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EarthBound is a role-playing video game developed by Ape Inc. and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo. Originally released in Japan under the name Mother 2, Earthbound is the second installment in the Mother series and the first to be released in North America. It was written, directed and produced by Shigesato Itoi, a Japanese writer.

The game follows the lead protagonist, a 13-year-old boy named Ness as he journeys to collect melodies from eight Sanctuaries in order to defeat the evil alien force Giygas. The game begins as Ness awakes in the middle of the night to investigate a nearby meteorite crash with his neighbor Pokey to find his brother Picky. They find that an alien force, Giygas, has enveloped and consumed the world in hatred and consequently turned animals, humans and objects into malicious creatures. Ness is instructed by a creature from the future to collect melodies in a Sound Stone to pre-emptively stop the force of Giygas. Ness meets three other kids along his travels, Paula a psychic girl, Jeff an eccentric inventor and Poo a martial artist who join him in his effort to stop Giygas.

Development of Earthbound began after the release of the first installment in the series Mother released for the Famicom in 1989. The game had a lengthy development period that spanned five years and was faced with repeated threats of cancellation until Satoru Iwata joined the team. Since two companies were working on the development of the game, responsibilities were split between two studios. Ape Inc had more resources working on the title and oversaw data aspects of the game while HAL Laboratory worked on the programming.

Some of the difficulties posed by the development of EarthBound were due to the data restrictions imposed by the Super Nintendo’s cartridge size. The game was initially designed to fit on an 8-megabit cartridge. However, it was later pushed to 12-megabit and then finally pushed onto a 24-megabit cartridge. Other aspects of the project that remained difficult were programming concepts that proved to be very difficult and time consuming to accomplish.

Development of EarthBound hit a wall with the programming of the game coming to a complete standstill. Nintendo suggested that Itoi meet with Satoru Iwata, a skilled programmer at HAL Laboratory at the time. Iwata inspected the programming and believed it would take 2 years to fix. He suggested starting from scratch as to complete a ground up rebuild would only take 6 months. Iwata was appointed lead programmer and the team moved forward with the rebuild. Iwata lived up to his word, and the team was able to finish the game in six months.

EarthBound became a great success in Japan however did not resonate with the North American audience the same way. At the time the North American market was largely indifferent on Japanese role-playing games and would remain that way until titles like Final Fantasy VII took the genre into the mainstream at the time of it’s release. EarthBound gained a cult following within North American building steam over time, later getting praise from North American critics for being ahead of its time, as well as for its storyline, graphics and humor. Now EarthBound is regarded by critics as one of the greatest RPGs on the Super Nintendo and is a cult classic.

EarthBound Logo
Developer(s)Ape Inc.
HAL Laboratory
License OwnerShigesato Itoi
PredecessorMother (JP)
EarthBound Beginnings (NA)
SuccessorMother 3
Platform(s)Super Famicom
Super Nintendo
Media TypeCartridge
ReleaseJP: August 27, 1994
NA: June 5, 1995
Development Time5 Years
RatingCERO: A
PEGI: 12
Rereleased Platform(s)Compilation
Game Boy Advance -2003

Virtual Console
Wii U -2013
Nintendo 3DS -2016

Game Screenshots:

Angry Video Game Nerd - EarthBound



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Shigesato ItoiShigesato ItoiProducer
Mr. Saturn Font Concept
Sampling Voices
Keiichi SuzukiKeiichi SuzukiComposer
Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu TanakaComposer
Sound Programmer
Akihiko MiuraAkihiko MiuraDesigner
Font Designer
Kōichi ŌyamaKōichi ŌyamaArt Director
Graphic Artist
Font Designer
Assistant Game Designers
Satoru IwataSatoru IwataCo‑Producer
Sound Director
Profile PlaceholderKouji MarutaProgram Director
Marcus LindblomMarcus LindblomTranslation Director
Chief Coordinator
English Text Writers
Masayuki MiuraMasayuki MiuraTranslation Director
Message Data Manager
Assistant Game Designers
Assistant Scenario Writers
Satoshi MitsuharaSatoshi MitsuharaProgrammer
Profile PlaceholderYoshimi TakahashiProgrammer
Profile PlaceholderSeiji OtoguroProgrammer
Profile PlaceholderBou NakajimaProgrammer
Seika AbeSeika AbeProgrammer
Yoshiki SuzukiYoshiki SuzukiProgrammer
Jun YamazakiJun YamazakiProgrammer
Toshiyuki UenoToshiyuki UenoProgrammer
Additional Music
Sound Staff
Profile PlaceholderTakashi SasakiProgrammer
Takashi SakumaTakashi SakumaProgrammer
System Engineer
Profile PlaceholderKazuo SatoProgrammer
Profile PlaceholderMakoto KanaiSystem Engineer
Profile PlaceholderHiroyuki SakiyamaGraphic Artist
Kōichi YamadaKōichi YamadaGraphic Artist
Makio KataokaMakio KataokaGraphic Artist
Tetsuya NotoyaTetsuya NotoyaGraphic Artist
Yasunori YanagisawaYasunori YanagisawaGraphic Artist
Graphics Data Manager
Tsunekazu IshiharaSpecial Effect Artist
Line Producer
Hitoshi MatsuiHitoshi MatsuiMessage Data Manager
Assistant Game Designers
Chief Debuggers
Profile PlaceholderHiroshi KanazuAdditional Music
Profile PlaceholderKozue IshikawaSound Staff
Profile PlaceholderIkuho HagiyaAssistant Programmers
Profile PlaceholderKatsuyoshi IrieAssistant Programmers
Assistant Game Designers
Map Checker
Profile PlaceholderTakehiko MasudaAssistant Game Designers
Profile PlaceholderChiaki YoshizawaAssistant Game Designers
Akihito TodaAkihito TodaAssistant Game Designers
Assistant Scenario Writers
Hiroyuki JinnaiHiroyuki JinnaiAssistant Scenario Writers
Dan OwsenDaniel OwsenEnglish Text Writers
Profile PlaceholderKeiko TamuraTranslators
Profile PlaceholderYuka NakataTranslators
Takumi AkabaneTakumi AkabaneChief Debuggers
Profile PlaceholderSean O'ConnorNOA Debug Coordinators
Michael KelbaughMichael KelbaughNOA Debug Coordinators
Profile PlaceholderTakahiro NagaiApe Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderJunichi AkamaApe Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderAkira MatsumotoApe Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderTohru HashimotoNintendo Debug Coordinators
Profile PlaceholderTatsuya HishidaNintendo Debug Coordinators
Profile PlaceholderKazuhide OhgoeNintendo Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderAtsushi MiyakeNintendo Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderHajime NakamuraNintendo Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderMao HamamotoNintendo Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderMayumi TadaNintendo Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderMakoto KedouinNintendo Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderKimiko TsuchidaNintendo Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderSayaka KomuraNintendo Debugging Team
Profile PlaceholderMapper KojimaMap Checker
Profile PlaceholderYukari SaitoSampling Voices
Production Manager
Profile PlaceholderHirokazu KoyanoSampling Voices
Special Thanks
Profile PlaceholderEtsuko KawanoSampling Voices
Profile PlaceholderTakashi WatanabeSampling Voices
Profile PlaceholderM. D. SeegerOpening Rock Guitar
Profile PlaceholderHironobu KakuiHardware Support
Shigeki YamashiroShigeki YamashiroHardware Support
Profile PlaceholderTakashi KawaguchiProduction Manager
Profile PlaceholderKeizō KatōProduction Manager
Profile PlaceholderIkuo HyakutaProduction Manager
Profile PlaceholderRyo KagawaCoordinators
Profile PlaceholderKazuyuki YamamotoCoordinators
Atsuko KawaharaAtsuko KawaharaCoordinators
Profile PlaceholderAkio OhmoriSound Producers
Profile PlaceholderRitsuo KamimuraSound Producers
Profile PlaceholderKenji AndoSpecial Thanks
Miyuki KureSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderTakayuki OnoderaSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderFukashi OmoritaSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderYukio TakahashiSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderKazuhiko AmemiyaSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderYasuhiro KumagaiSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderYoshio HongoSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderNaoko KanazawaSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderBenimaru ItohSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderMotohiro IshiiSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderMasao TottoriSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderNobuyasu MakinoSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderHiromi TamagawaSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderNancy YoshitakeSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderManabu FukudaNOA Producer
Shigeru Miyamoto Shigeru MiyamotoSupervisor
Hiroshi YamauchiHiroshi YamauchiExecutive Producers
Minoru ArakawaMinoru ArakawaExecutive Producers


Super Nintendo (North American Release)

Super Famicom (Japanese Release)


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