#thisisEarthBound

Share what EarthBound means to you.

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175

Stories From Other Fans:

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Chris Warriner @King_Darian
EarthBound and I go back quite a while. The Christmas of 1994 is when my family finally got a Super Nintendo system. I just turned 9 years old the month prior. Fast forward a few months to sometime in the summer of 1995. Video game rentals were a rare treat that my brother and I got on occasion. Browsing the boxes of available games one day led me to a large box unlike any other I had seen before. There was a giant robot or something on the front, and it looked like there was a kid inside. The back had bright, colorful clay figures and screenshots that showed even more brightly colored destinations – a golden palace, the loch ness monster, and a park? I was instantly intrigued. Right across the front, in big letters, the title of the game read, “EarthBound”.
EarthBound is something I go back to frequently. A lot of awful events happen throughout the game as characters are kidnapped, misled, cheated, and worse. The strange part is that no matter how bad things seem to get, no one loses their optimism. The mood can be dark and gloomy, but it seems like something positive is right around the corner. There’s a strong message of hope and perseverance in this game that I try to apply to my life. Though I didn’t give EarthBound a whole lot of thought when I was younger, I tend to give it a closer examination every time I play it again. Despite how well I think I know the game, I always discover something new, or rediscover something I have forgotten. Not only that, but certain moments in the game have had a greater impact on me as I grew as a person. Experiences in my own life are reflected in situations in the game, drawing a stronger emotional response from me than they used to.
One memory in particular comes from sitting through a group playthrough of EarthBound at one of the Starmen.Net gatherings years ago. During the final battle scenes, Paula’s prayers go out to all of the people across the world of EarthBound that the group of four has helped throughout their journey. Seeing all those in-game characters pop up one by one, praying from the bottom of their heart for the safety of Ness and his friends – the meaning and significance of that scene changed for me in the presence of so many of the friends that I had made online, on a website dedicated to this video game, EarthBound. The lights were low, and as the player name started appearing and the final battle reached its climax I could feel the tears start to flow from my eyes and trickle down my face. I’m usually very guarded about my emotions, but in that moment among friends I felt comfortable enough to let myself be vulnerable. They were tears of joy.
I got to experience something similar at Camp Fangamer 2015. It wasn’t until I entered the main ballroom area where the main events took place, where I saw the large crowd of attendees seated and I heard the live music of the Super Soul Brothers playing that I started to feel this great surge of positive energy. I knew this was going to be something special. I felt like I was running on empty for a while, but the energy of just being there recharged me. The strongest moment from that jam-packed weekend event for me came during the Film Fest . There really is no way to compare it to just watching the fan-made films at home by yourself. With hundreds of EarthBound fans in the audience, you are sharing the experience – the laughter and the tears – with everyone there. There were a couple of real tear-jerkers in the screening, something I was not expecting, and I couldn’t help myself. I was overcome and just could not stop crying. I’m not just talking a few teardrops. It was as if someone had turned on the faucets of my tear ducts, and I couldn’t figure out how to shut them off. The whole event, seeing everyone who turned out and the hard work put into everything was so much more than I ever expected for a public event based around that one video game that seems to have become a permanent fixture in my life. I felt so at home.
I know it’s not only me, but countless others have been affected by this game in some way. It seems to have a special way of resonating with certain individuals. Anyone who gives the game an honest try has the chance to discover something special within it. It’s difficult to describe, especially if you’re trying to do so to a stranger. Like, how can a video game of all things have such an impact on people? People of all ages, from various backgrounds, from all over the world are drawn to it. The community that loves this game is very tight-knit, but also open, accepting, and very caring. EarthBound has a positive, loving energy. It is a force of hope and understanding, of friendship and courage. This video game has changed my life in more ways than even this lengthy narrative can account for. I have seen some amazing things happen from the people that this simple video game has brought together. I believe that even greater things are on the horizon.
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Patrick "EscapePOD" O'Doherty @EscapePOD87

I tend to think my first experience with Earthbound was a typical one. It started with wondering who that Ness guy from Super Smash Bros. was, and going to the internet to find out. Like many, I played Earthbound years after its unceremonious release. I enjoyed Earthbound enough, but I finished it and filed it away under the "done with that" category.

Or so I thought. As I grew older, I found myself drawn back to the game I'd disregarded as "nothing special". There was a charm to this game I'd missed the first time around. Ever since this realization, Earthbound has firmly planted itself on my "must play" list, and each time I play I find myself growing more attached. But why? What is it that I and so many others find timeless about this game?

Is it nostalgia? Surely that's a factor, but there has to be more. Is it the unique humor? Earthbound brings the weirdness in spades, and I do love it. In this regard, there's no game quite like it and there probably never will be. Still, I think what makes it so special goes deeper. It has something to do with the story it tells. I'm not sure I can really put my finger on it, but I'm going to try.

Ness's story is a fairly simple one. A young boy leaves home to see the world and defeat a great evil. Before Ness can confront Giygas, he must face more familiar evils: a gang of bullies, corruption at city hall, extortionists, cults, and greed in the big city, to name a few. While we can only do so much about such things in real life, Earthbound gives us a chance to directly confront them, the way only a child could imagine.

Along the way, Ness and friends also see the beauty of their world. They visit mysterious and wonderful places, and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. He learns the value of friendship, love, charity, hope, and courage. The success of his quest ultimately hinges on these virtues. He takes what he's learned to confront an evil so pure and powerful it defies comprehension. Only through courage, friendship, and prayer can Ness triumph in his darkest hour.

If you ask me what exactly Earthbound is, I'd say it's a story for the inner child. It allows us to reflect on our life experience, to re-examine our perceptions and understandings. It's a chance to rediscover courage and love, and wield them against the evil and darkness in the world. It's some straight up soul food, damn it, and I'm so thankful it exists.

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BusterTheFox @BusterTheFox

EarthBound is a fun SNES RPG to me. I first played it as a VERY young kid, I can't even remember how young (Something like four or so, I could barely even read back then, so I never got far in the game). My brother and I used to rent it a LOT. I remember that it scared me as a kid, because the opening was creepy and started with a loud noise. I used to think Frank was a lady holding maracas (Oh how naive I was back then).

For some reason, the first time I beat the game was on a homebrew emulator on the Nintendo DS. The only game I've ever completed on any emulator. Funnily enough, the original Mother and Mother 3 are some of the few games I've ever completed on a flash cart. The second time I completed the game was on the Wii, as a Virtual Console hack where they basically replaced something like Donkey Kong Country with EarthBound. Still haven't gotten around to completing it on the Wii U, ironically enough...

When I played through Mother 1+2 on a GBA flash cart, the thing wouldn't hold a save (Don't get a SuperCard Lite for GBA games, it sucks), so to beat it, I had to keep my DSLite on the charger and put the game in its sleep mode, and never shut it off until I was finished. It took me a good few days to beat the game. Imagine if I had played it on an original GBA that used batteries... Oh, man.

To this day, I like to go up to things that look nothing like me and say, "We look like same!" just for fun. Love the Mr. Saturn quotes. Boing!

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Math M. @TheYadda

So... EarthBound.

I can't recall how I first learned of EarthBound. I THINK I learned of it from the comic Kid Radd, which had a parody of it as a story arc in February/March of 2004, but I distinctly remember being on Starmen.net for a while before then.

Regardless, the first time I seriously attempted to beat the game was in mid-2004. I was 11 years old. It...did not go as well as it could have.

I made it through most of the game and loved it. Got all the way up RIGHT to just before the Giygas fight. But then, I got curious. Someone on Starmen.net had posted a theory about how to beat Giygas through sheer HP damage using JHack. Having seen the 'MOFO' story arc in Kid Radd, I was enraptured by this idea - the comic did the same thing in a way, and the game parody had a secret ending. 'What if EarthBound has a secret ending too?', I must have thought to myself.

As anyone who's been around for a long time would know... JHack is notorious for corrupting ROMs instead of actually doing what you want it to do.

I lost my save file.

And aside from the occasional, uncommon poke here and there, I didn't touch the game again in any serious capacity for years.

Meanwhile, I made multiple attempts at beating MOTHER / EarthBound Zero. I beat it just a month or two before it was brought to the US as EarthBound Beginnings.

I also was a common sight around the Fan Translation blog for MOTHER 3 while that was being worked on, and procured an EZ-Flash IV flash cartridge and Game Boy Micro to play the game on. I got up to Saturn Valley before losing my save. I still need to buy a new flash cartridge, and I still need to beat the game.

I finally gave EarthBound another shot back in June of this year, starting the same time that SummerBound did. As of now, Tuesday night immediately following Camp Fangamer, I am p to Summers.

But how can I comment on the game if I never beat it, you ask? How did I know about Giygas, and how did I know to want to try hacking the game? Well... I'd been spoiled on the ending, unfortunately.

But thankfully, I still have an emotional attachment to the ending. A recent event called Camp Fangamer made sure of that.

I’d seen the Giygas fight over and over in playthroughs before. But… Being at Camp Fangamer, the sense of camaraderie, the sense of family, something was different.

When the name for the player was revealed to be 'Camp Fangamer 2015', well…

I am not a crying man. When Iwata died, I cried from sadness for the first time in at least four years.

When I saw what the player name had been set to, and then over and over for the rest of the night… I was barely holding back tears of pure joy and…really of catharsis. I was experiencing the ending of EarthBound, in the way I was meant to, feeling the things any first-time player was meant to feel, as if I hadn’t been spoiled, as if I had completed the game normally all those years ago. I was… I was feeling those feelings I had been robbed of in my childhood. I was feeling something that I thought I’d never experience. Something that, because I thought I’d never experience it, drove me away from the game, even though I participated in the community to a limited extent, for 11 years.

This game is beautiful.

This game is wonderful.

This game is an experience. It is a work of art.

The entire SERIES, all three games, are these things.

They will make you laugh.

They will make you cry.

They will make you laugh so hard you cry, and make you cry so much that you'll laugh to make the tears go away.

Please. Play the MOTHER games. Don't make the mistake I made. Don't try to be smarter than the game. Don't spoil yourself. Don't try to hack the game thinking you'll find some secret. Just... Experience the game, the way it was intended to be played. Lose yourself in the heart, mind, and soul of Shigesato Itoi. Lose yourself in that world, a world crafted by a man who above all wants to teach us to live, love, and laugh.

Lose yourself in the world of MOTHER.

Love yourself in the world of MOTHER.

Love the world of MOTHER.

And you will find an experience beyond that of any other game yet released.

You will find home.

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John M @sramdi
EB was released shortly after a close friend of mine died. EB felt so innocent and poignant; it encouraged me to be young and reckless. The entire MOTHER series has been with me through so much in my life. It helps remind me that bad times.. are just times that are bad.
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Pepper @dapperpepper
I began playing Earthbound at a low point in my life. Little did I know just how much an SNES game and its wonderful community would help me to heal and lift my spirits. From the very beginning of the game I felt such a sense of nostalgia and comfort, as well as inspiration. I loved nothing more than to sit down with it for hours, lost in the music and the colorful writing. It helped me to find myself and for that I will always be thankful.
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Kainoa Kenela @PK_Kipster
Earthbound, and the Mother series as a whole to me, are...beautifully crafted tales with many messages to the player. It's about the hardships and acceptance of growing up. It's about showing how friends and family are a million times more valuable than material items. It's about love. The games have absolutely brilliant stories, with real, relatable and natural characters and worlds. The humor is wacky and fun, just like hanging out with your friends in elementary school. It's quite a sight to behold and an astonishing experience, even after playing the games again. Shigesato Itoi, the games' creator, is a wonderful writer who knows how to get emotions out of people. Sadness, anger, compassion, love. The games are journeys of incredible worlds, that gives you an experience I can't quite put into words. No amount of praise will do justice to these works of art. The only way to understand my feelings is to experience these games yourself. All I can say about the Mother series, is that they are games that are ever so close to my heart and I hope that people will be enjoying these grand adventures for years to come.
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Patrick Kulikowski @PatrickKul

I have so many nostalgic memories of playing EarthBound ever since I got it for my 8th birthday in March 1997. Funny enough I originally wanted Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals for my birthday, but my dad was intimidated by its $60+ price point and opted instead for the $40 EarthBound at Toys R’ Us. To this day I’m grateful for that frugal decision.

EarthBound is one of the greatest SNES games of all time. It’s a humorous JRPG that's a wonderful satire on JRPGs and America. It also has one of the creepiest, most memorable final bosses ever. It just oozes with charm, thanks to its unique visuals, music and clever writing. It made me laugh, it gave me deep feels, it weirded me out, it touched upon serious themes with a dash of humor. It was such a huge part of my growing up. Mother 3's ending legitimately made me cry and reminded me not to take life and family for granted.

The Mother series' music is a HUGE part of why it's so timeless to me. EarthBound Beginnings, EarthBound and Mother 3's music has inspired me to improve my drumming. I'm so grateful to Keiichi Suzuki, Hip Tanaka, Hiroshi Kanazu, Toshiyuki Ueno and Shogo Sakai for their superb work on the series' soundtracks.

To quote The Game Theorists, "EarthBound isn't about a boy trying to stop an alien menace, it's about a boy growing up, leaving his home and experiencing both the good and the bad of the world. That's why Giygas is so scary; he is based on the moment [Shigesato] Itoi lost that childhood innocence. And that's why the ending is so satisfying, because Ness faced that darkness and made it through, becoming a young adult. He's grown up, and we, as the player, have cared enough to get him there. It's truly a triumph of the gaming experience."

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delectabit @delectabit
I've been trying to figure out a coherent way to describe what MOTHER means to me for well over 24 hours and I'm still struggling to find the right words to do so. But I think the problem is just that there's just so much to say about it. No other game series has ever resonated so much with me, in terms of its writing and humor and underlying themes and messages. It has this innate ability to be both cute and colorful while also being deep and meaningful and even dark and unsettling all at the same time. It's so inspiring to me, so surreal, so...unique. It makes you smile, it makes you laugh, and it makes you cry. It showed me that retaining a good sense of humor is important no matter how old you get. And it's also shown me how powerful that just a few words can be. It is a work of art, and I've formed a deep emotional attachment to it. But beyond that, it's affected my life in a way unlike anything else ever really has. It influenced me to be a better person, to want to be a little more kind and a little more empathetic towards others. I've smiled and laughed with and cried all over friends I never would have met had I not played it, the most wonderful people in my life. And many of the most memorable moments of my life happened indirectly as a result of playing it. It's shaped me into the person I am today in a really big way. Though what's most important is not even just how it's affected me, but how it has collectively affected every one of us. MOTHER is far more than just a series of video games, and it is far more than just a work of art. It is a life-changing experience.
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Malzbier | THE GANON @GBASPGamer
I went into EarthBound expecting just another RPG, which would've been fine with me to be honest. But I was wrong. EarthBound isn't just another RPG, it's not even just another video game. It's more like an experience. You need to have played it to understand why this game is so beloved. No epic story, no real fantasy setting, but a lighthearted story in an almost familiar setting. You almost feel like you ARE actually there. And this is what EarthBound is to me: An experience.

What is this?

A publicity campaign created by EarthBound fans.

Why?

We want to get the word out in hopes that Nintendo will consider releasing EarthBound’s sequel (MOTHER 3) in English.

Facebook/Twitter only?

Don’t worry — we’re just using their login systems to prevent duplicates. You don’t have to post anything to your wall or timeline.

You can sign anonymously if you prefer, but the more social media visibility the campaign generates, the better.

What’s MOTHER?

The MOTHER games are a series of RPGs directed by Shigesato Itoi, a Japanese writer / entrepreneur.

MOTHER (NES, 1989)

Recently released outside Japan on the Wii U as EarthBound Beginnings, it surpassed Splatoon to become the most- downloaded eShop title in June 2015.

MOTHER 2 (SNES, 1994)

Released in America as EarthBound in 1995. It sold poorly but became a cult classic.

MOTHER 3 (GBA, 2006)

Never formally localized, so the fans created their own version. Next year is the game’s 10 year anniversary.

Who are you?

We’re a group of EarthBound fans who have been rooting for the game since 1998.