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Tips for Buying EarthBound

April 19th, 2013 | EarthBound, Rumors

Earlier today, Kotaku posted an article in which Bill Trinen says the Wii U version of EarthBound will likely just be the original game with no changes to it. He also says he wasn’t aware of possible music rights issues:

[…]They’re taking the original game and putting it on Wii U.

If that’s the case, then hooray 😀

If you’ll remember, Reid and the Starmen.Net staff had heard from a reliable inside source in 2007 that there were three specific issues that had kept EarthBound and MOTHER 2 off of the original Wii’s Virtual Console as well as EarthBound off of Smash Bros. Brawl – you can read about them here. Hirokazu Tanaka, one of the musicians for the game, also briefly very briefly mentioned the topic a while back too.

In any case, though, it sounds like the game shouldn’t have any changes (aside from the seizure avoidance changes and such), which is great news to hear on top of the already awesome news!


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44 Comments to EarthBound’s Music Likely Unchanged for Wii U Release

SuperJoe said on Apr. 19, 2013

Some of the coloring edits Nintendo makes to reduce seizures are ridiculous though, just look at Majora’s Mask and Star Fox 64 on VC

Mato said on Apr. 19, 2013

Do you have examples? I haven’t seen those myself.

The changes in Mother 2 didn’t seem too big or anything, I think we were just like, “Oh, weird.”

Stuffgamer1 said on Apr. 19, 2013

Well, I’ve been saying this legal issue stuff was stupid crap for YEARS, so it’s great to see that Nintendo finally got their heads out of their butts to deal with the release.

I wonder if they’ll put ANY extra effort into the release, even as much as that TINY edit in Mother 2…should be interesting to see, at any rate.

September said on Apr. 19, 2013

I’m keeping my fingers crossed, hoping that this is true and that they won’t have to change anything, or at least anything huge – like music and in-text references to… well, The Beatles. 😛

It’d be kind of weird if they didn’t have to change anything, since it was such a huge issue not too many years ago, why would it suddenly be okay? Just a thought. But, hoping for the best.

Damian Stark said on Apr. 19, 2013

This is probably a pretty good sign, but at the same time, this seems much more like a casual assumption from someone in a position to know these things rather than an official statement. Bill Trinen would probably know if the rights issues were going to be a problem, but it sounds like Kotaku just called him up and asked and he just told him what he knew off the top of his head rather than going and getting an official, legal department-approved answer. So, even though he’s probably right and the soundtrack will appear in its original form, good on you for not jumping to confirm it like many, many people will, Mato.

Actually, now that I think about it, considering the typically godawful, lazy, pageview-baiting reporting Kotaku does, I’m surprised THEY didn’t make the headline “CONFIRMED: Earthbound Soundtrack WILL NOT Be Changed”

Halloween said on Apr. 19, 2013

I always thought the legal issues were fabrications to try to rationalize the lack of a re-release… but hey hopefully the timing is right now for Earthbound’s second chance in the West.

Tonch said on Apr. 19, 2013

Well that’s great news if it ends up being true! I’m pretty happy to hear this.

Earth Saturn said on Apr. 19, 2013

This is great news! I absolutely LOVE the Sky Runner and Hippie themes and I’d hate to see them changed.

Silverbolt202 said on Apr. 19, 2013

I don’t know about if that’s true I thought the game coming out “by the end of this year” meant they were taking the time change the legal issues.

Sadsa said on Apr. 19, 2013

Mato I hope you make a guide pointing the difference between the VC release of the game compared to the original.

Stuffgamer1 said on Apr. 19, 2013

@Silverbolt202: It means they’re taking time for no obvious damn reason. They’ve been doing the same thing with other VC releases lately…like how they’ve only just FINALLY announced the release date for Zelda Oracle of Ages and Seasons…and it’s still a month and a half away…even though Japan’s had the games for a couple of months already. NoA drags its feet as a general rule, basically.

JB2448 said on Apr. 19, 2013

@Stuffgamer1: Maybe it has to do with a separate-from-the-Japanese-original preparation process for localized titles to come out on Virtual Console? Is it possible that localizations changed how the games functioned internally back in the day, and they also have to compensate for that now when re-releasing them? It only makes sense then, if we follow that logic, that the games come out in Japan before anywhere else, seeing as Nintendo is a Japanese company.

CaptainCab said on Apr. 19, 2013

Great to hear we no longer have to worry about the supposed legal/music issues.

Jbdkaizer said on Apr. 19, 2013

Did he mention Earthbound and Mother 2 as separate games? I always thought Earthbound was Mother 2.

broomweed said on Apr. 19, 2013

I agree with Damian Stark here. In the quote in that article, Trinen sounds like he misunderstood the question — rather than saying specifically “yes, we’re going to keep the legally-tricky songs the same,” his quote sounds more like “well, it’s on Virtual Console, so it’s the same game, so of course it has the same soundtrack, what do you mean.” I’m not sure if he was totally aware of the specific issues at the time they asked him.

Anonymous said on Apr. 19, 2013

Some of the text was changed in the Japanese VC release. I wonder if they will do the same with the international VC release to fix typos and maybe even some of the translation errors.

Silverbolt202 said on Apr. 19, 2013

@JB2448 I know it takes a while for distrubuting games even if its a digital rerelease that was just my theory.

Burglin Pork said on Apr. 19, 2013

So wait…why did NOA hold off in the first place while the Wii VC was still running?

James said on Apr. 19, 2013

I’m buying this game even though I’ve almost beat it twice on a ROM. I’m so excited for this and maybe if it gets enough attention Mother and Mother 3 may be ported.

Anonymous said on Apr. 19, 2013


Anonymous said on Apr. 19, 2013

@Burglin Pork

It wasn’t NOA’s decision. For NOA to put EarthBound on the VC, NCL had to put it on the Japanese VC first. And they neglected to put any MOTHER games on the Wii VC for some reason.

NOA might have played a part in its omission from Brawl’s masterpieces though.

Wutwut said on Apr. 19, 2013

I’m half expecting a Pokey to Porky thing. Not really, but if anything is changed, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was one of them. Again, not expecting it. Wutwut personally likes Pokey better.

Fanbounder said on Apr. 19, 2013

I wish it was on 3ds’ eshop downloads

misterdigi35 said on Apr. 19, 2013


LabrynianRebel said on Apr. 20, 2013

Please change Pokey to Porky, it confuses people.

HFH said on Apr. 20, 2013

Wow, first Earthbound and now Earthbound with no music changes? Can this get any better? 😀

KingMike said on Apr. 20, 2013

I’ve still wondered about the line where Paula’s mom says “@It’s my very own hand-made band-aid!”
(it was around the time of the game’s release the makers of Band-Aid brand antibacterial bandages bothered to add the word “brand” to the jingle. 😛 )

johnr754 said on Apr. 20, 2013

I’m just going to paste this post I made from Fangamer:

“The only things I can think of being limited for EarthBound’s VC release is some of the flashy effects being toned down a bit because, well, you know, Nintendo doesn’t want to get another lawsuit, especially from EarthBound.”

It’d be really awesome to see EarthBound, especially with all the original music, but I still think the flashy effects will be toned down. Nintendo does not want a lawsuit from a parent who’s child got a seizure because of PSI Flash Ω.

Anonymous said on Apr. 20, 2013

>wasn’t aware of music rights issues

So that makes the just hate Earthbound.

PK Derp said on Apr. 20, 2013

I might get hate for this but i really hope they change Pokey to Porky, especially if they plan on releasing Mother 3 later on. Unless they call him Pokey in that too but that kinda interferes with the whole Pork/Pig thing going on and seems rather pointless, you know?

Anyhow, i can’t wait to get it but i have no idea how im going to be able to afford a Wii U. This summer im buying a gaming PC out of money i saved, for christmas im getting a Laptop for college and my birthday? Well maybe but it’s very close to christmas so i might just combine my birthday money with christmas to get a better laptop. Don’t get me wrong, i really want to support Earthbound and i understand why it’s Wii U exclusive and i plan on getting a Wii U anyway but they picked a really bad time to release it for me. Any other time it would of been a day 1 purchase but I just can’t afford it right now, especially since i have no job. Now i don’t know what to do 🙁

Ness1985 said on Apr. 20, 2013

This is great news and it seems what the whole EarthBound fan community thought was the issue wasn’t an issue at all 🙂

misterdigi35 said on Apr. 20, 2013

I hope they keep Pokey’s name as Pokey. I think they will and I think they should. Don’t care if Mother 3 named him Porky. His name was Pokey first.

Ostricho said on Apr. 20, 2013

Now I’m angry. Not at the game. At those countless users and even moderators at starmen.net shoving the copyright bullkrap down my throat and everyone else’s throats on any mention of a rerelease.

chillv said on Apr. 20, 2013

I don’t think copyright is the reason for it not being on wii virtual console. I think it was because it didn’t sell well back then so they think many people don’t like the game. Now that nintendo has created miiverse, fans were finally able to show their love for the series. As a result, nintendo looked into the communities and sees how this game is love by many people around the world. I think now they are taking a long time so they can liscence the game. Many games have references in them such as Pikmin 3 and Punch Out. Punch-Out only had mike tyson removed because he really isn’t relevant to the game and he is no longer a boxer. It could also be because nintendo didn’t want to indorse him anymore because of him biting somebody’s ear off.

Mato said on Apr. 20, 2013

I don’t know – Iwata specifically mentioned EarthBound when he announced the Virtual Console in 2005. If they were just worried about sales, then why was DK Jr. Math released on the VC? And why was EarthBound removed from Smash Bros. Brawl?

Anonymous said on Apr. 20, 2013

I know that this is off topic, but when are you going to update Legends of Localization again, Mato?

Mato said on Apr. 20, 2013

It’s been a busy week as I’m sure you can understand, but I’ll try to get at least a tiny update in the next few days. The next part of FFIV has some really interesting stuff to show, but maybe I should get back on Mother 3. Or maybe I should start on the EarthBound print version… ARGH I gotta figure something out

chillv said on Apr. 20, 2013

Maybe it’s because DK Jr Math doesn’t need to go through licensing and stuff to be released.

GhostSonic said on Apr. 20, 2013

Boy, it would be something if Nintendo actually went to the effort to change the music or add in new ones altogether. Hey Mato, where there any other text differences in the Wii-U Mother 2 besides that one guy in Twoson? And what exactly did they change graphic-wise to stop those seizure issues I’ve heard about? I wonder if Nintendo will do any text changes for the localization. Maybe change Dali clocks name? Maybe even change Pokey to Porky to keep it consistent with his official name in Brawl? So curious.

KingMike said on Apr. 21, 2013

It could be an anti-seizure feature in their emulator. Would seem simple enough to add a feature that keeps track of how long since each palette entry was changed, and ignore any changes for how every many frames they deem safe.

DJMankiwitz said on Apr. 21, 2013

I fully support being aware of and designing games around photosensitive individuals. That said, a selecteble option to add in the patched version or play with the original flashier versions would also be welcome. One would be warned in advance the first time what picking the flashier version would mean if they happen to be photosensitive, but beyond that it would be fine.

Thedreaminghawk said on Apr. 21, 2013

GUYS!!! I think I know how the legal issues aren’t affecting EB’s release anymore.

In Japan, Mother 2 is to cost 900 yen instead of 800 like a SFC game normally would. Maybe the extra dollar is to accommodate for the legal issues

Zaxtur said on Apr. 21, 2013

I wouldn’t mind if they at least fixed the typos and stuff.

KingMike said on Apr. 22, 2013

Nintendo charged more in Japan for certain SFC first-party games on the Wii, so it’s nothing new there. (Zelda and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem immediately come to mind)


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