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September 5th, 2013 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

A recent question I got on my EarthBound Legends of Localization site was:

According to The Cutting Room Floor, there’s two unused items: Video Relaxant (“What the hey is this?”) and Temporary Goods (“A key given to you by a maid who works at the Monotoli building.”), neither of which do anything. The former is listed on your Items page, but not the latter.

I’m curious as to what the Japanese version says about these items.

For years I’ve wanted to know what the Japanese version of these unused items were like, so I finally went and checked it out. Here are some side-by-side screenshots!

Video Relaxant

In the Japanese version, the item is called “Video Drug”. This always seemed like a really weird phrase to me, but in some old interviews Shigesato Itoi refers to the battle backgrounds as “video drugs” (example), so I’m guessing it’s some sort of Japanese-derived English. Unless if anyone knows if this is a real English phrase?

Anyway, the description in Japanese is pretty much the same as in the English version, something along the lines of, “What the heck is this?”

Temporary Goods

As you can see, the “Temporary goods” item in EarthBound was simply called “TEMP” in MOTHER 2. The description’s essentially the same too: “A key given to you by the maid in the Monotoly Building.”

So there you go! It’s still unclear how exactly these items were supposed to fit into the game, if at all, but at least now we can see their Japanese counterparts.

…Now someday we gotta figure out the mystery of the game’s “Teleport Box” action, the “black smoke pours out of ____’s body” battle action that sends you outside the Monotoli Building, and lots more unused stuff. Almost 20 years since the game’s release there are still so many mysteries left 😯


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21 Comments to MOTHER 2 and EarthBound’s Unused Items

Anonymous said on Sep. 5, 2013

The “black smoke thing” could maybe indicate that a character is on fire and is taking damage, similar to how PK Fire would sometimes cause enemies or team members to catch fire in Mother 3.

Charley said on Sep. 5, 2013

Maybe the Video Relaxant was something that loaded a battle screen background viewer when used? Kind of like a sound test, but for backgrounds.

Chivi-chivik said on Sep. 5, 2013

20 years of mysteries? Get ready, we’ll all die and we won’t have finished finding all the secret stuff in the ROM. This applies to MOTHER 3 as well.

chris catfood said on Sep. 5, 2013

i would like to see a way to view battle screen backgrounds without the characters and menus. there’s not currently a debug code or game genie codes to do this on real hardware, is there?

Mato said on Sep. 5, 2013

You can use EarthBound hacking tools to see all the existing battle background combinations plus check out all the thousands of possible other combinations. I think this in-game battle debug menu might allow you to see all the in-game combinations too: http://earthboundcentral.com/2010/12/earthbound-battle-debug-menu-found/

Mariotti said on Sep. 5, 2013

For the first time in a while Mato put up two posts in two days! Hooray!

Mato said on Sep. 5, 2013

Yep, I had a little bit of extra time today!

I miss the old days when I’d post stuff every single day, sometimes even more than one thing a day.

gBev said on Sep. 5, 2013

I remember you mentioning ages ago that you were thinking about delegating posts to some other people. I guess that didn’t work out? Just curious, honestly it would feel weird at this point considering you and EBC are pretty much synonymous.

H.S said on Sep. 5, 2013

Actually, it looks like SimonBob figured out the black smoke thing several years ago. Penguin also found some more information about that a few days ago.

I made a video of the event, and included some information in the video description.


skyrunner14 said on Sep. 5, 2013

Teleport Box? A black smoke event? I’ve never heard of any of these! Well, now that’s I’ve seen H.S’s video, I know what the second thing is, but what is this “Teleport Box” of which you speak? And what other unused oddities lie in Earthbound that the community is aware of? Where can I find more info?

BusterTheFox said on Sep. 5, 2013

chris catfood: You could also take a look at the Kraken screensaver if you have a Windows PC, although it doesn’t emulate them perfectly. You should be able to find a post about there here on EBC…

I’ve never heard of this “Teleport Box” thingy, either. I think I’ve heard about the black smoke thing in passing, but never really knew anything about it. Time to look at the video… Lol.

Crav said on Sep. 5, 2013

In one of the randomly generated hacks, I remember the bubble monkey was able to use the telepot box and it actually pulled me out of a battle and teleported me from Winters to Threed. Of course, I had no way to rescue Ness and Paula, and was short there after killed by the powerful Threed enemies, which sent me back to Winters when I was revived.

Marcos said on Sep. 5, 2013

@h.s wow I’ve been an earthbound fan for years and I never even heard of this. Great video!!! Can someone please explain the box thing? And thanks for uploading the video!

Earthbounder said on Sep. 6, 2013

Maybe the video relaxant item would allow to turn of the battle backgrounds? It does fit with the name afterall. 😛

Crav said on Sep. 6, 2013

Marcos: Well, when I saw it, it gave the message “The Teleport box began to groan!” when it was first used and it would start shaking the screen and making weird sound effects. Then, a few turns later it would either say “The Teleport Box broke down.” in which case nothing would happen and the shaking and sound effects would stop or “The Teleport Box activated!” In which case it ended the battle and actually teleported me to a differnt area.

If I had to make a guess, I’d say it was probably meant to work kind of like the exit mouse. An emergency item that you could use to get out of a dangerous area and back to someplace that you could heal. Maybe it was scraped because the exit mouse and actual teleport PSI made it redundant.

Daniel B. said on Sep. 6, 2013

It’s me again — the guy who posted the question. 🙂

The Temporary Goods description seems to indicate that you would’ve gotten it from Electra after giving her the Yogurt Dispenser, possibly to open the second elevator.

Mato said on Sep. 6, 2013

gBev: The idea is still swimming around in my head, to me it feels like just yesterday that I suggested that so it could still happen. I’ve also sometimes briefly considered freezing EBC too, but for now there’s enough going on and I still get enough enjoyment out of it that I want to keep it going, even if it is at a slower pace.

Marcos said on Sep. 7, 2013

Crav, thanks I had no idea that ever existed. If anyone else knows things that are kinda in the dark please share.

misterdigi said on Sep. 8, 2013

Gosh. I’ve played the game at least 8 times all the way through and I’ve never seen these items.

Ness and Sonic said on Sep. 11, 2013

Teleport Box? You mean how the monkey in Deep Darkness did it? I know how. Try pressing the D-pad while using Teleport alpha. I’ve done it before on my old SNES cart, so I know about it.

kelim said on Oct. 24, 2013

Video Relaxant has to be a reference to Amyl Nitrate -aka- poppers. Look it up.


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