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Tips for Buying EarthBound

August 7th, 2013 | EarthBound


The other day I happened upon a really cool post on the EarthBound Miiverse – how to get to Magicant with Ness at level 9!

This tip comes from a user named Adam (Azure30):

Get anywhere from 110 to 122 exp before fighting Frank in Onett. Any less wont make your level any lower in the end, any more and you’ll be level 10 or more in the end.

109 exp gets you to level 5 for Frank, he should be a piece of cake at that level. Beating him and his robot gets you just 1 exp short of level 6, so thats why I recommended 110 as a minimum.

Now get to Titanic Ant, don’t kill anything else. If you’re thinking ‘gee this will be pretty hard without Psi Rockin Alpha’ you are absolutely correct. It’s brutal.

Abuse the Wii U’s restore point A LOT here. You will want to save between every turn in battle until you get a turn that is favourable to you.

Wiggling the menu cursor, opening menu options and closing them, pressing B – these things manipulate the RNG, and will change the outcome of the battle. This is the key to eventually winning.

Oh and don’t forget you have Hypnosis Alpha here, and it DOES work on TA.

After that, go and beat up the cops. Again, don’t kill anything, you can’t afford to get any extra exp now. The cops aren’t nearly as hard and you’ll have Psi Rockin Alpha for Strong. No sweat.

This is the video to skip Twoson. Again, abuse that restore point to keep reloading until you get it right.

I recommend buying as many skip sandwiches as you can, and using them to cross over every cliff line, it makes it a lot easier.

Once you’re in Threed, avoid all fights because now the enemies here will murder Ness, and trigger the event at the hotel to start Jeff’s part.

When Jeff comes to Threed, Paula will already be in your party automatically, so technically they BOTH join at the same time. This is a rather neat glitch eh?

Now you can continue the game normally. Even when you backtrack to Twoson, nobody will notice Paula is already in the party. You still have to rescue her, remember?

And nothing screws up at all… you can still rescue Paula and she still joins as normally but nothing will change about the Paula that is already in your party. The game handles it just fine.

And how do you keep Ness at level 9, you ask? Well thats easy, he doesn’t get exp if he’s dead. You will have to revive him before you fight any sanctuary boss, though.

Just make sure he is dead at the end of every battle from here on out. You will basically be playing the game without Ness, and it’s a bit hard until you get Poo since Ness is your healer.

You need to get at least 3 Bags of Dragonite before Magicant, and then get the one bag that is IN Magicant. You want 4 bags because 3 MIGHT not be enough to kill your Nightmare.

It’s tough, but you CAN avoid the Krakens in the Sea of Eden if you’re careful enough… and Skip Sandwiches do not make you any faster here so you just gotta be patient and try to get them stuck.

As always, abuse that restore point until you get favourable turns against your nightmare. You don’t have enough health to beat the rolling HP counter under most circumstances.

Phew, well that was fun. If anyone can ‘break’ Onett and skip it somehow, I would LOVE to come back and try a level 1 run of this (because you CAN skip the Starman Jr fight if you wanted).

Of course, this is a lot easier if you use the Wii U’s save point functionality, but if you want to really go hardcore you can just use regular saves and reset each time things don’t go as you hope. It’s neat that an official release on the Wii U Virtual Console like this means that there’s a new way to approach the game, though.

Anyway, if you’ve played EarthBound to death, this might be a neat new challenge to try out sometime! I think I’ll give it a shot someday myself 😀


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24 Comments to Reach Magicant at Level 9 on the Wii U EarthBound!

Pigmask said on Aug. 7, 2013

I seem to remember there used to be a thing on Starmen.net about some guy that was doing just the opposite – Getting to level 100 before fighting Frank.

thedreaminhawk said on Aug. 7, 2013

I also have done glitches like this a ton. My NNID is TheDreaminHawk. I’ve done many weird glitches like this too, such as using a stair glitch to keep pokey and picky.

Azure30 said on Aug. 7, 2013

Mind explaining how you managed this? Because it looks like you skip the event with Buzz Buzz dying, and on another one of your images, it looks like the Onett barriers are not there.

If this is the case, then a level 1 Magicant IS possible and I need to go back :3

Azure30 said on Aug. 7, 2013

Looked deeper into your Miiverse, you used Threed as the example. I am quite aware of this glitch, yes. I didn’t realize that you could do half the things you have done with it though, but still… if this is the earliest you can do it then this doesn’t help me 🙁

That said, I think there IS a way to go into Onett without taking Pokey/Picky home, but it may not be possible with human reflexes.

September said on Aug. 7, 2013

Oh wow. If only I had a Wii U, I’d love to try this out! Maybe it’s possible on an emulator, too? At least I can try, haha.

Covarr said on Aug. 7, 2013

September, it’s absolutely possible on an emulator. All that it really does unique is abusing the RNG, and using savestates to try again if you don’t abuse it the way you want, something that emulators have been able to do for more than a decade (and something that the TAS community relies on).

Vukadin said on Aug. 7, 2013

I REALLY need to try this.

On an unrelated note, birthdays suck. I just realised this. Feels just like another day even after you throw a party…

357 said on Aug. 7, 2013

I saw a tas where you can use debug menu in onett, which means you can fight your nightmare at level 1!

Azure30 said on Aug. 7, 2013

Yeah I’ve tried to manipulate the debug menu:

I have long since given up on that. Something tells me I wont be getting anywhere without frame-specfic timing. Or maybe several hours and a lot of luck. I’m looking for something I can practically pull off normally.

Mato said on Aug. 7, 2013

It’d be hilarious if using that or the tent glitch could somehow be used to crash the emulator and then hack into the Wii U OS.

BusterTheFox said on Aug. 7, 2013

@Mato: Dude. I’ll bet that could totally happen. Just watch.

Huks said on Aug. 8, 2013

@Azure30 Once you have broken out of bounds in Onett, couldn’t you just walk around the entire town and go straight to the Twoson entrance? Or is there something in the way?

Anonymouse said on Aug. 8, 2013

I can’t believe I’m the first person to ask this, but what the heck is RNG and how does fooling with the menu affect the battle?

Azure30 said on Aug. 8, 2013

@Huks Yeah you can’t walk out into the void area even though there is no visible wall there, it’s completely solid. And the cliff itself ends not far from Ness’ house so its no good.

@Mouse RNG – Short for Random Number Generator. Its the term used for any instance in a game where it has to do something random. Whether or not you hit or miss, whether or not the enemy crits you. These are random occurrences influenced by one variable or another. A computer program can’t simply pull a truly random number out of nothing. An RNG typically generates something random based off of an initial value called a seed or key. ‘RNG manipulation’ is essentially finding out what causes the game to change that value and then forcing it to change until you get the result you want. It varies from game to game of course, but in Earthbound you can make a restore point before you input your turn – try having everyone use fight, see how the fight plays out, then reload that restore point and do the exact same thing, it should play out the exact same way every time. Try changing it up a bit, use PSI or items instead, and things will end up being different. You can make the game make different decisions in battle simply by shuffling around with the menu a bit before making your move, if it doesn’t work out for you, reload the restore point and try it again, but shuffle it around differently in some way to try to get a different result.

Thats the best I can describe it. This exists in all games and many of them have ways to manipulate the RNG. Ever watch a Tool-Assisted Speedrun of an RPG where the player seems to avoid all random encounters? That isn’t a hack. That’s RNG manipulation. The act of pressing random. non-consequential buttons forcing the game to shuffle the random number used to determine whether or not the player’s next step is a random battle or not, and constantly doing this in such a way that the game never decides its time for a random battle.

Anonymouse said on Aug. 8, 2013


Thanks for the in-depth explanation! It’s useful to know that shuffling through the menu options will affect the outcomes of each turn, should I ever want to skip through the game quickly. But that being said, I don’t think I’d ever want to know what truly triggers each decision the game makes, because it would ruin the magic of Earthbound for me.

Someone Else said on Aug. 8, 2013

I remember that Golden Sun on the GBA had a very easily manipulatable RNG. I remember following a step-by-step instruction on the Internet on how to get the various monsters to drop all the game’s super-rare items starting from a hard reset each time. It was actually kinda cool.

Anonymouse said on Aug. 8, 2013

Question: If you skip Twoson and then go there playing as Paula (let Ness and Jeff die in other words), what would Everdred and Paula’s family say both before and after rescuing Paula? Would Paula’s dad thank Ness for rescuing his daughter even if Ness isn’t there? Would he say his line about wanting to eat pie with Paula instead? Would the game glitch up?

Chivi-chivik said on Aug. 8, 2013

I would watch someone doing this as an LP.

DexterTheThird said on Aug. 8, 2013

Cool trick, I’ll have to use this to get Poo early on my next playthrough.

Can someone explain in-depth how the Twoson skip works? The video just shows Ness rubbing against a crack in the cliff, and you need a Skip Sandwich somewhere… Or something? The video doesn’t have a good description. Thanks!

Azure30 said on Aug. 8, 2013

@Mouse: Having Paula in your party BEFORE doing Twoson doesn’t change anything. Nobody will notice that Paula is in your party. When the game makes them react to Paula’s presence, it’s because the act of rescuing Paula from Happy Happy Village sets an event flag that those NPCs look at. There will be a second Paula in the jail cell, and she will just act like it’s just Ness alone. All the NPCs will act like it’s Ness alone, until you complete the story event to free Paula. When Paula joins the team a second time, the current Paula already in your team remains unchanged. The second Paula just disappears.

Anonymouse said on Aug. 8, 2013


OK, but if Ness and Jeff (or just Ness, even) are dead upon your return to Twoson after saving Paula, would the story event messages of Everdred and Paula’s Mom and Dad be any different since they are addressing only Paula? What I mean is, would they say the standard messages that they would say to just Paula on a regular visit to Twoson, or would they address Paula as they do Ness after he frees Paula?

Anonymouse said on Aug. 8, 2013


D’oh! I just realized that what I’m describing could be done during a normal playthrough of the game and doesn’t really rely on the glitch to happen.

misterdigi35 said on Aug. 8, 2013


Azure30 said on Aug. 9, 2013

@DexterTheThird: I don’t know how if there is a more sure-fire way of doing it, but yes it is basically just wiggling into the gaps until it works. The youtube video of it being performed does it so flawlessly I’m pretty sure it’s tool-assisted. When I did it, I opted to use skip sandwiches for every cliff line I passed through, and it required several reloads until it finally works for me. I just wiggle the d-pad until Ness finally pushes through *shrug* I don’t know if there’s a more specific way of doing it.


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