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|Developer(s)||Ape, Inc. and HAL Laboratory|
|Platform(s)||Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Release date(s)|| JP August 27, 1994|
NA June 1, 1995
EarthBound (called Mother 2 in Japan) is a console role-playing game made by Ape, Inc. and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System game console. It is the second game in the EarthBound series, after Mother. It has a sequel called Mother 3.
There are many places in the world of EarthBound. It starts in Eagleland, EarthBound's version of the United States. The player can explore many other areas, including Winters, a snowy country based on the United Kingdom, Dalaam, an oriental land, and Scaraba, an Egyptian-themed land.
Two areas from the series have been used in the Super Smash Bros. series. Super Smash Bros. Melee had a level about the first area, Onett, and another level called Fourside. Onett was reused in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
There are many characters in EarthBound, but only four main playable characters.
- Ness - the main character. Like many other characters in role-playing games, he does not speak, only answering "yes" or "no". He starts his quest when a meteor crashes near his house. He appears in all games of the Super Smash Bros. series as a playable character. In the first and third game he must be unlocked.
- Paula - The lead female character. She gets kidnapped by an insane cultist called Carpainter, and she talks to Ness telepathically to get him to save her.
- Jeff Andonuts - A genius boy. He comes to save Ness and Paula when the ladder speaks to him telepathically.
- Poo - A martial artist. He joins Ness, Paula, and Jeff after he completes his trial- which is actually painful to watch, and is told to join with them.
Besides playable characters, there are other important characters.
- Giygas - The main antagonist appears as a swirling red cloud of hatred, unlike his form in the predecessor in which he looks like an alien. He takes over the universe ten years in the future, and is trying to keep Ness from stopping him.
- Pokey Minch - Ness' annoying neighbor. He goes with him to see the meteor, but heads his own way throughout the game.
- Buzz Buzz - An strange being from ten years in the future who looks just like a bee. He goes into the past to persuade Ness to go on his journey to defeat Giygas before he rules the universe.
- Dr. Andonuts - Jeff's dad. He is a scientist.
- Mr. Saturn - A race of small light-skinned people. They are mostly just a head with feet, a big nose, whiskers and a bow in their one strand of hair. They speak in a strange language and say "boing", "dakota", "ding" and "zoom" a lot.
- The Runaway Five - A traveling band. Ness and The Runaway Five help each other out many times. The band is based on the Blues Brothers.
- Apple Kid - An inventor. Does not look very smart, but he helps Ness and friends out a lot.
- Tony - Jeff's friend.
- Everdred - An admirer of Paula who lives in Burlin Park in Twoson.
- Brick Road - A dungeon maker who Ness and friends meet up with.
- Ness' Mom - Ness' Mom helps Ness out at certain points in the game.
- Ness' Dad - Ness' Dad is never seen, and can only be called on the telephone. He stores money for Ness and saves his adventure.
EarthBound takes place in the year 199X (meaning somewhere in between 1990 and 1999). Ness is sleeping, when a large crash is heard, which wakes him up. He goes to see what it is, and arrives to see a meteor had crashed. His friend, Pokey, tells Ness to go away because he's bothering the cops, even though the cops are finding Pokey annoying. He returns home, and is awoken by a loud knocking, and Pokey comes in. He tells Ness that his brother is missing, and Ness, Pokey, and Ness' dog King go to the meteor to find Picky. After they find Picky, a being that is at first thought to be a bee flies out of the meteor, and tells them about the future, Giygas, and that legends say that three boys and a girl would save the universe. When Picky and Pokey are returned to their house, their mom is frightened by Buzz Buzz and swats him. This fatally injures him, and before he dies, he gives Ness an item called the Sound Stone, and tells him to find the eight "Your Sanctuary" spots. Ness goes to find these Your Sanctuary spots, as well as the two other boys and the one girl.
EarthBound is a turn-based role-playing game. When in battle, the player can do many different things, including Fight, PSI, Goods, Auto-Fight, and Run Away. Fight has a character use his or her weapon on an enemy, PSI lets the character use PSI if he or she has any to use, Goods lets the player use an item in the selected character's inventory, Auto-Fight lets the computer take control of the characters, and Run Away obviously has a chance to end the battle.
Nintendo removed many things from the English version of EarthBound. They removed any reference to child abuse, any direct reference to death, the Red Cross logo, and any reference to religion. Despite people thinking the crosses were removed over religious references, they were removed because of Nintendo not wanting to deal with a law suit over it, as it's a copyrighted image.[source?]
EarthBound and its series has had a strong cult following in and outside of Japan. It has its own web site called Starmen.net, and has had multiple petitions, including one to release Mother 1 + 2 in English and one to release Mother 3 in English. Both of these petitions had very many signatures, but have not been successful.
EarthBound was re-released for the Game Boy Advance along with Mother as Mother 1 + 2, only in Japan. It has been rated by the ESRB for release on the Wii's Virtual Console, but it has no release date. It was going to have a sequel on the Nintendo 64 called EarthBound 64, and it was going to be in 3D. However, after being delayed for many years, it was cancelled. Five years later, Nintendo announced that it was being re-released for the Game Boy Advance as Mother 3, and would feature the same plot and characters.