The Let's Play Archive


by Leavemywife

Part 64: That Irish Guy's Trivia Corner - Part the First

Hey guys, hello and welcome to...

Your Earthbound/Mother 2 Trivia and Censorship Sanctuary!

This is your host and fellow Earthbound enthusiast, That Irish Guy! My job here is to show you guys all the cool and nifty stuff that got either censored out of the English version, along with any fascinating trivia and localization quirks I happen to recall along the way! In addition, one of the biggest appeals of Earthbound to me is the music; not just because it is fantastic, but because the composers drew a whole lot of easily apparent inspiration from various absolutely fantastic sources such as The Beatles, The Who, The Doors, Pink Floyd and so on.

Why, what ever do you mean "censored"?

You see, back during the SNES era, Nintendo of America was very scared cautious of getting sued up the arse offending people's sensibilities and especially of offending religious individuals or groups. This led them to remove all manner of things in their games. Anything from religious imagery (One common example is removing crosses from graveyards), to references to alcohol (which we will become quite familiar with before this LP is over), to awkwardly dancing around the concept of death ("Why, yes, little Billy. That Grand HolyPearl Spear of Ultimate Destruction you just rammed through that man's skull only knocked him out)

Another area that NoA was sensitive about at the time was copyright infringement. While they were nowhere near as dedicated to scouring their games of possible problems, it is still the source of a few changes.

Bah, trivia? I have no idea what you're talking about!

Well, believe me, by the end of the thread, you will be an Earthboudpo'. This game is filled to the brim with references, easter eggs, fantastic localization, and, well, quirks! Quirky is probably the best adjective used to describe this game. The primary source of which is more than likely this chill fellow...

Jesus!Shigesato Itoi! Itoi is the producer, director, writer, and probably the most influential man to the development process of this game, and boy he poured his heart into this game. This man has so many insanely revolutionary ideas, so many bits of wisdom, that I could probably do a whole other segment just examining Itoi's various interviews. And he likes bass fishing quite a bit as well!

Anyways, let's begin with beginning!

The title screem we all know and love. Nothing of real note, however, it's where we first find the big man's name alongside his company, APE.

APE was shortly succeeded by Creatures, the company who is known for the original Pokemon Red and Blue, and the Pokemon trading cards, and more recently some crappy IP cash-ins Pokemon spin-offs.

This screen is home to the very first significant version difference of the game. In the original, this screen had the words "Giygas Strikes Back!", which is reference to Mother 1, the game that preceded Earthbound (Which, is obviously, also known as Mother 2). The original text adds a bit more context to the larger plot. I could get into that whole shebang, but I'd think it'd be better to let a sleeping dog lie for the time being.

Moving on! Next we have the naming screen, which surprisingly has a lot of trivia behind it! For example, the whole "flavor" thing was added in during the localization process and the options were simply just Plain, Mint, Strawberry, etc.. I personally enjoy Peanut, so that's what we'll go with here.

Leavemywife didn't really show it off in the main updates, but do you see the option down in the corner, "Don't Care"? If you choose that, the game'll input a random name from a small little database of names. It's where we get the names Ness, Paula, Jeff, etc. While we didn't get anything too exciting in the localized version, the original version a few neat little nuggets which leads us to the first real instance of the lawyers creators changing something around.

The random names in the "Don't Care" lists came pretty much in sets. For instance, there's a Mario themed set, a set with names of clothes, and even a set where each name is simply a command that can be taught to a pet. The particularly interesting one is the one I've shown here, with these lovely, quite familiar names.

Mm? Oh, ahem, never mind that...

Psh, Ringo is always shat on. At least he has a good bit of humour about himself, unlike Ness Jeff certain dicks (He's my favorite Beatle )

Anyways, yes, this is the first of many, many Beatles references to come.

Moving on though, we most definitely got the shit stick when it came to default names. Nothing interesting, or even nifty like the sets from the original, and certainly nothing particularly funny either, like our favorite thing being APE.Though...

We did get that little reference, worth a chuckle or two.

(Yeah, all those names are mine, with special props to Geno's true name and Johnathan Jones who gets to sit this adventure out and indulge in a sublimely opulent lifestyle, satisfying all his carnal needs in such a passionately hedonistic existence, that truly even the likes of Caligula and Rodrigo Borgia look on in sheer awe. Cause fuck it, that dude deserves it, and that's just how dogs roll.)

That about does it for the naming screen though. One last bit of trivia though: when you confirm something or hit "Yep", a little sound byte plays. It happens to be Itoi himself saying "Ok desu-ka", or in other words, just a crazy side-up down moonspeak affirmation. The fun thing about this is that apparently the dev team hid a recorder around and taped him saying it. The kicker is that he had no idea until he was looking at the game towards the end of the development process and he asked what that odd soundbyte was!

Even though "Eagleland" seems to be a pretty heavy-handed allusion to America (and Mother 1 outright states that it's America), Itoi has stated through interviews that Earthbound and Mother 1 don't necessarily take place in America. Though that may seem hard to buy, I believe that you'd need to look at everything in a more conceptual light. More on that later, but I believe that by "Eagleland", Itoi meant it as something that is to be read more as: "White, Middle-Class, Suburbland".

It made me really sad that they didn't have the lamp attack you like in Mother 1. It really hammered in the idea early of what kind of game it was going to be.

The Guinness World record to be more precise! The original version outright stated that it's the Guinnes World Record that they're going for.

So! One thing that I think this game really tries to address is the issue of small town or suburban politics. A gigantic portion of the beginning of the game from the start of Onett to further than where the LP currently is at, is devoted to creating a massive satire of the self obsessive, Objectivist, corrupt world of suburban politics. A critique of the inane NIMBY's, the individualistic WASP's, and a massive middle finger to the Culture of the Green Lawn.

This fellow right here's my mate. Right there with ya buddy! Hang in there!

And it's a buttery as well! In the original version, this lil snack is known as the Butter Roll!

Hey shithead, hiya creepy fuck!


go fuck yourself

go die

This is the point where I suddenly realized the pun that was this horrid fuck's name. I never got it because I was always reading his last name as aggregate for some reason.

I have no idea what the deal is with this guy, does he mean that there are regular meteors falling and that this one happens to look different? Because otherwise, I don't know how this newly fallen meteor could be considered "usual" in any way?

I actually got stuck here the first time I played this game, since I didn't want to do what this little shit told me to do.

[edited out for sake of not being a whiny shit]

Anyways, back to business. One thing that Nintendo of America was supremely touchy about was anything resembling child abuse. In our version here, Pokey remains vague. In the original however, Pokey here just outright states how his dad is going to spank him 100 times.

Oh hey! Its these guys! Don't you guys all just love them? Why, just look at them shades!

In the original version actually, these guys were called "Detestable Crows".
A bit more appropriate, eh?

This is actually very good practice for Pokey. After all, I'm sure he's going to be apologizing for an unpleasant snake in the room quite a bit when he's older.

And fun fact, these guys were called "Ungrateful Dogs" in the original.

I imagine his face would match quite well with the snake.

i bet you weren't busy at all
you were on your way just now weren't you
you just can't resist a child voice can you
you sick fuck

A really super awesome thing about the localization for this game is that the localization team is fucking pro. You know that really daft writing technique in JRPGs where the writer either can't figure out what an onomatopoeia is, or their Adderal just kicked in, so instead of writing a line for a character they just use several punctuation marks and say fuck it? Well, Earthbound doesn't do that. In the original, it was "!!!!!!", in the localized version its "Awoooof!"

Oh yeahhhh, definitely. And you know, they were actually come get you themselves, but hey, their new unicorn just got into a fight with a gorgon, and well, they discovered that the key to alchemy is the blood of a unicorn mixed with a gorgon's sweat, combined with a teaspoon of fairy dust, so they were too busy looking for a fairy.

oh wait

i just found two right here


Originally, these lines were way more :black101:. It was essentially: "Giygas, the universal cosmic destroyer, has plunged everything in existence into the darkness of Hell!", but because of the reference to Hell of course, it got changed.

So, that's all I have for right now, but now that I've gotten that first update out of the way, I'll be able to write these up way quicker and maybe somehow keep up with the blistering update speed of Leavemywife's. Sorry again for the huge delay in getting this written up, and if you guys have any criticism or tips you want to give me, feel free! I'm all ears.

(Also, I'll try not to get as all political-ish next time if you guys didn't like it. Looking back, I didn't realize how talky I was about it:P