Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ghost's Angry Reviews - Earthbound

This is your standard spoiler warning.  If you don’t want Earthbound spoiled for some reason then don’t even bother.

Ghost here! Glad you could drop by.  Just be warned – this one is long

I’m pretty sure by now you’ve seen me mention the Mother series a few times,  and may be wondering what on earth I’m talking about, and why I keep mentioning mind altering drugs while mentioning this series.  Well now’s your chance to figure out what it’s all about!  I walked into this series not because of the actual games themselves, but because of Super Smash Bros.  The original game had a hidden character named Ness who I had never heard of before.  Granted at that age I hadn’t heard of Fox McCloud or Samus Aran either so the fact that a character was in there I didn’t know wasn’t exactly surprising.  I didn’t really give it much thought but when he reappeared in Super Smash Bros Melee I got interested and began to research what this Earthbound game actually was.  What I found was pure heaven in digital form!

Anytime I talk about this game I either get one of two responses.  The first of which being something similar to “holy crap I absolutely love this game!”  The second response is “I’ve never heard of this game, what it is about?”

 That is quite possibly one of the most loaded and difficult questions I’ve ever been asked.  Because the reality of what Earthbound is can be so mind boggling and insane sounding that people assume you are just making things up.  At its core, Earthbound is quite simply a game about a boy and his three friends who save the world from evil.  It’s what all surrounds the core storyline that becomes incredible and is what makes this game so amazing.  Surrounding this core mechanic are things like talking animals, aliens, hippies, a religious cult, kidnapping, psychic powers, pop culture references, a jazz band, ghosts, zombies, pyramids, the loch ness monster, hallucinogenic drugs hidden in cake,  the kraken, teleportation, the center of the earth with living dinosaurs, time travel, transplanting minds into machines, Stonehenge, and many other things. 

So eat some steak, prepare your weapons, and grab the hand of the psychic girl you love and lets Teleport Beta right into this mind altering experience.


Earthbound is actually the second game in a trilogy of games called the Mother Series.  Mother was released in Japan on the Famicom Video Game System on July 27, 1989.  Sadly this was only released in Japan so I’ve never actually gotten my hands on it.  Also sad and extremely frustrating  is the fact that the story of Earthbound, though you can just as easily play the game having NOT played Mother, is a continuation of sorts of the first game; a literal part two to the series.  I really don’t know much about it so I can’t really...

Are you SERIOUSLY gonna do an Earthbound review without inviting ME? *Tsktsktsk*

KingofDarkness?  What the heck are you doing here?  This is MY review get out!!

I’m just going to ignore that.  As mentioned by Ghost, Mother was released in Japan on the Famicom Video Game System on July 27, 1989, and was only released in Japan.  The game starts off with some backstory about a young married couple from the rural United States who mysteriously vanished after a dark shadow covered their small country town. Two years later, the husband, George, returned as mysteriously and suddenly as he vanished.  He then began a strange study in complete seclusion.  His wife, Maria, was never heard from again.

You play as a young boy named Ninten

….Seriously?  Ninten?  Nintendo couldn’t come up with anything original so they just slapped their company name on this kid?  That’s worse than that “Jed I Knight” kid I saw in the paper.

Shut up I’m talking!  As I said before I was so rudely interrupted, you play as a young boy named Ninten, who lives with his mother, two sisters, and family dog.  Ninten gets thrown into an insane adventure after his family is attacked in a paranormal event. 
 A poltergeist you say??

After saving his sister, Ninten discovers a doll playing a mystical melody of some sort.  You will eventually get a call from your father who informs you that your grandfather used to study a mystical power called PSI, and that his research notes are in the basement.  He then asks you to go on a journey to save the world.    THANKS A FREAKING LOT POPS.  Sure send ME out there to all the dirty work while you sit on the other end of the phone all game. 

So I'm going to keep the rest of this short and sweet cause everyone knows I could go on all day about these games.   Eventually you find this weird acid trip of a place called Magicant. While inside “Wonderland,” Ninten meets with the queen of Magicant, Queen Mary.  She asks you to find all of the eight melodies hidden across the globe. 

When these eight melodies combine they summon Earth’s mightiest hero, CAPTAIN PLANET!!
Really Ghost?  You went THERE of all places? THERE WEREN’T EVEN EIGHT RINGS IN THE SHOW!


So basically the game revolves around finding these melodies, and along the way picking up a few extra party members to tear across the terrain with.  This includes a temporary Party member Pippi, based off Pippi Longstockings, Ana the girl protagonist, Loid the nerdy character, and Teddy the “big dude.”  After all your hard work collecting all eight melodies, you return to Magicant and sing the song to Queen Mary.  However as soon as you sing it, you learn about a creature named Giegue as Magicant disappears.  This ushers you into the final boss battle against the alien Giegue.  Giegue is responsible for all of the recent kidnappings.  He gives a little more information about George and Maria while trying to persuade Ninten to join him.  In the end of the game you defeat the boss by SINGING the eight melodies song and Giegue is defeated once and for all.   OR WAS HE!!!!!
Riiiiiggghhtt… And that leads us into Earthbound (finally!)

Or apparently “Earth Bound The War Against Giygas” as the game screen so delicately puts it.  Wait… WHO THE HECK IS GIYGAS??

Well technically it’s Giegue from Mother 1. It’s just a really stupid translation error between regions. But they do actually make an effort to explain the connection between the games as you see at the end.

Oh Great it’s going to be one of these games isn’t it?  I’m sure this won’t be the only translation issue will it?  Actually no, don’t answer that I don’t really want to know!   Let’s just dive into the Main Characters shall we?
                                                          MAIN CHARACTERS

You can’t have a good game without a strong main character, or in this game’s case quartet of characters! 

Ness - You start off this game as a young boy named Ness… and already I’m rolling my eyes.  Earthbound was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or  SNES for short.  SNES, NESS…. Ugh.  Well at least this is a little more inventive than Ninten!  Ness wears a striped shirt, shorts, and a hat just like Ninten.  Ness lives with his mother, sister, and dog… just like Ninten, and is suddenly thrown into a wild adventure because of an alien appearing in a meteor crash.  After his neighbor, a husky boy named Pokey appears he gets a call from his father and begins on his world-wide adventure.  With a baseball bat in one hand, a yo-yo in the other, and PSI powers at his disposal he’s off to save the world!

Now just wait one minute. This pretty much sounds EXACTLY like the setup of the first game, doesn’t it? Maybe I’m just looking into things too much.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.  There isn’t really a whole lot to Ness in my eyes because he’s basically an avatar for you, the player, in many aspects.  Just like in Pokemon games, he is the silent protagonist that you control 90% of the time.  Slowly he meets up with another girl and two other guys because the four of them together are destined to take down the alien Giygas.

Not much else can really be said about him other than he’s a strong all around character who is just the manifestation of your actions and wills.  He’s got good physical strength and a decent amount of PSI attacks at his disposal.   Wow I’m kinda surprised KoD hasn’t shown up during this especially when I’m talking about.

OH GHOOOOST!  Did I hear you mention Ness??!!

  Oh Brother… Here we go

Okay don't think I didn't hear all of that banter! You wanna talk about how Ninten and Ness have similar designs. Well what can you expect from such an early game as Mother? For all we know Ninten could be one of Ness' decendants. Ever stop to think of that? Of course you didn't!  Ness is like the best hero of any game series of all freaking time man. He's so freaking awesome he doesn't even need words... And did I mention he has telepathy to talk with animals? TELEPATHY WITH ANIMALS MAN!! He's a brusier and has all of the support you’ll EVER need all in one single character!  Healing? Not a problem.  Curing Ailments? STILL not a problem.  Need someone to deal out heavy damage to a foe using PSI. WE GOT YOU COVERED BRO!  Need  a status inflicted on the foe? RIGHT FREAKING HERE! Oh and did I mention he can teleport to any location he's already been to? CONVENIENCE!!  HE’S ALL YOU’D EVER NEED IN ONE PACKAGE OF FOUR FOOT TALL EPICNESS!

He's the leader of the chosen four and for good reason cause he freaking knows what he's doing. Why do you think I cosplay him? Cause freaking everyone loves Ness. Why do you think he was in Smashbros? ALL THREE GAMES MIND YOU!  If Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, the whole roster of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were all in a fight against Ness, you can bet your sweet

Someone cut him off please!  …. Thank you. Let's move on shall we while he fangasms in silence.

Paula - She is the second character to join the group and the only girl of the four.  She is a well-known psychic around her home town of Twoson.  If you take a nap in the hotel in Onett, Paula will connect with you psychically through your dreams.  However when you get to Twoson to find her, she isn’t there anymore.  Asking around town reveals that she was kidnapped.  So wait.  She’s a powerful psychic who wasn’t able to inform anyone in her own household about her kidnapping, or stop the kidnappers in any way?  Come on!  But I guess we DO need our damsel in distress.

And in distress she surely is because after making it to the Happy Happy Villiage, you find that she’s being held captive to be used for human sacrifice by a man running a cult of blue klansmen who all worship a golden devil statue.  I did NOT make that up despite how imaginary that sounds.

After rescuing her, she joins the team complete with her hair bows, frying pan, and teddy bear.  And all the feminists in the world groaned unanimously!  Did I mention that she’s the ONLY character of the four that you don’t control?  That’s right Ness you control most of the time and both Jeff and Poo have segments where you control them, but not Paula.  But hope is not lost because she is an incredibly valuable asset to the team.  She may not have much offense or defense, but her PSI skills and ability to use plenty of them are higher than any other character in the game.  She can freeze, burn, or electrocute enemies when she’s not wailing on them with cast iron…which AGAIN makes me question how she got kidnapped but whatever.  She proves to be useful in other ways too.  When Ness and Paula are seduced into a hotel room by a bikini clad woman who is actually a ghost… just…just go with it.  It’s easier that way and I’ll get to that eventually.  She uses her psychic powers to call upon Jeff to rescue them.   Other than one tiny snag where she is kidnapped AGAIN by an alien inside a shopping mall and taken to an rich old man’s penthouse… SEE WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY THESE GAMES ARE WEIRD?  She sticks with you through thick and thin, pulls her weight and is the key essential to defeating the final boss.  
But that will come later. All in all, an awesome character.

Let’s check on KoD shall we?


OFF!!  He’s got a mouth on him doesn’t he?  We’ll check back with him after Jeff.

Jeff - He is the third member of our group.  He is an extremely smart “whiz kid” who can transform random pieces of junk into usable battle items.  We meet him in an all boy’s school after being woken up in his dreams by Paula seeking his help.  With some help from his friends he leaves the school with bottle rockets and a cap gun in hand as he ventures into the snowy wasteland of Winters.  Along with a monkey who flies by blowing bubble gum, he gets a ride on the Loch Ness Monster, goes through a cave maze, and trudges through cave man territory and all the way to his father’s laboratory just south of Stonehenge. 

At this point in the program I honestly can’t say I’m surprised by any of that last sentence.  And I’m just going to have to stop pointing out every little thing that’s bizarre sounding in this game or we’re going to be here all year!  Now if we could only teach that monkey to dance it would be…… oh shoot I’m getting ahead of myself… that’s Mother 3.

 Jeff’s father is the famous Dr. Andonuts who has a flying device that is ready to be used.  Jeff climbs aboard and promptly crashes the thing into the graveyard of Threek which is where Ness and Paula were being held up.  Jeff uses a gadget to unlock the door for them and joins the team from that point on.    As I said before, Jeff is our whiz kid and he’s a ballistics expert using various guns and gadgets to defeat, debilitate, or delay the enemy.  The key to a good Jeff is plenty of bottle rockets and finding hotels/beds to sleep in because if you have broken items in his inventory some nights he will stay up and fix it/transform it into something useful rather than rest like the others.

Basically he’s an awesome companion to have and I’m glad he’s included in this bunch. 
Well… someone get KoD back on.  Let’s see if he’s shut up about Ness yet.

 And that’s when I slid my shorts off slowly and

... sorry just threw up in my mouth a little bit there...let’s just talk about the last character
Poo - He is the fourth and final member of our quartet, and he doesn’t even appear till halfway through the game.  Similar to Jeff, when Poo starts his journey he is on his own and you control him for a while.  Unlike Jeff however, Poo didn’t come because the others were in danger.  We get introduced to Poo because Ness, Paula, and Jeff eat some “Magic Cake” that gives them a hallucination.  Sure it was cake and not BROWNIES? 

We meet Poo in his home city of Dalaam, a floating island that bears great resemblance to Tibet.  Why not?  He is about to undergo his final trial in his Mu training.  What is Mu?  Well we never really get to know but his final trial is to meditate.  At first it’s not a big deal.  Some guy comes and says that the master needs to see him but Poo is to just ignore that, but then it takes a turn for the dark and bizarre as a boss battle occurs against a ghostly face. 
You have no way of fighting this boss.  You have no way of defending yourself from this boss.  No way of recovery, nothing!  This ghost asks if it’s OK for him to break your legs, then your arms etc. You must answer yes to all of these eventually leading to where the screen is black and silent because only your subconscious is left alive.  The rest of you is broken and destroyed.  He asks if he can kill you.  You must accept his request.  As you prepare to die, the screen comes up and you have passed Mu Training.   Poo then teleports to Summers where Ness, Paula and Poo are currently and stays with them for a few adventures.

Poo adds a punch that was needed to the team.  His PSI Starstorm is an amazing attack and Poo is an absolute powerhouse.  The interesting thing about him is that he can only equip certain items.  The only weapon he can equip, the Sword of Kings, is impossibly difficult to find.  I spent 4 straight hours farming Starmen to get this stupid thing and never found it.   He’s an excellent addition to the team and you can easily see why he is one of the chosen.

I… I’m almost afraid….. but…… KOD?  You there buddy?


... well... On that note, let’s talk about the story!

KoD, why don’t you just tell them basically the whole story because there’s so much in here they won’t really believe what they’re reading anyway?

OK, So let's talk about story shall we?  Basically as Ghost mentioned earlier, the game begins in the town of Onett with our hero Ness.  It's the middle of the night when a meteor crashes down awaking the young hero.  However, when he goes to see the meteor he’s stopped by the police and annoyed by his neighbor Pokey.  After realizing there’s really nothing he can do he heads back to bed.  Later that night, Pokey comes to your house about to break the door down because he and his brother Picky went to the meteorite but Pokey got scared and ran away.  To cover his tracks he blamed his brother being left behind on The Sharks, a local gang of kids on pogo sticks, skateboards, and hula hoops.

 So you, Pokey, and your dog King head all the way to the meteor when an alien bee called Buzz Buzz appears and dumps plot in your lap about a prophesy that four chosen children, three boys and one girl, will save the earth from Giygas, the Universe Destroyer.  You know… now that ghost mentioned it earlier in the Ness section, this DOES sound familiar.  Buzz Buzz joins your team for a while helping you defeat a space man as you take Pokey and Picky back home where their father spanks them.  You even hear the smacks coming from upstairs!  After a little bit of dialogue, Pokey’s mom swats at Buzz Buzz killing him.  But before he dies he has time to give you a very lengthy speech about how you need to find these eight sanctuary places and with the special sound stone record the sound to collect all of the eight melodies.

To record the eight melodies?????


This is what makes Ness so amazing.  He’s not some sort of angtsy anti-hero who is out for salvation.  He’s just a born hero who is just an average kid.  So you attempt to head to the next town but the cops won’t let you pass.  So, to pass the time you just decide to take out the entire gang of sharks including their boss Franky and his giant robot, because I know that’s what I do in my spare time!  Since Ness is the main hero, he has convenient plot armor on him which ensures that he will not fail.  Long story short he defeats the Sharks from their reign of pogo-stick terror on the town.  The Mayor is so impressed that he gives you the key to a shack just north of town.  So you head there to find that behind the shack is the Great Step, the first “Your Sanctuary” places.  However to get to the spot where the melody can be heard you have to first defeat a GIANT RABID MOLE!!   So you beat the mole, get the sound then you’re off to Twoson, but in order to get past the roadblock you have to PROVE YOURSELF IN COMBAT WITH THE COPS??!!

Aren’t they supposed to serve and PROTECT?  Not gang up 6 to 1 on a small child?  I’m calling abuse of power here!  Well Ness’ plot armor holds strong as he hands each of them their butt on a doughnut platter and marches on towards Twoson.   Wow, six of Onett’s finest just being obliterated by a 13 year old boy with a baseball bat?  No wonder the world is going to crap!
So you make it all the way to Twoson but there’s really not much you can do there.  You eventually make it to Apple Kid’s house where he’s begging for food, and two hundred dollars.  You’ll want to give him both because he’ll be helping out a TON in the future.  You learn that Paula is missing from her home so, of course putting two and two together means that YOU of all people have to go find her.  Not, you know, her parents or the police.  You also run into a theatre where the band The Runaway Five is playing.  They are stuck in an awful contract and need a ton of money to get out of it.  Well nothing you can do about that now so let’s keep moving to the East. 
HEY wait a minute!! That’s a giant Blues Brothers Rip-off!!

Now Now, Ghost.  It’s not a rip-off  it’s a “Pop Culture Reference.”

… IT’S A RIPOFF!!!  And why are there six of them when clearly the name of the band is the Runaway FIVE? 

Mine is not to ask why, mine is but to

OH SHUT UP and get back to the story!

You reach the Peaceful Rest Valley….and I’m sorry I have to stop here because, “Peaceful Rest”?  This area of the game is SO FAR from it!  It’s got wild trees, exploding robots, and flying UFOs attacking you everywhere you turn.  This is FAR from a peaceful time.  Well you get so far into that area when you get stopped by a pencil statue….. A PENCIL STATUE!!

Luckily Apple Kid calls you and has created a Pencil Eraser that you can use to remove the statue.  So you get it, return, and make your way through the valley to Happy Happy Villiage.  A town filled with blue klansmen all in a religious cult who paint everything blue including the cows.  They meet in the main church under the guidance of Mr. Carpainter who can call upon the Mani Mani Statue to shoot lightning down at anything.  You investigate around and find Paula locked in a cabin and for whatever reason her MASSIVE Psychic powers can’t help her get out of there so you have to get the key from Carpainter.  She gives you the Franklin Badge which reflects lightning attacks and you fight Carpainter inside the church and defeat him thus rescuing Paula and she joins the team.  As you make it back to Twoson you fight a criminally insane guy named Everdread who gives you a bunch of money that you take to the theater to free the Runaway Five. 
They offer to take you in their bus all the way to Threed, the next town because you cannot walk there due to the ghosts.  That’s right ladies and gentlemen.  They are wanting the two 13 year old children to, in fact, get in the van.

The loudness of their bus’ music will make it so the ghosts don’t bother them.  Can someone please explain to me how a noisy rickety van keeps a ghost away?   I mean listen to this?  Is this anything that would bother a ghost?


...Ghost,  You DO realize that this is only like maybe 1/8th of the game right?  If we keep all this up then this isn’t going to be a review it’s going to be an autobiography!!

*sigh* fine!  TO THE CLIFF NOTES!!!!

So, basically you get to the next town of threed that is overrun with ghosts and zombies. So THAT MEANS ONLY ONE THING!!

During this time is when Ness and Paula get trapped because of the bikini ghost lady.  Jeff goes on his adventure and rescues them joining the team. After the three of them run out the zombies using some sort of flypaper on the ground, you go through the graveyard and end up in a bizarre place called Saturn Valley home of the Mr. Saturn tribe who are being held captive to work in a factory for a talking pile of vomit.

You rescue the Mr. Saturns, drink some coffee and move on your way through the desert to Fourside City.  Paula gets kidnapped so you have to rescue her from the aliens in the mall to find out you need to head to the local Café and enter the back room to head into Moonside, a tripped out world full of neon lights, invisible people and attacking fire hydrants which turns out to be an illusion set up by the Mani Mani Statue which you finally destroy.  Paula is actually at the top of the Monotoli Building with the CEO of the company.  As you arrive, Pokey takes a helicopter out of the place and heads on his way.  You all arrive in Summers where you eat some magic cake and witness Poo’s Mu Training before he joins.  You hear rumors that Pokey is in Scarabia, an Egyptian place, but only one sailor will take you there because of the Kraken attacking in the ocean.  You defeat the Kraken and end up in Scarabia where you find a mystical item in a Pyramid.  You keep traveling till you find a deep dark jungle full of monkeys and a tribe of tiny creatures who are shy so you have to find a book to get them over their shyness to talk to you.  They open a hole in the ground that you fall into and find live dinosaurs.

Throughout this point you have been collecting all of the melodies and the 8th one is in the underworld with the dinosaurs.  After all eight melodies are together, Ness passes out and enters Magicant, a place inside his mind where he must overcome his fears and unlock the potential of his character.  After he awakens they head back to Saturn Valley where Jeff’s Dad, Apple Kid, and a Mr. Saturn have been working on a time machine because Giygas isn’t even in this time plane, he’s in the past.  So Dr. Anodnuts slaps all of your mentality into robots and sends you back in the past to defeat Giygas once and for all.

SHEW!!!!  Now that doesn’t even scratch the surface on the story but for time’s sake that’s all you’re getting.  Let’s talk about something else finally!

Just like most RPGs there are mini-boss battles, regular boss battles, checkpoint baddies and all sorts of other things in your way to stop you.   However in this game there are really only two main villains and we’ll talk about them here.

Pokey Minch – Pokey is the neighborhood friend of Ness and is overall a coward and a bully.  At first you don’t  think much about him, but suddenly after defeating Carpainter and going to get Paula, Pokey shows up and explains that he’s working with Giygas then runs off still somewhat playing with your emotions that he’s a friend.  You don’t really see him again till Fourside where his family is now living and in extreme wealth because of his deals with Giygas.  We don’t actually have much to do with him here either because as soon as we get close to him, he leaves in a helicopter.

 There’s a slightly bizarre portion in Scarabia where you’ve heard rumors of him being around.  You never see him but you can sure smell him.  As in smell where he took a dump in the sand.  WUT??

You don’t really see him again till the final boss battle where he’s inside of a giant spider looking time machine.  He fights for a while with Giygas but after the battle gets too intense he uses the time machine and leaves for the future never to be seen again….in this game at least.
There’s really not a lot to say about him since you only fight him once and he’s only an annoyance.  There’s a good deal to say about him in Mother 3 but… this is NOT that review.

The REAL villain we have the “pleasure” of facing is that monstrosity himself.  Giygas.

Giygas – Now out of all the weird and bizarre things that have come from this game, what on earth could a final boss battle be?  Well it turns out that the final villain is, in fact, a vaporous being in the shape of an aborted fetus who was released from a machine which looked like a birthing canal which had Ness’ face slapped on it, in a room which looks kind of like a uterus.  WAIT WHAAAATTT???

Prepare for the scariest, mind wrecking, terrifying bosses in all of history... Enter Giygas the universal destroyer!  The whole game you've been trying to stop Giygas' evil plan to destroy everything and when you finally fight him this is what you get!! But…WHAT IS IT???  It's been confirmed that Giygas was at one point Giegue from Mother 1.  When Ninten defeated Giegue, the alien had such immense power his body was destroyed but nothing goes any further than that.  Are they meaning to tell me that this is the spirit and power of Giegue?  Giygas rambles incoherently to the point that Pokey calls him the Almighty Idiot.  I guess being without a physical body for so long can do things to you but this is just…. This is just wrong and terrifying.  It has also been stated that Giygas was based on a Rape scene that creator Itoi saw as a young child that scared him for life.  This explains some of the things that Giygas is saying during the battle like "It's not right," "It hurts,” and “I'm happy" to name a few.  Everything leading up to it is a clear indication as well. From the intestinal track you walk on to the Uterus Devil machine... Does it make sense now? You can clearly see it too in the pic ghost provided; you go back in time to abort a fetus!!
Did i mention that no matter how much you attack him your attacks will never hurt him? HE IS COMPLETELY IMPENETRABLE!! Yeah, you thought Resident Evil or those horror games were scary, didn't you? Well you haven't seen Giygas! It's hard to believe something this unstable created an army of starmen and corrupted poor Pokey's mind into not only doing Giygas' bidding but also left such a lasting impression that he does all those things in Mother 3 and.... I'm getting ahead of myself.  What makes it even worse is that you take damage from him but you have no idea how!  When he attacks the text comes up saying "You can not grasp the true form of Giygas' attack" and then a wave like attack gets sent at the party.  Sure you think you can just heal up constantly but sometimes his attack wave will INSTANTLY KILL EVEN IF YOU HAVE CHEAT CODES ON!!!!

Now how do you beat an unbeatable boss?  Well you pray.... NO LITERALLY!!  Paula begins to pray and slowly everyone in the world feels the need to pray for Ness, Paula, Jeff and Poo.  We see cutscenes every time Paula prays out for help of people around the globe pausing to kneel and pray.  As more people pray, Giygas receives more damage.  This finalizes in YOU, the player having prayed for the four of them which delivers the death blow to the evil one.  Verdict is still out on whether or not this is really amazing or really cheesy, but it's something i had never encountered before and thought this was a pretty good ending to a pretty silly game.


WHAT THE #$(#%&
Many games have moments in them where you just have to sit back and wonder WHAT WAS THAT???!!!  And this game is definitely no exception.  Actually, this series is probably the grandfather of all things messed up.  If we were to label everything that was weird or that made us double take we'd be here all day, but here is just a list of some of our favorite WTF moments.

Teleporting Monkeys
While you're in the desert, you will eventually come across a hole in the ground which is a massive cave full of monkeys who want items in order to pass through.  Once you get to their master's room he will teach Ness the skill of teleportation.  A skill that was passed down to his monkeys.  You exit the cave and one of the monkeys shows you how to teleport. 

This comes right out of absolutely nowhere.  What was going on that could cause teleporting monkeys?  OH... i see the answer in the screenshot. DRUGS!

We All Live in a Yellow Submarine - 
While going through one of the more confusing mazes of the game, you find that it's not only a maze but it's a museum.  Things such as ducks, bears, and all sorts of creatures are on display.  However in keeping consistent with the Pop Culture references, there happens to be a section of items and one of which is a curiously colored submarine.

You even climb aboard this and ride around for awhile before getting to the deep swamp where it cannot reach.  It was a weird but funny inclusion

 Dark Side of the Moon -
Moonside is one of those places you will never forget.  The Neon lights, the nonsense spewing from everyone's mouth, the invisible barriers, as well as the enemies you fight on here.  I'm pretty sure there are people on acid right now that aren't as messed up as this place!  Everything is upside down, Yes is no and no is yes, men in Hawaiian shirts teleport you across the map.  It's worse than if Pee Wee's Playhouse were dumped into Wonderland.  

You go here when you enter the back room of a cafe.  In Japanese it makes more sense as you are entering a bar.  I'm pretty sure absinthe must have been present!

The Pseudo Legendary Substance -
This one wouldn't have been quite so much of a WTF as it is hilarious.  There is an item in the game called a Bag of Dragonite.  It is a rare item that turns you into a dragon for a turn and obliterates the enemy somewhat.  I first off find it funny that it's a substance in a bag.  Much like what was probably going on in the production studio at the time.  But fans of the Pokemon Series may recognize the name.  

That is partially due to the fact that HAL Laboratories was one of the development companies responsible for earthbound.  They also went on to become the pioneer developers of the Pokemon series.  

 Fuzzy Pickles -
 All throughout the gameplay, at random intervals the game will just pause as a trumpet of triumph playes.  Slowly some guy in a top hat spins down from the clouds and spills out the same words every time.  He is a photographer and he just randomly appears to take your picture.  Instead of saying "say cheese"  he says "say fuzzy pickles"   Then he just jets back up into the atmosphere as if he were ascending into heaven.  WHAT????!!!

Magicant - ALL OF IT
As mentioned before after the eight melodies are gathered Ness enters a world inside his mind called Magicant.  He spends his time running around very trippy scenery as everyone he has had major contact with is represented in some way.  Some things are literal some things are abstract.  He eventually has to fight his way through Kraken invested waters to fight away his fear taken the shape of the Mani Mani statue.  The whole thing is massively out there and has such a whimsical soundtrack it's a lot of fun but a lot of crazy.

That's not even the worst of it.  Want to see a screenshot of the Japanese version? 
That's right folks, in the Japanese version of this section, Ness is completely nude minus the hat.  WHAT THE HECK?!!!

 Puberty is Rough
 As it was mentioned several times before, once Ness and Paula get to a certain point in Threed, they run across a blonde woman wearing a bikini in front of the Hotel.  As Ness and Paula approach her she runs inside the hotel and quickly heads to the back room.

Looks like Ness wants a little something extra that evening huh?  Too bad that his latest blonde girl fetish is going to prove to be not exactly what he hoped.  As soon as he enters the hotel room after her, Paula and Ness are jumped by ghosts and zombies  further proving that you shouldn't follow blonde girls into hotel rooms because you don't know how many disease ridden men have already been in there or even currently are in there. BOOM!!  But I do have to give this game credit for including how 12 year old boys react to women in bikinis

Lasting Legacy of This Game

Earthbound, no the Mother series as a whole, has been around for over 20 years and while they might not be the most widely accepted games by the viewing public, even to this day their fanbase is growing stronger and stronger.

The mother fans are loyal and are constantly spreading the word about how great Eartbound, as well as the entire seires, is to people interested or those who don't really know a lot by the series. It's worth mentioning that there's a Mother series forum known as Starmen.net for absolutely everything Mother Series. So while at the time of it's release Earthbound was a commercial failure in the United States, the community of fans has grown exponentially and these three games can only be looked at as grossly underrated gems in Nintendo's history.  These three games stand above their competition by being different, by not taking themselves overly serious, by having passion and humanity poured onto their code.  They are some of the best RPGs ever made, no, some of the best GAMES ever made.  Sadly due to the fact that it's full potential was not realized until long after production finding a copy of this game is difficult and very expensive.  A standard Earthbound cartridge without box goes anywhere from $150 - $275 a piece!!

I feel Earthbound and the rest of the Mother Series has had a lasting effect on me and not just because of stuff like Smash Bros or the fact I cosplay Ness. Mother series has always had a special place in my heart because of the fact its one of those games that defines its own rules.  It makes fun of itself while also making fun of other games in the genre.  It took a risk by not being overly serious but having serious and heart wrenching moments when necessary and when it was good.  I would personally recommend this game to ANYONE out there even if you aren't a large gaming fan. I suggest anyone who reads this review go check out earthbound if you can get your hands on it as well as the other two games in the series. You will not regret it

There... I think I've done what I came to accomplish. 

Does that mean you're leaving now?

Yes i must go, the internet calls out for the King of Darkness!  Oh and you better do a Mother 3 Review and I had BETTER be invited next time!!  OR ELSE!



There is SO MUCH i could say about this game that i just don't have time to do it.  I believe KoD pretty much said it all when he said that this game is one of the greatest games ever made.  It's a shame that the series as a whole ended up getting the shaft as much as it did.  I'll be honest  I prefer this game ten times over modern games.  It's something that never gets old and something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  The chance of you getting to play it is relatively slim but if you can ever borrow it or get your hands on it somehow it's definitely worth every penny and every moment you can spare on it

And I leave you with a 2010 rendition of the ending theme to the game; a beautiful piece of music called Smiles and Tears which unfortunately didn't make the cut for Super Smash Bros Brawl.

This is Ghost, fading into the darkness.
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