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Tips for Buying EarthBound

May 22nd, 2013 | EarthBound, MOTHER 1+2, Videos

I sometimes wondered if different versions of MOTHER 2 might play faster or slower than other versions – and then I stumbled upon this Japanese video that compares the walking speed of the GBA MOTHER 2 and the Wii U Virtual Console MOTHER 2.


(GBA on top, Wii U on bottom)

As you can see, the GBA version has slower walking. I don’t know if that’s because the Wii U’s Super Famicom emulator has slightly messed-up timing or if that’s how fast an actual Super Famicom version would run – it might be a good idea to compare it with an actual Super Famicom MOTHER 2 and Super NES EarthBound too sometime.

I guess this only really matters for speed runners, so if you’re trying to go for a world record you probably don’t want to use the GBA version 😛


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21 Comments to Comparing MOTHER 2 Walking Speeds

JimJam707 said on May. 22, 2013

I don’t why anyone would want to play the GBA version over the SNES version with the GBA’s music :/

resetsurvivor said on May. 22, 2013

What sort of timing issues does the Super Famicom emulator have that you’ve experienced?

MightyYT said on May. 22, 2013

Something else of note is that all 4 characters are perfectly in sync in their walking animations (foot placement and how they rise and fall by like a pixel) in the GBA video, while they are all out of sync in the Wii U video (although Paula and Poo may be in sync with each other). My memory tells me that they are also out of sync in the SNES and SFC versions, which leads me to believe their walking speed is also the same as Wii U’s. That is curious though that they would make such a minuscule change like that to the GBA version.

naja said on May. 22, 2013

Maybe since the aspect ratio of the GBA is smaller than the SFC version, they made the character walk slower so that you wouldn’t rush into an enemy you didn’t want to run, or something like that… maybe.
I’ve played the GBA version and it didn’t feel slow at all to me, didn’t notice that.

MHFsilver said on May. 22, 2013

That’s quite interesting, different run speeds based on versions.

TheZunar123 said on May. 22, 2013

Interesting. I wish I could change that…

@JimJam707: The music honestly doesn’t bug me that much. Maybe because I haven’t played the two versions side-by-side. Anyway, I like it because of portability. The only thing is that the translation isn’t complete, and probably won’t be for a long time (at least a year, if not more).

Speaking of the translation, there was one guy on another website that offered to program a VWF for the Mother 2 side, but I haven’t heard from him since February.

svjness said on May. 22, 2013

I remember back when I first played EB on SNES, that I had concluded that the walk animation of each character was based on their speed stats. This is why each character’s walk animation is out of sync from others. The leader of the party would control the speed of the whole group.

I did some very unscientific experimenting, however I’m sure that if someone wanted to test this theory, they could play around with the speed stats of each character and do some timings, as well as see if the walk animations are all in sync if all characters speed is set to the same.

MightyYT said on May. 22, 2013

@svjness: That’s an interesting theory, but after some thorough testing, it doesn’t seem to affect their walking animations and whether they’re in sync or not. If the animation was based on that character’s speed stat, then a character’s animation should “catch up” with another character’s animation, where for maybe a second or two, the two characters will seem to be in sync in terms of their height and foot placement.

Using the above video to demonstrate, let’s assume that Ness is a higher level than Paula and that they have very different speed stats (which is a safe bet), therefore, if your theory is correct, one of their animations should “catch up” with the other at some point during this extended walk through the desert and their animations should be in sync briefly. As you’ll see (and I’ve seen in my series of tests), none of the animations ever briefly get in sync, then fall out of sync again during the same walk. Instead, the differences between their animations remains consistent throughout.

We should still investigate the movement speed being based on the party leader’s speed stat though, that might hold true.

Darien said on May. 22, 2013

Not meaning to be unbelievably pedantic, but a speed run would normally be for a specific game on a specific platform, yes? As in, Mother 2 GBA and Mother 2 SFC and Mother 2 Wii U would all be considered different games. Perhaps I am just uninitiated in the ways of these things, but that’s how I would expect it to work, anyhow.

Anonymous said on May. 22, 2013

EARTHBOUND SUCKS PLAY CALL OF DUTY just kidding, Call of Duty sucks

Bob said on May. 22, 2013

What does COD have to do with this?
Or do you just like mindlessly bashing on mainstream games?

Smellygarbage said on May. 23, 2013

What IS the world record anyway?

Mato said on May. 23, 2013

The old one was here: http://earthboundcentral.com/2010/08/an-earthbound-world-record/

The new one I’m not so sure about, but someone did recently surpass that old world record: http://earthboundcentral.com/2013/04/earthbound-finished-in-about-five-hours/

Jason said on May. 23, 2013

Maybe I’m just a member of the the uninitiated, but I believe in speed-running, different editions/versions of the same game are considered the SAME game.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past speedruns usually use the Japanese version, I believe, because there’s a certain glitch that you can do. Same reason why there are probably no PAL speedruns of games, since the NTSC version plays a bit faster.

All the same, I am intrigued about the walking animation differences..

Vince said on May. 23, 2013

Maybe they sped it up on the GBA version because it’s a portable console?

Vince said on May. 23, 2013

Oh, whoops! Just realized that I got it backwards. Disregard my last message.

Douche Mcallister said on May. 24, 2013

Really the only difference that stood out to me while playing the GBA version was the sound of PSI moves and the Dusty Dunes theme. I thought that theme translated horribley to the GBA. But other than that it was well done.
Never noticed the walking speed difference though. Good eye.

Irock said on May. 25, 2013

In speedrunning, emulated versions of games are considered the same game, but modified versions are considered separate. For example, Ocarina of Time on the N64 and Virtual Console are the same, but Ocarina of Time 3D is its own game.

TheWiseSage said on May. 30, 2013

This is interesting… thanks for sharing!

Shannon Carr said on Jun. 3, 2013

I agree, TheWiseSage. It’s interesting to see GBA & Wii U compared.

Open said on Jun. 15, 2013

I agree, Motherplayer — especially with your comnemts about the weapons seeming a bit risque. That’s one of the things that makes this series so great in my opinion, though!I also agree with your comment people passing over this series. I’m actually guessing a lot of them do so because of the graphics. I distinctly remember finding EarthBound’s graphics a bit … odd (and not really in a good way) when it first came out, for instance. Also, the series is so hyped at this point that I can see some folks turning their noses up at it for that reason, too.Regardless, it’s too bad, as these games are well worth experiencing thanks to their uniqueness and their wonderful storytelling, among other things.


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