eyes). If you defeat these enemies, some of them (like Ness) give you 0 exp but a lot of money in the bank, some of them (like the slugs) give you an unholy amount of experience that will get you up to level 99 before you leave the room!

XavandSo said on Nov. 26, 2012

I’m surprised there’s still things being found about the strange copy protection of EB, let alone things being found in EB alone.

Also; I recently accquired a copy of Mother 2 and there seems to be much more enemies than my emulated playthrough of EB, specifically in Peaceful Rest Valley, though I don’t believe it is a pirated since there is no errors, such as Spiteful Crows after Frank. I was wondering if this is just how M2 is played or my cart is broken. Plus I’m playing on a Retro Duo Mk. 3 system, if that has anything to do with it.

Buster The Fox said on Nov. 26, 2012

I should do an LP of this mode sometime… Although, I’m sure I could find one if I just looked. But if not, I’ll make one… But not for a while, since my computer hates recording… >.>

Mato said on Nov. 26, 2012

XavandSo: PRV always has lots of enemies. There are other places that tend to have lots of enemies too, so it’s often that players think it has to do with the piracy detection stuff. Here are some handy links if you ever think that the piracy stuff has been triggered:



The Great Morgil said on Nov. 26, 2012

Is there any pics of the green cultists?

BB Gang Zombie said on Nov. 26, 2012

I seem to recall seeing one on this site somewhere before, but my memory might be foggy.

For anyone who doesn’t know why this happens, the cultists are only green because they take the palette from the map, rather than the standard sprite palettes. (since Happy Happy village is blue, this works for the cultists, but not many other enemies) When the map palette changes, so does the cultists’ palette, so it’s more an effect of the map change than the code itself.

Anyway, EarthBound’s antipiracy is still interesting to this day. When the game has absolutely nothing left to throw at you, it throws blank enemies… I wonder what specifically they chose to make these “freeze zones,” though, because they obviously avidly picked spots that would be very inconvenient. (Giygas battle, Threed right before you need the Sky Runner…)I think it’s sorta interesting they’d go to such lengths to pick these spots.

MCsq2 said on Nov. 27, 2012

Important to note, this code does not freeze your game during the final battle with Giygas.

However, it DOES glitch up during daytime Threed, occasionally freeze on the Dept. Store Spook’s room, totally freeze in Dungeon Man, and occasionally Stonehenge Base after Starman DX is defeated.

I might do another playthrough with the codes and try and replicate what I got on my first playthrough, and screenshot these scenarios…

JamesBond007 said on Nov. 27, 2012

There are two codes. First one adds more enemies, second one should prevent the game from freezing with this “Hard Mode” turned on. Does it mean that the second code will only reduce the chance of freezing instead of completely eliminating it?

MCsq2 said on Nov. 28, 2012

Indeed, that playthrough was with both codes activated, and the game still froze at those select points 🙁


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