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So I am playing Earthbound and it is terrible so far, am I doing it wrong?

Megalosaro

Banned
Aug 19, 2012
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I like both A LOT, but for different reasons. (I also enjoy Mother 1 for different reasons as well)
I'm going to elaborate on this. Didn't get a chance at the time. Here we go.

Mother 1
- This game gets shit on alot, even by franchise fans. General consensus is that everything this game does, Mother 2 does better. I disagree. I mean, yeah Earthbound is a re-tread on a lot of the same themes, but the atmosphere couldn't be more different.

Everyone always seems to suggest that the Mother series is a parody of the JRPG. I don't think that's true at all. Yes, there is humor, but it is almost always in a sort of tongue-in-cheek sort of way, and mainly derived from the oddness of the enemies more than anything. This couldn't be more truer of Mother 1, which has a surprisingly creepy/oppressive atmosphere. Juxtaposed with the quaintness of the music and graphics and it's surprisingly effective. I love Mother 1's tone. And while it may not be the best looking NES game, I dig it's style.

Could the game have been better balanced? Yes, I guess so. Everyone points out how hard Mt. Itoi is. Personally, I never have had a problem with it, since I just 4th D slip or run past everything. DO NOT ENGAGE and you'll be fine.

There is some neat stuff in here, just saying. Duncan Factory can fuck off into a ditch though.

Mother 2/EarthBound
- For all the shit this game gets for it's opening section, I actually think it's the best part of the game. To further elaborate, what I really like about this section from Onett until the fourth melody. After that it sort of loses some of it's steam until you get the 8th melody. From that point on, this game is just fantastic.

People will knock the episodic nature of the story, but I found it pretty neat. I've always been a fan of Dragon Quest's story structure though. Have an overarching plot tied together by smaller individual vignettes. The quality of the adventures in Earthbound is pretty solid too, again at least until you leave Fourside.

Musically, I think the game's best pieces are re-treads from Mother 1. However, I do think it's strength is in its battle themes.

Mother 3
- This game was a dream game for me. I INTENSELY followed its development during the N64 years. I was devastated when Nintendo cancelled it. So much so, I boycotted the gamecube because I believed they cancelled it in favor of working it.

The moment it was announced as a GBA game, I was so excited. As it became apparent that it was the same story as the cancelled N64 game, even more so. In the end, I think it was probably for the best it came out as a GBA game though I do think certain elements were probably sacrificed in doing so.

I have complaints about Mother 3. The game is certainly not perfect. Certain plot elements could have been elaborated on. The 7th chapter in particular should have been 3 chapters instead. But the setting, characters(both main party and supporting cast), and music are all top notch. I think the battle music isn't the best, but the other music is god tier. That ending is one of the best I've ever seen in game. So much so that I made a painting of the final screen that I hang on my wall(PM me if you want to see it. I don't want to post spoilers here. It's nothing amazing though)

I should go full disclosure: I'm extremely biased about this series. I learned how to read playing Earthbound and reading the players guide that came with it. When I discovered emulation, Mother 1 was the first game I played (though it took me 4 attempts to beat due to me being a dumb ass and overriding my save file with save states). When I graduated college, the very first thing I did was marathon the series. I completed the games in 5 days.
 

zero shift

Banned
Nov 17, 2012
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So I just beat
Belch
and went back to Saturn Village and then fought the next boss to get the next sound stone song. The thing is that the boss said that he was the THIRD song. He is only the SECOND person I fought so far to fill my sound stone. Did I miss something along the way?
 
Jan 23, 2010
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So I just beat
Belch
and went back to Saturn Village and then fought the next boss to get the next sound stone song. The thing is that the boss said that he was the THIRD song. He is only the SECOND person I fought so far to fill my sound stone. Did I miss something along the way?
The second guardian was in Happy happy village and can be skipped entirely. You can go back and defeat it anytime after you're done with Trillonage Sprout.
 

ZSeba

Member
Mar 19, 2010
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Mother 3 is way more emotional and story-driven. Mother 2 is like a surreal take on Peanuts. Pleasant, witty, adventurous, fun. So yeah, if Mother 3 is a novel, Mother 2 is a collection of comic strips. Like, think of those flights of fancy sunday strips you'd see Calvin and Hobbes do, or Nemo in Slumberland. That's the tone they were going for.

Go in with that in mind and maybe you can enjoy it?
That's actually a great description of Earthbound
 

Boney

Banned
Jan 6, 2010
33,742
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So I don't have to fight the second guardian to beat the game? It doesn't change anything?
No, you still need 8, you'll just be able to skip it while progressing.

Think of it like doing the forest temple after all others in oot
 

TheRedSnifit

Member
Nov 21, 2012
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Earthbound's one of those games that you either really love or really hate.

I played it for the first time last year and loved it, but I can see how some may not.
 

Box

Member
Oct 31, 2011
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The biggest piece of advice I can give to someone wanting to play this game is that it's easier to appreciate things if you play it patiently and laid-back. Sometimes the game's reputation makes people anxious that they're not enjoying it, which makes it harder to enjoy.
 

foxuzamaki

Doesn't read OPs, especially not his own
Jul 21, 2013
46,680
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Basically this. I absolutely loved Earthbound for its music, charm and dark themes behind a lighthearted aesthetic. The characters / stereotypes for how Japan saw America were also quite awesome.

I played Mother 3 after and was left with... sub par music but again, great characters and a great story. The battle system was great too (adding rhythm to do more damage). To each their own, I guess.

Edit: To me, I should add that music is a huge deal for me in games. If it doesn't have a memorable soundtrack (or other elements to at least make up for a memorable soundtrack) then I will generally forget about the game quickly.

Generally, titles with a memorable soundtrack have been games I've been more willing to replay years down the roads. One that haven't? I'll end up playing once and likely never go back to them.
Really, moher 3 music? sub-par?
 

kubricks

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Jul 30, 2012
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It is OK OP, I grow up with Jrpg from snes days and I don't like Earthbound one bit either.
Yes the dialog is great and the subject discussed interesting at times but if I have to suffer through the snail pace, awful battle system and the grinding/difficulty spikes then I'd rather not bothered at all, which is exactly what I did giving up at "the bar of alternative colour".
 

Trojita

Rapid Response Threadmaker
Feb 9, 2009
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Yeah, it's not as good as Mother 3. It's one of those games where you're just supposed to embrace the terrible and it becomes good, like Vagrant Story.

The story picks up later, but the narrative is a lot less direct than Mother 3.
 

Jelly Rajah

Banned
Feb 19, 2015
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I disagree.
Earthbound strength lie in the little things like NPC dialogues.
You won't understand the appeal unless you play the game at your own pace.
The overall plot is far less important than the journey.
This 100%. Mother 2 is all about the little things.

It's a very "stop and smell the flowers" type of experience.
 
May 24, 2014
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I can't recommend using a guide for this game. Besides the Sword of Kings, or if you're looking for particular enemy drops or something, I just don't think it's necessary. It might even take away from the experience.

As for the game itself, I'm not sure that the actual RPG gameplay is anybody's favorite part. People love the tone, the music, the humor, the journey, the loving parody, or maybe the whole thing wrapped together. But I don't think anyone's favorite part is the actual gameplay. That being said, Earthbound wouldn't work as any other form of entertainment, so look at the RPG aspects as the compliment, and not the focus. All that aside, I wouldn't judge it until it's over. I would say that for any form of entertainment, but I would strongly encourage it in Earthbound's case. You have to look back at the whole thing from the finish line to really appreciate it.
 

Valen

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Oct 19, 2013
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I always tell my friends to play Mother 3 first before EarthBound, because EarthBound is a much easier game to hate. It hasn't aged well in more than several ways, and the narrative and characters are paperthin, which for me personally makes it hard to finish long RPGs these days. I need a strong memorable cast of characters to get me to the finish line. Characters in EarthBound are often nothing more than caricatures with very little backstory.

I played EarthBound first when I was much younger (and more patient...) and enjoyed it for what it was, then played Mother 3 many years later. I still think EarthBound is a good game worth playing through because of its strengths (music, uniqueness, quirkiness, you just don't find RPGs like it often). But Mother 3 surpassed it in every way for me.

I'm one of those people who usually is ardent about playing a series in order, but I make a special exception for this series. If someone plays EarthBound first and hates it, they may never give Mother 3 a chance and end up missing out on an incredible game. I feel the same way about Mother 1 - it's a game far more likely to turn someone away from the series than invite them. I only recommend that game to anyone who's already fallen in love with the other 2 games first.
 

MisterHero

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Jul 24, 2007
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Onett isn't that bad. My trick was to grind a little against the Sharks. You get EXP, cash, and occasional and effective food drops. Pizza, Hamburgers allow you to save PP for Rockin. Even the Giant Step cave has opportunities for easy EXP (fighting groups of Attack Slugs).

I rarely run from fights in the RPGs I play, however.

Beren the Empty-Handed said:
As for the game itself, I'm not sure that the actual RPG gameplay is anybody's favorite part. People love the tone, the music, the humor, the journey, the loving parody, or maybe the whole thing wrapped together. But I don't think anyone's favorite part is the actual gameplay. That being said, Earthbound wouldn't work as any other form of entertainment, so look at the RPG aspects as the compliment, and not the focus.
The status effects are hilarious and the Rolling HP Meter adds intensity to a fight that isn't possible otherwise. Quick decisions can save your game. Realtime enemy encounters + depending on how you confront them makes removes a lot of tedium as well.

I'll admit I didn't use Poo's Mirror technique more than a few times in the 20 years the game has existed though.
 
Feb 5, 2014
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Omg, what am I reading in this thread? Mother2-Earthbound is way better than Mother 3.
I can't understand how you could consider story-driven games to be good. Every other media could give me a story more directly than a game.
Mother 3 felt like a rush through emotions that made me feel claustrophobic.
Mother 2 gratness is in the details. If you are the kind of player that needs to be blown away by drama, that's not the game for you.
 

Yoshi

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May 4, 2005
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I'll just say after playing Final Fantasy IV, Lufia 2 (imo the best SNES RPG), Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, Terranigma and Earthbound, out of all these SNES-RPGs to have actually Earthbound being made by Nintendo is completely strange. All the aforementioned games have better gameplay than Earthbound, better fighting system, better dungeon design, better pacing. It's completely absurd for me that out of all these games, Earthbound was made by Nintendo. If I had to take a guess blindly, I would proabably have gone for SMRPG or Lufia 2 to be the Nintendo game out of the bunch, but Earthbound would have been ruled out from the start. I don't think you're playing it wrong, I thinkthe gameplay is just sub-par.
 

zero shift

Banned
Nov 17, 2012
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So I beat the game. I will admit my thoughts on the game have definitely improved since last time I posted in this thread. The game really picks up once you get more characters. It has a handful of memorable moments as well as charming areas. I enjoyed how much variety there was in the game and how there were so many neat little touches.

That said I still feel that the game is immensly overrated and am shocked that it goes for around $200 for just the cartridge. I can understand the games appeal way back when, but in 20 years after it's release it isn't that uncommon to find games that try to be unique and quirky. It seems to have suffered from Duke Nukem syndrome as the atmopshere was edgy and like nothing else at the time, but today it isn't that special.

The game itself still suffers from a lot of problems. Save points are often inconviently placed and are too far inbetween. Like someone said here, Restore Save is a god send. A lot of the characters could have been developed better. Jeff doesn't even talk. Poo just randomly shows up to your party
twice
and hardly says anything.Some enemies are inconviently paired with one another, especially true with Ghost of Starman. And the butterfly placement, holy shit. Not only does it only revive a measly 20pp (the fuck?) but they also randomly appear in certain spots and sometimes even randomly appear in different spots inbetween enemies. Trying to get the butterfly to appear as I jumped between the Sea of Eden and Magnificent was a headache. I could only imagine trying to do that without restore points. The boss battles were also terrible, outside of one exception
the 8th Guardian
they weren't really even boss battles as they were far too easy.

Again it wasn't all bad. I did enjoy how the game went a little outthere during the last two hours or so. I also liked how the game took in mind of scale at times as walking around by dinosaurs had the dinosaurs as big as...dinosaurs. I also enjoyed how the game tried to shake the traditional classes up in games. RPGs, especially JRPGs in the 90s had characters set to Warrior, Black Mage, White Mage, and usually something random like Thief or Archer. In this game nobody is really a "class" as they all have unique ablities. The closest person in a class I would say would be Jeff who is a "Special Items" user. The game's final boss is pretty memorable and I enjoy how you are suppose to beat him even if it took me using a FAQ to figure it out. It also made me understand this really cool fanart.

As a whole, the game was an enjoyable experience. Nowhere near as good as Mother 3, but still entertaining.
 

NotLiquid

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Aug 30, 2012
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That said I still feel that the game is immensly overrated and am shocked that it goes for around $200 for just the cartridge. I can understand the games appeal way back when, but in 20 years after it's release it isn't that uncommon to find games that try to be unique and quirky. It seems to have suffered from Duke Nukem syndrome as the atmopshere was edgy and like nothing else at the time, but today it isn't that special.
It's not necessarily priced for it's quality as much as it's rarity. Earthbound did not enjoy a long-lasting print and the game was also bundled with that super comprehensive strategy guide which makes for a fantastic collectors item.
 

zero shift

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Nov 17, 2012
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I suppose that makes sense. But it is the carts alone going for that price not the cart and strategy guide.
 

leroidys

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Dec 14, 2008
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I agree, having a hard time letting these blasphemous comments go. Some fools for the block list is all.
I think you guys missed the point. I was saying that both games have elements that are inscrutable and painful at first, but are the very things that make both incredible games.