[[quoteright:320: [[http://scribblecee.tumblr.com/post/30661778632 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mother1anniv2012_134.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQUN7QAnMp0 No crying until the end.]]'']]

->''Take a melody\\
Simple as can be\\
Give it some words and\\
Sweet harmony\\
Raise your voices\\
All day long now, love grows strong now,\\
Sing a melody of\\
Love oh love''

In the late 1980s, ShigesatoItoi got ahold of ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'', the first video game he ever played. Though he definitely enjoyed the game, as a professional writer, he couldn't help but be intrigued about the game's use of the unconventional medium to tell a story and say to himself, "I could do better". Several meetings with people from Creator/{{Nintendo}} and a [[Music/TheBeatles John-Lennon-inspired]] name later, that's exactly what he did.

''MOTHER'' is a 1989 {{Famicom}} EasternRPG, the first installment of [[VideoGame/{{MOTHER}} a series]] and the predecessor to the significantly more famous ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' and ''{{VideoGame/MOTHER 3}}''. Set in the year 1988, the story follows Ninten, a normal American boy. He's got a workaholic dad, a loving mom, and twin kid sisters. Everything is pretty normal and everyone is happy, up until the day [[EverythingTryingToKillYou his desk lamp suddenly attacks him]], another lamp attacks one of his sisters and a doll starts attacking his other sister.

Calling his dad after settling this, Ninten learns that psychic powers run in the family, and to learn more about it he has to get his great-grandfather's diary and learn about what happened many years ago, including what happened to his great-grandmother Maria. Meanwhile, strange phenomena are happening all over, and it's become quite apparent that an alien force is arriving. Just what connection does Ninten's family have with the alien invasion?

In the late nineties, a prototype for an unreleased English version was found by a collector and subsequently put on the internet as a ROM. This prototype version, named ''Earth Bound'' (with a space, unlike [[VideoGame/EarthBound the more famous bearer of the name]]), contains a mix of technical enhancements, {{bowdleri|se}}zation modified maps to reduce difficulty, and a significant lengthening of the rather short old ending. Several other prototype cartridges have since turned up on eBay; [[http://earthboundcentral.com/2009/09/earthbound-zero-prototype-info/ four legitimate ones are known to exist, with at least one more theorized to be archived at Nintendo of America's headquarters]]. After several modifications to the ROM to make it playable on the widely-used NES emulator of the day, the game became widely known as ''"[=EarthBound=] Zero"'' to attempt to avoid confusion with its far more famous sequel. This page was located at that name for years, but was eventually moved to its current location.

In the lead-up to the [[DevelopmentHell long-awaited]] release of ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'', this game was rereleased in 2003 along with its immediate sequel, as ''[[CompilationRerelease MOTHER 1+2]]'' for the GameBoyAdvance; it contained almost all of the modifications of the ''"[=EarthBound Zero=]"'' prototype, confirming that the prototypes were indeed the real deal. The port was [[NoExportForYou only released in Japan]], though word has it that it was ''almost'' released internationally. In 2011, the ''MOTHER 1'' portion of the game received [[http://mother12.earthboundcentral.com/ a fan translation]] from the same team behind the ''MOTHER 3'' translation, providing a much more polished take on the script than the rather barebones and dry ''"[=EarthBound Zero=]"'' translation. [[http://earthboundcentral.com/2013/03/some-mother-1-and-earthbound-zero-text-differences/ A small comparison of these translations can be viewed here.]]

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!!This game has examples of:

* TheAllAmericanBoy: Ninten.
* AllThereInTheManual: Not much about the character personalities are stated in-game, but in the Mother Encyclopedia it says many interesting things about Ninten, Ana, Loid and Teddy that you could never find out just by playing the game. It is in Japanese, but was [[FanTranslation translated into English by a fan.]]
* AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame: If you're not Japanese and have heard of this game, you probably know that [[spoiler: Giygas is the main villain. It actually isn't revealed ''at all'' until you get the final MacGuffin at the end of the DiscOneFinalDungeon, and most of the plot is just you going around the world to learn a song for an ailing queen who you met after a bunch of weird stuff started happening in your hometown. Even the game guides have no information on Giygas, and he has no official art.]]
* AntiPoopSocking: Whenever you save your game, your dad will urge you to turn off the game and go to sleep. If you play long enough in one sitting, he'll call you out of nowhere to pester you about it some more.
* AwardBaitSong:
** "Pollyanna" in its full version (not the 8-bit theme, obviously), which later went on to become the BootstrappedTheme for the entire ''MOTHER'' series.
** The Eight Melodies. "[[ThePowerOfLove Take a melody, simple as can be, give it some words, and sweet harmony. Raise your voices, all day long now love grows strong now, sing a melody of, love ah love.]]" The vocal version even has a CherubicChoir!
** The entire soundtrack album for MOTHER 1 is made of these.
* BadassAdorable: Let's just sum up the three main characters as this. Okay, Loid [[TookALevelInBadass took a while for it to shine through]], but still.
* BearsAreBadNews: The Bear, Polar Bear and Grizzly Bear enemies. The latter can kill you in one hit.
** If you use the Check command on them, you'll notice the localization team took a few pages from... um, {{Literature/Goldilocks}}...
* BeefGate: The train tracks that lead from Merrysville to Reindeer, and from Reindeer to Snowman. Especially the tunnels.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Giygas.]]
* BigDamnHeroes: After a robot nearly defeats the party (and severely injures [[spoiler:Teddy]]), Lloyd shows up and destroys it. With a ''tank''.
* BittersweetEnding: The world is safe, the captured people are rescued, and our heroes can all go home to meet warm welcomes. However, [[spoiler:Magicant is gone forever, along with Maria, who never got a chance to reconcile with her adopted son. Not to mention, Giygas is still out there, somewhere...]]
** This is especially the case in the original Japenese version, as it's implied that [[spoiler:Teddy got killed]].
* BlackBeadEyes: As in all of the ''MOTHER'' games, though here it can come across as mere technical pragmatism as opposed to a deliberate stylistic choice.
* [[GirlOfMyDreams Boy of My Dreams]]: Ana fell in love with Ninten when she started seeing him in her dreams.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: The English translation got quite a few changes as a result of Nintendo's censorship policies at the time. Infamously, blood was edited out of sprites and cigars and knives were removed from the battle sprites of the Crow and Teddy respectively. Crosses and religious text were removed. Holy Loly Mountain had a DubNameChange to Mt. Itoi, probably half because of the religious reference and half because, {{w|oolseyism}}ell, it is a major DifficultySpike as well as TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon. (Also, to avoid lawsuits, a mention of ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' was changed to ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros''.) Some stuff got past the radar, like the strip club in Merrysville and doctors saying "go off and ''die'' then" if you refuse their services, though the strip club instance was changed in ''MOTHER 1+2''. The ''Dragon Quest'' reference was also changed to "that game" as opposed to a Mario reference. All of the sprite changes were also in ''MOTHER 1+2''.
** It should be noted that Itoi was quite involved in the localization of this game and every {{Bowdleri|se}}zation and {{Woolseyism}} that occurred had to have his approval.
* ChekhovsGun: There's a war veteran with a tank in Yucca Desert. If you do a sidequest, you get to ride it, and he warns you to be careful with it because it's his most prized possession. [[TropeTelegraphing Inevitably]], it breaks, and when you get to Ellay you have to pay him to replace it. Also, in a sidequest that you can do later, Lloyd gets a BigDamnHeroes moment with a tank. What other tank could he possibly get access to? If you do both those sidequests, in order, it's ChekhovsBoomerang.
* CherubicChoir: The vocal version of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrtM4onLQ1I The Eight Melodies]]. Also used in the 1989 Japanese [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQUN7QAnMp0 commercial.]]
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: [[spoiler:Giygas is defeated by singing Queen Mary's Lullaby to him, similar to how he's defeated in ''VideoGame/EarthBound''.]]
* CreepyDoll: The possessed doll in your sister's room.
* CriticalHit: The SMASH attack ignores all physical defense of the target, and does a lot more damage. However, enemies can perform these criticals with roughly the same chance as you. Since your party is generally much better defended than them, and you have to fight a lot of them, the chance of a defense-piercing hit becomes bad news for you.
* CrutchCharacter: The enemies on Mt. Itoi are so dangerous that EVE the robot is the only character that's strong enough to take them out quickly. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, EVE doesn't remain in your party for long.]]
* CuteBruiser: Pippi may not have the typical personality of this trope, but she has the same level up growths as Teddy. Shame you can't keep her for long.
* DamselInDistress: [[OverlyNarrowSuperlative Probably]] the only RPG in existence in which you have to rescue [[LawyerFriendlyCameo Pippi Longstocking]] from zombie gangsters.
* DanceOfRomance: Ninten with Ana inside the bedroom of a Healing House.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Though, the fight ends before there's actually a winner, Teddy joins you this way.
* {{Delinquent}}: Teddy, again.
* DifficultySpike: Yucca Desert, and later Mt. Itoi, the latter of which is almost completely filled with DemonicSpiders.
** The Yucca Desert enemies can actually be found even earlier in the game; in the train tunnels. This is to probably prevent you from going out to get Ana before Loid, but with luck and (more) grinding, players can pass the tunnel alone, though this is very tough and time consuming.
* DrJerk: The doctors that restore your negative statuses... for a price.
-->'''Doctor (if you don't have enough money for his services)''': Fine, die all on your own. I'll phone a mortician.
* DummiedOut: Poison Needle and Stone of Origin were items that poisoned and stoned the enemy respectively, but in the final game they are just enemy attacks.
** There is another unused item called IC-Chip. It may or may not be related to the Memory Chip item which was added to ''Mother 1+2'', which is obtained after [[spoiler: EVE gets killed off]]. The item is like a second Onyx Hook, except that instead of Magicant, it transports you to that same spot that [[spoiler: EVE died]]. The IC-Chip is still in the GBA version, but DummiedOut.
** The item "Time Machine" was in the original Famicom version of the game but DummiedOut of later versions. Just like the Real Rocket, which remained in later versions, it was an item for sale in the elementary school, but buying it triggered a humorous cutscene in which it is accidentally used to temporarily blow up the room.
* DungeonCrawling: Duncan's Factory is an annoying large version of this that you are required to go in to continue the plot and if you're lucky enough to find the right room a second Franklin Badge can be found.
* DungeonTown: Spookane/Halloween, unlike other towns where enemy encounters stop upon entering, they can still happen even after entering the town limits.
* {{Eagleland}}: Although explicitly taking place in America, (which Itoi later denied in an interview concerning the sequel's use of this trope) it clearly follows the trope, and is the predecessor to the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: This game is highly different from its two sequels due to having RandomEncounters, no rolling HP meter, and generally different gameplay.
* EscapeBattleTechnique: The game has the 4-D Slip PSI, which allows a guaranteed escape from battle. Considering how brutal the late game enemies are, it's very helpful at times.
* [[spoiler:[[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas Even Bad Aliens Love Their Mamas]]: It's Giygas's memories of his adoptive human mother, Maria, that end up defeating him.]]
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: A singing monkey gives you a part of the MacGuffin. Later you get to go in a cave full of monkeys. A majority of them lie to you.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: In the beginning of the game there is a zoo with a penguin pen. Later in the game you go in a cave full of monkeys (mentioned above) and there is a secret room with a single lost penguin in it. In addition, Ninten's favorite animal is said to be the penguin, which is AllThereInTheManual.
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: Zombie Mooks pop up in this game: in the early graveyard section, and in Rosemary Manor.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Your first three enemies are two desk lamps and a doll. It just gets better from there.
* FanRemake: An in-progress [[http://forum.starmen.net/forum/Community/PKHack/Mother-Remake/page/1/ remake of MOTHER]] is being developed as a GameMod/Hack for its sequel, Earthbound/Mother 2.
** Actually, now there is a [[http://forum.starmen.net/forum/Fan/Games/EarthBound-Zero-Remake-1/page/1/ second Remake]] in progress at the moment, but unlike the first one, this is a remake made from scratch, but is made in the style of Mother 3.
* FanSequel: ''VideoGame/CognitiveDissonance''.
* FinalDeath: The Flying Men. If one of them runs out of HP and faints, unlike your other party members, he cannot be revived at all.
* ForcedLevelGrinding: The [[PerfectlyCromulentWord grindiest]] game in the whole series.
** You even have to grind at the very start of the game to avoid getting annihilated by enemies ''right outside your house.''
* AFriendInNeed: Ninten finds Lloyd cowering in a garbage can from some bullies, who then tells him that all he really would like is to fire a rocket. Ninten then goes and gets him one, and they are buddies from then on.
* GalacticConqueror: [[spoiler: Giygas.]]
* GhostTown: The town Spookane/Halloween after it became infested with monsters and ghosts.
* GirlishPigtails: Ana has these.
* GlobalCurrency:
** Justified as being dollars, and the game mostly taking place entirely in America... though don't ask how Magicant ''also'' takes them.
** The shopkeeper claims to want them just for novelty's sake.
* GuestStarPartyMember: Several, including EVE and Flying Man.
* GuideDangIt: The effects of PSI attacks. The game itself doesn't give you any clues on what most of them do. This becomes crucial when you need to figure out which "Healing" skill to use, because unlike in its successors, each level cures only a specific ailment. Plus, Healing Gamma doesn't revive unconscious party members; rather, it cures petrification.
* HauntedHouse: Rosemary Manor.
* HellHotel: The hotel at the abandoned GhostTown, Spookane. The clerk at the hotel is actually a Starman in disguise, who, after paying a much cheaper than normal lodging fee, attacks you immediately the next morning.
* HeroicAlbino: Lloyd, who, despite being 11 years old, has white hair. It is also noteworthy to mention that albinos have poor eyesight, and Loid wears glasses.
* HopelessBossFight: The three R7-robots. The first two can be destroyed only by a tank (and, with a tank, the first one is hopeless for [=R7037=]) but, as you are tankless then, [=R7038=] will destroy your party (along with your strongest character - permanently). But Lloyd destroys it - with a tank. [[spoiler:When you fight [=R7038XX=], even your new giant robot buddy deals only about 50 points of damage, and only when the robot explodes does [=R7038XX=] die. Fortunately, it doesn't try to attack you, it only attacks EVE. So you win, but for EVE, it was hopeless.]]
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Similar to the sequel, almost nobody uses a real weapon. Teddy, a leader of a gang, is an exception: he can use a knife, a sword, and eventually a {{katana|sAreJustBetter}}!
* InnSecurity: In Spookane/Halloween. $18 for a single night is very inexpensive! [[spoiler:...[[OhCrap Starman drew near!]]]]
* InstantAwesomeJustAddMecha: EVE
* InterspeciesRomance: One of the monkeys in the Monkey Cave flirts with Ana.
* ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: The final battle is at the peak of Mt. Itoi.
* JokeItem: The Swear Words and Words O' Love, both of which require a small sidequest, only display the words "I hate you!" and "I love you!" respectively, when used in battle. The Last Weapon [[FridgeBrilliance tells you how to reset the game]]. As is the Last Weapon, the Real Rocket is expensively buyable in the Twinkle Elementary lab. From the name of it, it seems like it would be quite a cut above the Bottle Rocket item. But if you buy it... It never even goes into your inventory.
-->'''Scientist''': "Oops! It's gone into orbit. A success... sort of."
** The Time Machine was an item in the original Famicom version that did something similar when you bought it, but it was removed from later versions.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: The Katana is Teddy's InfinityPlusOneSword. It's better than the Sword.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: EVE. For players of the original Famicom version, nothing says that Teddy survived, so most assumed that he died. However, in later versions of the game, they make it clear that Teddy actually lives.]]
* LevelGrinding: The player is forced to do this after recruiting Lloyd and Ana. They come at a low level, and so one naturally goes to Magicant to train them.
* LostInTranslation: [[spoiler: After Loid has his BigDamnHeroes moment in the tank while Ninten, Ana and Teddy were getting their butts handed to them by R7038, due to how his speech was translated, it seems as if [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Loid accidentally shot Teddy, and that it's actually his fault that Teddy is critically injured]]. Turns out that, as shown by the more accurately translated Mother 1+2 Fan Translation, Loid was supposed to instead say that he was too late.]] Just goes to show how poorly [=EarthBound=] Zero was actually translated. Of course, there are more moments than this, but this was the most notable, as it practically affects the plot.
-->'''Loid ([=EarthBound=] Zero Translation)''': "Shoot! I missed!"
-->'''Loid (Mother 1+2 Fan Translation)''': "Oh no! I'm too late!"
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler: Queen Mary is actually Ninten's great-grandmother Maria, who was sealed into Magicant (with her memories removed) after Giygas seemingly killed her.]]
* MacGuffin: The Eight Melodies.
* MagicalMysteryDoors: Rosemary Manor.
* TheMaze: There are a quite few. Duncan's Factory, the Swamp, Mt. Itoi Caves...
* MentalWorld: [[spoiler:Actually Maria's, not Ninten's.]]
* MetalSlime: The Red Snake.
* MinimalisticCoverArt
* MomentKiller: Right after Ninten and Ana confess their love for each other, Teddy barges in the room and asks the pair why they are blushing. To be fair he does apologize for interrupting but did so because he was hearing odd noises outside, [[FromBadToWorse and then a giant robot attacks them]], severely injuring/killing Teddy. Real moodkiller there.
* MrsRobinson: Mrs. Rosemary. Somehow this stayed in the English prototype in the middle of Nintendo's bowdlerization days.
* NeverSayDie: Similar to the sequel, enemies "become quiet", "don't move anymore", etc. {{Justified|Trope}} because you're not using real weapons (for the most part) and you're fighting possessed animals and humans, as well as supernatural beings.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The Japanese TV spot had Ninten and Ana defeat a R7307 or one of its relatives. This is impossible to do in-game, where all of those enemies need heavy weaponry to defeat.
* NintendoHard: Lots and lots of RandomEncounters, generally unbalanced enemies, a huge proliferation of OneHitKill moves, and too much ForcedLevelGrinding make this the hardest game in the whole series. Itoi even admitted to completely skipping over balancing it out because by the end, everyone was so tired.
** SchizophrenicDifficulty: An interview with Shigesato Itoi confirmed that the last parts of the game, specifically Mt. Itoi, had not been tested sufficiently for balance issues.
* NoEnding: The original release ended with [[spoiler: the aliens, defeated, leaving in their spaceship, and the party just looks at the sky and the credits play in the sky. It didn't tie up any loose ends and left some FridgeHorror / NoEndorHolocaust. The prototype English version and later the GBA re-release significantly extended the ending]].
* NostalgicMusicbox: The ending tune starts and ends with a music box rendition of the Eight Melodies.
* NotDrawnToScale: If the surrounding panorama is to be believed, the rooftop of Twinkle Elementary is some 100 stories off the ground - [[FridgeBrilliance then again, maybe that's just what it looks like to Ninten...]]
* OminousMusicBoxTune: The first of the 8 Melodies is a music box hidden in Ninten's sister's formerly possessed naked baby doll.
* OneHitKill: PK Beam Gamma, a favorite PK attack of Starmen. Fortunately, the Franklin Badge just reflects the attack back at the attacker. Unfortunately, there's only two in the entire game, meaning that one party member will be vulnerable at all times.
** PK Fire Ω destroys all enemies instantly.
* OutsideTheBoxTactic: In a convention to be continued throughout the series, the FinalBoss [[spoiler:Giygas]] cannot be defeated by ordinary methods. You must [[spoiler:sing Queen Mary's song eleven times to subdue him]].
* PaletteSwap: As an early RPG, nearly everywhere. Some palette swaps at least slightly modify the sprites by overlaying new graphics to make them seem different, such as adding a collar to the Wolf to make it a Stray Dog, or adding defects in the Old Robot to make it a Scrapper.
* PatchworkMap: This game is allegedly set in America, yet the desert is in the north and the arctic town is in the south-- the opposite of the real country's geography. The desert is also right next to the ocean, with nothing separating the two.
** [[FridgeBrilliance One theory could be that the map is upside down. Further supported by the fact that the Earth on the Mother series' logo is actually the famous 'Blue Marble' photograph upside down.]]
* ParentalAbandonment:
** Teddy is an orphan, and Ninten's father doesn't appear until the ending. And only in the unreleased English version and the CompilationRerelease.
** Also, all the parents of Youngtown being abducted by the aliens.
** Also also, Loid's parents are essentially handwaved. His father shows up in/as a trashcan at a remote location in a swamp nowhere near where Loid goes to school, and all he does is ask the player's name - no story exposition of even a minor variety.
*** However, in the novel adaption, his father is said to be in the swamp because he is looking for a special plant to cure a fatal illness Lloyd's mother has, and that appears to be another reason Lloyd joins Ninten.
* {{Poltergeist}}: At the start of the game one of these attack your house.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Like every game in the series.
* ThePowerOfLove[=/=]ThePowerOfRock:
** [[spoiler: Singing Maria's lullaby to Giygas is what defeats him. And it doesn't just defeat him: in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', it is found that it drove him absolutely insane.]]
** After reading a bit of description, it seems there's a bit more to it than that. [[spoiler: Giygas apparently still harbored affection toward Maria, but was basically forced to detach from her and invade the Earth as per his people's orders. Considering Maria basically raised the poor little guy since he was a baby, any reminders of her would create something of a conflict of interest, and make attacking her people (or more specifically, one of her descendants) quite a bit harder, don't you think?]]
* PuzzleBoss: The R7 robots are far too powerful for the party to beat on their own, so they have to acquire outside help.
* RandomEncounters: Good ''grief'', there's a lot of them! The world of ''MOTHER'' is massive and would be quite fun to explore if it weren't for these. Although you can't really blame it because it's a Famicom game. This gets less aggravating once you get access to Magicant (and more importantly, Repel Rings which prevent fights against weaker enemies).
* RecurringRiff: Several, including "Pollyanna (I Believe In You)", the battle theme for the NewAgeRetroHippie, and "Eight Melodies (Queen Mary's Lullabye)", occur frequently and are used in the later games.
* RedShirt: The Flying Man
* SdrawkcabName: The Raeb Yddet in [[{{Wackyland}} Magicant]], and by extension the Sky Yddet.
* SavageWolves: The Wolf, Silver Wolf and Lone Wolf enemies. Also, Stray Dog.
* SequelHook: Added in the prototype/''MOTHER 1+2'': at the very end of the credits, we see Ninten's father calling him, saying that 'something's come up'. It's an unusual example in that obviously [[VideoGame/EarthBound there]] [[{{VideoGame/Mother3}} were]] sequels, but neither followed up on this hint and indeed had next to nothing to do with this game in general.
* SequenceBreaking: Besides generally grinding to do things out of order, you can completely skip the whole thing with Teddy if you don't really think about trying to meet him, and are just looking for the melodies without using the ticket. You can carry this out to such an extreme that you never even hear his name, and then in the epilogue you wonder why he's "getting better" since you never actually met him and he was never injured.
* ShoutOut: Ninten fights a Kewpie doll in the beginning of the game.
** Two of the towns in the prototype (Merrysville and Spookane) are named after cities in Washington State, where Nintendo of America is located (Marysville and Spokane, respectively.)
* SoundtrackDissonance:
** Ninten and Ana have a dance near the end of the game, to relax (and to show them growing fond of each other). The tune that plays, "Fallin' Love", is ''extremely'' melancholy.
** The 8-bit version of the song is, but the soundtrack version has a typical romantic adult contemporary feel to it, but with no lyrics.
* SpellLevels: The tiers for PSI powers are given by the Greek letters alpha, beta, gamma, and omega.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS:
** Roid/Loid/Lloyd. The first was the official Romanization in Japan, the international fanbase used the second for quite a while, and ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'' uses the third.
** Also shown by [[spoiler: the main villain - his name is written "giigu" in katakana, written as "Giegue" in the localization, and is finally shown to actually be "Gyiyg" in the sequel. Eventually, Nintendo just made up a new English name for him ("Giygas"). But before that, he was apparently going to be called ''Geek.'']]
* SpinningOutOfHere: The Teleport spell is executed by having the character move around while accelerating rapidly before zooming off; because colliding with anything stops the teleport, the better the player is at moving in a small circle, the more places he or she can teleport from.
* StandardStatusEffects: Subverted at one point, as Ninten has asthma and exhaust from Killer Tractor Trailers can render him unable to act unless someone uses an inhaler on him.
* StartOfDarkness: [[spoiler:Giygas.]]
* StuffBlowingUp: One of the first things that Loid does after joining your party is blow up the science lab.
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien: It's strongly implied that [[spoiler:Giygas]] and his kind are this. On top of being masters of psychic powers, they can hurt you in ways that can't be explained or understood by anyone, even other psychics, and are incapable of receiving physical damage. Emotional damage, on the other hand...
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler: EVE is no match for [=R7038XX=], but she explodes when defeated, instantly destroying the foe and leaving behind a MacGuffin.]]
* TankGoodness: A rental. Lloyd shows up in another tank to defeat the second R-series robot.
* ATasteOfPower: The game does this ''twice'', both at the end of the game. Once with [[spoiler: Teddy]], who can actually defeat the DemonicSpiders on Mt. Itoi without much LevelGrinding, and [[spoiler: who goes away if you activate a certain cutscene.]] The second time is with [[spoiler: EVE, who joins you in the middle of TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon, is insanely powerful, and can defeat any of the RandomEncounters in one blow. But if you backtrack, or go forward past a certain point, you are forced to fight a robot that EVE sacrifices itself to defeat.]]
* ThemeNaming: Pretty much every location is named after a holiday. {{Woolseyism}} changed these names because the translator thought they were silly names. When Tomato was doing the fan translation of the ''MOTHER 1+2'' version, he agreed with the sentiment but kept the holiday-themed names anyway.
* ThrivingGhostTown: Averted. This game's towns are the biggest in the whole series, and seem to extend past the cluster of houses into the vast rural areas. Most of the houses' doors are locked, however, preventing the KleptomaniacHero (or a thief) from getting in.
* TookALevelInBadass: You first find Lloyd in a trash can hiding from bullies. Later, he shows up in a tank to destroy a giant robot that your party could not hope to defeat otherwise.
* TouchedByVorlons: The details are left vague, but something definitely like this happened between George and the aliens, opening the door to humankind getting psychic powers. [[spoiler: And he did it completely without the aliens' permission.]]
* TrailOfBreadCrumbs: You can eat the Bread item to recover some HP. However, if you Use it instead, you get Crumbs, and by using Crumbs, you return to the spot you were at when you used the bread. Handy!
* TwelveBarBlues: The Hippie Battle theme uses this chord progression.
* TwoPartTrilogy: Aside from PSI and [[spoiler: Giygas]], there is barely any evidence that the world of this game is the same world as ''VideoGame/EarthBound''. This game was hit especially hard, as despite the rerelease, it only had publicity back in its day. The CompilationRerelease's commercials focused mainly on the second game, showing only a very brief clip of this one, which, while this game got a significant update, the only thing that was changed from the second game, besides the inevitable quality drop in porting from SuperFamicom to GameBoyAdvance, was a few bug fixes.
* UpdatedRerelease[=/=]CompilationRerelease: This game and [[VideoGame/EarthBound its sequel]] have been compiled into a single cartridge and rereleased for the GameBoyAdvance under the title ''MOTHER 1+2'' ([[NoExportForYou only in Japan, of course]]).
* UselessUsefulSpell: Averted with PK Beam Gamma, which one-shots a majority of random encounters, and PK Fire Omega, which '''instantly nukes''' every single random encounter in the entire game. [[BraggingRightsReward You have to severely grind for the latter, however.]]
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Dear god, the Flying Men. Seeing the cemetery next to their former home is just heartbreaking when you realize that if you hadn't come along they would still be alive.
* {{Wackyland}}: Former {{Trope Namer|s}}, though the sequel's Magicant is most likely what was envisioned when it was named.
** Though technically they're not the same place; in this game it was [[spoiler:a manifestation of Maria's mind trying to regain her memories,]] while the one in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' was a representation of Ness's mind.
* WeaponsGradeVocabulary: Enemies can "attack" with Threatening Words and Swear Words, both of which decrease someone's Fight stat. Your party can get some words of their own to "attack" with, but they do nothing.
* [[spoiler: WeCanRuleTogether: Giygas gives Ninten alone a chance to board his mothership.]]
* WeNamedTheMonkeyJack: [[MrsRobinson Mrs. Rosemary]] renames her son [[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink Buggerror]] after Ninten. Evidently she likes his namesake better than her own son.
* WestminsterChimes: The basis for the background music of Twinkle Elementary.
* [[WhatTheHellHero What the Hell, Hero?]]: Accepting a drink from a woman in the Live House will cause a cop to show up, chastise Ninten for drinking under age, and arrest him. The cop also confiscates his weapon and you need to ''buy it back.''
* WhiteMagicianGirl: Ana, the only completely straight example in the series (Paula has a similar personality but absolutely no healing powers, and Kumatora is a straight-up BlackMagicianGirl).
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler: Giygas, now that you know his backstory.]]
* YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm: [[spoiler: As true of Giygas' attacks in this one as in the sequel, though at least he has a physical body here.]]
--> [[spoiler:The form of Giegue's attack was inexplicable!]]
* YouHaveGotToBeKiddingMe: In the GBA remake, when Teddy, Ninten and Ana hear a robot monster approaching, Teddy says, "You've got to be kidding me!", and a HopelessBossFight ensues.
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->''No crying until the end.''