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Tips for Buying EarthBound

April 19th, 2015 | EarthBound, Images

I always enjoy seeing how magazines covered EarthBound back in 1994/1995, but I thought I had covered them all by now. I was wrong! Retromags had this neat scan from Nintendo Magazine System, an Australian gaming magazine:


Here’s what it has to say about EarthBound / MOTHER 2:

One of the strangest Japanese RPGs is the bizarre Mother 2, which was mentioned a few months ago in these very pages. Well, we’re mentioning it again because it’s being translated into English in preparation for release in America with the new name of Earthbound.

The first thing you’ll notice about Earthbound/Mother 2 is the bland looking graphics. In fact it looks like a NES game and, at 24 Mbits, you may be wondering why. It’s not because the artists have been lazy, though, it’s because Earthbound has such a huge playing area and it really is the mother of all RPGs! Forget Secret Of Mana’s mere 70 odd hours of gameplay, Earthbound will probably take weeks of constant playing to finish!

The story is a surreal blend of school children and aliens, with some of the weirdest characters you’ll ever meet. The game is full of off beat Japanese humour, although sadly much of this will probably be ‘Americanised’ in the translation. Still, the game was hugely popular in Japan and should do well in the States, too, as RPG fever seems to have finally taken hold of the beat ’em up obsessed Yanks. With any luck a Pal version will be produced for the Poms and us Aussies, so keep your fingers crossed.

Thanks to KingDarian for letting me know about this article! If anyone else runs across any other articles I’ve missed, let me know! In fact, this article mentions some MOTHER 2 coverage in a past issue, so I’d love to see that sometime!


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13 Comments to Old EarthBound Preview in Australian Magazine

Wukey said on Apr. 19, 2015

Damn, how long did Earthbound take to beat? Maybe 30 hours?

Ailure said on Apr. 19, 2015

I love how it mentions the game being 24 mbits like that was huge. Even at the time it was nothing with computers at the era having cd-rom drives and harddrives were in the hundred of megabytes (my computer from 1994 had 300 something MB).

Ailure said on Apr. 19, 2015

24 mbit translates to about 3 megabyte for those not in the know. For some reason they were really fond of specifying cartridge sizes in megabits as opposed to megabytes, probably cause it sounded a bit larger that way. 😉

Mato said on Apr. 19, 2015

I remember at the time that it WAS really impressive for a Super NES game – Street Fighter II was touted for a good while as being the biggest SNES game ever at 16 Mbit because of all the voices and animations, so seeing anything top that was like, “Whoa, this must be one intense game.”

virtualboy2558 said on Apr. 19, 2015

It’s funny just how ironic this magazine issue covers these two products, both Virtual Boy and Earthbound, and how they’d be eagerly anticipated to come to Australia… when eventually the Virtual Boy would flop later that year, and Earthbound wouldn’t see any other release outside of Japan or America for nearly 20 years. ^^;

MarioFan3 said on Apr. 19, 2015

I haven’t been here in yonks. Considering the article mentions that Mother was talked about in an earlier issue there must be another one to look for. Also the puns are real, “it really is the mother of all RPGs”. Also, weeks of solid playing to finish? 70 hours to finish Secret of Mana? Man, I don’t know about you but there wasn’t much else to play back then, it wouldn’t have taken 2 months +.

Anonymous said on Apr. 19, 2015

It’s a little weird reading old EarthBound articles and thinking about how in retrospect their expectations of the game were either wrong or right. Such is the perk of doing so, I suppose.

Liliana said on Apr. 19, 2015

“…and should do well in the States, too”

I wish…

DavemanDeluxe said on Apr. 19, 2015

“The story is a surreal blend of school children and aliens, with some of the weirdest characters you’ll ever meet.”

I still think Yahtzee had the best description of EarthBound ever: “A cross between the Cthulhu mythos and The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.”

And most of the largest SNES games were 32 Mbit (Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean were 48 Mbit). I’m pretty sure the music samples took up a lot of space in the EB cartridge.

DJMankiewitz said on Apr. 20, 2015

I’d be wary of reading any Australian magazine, because it might actually be a wolf spider or some other horrible thing.

KingMike said on Apr. 21, 2015

“weeks of constant playing”

Could beat the game pretty consistently in a rental (which was a standard of 3 days at that time), though the guide probably helped. 🙂

Sin of Seto said on Apr. 21, 2015

I have that very magazine.
Nintendo Magazine System, looking through its articles I’ve forgotten how “casual” it was about games journalism. Its understandable with children being its aimed demographic.

James Cameron said on Apr. 28, 2015

@Sin of Seto

Yeah, I remember reading Nintendo Magazine System. I think you’d agree though that it didn’t stay kid friendly. I felt that the mag tried to “age” the writing alongside its demographic; it started with a young kid demographic of 6-12 in 1993, and then got more snarky and “edgy” as the years went on. By the time their demographic hit 16-19 in 1999,2000, I think most readers were done with the single system focused aspect of the mag, hence why it shut down without warning. Still, it was good ride while it lasted.


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