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NES Earthbound 'Mystery' Probed

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the slaying-dragons dept.

NES (Games) 27

packratshow writes "Lost Levels has put up a story about the infamous NES prototype of classic RPG Earthbound. It includes an interview with Nintendo localization producer Phil Sandhop in which he verifies certain details about the alleged cartridges, sometimes considered to be fakes, and squashes most myths about its origin, explaining: 'EarthBound was not cancelled, it was just not produced... Sometimes these things sit for years before the studio feels its right. Nintendo had that luxury with games, especially NES games.'" We've previously mentioned the fanaticism of Earthbound fans.

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FP!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9861496)

did I win?

Re:FP!? (0, Redundant)

warmgun (669556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9861590)

While there may fantatics online, they are not readers of slashdot it would seem. It seems like this mystery is finally laid to rest. As one of those Earthbound fanatics, I just ate up this in-depth for no reason article.

People thought it was fake? (2, Interesting)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9861584)

I suppose I can understand skepticism when it first came out (though it seems to me like translating Mother then acting like the translation was an official prototype is a pointless thing to do), but anyone who still thought that it was fake after the updated Mother was released for the GBA in Japan is an idiot.


Re:People thought it was fake? (1)

secondsun (195377) | more than 10 years ago | (#9863383)

If you look for it you will find many questionable games that noone really knows where they came from.

For example, Somario is a cross between sonic the hedgehog and mario and runs on Nes emulators.

There are also fighting game rom hacks of TMNT TF that give you a Smash Brothers game. Plus there is a SuperMario world Hack complete with horizontal/vertical scrolling (supposedly I have never been able to get the rom to run).

Also a Kings Quest V rom I never got my hands on. If you look there are plenty of curiosities.

Re:People thought it was fake? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 10 years ago | (#9864443)

"Also a Kings Quest V rom I never got my hands on."

King's Quest V really was made for the NES. I recall seeing quite a good deal about it in my old Nintendo Powers (it's probably in a box somewhere). I also recall some Councilor's Corner questions about the game as well.

IIRC, Somario is a pirate cart from everybody's favorite gray market: Hong Kong. And the others are simple ROM hacks by fans. While I have yet to beat EarthBound Zero, I've put enough hours into it to be able to say it feels like a real NOA game as opposed to even a Demiforce translation (I've played with their FF translations). As the article mentions, if this is a fan job it's a damn good one, of a calibur that nobody else has even come close to. Even if it was some shadowy plot by Demiforce to make a quick $400, it's worth every penny.

At any rate, the next question for the true EearthBound fantic is When will someone make a decent flash ROM cart or back-up device for the NES?!?!. Stupid mappers! I'd love to be able to just buy a Japanese cart on eBay, dump it, apply the translation patch and play it on my NES like I do with SNES games

The hell with Earthbound, Play something good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9862231) Doom 3.
DOOM III Torrent :) []

umm wtf? (0)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9862622)

WHy is this game called "Mother" ? That name's just plain stupid.

Re:umm wtf? (3, Insightful)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9862702)

That name's just plain stupid.

To an English speaker, perhaps, but not to the Japanese. The name was probably meant to suggest our "Mother Earth," given the USian name. The popular market (In Japan!) is more comfortable with effeminate or "kawaii" names and images than the USian market.

Re:umm wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9863239)

USian name... USian market

the heck? do you mean AMERICAN?

Re:umm wtf? (1)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9864436)

do you mean AMERICAN?

I guess I've been hanging around kuro5hin [] for too long...

To call citizens of the United States "American" is to ignore the fact that, technically, Canadians, Mexicans, Brazilians, et al, are also from America.

Re:umm wtf? (-1, Troll)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9865109)

They're not from America, you fucking idiot. They're from Canada, Mexico, Brasil, and other countries. No, they're not even TECHNICALLY from America. They live on either the North American or South American continent, but THEY ARE NOT FUCKING AMERICANS YOU STUPID FUCKING RETARD.

Re:umm wtf? (1)

osrevad (796763) | more than 10 years ago | (#9867324)

Have you ever heard of North and South America? It's a pretty big place.

Re:umm wtf? (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9867744)

Are you Icelandic or are you retarded? Read my post again. I mentioned both AND I used a big word like continent. *GASP* Go look it up. You might learn something.

Re:umm wtf? (1)

JimTheta (115513) | more than 10 years ago | (#9870937)

You could have just said "the US market".

I can't figure out why people keep using "USian". It looks and sounds dumb. I understand (and to some degree agree with) the intention, but is that the best word that can be created?

I always thought referring to USA citizens as "United Staters" or simply "Staters" sounds much less dumb. As far as the adjective form, "US" alone works just fine.

Re:umm wtf? (1)

Impotent_Emperor (681409) | more than 10 years ago | (#9872578)

I suppose that we could just start referring to ourselves as "Yankees" (or "Yanks" for short). But I wonder if some old-time Southern colonels will have problems with that name.

Re:umm wtf? (1)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9878580)

I can't figure out why people keep using "USian". It looks and sounds dumb.

Sounds bad, sure. I've never used the term in spoken conversation. I was under the assumption that part of the reason "USian" stuck was that, besides being more country-centric, was shorter to type than "American." (I've also seen UKian in use online.)

Though you are right that "US" might have worked in that case, but I had mentally "vocalized" the work as American, and my chatroom/IM typing habits took over.

Re:umm wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9873552)

Funny, but the people who are the loudest proponents of the "America is more than just the the US" gripe are Canadians. Get over your inferiority complex already.

Re:umm wtf? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9865411)

Cute or not, "Mother" in the English language doenst have the same, i assume, intended effect.

Then I guess it's a good thing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9866271)

they changed it when it came to the US.

Re:umm wtf? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 10 years ago | (#9863542)

Because it's the mother of all RPGs! Anybody who's played the game knows that!

Hell, it deserves the title because of its kitchy music alone...

Sonic article (1)

Rethcir (680121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9863088)

I liked the Sonic "X-Treme" article they have on this site as well. Sounds like Sega was a real mess back then. It's suprising the Dreamcast turned out to be a great system, but i guess not so surprising that it folded.

Re:Sonic article (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 10 years ago | (#9863166)

The Dreamcast had some nice internal politics as well. Sega Of America also designed a console, based on 3DFX chips rather than PowerVR. Sega chose the Japanese one, but this caused then to be sued by 3DFX, and pissed of EA (who owned shares in 3DFX). So Sega ended up paying 3DFX a load of money, and lost and chance of EA supporting them. Nice job!

But the main reason the Dreamcast failed was that Sega basically ran out of money, mostly because of the failure of the Saturn had already lost them tons of money, and public support.

screenshots (1)

radixvir (659331) | more than 10 years ago | (#9863562)

well it must have been floating around for a while because i had the rom for some reason. i quickly loaded it and took some screenshots in case you want to see what it looks like []

Re:screenshots (2, Informative)

\\ (118555) | more than 10 years ago | (#9865197)

It's been "floating around" since April 27, 1998. Read the article. ;)

That's great and all... (1)

pat_trick (218868) | more than 10 years ago | (#9865238)

but what I really want to know about is when EarthBound / Mother 3 is coming out.

Re:That's great and all... (1)

osrevad (796763) | more than 10 years ago | (#9867335)

Apparantly its currently in developement for the GBA, according to a Japanese commercial for Mother 1+2.

Alleged cartridges? Sometimes considered fake? (1)

KarzonSkyefyre (802455) | more than 10 years ago | (#9872810)

The basic story is this: Neo Demiforce (already well known in the romhacking scene) bought a prototype cartridge that was already mostly translated (the game WAS almost in stores when it was dropped), then finished it.

In order for this to be fake, someone would have had to go to the trouble to almost completely translate the game (a mammoth task for the small groups that do this unofficially, as opposed to large localization teams that have direct access to the original work's source), dump the game onto an NES cartridge, and then sell it for an amount of money not worth the time spent.

The only other possibility I see is that Neo Demiforce wouldn't want credit for all of the translation work, making up the story that Nintendo did it. That doesn't make sense either.

It's an interesting story, but were there people who actually thought this was a huge conspiracy?
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