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Tips for Buying EarthBound

March 28th, 2013 | EarthBound, MOTHER 1+2, Uncommon Knowledge

Earlier today I remembered that when MOTHER 2 was ported to the Game Boy Advance, Itoi didn’t make many changes to the text at all. For instance, he made the decision to leave date references alone, like 199X and having to return the library map by 2001.

That said, there WERE some slight text changes though, and one of them has to do with a baked goods seller in Burglin Park. Here’s how this line was in the Super Famicom version of MOTHER 2:

MOTHER2047 Super Famicom:
Since this is an open-air market, flies sometimes land on my stuff and give it a nice flavor.

When it was re-released in 2003 as part of MOTHER 1+2, this line was changed. Here’s what it said:

m12 Game Boy Advance:
These have such a nice flavor that they even attract flies.

So the question I had was: What line does the Wii U Virtual Console re-release use? Let’s take a look:

mother2-wii-u Wii U:
These have such a savory flavor that they even attract flies.

So the Wii U version isn’t just different than the original Super Famicom version, it’s also different than the Game Boy Advance version! What’s the deal with this line?

At any rate, this means they didn’t just slap the Super Famicom MOTHER 2 ROM as-is onto the eShop as we originally thought – they DID make changes of some sort!

Now I’m curious to know what other tiny changes there might be in the game’s text or elsewhere. Apparently the circus tent glitch still works in the Wii U version too.

The problem is I don’t know how to extract ROMs or anything from Wii Us, but if someday someone figures it out, let me know! I’d love to try to analyze and compare the Wii U version with the original Super Famicom version on a more technical level!

Also, while we’re at it, here’s a look at what EarthBound’s translation has for this Burglin Park NPC:


Interesting, it’s basically the same as in the original MOTHER 2. I wonder why it was changed starting with MOTHER 1+2.

Anyway, this also reminds me that in the next few days I’ll have finished moving my MOTHER 2 / EarthBound comparison stuff over to Legends of Localization, with a bit of a layout overhaul, some content fixes, and a few content additions. So look forward to that!


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17 Comments to A Tiny Change in Wii U MOTHER 2

johnr754 said on Mar. 28, 2013

I dunno why this line was changed both in the Wii U version and the GBA version. Usually, when a VC release is changed, it is either for siezure effects (Mario Kart 64), or for censorship reasons (Pokémon Snap, Super Mario RPG – in Europe). So, why?

GranTorino551 said on Mar. 28, 2013

Maybe Itoi thought the line didn’t sound as polished as the rest of text in the game so he changed it

Erikku8 said on Mar. 28, 2013

I think I like the GBA line better than the Super Famicom line. I also think GranTorino’s theory is plausible.

Anonymous said on Mar. 28, 2013

Obviously the baker has just improved his food.

GranTorino551 said on Mar. 28, 2013

I do appreciate that the changes that have been made to the rerelease so far were done to make the game better (I think the Wii U has the best version of that line of dialogue), and not to detract from or censor the original.

Carl said on Mar. 28, 2013

I love discovering little changes like this. Why would they change this one totally mundane line of dialogue? Why change it again for the Wii U? It’s so mysterious!

Halloween said on Mar. 28, 2013

I guess MAYBE the line was changed in the GBA version so that it would fit in one window, but I wonder why the Wii U version doesn’t use the original SFC line? I kinda like that one better.
Looks like someone must have thought about changing the text though, I wonder who changes this baker’s dialogue and why.

Mato said on Mar. 28, 2013

Weird, I just now found out that in MOTHER 2, when Lardna calls him a “toilet fly”, it got changed in MOTHER 1+2 to just say “fly”.

Is there something about flies that’s bad in Japanese games or something?

TheZunar123 said on Mar. 28, 2013

This is off-topic, but comparing those screenshots really shows how smaller the screen size is on the GBA compared to the SFC.

I do have one question that’s bugging me about Mother 1+2. What was the librarian’s line changed to? Obviously they had to change it because of the different controls, and I’ve been wondering about that lately. Maybe that’d be something to include in your Mother 2 vs. EarthBound comparison?

PiePusher11 said on Mar. 28, 2013

Well, it’s basically saying the same thing (there’s flies on the food), but with a slightly different meaning.

The SFC version is saying that the flies are what gives it the flavor, and the GBA/WiiU versions are saying that flies are attracted to it because of its flavor.

I guess they either wanted it to mean the second way; or, as GranTorino551 said, it just sounds more polished this way.

DJMankiwitz said on Mar. 28, 2013

I think it’s possible that when they put it on the VC, they already knew about the changed line in the GBA version and wanted to change it in the ROM to match, but didn’t do it exactly the same in the end.

Odd though. I kinda like the “gross humor” of the flies enhancing the flavor myself.

Then again, think about the new dialog for a moment. The vendor’s food is surrounded by flies, which is supposed to ward off customers, but instead the vendor turns it around and says that the presence of flies must mean the food is just THAT good. I bet the food you NORMALLY eat isn’t swarming with flies, is it? In a subtler way, it’s still pretty funny.

Porky Means Business said on Mar. 28, 2013

Hmm, the flies line in the original is better. Also, this reminds me how good Earthbound’s localization was. 🙂

Anonymous said on Mar. 28, 2013

Somone should try doing the “unlimited vc demo time” cheat on the Japanese version of brawl to see if the change existed there at all. Probably not though.

GhostSonic said on Mar. 28, 2013

Woah, forgot to log in for that comment.

enigmaxtreme said on Mar. 29, 2013

Oh sure they can edit this but nothing for a possible US/EU release

nessgeek said on Apr. 20, 2013

Mato, the reason I think why toilet fly got changed to just ‘fly’ to get rid of the bathroom humor. Has Nintendo of Japan ever been sued for their game content in japan? Or are they just out to make their games more child appropriate?


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