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Tips for Buying EarthBound

February 11th, 2014 | Hacking, MOTHER 1

EB0-03_zps483170bc EB0-02_zpsad0d990a

Andrew / Q has recently created a bunch of hacks for EarthBound Zero that update the game in several ways:

Demiforce hack – The patch will turn an clean copy of the Earth Bound prototype ROM into the most recent Demiforce version (Demiforce v1.01 Hack-2). This adds the word “Zero” to the title screen, fixes a few spelling/grammar mistakes, and, if my memory is correct, it’s also necessary to complete the game without setting off the copy protection if you’re using other hacks.

Graphics restoration hack – When Mother was localized into Earth Bound, several sprites were altered in order to censor depictions of blood/gore, smoking, religious iconography, knives, and, of course, robotic nipples. A few other sprites were changed for reasons that are not entirely clear. This hack replaces all the altered sprites with the originals.

Gameplay balance hack – EarthBound Zero is known for being somewhat tedious to play due to the high rate of random encounters and the large amount of level grinding the player must do. This hack attempts to remedy this by quadrupling experience, doubling money, and reducing the random encounter rate by approximately half. Using this hack is like using the “Easy Ring” mod that was created for the Mother 1 GBA fan translation.

Font hack – This replaces the font with the font designed for the Mother 1 GBA fan translation for an improved presentation.

Text tweaks hack – This makes a number of minor alterations to the game’s text. The character Giegue is now named Giygas for consistency with EarthBound for SNES. The menu option “State” is now “Stats.” I thought this was a more logical abbreviation for “Status.” Menu commands (e.g., Use) and stats (e.g., Offense) are no longer written in all capital letters because it looks ugly.

You can get individual patches for each one of these, or you can get an all-in-one patch here!


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28 Comments to EarthBound Zero Improvement Hacks

CJmariominesonic said on Feb. 11, 2014

Yes a patch to fix the altered sprites. Now somebody needs to make one for earthbound.

Buck Fever said on Feb. 11, 2014

This is really really cool!

gBev said on Feb. 11, 2014

@CJmariominesonic I’d be surprised if someone hasn’t already done that at some point.

Hunter said on Feb. 11, 2014

remind me: what is a good IPS patcher for this?

Hunter said on Feb. 11, 2014
TheZunar123 said on Feb. 11, 2014

Now if only someone could hack the game to make it a bit faster and smoother, I would be inclined to play this version. I recall something about how the game has to actually print the empty lines between each line of text and that’s why the text scrolling is slow. I believe it had something to do with the japanese text? Maybe if someone could remove that and/or change the status shortcut to an L button of sorts then the game would be perfect.

RandomGuardian said on Feb. 11, 2014

Nice! I always found the gba version to be naturally superior, but there’s something about playing Mother 1 on the good ol’ tube TV that I enjoy more. Crisper sounds, bigger view, darker greens, all that. Now I can have the best of both worlds!
Thanks for the post Mato!

Big League Batter said on Feb. 11, 2014

Does the uncensored graphics patch uncensor all the sprites? I saw a patch before that uncensored some of the sprites, but didn’t uncensor the crosses in the churches (on the church windows, if I remember right).

Jerk said on Feb. 11, 2014

I always thought mods like these were really arrogant. “Oh, hey, we made your game better by “fixing” things. Now people can enjoy it more because we fixed problems that you didn’t!” Take the game as it is. If it’s difficult for you or you don’t-heaven forbid-like the font they chose, maybe it’s not the game for you.

Big League Batter said on Feb. 11, 2014

@Jerk It does seem like some of the things are just nitpicky. I never had trouble reading the original font, and almost every NES game was meant to be difficult. Some games aren’t “a quick playthrough”. If you just want to speed through a game, you turned it into work.

dragonwarriorquestsagain said on Feb. 11, 2014

I believe these “fixes” make the game playable. It’s archaic and slow. The original dragon warrior’s text was almost impossible to read and ever harder to understand. Broken old english will make you go blind. Still, the mother translation had some typos and the text isn’t fast. Also, the graphical “updates” are from the original version of mother. They aren’t really changes. They just allow usa players to experience the game in an unaltered format. As for the exp and $ patch, that’s for the kiddies that want to play it, but don’t have the patience. Exposure is always a good thing. I think if you don’t like the patches you’re doing your self a diservice. Who doesn’t want to play a more fluid and grammatically superior game? Thank you for the patches!

Big League Batter said on Feb. 11, 2014

Never thought of the Easy Ring patch like that. But then, nobody in my family really a gamer, and my friends in the know play it normally (but have difficulty with it). I definitely don’t have a beef with any “unchanging” hacks (those are among my favorite- see EB Uncensored, the SMW beta, etc). Maybe I’ll show them the Easy patch!

JamesBond007 said on Feb. 11, 2014

Does the text hack changes Megaborg into Mega Borg? Without the patch, stronger versions are spelled in two words (Giga Borg and Omega Borg), but the weakest version is spelled in one word.

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Feb. 12, 2014

Good stuff, but I’m still waiting for BBHack or whatever it was called to be finished.

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Feb. 12, 2014

“I think if you don’t like the patches you’re doing your self a diservice. Who doesn’t want to play a more fluid and grammatically superior game?”

Thanks for letting me know that I did myself a disservice because I managed to finish the EarthBound Zero NES prototype version without any of these patches.

I don’t know what this is all about.

dragonwarriorquestsagain said on Feb. 12, 2014

Play it again w/ the patches! You’ll have fun!

The Great Morgil said on Feb. 12, 2014

Wait, so are these patches just all the same things done with the GBA fan-translation? That’s fine and all, but i’ll just stick to playing the GBA version on the same flash cart as the translated Mother 3.

RockXLight said on Feb. 12, 2014

@ Opinionated Vector Chimera

Hear, hear!

I, too am irked at the notion that EarthBound Zero needs to be “improved”. There’s always some effort afoot to manipulate the game or remake it to be more playable. Any Mother fan worth his salt should be offended by the notion, just as any Mario fan who thinks Super Mario Bros. should be “fixed” should be ashamed of himself. Retranslation and decensoring is fine, but this “easy patch” stuff is for the birds (and for gamers spoiled by the incredible ease of more modern RPGs).

Earthboundians Unite! said on Feb. 12, 2014

@Jerk For myself, sometimes I just don’t have the time to sit down and grind for hours at a time and just want to continue on with the story, so these mods help me in a way get to the end of the game faster. Now I love grinding, for whatever reason, but again as I said before, I just don’t always have the time for it, meaning that I can’t always experience my favorite genre as much as I want to, or rather as much variety as I want. Such as, I don’t want to be playing one RPG and have it take me a month just simply due to grinding and no side quests done, no alternate paths, ect. I’ld rather have a bit more variety in my RPGs, and games in general, instead of being limited to just one game for a period of time. Of course I could play multiple RPGs at one time, but I could also easily then get lost in all the worlds. But you also have to remember that these mods were developed before any sort of rerelease or update, which usually most games ‘fix’ their difficulty level in a rerelease, such as FF 1 and 2 Dawn of Souls on the GBA, which added in better graphics, better sound, better text, and an easily leveling up system that requires less experience. So I don’t see why this is such a big issue to you (unless of course you also don’t like it when companies change the difficulty or graphics to an extent) if you’re okay with remakes and rereleases, but again, I’m not sure if you are. But what I recommend to fans of the series is that you should play whatever version you want you want to play.

@RockXLight So essentially, what you’re saying is that we’re not “true Mother fans” unless we all agree with the notion that if a little change is made to make the game easier and less time consuming… seems to make sense rite bro? Kidding aside, if that’s you’re definition of a “true Mother fan” then I don’t want to be one. Also, not all modern RPGs are easy peasy either, have you played the new Bravely Default? Not especially way to difficult in the beginning, but has a nice slope of easy to hard to gahh! *Smashes 3DS*, and really allows players of any crowd get into the game, which is a good game, if many crowds are satisfied with just one game. Furthermore, many things in the original Mother were changed in the American version, such as the Factory and the addition of a 2X speed button, which would be considered a run button but it actually doubled the speed of the game for those who don’t know. So changing whole dungeons is allowed, but not doubling experience so you can get to the dungeons faster? Which is really worse?

@Opinionated Vector Chimera Sorry if people are talking to you that way, the point of an easy mod is to make the game more fluid and streamlined than the original game, is it the superior version then? Depends on what your standing is. If you think that original is better, then Mother 1 is better than Earth Bound Zero, as a lot of dungeons were changed between versions. If you like a more streamlined, easier experience, or just don’t have the time to play it, go with Earth Bound Zero, and an easy mod. All and all, I stick with Mother 1 to be my favorite version.

Big League Batter said on Feb. 12, 2014

Why do I feel like I started something bad here? I’m still kinda new to comments. Thoughts aside, are there any patches to revert maps to Mother’s or run button fix patches?

Jerk said on Feb. 12, 2014

Y’know what though? If you beat it with any patch, aside from the patches that just disable anti-piracy measures, you didn’t really beat Mother. That’s just the fact of the matter. If you an “easy patch” or anything like that you cheated. Fact. Might as well have used Game Genie.

BusterTheFox said on Feb. 12, 2014

@Big LEague Batter: Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. 🙂 In fact, thus far it seems to be sticking to a mostly civil level of people giving their personal opinions on the matter (Although a few posts are borderline at that).

I’ve tried playing Mother many times, but the only time I’ve gone through it all the way was on the GBA version with the Easy Ring equipped. I started a new file a while back, planning to see what it was like without the extra boost, but I didn’t play it too much. I should try booting it up again sometime. I tend to prefer the GBA version just because of the little updates here and there. As far as the translations, I liked the original game’s “Mr. Batty is so confused,” and, “Hyena just grins and bears it!”. There are other lines I similaly enjoy about Mato’s translation. I call it even on that. Plus, Unlike playing an Easy patch for the NES, I can simply choose not to equip the Easy Ring, but if I’m having a hard time, I can choose to equip it for a while (Only problem being that without a replacement item, it can’t be UN-equipped). Oh, and looking at the patches, the GBA version was never censored either, so there’s that, too. …Now that I look at it, the GBA translation does everything these patches do. Giygas instead of Giegue, an Easy mode, no censorship… Obviously it uses the GBA version’s font. Lol. Look what I’ve discovered!

Supergamerk said on Feb. 13, 2014

This seems pretty neat. Now I’ve always enjoyed Mother 1 (even with the level grinding and enemy encounter rates) but this looks a lot better. I might give this a shot just for fun.

Batguy said on Feb. 13, 2014

I, for one, don’t care how people choose to play Mother. I only got about a third of the way through the game because it took me about five minutes to travel to the other end of the screen.

Can I use my old save file with the patched ROM?

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Feb. 17, 2014

@Earthboundians Unite! @RockXLight

I’m totally fine with easy patches if it makes the game more accessible for other people, but I do prefer playing the unaltered originals because nostalgia. Diversity and choice are the greatest strengths.

2Jaded said on Feb. 27, 2014

Well I wouldn’t call it “easy” per se and it’s surely not a “cheat” but it’s just a lot more balance in areas where it’s almost impossible to play the game itself and explore the unique world without being bombarded by enemies. Mother/Earthbound Zero is a very, very dated game and hasn’t aged well because of the reason that the grinding is just too tedious that it just becomes boring and uninteresting as the many hours you put into it drags on. The game is plagued with countless encounters that also ruins the pace of the game to a slow cringe worthy halt.
And personally I think that just because these patches addresses these problems it doesn’t exactly mean that they cheated there way through the game. Take a look at the official GB and SNES ports of Dragons Quest the game was heavily balanced and fixed from its NES counterpart which also contained tedious grinding and bad pacing. So by your logic I guess the people who beaten those have never beaten the game at all, but simply “cheated”.
In fact I think these patches make the original play much more like the heavily improved and superior Mother 2 and 3 which is always a plus in my book. But people always have the option to play the game as it is or the way they want to play it. And quite honestly I’ll gladly go for a more balanced and cleaner version of a game that just hasn’t aged well at all. Maybe I’ll play it all the way through without the patches but as of now I just want to enjoy Earthbound Zeros plot, characters and environment without having to get too frustrated over the fact that I spent three to four hours getting to level four.

Apologies for this being a tad bit too long,
Fuzzy Pickles! 😉

??? said on Mar. 5, 2014

Based on the image on the right, I assume that you can apply multiple hacks at once, and that they’ll overlap each other in synchronization. 🙂

Anonymous said on Mar. 20, 2014

This makes me wonder… would there be enough room on the EB0 ROM for Tomato’s re-translated script from the GBA port?


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