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#260 EarthBound - Ape / HAL Laboratory

Release Date: 1994

Original Platform: SNES

Played On: Snes9x (SNES) emulator

Objective: Ness and friends must collect eight mystical melodies to prevent the evil Giygas from enveloping the world in hate.

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How it Works: EarthBound is a turn-based RPG with a unique battle element. HP is on a rolling counter, and your character will not die unless the counter reaches 0 (thus you can be healed/finish the battle beforehand). Besides this, most abilities are standard: attack, special attacks requiring PP, items, etc.

Battles are initiated by touching an enemy sprite on the overworld screen. First strike can be gained by touching the back of the enemy, and they can do the same to you. If an enemy is greatly overpowered, the enemy will be defeated instantly.

Levelling and item equipping work the same as any other standard JRPG.

Thoughts: EarthBound is an incredibly unique game due to its modern day (for 1994) setting. With enemies like hippies and piles of vomit, there is nothing else like it. Graphically, this game is very basic (no animation during battles, just static sprites) but it makes up for it with witty dialogue and lots of music. Play this game as soon as you have a chance, whether you like RPGs or not.

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