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Tips for Buying EarthBound

April 13th, 2013 | Images, MOTHER 1

Last year I bought a copy of MOTHER 1 for the Famicom but never really sat down to took a good look at it. So I did that just now!

One of the things that immediately stands out is its manual – it isn’t a little booklet like most games. Instead, it’s one giant unfold-y thing with the world map on one side and all the info on the other.

Here’s a look at some of the info parts. Pardon the poor quality, I took them with my phone and I’m dumb at taking photos 😛

And here’s a look at the world map on the other side:

2013-04-13 08.55.58

Incidentally, this copy of MOTHER 1 had a save file at the end of the game with everyone at Level 99. I’m fairly certain it was done legitimately – Japan didn’t get a Game Genie or anything like that back then, did they?

I guess it’s not TOO crazy, though, because when I was a kid I Level 99-ed plenty of games that took forever and ever to do. Final Fantasy II/IV, 7th Saga (although 81 or 82 was the highest possible level there), and a bunch of others. This is getting off topic now, but maybe that’s why I love the Disgaea games and Star Ocean games – crazy level caps, like even up to Level 9999!


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20 Comments to A Look at MOTHER 1’s Manual

skyrunner14 said on Apr. 13, 2013

Man, I’m jealous Mato… Mother is my favorite game in the series, and I would LOVE to get a copy with the box and manual… heck, I’d be happy with JUST the box and manual, since I already have a copy of the game.

FrankofOnett said on Apr. 13, 2013

That must have taken some grinding…

Mr. Tenda said on Apr. 13, 2013

I bet it was impossible to fold back up.

flintlockdoorknob said on Apr. 13, 2013

Oh man this needs a high res scan.

Neko Knight said on Apr. 13, 2013

Ah yes, back when video game manuals were works of art…how I miss those days…

EnnuiKing said on Apr. 13, 2013

On the level 99 save – would it be possible to change character levels with Family BASIC? Judging from the “256 Worlds” trick discussed on Legends of Localization, I’d say the Japanese had something better than the Game Genie (and officially licensed, too!)

Bucky said on Apr. 13, 2013

I would love a scan of that map.

Earthbounder said on Apr. 13, 2013

Neat! 🙂

Earthbounder said on Apr. 13, 2013

Oh wow. I just noticed that they even added that secret mansion in the mountains from the side quest in Reindeer! 😛

KingMike said on Apr. 13, 2013

I have scanned it, as well as the manuals and boxes to both GBA games, in ridiculously high resolution.
(though I admit my copy of Mother 1 wasn’t exactly the most pristine copy. It has a crushed box, and I think the map/manual might have even had a teeny-tiny rip or two)
Though I don’t know what the sm.net/ebc position on sharing would be (even after editing it down to sane sizes)

Thought about finally getting around to getting a copy of Mother 2 to finish the set, but now I’m starting to wonder if whoever commented during the WiiU stream that (original copy) M2 was a $5 game might be out of date. 🙁
If even the SFC cart is approaching $10-15, probably more than I want to spend having an EB cart and M1+2 already.

JohnOpencho said on Apr. 13, 2013

I wonder if the guy that did the map for MOTHER does the same maps for Pokemon? Very similar art. Hmmm

Bucky said on Apr. 13, 2013

John, I wouldn’t be surprised, especially since Ape became Creatures and Hal later worked on Pokemon games.

TyBlood13 said on Apr. 14, 2013

HAL is a separate company. They never had anything to do with APE until they reworked MOTHER 2’s engine to help finish the game. But that doesn’t change John’s point, mind you.

Bucky said on Apr. 14, 2013

Well, Ty, I never said they were the same company. I said that Ape became Creatures AND Hal later worked on Pokemon games. Creatures and Hal have both worked together since Mother 2.

Ken Sugimori also had some in the Super Smash Bros. series.

It’s apparent that the companies have some inter-mingling. The above art is a lot like that featured on Pokemon’s early maps of Kanto. We all know how much influence the Mother series had on Pokemon as well.

johnr754 said on Apr. 14, 2013

I’m not sure if HAL Labs worked on Pokémon games, though I heard from TVTropes that Iwata helped during Gold and Silver.

Though, I do now see the similarities between this map and the Kanto map art – who drew it?

johnr754 said on Apr. 14, 2013

Never mind, apparently Iwata was the producer of Crystal and had special thanks for Gold and Silver and HAL Labratory worked on the Stadium games, Snap, and Ranger and its sequel.

DJMankiwitz said on Apr. 15, 2013

I imported a copy and saw this manual too. The map is lovely, but it is a shame I can’t read it.

I saw an existing save file, and I copied it to the last slot. I was torn between making the cartridge “fresh”, and trying to keep that old memory of the last player alive. In the end, I thought it kept with the spirit of Mother to keep that save file around. Who am I to destroy the save file photograph of battles once waged by some kid so many years ago?

The Famicom DID actually have a “Game Genie” of sorts, but not back in the 80’s. It was a recently made thing for the already large “classic gaming” set, named similar to the European Pro Action Replay (Linked below).

http://www.famicomworld.com/forum/index.php?topic=6811.0 The pro action replay is generally superior to the Game Genie, not least because it doesn’t intentionally obfuscate the hex code by “translating” it into some unique “word looking” equivalents.

Here’s the Japanese one.

Weird, it works like the Game Genie.

Darien said on Apr. 15, 2013

Oh god 7th Saga. I was *obsessed* with that game when it came out; I don’t know how many board games and card games I made that were based on it. It got to the point where it was just a given that anything I made would have the entire playable cast of 7th Saga in it. The punch line, of course, is that the game itself was way too hard for twelve-year-old me to deal with, and I never got very far. But I loved it to tears! Can still name all the playable characters — first and last names — to this day.

And, yeah, I really miss when video games came with awesome manuals and map/gear posters. And the art! Half the reason I looked forward to new NES Dragon Warrior games was to stare at the illos of the weapons and armour on the big gear chart. 🙂

LuffyDan said on Apr. 15, 2013

I can’t remember where I saw it but someone on the web had a translated version of the manual for sale in English. I’d love to get my hands on it and complete a full copy of MOTHER 1. I managed to score that mock-US release box for it and a cart copy of the original Earthbound Zero ROM.

Jdaster64 said on Apr. 22, 2013

Reminds me a lot of the Super Mario World world map and manual art; I’d really like to see bigger scans of these someplace.


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