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Trivia / EarthBound

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  • Approval of God: Shigesato Itoi called this EarthBound tribute video amazing.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Giygas sometimes says "I'm happy" or "I feel good" during the battle with him, but he never said "I feel happy".
  • Colbert Bump: The game's initial release was without that much fanfare, and it mostly went unnoticed (which helped to contribute to the cartridge's current rarity). Four years later, though...
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  • Development Hell: It went through a shorter but just as dangerous version of the trope. The developers struggled to make progress on the game even four years into its development, as it was riddled with bugs and was nowhere near completion. Enter HAL Laboratories president and future Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who started the game's programming over from scratch, fixing most of the team's problems in a month, and completing its development altogether in just six months. The main caveat of this though is that the game's programming is written in a very unorthodox language, with the coding for the in-game text alone probably being complex enough to program an emulator with.
  • Fan Prequel: MOTHER: Cognitive Dissonance.
  • God Never Said That: The names of most songs in the game. While some tracks—such as Humoresque of a Little Dognote , or Smiles and Tearsnote do have official names, most of the names commonly attributed to the game's music tracks are purely fan inventions… hence why "Battle Against a Machine" plays against multiple opponents that are either implicitly or explicitly not mechanical in nature, for example.
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  • He Also Did: The rock guitar heard in several parts of the game is played by M. D. Seegar. You know him better by his real name, Shigeru Miyamoto.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: One of the most infamous and bemoaned examples in gaming, generally attributed to being mired in legal issues as a result of background music with blatant samples of The Beatles, Our Gang, and Ric Ocasek, and an enemy that was inspired by the work of Salvador Dalí. As a result, fans 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.) Finally averted by the 2013 release for the Virtual Console. This is even lampshaded by Nintendo's press release, which says "You are not dreaming - This is Real".
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  • Killer App: Not in its initial release, but many people - fans of the series or not - are considering buying a Wii U for the sake of its Virtual Console port.
  • Manual Misprint: The Gutsy Bat is a Rare Drop from the Bionic Kraken, not the regular Kraken as printed in the official guide packaged with the game. The official guide also listed the Broken Antenna (repaired to become Jeff's strongest weapon) as the "Broken Parabolic" found in a gift box, location unknown; in reality it's a rare 1/128 drop from Uncontrollable Spheres.
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": Ness was playable in all three Smash Bros. games before EarthBound was released in Europe's Virtual Console. He doesn't have as many spoilers as Lucas does, though.
  • Newbie Boom: The EarthBound fandom got a sudden surge of new members when the game finally got rereleased on the Wii U. At one point it was the most downloaded Virtual Console game on the Wii U, which resulted in many new comers to the series, with some being people who likely never heard of the game at that point. This has notably caused some friction between those who were in the cult fandom before it gained a wider audience, as not only are the newbies more willing to point out EarthBounds flaws, they've even started to criticize Mother 3's flaws upon finding out about it, which considering the game was considered a Sacred Cow by those who were in the cult fandom...
  • No Export for You: None of the MOTHER games have been released in Europe. And of the three MOTHER games, only this, the second, was released in the US, and even then only once until 2013.
    • The GBA compilation containing this game and its predecessor was only released in Japan, despite the fact that the original version of one game previously had a North American release while the other had a complete English translation that was only scrapped due to the age of the system it was on. As above, there was a brief consideration of releasing it in America, which didn't pan out.
    • Though at long last, it has been averted. Close to nineteen years after its release in North America, EarthBound finally saw a release in Europe via the Wii U Virtual Console.
      • It should be noted that while for MOTHER a straight script-dump from the NES prototype to MOTHER 1+2 would be possible, the same could not be said for EarthBound. After the release of the MOTHER 1+2 partial fan translation, in which the EarthBound half went pretty much untranslated, Tomato discussed why he wasn't going to do the EarthBound half properly: because both are so densely and strangely programmed, in completely different ways no less, that it's pretty much impossible.
      • However, TheZunar123 is currently making a Mother 2 translation for Mother 1+2 which can be patched along with Mato's fan translation.
  • Referenced by...:
    • Gintama has an episode where the main characters eats some weird mushrooms in a forest, and another mushroom ends up growing out of their heads making them get lost. This is referencing the mushroom status effect which messes up the controls for a while the character has a mushroom on his or her head.
    • The Let's Player group The Runaway Guys is named after The Runaway Five as the three main players are all fans of the game.
    • Undertale does this quite a lot, on account of Toby Fox being a huge fan of the MOTHER trilogy. It even takes up a significant portion of that game's Shout-Out page.
  • Screwed by the Network: One of the most egregious cases in gaming. Only two thirds of the entire series ever made it to American shores, and the infamous marketing campaign ("this game stinks" was the marketing slogan) for Earthbound likely put a dent on sales. Even in Japan this appeared to be the case, although it was finally released for the Wii U's Virtual Console in March 2013. However, it was also confirmed that EarthBound would finally be getting a Western re-release on the Wii U Virtual Console — in Europe too, no less! — with Nintendo of America engaging in a hearty dose of Lampshade Hanging. Not only that, but two years later, Mother 1 was released as well.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: Supposedly, the reason the game had issues being released in the US and Europe is due to copyrights concerning the name of an enemy (Dali's Clock) and two music tracks sounding like Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode (New Age Retro Hippie theme) and The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again (the Skyrunner theme). Apart from toning down the flashes during battles, the Virtual Console release has no changes from the original SNES release.
  • Too Soon: Surprisingly averted; the fact that the Aum Shinrikyo cult released chemical attacks in Japanese subways at the time of this game's release did not affect the inclusion of the Happy Happyist subplot.
  • Trope Namer:
  • Tuckerization: Due to the long nights he worked to get the game localized, Nintendo of America allowed Marcus Lindblom, the game's localizer, to rename one of the minor NPCs to "Nico" after his daughter, who had just been born.
  • What Could Have Been: As there's a Dummied Out sprite in the game's code of Everdred's Ghost, it's possible that Everdred really was supposed to die in the game.
    • Ness's dog King has unused sprites for climbing up and down both ladders and ropes. Whether this means that King was planned to spend more time with Ness or simply that the hill west of Ness's home was going to feature ropes and ladders is unknown, and the sprites aren't even properly tied to King's party member data, anyhow.
    • One quote by Itoi also indicates that he wanted it to be ambiguous as to whether Ness was really the protagonist of the original MOTHER — in the final game, this ambiguity largely doesn't exist and he's fairly clearly a different character.
    • Early English promotional materials referred to Giygas as "The Geek", which would have been a hell of a Nightmare Retardant had they went through with that name.
  • The Wiki Rule: The EarthBound Wiki and WikiBound
  • Word of Gay: Tony, confirmed by Itoi here.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Marcus Lindblom, head of the English translation and localization, finally set the record straight on how to pronounce Giygas' name. It's pronounced as "Geegus", not "Guy-gus" as it was often assumed to be. (For the record, Gyiyg is pronounced "Geeg", hence the use of Giegue in the first game.)


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