I wrote this when EB turned 20 -
20 years ago today a game was released that would impact my humanity more than I could have ever know.
A game that taught of love, friendship, and that even a young kid could change the world forever. A legacy that encouraged me to never forget your origin and to always stick up for the underdog.
I still remember going to Video Update on 80th Street and thoroughly browsing the entirety of the SNES titles until deciding on one on the top shelf in a giant box - bigger than I've ever seen. Of course as luck would have it, the allure of weirdly large box would direct me to one of the greatest RPGs of all time.
I got home and played it only to discover that it was way different from the Super Mario World and DK Country experiences that I was used to. This game took real skill to perfect and was relentlessly difficult in the beginning. Didn't matter though, I loved it. I loved the charming and catchy soundtrack. I loved naming the characters after my best friends and family. I loved that it took place in a seemingly real world. Everything about the world just immediately took hold of me and still hasn't let go.
So for my following birthday - guess what I asked for. I received a mint, gigantic boxed, player's-guide-included, clearance-priced copy of EarthBound. How cool! there was a boy just like me on the cover and he was piloting a gigantic robot-like thing (this actually never happened in game) and in the back of the player's guide, they had scratch-n-sniff cards that smelled all sorts of funky. That type of uniqueness just doesn't exist in the gaming world anymore. Needless to say, it was the best birthday ever and I also got the Star Wars Trilogy on VHS!
Anyway, it just makes me think from time to time about how the smallest gifts can make such a significant impact on someone's life. (Don't buy your kids Call of Duty)
And lastly. The reason I included the Twoson theme is because like I said, as a kid and someone new to the genre, the game was pretty grueling in the beginning. When you reach the town known as Twoson, it represents the departure from the first part of the game. All the music suddenly changes, the enemies change, and you ultimately leave your home until the end of the game. It's got to be one of the most meaningful songs in EB for me. Maybe it's because it hits close to home or maybe it's because I finally convinced those fucking cops to move the blockade and let me through. I'll never know.
Happy 20th, EarthBound. Thank you Itoi. Long live Ness in Smash. Never stop petitioning to get Mother 3 localized. Die facist Nintendo of America scum. Glory to 90s era RPGs for there will never be and has never been a better decade of gaming.