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Tips for Buying EarthBound

November 14th, 2016 | EarthBound, Itoi, Uncommon Knowledge

I’ve been going through lots of old game magazines lately for my Legends of Localization work, and there’s a lot of old MOTHER 2 info in there. I cover a lot of it in my EarthBound book but here’s something that I found in a magazine I got last week:

(Click for larger pic)

This was from April 1994, about four months before MOTHER 2 was on store shelves. Almost every screenshot has something different or interesting going on: Ness’ house is different, Twoson’s layout is different, etc.

One of the big differences that can be seen here is the game’s intro, when Ness, Pokey, and Ness’ dog go investigate the meteorite. Originally, this entire intro portion of the game took place during the day (see here), but someone on the staff suggested making it happen at night just a few weeks before MOTHER 2 was released. And according to this article, MOTHER 2 was going to be released in about a month, but it wound up being closer to four months. From these pictures, I guess a lot of that time was spent adding polish to the game.

I’ve been slowly tracing MOTHER 2’s coverage through all these old Japanese magazines. I think the earliest I’ve seen it mentioned was in 1990, but I haven’t gotten around to scanning a lot of the earlier stuff yet. If I do scan any interesting stuff I’ll post it on EB Central for sure.


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10 Comments to A Peek at Some MOTHER 2 Pre-Release Differences

seriness said on Nov. 14, 2016

What is up with Paula’s clay model in that picture?!

Leeaux said on Nov. 14, 2016

I absolutely love this stuff. One of the many reasons I really wish we could get our hands on the original Earthbound 64 rom. Love to see what was changed and why it was changed.

Also just wanted to say Tomato, Love the cover of your legends of localization Earthbound book. Something about that checker pattern in Earthbound has always stuck with me and it’s an awesome homage.

Leeaux said on Nov. 14, 2016

Ah wait – my bad. It’s not a checker pattern. I’m so disappointed in myself.

PKluv said on Nov. 14, 2016

So cool! I imagine the team was pretty close knit to be so responsive to new ideas like that and actually make changes that close to release time. The idea to search for the meteorite at night was a VERY good change in direction, imo. All the little tweaks add up to make a big difference in game experience. So much heart was put into this game xoxo

CerealQueen said on Nov. 15, 2016

Is there two Master Barf’s in that picture? (is that different or am I remembering the game incorrectly?)

KingOfSwords said on Nov. 15, 2016

IIRC there’s a common enemy in Deep Darkness that’s a Master Belch recolor, so, it’s probably that. But then, this IS clearly a prototype with a lot of changes, so…

Edisnoom said on Nov. 16, 2016

I don’t remember the phone ringing when Pokey is talking. Maybe they deemed the phone ringing to annoying while Pokey is talking at you. Is there any notable text changes?

Was there any photos of the earlier part in development before Iwata’s involvement (pachinko health system)? I’m curious to see what he cut and what he brought to Earthbound.

StarmanAlex said on Nov. 20, 2016

my work just can’t ever be done
can it

Anonymous said on Nov. 21, 2016

@seriness: It’s the old clay model for Paula. You can see an clear version of the model here:


jerkymcgee said on Dec. 23, 2016

There’s a lil’ UFO present in Twoson too.


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