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March 25th, 2013 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

A long while ago while working on my MOTHER 2 / EarthBound comparison stuff, I found myself accidentally missing getting a screenshot in the Lost Underworld in MOTHER 2. It would take me a looooong time to get back there, so I never got the screenshot:


I’ve been working on revamping and moving my EB comparison stuff, and I decided it was time to finally get that screenshot. But, again, it would take me forever to get there.

Then I said, “You know, it’s about time I go and figure out the debug menu codes for MOTHER 2.” That was another thing I’ve put off for years and years.

So, after doing some fiddling with code and addresses and nonsense, I’ve come up with ways to access both debug menus in MOTHER 2:

Boot-Up Debug Menu

This is the menu with the Kirby icon. To access this menu in MOTHER 2, the codes are (for a headered ROM):


mother2debuga1 mother2debuga2

What’s neat about this is that some of the options that would crash or freeze if you tried them in the EarthBound ROM work semi-properly in the MOTHER 2 ROM, which makes sense from a programming perspective. The meanings of some of the menu options are clear too, and I think there’s even one or two options that the English version didn’t have due to character incompatibility issues.

In-Game Debug Menu

Unfortunately, accessing the in-game debug menu via this boot-up menu still doesn’t work 100% properly, so I needed a way to access the in-game menu some other way. I already made a code for EarthBound that lets you access this menu using your ATM Card, so I decided to make one for MOTHER 2 too. Here’s the code for that:


To access the debug menu, “Use” the Cash Card/ATM Card as an item.

mother2debugb1 mother2debugb2

The Japanese debug menu is written in actual Japanese rather than the weird romanized Japanese that we got in the English version. It makes things a little clearer, and being able to actually make sense of things showed me something I never knew before: The very last option makes hint shops appear on all of your town maps! I didn’t even know they had programmed that in until now 😯

mapnohint maphint
Before / After (note: these are actually EarthBound screenshots)

Anyway, feel free to play around with both menus and see what you can do/find! I’m just glad I finally figured out codes for them after putting it off for so, so long.

And I got the screenshot I needed too 😀



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5 Comments to How to Access the MOTHER 2 Debug Menus

KingDarian said on Mar. 25, 2013

I never really paid much attention to the Hint location on the map until I saw the GameCenter CX episode a few days ago. Arino made use the map frequently, and I noticed that the Hint location appeared after he visited the hint man, when previous views of the map omitted it. EarthBound really has quite a lot of attention paid to details like this.

Mato said on Mar. 25, 2013

It’s weird, because I tried to make the hint thing show up by visiting it, but it wouldn’t work. Do you have to actually by a hint from him I wonder?

KingDarian said on Mar. 25, 2013

I just tested this out. If you enter the Hint Man’s house, nothing happens, but after you speak with him – whether you get a hint or not – HINT will appear on the map.

EBBub said on Mar. 25, 2013

Wow, awesome work, Mato! Cool stuff.

AdmiralCrunch said on Mar. 26, 2013

This would make sense as in certain areas such as Fourside, the hint man appears outside. On an unrelated note, I just realized how awesome a costume this could be, booth and all… Now if I could just figure out how to make something that big sufficiently light and portable…


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