Oddities 20: Earthbound Insanity!


This is a collection of "oddities" from one of my favorite games, Earthbound. However, these contain some dialogue that is only seen after beating the final boss. There are no major plot spoilers. Most of this stuff isn't directly related to the plot at all, but if you'd still rather see everything for yourself, then simply do not go any farther!

Onett Arcade

Twoson Arcade

Earthbound has several of these little arcade rooms in the towns. It's too bad you can't actually play them, but if you look carefully at the games in the Onett arcade, you'll notice that one of the games appears to be Donkey Kong, and another one is Space Invaders. I don't know what, if anything, the other one is supposed to be. I also don't know what the Twoson arcade game is supposed to be, either. Also notice that the title bar (which appears to say "STAIR") is backwards on the Twoson machines, and so is the placement of the buttons and joystick. That's because these same machines appear in the Fourside department store, and the developers simply flipped the sprite for Twoson.

This is one of the strangest things I've seen in this game, maybe in any game. There is a single black and a single white pixel in the Dusty Dunes Desert that represent talking sesame seeds. You could very easily miss these if you didn't know to look for them. They don't serve any real purpose, but why on earth are there talking sesame seeds at all?? And they say they want to be together, so why Ness doesn't just pick them up and put them together, I'll never understand.

Oops! Too late!

Some people in Earthbound have way too much time on their hands.

Someone around here really likes the Beatles. There's both this Beatles joke (above left) and a yellow submarine (above right).

Is that anything like Chia Head?

Uhhh...no comment.

Here are two instances of the same character sprite getting drunk on coffee (one in Fourside, the other in Summers). This was due to Nintendo censoring the alcohol references from the American version. But if you look carefully, the glass in the character's hand is clearly a glass of beer, with foam spilling over the top. Notice his cheeks are rosy red, too. In a way, it's kind of funny to think that characters can get drunk on stuff like coffee and soft drinks.

Some of these Pharoah caskets in the Summers Museum have weird descriptions!

That explains a lot.

Always seems that way, doesn't it?

Some in-game RPG humor. Hey, this stuff could go with my "Things We've Learned From RPGs" article!

Why is she asking this of a little kid??

And here's the hilarious response if you say "yes".

Above Left: Notice the restrooms have Japanese lettering on them! (Okay, it's very tough to see...you have to look closely.)

UPDATE 04/27/08: Seems to be some controversy over this one. To me, it looked like squished down Kanji or Katakana (not a real expert on Japanese writing, am I?), but others have told me they think they're just "woman" and "man" symbols. If that's true, then whoever made those has an even weirder perspective on what men and women look like than whoever invented the normal bathroom symbols.

Above right: You know, I often wondered about these strange red trucks with a picture of a walking (running?) stick on them. They only appear in a few rare spots, and much less frequently than other vehicles in the game. I thought there may be some significance to them, but as it turns out, these were Coca-Cola trucks in the Japanese version of Earthbound (called "Mother 2"). But the Coke symbol (that white swishy thing) was removed and replaced with the walking stick. For more information on changes between Earthbound and Mother 2, check out this site: Mother 2 to Earthbound and Back Again. (External Link)

The hidden debug code!

Yes, Virginia, that is a party member.

This is one of Earthbound's best-kept secrets: The hidden debug code that can only be accessed via a Game Genie. This debug code allows you to do just about anything you want with the game. You can edit other playable characters into your party (such as the Dungeon Man, as I did in the second picture). You can edit any items into your inventory, jump to different locations and events in the game, and even use a sound test. There is even at least one song that isn't used anywhere in the game (though it's not a really great one.) For complete information on this Debug Menu, visit this site. (External Link) And for a save state (for ZSNES users) that puts you right into the debug menu visit Zophar's Domain. (External Link)

I think this is the funniest item usage description in the game.

How do you lose your shirt in a game of Solitaire??

Uh...Peperony and chease?

Is that a take on "Apollo Theater"?

Um, if I found something in the trash, I sure wouldn't want to eat it!

What is this game's odd fascination with bellybuttons?

UPDATE: According to site reader NintendoIke64, Easter Island is sometimes referred to as "The Navel of the World" or "The Navel of the Earth", and the talking rock in the lefthand screenshot looks a lot like a Moai Head, which are found on Easter Island.




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