"Listen Ness. I'm going to tell you something very important. You may want to take notes. Ready? ......You're the chosen one."
—Talking RockEarthBound is a SNES RPG that follows the story of Ness, a seemingly normal boy who lives in Eagleland. Late one night, a meteorite landing outside town awakens Ness. The meteorite brings with it a bee (or not) from the future, who tells Ness of its devastation at the hands of an indestructible being called Giygas — a being Ness is destined to defeat. Ness' journey to stop Giygas will take him through time and space to meet the remainder of the Chosen Four (Paula, Jeff, and Poo) and collect the Eight Melodies for his Sound Stone to unite the power of the Earth as his own.EarthBound is the second of a series of Japanese role playing games known as MOTHER, an experiment in storytelling in a different medium by Japanese essayist Shigesato Itoi. MOTHER 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back (EarthBound's Japanese title) serves as a loose sequel to MOTHER, since the two games share the same essential setting (an affectionate homage to 1950s America). Of the three games in the MOTHER series, only EarthBound has received an official release in North America (as Nintendo has no plans for a North American release for MOTHER 3).Nintendo initially planned to release MOTHER 1 in North America as Earth Bound, but Nintendo of America scrapped release plans after finishing work on its translation (the Super Nintendo had already launched, making it Nintendo's major focus). A prototype of the translation surfaced years later in the hands of a collector. The ROM of this translation eventually became known as EarthBound Zero.On the 17th of April 2013, Nintendo confirmed that it would release EarthBound for the Wii U Virtual Console in North America. It also announced a similar release for the game in Europe, marking the first release of EarthBound in that region. While fans waited for the Virtual Console release, they had to content themselves with a ROM of the game or track down an original cartridge — which, due to intense demand and limited supply, usually didn't (and still don't) go for less than $200 outside of garage sales and such. (That price usually means the cartridge itself, too.) On the 18th of July 2013, Nintendo finally re-released the game via Virtual Console (in both Europe and the US) at the far-lower-than-eBay-auctions price point of $9.99; to round out the package, it also digitized the original Player's Guide that it bundled with the SNES release and offered it up for free (so that gamers could read the guide on the Wii U Gamepad).As a side note: Ness and Lucas (the protagonist of MOTHER 3) are probably best known to Western audiences via their appearances in the Super Smash Bros. games.note
Because of the number of tropes associated with EarthBound, we've split them up into separate pages: