Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Mysteries and Miscellanies(?) of Mother 2





I've been playing Earthbound/Mother 2 with my girlfriend recently (as previously posted), and I wanted to bring up some weird things or theories we've had. Not commonly found stuff - like how killing giygas is actually performing an abortion - but things that we specifically have came up with.


1. What the fuck is Mr. Saturn?


There's a lot of really strange stuff in Earthbound - coming from the mind of Itoi - but all of it somewhat makes sense other than the enigmatic Mr. Saturn. Mr Saturn is a strange creature, resembling a human head with feet, nude, dots for eyes, curley whiskers, a large nose, and a single hair with a ribbon on it. More odd than its physical features is the fact that is speaks in a strange curley font. The fans are obsessed with Mr. Saturn - who is not just one person, but an entire village of weird little men.

There are two Mr. Saturn(s) that don't fit the mold in the series. Dr. Saturn, who lives in a trash can - and the thieving Mr. Saturn from Mother 3. This implies that they do have some sense of individuality... so does that suggest that they can also learn to properly speak english(or japanese)?

Speaking of Japanese Mr. Saturn, in japanese, he's known as Dosei-san (which does indeed translate to Mr. Saturn) - meaning that this is not a mistranslation issue. Apparently Itoi originally had intended for Mr. Saturn to have fart noises coming from it when it walks.

Our answer? Mr. Saturn is a race of aliens. It fits the theme. They're incredibly intelligent (given that they help construct the phase distorter), they have a spacey theme to them (being "Mr. Saturn" afterall). Perhaps even, the direct opposition to Giygas' race of aliens?

2. Additional Text

I did a bit of research and it turns out there is a bunch of text in the game that is impossible to see without the use of a cheating device. A prime example of this is using the Eraser-Eraser on the Mani-Mani statue in Moonside. Yes, you can use the pencil eraser on it - where you are greeted with a "Does this look like a pencil to you?" type message. It's impossible to have the eraser-eraser in your inventory at that point though - so why the extra text? This isn't the only example. There's also people who disappear when Threed is "fixed" - who are supposed to have different lines of dialogue.

Our answer? Being a indie game designer myself, I know that sometimes (personally) I have a lot of ideas I want to fit in, usually small details that end up being half-implemented. I mean, given the eraser-eraser issue, I can see that if they had already made the text with the pencil-eraser, why not make one for the eraser-eraser? They probably didn't have a very good plot outline, so they just decided to make both, just incase they decide to put the eraser-eraser in the game prior to Moonside.

3. Ness's Dad

Who is he?! Ness's dad is phone! Jokes and internet humor aside, people have wondered who Ness's dad was from their first play of Earthbound. All we are told about him is that he works a lot, and I believe there was even tips about him being a traveling businessman. His mother doesn't seem to mind him not being around. On top of that - where exactly does Ness's Mother sleep? The kitchen table? What about the father, when or if he ever does return home?

There's been all kinds of crackpot theories on who Ness's dad is. One person even went as far as to suggest he was Everdred of Burglin park! Even Gigyas! They never seem to have good data to back up the case.

Our answer? Actually, I came up with this one with another friend other than my girlfriend - but she agrees it makes sense. You know the travelling photographer? Yeah. He's always around - watching you. He knows what you're doing. He has a job. He travels a lot. We're never given his name. I propose that he is indeed Ness's dad.

4. Nothing to do with the game - more a bit of nostalgia about when I was a child playing Earthbound



When I was a kid, I got Earthbound and played through it with a friend of mine from Japan. We loved the game so much that we constructed a trading card game, similiar to magic (but far simpler) using all of the characters from Earthbound. Ness's dad was one of the cards - and we simply drew a picture of a phone.

Another bit of nostalgia - and you are all going to want to kill me for it. For my birthday, that same japanese friend gave me a gigantic Earthbound poster - one that I have not since seen on any website, ebay, or any other type of auction site. He claimed that he got it "back at home". On the back, there were several signatures, some in japanese, some in English - written with a silver pen. One of these, he claimed to be Shigesato Itoi. Back then, I didn't have any sort of care about who made the games, so I didn't realize the value of this. I quickly stapled and taped it to my wall, ruining the corners, but not the signatures.

And then we moved, and my mom threw it away (along with all of my other posters, and my collection of Nintendo Power magazines - but that's becide the point).

Once Earthbound established an _enormous_ fanbase, I began to slam my head into the pavement in shame. Considering that some Earthbound merchandise goes for as much as $1000 on ebay - and I haven't seen anything signed by Itoi on the market - I could have came out a very wealthy man.

Feel free to comment about how I should beat myself up about this more. *shrug*

Also, I sent in the scratch-and-sniff challenge card to Nintendo. My guess it was "Garlic", because the game made such a big deal about how garlic made you big and strong. I was wrong. It was pizza. As a consolation prize, I got a Mach Pizza air-freshener. Not bad for an extreme Earthbound screwup like myself, eh?

35 comments:

  1. I know Ness from Super Smash Bros. but never played Earthbound!

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  2. this looks like a fuckin batshit crazy game

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  3. I'm ashamed to confess I've never played this classic

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  4. Unlucky regards the signed poster!

    Really do have to get around to finishing the first Earthbound sometime.

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  5. Ah earthbound...brings back memories. Never finished the game though sadly

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  6. This was one of my favorites as a kid and i still love playing through it from time to time

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  7. Ive never made it all the way to the end

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  8. I never finished it either, but i do love the game.

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  9. it's a great game, do you still have the scratch and sniff stickers that came with it? lol

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  10. Awesome game! Am I the only one who has finished this game?

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  11. Earthbound is made by people on shrooms.

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  12. What happened to the good stuff like this. Thinking back now, I feel nostalgic and old.These kids nowadays have no taste.

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  13. Sadly I've never played this, I just know some of these guys from Super smash bros...But Mr.Saturn is a freaky little guy. Always wondered what he was.

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  14. Mother needs to come to the US again.

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  15. I haven't thought about earthbound in ages. Good post.

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  16. ness was my fav character in smash bros

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  17. Love these blogs about (weird) classic games, keep them comming

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  18. Never played, but those are some interesting questions.

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  19. "- like how killing giygas is actually performing an abortion - " I found this rather disturbing. At least you are prepared... :D

    Cheers mate

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  20. Earthbound was good. I liked it.

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  21. Ha, I only know Mr. Saturn from tossing him around in smash bros.

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  22. nice to get something other than COD :D followed.

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  23. Never played it, tho it looks fun!

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  24. My ex used to play this game all the time. It's pretty trippy.

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