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Tips for Buying EarthBound

February 4th, 2013 | EarthBound, Videos

multicoloredyoshi posted a video of a 3D version of Ness’s house on YouTube a while back. Check it out!

I’ve always wondered where his Mom sleeps. I guess she sleeps on the couch? Or does she even sleep at all…? (insert mysterious music here)


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29 Comments to Ness’s House in 3D

Scapetti said on Feb. 4, 2013

Well, if you think about it, you don’t see every wall in Earthbound. It is very possible that there is a locked door opposite Tracy’s room 🙂

Radiostorm said on Feb. 4, 2013

I like to imagine video game characters all sleep in Murphy beds.

Anonymous said on Feb. 4, 2013

I always just figured his moms room is on the second floor, but just off screen where you cant see or enter it. That would make sence why theres a window for the second floor when you look at the house from the outside. 😛

Megazon said on Feb. 4, 2013

I really can imagine this being on the WII-U no doubt. I like the attention to detail.

Max said on Feb. 4, 2013

“I’ve always wondered where his Mom sleeps. I guess she sleeps on the couch? Or does she even sleep at all…? (insert mysterious music here)”

And where’s the kitchen? I guess they don’t eat either.

Erikku8 said on Feb. 4, 2013

Ness’s mom suffers from insomnia.

DS Piron said on Feb. 4, 2013

It’s just one of the RPG things where if it isn’t relevant, is isn’t show, I guess.

Most of you probably knew that.

Leeaux said on Feb. 4, 2013

Curious which program he made that in? Makes me want an Earthbound Remake all the more.

LakituAl said on Feb. 4, 2013

His Mom maybe sleeps in those door-less houses in Kanto. XDD

Ness1985 said on Feb. 4, 2013

Mom sleeps on the couch, that’s her bed. My mom does the same and so do I.

Anonymous said on Feb. 4, 2013

You sleep on the couch with your mom?


8bit_Aussie said on Feb. 5, 2013

I always assumed that his mom sleeps in the roof (which could of turned into a room) because the game dosent ever show the staircase. Who knows? mabye theres another set of stairs.

Mariotti said on Feb. 5, 2013

His mom sleeps in Tracy’s bed, and Tracy stalks Ness while he sleeps…

Kyosuke said on Feb. 5, 2013

Very nice! Now I just gotta finish my version of the house.

Onion said on Feb. 5, 2013

Mmmm…the couch theory makes sense. Would put her right next to the phone.

Anonymous said on Feb. 5, 2013

guys there’s no bathroom, forget about where their mom sleeps……….

where do ness pooping

In reality though, I think EB’s unique perspective techniques not only understate but often completely remove any superfluous element’s from the player’s view because they’re so inessential to the journey and would only serve to bog it down. Given the attention to detail given to the rest of the game, I don’t believe this is unintentional in the slightest.

Think about it for a second: is there a single instance in this game where the entrance point on any given map is at the bottom? Correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t recall any. Whenever entering a room, cave, anything, the perspective always places your character at the side or top of the room. You may enter while facing north/upward, but you will never spawn in a room coming in from the bottom.

This creates a diorama, of sorts. I believe this is intentional, an implementation that subtly lets the player feel as if they have their own personal portal through which they can observe the world of EarthBound. I think this contributes to why the game so effectively conveys such a sense of sentimentality and allows so many people to form very personal bonds with people and locations in the game. In most JRPGs, when I enter someone’s house, it feels a little forceful and uncomfortable, like I’m actually the one just casually walking into someone’s house looking for stuff to loot. I see the occupants and feel like saying “YEAH WHAT, I’M IN YOUR HOUSE DOUCHEBAG. DON’T JUDGE ME.” When I play EarthBound, however, it’s more of a feeling of “oh hahaha hey there goes Ness and his friends, look at those wacky little larcenists”

Anyway, my point is that there’s an entire fourth wall that we often forget to consider even exists in this world because our vision is occupying it. When you enter Ness’s house, you enter from the front, right? So naturally the wall at the bottom of the screen that I suspect many of us forget exists sometimes is not the front of the house. Facilities such as restrooms are clearly shown to exist elsewhere in the game, and facilities such as kitchens are obviously implied, seeing as Ness’s home is a place most would remember for being able to have your mother cook your favorite meal and get a good night’s rest. I posit that these facilities are off to the side of the house, occupying the spaces we don’t see. I think it’s incredibly likely the entrance to the kitchen is across the room from the table, while Ness’s mother’s room is across from the couch, likely housing its own bathroom, being the master bedroom. For that matter I’m sure there’s probably a bathroom in the upstairs hallway, perhaps opposite of Tracy’s room.

And why would we need to see these rooms? In-game dialogue all but explicitly confirms that they exist, so there’s really no point in spaces in which nothing happens for us to wander around in. It would be a waste of time and it would detract from the immersion the game so masterfully executes. Not only is this good from a player standpoint, but it also cuts down on expenditure of resources as far as developing the game goes. Very good and very deliberate game design.

Anonymous said on Feb. 5, 2013

I realize I’m echoing a couple of the other comments already made here but some people need it spelled out for them sometimes. Oh well~

It was fun waxing philosophical on something as seemingly insignificant as the layout of a virtual home, though! Watch out guys my next comment is gonna be obnoxiously overanalyzing the decor of Threed homes

Ronald said on Feb. 5, 2013

To Anonymous who wrote the long reply, sorry if my reply offends you but what you have written is quite obvious for us gamers.

Anonymous said on Feb. 5, 2013

Oh no, not offended. Just amused that you seem to think the entire crux of my comment rests on the assumption that most of you are morons.

nessgeek said on Feb. 5, 2013

This looks like as if EarthBound was being developed for gamecube, similar 3D graphic style and all. It was pretty good, ness looked funny when he was walking around though.

EBisumaru said on Feb. 5, 2013

Hey it’s cool to think about things that don’t need to be thought about. I never really realized that the use of side/top doors makes the game less confrontational, but I agree that it does. I think it’s mostly because they want to be able to show the doors, though. And due to the perspective chosen, there’s no chance of doors happening on the bottom of the screen.

There are, however, two exceptions I know of: Onett’s “door” to Twoson is on the bottom of the map. And, interestingly, the “door” to Giygas’s room is the only other exception I know of… You do enter that one facing upwards, and it’s at the end of the game so I’m sure that’s done to increase the intestinal disturbance created by facing Giygas. I mean tension.

Sawse: http://www.snesmaps.com/maps/EarthBound/EarthBoundMaps.html

EBisumaru said on Feb. 5, 2013

P.S. where do ness pooping? is my new bumper sticker

Anonymous said on Feb. 5, 2013

Ah, good point, I’m not sure how I could have forgotten those. As soon as I read “Giygas” I immediately drew the same conclusion about why you might enter the area in such a manner, and interestingly enough I think it begs for parallels to be made with the path to Twoson.

In both cases it almost beckons the player to share in Ness’s current emotional state. The aversion of what has been established as typical perspective at that point is almost direct communication with the player; a surefire way of getting your attention by saying “hey, look at me I’m pretty different,” even if it seems so ordinary you don’t really realize it.

I know when I was five and playing EB for the first time, I must have spent days venturing around Onett, just trying to figure out what to do or how to defeat the next boss. When it was finally time to move on to the next town, I certainly had no idea what to expect. I was filled with excitement, a little anxiety, and pure, childlike wonderment. Surely Ness must have felt the same way, and the way he approaches the bottom of the screen almost seems to suggest he’s meeting you at the fourth wall, almost as if to revel in those emotions with you and reassure you you’ll be making the journey together. When I saw Twoson for the first time, I was blown away. To this day I can’t think of an objective reason why that might be; it’s certainly a pretty ordinary town. However, the way many players of this game seem to suggest that Twoson is one of their favorite locations makes me think that many of them must have felt the same way I did.

Conversely, as you said, when entering Giygas’s lair, the same technique is used to great effect to induce a sense of terror and dread. Once again I found myself completely unsure of what to expect when entering the hole in the wall of an already bizarre and horrifying dimension. Just as soon as I entered the room, I found myself wishing I could leave it. Instead, I pushed Ness and the kids out in front of me, clinging to their backs so they might protect me from any abyssal horrors that might be present. For the first time, my five year old mind was perfectly content allowing Ness & co. to act as my conventional JRPG avatar in the game world instead of pretending I was on the journey with them, albeit watching from a distance.

I have no doubt that it’s instances like these that make the prayer segment at the end of the confrontation with Giygas so powerful to so many people. You’re damn right I prayed for the safety of Ness and his friends, because I’ve been there the whole time, looking into their world through that little hole in the fourth wall. I’ve been with them through thick and thin, and they’ve been friends to me like no other in this world. The bonds I’ve formed with them over the course of the journey may be wordless, only implied, but that doesn’t make them any less valid. I also think it’s for this reason that when Giygas fades from existence, it’s made to appear as if your TV has shut off. It simultaneously creates a sense of relief about the state of the conflict at hand, but certainly leaves you wondering about the fate of the friends you were just praying for. An uneasy tension hangs in the air as you wonder if that’s it; if they really have been left to simply tremble and rot in the darkness. For that matter, I think the entire battle, backgrounds and all, is something that makes use of this personal attachment the player is intended to have formed to the game world, to frighten them and tear apart their expectations about the reality of the environment. Obviously this would explain another level of the parallels with Itoi’s own childhood experience in the movie theatre; wandering into an unknown territory and experiencing terror unlike any other you’ve ever known in this world that has so far been friendly and familiar to you.

Ronald, forgive me if I was a bit snarky with you earlier. I know I’m a bit verbose and bad at making points, and I certainly didn’t mean to insult anyone’s intelligence. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but sometimes it’s the subtleties within the obvious that are the most overlooked, especially by seasoned gamers. It’s clear this game is an ode to Itoi’s sense of childhood, and the way he masterfully recreated it thusly is, in my opinion, essential to why this game is so impactful to many people. I was only attempting to explicate how and why he was able to do so through the simultaneous adherence to and subversion of typical JRPG conventions.

Ronald said on Feb. 7, 2013

Don’t worry about it! I’m fine with that! 🙂

EBisumaru said on Feb. 7, 2013

Wow man, can you make a blog? I’d pay to read your analyses.

You’re right, it’s the subtleties within the obvious that are most often overlooked. To me, that makes them the most interesting insights. I think you’re spot on about it being an embodiment of Itoi’s sense of childhood and its impact because of that.

Anonymous said on Feb. 8, 2013

hahaha hell, i’d love to take your money but i’m not that great of a writer and i don’t have just a whole lot to say most of the time

even just looking at my comments again i realize how hard it is to write with nuance about things that are already nuances. at the time the words i chose seemed to make sense because my brain was going a million miles a second back and forth between every neural pathway related to EB i’ve formed since 1995, but upon reexamination it’s almost a little shocking how i find myself agreeing with ronald about how obvious what i was saying seems

thanks, though! i’m glad my second comment seemed to clear up what i was trying to say a bit more.

EBisumaru said on Feb. 8, 2013

In order to really see the most subtle insights, I really believe you have to do what you did – analyze and scrutinize the obvious in brutal detail. So don’t feel bad lol. I mean we all realize that the kitchen was ‘implied’ but your ANALYSIS and description of that fact led to your analysis of other factors. So it’s all good.

neonix said on Feb. 9, 2013

Does this video somewhat remind anyone else of Super Mario 64?

Raichoice said on Mar. 20, 2013

Me, I’d really love to see the rest (or at least onett) done


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