Make Your Own Paper Giygas!
The crazy idea I had for years is finally real: I wrote a book about EarthBound’s localization, and it released yesterday!
If you’ve visited my old MOTHER 2/EarthBound comparison site in the past, you know a lot of work into it. Even so, I threw almost everything out and started from scratch this time, researching new topics, discovering new things, and interviewing key people. The result: a book that’s completely different from the site and even puts the site to shame – almost every page is filled with info that even I didn’t know until this year! You can get a taste of what I mean from these sample pages.
The book is 432 pages, hardcover, and has foil stamping. It also comes with a reversible obi with a series release timeline on the back, as well as a scratch-n-sniff history card/postcard hybrid. There’s also an accompanying video that showcases things that can’t be conveyed in print form.
The book is $36, and until Nov. 29, 2016 there are some big shipping deals at Fangamer: free shipping within the U.S. and 50% off IPA international shipping. And they’ll even give you free gift cards the more you buy. Basically, if you’re like me and prefer to wait until stuff goes on sale, I don’t think you’ll ever get a better deal than this!
Like with last year’s Zelda localization book, I also made a companion booklet called the “Passport to MOTHER 2“.
When I first started studying Japanese long ago, I really wanted to play the Japanese version of EarthBound for some reason, but there were two obstacles: I couldn’t find a way to import the game, and I barely knew any Japanese.
I vividly remember how that felt, so I wrote the Passport to MOTHER 2 with the second thing in mind: even if you know zero Japanese, this booklet will teach you two Japanese writing systems, basic grammar, reading tips, and a whole bunch of MOTHER 2 terms. By the end, you’ll be able to read, pronounce, and even translate some simple lines in the game – and even with more complicated lines, you’ll still be able to pick up some general info.
If you’re starting to learn Japanese or ever once thought, “It’d be cool if I knew some simple Japanese” then definitely check this out. It also contains tips, tricks, and other non-language info for getting more out of the Japanese version of EarthBound.
The passport is normally $9, but if you get it and the main EarthBound book together, you get a $3 discount. Also, even though the EarthBound book already comes with signed bookplates, if you’d like the book signed directly, ask for it in the order form and the guys at Fangamer will set it aside for the book team to sign. It might take a little extra time to ship it out, of course 😛
Anyway, this is all sounding very much like an infomercial, but I do want to thank everyone who’s ever supported my comparison projects over the past 17 years. I never thought anyone would want this sort of book, and if it hadn’t been for your encouragement and support it would still just be a “wouldn’t it be neat” dream. So thanks, EarthBound fans!
I’ve been going through lots of old game magazines lately for my Legends of Localization work, and there’s a lot of old MOTHER 2 info in there. I cover a lot of it in my EarthBound book but here’s something that I found in a magazine I got last week:
(Click for larger pic)
This was from April 1994, about four months before MOTHER 2 was on store shelves. Almost every screenshot has something different or interesting going on: Ness’ house is different, Twoson’s layout is different, etc.
One of the big differences that can be seen here is the game’s intro, when Ness, Pokey, and Ness’ dog go investigate the meteorite. Originally, this entire intro portion of the game took place during the day (see here), but someone on the staff suggested making it happen at night just a few weeks before MOTHER 2 was released. And according to this article, MOTHER 2 was going to be released in about a month, but it wound up being closer to four months. From these pictures, I guess a lot of that time was spent adding polish to the game.
I’ve been slowly tracing MOTHER 2’s coverage through all these old Japanese magazines. I think the earliest I’ve seen it mentioned was in 1990, but I haven’t gotten around to scanning a lot of the earlier stuff yet. If I do scan any interesting stuff I’ll post it on EB Central for sure.
LucasTizma, one of the biggest EarthBound/MOTHER merchandise collectors on the planet, has recently put his entire collection up on eBay!
Naturally, the collection includes many rare items and promo materials that are nearly impossible to find these days. If you’re an EarthBound collector and can afford it, this is rare opportunity you won’t want to miss!
Back in January, a fan named Ellie transcribed EarthBound Beginnings’ full soundtrack (see here). Ellie’s been working hard since then, though, and has done a transcription of EarthBound’s soundtrack too, which is no easy feat – it’s nearly 200 pieces of music!
Here’s a list of the transcribed music:
You can download the sheet music PDF and other related files from Ellie’s site here. It looks like MOTHER 3 transcriptions might be in the works too!
About five years ago, a Japanese Nintendo fan named Pikosaru made EarthBound-style sprites out of many Nintendo characters and recreated EarthBound’s cast roll scene with them. Pikosaru has since updated the project with many new characters from many new games, both new and old. Check out the latest version:
You can also visit Pikosaru’s website here, where you can scroll them all the characters at your leisure. The sprite art looks really nice, especially given the size constraints!
Quite a while ago, Shigesato Itoi’s company, Hobonichi, released a lot of new MOTHER series merchandise related to the Hobonichi Planner. Here’s a quick run-down of what’s new:
This cover features the game’s iconic logo and deep red color. As a bonus, the cover comes with a giant Mr. Saturn sticker!
This cover features a collage of scenes from all over the world of MOTHER 2/EarthBound. This cover comes with the Mr. Saturn sticker as a bonus too.
I’m not sure, but I think these might have been available last year as well. But just in case I’m wrong or in case anyone missed it before, you can get these Mr. Saturn items here.
This weekly planner has a Ness cover that comes attached to it. This planner also comes with the Mr. Saturn sticker as a bonus!
I think that’s all of the new Hobonichi MOTHER merchandise, but let me know if I’m forgetting something.
A video game collector recently found a complete, like-new copy of EarthBound at a swap meet. The discovery was a nice surprise – it wasn’t immediately visible and was in a box of a bunch of unrelated junk. In the end, he only paid $10 for what sometimes sells for $1000 or more on eBay. (For more EarthBound price info see here)
Also of particular interest to me is the Best Buy sticker on the box. It says the game was $5.99, so this particular copy was likely from the game’s “bargain bin” era during the latter 1990s.
Man, it’s still hard to believe that it (or any Nintendo game) ever got that cheap 😯
While H.S and other fans have been working on an EarthBound ROM hack that remakes the first MOTHER game, vince94 has been composing a lot of music for the project. vince94 recently uploaded a sample video of the current title screen music:
This project keeps looking and sounding better every time I take a peek at it!
For the last two years, Hobonichi has released MOTHER-themed planner covers and related merchandise, including an Onett cover and a Saturn Valley cover. It looks like another set is planned for 2017, based on this teaser announcement. The announcement includes three small, cropped images:
So it seems like there’ll be at least a Winters cover and a Magicant cover. Of course, the Magicant cover might seem unusual or confusing to some fans – that’s because Ness wears clothes in EarthBound Magicant, but not in MOTHER 2.
Larger, more formal announcements are slated for later this month, so we should know more about the MOTHER 2 lineup then.
MOTHER 3 was released on the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console last year but no one really knew if it had undergone any changes from its original Game Boy Advance release. That changed last month, when some of the EarthBound hacker guys and I finally got to dig into the new game’s data!
In all, it appears that three small changes were made. The programming code that makes these changes work were manually added tot he end of the game’s data, much like the hacking work we did with the fan translation. Here’s a run-down of what these changes involve:
Change 1: Lightning Flashes
A few scenes in the game feature flashing screens meant to seem like lightning. These flashes were changed, but the difference is so subtle that it’s almost imperceptible. In fact, none of us noticed it during our playthrough last year! I was only able to notice it when I put some of the scenes side-by-side, but even then it’s so slight. Here’s an example:
It’s assumed that this was changed to adhere to the company’s guidelines for avoiding epileptic seizures.
Change 2: Lightning Graphic
Looking at another change with Jeffman’s graphic viewer shows that a lightning bolt image was given some added color for some reason:
And here it is in action:
I’m not sure why this change was made. All I can guess is that it’s similar to the reasoning for the other lightning change.
Change 3: Battle Background
The third and final change made involves one of the battle background image layers. It affects battles with the Top Dogfish and the blue mushroom enemies on the crazy island.
The difference is clear using Jeffman’s editor, but in-game it’s almost imperceptible. This particular battle background slowly changes brightness over time, and the Wii U version reaches a higher brightness than the GBA version:
(GBA on left, Wii U on right)
Again, implementing this change required a decent amount of effort, so it must’ve been made for some good reason.
So, if you’ve ever wondered if the Japanese re-release of MOTHER 3 was different from the original release, now you know!
Featured Item on eBay:
Earthbound Super Nintendo SNES Cartridge Cart Game Earth Bound
- Jeff Shot First: My copy arrived today! It is… amazing. I haven’t put it down yet. I don’t really know what else to say. I think...
- TanukiDan: I can’t wait to get it! Would you mind if I talked about it on my lame youtube once I get it?
- Lochy: This looks awesome. Hopefully I can buy it as an after christmas present for myself. What an absolute treat!
- Jeff Shot First: Can I just say wow. This is incredible. I loved the first book on Zelda, and this is something even more special. I cannot wait to...
- SaturnValley: Amazing! I love the 90’s aesthetic. This is perfect timing since I was planning on getting this for Christmas, really hope it...