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January 16th, 2014 | MOTHER 1, Uncommon Knowledge

Gooieooie sent in a somewhat common question among EarthBound/EarthBound Zero fans:

Hey, Mato!

This time, I have a question. In your old EarthBound Zero remake hack, Ninten is wearing a handkerchief. This handkerchief is also shown on Starmen.net and around the internet. However, while looking at his official clay model, he didn’t have one! His in-game sprite doesn’t either, though that’s probably because of the sprite’s size. Still, the model lacks it. Where did this handkerchief originate? I haven’t really seen the answer to this anywhere, so I hope you might know!

Tonda Gossa!


I know this topic has been covered somewhere at some point, but I can’t remember where. And I can’t remember the answer, either!

I think it might just be something a fan or a group of fans went with, and it’s sort of stuck ever since. A similar phenomenon is Ninten being fond of Oreo cookies – I think that was something a fan artist drew once and other artists latched onto it.

I’m not sure on the details or anything, though, so if anyone knows, please share in the comments!


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48 Comments to Ninten and His Handkerchief

Globulous said on Jan. 16, 2014

My guess would be a trait to create a distinction between Ninten and Ness, at least in terms of art. Unless the kercheif has existed in art pre-Mother 2. Then I have no clue.

Lumi said on Jan. 16, 2014

Wasn’t it because Ninten wore a handkerchief in the live-action trailer? It’s where his tri-colored shirt came from, which some fanartists prefer over the blue and yellow shirt to distinguish him from Ness.

SuperStarmen said on Jan. 16, 2014

Its in the mother 1 commercial… I thought everyone knew that! o.O

NessPSI said on Jan. 16, 2014

The commercial Ninten has a handkerchief and a red, blue and white shirt. That pretty much where the design came from. Some people still give him a yellow and blue shirt w/ a red handkerchief for some odd reason to though.

Carl said on Jan. 16, 2014

I’m more interested in knowing what the deal is with the strange angle of the line dividing his shirt from his shorts. Am I the only one who can’t make heads or tails of what that’s supposed to be?

LucasPSI said on Jan. 16, 2014

Half his shirt is tucked in if that’s what your talking about.

2Sang said on Jan. 16, 2014
Chivi-chivik said on Jan. 16, 2014

It was because of the commercial. The same applies to the red-blue-white set of colors of his t-shirt some fanartist make.

In my case I always draw him with kandkerchief, but with his original set of colors.

HairyStick said on Jan. 16, 2014

Lumi, NessPSI, 2Sang and Chivi-chivik have it spot on. As far as I’m concerned the only real reason why fan artists keep this design is to properly distinguish him from Ness. Otherwise the only real difference would be his socks and shoes!

skyrunner14 said on Jan. 16, 2014

I’m pretty sure the handkerchief thing is a thing for two reasons: 1) to differentiate he and Ness from one another and 2) because he wore it in the commercial.

Blayaden said on Jan. 16, 2014

@ HairyStick
Don’t forget Ness’s backpack! ^_^;

ZeroSquared said on Jan. 16, 2014

Hey Mato! After digging around the forums on Starmen.Net, I found the topic you were talking about and replied to: http://forum.starmen.net/forum/Games/Mother1/Ninten-s-Bandanna

gooieooie said on Jan. 16, 2014

Woah, thanks! So, it was from a commercial, then? Cool! I saw that commercial a while ago, but I didn’t notice the handkerchief… Thanks!

MagikoopaMaster said on Jan. 16, 2014

Yeah as the others said it was from the commercial. I kinda wish they would have stuck with it so he would look a little more different from Ness.

DJMankiewicz said on Jan. 16, 2014

That is still the most incredible game commercial I’ve ever seen. At least, in a way that inspires awe. The original Smash Bros. commercial is the most genuinely funny ones I’ve ever seen, and the “POOOLE POSITION” commercial is the most insanely over the top commercial I’ve ever witnessed.

Frankly, that commercial alone makes me want Stephen Spielberg to direct a Mother movie, done in the style of an 80’s movie with 80’s based practical effects.

Slab Lab said on Jan. 16, 2014

I think he does have a bandanna cayuse in the commercial he has one. Plus, when I cosplay as Ninten I want people to know that I’m him and not Ness lol.

ZeroSquared said on Jan. 16, 2014

Also, Loid has brown hair. I guess it was pretty hard to find a Japanese 10 year old with grey hair, lol.

ZeroSquared said on Jan. 16, 2014

Oh, gosh… I just registered and I can’t believe that’s my sprite. o_O

Leeaux said on Jan. 16, 2014

No worse than mine. Although I always forget to log in. Hahahaha

2Sang said on Jan. 16, 2014

@Leeaux and Zerosquared

You both have encouraged me to create an account even though I’ve been a visitor and commenter since the site has been created. I wonder what icon I’ll get…

2Sang said on Jan. 16, 2014

Perfect. Now if anyone tries to erase me, I shall erase them first!

ZeroSquared said on Jan. 16, 2014

Yep, I might not be longing in for a while… I’m still the anonymous ZeroSquared. lol

2Sang said on Jan. 16, 2014

I dare you to come at me with a pencil eraser.
But seriously if you have an eraser eraser eraser, don’t come near me.

refat17 said on Jan. 16, 2014


Your inspiration from them has inspired me.

DragonKazooie89 said on Jan. 16, 2014

The Oreo cookie thing was made up by the fans and kind of stuck there, especially once we started using it in RPing.

Animegame97 said on Jan. 17, 2014
Buster The Fox said on Jan. 17, 2014

@2Sang It isn’t any weirder than mine. Seriously. Having a dead character who is the opposite gender of mine is not fun. WordPress likes to log me out even when I check Remember Me though, so I’m usually not logged in. Nobody usually wants to steal my username, anyway. Although some fool from, like, Portugal or something stole it on gmail. >:(

Sunnymoon said on Jan. 17, 2014

That’s simple: The handkerchief simply come from the costume of Ninten in the Mother 1 Japanese commercial (That was posted by Animegame97.). A lot of pepole found the design of the claymodel too similar to Ness, so they based on the commercial design that was much developped to draw him. Same goes for Ana (For wearing a tie at her waist.) and Loid (His red shirt turn into a jacket and he have a yellow shirt below it.). This fantasies enable to complexify the designs and make the caracters way more interesting.

Phi said on Jan. 17, 2014

It’s from the commercial.

2Sang said on Jan. 17, 2014

@buster the fox
Those dang Portuguese. They’re so sinister them and their being located next to Spain. Just look at them. They’re up to no good. They’re going to retry and conquer the world.

HairyStick said on Jan. 17, 2014

Goddamnit guys. Now you all made me create an account, too, just to see what icon I’d get.

HairyStick said on Jan. 17, 2014

Haha. PK Love it.

2Sang said on Jan. 17, 2014

@refat17 and Hairystick
One of us. One of us. Gooble gobble. Gooble gobble.

Smellygarbage said on Jan. 17, 2014

A lot of people tend to draw Ninten with a lot thinner of yellow lines on his shirt, since that’s the way his model looks anyway.

BubbleMonkey said on Jan. 17, 2014

Mato I did some digging around and noticed that in the Mother 1 commercial ,where there are live actors, Ninten wears a handkerchief so that might be why so many people associate him with it.

MightyPencilRocket said on Jan. 17, 2014


Esper said on Jan. 18, 2014


You aren’t the only one baffled by the divide between his shirt and pants.

Akuma said on Jan. 19, 2014


It kind of looks like Ninten’s shirt is tucked in on one side and hanging loose on the other.

The Great Morgil said on Jan. 19, 2014

Ness likes Oreos? Huh, I guess that’s one thing he has in common with the Martian Manhunter.

TondaGossa said on Jan. 20, 2014

Woo! Everybody’s getting accounts around here 😀

ZeroSquared said on Jan. 20, 2014

I hope you all don’t have a sprite curse…

MagikoopaMaster said on Jan. 20, 2014

So speaking of getting accounts, i don’t suppose i can change my icon can i?

Rex Thunder said on Feb. 1, 2014

It came from the japanese ad for the game.

Mother2fan said on Feb. 13, 2014

Wow, I thought everyone knew about how the handkerchief came from the commercial. Wow…

Mother1plus2fan said on Feb. 13, 2014

intresting idea there! I always wonder about that too, why people draw him with a handkerchief, and his official art, he doesn’t! Good job explain it, Nice job! 🙂

gooieooie said on Feb. 15, 2014

Well, I, as the person who asked this question, made an account. Which sprite did I get?

gooieooie said on Feb. 15, 2014

Haha, Mini Barf! 😀 Love it.

CountessGardevoir said on Mar. 6, 2014



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