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July 3rd, 2013 | MOTHER 1, Videos

Will sent this in:

Hello EB Central,

I recently finished work on the first part of my Mother Retrospective, and I feel that it could be a nice thing to feature, it shows the history of the game’s development.

You can check out the video here:

It looks like more videos for the other MOTHER games are on their way, so I look forward to them!

This video also reminds me of how I felt back when I first played EarthBound Zero, when the ROM was leaked. I really wish I could’ve played the game back in like 1991 or whenever it was supposed to be released – I would’ve been such a huge fan of it. I was absolutely CRAZY about StarTropics, so I think a Nintendo RPG with a similar vibe would’ve won me over instantly. Although I still wound up as a crazed fan of the series a few years later anyway 😛


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25 Comments to MOTHER / EB Zero Retrospective

Pichu said on Jul. 3, 2013

Ran into this video a few hours ago, thought it was worth the watch. Glad to see it promoted here ^,^

EpicJackman said on Jul. 3, 2013

The game has aged as well as Quest 64. It was great for what people were used to at the time. But when you look back at it years later, you wonder why you praised it in the first place. The music is still awesome though.

Prayer For Safety said on Jul. 3, 2013

Nice video, looking forward to seeing the rest. I remember playing EB Zero for the first time when I was 16. After getting use to the level grinding it was really enjoyable.

Silverbolt202 said on Jul. 3, 2013

He just said word for word what the Happy video game nerd said in his Earthbound review….

Silverbolt202 said on Jul. 3, 2013

But the part when he got to talking about if Mother 1 holds up I agree with him saying there’s too much grinding for exp. once you get to Snowman which is why I am glad Tomatos patch for Mother 1+2 exists

Vukadin said on Jul. 3, 2013


99.9% of 8-bit RPGs require large amounts of grinding.

ChocoWolf said on Jul. 3, 2013

Woah. He actually did take quite a few lines from Derek the HVGN. Still interesting to watch though 😀

Will (I did the video) said on Jul. 3, 2013

yeah, I definitely took plenty of influence from Derek, I guess I kinda subconsciously wrote similarly to him. I really enjoy the video of his and take no shame in doing something similar to he did

Anonymous said on Jul. 3, 2013

I am a huge fan of Mother franchise but I’ve never been able tog et into Mother 1 because I grew up with SNES RPGs, not NES. I am terrible at videogames.

PiePusher11 said on Jul. 4, 2013

Am I seriously the only one who actually enjoys MOTHER in its entirety? I enjoyed the relative lack of a story, it lets you fill in the blanks for yourself instead of telling exactly how everything happens. Granted, there is a decent amount of grinding, but, it’s not nearly as bad as everyone seems to say it is. The soundtrack is one of my favorites. Ok, yes, it was confusing during your first time through, at least if you’re not taking the lame way out and using a guide, like I did…but subsequent playthroughs aren’t that bad at all. While not my favorite game in the series, (that would have to be EB), it is very close, and, I guess I can understand why people may not like it as much, but I don’t see why everyone hates on it as much as they do.

Vukadin said on Jul. 4, 2013


Because people are casuals that can’t enjoy a real RPG and a real challenge.

EarthBound also lacked much of a story, and yet look at how popular it is. The reason for this is because EarthBound is probably the easiest game in the series, followed closely by Mother 3 (Mother 3 was a bit challenging, but not as challenging as EarthBound Zero/Mother 1).

earthbounder said on Jul. 4, 2013

Im glad im not the only one who noticed that this review sounded exactly like hvgn`s review.

BucksterBuckBuck said on Jul. 4, 2013

I actually have better memories of playing EB0 than M3. It’s amazing that that whole game was fit on an NES cartridge.

As for grinding, I used cheats.

Chivi-chivik said on Jul. 4, 2013


I think the same as you, but when I start to remember that humans were born to complain, then I understand.

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Jul. 4, 2013

This is going to get *very* off-topic, so bear with me:

I liked my Earthbound Zero playthrough. Sure, there were difficulties such as the one-way menu screen, intense grinding (not really!), and some difficulty spikes (it starts going to hell on Mt. Itoi), but I liked every minute of it. It also helped that the items and PSI spells in this game can serve you very well, such as stat-raising abilities and Ropes. But, naturally, no one thinks to use them because they’re useless in most RPGs. Not this one. (Hint: PK Freeze Gamma and Ropes work on every enemy in the game, even the Dragon.)

It’s almost like another game from a famous JRPG series that gets so much flak for “encouraging you to hit yourself in the head to level up” and “repeating commands over and over again to level up”. After I beat the final boss of that game, I said to myself, “That was an amazing game.” It’s not that hard, actually; it felt quite balanced all the way through, and any difficulty spikes could be countered with buffs/debuffs or instant-death spells that no enemy is immune to the effect of. You read that correctly. I don’t see why anyone would hate a game like this. Do they not know how to play it without doing all of that grinding? There isn’t much to be done in the first place, because everything levels up as you progress. (That also explains the high encounter rate, because you get more levels out of it.)

To this end, I think that people are unnecessarily bashing on Mother 1/Earthbound Zero and that other game just because they were released on the same platform that the first JRPGs (and really hard ones, from what I’ve heard) were on. Both games can be easy (not very easy, just easy) if you know what you’re doing. It also helps that anything works, because none of the enemies have status immunities. If you’re considering on criticizing Mother 1/Earthbound Zero or that other game, please *actually* play through them before you do.

Mike said on Jul. 4, 2013

I’ve said on here before that I don’t “hate” MOTHER 1. What I don’t appreciate is the number of folks who love it telling me that I’m not sophisticated enough to appreciate its unattractive graphics/lack of story/confusing nature/grind centrism.

EARTHBOUND was the game that got me into RPG’s. I had tried a few of the sword n sorcery types prior to EB, but never finished because the medieval setting wasn’t of interest to me. EB, by contrast, pulled me in with its easy to learn system of play, modern setting, colorful graphics, straightforward narrative and grinding shortcuts (like the auto-defeat system for weak enemies). I played a friend’s copy of it when he lent it to me back in 1996 and I adored it.

In 1998 I found it for $5 in a bargain bin at an electronics big box store and I wish I had bought every copy they had, to be honest. It’s a game I re-play about once a year, whether on the original system or emulated. I’ll be buying it on the Wii U when it comes out later this year.

By 2000, I came across EARTHBOUND ZERO. Having played several RPG’s by this point, largely those of the 16-bit era, I was extremely excited and downloaded a copy to spin up on one of the NES emulators on my computer.

The first thing I noticed was how dark and drab everything was. It reminded me of an 8-bit horror game. Dead grass, ugly buildings, invisible enemies. Ninten looked deformed. The first fight with the lamp almost took me out, but the doll is what did me in. It was ugly and terrifying. The scaling was terrible in the overworld.

While I can chalk up some of this to the fact that, yes, it was on the NES, I recall several games on the NES that didn’t have this problem. Look at, say, the Super Mario Bros. games from the same era and earlier. They were colorful, interesting, the characters didn’t look horribly deformed.

The reality is that, compared to EARTHBOUND, MOTHER 1 was joyless, difficult and long. I remember the first trudge I took from Ninten’s ugly little shack into town. I was concerned I had gone the wrong way, and after being ambushed multiple times by enemies I couldn’t see I switched the whole thing off.

Facing facts: By and large, 8-bit wasn’t an adequate platform for RPG’s. You had the choice of three elements: Expansive overworld, terrific graphics, variety of characters/enemies. However, you could only have two. MOTHER 1 chose the first and last. There’s a good reason why RPG’s really came into their own in the late 16-bit era – you could have all three.

This, again, is not explaining why everybody should “hate” MOTHER 1. If you are a nostalgic gamer, longing for the “good old days” when you had to supplement EVERYTHING with your imagination, then MOTHER 1 is a perfect game for you. It just isn’t for me.

PKJohnny said on Jul. 4, 2013

Mother is my favourite game in the series as it is short and sweet! The story though not much is immersive! I love the game. It has some sort of charm to it that keeps me wanting to play it again.

Earthbounder said on Jul. 4, 2013

Eight.. there are eight melodies… not seven… “Sigh”

Kyle said on Jul. 4, 2013

@EpicJackman – Oh Quest64, how I loathe you 😛

Vukadin said on Jul. 5, 2013

Yer commint awaits moderition.

Seriously, post long a** comment and then this.

misterdigi said on Jul. 5, 2013


No. You are not the only one. The “lack of story” is my favorite part of the game. Filling in the blanks requires that the player invests their own heart and imagination into the game. Something that alot of people don’t care to do. They want someone to do the work for them. And in the end that’s just not as fun doing the work yourself. Which is why, for me as well, this game is a VERY close second in terms of my favorite Mother game. Mother 2 is my fav.

But you know what? The game doesn’t really lack any story at all. there is TONS of story. the game just throws you into the action right away. How is that lack of story? Maybe lack of exposition, which is a good thing. Jesus. We don’t need a novel explaining every single little thing beforehand.

Vukadin said on Jul. 5, 2013

In any case, Earthbound > Earthbound Zero > Mother 3

In my opinion anyway.

ben said on Jul. 5, 2013

pretty unbearable video.

Blue Toad said on Jul. 6, 2013

Just don’t do a part 2. It will just be a copy of Roo the next time.

Matt said on Jul. 10, 2013

Players are used to games holding their hands now, and that can be a good thing. But the sense of exploration we had in the early days goes right out the window.

MOTHER had plenty of self-guided exploration, which was key to enjoying the experience. Sometimes that means cheap deaths via hyper-powerful enemies, but Nintendo games are supposed to kick your butt and make you like it.

@PiePusher et al, you are not the only ones who love MOTHER/EBZ. I’d take it over MOTHER 3 any day.


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