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June 5th, 2015 | EarthBound, Events, Videos

EarthBound was released on this day 20 years ago: June 5, 1995! It’s crazy how quickly time has passed, but equally as amazing to see how much more popular it’s become over those past 20 years!

I could probably write a whole book’s worth of stuff about the game to commemorate today, but I’ll keep it short and simple for now, since next month’s Camp Fangamer event is going to celebrate the game’s 20th anniversary with a huge, weekend-long party!

We did celebrate the anniversary a little bit last night with a special Twitch stream – we played SIX EarthBounds at once! I had planned to do twenty at once, but my computer couldn’t handle it 😛

Starmen.Net is starting a special, month-long event too: SummerBound!


Welcome to June’s hottest, coolest, breeziest, sunniest and most happening event this side of Fourside! We’ve geared up to bring you a whole month of fantastic streams as we go way back to 1995 (that’s twenty years ago!! what???) and play through Earthbound again, together! Just like we used to!

We’ve got lots of awesome people hosting the streams this year, and we hope you’ll be able to tune in for most, if not all, of the nights of SummerBound. Be sure to check our Broadcast Schedule for the specific dates and times, as well as to see who’s streaming! All of the streams will be viewable from the official Starmen.net Twitch page, as well as the personal Twitch accounts of the hosts, should they be using those.

And where there are people playing our favorite video games, there’s lots of opportunity for fantastic fanart, music, and writing. While you’re tuned in to the streams, watching and palling around in the chat with the host and other viewers, make some cool stuff to show us! Throughout the month, be sure to submit anything awesome you make to the funfest by posting it in one of the submission threads.

So between all the stuff that’s happening, it looks like EarthBound’s 20th anniversary is going to be a big deal for the next month or two!

If you’re doing anything special for EarthBound’s 20th, share it in the comments! Share your first memories of EarthBound too!

And thanks to all who worked on EarthBound and helped it get released 20 years ago!


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12 Comments to Today is EarthBound’s 20th Anniversary!

robert said on Jun. 5, 2015

my 20th birthday is the 17th of this month. I’m only 12 days younger than earthbound. Cool.

starman0 said on Jun. 5, 2015

First memories of EarthBound? Not understanding how to play the game and getting stuck at the first boss. I was 3! No one told me what an “RPG” was! Haha. But it was still a blast and is one of the games that stood out to me the most in my childhood.

Anonymous said on Jun. 5, 2015

I like how DLC Lucas’ release date was announced today

The Man With No Name said on Jun. 5, 2015

Is there no EBFGPM anymore? I used to love being apart of them a few years ago during the summer.

AwelCruiz said on Jun. 5, 2015

I was 14. A friend and I were looking for a game to rent from a local store (which amazingly only shut down a few months ago!) and EarthBound, with it’s extra large box, caught both our eyes. We both fell in love with the game, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Jason said on Jun. 5, 2015

I was in elementary school and me and my friend played it together using the second controller. I have no idea how we got it or why. I liked it, but I didn’t really “get it” until I replayed it later in college, and then discovered the rest of the series.

Toaster said on Jun. 5, 2015

20 years ago I was one of the misguided RPG fans who dismissed Earthbound due to its simplistic graphics compared to games like Final Fantasy 6. Today exactly 20 years later I will right that wrong by purchasing the Wii U version and playing the hell out of it!

DavemanDeluxe said on Jun. 6, 2015

Twenty years ago, I got interested in it based on the Nintendo Power preview. I was a weird kid, and it seemed like a weird game.

The local grocery store also rented VHS tapes and video games, and they had a copy of EarthBound (and also the player’s guide). I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to ask for the game for my birthday, but the first time I got (mostly) through EB was over the course of about nine months, renting the cart every six weeks or so. I had avoided too many battles, so by the time I was in the Lost Underworld, Ness was only about level 54.

I think I was more enamored of the player’s guide than the game itself. I used to read it cover to cover. I bought the game from a friend for $25 when I was in seventh grade, and his copy of the player’s guide was pretty beat up. I sent NOA a check for $11 and a letter requesting the guide, and they graciously sent me one even though it ought to have been $13 (I didn’t have an order form or price list or anything).

During the summers, I liked to play outside all evening but not in the midafternoon. So about lunch time I would start playing EB for about three hours. I usually played it about three times in a summer.

I still play it every couple of years. It got a little dull for me after college and I thought a couple of years ago I had probably played it for the last time (and the previous time had been five years). But then I watched Yahtzee’s review of EB and it got me interested to see if I agreed with his observations (I’ve always loved his original line that it’s a mash-up of the Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show with a Cthulhian mythos). I enjoyed it much more the most recent time, which was summer 2014.

I also loved the music. I used to make tapes of the music by holding a tape recorder up to the speaker of my television. I still think it’s the best video game soundtrack ever, though Final Fantasy 7 and The World Ends With You give EB a run for its money. To be honest, Mother 3’s soundtrack was an immense disappointment for me after EarthBound. It strikes me that EB, FF7, and TWEWY are my favorite video games ever, and they are all tops in the music department. But then, I am a professional musician.

If I had a criticism of EarthBound, it’s that the story really gets thin after Fourside. For the first half of the game, you’re meeting townspeople and solving problems for them. But even by Fourside, that premise is very thin on the ground—Monotoli is an evil real estate developer who’s ruining, but his corruption is less obvious than any of the issues in the first three towns. After that, Ness and pals don’t do anything much to help anybody other than the Tenda. I’ve got an outline for an alternate story (for a ROM hack I’ll probably never attempt) beginning in Fourside that would retain the same locations and characters, but strengthen the problem-solving part of the second act.

EarthBound is the only game I’ve purchased any memorabilia for. I have a small Mr. Saturn plush, the Courage Badge keychain that came with the first edition of Fangamer’s Mother 3 guide, and I have the Mother 2 cover for my Hobonichi Techo.

Lostindark said on Jun. 6, 2015

Wow ! The new episode of Gintama that aired this week talks about Shigesato Itoi and the mother series ! This must be a reference due to this birthday ! Awesome ! 🙂
Thanks for the news !

mariotti said on Jun. 7, 2015

how’d you set that up? did you run 6 emulators at a time?

Mato said on Jun. 8, 2015

Yeah, I had to run 6 emulators at once, but to get the streaming software to use them properly I had to hack the emulators a bit.

GSUser said on Jun. 8, 2015

June 5, 2015 Is EarthBound’s 20th Anniversary, And At The Same Time, My Fictional Character Is Born 955 Years Later!!! (June 5, 2970)


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