Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ghost's Angry Reviews - Ōkami



This is your standard spoiler warning.  If you don’t want Ōkami spoiled for some reason then don’t even bother.

Ghost here, thanks for joining!

UGH…  I’m still not quite over all the weirdness of last week.  KoD randomly showing up, all the insanity in Earthbound, it’s really taking a toll on me.  No, I gotta do this!  Need to keep on schedule.  My brain is so fuzzy I don’t even know what to review.  Skyrim? No that will take too much brain power.  Tales of Symphonia?  No I really want to do that one with Angel.  Mother 3?  NO CHANCE!  

OOOH I SHOULD DO A HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!!!!  YEAH Let's see here what games have I played that would fit for that?  Well there's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge.......and.. umm...  well crap! I guess it’s off to the gaming cabinet!   HMMM what to do what to do…. Hey what’s this?
AWWWWWW YEEEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!!

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this game is the perfect thing to follow Earthbound because both games share some amazing similarities in various aspects.  Both Earthbound and Ōkami sold fairly poorly upon their initial release while both receiving glorious remarks by critics, and have gained more and more fans as time passes.  Both of these games are considered by many to be among the best games out for the console they were on.  They also both thematically take themselves seriously when needed to but keep things lighthearted as much as possible without losing any depth of the world or the adventure.  They also both were more prominent in Japan, Earthbound having been Mother 2 over there, and Ōkami with its Japanese themes, but I need to slow down before I get ahead of myself.

Main Characters

Amaterasu 
You play as Amaterasu, nicknamed Ammy, for the entirety of the game.  To normal people she appears as a regular white wolf, but to those gifted with the ability to see the Divine, such as apparently every single person who plays this game, sees her with her red markings.  Ammy is the Sun Goddess of the Nipon region where this game takes place.  She is also the reincarnation of the dreaded wolf Shiranui which I’ll get to in a few.  So wait… she’s a goddess who isn’t immortal and has already died once?  Looks like the creators attended the Stan Lee School of Mythology.  I’m looking at you, Thor!

Ammy is a very quiet and wise creature always wanting to help those in need, but that doesn’t mean she won’t show her opinions easily such as turning her head when a drunken man is speaking in her face, or getting offended by people’s comments.  As I previously mentioned, she is the reincarnation of the dreaded wolf Shiranui.  Those of you who are not familiar with the game may be wondering how the main hero of the game that you control could be the reincarnation of something known to be “dreaded.”  And you may wonder what any of that has to do with the game that lies before you; but to understand the future we have to go back in time.
HECK NO!!!! ANYTHING BUT THAT! 

We do need to go back in time though, two hundred years to be exact
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Amaterasu originated from and once lived in the Celestial Plain.  She was the ruler of the realm and life was good until one day the dragon Orochi attacked from nowhere.  The remaining celestials escaped while Amaterasu dragged Orochi down to the mortal world near a small town known as Kamiki Village, knowing that only the chosen one, Nagi, could possibly defeat him.  Orochi quickly made his home in the Moon Cave nearby and summoned all manner of demons to his aid.  Quickly, Orochi began a reign of terror on Kamiki Village threatening to destroy the village unless a young maiden was sacrificed to him once a year so that he could consume her soul and continue living.  This went on for 100 years. 

All Ammy could do was sit and wait till Nagi was born.  She ran into a tiny person named Ishaku, who was a missionary to spread the word of the celestials to the mortal world.  Ishaku teamed up with Ammy for her adventures, however not everything was easy.  Since Ammy’s appearance was at the same time as that of Orochi, the villagers thought her one of Orochi’s spies sent to seek out the young maidens and would often become violent towards her dubbing her the name of Shiranui.

After Nagi became a fierce warrior and Orochi chose the love of his life, Nami.  Amaterasu, Ishaku, and Nagi went into the Moon Cave to battle Orochi.  Nagi was not able to defeat him but sealed him away with his sword so that the evil would be locked forever.  Unfortunately Ammy was poisoned by Orochi and died in Kamiki Village with the elder apologizing for their behavior as she died.  A monument was built to honor “Shiranui” and the world was at peace for 100 years.
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Darkness crept back into the forests of the world. Rumor grew of a shadow in the East, whispers of a nameless fear, and the Ring of Power perceived. Its time had now come. It abandoned Gollum…
Wait… that’s not right is it?  Sorry getting my ancient fantasy stories mixed up here.

After 100 years, darkness spread over the land and the demons returned as Orochi appeared from his prison because someone had removed Nagi’s sword which held the seal in place.  As the world became more and more poisoned with evil only Kamiki Village was left because of the protection of the sacred tree Konohana and its resident Wood Sprite, Sakuya.  Sakuya, using the last of her power, resurrected Ammy from her stone statue erected of her to save the tree and village from despair.  Teaming up with Issun, a tiny person of the same race as Ishaku mentioned earlier, the pair restored Kamiki Village.

However due to the fact that Ammy was “in slumber” for a century her original powers as a goddess have been lost and she must regain all of the celestial brush techniques back.  I guess it does make sense being asleep for so long you would have difficulty again or at least a crick in the neck.

What is a celestial brush technique?  Well it’s a technique that Ammy can perform, theorized to be done with her tail, that draws symbols to create things or make things happen.  These can be anything from revitalizing flowers, to creating wind or fire, to summoning cherry bombs.  She has to gain all thirteen of them back so that she can save the world, but more on them later.

With the assistance of Suzano, a descendant of Nagi who is nothing like his ancestor but is rather a lazy drunk, they were able to leave the village and venture out into the world restoring many areas to their former glory.  With Orochi awakened he chose Kushi, a descendant of Nami who is also a sake maker, as his sacrifice for that year.  With the help of Suzano they defeated Orochi but a ghostly shadow rose from its body and into the sky.  There was much left to do.  For time’s sake, I will not go into all the details of the story since it’s a really long one, but Ammy and Issun go on many adventures together including ridding a man of an evil disease, meeting underwater people and a water dragon, meeting the fearsome Ninetails in battle, going back in time to change history of the original battle of Orochi with Nagi, as well as boarding a celestial boat on which has the final boss and demon to be defeated.
 That’s about all you can say about the majestic wolf goddess.  So let’s run on to the other characters


Issun
Issun is Ammy’s partner throughout the game and is the grandson of Ishaku, who was Ammy’s partner 100 years prior.  He was studying to be the new Celestial Envoy but felt his grandfather was not recognizing his skills as an artist, so he stole a drawing of Sakuya that Ishaku had done and left the Ponc'tan eventually landing in Kamiki Village where he spent most of his time talking to the villagers and sleeping in Sakuya’s kimono…specifically around her chest.

 ...Thought I was gonna make a joke there didn’t you?  NOPE! Just going to let you make your own joke with that one.  We meet Issun properly after Sakuya resurrects Ammy.  Being only an inch tall most people perceive him as a tiny bug.  He agrees to join Ammy in her adventures to learn all of her celestial brush techniques to master his craft.  The rest of the time our diminutive friend just hangs around Ammy, talks to her and others constantly as Ammy doesn’t speak, and can be fairly annoying at times with all the dialogue he spits out.  Wait… why does that sound familiar?
 OF COURSE! Why am I not surprised?  I’m watching you game…. I’m watching you!

Issun does have a couple of shining moments.  After you reach Ponc’tan, on a search and rescue mission, you find that you need to go to the Spirit Gate and which is the gateway to the past.  No one will take Ammy there, but Issun knows the forest and guides Ammy through it.  The reason you need a guide is because if you take the wrong turn you have to start all over again. It’s a forest maze… a “Lost Woods” if you will. 

But of course, his crowning achievement is at the end of the game when he is separated from Ammy.  He cannot get on the ark where the final boss is because he did not accept his destiny and can never board the ship.  As Ammy gets downtrodden and beaten she loses her power and it seems that she is going to be defeated.  However Issun has been traveling all over the land with his art showing people Ammy’s true form and how she is the sun goddess.  He continues telling everyone about her so that they will believe on her.  Together their beliefs and prayers are what give Ammy her renewed strength back to finish off the enemy.  Why does THAT sound familiar too??
===========================

Waka
We don’t end up meeting Waka for a while and you can’t help shake the feeling that there’s more to him than meets the eye.  For the majority of the game, Waka just randomly appears where you are about to be, plays his musical instrument, and gives you hints about where you need to go and what needs to be done to save the world from evil.


 
                                         Of course, why wouldn’t it be another rip-off?

Waka, as it turns out first met Ammy when she still lived on the Celestial Plain.  He arrived there on a ship and lived in peace with Ammy and the Celestials until the day Orochi showed up.  Waka has the gift of prophecy and it was he who prophesied that Nagi would be the one to defeat Orochi.  It is revealed that Waka is one of the last remaining members of the Moon Tribe, a group of people who lived on the moon till they were defeated.  And here I thought moon people were two dimensional. 

One other interesting thing about him is that he uses French expressions like "mon amie" and such even though this is just an extremely Japanese based game.  There’s some sort of cultural mishmash going on here I just don’t understand. Apparently in all versions other than English he uses English expressions, and they just changed it to French for our version.  He’s a fun character who fights with you and you really end up kind of liking by the end of it all.

There are multitudes of really unique and interesting side characters but if we get into all of them, Ammy will have resurrected again.  So instead let’s just talk about the 3 most memorable and influential villains.

Main Villains

Orochi
The eight headed dragon himself.  Much of what is known about Orochi I already covered in the Amaterasu section so I’ll be brief here.  Orochi is a long standing enemy of Ammy and one which won’t go away.  While in the gameplay you face him on 3 separate occasions.  The second of these occasions is actually back in the past in which they find out that the legend of Suzano isn’t 100% true. 

The way that you defeat Orochi is… unique to say the least.  You get him drunk.  Each of the eight heads have to be stuffed with sake using the Waterspout brush technique and once they are dizzy and out cold you can attack the barrier surrounding him from normal attacks.  Then once that is destroyed you have to get him drunk again, and attack him properly defeating each of the 8 heads. 


    Ninetails
No, not that one.

Ninetails is the ruler of the mysterious Oni Island and was promised to become the ruler of the Ryoshima Coast region of the world once all of it was plunged into darkness.  However the king of the dragonian’s turned into a giant water dragon to defend his realm.  The water dragon was mortally wounded but was able to steal the source of Ninetails’ power, the Fox Rods.  Since she was in such a weakened state, she killed Rao, a priestess in the capitol city, dumping her body into a well, and taking her place till what time the Fox Rods could be recovered.   That’s when Amaterasu appeared.

“Rao” pleaded with Ammy to assist her in expelling the demons and in turn killed the queen of the realm.  Ammy however was not fooled and attacked.  Eventually Ninetails presented her true form and ran away to Oni Island.  Ammy eventually found where Oni Island would appear once more, as it disappeared every morning and reappeared somewhere else the next day, and was assisted by the Queen of the Dragonians turning into a water dragon herself to break the barrier on Oni Island so that Ammy can defeat Ninetails.

After going through Oni Islands, Ammy found only a constellation in the sky.  After finishing it similar to the Celestials, Ninetails was summoned.  You fight Ninetails in an area similar to that of the celestials as she is mocking them and calling herself a god.    Ninetails fights with each of her nine tails and regular charging attacks.  To defeat her, you must strike her with lightning causing her tails to appear as ghostly versions of Rao each with their own properties.  Once each of them is defeated, Ninetails shows her true form as a beaten old fox with one eye.
This form is easier to defeat and Ninetails runs away.  You will later fight her again as well as Orochi on the Ark.


Yami  
There isn’t much that is known about Yami, in fact, we don’t even know about his existence at all till Ammy confronts Ninetails.  He was hidden deep within the Ark of Yamato which Waka brought to the Celestial Plain 200 years previously.  It is from his influence and the depths of the Ark that Orochi attacked to begin with.  After Waka crashed the Ark into the mortal world, Yami’s influence fell on the world but he stayed in waiting and rest until the Day of Darkness.

Once the Day of Darkness began, Yami awoke and stole Ammy’s powers to make himself at full power, but not before revealing his true form.
And here I thought Klaus from American Dad was German, not Japanese.
It is at this point in time that Ammy falls into an almost depression state but Issun aids the people in believing her true godhood restoring her will and strength to fight.  As she fights Yami she slowly gets each of her celestial brush techniques back.  In fact, Yami attacks her in several forms increasing in power with each form… and while I’m at it…
 STOP RIPPING OFF LEGEND OF ZELDA FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS ON THIS PLANET!!! THIS MIGHT AS WELL BE A ZELDA GAME AT THIS POINT; JUST PUT AMMY IN A GREEN TUNIC… Oh wait nevermind we don’t even have to do that anymore
In the end, Ammy defeats Yami and boards the Ark with Waka headed for the Celestial Plain to leave the world in peace.

                                                   Themes and symbolism

If you haven’t figured out by now that basically the entire game is based off of Japanese mythology and folklore then I have lost all hope for you.  Effectively, this game is a massive celebration of ancient Japanese stories and beliefs all into one game.  Almost every single aspect of this game comes from something ancient.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s take a look at a few.

Orochi – The entirety of the Orochi legend from 100 years ago is entirely based on the real Japanese mythological teachings of Orochi who is a legendary Japanese dragon that was slain by the storm-god Susanoo.   Many other stories are very similar to this such as that of Hercules and the Hydra.

Issun – the story of Issun is attributed to the ancient Japanese folk story about a couple who couldn’t have children so they prayed to the gods that they would care for any child that they would be given if they would just bless them with a child, and thus they were given a small boy that was only one inch tall.

It’s actually kind of interesting how all of these stories are compiled into one thing that’s actually to some extent hiding the fact that it’s being educational.  When a game can be educational and be subtle about it, that’s a win in my book.  Of course I’m using the term educational very loosely. It’s as educational as Disney’s Hercules.

If you really want to know more about these backstories do a Wikipedia search for this game and look at all the links.  Or you can check out Chuggaaconroy's Let’s Play of the game in which he speaks often of the different mythological backgrounds of each of these elements throughout.  It’s a very long watch but it might be informative for you.

                                                Art Style
The first thing that basically everyone notices about this game is its unique art style.  We were already used to a seemingly cartoony style with games such as…. *sigh* Legend of Zelda Wind Waker.  But this game adds a bit of flair as it is slightly cel-shaded but yet beautiful.
Originally the game was meant to be a more photorealistic 3D style that you see above on the left.  However limitations of the PS2 hardware caused this to be too much of a burden.  It was then decided that to be fitting with the ancient themes of the game that the art style would be inspired by ancient Japanese watercolor.  It was due to this art style choice that they began the idea for the celestial brush.  The developers wanted the audience to participate in the art rather than simply just view it.
Honestly there’s nothing remotely funny I can say about this.  This is extremely well executed and one of the greatest parts of the game.  If nothing else can entice you to play this game, this would be it. 

                                               Gameplay
Ōkami combines many different styles of gameplay into one.  It has action, puzzle-solving, mini-games, as well as some form of platforming.  You have various zones in a massive world each of which with their own challenges and themes.  Let’s see here we have  

A small town in touch with trees and nature to start off with

Relying on spirits to give you additional powers.

Riding the ocean on something that talks

Entering a sea creature’s belly

Time Travel that only a sword can initiate

Twin boss battles

The list goes on and on.  And if I haven’t yet pounded it into your skull, THIS IS EFFECTIVELY A FREAKING ZELDA GAME!!  I’m sorry I was calling Spirit Tracks out for ripping off from their own series and maybe a couple things from Mother but this isn’t even its own series.  Not to mention that originally this was ONLY for the PS2 meaning that this is completely ripping off another company AND another franchise entirely.  Hideki Kamiya, who is an avid Zelda Fan, has said that the game was created with Zelda being an inspiration.  I don’t think he realizes there is a difference between inspiration and shameless rip-offs. 

Conclusion
This game really is a great one.  If you are a fan of The Legend of Zelda and don’t mind almost everything being lifted from that series and placed into a different vehicle then you will love this game.  The Mechanics are solid, the bosses inventive, the atmosphere rich, and the art beautiful.  Yes, at times this game can be extremely pretentious and most people who are avid fans can tend to be up their own backside over it but it’s really worth a play.  It’s honestly worth every cent.

This is Ghost, fading into the darkness
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If you want to see my other Video Game discussions and reviews, click here!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Campfire Morals - Death of a Bunny

High School, such a terrible yet amazing time of your life when everything is wrong, everything is weird, but yet everything is oh so right.  We each have our stories about high school that we can look back on and smile and some that we look back somberly on.  This one is both.

The Story
As much as I hate to admit it, I was a very narrow minded teenager (go figure) and one such result of my narrow mindedness and generalized stupidity was that during middle and the first part of high school, I never really much cared for my English/Spanish teacher.  At that time in my life I thought the subjects were unnecessary and her desire to push us in those subjects was more than my patience could stand.  Looking back now I realize what an absolute moron I was for thinking this. I feel it is partly because of my English/Spanish teacher that I was able to breeze through my first year of college due to the skills and knowledge I had gained as well as the personal drive I had acquired.  I owe a great deal of my success to her as well as that entire school really.  It is something I could never repay them for.

However this story takes place during the time which I didn't much care for her; a time in which she surprised me and made me think twice about my preconceived notions of her.  As many of you know I am an avid animal lover.  I have owned all sorts of animals including dogs, cats, fish, turtles, rabbits, frogs, crabs, and a hamster.  I have a very deep love for my pets and have a connection with each of them. I bring this up because this story also happens around the time that went very unfortunately for a rabbit.

 This isn't MY rabbit but he looked just like this

I had owned Anakin, a Dwarf Himalayan rabbit, for several years at this point when he became very ill and passed very suddenly.  It didn't sit well with me because I hadn't just lost some rabbit, I had lost a friend.  I didn't sleep well that evening and was still saddened the next morning when I went to school.  During first period nobody had really paid any attention to it and thought I was just tired still, however by the time second period was around I was asked what was wrong by a classmate.  It was then that the History Teacher, husband to the English/Spanish teacher, overheard the conversation.  Let's just say compassion wasn't an emotion that came to school with him that day.  He proceeded to make fun of me in front of the whole class over the death of a stupid rabbit.   I remained silent in my chair as he went on to his lecture and we went to English the next period.

I was looking forward to this even less because I had just been made fun of by one teacher and I was going to one of my least favorite classes now.  As we sat in our assigned seats another classmate of mine happened to lean over and voice his disbelief at what the History teacher had done not knowing that the English teacher was listening to him.  "I couldn't believe Mr (x) actually said that stuff and made fun of you for losing your pet." my classmate said.  It was then that I received the shock of my life.

My English teacher was up out of her hair, face red, and in front of me in seconds.  She looked at me with a mixture of outrage and pity and simply asked  "Did he really make fun of you for that?"  I simply nodded and before I knew it she had stormed out the door and down the hallway towards his classroom.  She pulled him out of his classroom, began screaming at him in the hallway; running him up one side and down the other for what he had done.  She came back in the room with a large smile on her face and told me it had been taken care of.  The next morning during History class, my History teacher not only apologized for his behavior but made a public announcement of it to the whole class.

Just as a side note, the History Teacher was not a bad man by any stretch of the imagination.  I grew to love him just the same and he was actually the only teacher I brought a gift back from the Bahamas for.  So I know this story makes him sound bad, but he must have just had an off day that day.

The Moral
Four different things spring to mind when I think back on this time of my life.

1. Persecution can come from anywhere - We should always be on our feet and prepared for persecution and what others may do to us.  Not become paranoid obviously, but make sure you know what you believe in and can defend it.  The hardest persecution can come from the most unlikely of sources, such as a teacher who honestly does care about you but just had a bad day.

2. God will send help - There is nothing on this earth that can happen to you that God cannot help you with.  Jeremiah 32:17 states "Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you."  I know it may seem kind of silly to relate this to the death of a rabbit, but at that age I honestly didn't know what to do about the ridicule I had received.  However God knew ahead of time and opened my English teacher's ears to the comments in her class.  He provided the help I needed at that moment.

3. Don't be quick to judge people - The most unlikely source for me at the time, my English Teacher, was the one who was there to help me out.  I had previously (unfairly) thought that she was just mean and thought too highly of her classes.  How wrong I was.  She wanted nothing more than to help every one of us succeed in life and as I said, I owe much of my success to her.

4. Even from sadness can come something good - Sure, there was sadness in the death of my pet, and sadness in the ridicule I received, but my eyes were opened to a new way of thinking about my English Teacher.  Also after the apology, the History teacher and I let bygones be bygones and it opened up the channel for a healthy Teacher Student relationship as well.  There is always something good to come from something bad even if we don't see it for a long time.

I wasn't the only one who learned a lesson that day.  I'm not sure about my History Teacher, but I know I will never forget that day.

Wes

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ghost's Angry Reviews - Earthbound

This is your standard spoiler warning.  If you don’t want Earthbound spoiled for some reason then don’t even bother.

Ghost here! Glad you could drop by.  Just be warned – this one is long

I’m pretty sure by now you’ve seen me mention the Mother series a few times,  and may be wondering what on earth I’m talking about, and why I keep mentioning mind altering drugs while mentioning this series.  Well now’s your chance to figure out what it’s all about!  I walked into this series not because of the actual games themselves, but because of Super Smash Bros.  The original game had a hidden character named Ness who I had never heard of before.  Granted at that age I hadn’t heard of Fox McCloud or Samus Aran either so the fact that a character was in there I didn’t know wasn’t exactly surprising.  I didn’t really give it much thought but when he reappeared in Super Smash Bros Melee I got interested and began to research what this Earthbound game actually was.  What I found was pure heaven in digital form!



Anytime I talk about this game I either get one of two responses.  The first of which being something similar to “holy crap I absolutely love this game!”  The second response is “I’ve never heard of this game, what it is about?”

 That is quite possibly one of the most loaded and difficult questions I’ve ever been asked.  Because the reality of what Earthbound is can be so mind boggling and insane sounding that people assume you are just making things up.  At its core, Earthbound is quite simply a game about a boy and his three friends who save the world from evil.  It’s what all surrounds the core storyline that becomes incredible and is what makes this game so amazing.  Surrounding this core mechanic are things like talking animals, aliens, hippies, a religious cult, kidnapping, psychic powers, pop culture references, a jazz band, ghosts, zombies, pyramids, the loch ness monster, hallucinogenic drugs hidden in cake,  the kraken, teleportation, the center of the earth with living dinosaurs, time travel, transplanting minds into machines, Stonehenge, and many other things. 

So eat some steak, prepare your weapons, and grab the hand of the psychic girl you love and lets Teleport Beta right into this mind altering experience.

HISTORY

Earthbound is actually the second game in a trilogy of games called the Mother Series.  Mother was released in Japan on the Famicom Video Game System on July 27, 1989.  Sadly this was only released in Japan so I’ve never actually gotten my hands on it.  Also sad and extremely frustrating  is the fact that the story of Earthbound, though you can just as easily play the game having NOT played Mother, is a continuation of sorts of the first game; a literal part two to the series.  I really don’t know much about it so I can’t really...

Are you SERIOUSLY gonna do an Earthbound review without inviting ME? *Tsktsktsk*

KingofDarkness?  What the heck are you doing here?  This is MY review get out!!


I’m just going to ignore that.  As mentioned by Ghost, Mother was released in Japan on the Famicom Video Game System on July 27, 1989, and was only released in Japan.  The game starts off with some backstory about a young married couple from the rural United States who mysteriously vanished after a dark shadow covered their small country town. Two years later, the husband, George, returned as mysteriously and suddenly as he vanished.  He then began a strange study in complete seclusion.  His wife, Maria, was never heard from again.

You play as a young boy named Ninten

….Seriously?  Ninten?  Nintendo couldn’t come up with anything original so they just slapped their company name on this kid?  That’s worse than that “Jed I Knight” kid I saw in the paper.

Shut up I’m talking!  As I said before I was so rudely interrupted, you play as a young boy named Ninten, who lives with his mother, two sisters, and family dog.  Ninten gets thrown into an insane adventure after his family is attacked in a paranormal event. 
 A poltergeist you say??

After saving his sister, Ninten discovers a doll playing a mystical melody of some sort.  You will eventually get a call from your father who informs you that your grandfather used to study a mystical power called PSI, and that his research notes are in the basement.  He then asks you to go on a journey to save the world.    THANKS A FREAKING LOT POPS.  Sure send ME out there to all the dirty work while you sit on the other end of the phone all game. 

So I'm going to keep the rest of this short and sweet cause everyone knows I could go on all day about these games.   Eventually you find this weird acid trip of a place called Magicant. While inside “Wonderland,” Ninten meets with the queen of Magicant, Queen Mary.  She asks you to find all of the eight melodies hidden across the globe. 

When these eight melodies combine they summon Earth’s mightiest hero, CAPTAIN PLANET!!

  
Really Ghost?  You went THERE of all places? THERE WEREN’T EVEN EIGHT RINGS IN THE SHOW!

Sorry…..continue

So basically the game revolves around finding these melodies, and along the way picking up a few extra party members to tear across the terrain with.  This includes a temporary Party member Pippi, based off Pippi Longstockings, Ana the girl protagonist, Loid the nerdy character, and Teddy the “big dude.”  After all your hard work collecting all eight melodies, you return to Magicant and sing the song to Queen Mary.  However as soon as you sing it, you learn about a creature named Giegue as Magicant disappears.  This ushers you into the final boss battle against the alien Giegue.  Giegue is responsible for all of the recent kidnappings.  He gives a little more information about George and Maria while trying to persuade Ninten to join him.  In the end of the game you defeat the boss by SINGING the eight melodies song and Giegue is defeated once and for all.   OR WAS HE!!!!!


Riiiiiggghhtt… And that leads us into Earthbound (finally!)

Or apparently “Earth Bound The War Against Giygas” as the game screen so delicately puts it.  Wait… WHO THE HECK IS GIYGAS??

Well technically it’s Giegue from Mother 1. It’s just a really stupid translation error between regions. But they do actually make an effort to explain the connection between the games as you see at the end.

Oh Great it’s going to be one of these games isn’t it?  I’m sure this won’t be the only translation issue will it?  Actually no, don’t answer that I don’t really want to know!   Let’s just dive into the Main Characters shall we?
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                                                          MAIN CHARACTERS

You can’t have a good game without a strong main character, or in this game’s case quartet of characters! 

Ness - You start off this game as a young boy named Ness… and already I’m rolling my eyes.  Earthbound was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or  SNES for short.  SNES, NESS…. Ugh.  Well at least this is a little more inventive than Ninten!  Ness wears a striped shirt, shorts, and a hat just like Ninten.  Ness lives with his mother, sister, and dog… just like Ninten, and is suddenly thrown into a wild adventure because of an alien appearing in a meteor crash.  After his neighbor, a husky boy named Pokey appears he gets a call from his father and begins on his world-wide adventure.  With a baseball bat in one hand, a yo-yo in the other, and PSI powers at his disposal he’s off to save the world!

Now just wait one minute. This pretty much sounds EXACTLY like the setup of the first game, doesn’t it? Maybe I’m just looking into things too much.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.  There isn’t really a whole lot to Ness in my eyes because he’s basically an avatar for you, the player, in many aspects.  Just like in Pokemon games, he is the silent protagonist that you control 90% of the time.  Slowly he meets up with another girl and two other guys because the four of them together are destined to take down the alien Giygas.

Not much else can really be said about him other than he’s a strong all around character who is just the manifestation of your actions and wills.  He’s got good physical strength and a decent amount of PSI attacks at his disposal.   Wow I’m kinda surprised KoD hasn’t shown up during this especially when I’m talking about.

OH GHOOOOST!  Did I hear you mention Ness??!!

  Oh Brother… Here we go


Okay don't think I didn't hear all of that banter! You wanna talk about how Ninten and Ness have similar designs. Well what can you expect from such an early game as Mother? For all we know Ninten could be one of Ness' decendants. Ever stop to think of that? Of course you didn't!  Ness is like the best hero of any game series of all freaking time man. He's so freaking awesome he doesn't even need words... And did I mention he has telepathy to talk with animals? TELEPATHY WITH ANIMALS MAN!! He's a brusier and has all of the support you’ll EVER need all in one single character!  Healing? Not a problem.  Curing Ailments? STILL not a problem.  Need someone to deal out heavy damage to a foe using PSI. WE GOT YOU COVERED BRO!  Need  a status inflicted on the foe? RIGHT FREAKING HERE! Oh and did I mention he can teleport to any location he's already been to? CONVENIENCE!!  HE’S ALL YOU’D EVER NEED IN ONE PACKAGE OF FOUR FOOT TALL EPICNESS!

He's the leader of the chosen four and for good reason cause he freaking knows what he's doing. Why do you think I cosplay him? Cause freaking everyone loves Ness. Why do you think he was in Smashbros? ALL THREE GAMES MIND YOU!  If Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, the whole roster of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were all in a fight against Ness, you can bet your sweet

Someone cut him off please!  …. Thank you. Let's move on shall we while he fangasms in silence.
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Paula - She is the second character to join the group and the only girl of the four.  She is a well-known psychic around her home town of Twoson.  If you take a nap in the hotel in Onett, Paula will connect with you psychically through your dreams.  However when you get to Twoson to find her, she isn’t there anymore.  Asking around town reveals that she was kidnapped.  So wait.  She’s a powerful psychic who wasn’t able to inform anyone in her own household about her kidnapping, or stop the kidnappers in any way?  Come on!  But I guess we DO need our damsel in distress.



And in distress she surely is because after making it to the Happy Happy Villiage, you find that she’s being held captive to be used for human sacrifice by a man running a cult of blue klansmen who all worship a golden devil statue.  I did NOT make that up despite how imaginary that sounds.

After rescuing her, she joins the team complete with her hair bows, frying pan, and teddy bear.  And all the feminists in the world groaned unanimously!  Did I mention that she’s the ONLY character of the four that you don’t control?  That’s right Ness you control most of the time and both Jeff and Poo have segments where you control them, but not Paula.  But hope is not lost because she is an incredibly valuable asset to the team.  She may not have much offense or defense, but her PSI skills and ability to use plenty of them are higher than any other character in the game.  She can freeze, burn, or electrocute enemies when she’s not wailing on them with cast iron…which AGAIN makes me question how she got kidnapped but whatever.  She proves to be useful in other ways too.  When Ness and Paula are seduced into a hotel room by a bikini clad woman who is actually a ghost… just…just go with it.  It’s easier that way and I’ll get to that eventually.  She uses her psychic powers to call upon Jeff to rescue them.   Other than one tiny snag where she is kidnapped AGAIN by an alien inside a shopping mall and taken to an rich old man’s penthouse… SEE WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY THESE GAMES ARE WEIRD?  She sticks with you through thick and thin, pulls her weight and is the key essential to defeating the final boss.  
But that will come later. All in all, an awesome character.

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Let’s check on KoD shall we?

AND HE’S ALL LIKE SMAAAAASH!!  RIGHT IN THE SIDE OF THAT THING’S FACE! AND NOTHING CAN STOP HIM HE’S JUST SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME.  ONE TIME I WAS PLAYING THE GAME AND I WAS GETTING SURROUNDED BY

OFF!!  He’s got a mouth on him doesn’t he?  We’ll check back with him after Jeff.
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Jeff - He is the third member of our group.  He is an extremely smart “whiz kid” who can transform random pieces of junk into usable battle items.  We meet him in an all boy’s school after being woken up in his dreams by Paula seeking his help.  With some help from his friends he leaves the school with bottle rockets and a cap gun in hand as he ventures into the snowy wasteland of Winters.  Along with a monkey who flies by blowing bubble gum, he gets a ride on the Loch Ness Monster, goes through a cave maze, and trudges through cave man territory and all the way to his father’s laboratory just south of Stonehenge. 

 At this point in the program I honestly can’t say I’m surprised by any of that last sentence.  And I’m just going to have to stop pointing out every little thing that’s bizarre sounding in this game or we’re going to be here all year!  Now if we could only teach that monkey to dance it would be…… oh shoot I’m getting ahead of myself… that’s Mother 3.

 Jeff’s father is the famous Dr. Andonuts who has a flying device that is ready to be used.  Jeff climbs aboard and promptly crashes the thing into the graveyard of Threek which is where Ness and Paula were being held up.  Jeff uses a gadget to unlock the door for them and joins the team from that point on.    As I said before, Jeff is our whiz kid and he’s a ballistics expert using various guns and gadgets to defeat, debilitate, or delay the enemy.  The key to a good Jeff is plenty of bottle rockets and finding hotels/beds to sleep in because if you have broken items in his inventory some nights he will stay up and fix it/transform it into something useful rather than rest like the others.

Basically he’s an awesome companion to have and I’m glad he’s included in this bunch. 
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Well… someone get KoD back on.  Let’s see if he’s shut up about Ness yet.

 And that’s when I slid my shorts off slowly and

OFF! OFF! OFF! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD ON THIS PLANET OFF!!!! I need eye bleach!!  I NEED AN ADULT! 

... sorry just threw up in my mouth a little bit there...let’s just talk about the last character
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Poo - He is the fourth and final member of our quartet, and he doesn’t even appear till halfway through the game.  Similar to Jeff, when Poo starts his journey he is on his own and you control him for a while.  Unlike Jeff however, Poo didn’t come because the others were in danger.  We get introduced to Poo because Ness, Paula, and Jeff eat some “Magic Cake” that gives them a hallucination.  Sure it was cake and not BROWNIES? 

We meet Poo in his home city of Dalaam, a floating island that bears great resemblance to Tibet.  Why not?  He is about to undergo his final trial in his Mu training.  What is Mu?  Well we never really get to know but his final trial is to meditate.  At first it’s not a big deal.  Some guy comes and says that the master needs to see him but Poo is to just ignore that, but then it takes a turn for the dark and bizarre as a boss battle occurs against a ghostly face. 
You have no way of fighting this boss.  You have no way of defending yourself from this boss.  No way of recovery, nothing!  This ghost asks if it’s OK for him to break your legs, then your arms etc. You must answer yes to all of these eventually leading to where the screen is black and silent because only your subconscious is left alive.  The rest of you is broken and destroyed.  He asks if he can kill you.  You must accept his request.  As you prepare to die, the screen comes up and you have passed Mu Training.   Poo then teleports to Summers where Ness, Paula and Poo are currently and stays with them for a few adventures.

Poo adds a punch that was needed to the team.  His PSI Starstorm is an amazing attack and Poo is an absolute powerhouse.  The interesting thing about him is that he can only equip certain items.  The only weapon he can equip, the Sword of Kings, is impossibly difficult to find.  I spent 4 straight hours farming Starmen to get this stupid thing and never found it.   He’s an excellent addition to the team and you can easily see why he is one of the chosen.
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I… I’m almost afraid….. but…… KOD?  You there buddy?

HAVE YOU NOT HEARD A SINGLE THING I’VE HAD TO SAY THIS ENTIRE TIME?? QUIT MUTING MY AWESOMENESS YOU SON OF
...AND A BABOON’S LEFT BUTT CHEEK!!!


... well... On that note, let’s talk about the story!
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                                                                STORY

KoD, why don’t you just tell them basically the whole story because there’s so much in here they won’t really believe what they’re reading anyway?

OK, So let's talk about story shall we?  Basically as Ghost mentioned earlier, the game begins in the town of Onett with our hero Ness.  It's the middle of the night when a meteor crashes down awaking the young hero.  However, when he goes to see the meteor he’s stopped by the police and annoyed by his neighbor Pokey.  After realizing there’s really nothing he can do he heads back to bed.  Later that night, Pokey comes to your house about to break the door down because he and his brother Picky went to the meteorite but Pokey got scared and ran away.  To cover his tracks he blamed his brother being left behind on The Sharks, a local gang of kids on pogo sticks, skateboards, and hula hoops.

 So you, Pokey, and your dog King head all the way to the meteor when an alien bee called Buzz Buzz appears and dumps plot in your lap about a prophesy that four chosen children, three boys and one girl, will save the earth from Giygas, the Universe Destroyer.  You know… now that ghost mentioned it earlier in the Ness section, this DOES sound familiar.  Buzz Buzz joins your team for a while helping you defeat a space man as you take Pokey and Picky back home where their father spanks them.  You even hear the smacks coming from upstairs!  After a little bit of dialogue, Pokey’s mom swats at Buzz Buzz killing him.  But before he dies he has time to give you a very lengthy speech about how you need to find these eight sanctuary places and with the special sound stone record the sound to collect all of the eight melodies.

To record the eight melodies?????
THIS IS JUST MOTHER ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!

This is what makes Ness so amazing.  He’s not some sort of angtsy anti-hero who is out for salvation.  He’s just a born hero who is just an average kid.  So you attempt to head to the next town but the cops won’t let you pass.  So, to pass the time you just decide to take out the entire gang of sharks including their boss Franky and his giant robot, because I know that’s what I do in my spare time!  Since Ness is the main hero, he has convenient plot armor on him which ensures that he will not fail.  Long story short he defeats the Sharks from their reign of pogo-stick terror on the town.  The Mayor is so impressed that he gives you the key to a shack just north of town.  So you head there to find that behind the shack is the Great Step, the first “Your Sanctuary” places.  However to get to the spot where the melody can be heard you have to first defeat a GIANT RABID MOLE!!   So you beat the mole, get the sound then you’re off to Twoson, but in order to get past the roadblock you have to PROVE YOURSELF IN COMBAT WITH THE COPS??!!

Aren’t they supposed to serve and PROTECT?  Not gang up 6 to 1 on a small child?  I’m calling abuse of power here!  Well Ness’ plot armor holds strong as he hands each of them their butt on a doughnut platter and marches on towards Twoson.   Wow, six of Onett’s finest just being obliterated by a 13 year old boy with a baseball bat?  No wonder the world is going to crap!


So you make it all the way to Twoson but there’s really not much you can do there.  You eventually make it to Apple Kid’s house where he’s begging for food, and two hundred dollars.  You’ll want to give him both because he’ll be helping out a TON in the future.  You learn that Paula is missing from her home so, of course putting two and two together means that YOU of all people have to go find her.  Not, you know, her parents or the police.  You also run into a theatre where the band The Runaway Five is playing.  They are stuck in an awful contract and need a ton of money to get out of it.  Well nothing you can do about that now so let’s keep moving to the East. 
HEY wait a minute!! That’s a giant Blues Brothers Rip-off!!

Now Now, Ghost.  It’s not a rip-off  it’s a “Pop Culture Reference.”

… IT’S A RIPOFF!!!  And why are there six of them when clearly the name of the band is the Runaway FIVE? 

Mine is not to ask why, mine is but to

OH SHUT UP and get back to the story!

You reach the Peaceful Rest Valley….and I’m sorry I have to stop here because, “Peaceful Rest”?  This area of the game is SO FAR from it!  It’s got wild trees, exploding robots, and flying UFOs attacking you everywhere you turn.  This is FAR from a peaceful time.  Well you get so far into that area when you get stopped by a pencil statue….. A PENCIL STATUE!!

Luckily Apple Kid calls you and has created a Pencil Eraser that you can use to remove the statue.  So you get it, return, and make your way through the valley to Happy Happy Villiage.  A town filled with blue klansmen all in a religious cult who paint everything blue including the cows.  They meet in the main church under the guidance of Mr. Carpainter who can call upon the Mani Mani Statue to shoot lightning down at anything.  You investigate around and find Paula locked in a cabin and for whatever reason her MASSIVE Psychic powers can’t help her get out of there so you have to get the key from Carpainter.  She gives you the Franklin Badge which reflects lightning attacks and you fight Carpainter inside the church and defeat him thus rescuing Paula and she joins the team.  As you make it back to Twoson you fight a criminally insane guy named Everdread who gives you a bunch of money that you take to the theater to free the Runaway Five. 
They offer to take you in their bus all the way to Threed, the next town because you cannot walk there due to the ghosts.  That’s right ladies and gentlemen.  They are wanting the two 13 year old children to, in fact, get in the van.

The loudness of their bus’ music will make it so the ghosts don’t bother them.  Can someone please explain to me how a noisy rickety van keeps a ghost away?   I mean listen to this?  Is this anything that would bother a ghost?

MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP !!!

...Ghost,  You DO realize that this is only like maybe 1/8th of the game right?  If we keep all this up then this isn’t going to be a review it’s going to be an autobiography!!

*sigh* fine!  TO THE CLIFF NOTES!!!!



So, basically you get to the next town of threed that is overrun with ghosts and zombies. So THAT MEANS ONLY ONE THING!!

During this time is when Ness and Paula get trapped because of the bikini ghost lady.  Jeff goes on his adventure and rescues them joining the team. After the three of them run out the zombies using some sort of flypaper on the ground, you go through the graveyard and end up in a bizarre place called Saturn Valley home of the Mr. Saturn tribe who are being held captive to work in a factory for a talking pile of vomit.

You rescue the Mr. Saturns, drink some coffee and move on your way through the desert to Fourside City.  Paula gets kidnapped so you have to rescue her from the aliens in the mall to find out you need to head to the local Café and enter the back room to head into Moonside, a tripped out world full of neon lights, invisible people and attacking fire hydrants which turns out to be an illusion set up by the Mani Mani Statue which you finally destroy.  Paula is actually at the top of the Monotoli Building with the CEO of the company.  As you arrive, Pokey takes a helicopter out of the place and heads on his way.  You all arrive in Summers where you eat some magic cake and witness Poo’s Mu Training before he joins.  You hear rumors that Pokey is in Scarabia, an Egyptian place, but only one sailor will take you there because of the Kraken attacking in the ocean.  You defeat the Kraken and end up in Scarabia where you find a mystical item in a Pyramid.  You keep traveling till you find a deep dark jungle full of monkeys and a tribe of tiny creatures who are shy so you have to find a book to get them over their shyness to talk to you.  They open a hole in the ground that you fall into and find live dinosaurs.

Throughout this point you have been collecting all of the melodies and the 8th one is in the underworld with the dinosaurs.  After all eight melodies are together, Ness passes out and enters Magicant, a place inside his mind where he must overcome his fears and unlock the potential of his character.  After he awakens they head back to Saturn Valley where Jeff’s Dad, Apple Kid, and a Mr. Saturn have been working on a time machine because Giygas isn’t even in this time plane, he’s in the past.  So Dr. Anodnuts slaps all of your mentality into robots and sends you back in the past to defeat Giygas once and for all.

SHEW!!!!  Now that doesn’t even scratch the surface on the story but for time’s sake that’s all you’re getting.  Let’s talk about something else finally!
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                                                           VILLAINS
Just like most RPGs there are mini-boss battles, regular boss battles, checkpoint baddies and all sorts of other things in your way to stop you.   However in this game there are really only two main villains and we’ll talk about them here.

 
Pokey Minch – Pokey is the neighborhood friend of Ness and is overall a coward and a bully.  At first you don’t  think much about him, but suddenly after defeating Carpainter and going to get Paula, Pokey shows up and explains that he’s working with Giygas then runs off still somewhat playing with your emotions that he’s a friend.  You don’t really see him again till Fourside where his family is now living and in extreme wealth because of his deals with Giygas.  We don’t actually have much to do with him here either because as soon as we get close to him, he leaves in a helicopter.


 There’s a slightly bizarre portion in Scarabia where you’ve heard rumors of him being around.  You never see him but you can sure smell him.  As in smell where he took a dump in the sand.  WUT??

You don’t really see him again till the final boss battle where he’s inside of a giant spider looking time machine.  He fights for a while with Giygas but after the battle gets too intense he uses the time machine and leaves for the future never to be seen again….in this game at least.
There’s really not a lot to say about him since you only fight him once and he’s only an annoyance.  There’s a good deal to say about him in Mother 3 but… this is NOT that review.

The REAL villain we have the “pleasure” of facing is that monstrosity himself.  Giygas.


Giygas – Now out of all the weird and bizarre things that have come from this game, what on earth could a final boss battle be?  Well it turns out that the final villain is, in fact, a vaporous being in the shape of an aborted fetus who was released from a machine which looked like a birthing canal which had Ness’ face slapped on it, in a room which looks kind of like a uterus.  WAIT WHAAAATTT???



Prepare for the scariest, mind wrecking, terrifying bosses in all of history... Enter Giygas the universal destroyer!  The whole game you've been trying to stop Giygas' evil plan to destroy everything and when you finally fight him this is what you get!! But…WHAT IS IT???  It's been confirmed that Giygas was at one point Giegue from Mother 1.  When Ninten defeated Giegue, the alien had such immense power his body was destroyed but nothing goes any further than that.  Are they meaning to tell me that this is the spirit and power of Giegue?  Giygas rambles incoherently to the point that Pokey calls him the Almighty Idiot.  I guess being without a physical body for so long can do things to you but this is just…. This is just wrong and terrifying.  It has also been stated that Giygas was based on a Rape scene that creator Itoi saw as a young child that scared him for life.  This explains some of the things that Giygas is saying during the battle like "It's not right," "It hurts,” and “I'm happy" to name a few.  Everything leading up to it is a clear indication as well. From the intestinal track you walk on to the Uterus Devil machine... Does it make sense now? You can clearly see it too in the pic ghost provided; you go back in time to abort a fetus!!

Did i mention that no matter how much you attack him your attacks will never hurt him? HE IS COMPLETELY IMPENETRABLE!! Yeah, you thought Resident Evil or those horror games were scary, didn't you? Well you haven't seen Giygas! It's hard to believe something this unstable created an army of starmen and corrupted poor Pokey's mind into not only doing Giygas' bidding but also left such a lasting impression that he does all those things in Mother 3 and.... I'm getting ahead of myself.  What makes it even worse is that you take damage from him but you have no idea how!  When he attacks the text comes up saying "You can not grasp the true form of Giygas' attack" and then a wave like attack gets sent at the party.  Sure you think you can just heal up constantly but sometimes his attack wave will INSTANTLY KILL EVEN IF YOU HAVE CHEAT CODES ON!!!!

Now how do you beat an unbeatable boss?  Well you pray.... NO LITERALLY!!  Paula begins to pray and slowly everyone in the world feels the need to pray for Ness, Paula, Jeff and Poo.  We see cutscenes every time Paula prays out for help of people around the globe pausing to kneel and pray.  As more people pray, Giygas receives more damage.  This finalizes in YOU, the player having prayed for the four of them which delivers the death blow to the evil one.  Verdict is still out on whether or not this is really amazing or really cheesy, but it's something i had never encountered before and thought this was a pretty good ending to a pretty silly game.

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                                                                   WHAT THE #$(#%&
Many games have moments in them where you just have to sit back and wonder WHAT WAS THAT???!!!  And this game is definitely no exception.  Actually, this series is probably the grandfather of all things messed up.  If we were to label everything that was weird or that made us double take we'd be here all day, but here is just a list of some of our favorite WTF moments.


Teleporting Monkeys
While you're in the desert, you will eventually come across a hole in the ground which is a massive cave full of monkeys who want items in order to pass through.  Once you get to their master's room he will teach Ness the skill of teleportation.  A skill that was passed down to his monkeys.  You exit the cave and one of the monkeys shows you how to teleport. 

This comes right out of absolutely nowhere.  What was going on that could cause teleporting monkeys?  OH... i see the answer in the screenshot. DRUGS!



 We All Live in a Yellow Submarine - 
While going through one of the more confusing mazes of the game, you find that it's not only a maze but it's a museum.  Things such as ducks, bears, and all sorts of creatures are on display.  However in keeping consistent with the Pop Culture references, there happens to be a section of items and one of which is a curiously colored submarine.

You even climb aboard this and ride around for awhile before getting to the deep swamp where it cannot reach.  It was a weird but funny inclusion




 Dark Side of the Moon -
Moonside is one of those places you will never forget.  The Neon lights, the nonsense spewing from everyone's mouth, the invisible barriers, as well as the enemies you fight on here.  I'm pretty sure there are people on acid right now that aren't as messed up as this place!  Everything is upside down, Yes is no and no is yes, men in Hawaiian shirts teleport you across the map.  It's worse than if Pee Wee's Playhouse were dumped into Wonderland.  

You go here when you enter the back room of a cafe.  In Japanese it makes more sense as you are entering a bar.  I'm pretty sure absinthe must have been present!



The Pseudo Legendary Substance -
This one wouldn't have been quite so much of a WTF as it is hilarious.  There is an item in the game called a Bag of Dragonite.  It is a rare item that turns you into a dragon for a turn and obliterates the enemy somewhat.  I first off find it funny that it's a substance in a bag.  Much like what was probably going on in the production studio at the time.  But fans of the Pokemon Series may recognize the name.  









 
That is partially due to the fact that HAL Laboratories was one of the development companies responsible for earthbound.  They also went on to become the pioneer developers of the Pokemon series.  



 Fuzzy Pickles -
 All throughout the gameplay, at random intervals the game will just pause as a trumpet of triumph playes.  Slowly some guy in a top hat spins down from the clouds and spills out the same words every time.  He is a photographer and he just randomly appears to take your picture.  Instead of saying "say cheese"  he says "say fuzzy pickles"   Then he just jets back up into the atmosphere as if he were ascending into heaven.  WHAT????!!!






Magicant - ALL OF IT
As mentioned before after the eight melodies are gathered Ness enters a world inside his mind called Magicant.  He spends his time running around very trippy scenery as everyone he has had major contact with is represented in some way.  Some things are literal some things are abstract.  He eventually has to fight his way through Kraken invested waters to fight away his fear taken the shape of the Mani Mani statue.  The whole thing is massively out there and has such a whimsical soundtrack it's a lot of fun but a lot of crazy.




That's not even the worst of it.  Want to see a screenshot of the Japanese version? 
That's right folks, in the Japanese version of this section, Ness is completely nude minus the hat.  WHAT THE HECK?!!!

 Puberty is Rough
 As it was mentioned several times before, once Ness and Paula get to a certain point in Threed, they run across a blonde woman wearing a bikini in front of the Hotel.  As Ness and Paula approach her she runs inside the hotel and quickly heads to the back room.

Looks like Ness wants a little something extra that evening huh?  Too bad that his latest blonde girl fetish is going to prove to be not exactly what he hoped.  As soon as he enters the hotel room after her, Paula and Ness are jumped by ghosts and zombies  further proving that you shouldn't follow blonde girls into hotel rooms because you don't know how many disease ridden men have already been in there or even currently are in there. BOOM!!  But I do have to give this game credit for including how 12 year old boys react to women in bikinis


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                                               Lasting Legacy of This Game

Earthbound, no the Mother series as a whole, has been around for over 20 years and while they might not be the most widely accepted games by the viewing public, even to this day their fanbase is growing stronger and stronger.

The mother fans are loyal and are constantly spreading the word about how great Eartbound, as well as the entire seires, is to people interested or those who don't really know a lot by the series. It's worth mentioning that there's a Mother series forum known as Starmen.net for absolutely everything Mother Series. So while at the time of it's release Earthbound was a commercial failure in the United States, the community of fans has grown exponentially and these three games can only be looked at as grossly underrated gems in Nintendo's history.  These three games stand above their competition by being different, by not taking themselves overly serious, by having passion and humanity poured onto their code.  They are some of the best RPGs ever made, no, some of the best GAMES ever made.  Sadly due to the fact that it's full potential was not realized until long after production finding a copy of this game is difficult and very expensive.  A standard Earthbound cartridge without box goes anywhere from $150 - $275 a piece!!

I feel Earthbound and the rest of the Mother Series has had a lasting effect on me and not just because of stuff like Smash Bros or the fact I cosplay Ness. Mother series has always had a special place in my heart because of the fact its one of those games that defines its own rules.  It makes fun of itself while also making fun of other games in the genre.  It took a risk by not being overly serious but having serious and heart wrenching moments when necessary and when it was good.  I would personally recommend this game to ANYONE out there even if you aren't a large gaming fan. I suggest anyone who reads this review go check out earthbound if you can get your hands on it as well as the other two games in the series. You will not regret it


There... I think I've done what I came to accomplish. 

Does that mean you're leaving now?

Yes i must go, the internet calls out for the King of Darkness!  Oh and you better do a Mother 3 Review and I had BETTER be invited next time!!  OR ELSE!


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                                                       CONCLUSION 

There is SO MUCH i could say about this game that i just don't have time to do it.  I believe KoD pretty much said it all when he said that this game is one of the greatest games ever made.  It's a shame that the series as a whole ended up getting the shaft as much as it did.  I'll be honest  I prefer this game ten times over modern games.  It's something that never gets old and something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  The chance of you getting to play it is relatively slim but if you can ever borrow it or get your hands on it somehow it's definitely worth every penny and every moment you can spare on it

And I leave you with a 2010 rendition of the ending theme to the game; a beautiful piece of music called Smiles and Tears which unfortunately didn't make the cut for Super Smash Bros Brawl.


This is Ghost, fading into the darkness.
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