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Trivia / EarthBound Beginnings

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  • Fan Nickname:
    • The game was once widely known as "EarthBound Zero" prior to its official international release, and is still used in a few circles afterwards. Its North American release was canceled at the last minute, and the Dub Name Change title, Earth Bound, was later reused, albeit without the space, for the SNES sequel MOTHER 2. When a prototype of the game was discovered and dumped, after a few modifications to get it to work properly on the emulators of the day, the releasers tacked "Zero" onto the title screen to differentiate the release from the nonfunctional ROM releases, also acting as a nod to it sharing the name of its sequel, and the name stuck for a while. The name used for the English Virtual Console release is EarthBound Beginnings, although the in-game title screen is unaltered.
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    • Before the official character names were known by the English-speaking fandom (as the characters were unnamed in the original manual save for Ninten in screenshots), players came up with the name "Jack" for Teddy—based on signs that were thought to be marked with graffiti of the Bla-Bla Gang boss's name, but that turned out to just be the name of a small in-universe grocery store chain—and considered the other three Ness, Jeff, and Paula. This didn't last long, although, coincidentally, before the release of MOTHER 2, Itoi stated that he wanted it to be ambiguous as to whether those characters were the same ones from the first MOTHER.
  • Fan Remake: There have been multiple attempts by fans to remake this game, but almost all of them eventually disappeared from the internet after a while.
    • A rather notable one was one that attempted to remake it using the graphical and gameplay styles of MOTHER 3, a la what the fan sequel to it is doing, called simply "Earthbound Zero Remake." Unfortunately though, all that ever really came of this was few sprites of the main characters in MOTHER 3 style, some updated remixes of the songs from the game which are still available on Youtube, and a few long deleted gameplay videos.
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    • One attempt as a Game Mod for EarthBound was originally started by MOTHER 3 fan translator Tomato, but he later abandoned it and the project was later picked up by another fan, and it is currently still in development.
  • Fan Sequel: MOTHER: Cognitive Dissonance.
  • Fan Translation: At the time of the discovery of the English prototype, a group of fans had been working on their own fan translation; eventually, they were the ones who obtained the prototype and released the ROM to the general public, and for a while there were those who saw that as somewhat suspicious. Full story here.
    • There was also a Fan Translation of the MOTHER 1 portion of the Game Boy Advance Compilation Re-release MOTHER 1+2 made by famed fan translator Tomato (the same who headed the translation of MOTHER 3) that brings the text more in line with the original Japanese version, such as making all the towns named after holidays, as well as renaming Giegue to his name in the sequel, "Giygas" in order to tie it in with its sequel better. This translation also contains several rewrites in order to recreate the brand of humor that EarthBound has, and adds in an "Easy Ring" item that doubles the amount of experience and money earned from battles, significantly cutting down the amount of grinding required to complete the game. Tomato has, however, disowned the fan translation following the official Virtual Console release of the English prototype, keeping in line with how his fan translations are only intended to hold people off until an official English release surfaces. The fan-polishing Game Mod for the original NES game, MOTHER 25th Anniversary Edition, also uses this translation (albeit retaining the name "Giegue", though a fork exists for those who prefer "Giygas"), adapted to the NES.
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  • Game Mod: MOTHER 25th Anniversary Edition is a Game Mod of the original NES game, polishing up graphics, map layouts, the script (using Tomato's fan translation for MOTHER 1+2), and enemies. It also re-balances the enemies to tone down the game's difficulty, and makes it less confusing to get around the swamp and Duncan's Factory.
  • Market-Based Title: EarthBound Beginnings in the long-overdue English release.
  • Milestone Celebration: The release of EarthBound: Beginnings on the Wii U coincides with the 20th anniversary of the EarthBound SNES game in North America.
  • Newbie Boom: When the game hit Wii U Virtual Console localized, fans that either hadn't heard of the game or didn't want to deal with the legal grayness of downloading a ROM of a No Export for You game were able to play it. Unlike EarthBound (which is considered a Sacred Cow by fans, leading to immense backlash when unfamiliar new players began pointing out its flaws and calling it overrated), it's considered an Acceptable Target for criticism due to its differences from later games in the series, so fans both old and new are getting along and on Miiverse. There's even people walking others fresh off of EarthBound through the game every step of the way.
  • No Export for You: The NES version is a particularly interesting case - it was complete and ready to go, then it simply didn't happen, likely because of both difficult marketing, the end of the NES lifespan, the fact that EarthBound began production right around the time of localization and was expected to be released early in the SNES' life (as opposed to spending an unprecedented four years in Development Hell) and the fact that the ambitiously expanded ROM size and packaging plans would've made production unnecessarily expensive; thus, from its unearthing in 1998 to its Virtual Console release in 2015, the only way to play the game was through emulation and reproduction cartridges. The GBA version could be because of rumored legal issues said to doom the franchise's Western presence, but it could simply have been out of lack of perceived interest, as EarthBound already tanked in America 8 years prior (though this is often attributed nowadays to bad marketing).
    • Finally averted as of June 14th, 2015. The EarthBound-related announcement fans had been expecting for E3 turned out to be a Wii U Virtual Console release under the title EarthBound Beginnings.
  • Reality Subtext: The removal of the Crow enemy's cigarette in the unreleased NES localisation was carried into all future releases on Itoi's specific request, after he quit smoking himself.
  • Revised Ending: The 1989 version's ending featured Giegue flying off, the player's party turning to face them, and the credits rolling behind them. This left many plot threads unresolved and made for a rather abrupt ending, so during production of the 1990 localization, Nintendo of America understandably replaced the fourth wall-breaking credits sequence with a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue that resolves all of these subplots. Though despite the game's non-linear nature, it makes the assumption that the player went along what is commonly considered the default/canon route. This new ending also features a cast roll call, a new credits sequence with a remix of the airplane theme and a little bit of Youngtown's at the end (the original song plays during the epilogue & roll call), and a Sequel Hook courtesy of Ninten's dad.
  • Throw It In!: The running feature in the English version was originally added in for debugging purposes, but localization director and English script writer Phil Sandhop convinced the development team to leave it in the final game. Not only was the run button retained in the MOTHER side of MOTHER 1+2, but MOTHER 3 would go on to flesh it out into a full-fledged game mechanic.
  • Word of Dante: The live-action commercial's depiction of Ninten is the basis of a vast majority of fanart of this game - adopting his neckerchief and (less frequently) slightly different clothing here as a way to differentiate Ninten from Ness, who is by far the more famous wearer of their standard clothing.
    • Although Giygas officially never changed names between the two games until the official English release of Earthbound Beginnings (his Japanese name remained consistent) many Western fans refer to his original form as Giegue after the prototype translation, and his form in EarthBound as Giygas, in order to play up the differences between the two appearances, in a similar fashion to Ganondorf and Ganon.

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