Postcards From Earthbound

Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Yesterday I finished playing Earthbound for the first time. I wanted to share a few of my most memorable moments in the game. I also included some text that you can read while you listen to them.

Jeff's Journey

It's not that running away from boarding school seems all that big of a deal. I mean, I know people who did. Sure, you don't usually have to fight bears and cavemen, and you don't usually ride a friendly sea monster, or meet a monkey that likes bubble gum. But those are incidental, and really exciting things.

But to come home to my father...to run away from school and make it all the way there...and have him not remember me. Where does Jeff find his pluck? Is his courage a reaction to his father's indifference?

The Dungeon Man

Why did you have to climb all the way up this tower?

-To get the Dungeon Man!

Does the Dungeon Man fight stuff?

-Nah, he's a Dungeon Man!

Does he move things?

-Nah, but he IS a Dungeon Man!

Why do you have to walk BACK up him again?

-DUNGEON MAN!

...Yeah, ok. Dungeon Man.

The Chicken

I was in the middle of a desert and I fought a snake. Just a regular old snake of a variety which I had smited 20 that day alone. But this one was special. This one was carrying a chick. That chick chirped happily in my inventory until, a few minutes later, it grew into a healthy chicken. This chicken (who I told all my friends about and who I name "My Earthbound Chicken") came with me everywhere, through snow and city, the highest peak and the lowest depths, and then into the heart of evil itself, contributing nothing but the joy of its presence and an endearing cluck every half a minute or so.

Mother

From the pseudo-reality of Eagleland, we had plunged into the depths of mania. Giygas' lair was stowed far away from any knowable place, and within Giygas lay a further foreign entity. Not so straightforward as a force of evil, Giygas was a dark and confused force, led to madness by the wicked little flea Pokey...or perhaps in the heart of evil and violence does lie simply madness. Regardless, we were stranded in this unknowable place assaulting the walls to no avail. In a last desperate attempt to save us Paula sat quietly and prayed as we protected her. She prayed to Jeff's father, to Mr. Saturn, to the Runaway Five, to the boys at the boarding school...and they gave us strength but it was not enough. In a desperate attempt she called out to Mother.

And I could see clearly my mother, not knowing the danger that we were in, the insanity around us, the fact that she could lose her son at any moment. She froze suddenly, and something breached her. She could not hear Paula's voice, but she knew. Knew that her son was in danger. That there was nothing that she could do but pray. And all I wanted was to let her know that I was safe, whether it was true or not.

The Museum

Somehow the memory that stays with me most of all is a quiet one. You can stand in the Fourside Museum and stare at the massive bones of a creature that will never live again. It is so vast that you cannot see most of it, and it fills the majority of the building. People mill about around you, but none will disturb you. As you lie there listening to the quiet noises that fill the hall, your mind wanders. And you begin to think not just of the dinosaurs, but of the space. This place will always be here. It is not under threat of Giygas, or Pokey, or terrorists, or businessmen, or drug dealers, or stupid kids with too much time on their hands, or global warming, or moronic voters, or the sun crashing into the earth, or even the crumbling effects of time's feet crashing against it. This museum will always be here. Even when I flick the switch and turn off the system, erasing the immediate instance of that museum, it is still there. It is embedded in the silicon, and in anyone who takes the time to visit it. This museum will always be here.

#1 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Yesterday I finished playing Earthbound for the first time. I wanted to share a few of my most memorable moments in the game. I also included some text that you can read while you listen to them.

Jeff's Journey

It's not that running away from boarding school seems all that big of a deal. I mean, I know people who did. Sure, you don't usually have to fight bears and cavemen, and you don't usually ride a friendly sea monster, or meet a monkey that likes bubble gum. But those are incidental, and really exciting things.

But to come home to my father...to run away from school and make it all the way there...and have him not remember me. Where does Jeff find his pluck? Is his courage a reaction to his father's indifference?

The Dungeon Man

Why did you have to climb all the way up this tower?

-To get the Dungeon Man!

Does the Dungeon Man fight stuff?

-Nah, he's a Dungeon Man!

Does he move things?

-Nah, but he IS a Dungeon Man!

Why do you have to walk BACK up him again?

-DUNGEON MAN!

...Yeah, ok. Dungeon Man.

The Chicken

I was in the middle of a desert and I fought a snake. Just a regular old snake of a variety which I had smited 20 that day alone. But this one was special. This one was carrying a chick. That chick chirped happily in my inventory until, a few minutes later, it grew into a healthy chicken. This chicken (who I told all my friends about and who I name "My Earthbound Chicken") came with me everywhere, through snow and city, the highest peak and the lowest depths, and then into the heart of evil itself, contributing nothing but the joy of its presence and an endearing cluck every half a minute or so.

Mother

From the pseudo-reality of Eagleland, we had plunged into the depths of mania. Giygas' lair was stowed far away from any knowable place, and within Giygas lay a further foreign entity. Not so straightforward as a force of evil, Giygas was a dark and confused force, led to madness by the wicked little flea Pokey...or perhaps in the heart of evil and violence does lie simply madness. Regardless, we were stranded in this unknowable place assaulting the walls to no avail. In a last desperate attempt to save us Paula sat quietly and prayed as we protected her. She prayed to Jeff's father, to Mr. Saturn, to the Runaway Five, to the boys at the boarding school...and they gave us strength but it was not enough. In a desperate attempt she called out to Mother.

And I could see clearly my mother, not knowing the danger that we were in, the insanity around us, the fact that she could lose her son at any moment. She froze suddenly, and something breached her. She could not hear Paula's voice, but she knew. Knew that her son was in danger. That there was nothing that she could do but pray. And all I wanted was to let her know that I was safe, whether it was true or not.

The Museum

Somehow the memory that stays with me most of all is a quiet one. You can stand in the Fourside Museum and stare at the massive bones of a creature that will never live again. It is so vast that you cannot see most of it, and it fills the majority of the building. People mill about around you, but none will disturb you. As you lie there listening to the quiet noises that fill the hall, your mind wanders. And you begin to think not just of the dinosaurs, but of the space. This place will always be here. It is not under threat of Giygas, or Pokey, or terrorists, or businessmen, or drug dealers, or stupid kids with too much time on their hands, or global warming, or moronic voters, or the sun crashing into the earth, or even the crumbling effects of time's feet crashing against it. This museum will always be here. Even when I flick the switch and turn off the system, erasing the immediate instance of that museum, it is still there. It is embedded in the silicon, and in anyone who takes the time to visit it. This museum will always be here.

#2 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

i just got chills.

#3 Posted by TAFAE (152 posts) -

This is cool. I don't have much to add here, but I love Earthbound's music, so thanks for making this.

#4 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@TAFAE: You are very welcome.

#5 Posted by Patchcoat (153 posts) -
#6 Posted by Nottle (1917 posts) -

@nintendoeats: Ahh, Earthbound is my favorite game. Glad to see it left an impression on you. Do you have any plans to play Mother 3?

#7 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Nottle: Not for some time at least, I barely have time to play games as it is these days. Do you know if there is any chance of it getting an official English release?

#8 Posted by Nottle (1917 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@Nottle: Not for some time at least, I barely have time to play games as it is these days. Do you know if there is any chance of it getting an official English release?

Sadly I think the ship has sailed for an official english release. Unless they somehow find it feasible to release it as a download on the 3DS or something.

Though from personal experience the fan translation is very good, witty in the same way Earthbound was. I think the consensus is that it's one of the best video game fan translations to exist.

I fully recommend playing it if you find the time. They do things to improve the battle system and also your party members are actually characters that talk more than 3 times the entire game.

#9 Posted by Dalai (7040 posts) -

I'm going to play Earthbound this week before I get my Wii U. I've beat the game at least a dozen times, but every few years I need that reminder of how awesome that game truly is.

So thanks for the reminder.

#10 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Nottle: I figured as much. One day I shall get to it. I was also eying one of those Mother translation NES cartridges on Ebay. They are a mighty tempting thing, I'm just kind of worried about stability. I've had bad experiences with black market carts.

@Dalai: You're welcome. I too intend to play it again in my life. It is very VERY good.

#11 Posted by coakroach (2492 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@Nottle: Not for some time at least, I barely have time to play games as it is these days. Do you know if there is any chance of it getting an official English release?

It'll be a cold day in hell before that game gets an official translation.

I dont normally advocate shifty methods of getting games, but Nintendo really doesn't leave anyone outside of Japan with much of a choice with Mother 3.

Plus the game itself (and the fan translation) is phenomenal, you simply have to play it.

#12 Posted by cannonballBAM (605 posts) -

I have still not played it. They need to put this up for digital download already.

I want to get a reproduction cart for Mother 1 on NES.

#13 Posted by drac96 (673 posts) -

To this day I have not beaten Earthbound, but I have played close to the end a bunch of times.

I used to rent it all the time from Video King. Most of the time I'd have to start over because someone would erase my save. Hearing the music and reading what you thought about it brings back so many memories. When I was younger the part where you play as Jeff blew my mind. My love for this game can not be expressed.

I've gotten near the end on emulated versions of the game, but it just doesn't feel right. I want the real cartridge so bad. I might be able to spare $200 to finally see it through.

#14 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@cannonballBAM said:

I have still not played it. They need to put this up for digital download already.

Unfortunately this won't happen, at least in the foreseeable future. Some of the music isn't considered completely original by NOA's lawyers, and NOJ doesn't seem keen to write new songs as replacement tracks.

@drac96 said:

I've gotten near the end on emulated versions of the game, but it just doesn't feel right. I want the real cartridge so bad. I might be able to spare $200 to finally see it through.

The best way that I've found to justify it is that it is only going to go up in value. I mean, I don't sell games so in my case that isn't such a compelling argument, but it is feasible to treat that game's purchase as an extended rental.

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