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Tips for Buying EarthBound

March 4th, 2013 | EarthBound, Videos

A few years ago I posted about someone trying to kill 1000 Happy Happyists as a challenge (see here). They didn’t quite make it to 1000, but it was still pretty impressive.

Well, now a fan by the name of VyseOfLegends9001 has gone and attempted the challenge… and beaten it by a lot!

The total count: 3448 dead cultists.

If anything, I think that makes Ness the villain of the game now.


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25 Comments to A Happy Happy Massacre

SoreThumb said on Mar. 4, 2013

Welcome to 1000 video views!
Though, he didn’t do all these on video? Hm.. I guess it WOULD be boring…

Impressive, damn.

Blueflower999 said on Mar. 4, 2013

Hopefully one of them dropped the PSI Caramel!

Earthbounder said on Mar. 4, 2013

That is insane!!!! I wonder how long it took him to do that?

HpBoost said on Mar. 4, 2013

Interesting. Hadn’t heard of this challenge before. Perhaps someday I’ll “Let’s Play” my plan of a no-PSI playthrough.

Anonymous said on Mar. 4, 2013

3 weeks later lol

TragicManner said on Mar. 4, 2013

“If anything, I think that makes Ness the villain of the game now.”

It’s funny you say that. I actually have been thinking quite a bit lately about Ness as the villain of Earthbound. The idea behind this comes from something Susan O’Conner (writer on projects like Bioshock, FarCry 2, Gears of War, among others) said in a TED talk she presented. Video here if you want to watch the part I’m talking about (watch until about the 9:30 mark, starts at 7:20 or so):


In short, she basically says that, in order for a player to truly have freedom of choice in a game, and because players have a tendency to do whatever they feel like, players are not usually the heroes of games. The play parts of powerful or important characters, but the true heroes, the selfless individuals who never do wrong, at least in context of the story told, is usually never the player.

To me, Buzz Buzz is the true hero of Earthbound. He is the selfless character who sacrifices all in a selfless act to make sure that a powerful individual is able to go forward and destroy a world threat.

I didn’t like this idea at first, because it meant that Ness wasn’t really the “good guy”. And I feel like, as a player, I like to follow certain codes of conduct as the “hero” in the games I play. But maybe wasn’t really the perfect hero I always thought him as. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if Itoi didn’t actually have this in the back of his mind as he was writing Earthbound’s story.

Ness ends up having to deal with crooks, horrible people, beats the snot out of countless people, a good portion of which didn’t even realize they were doing something bad. The Happy Happyists is a perfect example. All those followers were brainwashed. And Ness comes into town and uses his baseball bat to force his way into the middle of a group of people to force someone to do something using violence. Geez 😛

How many times in Earthbound and games just like it have we entered homes and taken items from inside without hesitation? How many times have we tried to peacefully come to solutions? Or attempted to really understand the motivations of the people around us? I’m not saying that we SHOULD do this, but I am saying it is cool to really look at what kind of role the player takes on when playing games. It’s all much grittier and nebulous in terms of morality than most of us really want to realize.

In the end, it’s simply not a perfect argument, but it was one I thought interesting. Plus, it seems to go well with the video of Ness taking out over 3400 insane cultists, haha.

linkdude20002001 said on Mar. 4, 2013

Oh, baby! O_o

thelucaskid482 said on Mar. 4, 2013

…and yet, they still weren’t able to paint the world blue.

Rhyselinn said on Mar. 4, 2013

Way to go, man! That’s dedication. 🙂 Although I am curious what all the Sugar Packets were for. I don’t think I ever purposefully used them in a playthrough, but you did SOMETHING with all of them, evidently.

VyseOfLegends9001 said on Mar. 4, 2013


In the beginning of the video you will noticed that my PSI Caramel was at the bottom of my Inventory. When I use the PSI Caramel, a Sugar Packet Gives it a bonus effect and only the Sugar Packet is used up. Just make sure the PSI Caramel is at the bottom of your Inventory or it will be used and then you can’t reuse it.

September said on Mar. 4, 2013

Holy blue cow. This sort of inspired me to one day start on something similar, perhaps with other enemies, but this looked interesting, too. Well, that’ll all happen when I have the time, which won’t be for a while…

64RR said on Mar. 4, 2013

@Tragic Manner.

True that would also mean mario is killing countless goombas and koopas for no reason. The koopas and goombas are just following orders anyway, but are thay really? Aren’t they concious of what’s happening? You could relate to it by thinking that the Nazis were following Hitlers orders but they also knew what was happening so they were at fault too( in my opinion anyway).

If you want to go more into it by watching the movie A FEW GOOD MEN.

Anyway I still think of Ness as the legendary boy but wow, you just made me think a lot.

With the challenge, I would never have time to do this but WOW that is amazing. Lets you know how many challenges can come from a game.

Darien said on Mar. 4, 2013

Heroism doesn’t actually imply selflessness or sacrifice; that’s martyrdom you have a hold of there. Classically speaking, actually, power is the defining characteristic of a hero (q.v.) — as is in fiction, of course, “mainness” of character.

But we’re splitting hairs now. The real purpose of this discussion isn’t technical points of definition, but an exploration of whether or not Ness is actually a good guy. I would argue it’s a theme that Itoi actually explores himself in Mother 2 and 3, though only in the background; there are always subtle hints dropped that maybe Ness is a bit full of himself, and that Porky may not have become what he was if Ness had been just a bit more of a proper friend. There is, of course, the infamous scene in Happy Happy Village where Porky says “hey, let’s be friends again” and Ness completely snubs him.

Any meaningful exploration of Ness’ goodness can’t be conducted without a coherent definition of “good.” Are we defining it as “selfless and sacrificing?” Ness clearly does make some heavy sacrifices as the story progresses; recall that it’s expected that, after they become robots and travel into the past, the chosen four won’t be coming back. The happy ending is a bit of a deus ex machina (no pun intended) — they’re supposed to be dead or, at the very least, trapped in Giygas’ lair. So it’s not really correct to say that he doesn’t make sacrifices. And while it is certainly true that Ness’ preferred solution to every problem is to beat it with a bat, does that really make him any different from Buzz Buzz? Buzz Buzz came to Ness in an attempt to persuade him to go out and kill a guy. When the Starman Junior shows up, Buzz Buzz does not hesitate to resort to violence (not very *effective* violence, but violence nonetheless). If anything, Ness is just following his example when he starts bashing people out of the way for obstructing his mission.

Sorry if this was a bit less than coherent. It was much more organised the first time I wrote it, before it was eaten by the internets. Then I had to try to remember everything I was talking about and rewrite it, while simultaneously being irritated because it got eaten by the internets. 😛

Darien said on Mar. 4, 2013

Dang, I didn’t even get my whole response typed before this thread got Godwined! 😀

trickster2599 said on Mar. 4, 2013

Happy happy. Blue blue. Happy happy is not blue.

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Mar. 4, 2013

That experience reward pretty much finishes half the game for you!

TragicManner said on Mar. 4, 2013


Good points. Ness certainly makes some pretty awesome decisions in the game, and I really don’t want to make him seem less awesome than he is. Ness will always be a hero to me, regardless of whether or not he was supposed to be virtuous.

And yeah, I’ve thought a lot about the idea of the classic hero. A lot of classic heroes in mythology and literature are pretty flawed, so that’s definitely something important to remember. I just like how you can very easily take a player’s actions in a game and point out that they are not always what we’d consider socially acceptable, and that’s part of what makes games great!

At any rate, VyseOfLegends9001: heroic accomplishment. I’ve always wanted to give this a shot, but I feel your dedication has left me content to see just how far it can be taken!

gBev said on Mar. 4, 2013

“There is, of course, the infamous scene in Happy Happy Village where Porky says “hey, let’s be friends again” and Ness completely snubs him.”
Maybe my memory is failing me here, but doesn’t Pokey do something more along the lines of (very) briefly pretending to be Ness’ friend again only to taunt him for believing the lie?

DS Piron said on Mar. 4, 2013

Yep. In the English translation.

In the original Japanese version Porky tried to be friends again, but Ness said nothing (or perhaps it’s up to the player’s interpretation, I don’t remember it clearly).

gBev said on Mar. 4, 2013

Ah okay, thanks. That does make it a bit more interesting.

EmeraldWind said on Mar. 4, 2013

Actually, isn’t it a major point in the game that Ness overcomes his inner-darkness?

You collect the melodies to travel to Magicant to defeat the darkness inside. (Which isn’t so much a metaphor for becoming pure, so much as accepting and controlling that internal flaw.)

EmeraldWind said on Mar. 4, 2013

It isn’t clear in my post, but what I mean is that the story itself points out that Ness has flaws.

64RR said on Mar. 4, 2013

Actually Ness doesn’t have flaws. You, the player has the flaws. You could always lose you know.

Fio said on Mar. 4, 2013

I hate when people say “kill” when referring to games such as earthbound or pokemon where it clearly says things such as “became tame” or “faints”, stop trying to make everything 5edgy7u

TragicManner said on Mar. 5, 2013

That’s actually a really good point. The decisions are left completely up to the player, and as the entity controlling Ness, any of his questionable behavior ultimately becomes our own. If only just virtually ^_^ It goes to show why video games can, indeed, cause moments of self-reflection. Which I’m fine with, as long as I still get to enjoy the experience!


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