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Tips for Buying EarthBound

February 2nd, 2013 | EarthBound

For the past week or so I’ve gotten loads of e-mails, private messages, Twitter responses, and more about the recent news that MOTHER 2 is being re-released on the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console in a few weeks. In particular, a lot of fans are understandably upset that there’s been no news about it being released on the Virtual Console outside of Japan.

I’ve gotten so many, “Promote this petition!” and “Promote THIS petition!” and “Promote the Miiverse campaign thing!” and similar messages that it’s made my head spin. I can’t promote everything and in many cases I think overdoing it might cause more of a nuisance than it will help things. If you want to get in on the activism though, just search for “Earthbound Wii U” and you’ll have tons of options at your fingertips.

Personally, I prefer to wait a little bit and see what happens. And, if things don’t work out or whatever, rest assured that Reid and pals will have something crazy up their sleeves. I already hear they’re up to something big 😛


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61 Comments to Petitions, Miiverse, and More

64RR said on Feb. 2, 2013

I agree we should just wait instead of overloading Nintendo with petitions. Too much of something is bad. If we wait and then make just one gigantic petition then someting could be done. That is, of course if EarthBound isn’t released on the Virtual Console.

resetsurvivor said on Feb. 2, 2013

I agree. Right now things are kind of all over the place. I’ll wait for a controlled petition or movement is organized. Alot of people are just flooding the Balloon Fight Miiverse with EarthBound stuff. I would wait until the Mother 2 community is created in March to speak up. I’m sure Nintendo of America knows we want EarthBound. We’ve only been bringing it up since the original Wii Virtual Console was announced. 🙂

Ray said on Feb. 2, 2013

I agree, not only will it be annoying on Nintendo’s part, to get so many petitions, it will also give all of us some bad rep. People need to be patient, it hasn’t even been released in Japan yet, and people are already feeling skeptical about a US release. I’m fine with waiting, I have my wii hacked, and I can play earthbound on there. Plus I don’t have a Wii U yet 😛

Apple Kid said on Feb. 2, 2013

I think people may just be taking a bad cue from the original Starmen.netters, by making a petition before the game is even released. But, if you want to see it come to America, just support project Rainfall, then we can get so many more great games in addition to this, after all, how do ya’ think we got Xenoblade? I, however, am going to sit back relax and play Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the the Seven Stars, Harvest Moon, and of course Earthbound.

Prayer For Safety said on Feb. 2, 2013

I really hope everything works out and we get a announcement at E3, after so many petitions I have my doubts but will still keep hope. Atleast Reids got something up his sleve if we don’t get an announcement, PK Siege 2013?

Douglas said on Feb. 2, 2013

It’s not going to happen.
It will never happen.
Not with Reggie in charge.

man said on Feb. 2, 2013

The definition of insanity etc.

DelectaBit said on Feb. 2, 2013

I doubt it’s a siege. They’re like a factory of creativity, I’m sure that they’ll surprise everyone with whatever they have in mind.

Tonch said on Feb. 2, 2013

I really like the idea of all the Miiverse drawings and such, because those are very visible to both fans and Nintendo themselves.

However I wish people wouldn’t jump straight to “petitions”. The EB fanbase has a reputation of being one of the best out there, and it’s always done things in a very creative, positive, and mostly polite way. That’s what I’d like to see more of (such as the creative Miiverse drawings), since petitions usually always seem crude and brute-force-y.

Tonch said on Feb. 2, 2013

Also I think it’s worth repeating again, to everyone placing the blame on Reggie, that it’s ultimately not his call. He can suggest things to the head honchos in Japan, but from what I understand, in the end it’s their decision what to do.

nightshade said on Feb. 2, 2013

I have been getting crap loads of friend requests and invites through facebook to these Earthboud pages from people I don’t even know.

Mezmerize said on Feb. 2, 2013

I mailed to Nintendo of Europe and they told me, that they have no plans to release the Mother series in EU yet. But I don’t want to believe.
I keep waiting for some time.

nessgeek said on Feb. 2, 2013

Again, I’m pretty sure nintendo will be pretty lenient this time around, I mean, look at the japan only titles that have been localized. We weren’t even SUPPOSED to get games like Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. (of course the two latter games were localized by another developer). I’d say patience for this one, also, Itoi is working to make this more playable to other people.

Thedreaminhawk said on Feb. 2, 2013

I won’t and haven’t even signed a single Petition for that reason. Miiverse is more effective due to the fact that EVERYONE sees it… EVERYONE, Even Pokey

2sang said on Feb. 2, 2013

Now im hyped for what reid and company have planned

Im getting fat from all these sundaes guys

johnr754 said on Feb. 2, 2013

I’m starting to get a bad feeling that EarthBound fans would spam the MOTHER 2 Japanese community and maybe Itoi would stop going there, then Japanese MOTHER 2 fans would get angry…

Mill said on Feb. 2, 2013

“rest assured that Reid and pals will have something crazy up their sleeves. I already hear they’re up to something big”

New Super Mario Bros. U 2, no doubt.

Anonymous said on Feb. 2, 2013

Petitions are not necessary. I agree completely, Tomato. EarthBound Miiverse postings have been taking over my home menu. So far i’ve seen a few Ness drawings, a Mr. Saturn one, and the “This console needs more EarthBound” one.

….Anyone want some ice cream?

Ring064 said on Feb. 2, 2013

ive been drawing my share of mr saturn pics but it seems that in NOE,theres not much EarthBound going round.

even though that might not mean much, just like to point it out…that also could be a bit of a good thing as well

and yes, i agree we should stop with the petitions now cause its overloaded now…ive seen one account with over 5 of them! talk about overload…

then again i cant talk since i have one already up on miiverse…

so yeah, im gonna go drink some tea. and maybe draw one more mr saturn…

Apple Kid said on Feb. 3, 2013

@nessgeek Those games got push from petitions and “sieges” from Operation Rainfall.

nessgeek said on Feb. 3, 2013

Right, however, Nintendo has localized games even without fan movement as of late which shows they can and are able to localize games without petitions. Also, they did not have to listen to operation rainfall. When it comes down to it, NoA has the final decision. That’s why I believe they are very lenient with things like this now and partly why EB has a better chance over here.

Buster The Fox said on Feb. 3, 2013

I’m holding high hopes for it’s release in the USA right now. I won’t have much more of an opinion on it until E3 or the game is actually released and we can see what became of the copyright issues. It would simply be awesome to play it on the GamePad without disturbing my dad’s boring sports-based television escapades. 🙂

Darien said on Feb. 3, 2013

I’m also all for Miiverse drawtivism — it’s more useful than clicking “support” on an internet petition (seriously, guys, nobody takes internet petitions seriously) and also I love looking at people’s drawings in WaraWara Plaza. It’s oddly addicting.

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Feb. 3, 2013

Yeah, I don’t agree with people bombarding Nintendo with all sorts of petitions they won’t ever read. I’m not sure about Miiverse drawings, but I agree with Mato in that we should wait a bit.

Also, anyone ever heard of slacktivism? It almost feels to me that’s what the petitions really are!

GiveUp said on Feb. 3, 2013

Good God, petitions NEVER work with Nintendo.

Do these people even realize what game series they are trying to get released? Holy ****, this is stupid.

Anonymous said on Feb. 3, 2013

Did everyone forgot that it’ll never get released because of copyright issues? Just use a SNES emulator to play the game again.

Hyperstar96 said on Feb. 3, 2013

@GiveUp Then explain Project Rainfall.

spiderfreak1011 said on Feb. 3, 2013

@Give Up YEAH PROJECT RAINFALL WORKED!!!! Now Fire Emblem is coming to US, they even have conmercials for it, Petitions work with Nintendo. Its just that they don’t care for Earthbound, hence why, Earthbound petitions haven’t worked in the past.

anon said on Feb. 4, 2013

What. Operation Rainfall wasn’t pushing for Fire Emblem Awakening. Nor were there any huge, notable petitions or groups pushing for it. People wanted it, sure. But most of the fans didn’t expect it to come over here at all since very few Fire Emblem games have. They had little-to-no faith that it would. And guess what? It still happened. Nintendo is TRYING to get more Japanese games over here at the moment, as you can plainly see. I really think people just need to be patient. We’re bound to see it here eventually. Dare I say, Earth-bound to.

Darien said on Feb. 4, 2013

Describing Operation Rainfall as a petition is sort of insane. Operation Rainfall was a whole lot more than a petition, and I’d go so far as to say the petitioning elements were fairly worthless — by far the more effective part of OR was raising awareness in the western audience of the games themselves. People learned about the OR games, got interested in them, formed online communities dedicated to them, and placed preorders for them on amazon.com. That’s far more than just clicking “yes” on a “would you buy Xenoblade Chronicles” petition.

The key point is that the fact that Operation Rainfall included petitioning among its many many activities does not establish any causal link between petitioning Nintendo and games getting released (also perhaps worth noting is that Nintendo published only one of the three Operation Rainfall games — were people petitioning Xseed also?). Selection bias is also a huge issue here; sure, people sent a petition to Nintendo, and then Xenoblade Chronicles got released. How many games do you suppose people signed e-petitions about that Nintendo didn’t release? Chances are most of them you haven’t heard about *because* they were never released.

Anyhow, if you’re really desperate to sign an internet petition, hey, ain’t gonna hurt anybody. Go for it. All I’m saying is there are far more productive ways you could be using your time.

anonymouse said on Feb. 4, 2013

@spiderfreak1011: First off, Operation Rainfall was for the games Xenoblade, Pandora’s Tower and the Lost Story. Yes, those games are officially coming over here, but there approach wasn’t just petitions. They also gave phone calls, letters, played RPGs more often than other games etc.

Petitions. Don’t. Always. Work.

Also note, EarthBound is very different in terms of the legal situation from other games. The sole reason it can be released in Japan, is because they’re not very strict with the copywright laws. Now, bring it over to America again, and they’d probably get sued like they almost were with the original Donkey Kong games by Universal Studios. For Nintendo, this game might not be worth it even with a global fanbase. That’s doesn’t mean this is NoA’s or Reggie’s fault, it’s just how the legal system goes.

anonymouse said on Feb. 4, 2013

lol I got kind of ninja’d.

Mr Hargett said on Feb. 4, 2013

As the usage of the songs in the game wasn’t intended as a cheap ripoff, but rather a loving homage, the best suggestion I would provide to the fans of the series would be putting together a letter-writing campaign similar to what was attempted for trying to get M3 released in the US. This means, having a central location everybody sends their stories, art, etc to, and then binding the work and forwarding it to our intended targets.

In this case, however, rather than sending the letters to Nintendo, I would say it might be wiser to contact the artists associated with the pieces in question – Pete Townshend, Ric Ocasek, The Python Boys, David Bowie, Dan Aykroyd, Paul McCartney (and even Yoko). If we work the sympathy angle from the creative types, expressing our appreciation for their music and how artfully their works were woven into our beloved game, talking about the emotional storytelling and how Itoi included the music out of his being a fan, it might just garner us the big guns we need to go to Nintendo of America and say, “look, we had positive feedback from the artists involved, just reach out to them for permission.”

Yes, I know copyright law is a little more complicated than that (hypobole), but if we can get the artists behind this, it might have an impact on the copyright holders.

Max said on Feb. 4, 2013

Mr. Hargett:

I think your idea about mailing the songwriters is a novel one (with good intentions), but it could very well backfire. If intellectual property law issues prevent Nintendo from re-issuing EarthBound, the last thing they probably want is a bunch of fans contacting the recording artists about the sampling. They want to avoid ever having to argue how dissimilar (or similar) the Sky Runner song is to The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in court. In fact, they probably wish everyone would forget about the game, as sad as that is.

Mr Hargett said on Feb. 4, 2013


There are 2 options at this point:
1. NOA isn’t going to release Earthbound outside Japan out of fear of getting taken to the woodshed for copyright infringement, despite the fact they can fix this through either paying the proper royalties or modifying the games.

2. NOA is forced to face the matter head-on, and might release the games in the event that an amicable agreement is reached.

Nintendo has had the better part of a decade (counting from the release of Mother 1+2) including the entire life cycle of the Wii’s Virtual Console to release the games in the US. It hasn’t happened. They aren’t going to do it, because they fear action due to copyright laws (the ones they fully favor when used to their advantage). So, shall we wait, perhaps for the 20th, or maybe even the 30th anniversary of EarthBound for them to tell us no unequivocally, rather than string us along?

The solution I offer is the bravest and best choice for fans. By attempting to appeal to artists who are now thinking about their legacies, there may be some hope. Otherwise, we’ll be importing Japanese Wii-U consoles (and learning Japanese), or playing illegal roms and deteriorating cartridges for the rest of time.

anon said on Feb. 4, 2013

Goodness, people. You obviously haven’t read the previous posts people have made on the matter. I think that NorthofOnett summed up the situation pretty well. There are two camps of people.

Those that think it’ll be released overseas:
+ think that changes were made to the game (implied by Itoi’s tweets), so it’d be legal for Nintendo to add it to the Virtual Console
+ believe that since Japan is getting Mother 2, North America/the world must be getting it too (eventually)

Those that don’t think it’ll be released overseas:
– think that Japan’s copyright laws are somehow (?) different than America’s
– are jaded by all this because past attempts at getting some sort of re-release have ended in failure

Anonymous said on Feb. 4, 2013

There’s E3. Give E3 2013 a chance. It might happen.

Anonymous said on Feb. 4, 2013

Yeah guys, give E3 3409 a chance! It might happen.

Tyler Durden said on Feb. 5, 2013

Stop trying to control everything and just let go! LET GO! Just lay back, and let what happens happen.

I don’t think us debating about petitions, and whether or not this rerelease will happen outside of Japan is the best thing to do. At the end of the day the people that think it’s going to happen are going to think it, and the people who don’t are still going to be convinced otherwise. Nintendo is well aware of us, and it doesn’t seem like theres much we can do. I do think posting EarthBound comments on the MIIverse seems like the most likly to get noticed by Nintendo, but still Nintendo is well aware of us.

In other words, just lay back play some EarthBound games and let what happens happen. If it’s going to happen it will, if not it won’t. These arguements that have been going on for almost two weeks arn’t solving/resolving anything.

Mr Hargett said on Feb. 5, 2013

Tyler Durden:

The problem is that “just playing the games” is becoming increasingly expensive and/or risky due to the number of legitimate copies growing rarer and the widening and deepening of the insane copyright laws around the globe.

In truth, I wouldn’t give half-a-hump about NOA’s decision to release the Mother games outside Japan if I didn’t keep a weather eye to the horizon about the looming potential of copyright holders going after any and all folks who have ever downloaded roms of their games.

The Great Morgil said on Feb. 5, 2013

Personally, i think the Miiverse spamming is getting a bit out of hand. I feel sorry for anyone who goes in there wanting to legitimately talk about Balloon Fight.

PSIpunky said on Feb. 5, 2013

Although some of the drawings are amazing, there are some bland posts that just clearly don’t have thought or time put into them like: “Petition for EB, yeah this if you want EB, EB for vc!” These are the ones that are becoming a nuisance.

Can you imagine what will happen when Mother 2 gets released and the Miiverse community becomes active?

GiveUp said on Feb. 5, 2013


What kind of ****-head nonsense is “OH, well if Japan gets it, we get it too!!!”

Well gee, yeah. I mean, they got Mother 1, we got Mother 1. They got Mother 3, we got Mother 3…



OH ****.


NorthofOnett said on Feb. 5, 2013

Did you even read his post? (Which, incidentally, is mine)
We _may_ get it due to the fact that Japan is finally getting it on the Virtual Console. Remember, they didn’t have it before either on VC. And because Itoi mentioned he was making Mother “playable” again.

And honestly, EarthBound has an even better chance of being rereleased here because it was the *only* game released here before. Everyone knows why Mother 1 wasn’t officially released; it just didn’t fit into the time frame for a release before the SNES. And that was even more so true for Mother 3 since it came out in 2006, when the Game Boy Advance was pretty much dead in America.

Be kind to others 🙂

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Feb. 5, 2013

I don’t intend to argue, but it is of my current opinion that Mother 3 isn’t released in America not because the Game Boy Advance was dead, but because it has some really heartrending themes. I mean, the game starts off with you being introduced to Lucas, his brother, and his mother. Soon enough, you discover that the mother is dead just after being introduced to her, that the boys are affected by her death, that one of them stupidly disappeared because he wanted to avenge her, and that the other one constantly visits his mother’s grave over and over and over again. Combine that with really impressive sprite graphics, which make Mother 3 look like a game for younger audiences, when really it is emotional as hell. I feel that the sprite graphics wouldn’t appeal to the intended older audiences (remember, this is America), and so you have kids buying a game that would make their parents break down. Yeesh. There are so many other reasons why Mother 3 didn’t make it to America beyond “Nintendo/Reggie hates EarthBound”, and the plot is one of them.

(As for the GBA being dead part, well…a GBA port of Final Fantasy VI came out much later than Mother 3. Yes, you read that correctly: a GBA game, not a DS game, released in late 2006 and early 2007.)

anon said on Feb. 5, 2013

Final Fantasy VI Advance was brought over by Square Enix. As it’s a third-party title, it doesn’t count. What matters is that by that point, Nintendo wasn’t bringing any new first-party titles to the GBA in America. It was long after the DS was released, and that was what they were focusing all of their efforts on.

anon said on Feb. 5, 2013

Drill Dozer for the GBA was released in America in February of 2006, but that was before Mother 3 was even out in Japan. I believe it was one of the last first-party GBA games released here. It’s definitely one of the last ones I saw in Nintendo Power, if not THE last one.

Max said on Feb. 6, 2013

Nintendo just updated the Miiverse Code of Conduct. It says that posts not related to the community will not be tolerated. Where are we going to post our EB posts now? Unless Nintendo makes a ‘General Gaming’ or ‘Request’ community, PK Miiverse’n will be in trouble…

EpicJackman said on Feb. 6, 2013

Where did you learn that? I mean it sounds legit, but I just want to make sure.

MarioMario1009 said on Feb. 6, 2013

@EpicJackman It was an announcement from Miiverse admins themselves on the official Miiverse community stating they updated their Code of Conduct. It added a bunch of stuff including that posts need to be “on topic with the group’s topic”. So putting up too many posts regarding EarthBound on Balloon Fight’s page could get your posts removed or even you banned.

The Great Morgil said on Feb. 7, 2013

Not to sound smug, but i frickin’ told you guys so!!! You spammed the miiverse, and now you pay the price.

Mr Hargett said on Feb. 7, 2013

NOA’s effort in this case is to hide the dissent. Having already circled the wagons on the Wii-U’s failure to capture market share, they can’t afford to have a group of people challenging their decisions. This is especially true in a forum where other Nintendo fans are present and likely unaware of what is going on.

The last thing they want is for the Wii-U Miiverse to evolve into an actual community with real discussions taking place about video games and media.

Max_H said on Feb. 7, 2013

I’ve previously been posting here as “Max,” but since there are other Maxes, I should probably differentiate myself because I didn’t do that Miiverse post above.

Opinionated Vector Chimera: Having played MOTHER 3 now, I totally agree with your point. I personally think Nintendo had a hard time figuring out how to market MOTHER 3. The in-game graphics seem cheery and upbeat, but the story’s subject matter is extremely dark: your mother dies, you have to watch your brother commit suicide, and then the world ends. And those are just a few scenes, which are all central plot points to the narrative. It’s not like they can re-edit a few sprites to transform the story. And rating the game “Teen” or “Mature” would simply limit the scope of its market further.

Mr. Hargett: Again, I think your idea is clever, but I don’t think it would lead to the desired outcome. I doubt that these musicians would see a somewhat obscure video game from many years ago as a cause worth defending. And if even one of them decided to take issue with (or to exploit) the possible copyright infringement in EarthBound, Nintendo would land in hot water. Remember what Metallica did to Napster? Obviously, EarthBound’s sampling issues do not remotely match the scope of Napster’s illegality. But if even one prominent musician equipped with expensive attorneys decided to take Nintendo to court, then a VC re-release of EarthBound would be DOA. I’m not saying this is probable. But Nintendo probably fears that outcome.

Mr Hargett said on Feb. 7, 2013


The hyper-litigious types already have a wealth of information at their fingertips. Most are notoriously self-absorbed and a quick Google of their names and the phrase “copyright infringement” would put EarthBoundCentral and dozens of other articles right in their hands. If they haven’t struck already, they aren’t likely to at this point. Further, many creative types are suckers for “lost” causes.

In reference to the discussion of how to market “Mother 3,” I have been playing, and enjoying, Ron Gilbert’s “The Cave” for the past couple of weeks. The game covers the topics of enlightenment, lust, power-thirst, deception and even patricide, all with cartoonish characters and a snarky narrator. It’s rated “T” due to its subject matter, but is readily available for download in the Wii-U store, and has proven incredibly popular.

I doubt Nintendo would have anything to worry about when it comes to “Mother 3” because while Gilbert aptly handles tough questions with wry humor, Itoi treats them seriously, and with proper gravity. Parent groups aren’t going to storm Redmond over the themes and plot of “Mother 3,” unless they first attack them for “The Cave.”

Max_H said on Feb. 7, 2013

Mr Hargett,

Well, I hope Nintendo will finally release all the games in the U.S. I’m pessimistic about that possibility, but I would be thrilled if it happened.

And your point about The Cave–a game with which I am admittedly unfamiliar–sounds entirely valid. Usually, when fans complain about the lack of a U.S. MOTHER 3 release, they speculate that EarthBound didn’t sell well enough, or that Reggie Fils-Aime simply loathes us with every fiber of his being. In that context, Opinionated Vector Chimera’s out-of-the-box theory caught my attention. But who knows what’s really holding Nintendo back? Maybe a little bit of all of the above.

Gradon said on Feb. 7, 2013

Reggie is just an easy target. The face of NoA so he MUST be the culprit!

Also, no offence guys but I wouldn’t take Project Rainfalls impact as heavy as you believe – Xenoblade was released in Europe months before America, it sold loads and so NoA publish it in America months later…

Then Nintendo release The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower in Europe, they don’t sell too well at all. Nintendo of America disinterested. Those were handled by XSeed instead.

Then Nintendo publishes the niche Project Zero 2 to Europe, doesn’t sell too much, NoA also uninterested.

I say we just wait, you never know what’s going to happen. Don’t hold too much interest or you could be disappointed, it’d be a nice shock if they just randomly announced it but I’m also not really expecting it.

We’ll see.

NintendoFan122 said on Feb. 8, 2013


johnr754 said on Feb. 9, 2013

Don’t Panic, we must wait until MOTHER 2’s Japanese rerelease. Then we spam

Al said on Feb. 10, 2013

I love it when Reid gets crazy ideas

Paul said on Feb. 11, 2013

How much time passed between the release of Mother 2 in Japan in 1994 and the release of Earthbound in the US in 1995?

I’d wait that long after Mother 2 is released again in Japan before I really considered petitioning.

Tanooki said on Feb. 12, 2013

Petitions are out of hand, definitely. But Miiverse artwork is a much more fun and enjoyable way to get Nintendo’s attention. 🙂 Let ’em know that people want this game, and maybe also get a few new Mother fans in the process.


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