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EarthBound (series)

EarthBound (series)

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EarthBound, known in Japan as Mother, is a role-playing game series created by Shigesato Itoi
Shigesato Itoi
is one of the most influential cultural figures in Japan, known for his copywriting, essays, lyrics, Nintendo game creation, and as editor-in-chief of his popular website “Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun.” He is best known outside of Japan as a game designer for his work on Nintendo's EarthBound...

 for Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

. The series started in 1989 with the Japan-only release of Mother
Mother (video game)
, planned to be released in English as Earth Bound , is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo Tokyo Research and Development Products in...

 (planned to be released in North America as "Earth Bound") for the Famicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America during 1985, in Europe during 1986 and Australia in 1987...

, and was then followed up by a sequel
Sequel
A sequel is a narrative, documental, or other work of literature, film, theatre, or music that continues the story of or expands upon issues presented in some previous work...

, released in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 as EarthBound
EarthBound
EarthBound, also known as EarthBound: The War Against Giygas! and released as in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console...

 for the Super NES
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a 16-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America, Europe, Australasia , and South America between 1990 and 1993. In Japan and Southeast Asia, the system is called the , or SFC for short...

 in 1995, and followed up again 12 years later with the Japan only release of Mother 3
Mother 3
Mother 3 is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo, Brownie Brown and HAL Laboratory, and published for the Game Boy Advance handheld game console. It has only been released in Japan, alongside a limited supply bundle. It is the third video game in the Mother series, following EarthBound...

 for the Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance
The is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China...

 in 2006. Itoi stated in an interview that the name "Mother" was greatly influenced by the John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 song "Mother
Mother (John Lennon song)
Mother is a song by British musician John Lennon, first released on his 1970 album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. An edited version of the song was issued as a single in the United States on Apple Records, catalogue 1827, about three weeks after the album. The single runs about fifteen seconds...

".

In stark contrast to the sword-and-sorcery settings of many Japanese role-playing games
Japanese role-playing games
Japanese role-playing games made their first appearance during the late 1980s. Today, there are hundreds of Japanese-designed games as well as several translated games...

, the EarthBound series takes place in more modern America-esque settings, although their stories are told from a Japanese perspective. Mother is set in suburb
Suburb
The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

an America, EarthBound is set in Eagleland (an allusion to the United States), and Mother 3 is set on the Nowhere Islands (with some Western
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

 overtones). Enemies can be a variety of quirky and strange people, creatures and inanimate objects, such as alien
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

s, possessed guitars, or evil hippie
Hippie
The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The etymology of the term 'hippie' is from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco's...

s. Weapons include unconventional household items, from yo-yo
Yo-yo
The yo-yo in its simplest form is an object consisting of an axle connected to two disks, and a length of twine looped around the axle, similar to a slender spool...

s to frying pan
Frying pan
A frying pan, frypan, or skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It is typically in diameter with relatively low sides that flare outwards, a long handle, and no lid. Larger pans may have a small grab handle opposite the main handle...

s, with swords being rarely used. The series became extremely popular in Japan, but not in other countries such as America where it has a small but strong fanbase. Merchandise for the game was produced, including shirts, handbooks, and even a fully orchestrated, arranged soundtrack.

Mother



Mother tells the story of a young boy who journeys around the world to save the planet from an evil race of mind-controlling aliens. Along the way he is joined by several friends, and meets many unusual characters and visits strange settings before ultimately confronting the leader of the aliens. The game was a smash hit in Japan, and gamers appreciated its unorthodox and refreshing take on the often formulaic RPG genre.

Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

 of America translated and planned to release the first Mother game in North America under the title Earth Bound. Although the game's localization and translation was finished a year earlier, the game was ultimately deemed unprofitable for a fall 1991 North American release, and the planned release was canceled after the game had already been translated and all packaging and advertising was ready.

It was confirmed by former Nintendo employee Phil Sandhop that Nintendo chose not to release Earth Bound in North America because the Super Nintendo was to be released at the same time originally planned in the country and it thought that insufficient customers would notice a new NES game in favor of the new Super NES console and its games. Furthermore, the cost of releasing the game with the extensive manual and hint book planned would have not been economical without significant sales.

All of Sandhop's changes in Mother appear in the Game Boy Advance Mother 1+2, such as the B Button run command. These features were original ideas of improvement in Mother by Sandhop or the development team. The reason for these changes appearing, according to Sandhop, is that "with games produced by NCL, the development teams continued to work and tweak their projects that they knew would be localized and produced in other territories. Often they would address their own desires that were not completed due to time constraints or not completed to their satisfaction and also address issues raised by Japanese consumers as that release hits the street."

Eventually, a copy of the unreleased NES Earth Bound cartridge was auctioned and the game code was extracted from it and circulated for download on the Internet. To avoid confusion, the game was dubbed EarthBound Zero by fan translation group Neo Demiforce, as Nintendo had since released the SNES sequel in the United States under the title EarthBound. This copy was shipped over to a relative of one of the members in Neo Demiforce. Soon after, fans of the series and other video game enthusiasts, at first, debated as to the origin of the original development cartridge. It was believed by some to be a forgery, simply an English fan translation
Fan translation
A fan translation, in video gaming, refers to an unofficial translation of a computer game or video game.The fan translation practice grew with the rise of video game console emulation in the late 1990s. A community of people developed that were interested in replaying and modifying the games they...

 with a few changes that was dumped onto a cartridge. However, since all of the modifications made to the original in Earth Bound later appeared in Mother 1+2, this theory has effectively been disproved.

EarthBound



EarthBound (known as Mother 2 in Japan) is a distant sequel to the original Mother, with many characters, themes, and tunes borrowed from its predecessor. The game also includes many subtle pop-culture references: the fight against the neighborhood gangster backdropped by a song very similar to Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" , "Roll Over Beethoven" , "Rock and Roll Music" and "Johnny B...

's "Johnny B Goode" is one of several, as well as a band called 'The Runaway Five', that is a parody of The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers are an American blues and soul revivalist band founded in 1978 by comedy actors Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as part of a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live...

. Many of the characters and settings are very similar, but the only explicitly returning character is Giygas
Giygas
Giygas, known in Japan as or Giegue in the unreleased English translation of Mother, is the main antagonist of the video games Mother and EarthBound. He is an evil alien being bent on destroying the Earth, and is referred to by the titles "Universal Cosmic Destroyer" and "Embodiment of Evil"...

, who swears revenge at the end of the first game (evidenced by EarthBound's Japanese subtitle: Gyiyg Strikes Back!).

Though Mother never saw the American marketplace, its sequel for the Super Famicom/SNES, EarthBound, did, and stars a young psychic
Psychic
A psychic is a person who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception , or is said by others to have such abilities. It is also used to describe theatrical performers who use techniques such as prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot...

 boy by the name of Ness. The series was commercially successful in Japan, while it was not commercially successful in the United States.

In May 2008, EarthBound was added to the ESRB database, listed with an E rating on the Nintendo Wii platform. This led to speculation of a Virtual Console
Virtual console
A virtual console – also known as a virtual terminal – is a conceptual combination of the keyboard and display for a computer user interface. It is a feature of some operating systems such as UnixWare, Linux, and BSD, in which the system console of the computer can be used to switch between...

 release, but the rating turned out to be a mistake, though so far it has not been removed.

Mother 3



Mother 3 is the third and, according to Shigesato Itoi, possibly not the final game in the EarthBound series. Beforehand, the game was in development for Nintendo 64
Nintendo 64
The , often referred to as N64, was Nintendo′s third home video game console for the international market. Named for its 64-bit CPU, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, September 1997 in France and December 1997 in Brazil...

, and the main character was Flint, but the project was cancelled due to the release date being near the end of the system's life span, issues with the 3D
3D computer graphics
3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images...

 engine and other production problems. The project picked up again for the Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance
The is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China...

 (which was announced on a commercial for Mother 1 + 2). The game was finally released on April 20, 2006, and retained the traditional EarthBound artstyle and the general story and characters that were introduced in the cancelled N64 version. Unlike the original story for the N64, the story focuses on a boy named Lucas and his family on Nowhere Islands. Their home is invaded and the peace is disrupted by the mysterious "Pig Mask Army" who dramatically changes Nowhere Islands by introducing technology and infrastructure and performing bizarre experiments on the flora
Flora
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.-Etymology:...

 and fauna
Fauna
Fauna or faunæ is all of the animal life of any particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora.Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert fauna" or the "Burgess shale fauna"...

 in their takeover. The game chronicles the trials and tribulations of Lucas and his family and friends as they fight against the Pig Mask Army threat.

The game was only available in Japan, but on October 17, 2008, a fan translation patch was released on the Internet.

Mother 1 + 2


is a port release of Mother
Mother (video game)
, planned to be released in English as Earth Bound , is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo Tokyo Research and Development Products in...

 and EarthBound
EarthBound
EarthBound, also known as EarthBound: The War Against Giygas! and released as in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console...

 (Mother 2 in Japan) of the EarthBound series for the Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance
The is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China...

. Released exclusively in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 on June 20, 2003, by Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

, a bonus cell-phone strap of Mr. Saturn was included for pre-ordered packages of the game. Though the strap was originally intended only for those who had pre-ordered the game, its popularity caused it to be sold briefly on amazon.co.jp. A cost-reduced version of the game was later released for around 2,600 yen, which was packaged with a Club Nintendo
Club Nintendo
Club Nintendo is the name of several publications and a more well-known customer loyalty program provided by Nintendo. The loyalty program is free to join and is committed to providing rewards in exchange for consumer feedback and loyalty to purchasing official Nintendo products...

 serial card. It was re-released as one of the Value Selection games on February 2, 2006.

Though the concept of Mother 1 + 2 was to compile two separate games into one easily accessible package, promotion focused entirely on EarthBound, much to the dismay of long-time fans, who argued that the promotional strategy was reducing the importance of the first game. EarthBound figurines were made available through the sale of Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

 products. Though the port was only released in Japan, the version of Mother in Mother 1 + 2 is actually a Japanese translation of the planned English version of Mother. However, the version of EarthBound in Mother 1 + 2 remains the same as the original Japanese release. The name of the company that directed the port and translation was never announced by Nintendo.

Alterations in gameplay from the original can be found in both games. For Mother, changes related to in-game events, graphics, and items are mostly identical to the ones made in the English prototype. Others includes sound effect changes during battle scenes, the addition of new items, shops, and events, and run and shortcut buttons. Censorship
Video game controversy
Violent video game debates often center on topics such as video game graphic violence, sex and sexism, violent and gory scenes, partial or full nudity, portrayal of criminal behavior, racism, and other provocative and objectionable material. Video games have been studied for links to addiction and...

 changes were made by altering the graphics of enemy characters depicting smoking or violence, the removal of text relating to alcohol consumption and sexual references, and the removal of religious symbols. An extended ending featured in the North American prototype was also included. In Mother 2, some general bug-fixes and text-related changes were made. In addition, a sleep mode
Sleep mode
Sleep mode refers to a low power mode for electronic devices such as computers, televisions, and remote controlled devices. These modes save significant electrical consumption compared to leaving a device fully on and idle, but allow the user to avoid having to reset programming codes or wait for a...

 was added, and there are general reductions in sound quality and graphics resolution due to the Game Boy Advance hardware capability.

The game's score, Mother 1 + 2 Original Soundtrack, was also released. The pieces included are different arrangements of the originals. However, its release lead to renewed calls for a re-release of the Mother soundtrack, and a "remastered version" of the Mother soundtrack was released by Sony
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment ' is the second-largest global recorded music company of the "big four" record companies and is controlled by Sony Corporation of America, the United States subsidiary of Japan's Sony Corporation....

 in February 2004.

Mother 1 + 2 was given a total score of 35 out of 40 by a panel of four reviewers for Famitsu
Famitsu
is a line of Japanese video game magazines published by Enterbrain, Inc. and Tokuma. Currently, there are five Famitsū magazines: Shūkan Famitsū, Famitsū PS3 + PSP, Famitsū Xbox 360, Famitsū Wii+DS, and Famitsū Wave DVD...

. Although the compilation was not released in North America, Nintendo Power
Nintendo Power
Nintendo Power magazine is a monthly news and strategy magazine formerly published in-house by Nintendo of America, but now run independently. As of issue #222 , Nintendo contracted publishing duties to Future US, the U.S. subsidiary of British publisher Future.The first issue published was...

 magazine listed Mother 1 + 2 as the most-wanted import game in a 2005 issue.

By the end of 2003, Mother 1 + 2 had sold over 278,000 copies.

Other games



There are also rumors, according to Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly is a bimonthly American video game magazine. It has been published by EGM Media, LLC. since relaunching in April of 2010. Its previous run, which ended in January 2009, was published by Ziff Davis...

 magazine, of a compilation of the three EarthBound games for the Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

, but nothing has been confirmed.

Ness, the main character from EarthBound, is a playable character in all three installments of Super Smash Bros.. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl, known in Japan as , often abbreviated as SSBB or simply as Brawl, is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series of crossover fighting games, developed by an ad hoc development team consisting of Sora, Game Arts and staff from other developers, and published by...

, he is an unlockable character by default. Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Melee, known in Japan as , often abbreviated as SSBM or simply as Melee, is a crossover fighting game released for the Nintendo GameCube shortly after its launch in . It is the successor to the Nintendo 64 game Super Smash Bros., and the predecessor to the Wii game Super Smash...

 features the EarthBound locations Onett and Fourside as arenas to battle in, as well as a Mr. Saturn item from EarthBound. In Brawl, Ness is joined by the Mother 3 character Lucas (readily available at the start), and the EarthBound item representation has been expanded to include the new Franklin Badge. With the introduction of Assist Trophies in Brawl, Jeff from EarthBound is one of the many characters that briefly appear on the battlegrounds in the game. Pokey Minch also appears, in his Mother 3 form, as a boss in the story mode, "The Subspace Emissary". A stage set in New Pork City, from Mother 3, and the return of Melees Onett stage exist in Brawl as well.

Other releases


There were also EarthBound strategy guides, manga comics, apparel, and the EarthBound soundtrack.

Gameplay


Both EarthBound and Mother 3 feature a signature battle system in which it is possible to prevent a character's hit points from dropping to zero, even after sustaining a fatal blow. The hit point counter appears similar to an odometer
Odometer
An odometer or odograph is an instrument that indicates distance traveled by a vehicle, such as a bicycle or automobile. The device may be electronic, mechanical, or a combination of the two. The word derives from the Greek words hodós and métron...

, with hit points gradually rolling upwards or downwards on healing or taking damage. Even if a character is hit with a blow greater or equal to his or her current hit points, he or she can be rescued if healed before the hit point counter reaches zero or by defeating all of the enemies with a few hit points to spare, as only then is a character knocked out.
Randomly, a player might have their HP drop to 1 instead of 0. The higher "Guts" points a player has, the higher chances they have to survive a fatal hit.

Doctor Andonuts


is first seen in EarthBound, and is the father of Jeff, one of the game's protagonists. He helps the four main characters by providing them with his inventions. He later appears in Mother 3
Mother 3
Mother 3 is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo, Brownie Brown and HAL Laboratory, and published for the Game Boy Advance handheld game console. It has only been released in Japan, alongside a limited supply bundle. It is the third video game in the Mother series, following EarthBound...

, having been kidnapped by Porky to work for the Pigmask Army and create monsters called "Chimeras".

Flying Men


The Flying Men are inhabitants of Magicant, and assist the player as a supporting character in gameplay. They first appear in Mother
Mother (video game)
, planned to be released in English as Earth Bound , is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo Tokyo Research and Development Products in...

, and later in EarthBound
EarthBound
EarthBound, also known as EarthBound: The War Against Giygas! and released as in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console...

.

Giygas



Giygas, known in the Japanese versions as , is the leader of the alien race bent on conquering the universe, and the main antagonist of both Mother
Mother (video game)
, planned to be released in English as Earth Bound , is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo Tokyo Research and Development Products in...

 and EarthBound
EarthBound
EarthBound, also known as EarthBound: The War Against Giygas! and released as in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console...

. Giygas' PSI power is beyond human comprehension, and can tempt people with evil hearts into serving him. Giygas was raised by George and Maria, the great-grandparents of the main character of Mother. Maria grew to love Giygas as if he were her own child. She said that he was always wagging his tail, but would only stop when she sang her lullabies. One of Maria's lullabies was used against Giygas in Mother.

Between the events of Mother and EarthBound, Giygas' mind was destroyed by his own incredible power, and he lost control of his power and awareness of his actions. A device known as the "Devil's Machine" helped Giygas control his power and was hidden in the Earth's distant past. Ten years after the time EarthBound takes place, Giygas succeeds in conquering the universe, but a friendly alien traveled back in time to warn Ness of Giygas' attack on the Earth. Ness and his friends traveled back in time and destroyed Giygas in the distant past, undoing Giygas' apocalypse.

The final battle of EarthBound was inspired by the Shintōhō
Shintoho
was a Japanese movie studio. It was one of the big-6 film studios during the Golden Age of Japanese cinema. It was founded by defectors from the original Tōhō Company...

 film entitled The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty
Kenpei to barabara shibijin
is a 1957 black-and-white Japanese film directed by Kyotaro Namiki. It is a Japanese horror film .Shigesato Itoi was famously traumatized at a young age by accidentally seeing one of its more violent scenes in a theatre. Later, he drew on that experience to create Giygas' dialogue in the video game...

, which Itoi accidentally saw as a child at an adult theater. Specifically, the scene that inspired the battle was a scene that, according to Itoi, depicted a woman being raped near a river, although the scene in question depicts a murder rather than a rape.

Mr. Saturn


is a friendly species that aids the player's party. All individuals of the species are named Mr. Saturn. They are identical in appearance, each short, peach
Peach (color)
Peach is a color that is named for the pale color of the peach fruit. Like the color apricot, the color called peach is paler than most actual peach fruits and seems to have been formulated primarily to create a pastel palette of colors for interior design...

, with an overlarge nose
Nose
Anatomically, a nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which admit and expel air for respiration in conjunction with the mouth. Behind the nose are the olfactory mucosa and the sinuses. Behind the nasal cavity, air next passes through the pharynx, shared with the...

, whisker
Whisker
Whisker may refer to:* an element of box plots* cat's whisker diode, a thin wire used as a contact on a crystal radio receiver* facial hair, hair on the face of a human* vibrissa, a hair on the face of a mammal, used for sensing the surroundings...

s, and a bow
Ribbon
A ribbon or riband is a thin band of material, typically cloth but also plastic or sometimes metal, used primarily for binding and tying. Cloth ribbons, most commonly silk, are often used in connection with clothing, but are also applied for innumerable useful, ornamental and symbolic purposes...

 on its one hair
Hair
Hair is a filamentous biomaterial, that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Found exclusively in mammals, hair is one of the defining characteristics of the mammalian class....

. They speak Saturnian (composed of odd looking English letters), and erratically use the words "boing," "ding," "zoom," and "Dakota". The Japanese font is said to be inspired by the handwriting of the young daughter of EarthBound
EarthBound
EarthBound, also known as EarthBound: The War Against Giygas! and released as in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console...

's designer, Shigesato Itoi
Shigesato Itoi
is one of the most influential cultural figures in Japan, known for his copywriting, essays, lyrics, Nintendo game creation, and as editor-in-chief of his popular website “Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun.” He is best known outside of Japan as a game designer for his work on Nintendo's EarthBound...

. First seen in EarthBound, they make a return appearance in Mother 3
Mother 3
Mother 3 is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo, Brownie Brown and HAL Laboratory, and published for the Game Boy Advance handheld game console. It has only been released in Japan, alongside a limited supply bundle. It is the third video game in the Mother series, following EarthBound...

, the Japanese sequel to EarthBound. In both games, they help with repairing or building various machines.

Mr. Saturns make their home in Saturn Valley, in Eagleland, which is just north of Threed. Their village has round homes which resemble flying saucer
Flying saucer
A flying saucer is a type of unidentified flying object sometimes believed to be of alien origin with a disc or saucer-shaped body, usually described as silver or metallic, occasionally reported as covered with running lights or surrounded with a glowing light, hovering or moving rapidly either...

s and/or the planet Saturn
Saturn
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Saturn is named after the Roman god Saturn, equated to the Greek Cronus , the Babylonian Ninurta and the Hindu Shani. Saturn's astronomical symbol represents the Roman god's sickle.Saturn,...

 and strange furniture, such as ATMs which bounce up and down in place and resemble Mr. Saturns. Some of the Mr. Saturn's preferred foods are "almond monaka
Monaka
is a Japanese sweet made of azuki bean jam filling sandwiched between two thin crisp wafers made from mochi. The jam can not only be made from azuki beans but also with sesame seed, chestnuts, or rice cake ....

" and "pig yōkan
Yokan
is a thick jellied dessert made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar. It is usually sold in a block form, and eaten in slices. There are two main types: neri yōkan and mizu yōkan. "Mizu" means "water", and indicates that it is made with more water than usual...

" (changed to "peanut cheese bars" and "piggy jelly" in the English version of the game), goods that can be purchased in the Saturn Valley shop. According to Shigesato Itoi
Shigesato Itoi
is one of the most influential cultural figures in Japan, known for his copywriting, essays, lyrics, Nintendo game creation, and as editor-in-chief of his popular website “Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun.” He is best known outside of Japan as a game designer for his work on Nintendo's EarthBound...

, the Mr. Saturn race are the symbolism of innocence in the game.

Mr. Saturns have had several pieces of merchandise made for them, including plush dolls and a wrist strap. Mr. Saturn makes cameos in multiple other games developed by HAL Laboratory
HAL Laboratory
is a Japanese video game developer that was founded on February 21, 1980. It is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo. Its name comes from the HAL 9000 computer in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The company is most famous for its character Kirby, the protagonist of the eponymous game series, as well as...

. It first appeared in Kirby Super Star
Kirby Super Star
Kirby Super Star, known as Kirby's Fun Pak in Europe and as in Japan, is a 1996 platforming video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. It was first released in Japan on March 21, 1996, in North America on...

 and Kirby Super Star Ultra as a collectible item, and was later included in the Super Smash Bros. series in multiple forms, including an offensive item and multiple collectibles.

Porky Minch


, called Pokey Minch in the English-language version of EarthBound
EarthBound
EarthBound, also known as EarthBound: The War Against Giygas! and released as in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console...

, sometimes referred to as Master Porky/Master Pokey, is a primary antagonist of EarthBound, and the main antagonist of Mother 3
Mother 3
Mother 3 is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo, Brownie Brown and HAL Laboratory, and published for the Game Boy Advance handheld game console. It has only been released in Japan, alongside a limited supply bundle. It is the third video game in the Mother series, following EarthBound...

. In EarthBound, he begins as Ness' highly obnoxious best friend. He has a little brother named Picky Minch, who is much braver than he is. He joins Giygas, becoming his right-hand man because of the alien's mind controlling powers and because his father was physically and mentally abusive towards him and Picky. Another reason he joins Giygas is because many of the kids in Onett hate him and make fun of his weight a lot of the time. He is regularly seen attempting to thwart Ness. He eventually ends up in the "Cave of the Past", an area existing long before the events of EarthBound, where Giygas is located. He taunts the protagonists as they fight Giygas, and once Giygas is ultimately defeated, Porky disappears into space and time using a Time Distorter. His brother, Picky, comes to Ness' house at the end of the game, and gives Ness a note from Porky which suggests that he will return.

He was confirmed during the development of EarthBound 64
EarthBound 64
EarthBound 64, officially known as Mother 3 , is a cancelled role-playing video game that was in development by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory for the Nintendo 64DD. It was later transferred to the Nintendo 64 after the Nintendo 64DD proved to be unsuccessful. The game adopted several subtitles in...

 to be the primary villain; in fact, the game was at one point subtitled as "Fall of the Pig King". Not much information is provided on him, only that he formed an army of people who wear pig uniforms. EarthBound 64 was ultimately canceled, but was revived for the Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance
The is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China...

 as Mother 3
Mother 3
Mother 3 is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo, Brownie Brown and HAL Laboratory, and published for the Game Boy Advance handheld game console. It has only been released in Japan, alongside a limited supply bundle. It is the third video game in the Mother series, following EarthBound...

. He remains as the leader of the Pigmask Army and the primary antagonist, but is only revealed late in the game. His excessive time traveling petrified his body and mind, but he shows obvious signs of extreme age, which could range anywhere from 1,000 years old to 10,000 years old. His motives for attacking the Nowhere Islands, the primary location of Mother 3, are that he wanted to access the Dark Dragon's powers, which would cause the entire Earth to be destroyed and because as he himself says he wants to cure himself of his extreme case of boredom. He fights much like Giygas.

In an interview with Shigesato Itoi
Shigesato Itoi
is one of the most influential cultural figures in Japan, known for his copywriting, essays, lyrics, Nintendo game creation, and as editor-in-chief of his popular website “Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun.” He is best known outside of Japan as a game designer for his work on Nintendo's EarthBound...

, he describes Porky as being a symbol of humankind. The interviewer commented that he turned extremely evil in Mother 3, going so far as to describe him as a demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

. Porky's feelings for Ness are not clear; in the interview, Itoi commented that Porky had no friends, so perhaps he only played with Ness. He further added that his mean-spirited nature could have come from his parents Lardna Minch and Aloysius Minch, both of whom he described as being "pretty terrible." In the final battle of Mother 3, Porky encases himself in a device called the "Absolutely Safe Capsule". He is protected from all danger inside, but he cannot exit it. Shigesato Itoi
Shigesato Itoi
is one of the most influential cultural figures in Japan, known for his copywriting, essays, lyrics, Nintendo game creation, and as editor-in-chief of his popular website “Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun.” He is best known outside of Japan as a game designer for his work on Nintendo's EarthBound...

 commented that in theory, even when the Earth comes to an end in 5.5 billion years, Porky would still be alive. Itoi commented that the grief of this was depressing to him, and that Porky is "truly a poem in himself."

IGN
IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...

 editor Lucas Thompson included Porky on a list of five characters who may be included in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl, known in Japan as , often abbreviated as SSBB or simply as Brawl, is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series of crossover fighting games, developed by an ad hoc development team consisting of Sora, Game Arts and staff from other developers, and published by...

 based on what he described as one of the more credible proposed rosters, describing his bed-mech as an intimidating sight to see. In the Subspace Emissary storymode in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he is a boss, following Lucas through an abandoned zoo. Ness jumps in to help Lucas, and together, they defeat Porky's spider-mech.

Starmen


Starmen are alien minions of Giygas who appear in Mother
Mother (video game)
, planned to be released in English as Earth Bound , is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo Tokyo Research and Development Products in...

 and EarthBound
EarthBound
EarthBound, also known as EarthBound: The War Against Giygas! and released as in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console...

. The most powerful Starman is a being called the "Final Starman".

Magicant


Magicant is a world that is first found in Mother
Mother (video game)
, planned to be released in English as Earth Bound , is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo Tokyo Research and Development Products in...

 by Ninten, and later by Ness in EarthBound
EarthBound
EarthBound, also known as EarthBound: The War Against Giygas! and released as in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console...

. Magicant is the world of Queen Mary's mind in Mother
Mother (video game)
, planned to be released in English as Earth Bound , is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo Tokyo Research and Development Products in...

; however, in EarthBound
EarthBound
EarthBound, also known as EarthBound: The War Against Giygas! and released as in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console...

, it is in Ness' mind.

Eagleland


Eagleland is the nation that the events of Earthbound
Earthbound
Earthbound may refer to:*EarthBound , a role-playing video game series for Nintendo**Mother , a Japan-only game that was to be called Earth Bound in the US...

 take place in. It is a parody of the United States and has America-esque locations. Some of the towns in Eagleland are Onett, Twoson, Threed, and Fourside.

Music



The song "Eight Melodies" originated in Mother
Mother (video game)
, planned to be released in English as Earth Bound , is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo Tokyo Research and Development Products in...

, and later appeared in Mother 3
Mother 3
Mother 3 is a role-playing video game developed by Nintendo, Brownie Brown and HAL Laboratory, and published for the Game Boy Advance handheld game console. It has only been released in Japan, alongside a limited supply bundle. It is the third video game in the Mother series, following EarthBound...

. It was an important plot-point of the first game. The song met with some popularity in Japan, having been featured in textbooks in some elementary schools.

External links