Earth Bound: Tropes N to S
You finally got here. This is the third "Your Tropes" page. But it's mine now. Take it from me, if you dare...
You can view the main page HERE!Tropes A to G
| Tropes H to M
| Tropes N To S
| Tropes T to Z
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- Non Standard Skill Learning: Spells are acquired by leveling up, except for the two tiers of Teleport for Ness. The first Teleport must be learned from a talking monkey, and the second one is automatically acquired after completing the Magicant level.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Pokey (target: Ness)
- Nostalgic Musicbox: The final rendition of the Eight Melodies, just before entering Magicant. You get all sorts of adorable clips of Ness's childhood.
- Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Averted with the use of the Hint Stalls. For a small fee, the man behind the Hint Stall will nudge you in the right direction about where you need to go.
- NPC Roadblock: The Happy Happyists' hideout contains a maze made of cultists; you have to talk to them or battle them to get them to move.
- Official Couple: Ness and Paula. They're so cute together!
- Older Than They Look: Most of the main cast, thanks to the graphics style. Word of God says that Ness is 13 years old, but based on his appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series, you'd think he was between eight and ten.
- Ominous Message from the Future: The events of the game are set in motion when Buzz Buzz comes from the future to warn Ness that Giygas has destroyed the world in the future and that a boy named Ness would defeat him.
- Only the Author Can Save Them Now: Deliberately pulled off in an extremely rare example that actually works, since it's cleverly subverted into Only The Player Can Save Them Now. And not in the way you're thinking either.
- Only Idiots May Pass: Advanced to an art form!
- Outside-the-Box Tactic: Continuing the series-wide trend, the Final Boss, Master Giygas cannot be defeated via normal tactics. You must use Paula's Pray command ten times before you, the player, defeat him.
- The Overworld: The Eagleland overworld, which actually has roads, just like in Real Life! You sometimes get to ride in the tour bus with a local band down them, but otherwise you walk like in other RPGs.
- Palette Swap: Several enemies are like this, including a stronger version of the Territorial Oak, Foppies and Fobbies, and the Mani Mani Statue/Ness's Nightmare.
- Parental Abandonment: Ness' father communicates over the phone often enough, but is never home. Jeff's father hasn't seen him in ten years despite living fairly near his boarding school (and this is a twelve to fourteen year old boy) and seems to think nothing of it; his mother is never mentioned. Poo's parents are nowhere in sight—affairs of state, perhaps? Paula is the only one of the four protagonists to have parents that are both alive and present.
- Parental Bonus: Oh God. Too many to list. A yellow submarine, the Runaway Five, the New Age Retro Hippie's battle music...
- The Password Is Always Swordfish:
- The one password was not of the "easily guessed" type, but was ridiculous nonetheless: It consisted of waiting three minutes. Who would guess that?
- This is later subverted by another character asking for the password. As the Player Character does not answer, he (or it) attacks ("someone so quiet is either extremely shy, or extremely dangerous").
- Penultimate Weapon: The Legendary Bat for Ness.
- Peninsula of Power Leveling: The tunnel between Twoson and Threed has a very low chance of spawning Criminal Caterpillars which, with a lot of patience and luck, can be the greatest and safest way for maxing out your party's levels.
- Photo Montage: The ending credits show off all the photos the photographer takes of you at points in the game.
- Place of Power: "Your Sanctuary" locations. Each restores your life to full, and getting them all give Ness a huge power boost.
- Place Worse Than Death: If you remain in Moonside for too long, you'll "end up frying your brain."
"Yes, you will. No, you will...not. Yesno, you will won't."
- Playable Epilogue: After the final battle, you are free to roam the entire world as you please, with no enemies in your way, until you decide to visit Ness's mother. (Actually, if you ignore the Shattered Men in the Summers Museum, they'll still be fightable in the epilogue, which if you purposely die crashes the game. And may trigger other glitches.)
- The Player Is The Most Important Resource: In the final battle, your faith in the characters is what defeats Giygas.
- Police Are Useless: Not only do the police not seem to be able to handle things like kidnappings and teenage gangs, they actively get in your way by setting up pointless roadblocks.
- Police Brutality: When Onett's police force is asked by a teenage boy to remove a roadblock and help him get to the next town, they decide it'd be fun to take him to the back room of the station and beat him up. They quickly learn challenging Ness to a fight is a bad idea if you don't want your butt kicked.
- Powerful But Inaccurate: The Casey Bat has the maximum possible attack power, but also the lowest hit rate, actually giving it lower average damage than other bats available at the same stage of the game.
- The Power of Friendship: How Giygas is defeated. In some way or another, isn't this trope the lesson learned in every MOTHER game?
- The Power of Hate: Pokey during the final battle.
Pokey: And here you stand, waiting to be burned up with all the rest of the garbage of this universe... Haaaaah! That's so sad. I can't help but shed a tear.
- Power-Up Food: Ramen noodles bring back the dead.
- Premiseville: Onett, Twoson, Threed, and Fourside.
- Pronoun Trouble: Due to certain lines of battle text being used by more than one enemy, we sometimes get lines like this. Similarly, having Paula use the Ruler or Protractor will cause the game to refer to her as "he".
- Psychic Powers: Instead of magic characters use Psi. Paula also uses telepathy at a couple points.
- Punny Name: By the bushelful.
- The first four towns are called Onett, Twoson, Threed, and Fourside.
- And what are those numbers added up? NinTendo! Although that might not have been intentional.
- And then there's Summers and Tenda (possibly also a pun on "tender"). Think about that for a while.
- The main character, named after the NES. Alternately, the main character's name is an anagram of the system he first appeared on (SNES).
- The bicycle shop in Twoson is called "Punk-Sure".
- One removed from the American version: the third town was originally named Threek, combining both the numerical theme along with a scream of surprise and alarm. Perfect for a haunted town. Nintendo had it changed to "Threed" out of fears that it could be read as a reference to the KKK.
- Random Drop: The infamous 1/128 items are this. The list of enemies that dropped items at a 1/128 rate in this game is huge, and most of those enemies dropped arguably worthless items. Some enemies that dropped valuable equipment at this rate had methods of expending your time...
- Random Effect Spell: Pray, on the occasions when it's not used outside of the final battle. Mostly it either does nothing or heals everyone a little bit, but it can also cause status effects on your part, revive everyone (including enemies), recover all HP and PP to someone, and other things.
- Psi Flash, when it hits, may inflict crying (blindness), numbness (paralysis), feeling strange (confusion), or unconsciousness.
- Raygun Gothic: The style of the Starman and the robots seems to be based around this.
- Recurring Traveler: the photographer who descends from the sky in certain places.
"Say 'Fuzzy Pickles'!"
- Recursive Canon:
- One NPC wonders if the new video game EarthBound has been released yet.
- In addition, the newspaper headline in Onett after beating the Final Boss is "Chief Strong finishes EarthBound, asks 'Where is the sequel?'"
- Recursive Translation: The script for MOTHER 2 in the MOTHER 1+2 Updated Re-release shows signs of being a Japanese retranslation of the English EarthBound script, at least according to Clyde Mandelin.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: The bizarre void known as Giygas. The Ghost of Starman and Pokey's business attire also suit this trope.
- Retraux: Giygas and Heavily Armed Pokey's battle theme starts out with some NES chiptune-sounding music (ironically, nothing from Earthbound Zero, though, where Giygas actually just had an incessant screech as his "battle theme") before spontaneously jumping into a progressive metal version of the same tune.
- Rising Cost Of Health Insurance: Practically the Trope Namer (though not its supertrope).
- Road Block: The game uses road blocks in the prologue to keep Ness from going downtown, and later from going into Twoson, under pretense that the police are going for the world record for how many roads they can close at once.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: The Plague Rat of Doom is a boss enemy who is also a huge rat, but the normal mouse enemies look larger than normal as well.
- Rule of Three: Inside the mines, you'll fight the third-strongest mole, followed by the third-strongest mole, and then the third-strongest mole, and then...
- Say My Name: One of Giygas's attacks has him saying the hero's name over and over. Which can lead to a hilarious or disturbing results if one abused the Hello, Insert Name Here feature.
- See You in Hell: Amusingly subverted where a villain starts to say this trope, then admits that the heroes will probably go to Heaven after he kills them:
Department Store Spook: "This department store is going to be your grave! Gwaaagh. You will be gone, and you'll be burning in...well, you'll go to heaven!"
- One Happy Happy cultist specifically tells you not to go to Heaven. According to Clyde Mandelin the line was identical in the Japanese script.
- Shall I Repeat That?: Brutally parodied with Buzz Buzz, who does this with his last words, and will not die until you tell him to.
- Shave and a Haircut:
- When banging incessantly on Ness' door doesn't work, Pokey tries this, although it is mixed with various other random knocks. Your dog remarks on how annoying it is.
- Picky also does this in the Playable Epilogue after the end credits.
- Shoplift and Die: In Happy Happy Village you can choose to pay whatever you want, if you pick $0 a nearby man will attack you. Though you can attack the storekeeper as a Ballistic Discount.
- Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?:
- Averted when Ness' sister Tracy says that she got his homework covered.
- Also one conversation with Ness's Mom on the phone she says "Your teacher came by looking for you, I covered for you"
- A girl in Fourside's Department Store asks if Ness is skipping school too.
- Single Palette Town: The Happy Happy Village, everything is blue, blue...
- Sinister Geometry:
- Giygas's robots appear in the overworld as blue octahedrons (presumably they're inside; there's an unused capsule sprite that might have been originally used, same as the Starman capsules from MOTHER 1).
- Giygas' stronghold, the Cave of the Past, is a chrome wasteland of of geometric cliffs.
- Skippable Boss: Many players don't even realize they can just not fight Everdred.
- Skyscraper City: Fourside. You have to find your way to the top of the biggest one in the city too.
- Snowy Screen of Death: Right when you start up the game, a bloody red static screen is shown, displaying "The War Against Giygas!" As soon as you defeat Giygas, the same effect is displayed, ending the battle.
- Song Style Shift: The first form of the final battle's theme between Giygas and Pokey starts out as an 8 bit tune and then shifts into prog-death metal after around a minute.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Mostly played straight, but for a moment at the beginning when Giygas, in a moment of being Dangerously Genre Savvy, decides to just kill Ness before he becomes a nuisance by sending a Starman Jr. at them at the start of the game. Thankfully, the good guys were equally smart and sent in Buzz Buzz too, thus canceling each other out.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Some of the (great) music in this game is so out there, it is hard to tell what kind of mood the composer is trying to evoke.
- Spell Levels: The tiers for PSI powers are given by the Greek letters alpha, beta, gamma, and omega (with sigma used for a few targets-all spells)
- Spiders Are Scary: Lampshaded. The Arachnid! and Arachnid!!! are two of the only enemies to have exclamation marks in their names.
- Spikes of Villainy: The Starman Deluxe and the Final Starman are respectively stronger versions of the Starman and the Starman Super WITH SPIKES!
- Spinning out of Here: Like in MOTHER, teleporting requires rapid, uninterrupted acceleration before zooming off to the destination, so areas with limited space to build speed require moving in circles to avoid crashing. One teleport ability requires the player to turn manually, the other one automatically makes the party move in a tight spiral.
- Spoiled Sweet: Paula. She is famous and her dad totally babies her, but she is very serious about saving the world no matter what it takes.
- Squishy Wizard: Again, Paula. Her PSI Freeze spells rip enemies into shreds, but her HP is so low that even two hits of PSI Thunder obliterate her. Hell, often her HP during the endgame can be maxed out by Lifeup-beta.
- Standard Status Effects: As well as many non-standard ones. Characters can be affected by sickness, heat stroke, ghostly possession, homesickness (in Ness' case — this happens at random, and it's cured by calling Mom), mushroom growth, the common cold, uncontrollable crying...
- Stock Ness Monster: Tessie, a friendly monster who resides within Lake Tess in Winters.
- Subtitle Drop:
"The war against Giygas' is over."
- Surprise Creepy: Most of the game is a gloriously strange and funny romp through childhood, and then you enter Giygas' Lair.