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Tips for Buying EarthBound

November 5th, 2012 | EarthBound, Misc., MOTHER 1, MOTHER 3

Many years ago I put together a big section that compared EarthBound and MOTHER 2 (see here) and showed how things were changed in the localization, why they were changed, and how it improved (or not) over the original. More recently, I started comparing other games this way, which you can see here.

I was thinking recently how it’d be neat to make these into actual books too – for example, I’d love to take my EarthBound comparison stuff, expand upon it, and sell it as a physical book, along with a PDF that’d be updated if anything needs to be fixed. I could also do the same for other games, including MOTHER 1 and MOTHER 3 – in fact, a MOTHER 3 one would be a great way for me to finally do those translation notes 😛 And of course I plan to look at other games too, as I already have.

So it’d basically be like this:

  • For each game I compare, there’d be a free online website version, just like what I have on my Legends of Localization site
  • A physical book with more info and more content would also be available to buy
  • The book would also come with access to a PDF file that’d be updated should I need to make any changes or update/add more stuff
  • Each book would feature a different game, obviously being a huge EarthBound fan I’d probably make one for each game
  • I’d consider including bonuses sort of like how Fangamer had the bonus keychains/poster with the Mother 3 handbook
  • Purchasers could possibly vote on which game to look at next

In any case, I do think I’ll at least print up some books for my own personal library no matter what, but how interesting does this sound to you? Let me know in the comments and in the poll.

POLL: Would you be interested in books that compared game localizations, similar to my EarthBound/MOTHER 2 comparison site?

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47 Comments to Localization Comparison Stuff

Anonymous said on Nov. 5, 2012

I like the idea, a book like that would be great to read in segments (maybe even as a toilet book?) but you really need to look at all the legal stuff beforehand

bahooney said on Nov. 5, 2012

I think this is wonderful, I’m a huge fan of Legends of Localization. Take my money, mato!

nintendofreak said on Nov. 5, 2012

“id buy that for a dollar”
but seriously, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

The Great Morgil said on Nov. 5, 2012

I wholeheartedly endorse this. I would buy each book the moment they become available.

BTW, would you be using my logo i made for you with these? If you do, I’m totally okay with it. I don’t need any compensation or anything; just a simple acknowledgement in the books’ notes or whatever is all.

gBev said on Nov. 5, 2012

This sounds pretty cool, I’d definitely be interested. Especially the part about the Mother 3 translation notes. 😀

May said on Nov. 5, 2012

I would buy every book! I love Legends of Localization!

Moolah said on Nov. 5, 2012

Oh, ABSOLUTELY. Only if you cover Terranigma in Legends of Localization at some point though!

Seriously though, wouldn’t there be a whole truckload of legal issues?

Mato said on Nov. 5, 2012

I haven’t looked into the legal implications yet, I forget how Reid and Fangamer were able to skirt the issue, but I think it involved the fact that it was meant to be a supplement to an existing work or that it was for educational purposes, I forget. I’d definitely look more into it, consult the companies involved, and get a law-talking guy involved if I were to go forward with it. Right now I’m just seeing if there’s any interest.

HpBoost said on Nov. 5, 2012

There’s definitely some interest, but I’m not sure there is enough to justify legal and production costs. If I were rich, I’d definitely support you plenty. Hope you learn enough to make a decision soon!

Yorkshire Gold said on Nov. 5, 2012

Definitely. It’s always fascinating looking at how translations are done, especially when you’ve got a proper authority on the subject writing about it. You could probably write an entire book on the philosophy and general history behind video game translation, couldn’t you?

AdelinaX said on Nov. 5, 2012

sounds like something that is predestined for kickstarter/indiegogo

linkdude20002001 said on Nov. 5, 2012

I tham allz!! O_O

linkdude20002001 said on Nov. 5, 2012

*I want tham allz

kenisu said on Nov. 5, 2012

This would be the best book series ever. It’s wonderful to have a site to visit, but there’s a lot to be said for print, because not everyone has Internet access 24/7 (plus the computer chair at my place is rather uncomfortable when you consider long reads).

Youkai said on Nov. 5, 2012

I would absolutely love to get my hands on these if you made them.

JeffShotFirst said on Nov. 5, 2012

I’d def buy one. Or at least trade a signed banana peel for one. But seriously, I pay cash.

psei64 said on Nov. 5, 2012

I’d buy this sort of thing in a heartbeat. Here’s hoping you can skirt the legal implications though…

Anonymous said on Nov. 5, 2012

This Would be AWESOME!

Mato said on Nov. 5, 2012

The Great Morgil: Oops, forgot to reply to you – I’m actually not thinking that far ahead yet, I mostly just wanted to see if there was any interest in it. Which there seems to be – I was actually thinking the poll results would be the exact opposite of what they are. I’m gonna be too busy this month to do much planning but I’ll post more stuff on my Mato Tree site as things progress.

(smile, smile) said on Nov. 5, 2012

Considering I’ve been in love with Earthbound since it came out, I’d be allll over this. I followed your M2/EB comparison for years, too. It’s just fascinating stuff, and I’d definitely get the Mother and Mother 3 ones too if you were to release them. And I have to say it’d be awesome if there were bonuses included.

(I know you’re still working on your Final Fantasy II comparison, but I’d be interested in that as well!)

Halloween said on Nov. 5, 2012

Hmmmm the extra content sells me on it… They are really long as-is and are a good read indeed and it is kinda rough reading it all on the computer screen. This might be a good idea.

MrKoopan said on Nov. 5, 2012

that sounds really cool, and I love me some extra stuff!

awsomegamerguy said on Nov. 5, 2012

i would totaly buy t if it came out

BusterTheFox said on Nov. 5, 2012

I just woke up and I haven’t even had my morning shower yet, so I’m sure I love this idea much more than I think I do right now. I love reading the LoL updates. Us Pokémon fans are still waiting for you to consult our vast knowledge to do Red and Blue (or Green, but, already we have an issue, there’s this whole weird thing going on with how they were released in both countries). Anyway, if I ever had any spare cash, I would buy one of these for sure, mostly depending upon which one has the coolest bonus content. I always like having a new video game-related poster in my room (the hardest part is finding space on the wall with the rest of ’em), so maybe a cool one of those would sell me on it. I’m cheap. ;p

Tonch said on Nov. 5, 2012

I’m absolutely interested in this (I’m also still disappointed in myself that I haven’t ordered a Mother 3 handbook yet either).

I would definitely pick up some of these (especially the Mother series books) if you made them available for order. I really love reading your comparisons and localization interests me greatly, so they’re books I’d happily add to my shelf.

NecrosaroIII said on Nov. 5, 2012

I’d buy every book you wrote, Tomato.

Kickstart this.

Apple Kid said on Nov. 5, 2012

I’d buy it. I would like to see localization changes from the 8-bit era as well. As a suggestion maybe you could localization mistakes in their own section apart from changes to keep from any mistakes made on the reader’s part. As for legal issues… there is little to nothing you can do unless your willing to take the time to license the copyrights. Good luck and if this happens I swear I will buy this faster than a cheetah on a sugar high!

Prince Mercury said on Nov. 5, 2012

It’s quite possible

Nintendork said on Nov. 5, 2012

Like others, id eventually buy it! Its really a good idea, especially with all the fan translations and stuff! I think someone said Terranigma… I would like to see that one.

Baegal said on Nov. 5, 2012

I’d love to see this!!

gwalms said on Nov. 5, 2012

Honestly I would prefer a Fangamer type guide for EB Zero / Mother similiar to the one made for Mother 3.

The Man With No Name said on Nov. 6, 2012

VERY interested

Anon said on Nov. 6, 2012

Me approves.

Earthbounder said on Nov. 6, 2012

Yup u got my money please do it

LucasTizma said on Nov. 6, 2012

I’m begging you, take my money and do this! I spend hours reading your localization pages.

Chris said on Nov. 6, 2012

I’ve read your site a long time so I would like to help support you for all of the wonderful information and constant updates for a series that is no longer being made so please let me know when your book will be available for purchase down the road, I would be honored to be one of the first preorders for it.

The Great Morgil said on Nov. 6, 2012

@ Mato: Cool, I look forward to hearing more about this in the coming months.

reidman said on Nov. 6, 2012

AFAIK: books like these would definitely be safe from a legal standpoint due to the fact that they’re basically academic explorations of a given topic. If Nintendo had released their *own* book on the same subject it could be troublesome, but obviously that’s not a concern 🙂

GBASP Blue said on Nov. 6, 2012

Hey Mato, I don’t know if you’ve seen it already or not, but i was watching Game Grumps(JonTron and Egoraptor) playing Kirby Super Star, and that reminded me of that secret in Earthbound that has Kirby in it. Well, then i saw where they had absorbed something’s power, and kirby became YoYo Kirby.And, i think you know where i’m getting here, especially since the yoyo sort of moved the same way that Ness’s yoyo moves in Brawl, and thought this might’ve been where the design came from, but i don’t know if anyone’s discussed anything about this. http://images2.fanpop.com/image/photos/10600000/Yoyo-Transforming-Kirby-kirby-super-star-ultra-10683620-1024-768.jpg (He’s even got a hat)

Furball200x said on Nov. 6, 2012

^One thing I’ve noticed about that that no one seems to realise is that Kirby absorbs a robot in a baseball cap to get that ability.
Kinda like Robot Ness at the end of EB.

Mato said on Nov. 7, 2012

Okay, so the general feedback’s been much better than I expected, so I’ll start doing some early planning on this later this month/early next month. I guess the big question will be what game to do first, I’m guessing it’d be safest to start with one of the Mother games though.

Gonna try to get the ball moving again on the Final Fantasy IV comparison too, as soon as I can.

Chewy said on Nov. 10, 2012

Yeah, I can see this being a Big Deal. Honestly surprised it hasn’t been done yet, it’s such a good idea. 😀 Go Mato go!♪

Nat said on Nov. 18, 2012

I’d love to see you do something with this. Though I do feel that it’d lose a bit of charm without the alt-text on every image.

Mrs. Saturn said on Nov. 18, 2012

I would definitely pay for a book like this. Even for games that I had never played (like Zelda and Final Fantasy II) I was still totally fascinated by the translation differences and localization process.

Rui said on Feb. 10, 2013

Kickstart it!

G.Wicks said on Mar. 29, 2013

I know this thread is a little old but I just found it. Anyway, I would LOVE to have your comparisons in book form. Perfect for coffee tables, great for a quick read, ideal for reading along with the games. Take my money too!


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