Game Club Episode 2: Earthbound

The first episode of the Game Club podcast went really well, and the participation from the community was awesome! The idea is that we pick a game once a month to play, announce it here on the forums, then record a podcast about it. We want and need you guys to participate. All you have to do is play along with us, and send us your thoughts either by posting here on the forums, or sending an email to Simple!

For the next episode, we’ve picked the 1994 SNES game, Earthbound. We should be recording sometime in the middle of September. We will let you know a date when we’ve settled on one.

I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

If you missed the first episode, be sure to check out the recording here: and the discussion here: Game Club Podcast, Danganronpa

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You can grab a copy of Earthbound on the Wii U Virtual Console. Here is a link:

Looks like they also have the classic player’s guide that came with the SNES game on the site as well.

I’m really excited to finally play through this game all the way!

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Super stoked! This game really set fire to my soul and is part of the fuel of why I still play video games today. Can’t wait to discuss this game and its history.

Here is something to get everyone jazzed! It is fan animation that took 4 years to make!

Ahh, Earthbound, the only game engaging enough that I was willing to put up with my glitchy SNES emulator long enough to beat it.

There are some absolutely fascinating fan theories (?) surrounding the game’s basic themes and the last hour or so. Here’s a link about it! With source links! Warning: spoilers.

Cracked Article about Video Game Urban Legends. Part Four covers Earthbound


Yeah there are a lot of crazy dark aspects I want to go over on the podcast.

The dark nature of Giygas, the scarier moments of the game, the fact that there are promised sequels in each of the mother games (not sure about 3), the fact that the Happy Happy cult is based on a terrorist cult in Japan, development process, and how most of the music in Mother 1 was also used in Earthbound.

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Okay, cool. I was wondering if emulating it would work or not since I don’t have a WiiU (why it’s not on the 3DS virtual console is beyond me). I had heard that the game had some anti-piracy measures built in that would keep you from finishing it if you weren’t playing an authentic copy.

I didn’t even hear about the anti-piracy measures until after I had beaten it. I imagine a modern emulator can bypass it.

Open emulator talk sometimes isn’t allowed on other forums, so I’m a little nervous typing this.

Yeah, I’m like Karura. I hadn’t heard about any anti-piracy measures, even playing this on an emulator back in 2004.

I’m actually playing this on my phone. Over half way done.

There are places you can play it online and your savedata is cloud based.

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I’ve been meaning to respond to this for a couple of days. I’m slow!

I don’t mind emulators at all. I don’t mind people talking about them either. I’d rather not have links to instructions on how to download every SNES ROM and play them on your PC in the forum.

Emulation is important for preservation, and I think will become even more so in a digital only world.

My personal stance is that I think you should buy the game before emulating it if it’s in an easily purchasable format, but I don’t judge one way or the other.

I agree. I like emulators a lot but usually I have a select few developers that I really want to support that I try and purchase their games. I have a chest of games at my parent’s house that are full of unopened games. I usually emulate them so I don’t open them, but I buy them anyways. There is probably about 600-700$ worth of games there, for all systems, ranging from Legend of Kage 2 on DS, Punchout for the Wii, limited collectors edition bioshock 1 and 2, Feel the Magic and Rub Rabbits, Muramasa, 2 copies of FFT for PSP, 2 copies of Holy Invasion of Privacy Badman, and a lot of other stuff I cant remember.

I try and vote with my dollars. The only instance where I think it is morally alright to emulate is if the game you want to play is unavailable to you because it is out of print and your only choice is to purchase it used from gamestop or something similar. The developers are not going to see any of that money if you buy the game used so you might has well keep it and emulate it.

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There’s also the matter of fan translations for games that just aren’t available in English, MOTHER 3 being perhaps the biggest example.

I wish there were companies nowadays that could organize official emulation releases for old games on behalf of the developers/publishers, particularly in the case of games that never saw Western releases. I’m sure that’s just a massive cluster-bomb of legal complications, plus concerns of whether it’d even be profitable to get most of these games working (particularly ones that need translations). There’s plenty of undiscovered gems out there, and plenty of potential for new installments or reboots in series that could arise from a resurgence in popularity. (Heck, I’d try to get Tecmo to let me make a Radia Senki: Reimeihen remake if I headed an established studio.)

I hear this!

It would be cool if fan translators could get paid to get their translations to be official.

On the Mother 3 note, Tomato, the guy who headed the fan translation of Mother 3 has offered his script and code to HAL Laboratories and Nintendo in order for a Mother 3 release to release in America, but I don’t think they accepted it.

It’s easy enough to find things to love about Earthbound, but what about things it didn’t do well? Personally, I couldn’t stand having to look for the seeds in the desert. Literal games of “find the pixel” aren’t fun.

That wasn’t part of the mainline quest was it?All you really get is a little flavor text.

The battles towards the end were kinda hard, even after power leveling. I am at the final battle and I suppose the trek there should have been difficult. I mean it wasn’t impossible but fighting these hard enemies wasn’t exactly fun. You have those flashy golden starmen that reflect PSI attacks, and the robots that do damage after you defeat them and they explode. Bionic Kraken were easy enough to take out.

I think the biggest bummer I had with my playthrough would be finishing the dungeon at Stonehenge, but forgetting that the only weapon Poo can equip is gotten there. If you don’t get it then you won’t ever get it because after you beat the sanctuary guardian, the entire dungeon empties out and you can no longer fight the starmen there. There is a special starman in the dungeon called golden or royal starmen, and they have a 1/128 chance of dropping The Sword of Kings. This is the only weapon Poo can equip (besides the yo yos and slingshots that everyone can equip). If you equip any other weapon than this one, his attack will actually lower itself. Poo’s entire equipment list is like this.

Also, being able to ride a bike in Twoson and then having to give it up because it becomes useless after you get more than 1 person in your party is kind of a downer.

So it’s been a few days since I beat the game. The ending credits sequence is pretty damn cute.

Some general questions: Who else is playing through? Where are you guys at? How are you feeling about the game? What are you favorite parts? What parts of the game do you dislike?

Some deeper questions:

What is your favorite/least favorite PSI Attack? Mine has got to be freeze. Solid attack all the way, predictable and dependable. I usually throw in some PSI Thunder if I am feeling lucky or if I really need a hail mary pass. I think I found Brainshock to be the least useful. I’m not even entirely sure what it does to be honest. It never seemed to work for me.

What is your favorite/least favorite Jeff usable? Defense Shower gets an honorable mention. Nothing like increasing everybody’s defense by 10-15 each time you use it, and if you stack it a few times you get an extra +60 defense during a long boss battle. My favorite though has to be multi-bottle rocket. I was hitting quadruple digit damage attacks at times. 2000~3000. I think I actually even saw it do 17500 one time, but I don’t think that is even possible, maybe it was a fluke.

We’re going to be recording this episode next weekend, so get any emails (, questions, or comments sent to us before then so we can read them on the show. There’s a lot to talk about with this game, so send us your thoughts or questions about the game so we don’t forget anything!

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Last chance to get any comments in on Earthbound. We record tonight.

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Episode 2 is live!