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Video Game / Hallow's End

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From left to right: Craig, Clyde and Sally. And to think, all they wanted was a few extra pieces of candy.

It’s October 31st, 2010. Halloween night. Sally, Clyde, and Craig are excited to go trick or treating this year. But while trick or treating, they suddenly find themselves thrust into a strange and hostile world. Can they find the source of the problem and stop it, all before school next morning?
The official summary by the hack's creator

Hallow's End is a EarthBound ROM Hack made by "H.S." set on Halloween night, 2010. In many ways, people in the EarthBound fandom consider this to be the Lighter and Softer Halloween alternative to The Halloween Hack. It also gets a lot of comparisons to Costume Quest, though the plot is quite different from it.

The game stars Sally, Clyde, and Craig, setting out on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. After a brief run around town, and rather depressed at the haul this year, the kids were about to head home, when Craig suggests possibly seeing if old man Gantt's house has any candy left. Reluctant at first due to the rumors surrounding him, the kids eventually agree to check it out. Upon reaching the house and finding no one there, the kids eventually return home, disappointed that they worked up the courage for nothing.

However, things quickly take a turn for the strange, as no sooner do they leave the house do monsters begin littering the streets, as well as getting accusations of being monsters themselves their way, and the few that do realize they're not monsters no longer remember who they are and, notably, no one seems to be dressed up for Halloween anymore, or even know what Halloween is...

The hack is surprisingly well put together, reconstructing the maps from the ground up to create completely new areas not seen in the original EarthBound, as well as a plethora of new enemies and containing a plot that, while has some dark moments, manages to stay true to the EarthBound experience. With a surprising amount of playtime to it, rivaling that of SNES games of old, it's definitely a must see for any EarthBound fan, even if it isn't around Halloween time.

The most recent patch for the game can be found here. The hack uses its own patch file made specifically for EarthBound and can't be applied with an ISP patcher, and instead requires its own patcher to apply it and play. Said patcher can be found and downloaded here. You'll have to search out your own ROM though, as per-Wiki policy.

For a much, much darker Halloween EarthBound hack alternative, check out The Halloween Hack.

This game contains the following tropes:

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Miss Anna joins your party during the Final Boss fight.
  • Abandoned Hospital: Hollyanna suburbs has one, naturally, considering the theme of the game. You're sent there to deal with Jenkins, in turn as a way to gain access to the Meresti building. Thankfully, it's nowhere near as extreme as some examples of this trope.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Hollyanna sewers, which you have to go through in order to reach the suburbs because the police currently have it blocked off. Oh, not because of the zombies or anything, mind you. It's because of the horrid rumor that apple embezzlement is going on!
  • Affectionate Parody: This game parodies a lot of things, be it from other games, movies, or the like, but one example shines above them all... Which is, the game doing a parody of the beginning of EarthBound itself late in the game!
  • All of the Other Reindeer: If her fight with the cursed woods monster is anything to go by, Sally is this, or at least feels this way at times.
  • All Just a Dream: The entire game outside of the start and the ending is an illusion created by the Mara Statue. Thankfully, it keeps from being a "Shaggy Dog" Story due to the fact that the Mara Statue really was attempting to Take Over the World, and the protagonists were able to destroy it.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: During the sections of the game where you have to traverse without seeing your sprite, a mysterious fourth party member joins the gang, who not only makes sure to keep their health up, but also can deal a good amount of damage to the enemy. It's never revealed who this mysterious fourth character is, though given the aesthetics of the area, one interpretation is it's the spirit trapped in the vase from the beginning of the game, who's able to help you fight off the illusions of the Mara Statue, if ever so slightly, because the children wandered over to it outside of the illusion.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The reason Giant Step in Onett is blocked off this time is because it's inhabited by a 80 tall monster that weighs 6000 pounds and could destroy people with a mere thought. It also smells bad.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Mara Statue. It can create illusions around the characters and slowly destroys the person's mind, as well as being implied that it hoped to Take Over the World. The trio manages to destroy it shortly before it manages to do so. The vase you see at the start of the game is a Subverted example. It's alive, too, but far more benevolent, being the voice that was guiding Craig in an attempt to save them. It still appears to be a bit petty though, as it does make a comment about how it likes being the most valuable thing in the house now.
  • Apathetic Citizens: An NPC in Hollyanna lampshades how he's the only who seems even mildly worried that zombies have taken over Hollyanna suburbs.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The entire game from the point you enter Old Man Gantt's house to the point you finally destroy the Mara Statue, and in turn kill the Mara Demon trapped inside it, is this. The Mara Demon is trying to wear down the protagonists' minds to keep them from destroying it in hopes that it'll be able to escape one day and Take Over the World. Thankfully, the benevolent spirit trapped inside the vase seen upon entering the house spends most of the game helping the trio fight off the influence as they wander around the illusions the demon cooks up. Granted, this doesn't become apparent until the Meresti building, where the plot looks like it's gone flying out the window, and the protagonists themselves don't even realize this until after killing the demon and destroying the statue it was trapped in.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Emsleyan Lucina. High HP, has a wide variety of PSI attacks and abilities, and hits like a truck when you first encounter it. The "best" part? They look EXACTLY like magic butterflies in the overworld, with only a very subtle tell to differentiate the two. Have fun trying to tell them apart, especially if you're in need of a PP recharge.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Clyde admits that when Azathoth came out of the portal, he may have peed himself a little. Sally reacts accordingly.
  • Cash Gate: The items in the first town cost a lot for that early in the game. Technically, you can ignore them and attempt to continue the story, but it's not a particularly wise thing to do.
  • The City: Hollyanna city. It's near three times bigger than Fourside from the original game.
  • Chest Monster: The "Bomb-In-The-Box". You still get good items from them should you beat them, but they can easily rack up the damage on the trio. They also share the Territorial Oak's habit of exploding on defeat. You have been warned...
  • Death Mountain: Dead Mountain. Fittingly, it has the Dark World Death Mountain music from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past playing as it's background theme.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Or at least, Azathoth. And he's the very first boss in the game too!
    • Much later, you manage to punch out the demon trapped inside of the Mara Statue, which was the cause of the game's plot.
  • Divide and Conquer: How the monster of the curse woods works, from what the NPC warns the group about. It can apparently take different forms as well, as both Clyde and Craig, and Sally were attacked by different monsters that preyed on their weaknesses when Sally split off from the group.
  • Duel Boss: Sally fights her interpretation of the cursed woods monster by herself. Thankfully, in addition to being the Ness (and thus having access to a lot of healing and status spells, in addition to having a good attack stat) of the game, ElectroShock has a much higher hit rate than PSI Thunder, allowing Sally to get multiple hits in on it.
  • Easter Egg: You actually can encounter the original four chosen ones from EarthBound in the game, with some being right out in the open (Jeff walking around the streets of Hollyanna city) to some being in more obscure locations (Poo being hidden somewhere in Dead Mountain). However, they are just minor NPCs with no bearing to the plot of the game in any way... all except one...
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Generally, the bosses tend to cause far more trouble than the enemies in the levels before them, who never raise beyond a mild annoyance. Once you get into the late game, though (which is near the end of the Meresti building), it starts to, for lack of a better term, level out. (And even then, the bosses still tend to be far more difficult by comparison.)
  • Escape Rope: The save points in the middle of dungeons act like this, in addition to letting you save. They teleport you directly to the dungeon's entrance. Good for grinding or building up money to get some of the more expensive equipment in the game.
  • Expy: Battle wise, Clyde is essentially Jeff from the original game. Even though he doesn't make a wide variety of weapons, he still has no PSI attacks, and has a good amount of combat items only he can use. Averted though personality wise, as Clyde is pretty much Jeff's opposite in that regard.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: After finding out about it, the trio plans to fake a Sun Sphere so they can meet with, and hopefully stop, the monster's boss, having been mistaken as recruits that were about to be sent to Hollyanna city to look for it.
  • Fission Mailed: Late in the game, when fighting MISSINGNO and M4, occasionally you'll get a message that your party has been whipped out, complete with the jingle... only for the battle to continue as normal. Additionally, no matter how glitchy Onett may seem, do not worry. It's all part of the hack.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere:
    • One of the bosses in the game is the Photo Man from EarthBound! Complete with a Dark Reprise of his normal encounter jingle!
    • Later on, when you end up going through a parody of the beginning of EarthBound, a wild MISSINGNO APPEARS!
  • Groin Attack: The Runaway Pants enemies' main attack is to kick the characters in the crotch. Notably, this attack does as just much to Sally as it does Clyde and Craig.
  • Guide Dangit: The hack creator made a map pack of some of the game's larger and / or more convoluted areas of the game. Believe us when we say you will need it at some point. Especially for the cursed woods.
  • Halloween Episode: When the plot of the game takes place. Notably, it actually does have a major meaning to the plot, as the monsters of the Monster Town say they can only enact their plan on October 31st, the day when the barrier between the human and spirit realms is supposed to be at its weakest, as with the original Halloween Celtic Mythology.
  • Here We Go Again!: Craig has this reaction upon hearing they have to be part of the gang in order to meet with the boss of the Mereseti building who has the replica of the sun stone they're after. Considering they needed to join the monsters in order to meet with their boss, which sent them there to get the actual sun stone to begin with...
  • He Was Right There All Along: If what it says is true, the cursed woods monster had been following the group since they entered the cursed woods.
  • Hub Level: Hollyanna City. Once you get there, you'll often end up coming back there, as most of the plot either takes place near i's outskirts or the Mereseti building, which is in said town.
  • Inkblot Test: In enemy form! Notably, each inkblot has different strengths and weaknesses based on their appearance, despite all being referred to as the same enemy.
  • Interface Screw: At certain sections of he darker version of Poo's homelands in the Meresti building, there will be certain areas that are "no sprites allowed!" which means it removes character and enemy sprites.
  • Kissing In A Tree: Upon reaching the jewelry store in an attempt to buy something that looks like the sun sphere to trick the monsters with, Clyde starts looking for something for Sally's upcoming birthday party. Calling Craig over, he asks if he'd be willing to help. Craig responses with "Oh, I get it" and proceeds to recite the famous rhyme, much to Clyde's chagrin.
  • Last Request: Sally invokes this trope while talking to the jewelry store clerk about who bought the jewel they were intending on using as a fake sun sphere, since the clerk couldn't say otherwise, saying it was her late father's dying wish that she take it to his grave. It manages to touch the clerk enough that she reveals it was taken to the Meresti Building. Craig compliments Sally on how sly it was.
    Sally: I do what I can.
  • The Leader: Sally appointed herself as the leader of the group sometime before the events of the game. It was implied that Craig was once in the running for this position, but lost it when he got them lost in a forest and somehow eventually led them to a highway.
  • Left Hanging: The Sun Sphere plot. Even though there's a reason it quickly becomes unimportant, we never find out if the sun sphere the kids intended to fake was real or not. From what the jeweler said, it was a rare and valuable antique, which seemed to Foreshadow that it may have been Real After All... however, upon giving it to the monsters, anything regarding it was quickly dropped, and even the Final Boss you end up fighting shortly after doesn't comment on whether it really was the genuine sun sphere or not.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: At one point late in the game, not only do you fight a "Glitchy" Titanic Ant, but you also end up fighting Ness himself.
  • The Lost Woods: The cursed woods are a very confusing place to navigate, with the exits of the current screen often taking you to a previous screen you've been to. If you didn't download the map pack that came with the patch beforehand, expect to do so upon getting there.
  • MacGuffin: The sun sphere. The monsters want it so they can bring about The Night That Never Ends.
  • Marathon Boss: The Final Boss is this. It has three forms, each one having a large amount of HP to it. Even if you're max-leveled, at best it will be degraded to a Damage-Sponge Boss.
  • Metal Slime: Actual Metal Slimes do appear in Onett. While they don't give out as much experience as they do in the Dragon Quest series, they still give out the best experience for that area, and are protected by psychic shield to keep you from oneashotting them with your spells. Though Sally's ElectroShock makes quick work of them...
  • Meta Guy: Sally tends to react in a similar way the player likely would, from finding it odd how Craig has some Arbitrary Skepticism about the sun sphere after everything they've seen so far, to getting rather annoyed at how long it was taking to get through the Meresti building. Clyde and Craig tend to also have some reactions the player would likely have, but to a much lesser extent.
  • Monster Town: A rather run down variation of this trope can be found on Dead Mountain. From what the NPCs say, they didn't come there willingly.
  • Old, Dark House: Old man Gantt's house.
  • One of the Boys: Sally. Her two best friends are boys, and when the cursed woods monster is psychologically attacking her, one thing it uses against her is the fact that she doesn't have any female friends.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Craig's costume is literally just a zombie mask that only covers the front of his face. You can even see the straps holding it to his face on his in-game sprite. Despite this, the citizens of the Monster Town don't seem to notice the fact that he's human. The only one of the group they had problems with was Clyde, and that's because ninjas aren't monsters.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: All of the chosen four appear in some manor as minor cameos... However, you actually have to fight Ness late in the game as a boss.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At the start of the game, you encounter a man in a house who recites the infamous "I AM ERROR" line from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
    • When Sally asks Craig where Clyde is at the start of the game, Craig says he's taking some time because his costume is so, in his own words, "super special awesome".
    • The watcher enemy is te final boss from Dragon Quest.
    • There's a mountain in the game called Dead Mountain. Fittingly, it has the Dark World Death Mountain music playing while you're there.
      • Much later on, there's also a man in a cave who charges you one hundred dollars for the door repair.
    • When the trio are attempting to enter the Monster Town, the monster guarding it notices Clyde's attire. His response to it is "Sorry, Narooto, but no ninja's allowed!".
    • During Hollyanna sewers, Hollyanna suburbs, and the abandoned Hollyanna hospital, save points in those areas replace the telephones with typewriters, which you can use because you apparently have an infinite supply of ink ribbons.
      • Additionally, Jenkins works in biochemistry for Parasol cooperation, and is responsible for the P-Virus that created the zombies in the suburbs.
      • Really, the entirety of Hollyanna suburbs is one big shout out to Resident Evil. Besides all that, you need to get a lockpick from the police station to get into the Abandoned Hospital (to which an nearby NPC references the Master of Unlocking meme), and along the way you end up encountering a merchant that speaks in the same manner as the one from Resident Evil 4.
    • Several enemies from this game were directly taken from Mother 3.
    • One of the brooms Sally can equip is called the Nimbus 2000.
    • You can actually encounter enemy slimes in one of the later areas.
    • You also end up fighting MISSINGNO and its glitchy kin as a boss and enemies later in the game.
  • Skewed Priorities: The police blocked off Hollyanna suburbs, which is currently swarmed with zombies. Not because of the zombies, mind you, but because there were rumors of apple embezzlement going on!
  • Squishy Wizard: Like Paula, Craig can dish out the damage with a wide variety of PSI attacks, but he sure can't take much damage himself.
  • Suburbia: Hollyanna suburbs. It's roughly the combined size of Onett, Twoson, and Threed put together!
  • Superboss: The watcher enemy, AKA the Dragonlord. They appear randomly in certain areas of the game, technically making them a Boss in Mook Clothing as well. An NPC even warns you about it before you enter the area with them in it, and rather fitting too, considering they will kill you if you try to fight them when you encounter them in the Cursed Woods. You can fight them again much, much later on, but thankfully, they forgot to level grind. Still doesn't stop them from being a challenge. You can get some really nice stat boosting items if you trade-in their dragon tail drop to an NPC the second time you encounter them too.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment: While nowhere near as bad as The Halloween Hack, this game does have some surprisingly dark moments. A notable instance is the Hellhounds (which are notably rotting and bleeding) and the soulless zombies.
  • Talk to Everyone: The game starts off with the kids trick or treating. In order to advance further, you need to go to all the houses possible and get candy from them.
  • Take That!:
    • This game notably takes a lot of potshots at people who desperately try to keep up with the latest technology and trends in an attempt to be cool, from parodying their general attitude through several NPCs to even having them be an encounter-able enemy in one of the later areas. It also pokes fun at how trying to do the exact opposite in an attempt to look cool is just as equally ridiculous.
    • Sally also slips in a line about how thinking Ninjas are cool is for seven year olds. (Though Clyde still thinks they're awesome.)
    • An NPC in Onett mentions how he's annoyed at how the town's name keeps getting changed every other day or so, citing that no matter how many times they change the name, it will always be Onett. This may be a jab at fellow ROM Hack creators, as most people often change the name of Onett for story purposes in their hacks without touching anything else about it in almost any ROM Hack it appears in.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Appears during the end credits.
  • The Mole: Jenkins, who you're sent after in order to gain access of the Meresti building.
  • The New '10s: The plot of the game takes place during 2010, as opposed to the idealized 1950s vibe of EarthBound. Naturally, it pokes a lot of fun at common pop culture at the time, Hipsters in particular.
  • The Night That Never Ends: The goal of the monsters. They want to get the Sun Sphere which has the power to control sunlight so they can plunge the world into an eternal night; that way Halloween would never end and they would be free to walk around the human world forever.
  • The Voice: Throughout the game, there's a voice that seems to be guiding the trio in their quest to figure out exactly what's going on... Turns out it's the vase you see upon entering Gantt's house.
  • This Is Reality: When Craig is suggesting that they attempt to find the Sun Sphere so they can meet and stop the monsters' boss, Sally suggests that he can't actually be thinking of helping the monsters. Craig responds that they're only going to pretend to since such a thing can't really exist, since this isn't a fantasy world, it's reality. Sally points out she's surprised that Craig can still think that after everything they've saw so far.
  • Trend Aesop: This game likes poking fun at how ridiculous people end up looking when it comes to trying to follow the latest trend and technology. However, it also shows that trying your hardest to go out of your way to avoid it in an attempt to seem cool is equally ridiculous looking.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Sally (girl), Clyde (guy), and Craig (guy).
  • Victory Fake Out: Inverted. While fighting MISSINGNO and it's 'glitchy' companion, you'll occasionally get the message that Sally and Craig (since Clyde isn't there) have fainted, and you get the party defeated music... only for the battle to continue like normal.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The entirety of Hollyanna suburbs is basically an abridged parody of the Resident Evil story line, stripped down to its base elements.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Subverted. While the game was released late in 2010, the plot of the game itself canonically takes place on Halloween, 2010. As a result, any period pieces from the time (such as the over abundance of Hipster jokes) makes sense In-Universe.