On this day 25 years ago, the western world finally received the wacky RPG Earthbound on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)!
Originally released as Mother 2 in Japan, Earthbound followed the adventures of Ness – a young boy who chances upon an Alien conspiracy and gains powerful psychic abilities in the process. Eventually, he ends up on a world-spanning quest to stop a formless monstrosity from destroying all space and time – while crossing paths with strange races such as the Mr. Saturns.
Sadly, the game didn’t really catch on with western audiences – due in part to its bizarre style and humor, along with a confusing “Because This Game Stinks” marketing campaign that used fart humor with scratch-and-sniff panels. The game sort of fell by the wayside as more of a cult-classic among RPG fans in the following years, with Ness only making guest appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series from then on.
That is…until Mother 3 was released on the Game Boy Advance in Japan several years later, with zero news about an English localization at all. Since then, western fans have been clamoring for the revival of the whole series in English – which sort of happened with the digital release of Earthbound Beginnings (an official English port of the first Mother) on the Wii U.
Things are still a little quiet for the series nowadays. For starters, Earthbound still not available as one of the many free SNES titles that Switch Online subscribers can play – and the only official recognition the series is getting on its 25th birthday is a small art anthology in Japan. It’s not all doom and gloom however, as some fans are now turning their Mother 4 fangame into its own original title: Oddity.
Here’s to more years of undying Earthbound fandom! Happy 25th Birthday, Earthbound!
What memories do you have of Earthbound? Are you still holding out hope for an official Mother 3 English localization? Feel free to share below!