Friday, April 29, 2011

To those of you who have yet to play EarthBound Zero (aka Mother) ...

... may I suggest you do so soon now that a fan translation of the GameBoy Advance title, Mother 1+2, has been released?

Why should you play the version on Mother 1+2 rather than the available-for-eons EarthBound Zero? Here's how Tomato, the person behind this translation (and the translation of Mother 3), recently responded to that question:

"The EarthBound Zero ROM has a good number of changes, censoring and mistakes with plot details and dialog. The text in the EarthBound Zero ROM is also very dry due to limited NES resources. Doing a retranslation with this GBA version allowed for a lot more text, and censoring/changes weren't necessary. The result is a script that should hopefully be more engaging and natural-sounding."

Another reason to skip EarthBound Zero and play the version included on Mother 1+2 instead: The latter includes an "Easy Ring" (found in Ninten's room at the beginning of the game) which can be used by those who hate having to grind for experience and money.

According to Tomato, "this item, when equipped, greatly increases the experience and money you win from enemies while also reducing the amount of random battles. It makes the game much less of a chore, which is one of the main reasons EarthBound fans have a hard time getting into the game."

For more information on the Mother 1+2 fan translation, or to download the ROM patch needed to play it, go to


Viewtiful_Justin said...

Sweet. I'm so there. That is EXACTLY what kept me from playing more than a few hours into Mother.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, you mean the "Easy Ring"? I may try this translation for that reason, too. Also, I like that it has a more accurate/thorough translation.

DemiHuman123 said...

I remember going into a Best Buy on my birthday when I was youngin' and seeing Earthbound its giant box, looking all cool and out there. I'm so glad I chose that game for my present. The series still holds a special place in my heart to this day. I still have the strategy guide with me to this very day!

Now, we have all three Mother games unofficially translated for the masses. You would think Nintendo of the west would recognize this kind of committment and fan base, wouldn't you? Instead, the fans have to do everything themselves. :P Hahahaha!

Also, should I find it sad that I always found Tony to have a crush on Jeff? I even thought that the first time I played the game when I was ten! O.o

Either way, congratulations to the team for a job well done!

Anonymous said...

This will probably be the next RPG I play after Final Fantasy VII, I honestly don't have the slightest idea what it is about though.

Bryan Ochalla said...

DemiHuman123: Ah, you were a smart young man, I see -- choosing EarthBound as your birthday present! I wish I still had my copy of EarthBound :( Oh, well, I'm sure I'll become obsessed with the SF/SNES sooner or later and I'll snatch it up (again) then.

Anyway, yes, it's sad that Nintendo of America (and Europe, etc.) has basically given up on the series. I'm glad fan translators have stepped in for them, though :)

Finally, I don't find it sad at all that you always thought Tony had a crush on Jeff. I did, too -- and I'm guessing that holds true for many others :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Trxd! Yes, give it a try. Have you ever played EarthBound on the SNES? If not, and if Mother 1 doesn't sit well with you, make sure you give that game (EarthBound) a try, too. I've really liked what I've played of Mother 1/EarthBound Zero so far, but it's definitely a bit, er, antiquated :)

Anonymous said...

Been looking it up and it actually looks pretty cool, though I'm kinda confused, should I play Earthbound first or Earthbound Zero?

I don't care that the game is old looking, as long as it is fun, can't be any worse than the lego FFVII models XD

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there! Technically, EarthBound Zero (NES) is the first game in the series and EarthBound (SNES) is the second.

If you're open to starting with the NES game, I would do that. You certainly can start with the SNES game if you want, though, esp. since that's where the series started for pretty much every English-speaking person anyway.

Richard Goodness said...

zomg. The Mother 3 translation--and game itself--is such a thing of beauty, and I love the guide they put together.

I think more RPGs should have an Easy Ring--if you find grinding fun, you can have it at standard difficulty, but it won't dissuade people from playing through the game--I didn't get far in E0 because of that.

Dammit, too much to play right now...awesome. We are totally doing Earthbound as a great game at some point.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Trxd, I might have to disagree with Bryan on this one. I'd start with Earthbound. It's WAY more accessible than Earthbound Zero. And if you find that you like Earthbound enough to want to know a little bit of its back story, then you should check out Zero.

It's only my opinion. But I think if I'd played Zero first, I'd have passed up Earthbound.

And Bryan, I've still got my original copy AND player's guide with pages loved so hard they're falling out. I have pages and pages of drawings of all the enemies in that game...I was so obsessed.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Richard: Yes, Mother 3 definitely is a thing of beauty. All three of the Mother games are a thing of beauty, IMO, although I think part 3 may be the best of the bunch.

I like your idea of more RPGs having easy rings, BTW. That said, I'm not sure RPG difficulty as is big of a problem for gamers as it was in the past. Today's RPGs seem a lot easier to me -- although I have to admit I don't play as many as I used to, back in the day.

Bryan Ochalla said...

I can see your point, Justin. I guess I just suggested EarthBound Zero/Mother 1 first because I know some people play the second game first and then, when they play the first game, they don't like the regression in terms of graphics and gameplay, etc.

I think if you're only going to play one of the two games, though, you definitely have to go with the SNES entry. No question.

As for you still having your original copy of EarthBound and the Player's Guide that came with it -- consider me JEALOUS! Honestly, someday soon I'm going to blow a wad of cash on that game, manual and a Super Famicom (w/ converter for SNES games, of course)!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I'll start with Zero then :) (I'll probably do it as Mother 1 instead).

I'll let you know when I start it, what I think of it ok? x

Anonymous said...

Just saw Vietfiful Justin's comment. Maybe I'll do that then... lol sorry I have no idea. I think I might do what Justin said, it might be kinda cool to play Earthbound first and then find out a lot of its backstory through Earthbound Zero (kinda like you should play Final Fantasy VII before Crisis Core even though it's a sequel?).

Will I still understand everything if I play Earthbound first?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yes, starting with EarthBound is OK. Like I said, it was most gamers' first experience with the series -- since EarthBound Zero was never released in Europe or NA.