What does EarthBound mean to me? Everything. Let me share a "story" with you.
The year was 1999. Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 was released. My best friend, Jimmy Baker (hope you are doing well Jimmy) introduced me to this game. At this time in my life, I was 12 years old. I was reaching a point where "childhood" was ending and "adulthood" was beginning. The end of adolescence and the beginning of the teenage years. Jimmy (my best friend), had moved away a couple years back and we kept in close contact through phone calls, and letters. We were best bros. He encouraged me to take a look at this game. I did not need much encouragement.
I had never successfully completed an RPG on my own. I was able to play this game during that very year: 1999. What drew me to this game? A few things.
1. Ness was roughly the same age as me. 12, 13, 14 ish.
2. Ness lived in a place exactly the same as me: Suburban America (I lived in Hudson, Ohio).
3. Ness was a gifted kid, with powers (I've always believed in my own powers).
4. Ness loved baseball (so do I).
5 Ness conquered evil and saved the world at an extremely young age (this was, and is my ultimate fantasy).
So, all of this is great, but what does this mean to me?
EarthBound was the first time that I became honest with myself. I knew after playing this game that I did not want to live and ordinary life. EarthBound propelled me into knowing that I could not settle for a life of mediocrity or fear. If a 13ish-year-old Ness could get up and save the world, then I must do the same thing as well. From then on, it's driven me in every aspect of my life. This hasn't made things very easy for me. I sometimes put a little bit too much pressure on myself, but this game also taught me that it was okay not to take myself too seriously, or life too seriously.
This game showed me that no matter what situation I found myself in, I could fight, overcome, and achieve peace, and make friends along the way.
EarthBound shows me that a life of love, passion, sacrifice, valuable friendship, and unforgettable experiences are all possible for each of us, and it is not only my privilege to live this kind of life, but it is my (and also your) destiny.
I struggled with depression as a young 12-year-old boy. This game helped me to realize the warrior, and love-filled human that I am. I became awakened to my own abilities, and the affections of my heart through playing this game. Without EarthBound, I definitely would not be the man I am today. I cannot believe it's 16 full years since I first played this game. It's been a long ride, and there is still so much of life to experience that I have not yet experience. Here's to knowing that I have the courage to face it, and embrace it with all my heart. EarthBound taught me how to do this. Thank you Shigesato Itoi for changing my life.