EarthBound Universe (MOTHER, see below) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's cult-classic trilogy RPG series titled EarthBound. The second game of the series, EarthBound, stars Ness, a child psychic, while the third game in the series, MOTHER 3, stars Lucas, who similarly was granted psychic powers. The series was created by Shigesato Itoi, and the franchise's symbol is the Earth, which itself is a recurring theme in the EarthBound series.
In 1989, MOTHER was released for the Famicom in Japan, which constituted an unorthodox take on the RPG genre thematically; whereas most RPGs depict knights and wizards in pseudo-medieval settings such as Final Fantasy, the game is set in a suburban area in America in 1980. It depicts a young, psychically gifted boy named Ninten as a silent, blue-capped protagonist who must journey across the planet to save it from an evil race of mind-controlling extraterrestrials. Along the way he is joined by a pink-dressed psychic girl named Ana, a bespectacled and gadget-minded boy named Lloyd and a street gang leader named Teddy who is skilled in fighting abilities (although he replaces Lloyd for as long as he's in the party). Together the four meet many unusual characters and visit strange settings before ultimately confronting the leader of the aliens, the entity Giegue. The game was a smash hit in Japan, and Nintendo of America fully localized and translated it for a planned U.S. release under the name "EARTH BOUND", but the game was ultimately deemed unprofitable for a US release because the Super Nintendo Entertainment had since been released and the NES was becoming outdated, so it was canceled.
The distant sequel to the game, MOTHER 2, did see an American release, however, and it received the name EarthBound in its forerunner's place. It takes place sometime after the first game and depicts Giygas (the American form of Giegue from MOTHER) returning to defeat humanity. The rest of the full cast of characters are new, but extremely similar to the characters of the first game, enough that they may be considered spiritual counterparts. The main character is a young, psychically gifted boy named Ness as a silent red-capped protagonist who must journey across the world starting in the continent of Eagleland, a parody of the USA, to confront Giygas as he was instructed to by an insect-like alien named Buzz Buzz. Starting from his hometown of Onett and traveling through cities such as Twoson, Winters, and Fourside, Ness is joined by a pink-dressed psychic girl named Paula, a bespectacled and gadget-minded boy named Jeff, and an oriental prince and martial arts master named Poo. The game was immensely successful in Japan, but it did not sell well in the U.S. because it was released at a time when graphically superior and highly-hyped RPG titles for the Super NES such as Final Fantasy 6 (released as "3" in North America) and Chrono Trigger (widely considered to be one of the best RPGs of all time) were being released as well. However, the game has since developed one of the strongest cult followings in North America, a community which is still thriving even today. Eventually, Earthbound would be released internationally on the Wii U eShop in 2013.
While EarthBound became a cult classic in the years after its release, it was still undeniably obscure in the gaming community by 1999. To the intrigue of the community worldwide, Masahiro Sakurai decided to include Ness as a secret playable character in 1999's Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64, and Ness and additional EarthBound properties were featured in its 2001 sequel Super Smash Bros. Melee. This inclusion in the popular fighting-game series may have driven EarthBound's strong cult following in the United States many years after its original release. In addition, during this time Nintendo was developing the series' third and final instalment for N64DD, but the N64DD ended up being a commercial failure in Japan, so the game wound up being canceled. In 2003, a compilation of the two existing games, MOTHER 1 + 2, was released in Japan for Game Boy Advance.
After a multi-year hiatus, the third and apparently final instalment in the series was finally released in Japan on April 20th, 2006. MOTHER 3 for Game Boy Advance is indeed EarthBound 64 retooled for the hand-held, and it was released to critical praise and success as before. It is a multi-chaptered story with far darker and more emotional elements than the previous game, although the player will no longer be controlling multiple characters in a group like the previous game. However, despite the darker story, it still retains many humorous and bizarre elements that are common to the series. The various playable characters are made to be main characters of different chapters, unlike in previous games when a group of four children would be consistently controlled throughout. The game revolves around a boy named Lucas and the trials and tribulations of him and his family and friends as they fight against the threat of a mysterious group called the "Pig Mask Army" at his home of Nowhere Island. The game was never released outside of Japan due to the fact that the last instalment didn't sell as well in the U.S as it did in Japan, and in response, EarthBound's cult fanbase has translated its ROM image entirely into English and released it on the Internet for emulation players in October 2008.
Despite the series's presence in the Super Smash Bros. Series dating as far back as the original game on the Nintendo 64, the franchise has seen no presence in Europe outside of its inclusion in the Super Smash Bros games until 2013, where the second game in the series; EarthBound, made its début in Europe, via the Virtual Console service, marking the first time a game from the MOTHER series has reached Europe.[note 1]
The series is known for spectacularly defying the thematic conventions of most other role-playing games, in that games take place in postmodern settings: weapons consist of baseball bats, frying pans, yo-yos, and toy guns; in-game currency is measured in American dollars; and the fact that the series is among the most bizarre, psychedelic, self-referential, and satirical game franchises ever created. With enemies ranging from evil hippies, scalding cups of coffee, and runaway pooches; with dialogue and situations serving as social commentary on modern life that sometimes breaks the fourth wall, and a race of strange little creatures called Mr. Saturn whose in-game text dialogue is presented as kindergarten scrawl, the series, at least EarthBound in particular, is known for its offhandedness. The only thing seemingly down-to-earth about it, is that its battle screen is based on the old battle screen layout of the Dragon Quest RPGs.
List of games in EarthBound/MOTHER franchise
- MOTHER (1989, Famicom)
- EarthBound Beginnings (2015, Nintendo Wii U eShop)
- EarthBound/MOTHER 2 (1995, SNES)
- EarthBound 64/MOTHER 3 (Nintendo 64, cancelled)
- MOTHER 1+2 (2003, Game Boy Advance) (Japan only)
- MOTHER 3 (2006, Game Boy Advance) (Japan only)
In Super Smash Bros.
EarthBound is one of the "bonus franchises" in the original Super Smash Bros., for it contributes one unlockable character, and a song (his victory theme). There are no stages based on EarthBound in the game (Ness has to be fought in Kirby's stage in order to be unlocked, possibly because both games were developed by HAL Laboratory).
- Ness: A boy living in the town of Onett, Ness is gifted with psychic powers. He is chosen by a little alien named Buzz Buzz to save the world from Giygas, a malevolent entity which is causing the citizens and animals of his town and others to become hostile. To do this, he must first travel to eight sanctuaries and record the eight melodies there in his Sound Stone (given to him by Buzz Buzz), then he must combine those melodies and make the "Sound Stone melody", which will give him the power of the Earth necessary to defeat Giygas at the end of the game. (The second half of the melody comprise Ness' fanfare in the Smash series.) All of Ness's Special Moves (PSI Magnet, PK Fire, and PK Thunder) were used by Paula, not Ness in EarthBound. Ness is currently middle tier by the Smashboards community. Ness's also has a Final Smash called "PK Starstorm", but it was used only by Poo.
- 24: The victory fanfare of Ness is a shortened, orchestrated version of the second half of the Eight Melodies (the full song is called "Smiles and Tears", not to be confused with the Eight Melodies from the prequel, MOTHER) that Ness collects throughout his journey at the eight "Your sanctuary" spots in EarthBound.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
EarthBound is a franchise whose representation in the Smash series is quite expanded upon in Super Smash Bros. Melee, with one character, two new stages, a new item, and many new trophies.
Lucas was supposed to replace Ness in Melee, but MOTHER 3 had not come out, so they kept Ness.Ness is still the only playable EarthBound character in the game, but with a new PK Flash chargeable explosion attack as his new Standard Special move.
Super Smash Bros. Melee is the first game to introduce stages for the EarthBound series.
- Eagleland: Onett: The quaint suburban hometown of Ness, its citizens and animals become hostile under Giygas' otherwise invisible influence. The red spherical meteor on the hilltop in the background is the alien Buzz Buzz's spacecraft, and when Ness investigates it he is instructed by Buzz Buzz to go on a quest to save Onett and the world from Giygas' influence. This stage takes place on and around houses and a drug store whose balconies serve as battling platforms. The road in front of the characters on the ground has speeding cars on it, and cars zooming past characters on the ground will almost definitely KO them.
- Eagleland: Fourside: The New York City-inspired urban metropolis in EarthBound manifests as a battle-on-skyscrapers-in-the-nighttime stage for Melee, and it can be said that this is the spiritual successor to the Saffron City Pokémon stage from the first Super Smash Bros. The layout of the stage allows for bottomless pits in between buildings, so this is the most conceivable stage where the Wall jump technique can be used to save oneself from a fall. In addition, from time to time a UFO piloted by a henchman of Giygas called a Starman (not to be confused with the Mario powerup of the same name) will materialize above the city and serve as an extremely slippery platform. This stage is banned by many tournament legal standards.
Melee introduced another item for the series as well:
- Mr. Saturn: A race of odd little creatures with big noses, whiskers, and the ability to talk, Mr. Saturns are encountered as friendly NPCs by Ness in EarthBound. They make their home in an area of Eagleland called Saturn Valley, and when they speak the text in the game is presented as hard-to-read kindergarten scrawl, and they often mix the words "boing", "ding", and "zoom" into their speech for unknown reasons. As a Melee item, a Mr. Saturn is an intentional "dud" item. It walks around on its own, and it can be picked up and hurled at opponents for minor damage, but it can be reused this way because it does not disappear after one use. In addition, several bonuses are available based on the usage of these creatures.
- 19: MOTHER: Music not heard in EarthBound for SNES. It is actually a combination of three tracks from the original MOTHER for Famicom, the first track being the song Bein' Friends, the overworld and town song that plays when Ninten (the main protagonist of MOTHER) has another character in his party, the second being the Eight Melodies that Ninten collects throughout the game, and the third being a clip from the title theme (which would later be the shared victory theme for Ness and Lucas in the third Super Smash Bros.). The music also ends with an enemy encounter tune, which appears in both MOTHER and EarthBound. It is heard in Eagleland: Onett.
- 20: EarthBound: Synthesized music heard prominently in EarthBound, this is the official theme for the city of Fourside in both the game and in Melee's Eagleland: Fourside stage, with the first quarter of EarthBound's Sound Stone song inserted at a point (the second half, incidentally, comprises Ness' victory fanfare).
- 35: MOTHER 2: The song's real title is Pollyanna. This quaint soft rock is a heavily extended version of a track heard in "EarthBound" (known as "MOTHER 2" in Japan) whenever Ness returns to his house during his quest. The track first appeared, however, in the original MOTHER, as the typical overworld music that plays when Ninten is the only character in his own party. It also appeared in MOTHER 3. It is heard as a secondary track on Eagleland: Onett.
- 47: Ness's Victory: The victory fanfare of Ness is a shortened orchestrated version of the second half of the "Sound Stone song" that Ness collects throughout his journey.
Full Trophy List
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The content from the EarthBound franchise have been given a major representation since Melee with two playable characters and another item in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Lucas: The protagonist of MOTHER 3 and the most recent hero of the series is a newcomer to Brawl. Although his Final Smash, as well as most of his Special Moves are similar to Ness's, Lucas' standard moveset is quite different from Ness'. One of Lucas' colour swaps makes him look like his twin brother from MOTHER 3, Claus.
- Ness: The protagonist of EarthBound and unofficial mascot of the EarthBound series consisting of MOTHER, EarthBound/MOTHER 2 and MOTHER 3 was confirmed to be returning in Super Smash Bros. Brawl by the opening sequence of the game and by the Dojo on February 1, 2008, retaining his old moveset.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), the EarthBound characters occupy the eighth column alongside the Fire Emblem characters. A curious fact is that both of these series were originally Japan-only RPG series that later saw at least one entry released in the West.
- Porky Minch: Porky appears as a boss in Brawl's Subspace Emissary mode. Porky's supposedly robotic statue form, chases Lucas around The Ruined Zoo. Ness retaliates against the giant statue and uses a PK Flash to destroy it. When the statue crumbles, a mechanized spider-looking machine appears with the body of Porky in the centre.
- Jeff Andonuts: Jeff uses his bottle rocket launcher and launches homing missiles at all opposing characters.
- New Pork City: An enormous stage akin to Melee's Temple stage. Based on the locale from the Japan-only MOTHER 3, a beast known as the Ultimate Chimera makes an appearance here.
- Melee Stages: Onett: One of the few stages known to return from the previous game, it has only some minor differences such as a few areas that differ and the addition of My Music, as well as the knockback from the cars having been significantly lowered since Melee. Otherwise, it's unaltered.
Two items are in the game:
- Mr. Saturn: Confirmed in a screenshot shown at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, Mr. Saturn appears to be unchanged from his Melee appearance: minimal damage when thrown, but breaks shields within an instant.
- Franklin Badge: This equip-able item from EarthBound is an item in Brawl. In the original game it could reflect electricity-based attacks back at the attacker; in Brawl, it is worn by a character for a short while, making him immune to all projectile-based attacks, which get reflected back in the direction whence it came.
- Porky's Theme - The theme of Porky, main villain of MOTHER 3, and his Pig Mask Army. This remix is taken directly from the MOTHER 3i soundtrack (with the Log-O-Type part of the song taken from another remix in the MOTHER 3i soundtrack). It is used on the New Pork City stage.
- Unfounded Revenge/Smashing Song of Praise - A remix and combination of the two boss battle songs of the same name from MOTHER 3. It is used on the New Pork City stage.
- MOTHER 3 Love Theme - Taken from MOTHER 3, this song is a remix of the "Theme of Love" song from the MOTHER 3 and is the main theme of the game. It is used on the New Pork City stage. This song also plays during Lucas's Classic Mode credits.
- You Call This a Utopia?! - The background music of New Pork City from MOTHER 3, which is another remix of Porky's Theme. It is the theme of the New Pork City stage.
- Humoresque of a Little Dog - A whimsical song taken from the very first MOTHER game, the Drug Store theme from EarthBound, and in Porky's jukebox in MOTHER 3. It is used on the New Pork City stage.
- Snowman - A redone version of a song that is used in every single MOTHER game. It is very similar to the MOTHER 3i soundtrack's version (minus the chanting and added instrument after first loop). It is used on the New Pork City stage. This song also plays during Ness's Classic Mode credits.
- MOTHER (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Onett stage.
- MOTHER 2 (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Onett stage.
- MOTHER (EarthBound) Series Victory Theme - Lucas and Ness's victory theme. Taken from the title song of MOTHER.
Hackers have found unused music in the game. This series has more cut out music than any other series.
- PK Starstorm (Lucas)
- PK Starstorm (Ness)
- Mr. Saturn
- Franklin Badge
- Pig King Statue (known as Porky Statue)
- Ninten (MOTHER)
- Ana (MOTHER)
- Lloyd (MOTHER)
- Teddy (MOTHER)
- Little Saucer (MOTHER)
- Mad Truck (MOTHER)
- Devil Car (MOTHER)
- New Age Retro Hippie (MOTHER)
- Ness (EarthBound)
- Paula (EarthBound)
- Jeff (EarthBound)
- Poo (EarthBound)
- Porky (EarthBound)
- Starman (EarthBound)
- Master Belch (EarthBound)
- Mr. Saturn (EarthBound)
- Lucas (MOTHER 3)
- Claus (MOTHER 3)
- Kumatora (MOTHER 3)
- Duster (MOTHER 3)
- Boney (MOTHER 3)
- Salsa (MOTHER 3)
- Hinawa (MOTHER 3)
- Flint (MOTHER 3)
- Pig Mask (MOTHER 3)
- Mr. Saturn (MOTHER 3)
represented in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Veterans Ness and Lucas return, with Lucas returning as a Downloadable Character.
- Ness: Ness returns as an unlockable character in the Nintendo 3DS version, but back in starter form in the Wii U version. His appearance is closer to his original game; he has a thinner body and his clothing has much brighter colours. Overall, most of his moves are buffed, whether they are faster or stronger, making him more viable than the past three games. Interestingly, some of his custom moves are based from Lucas's special moves. Ness is one of the few characters to be given new voice clips.
- Lucas: Lucas returns as a downloadable character that is available for purchase starting in June 14th, 2015. Like Ness, he now has brighter-coloured clothing and constantly wears a smile. Despite being nerfed in transition from Super Smash Bros. Brawl to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, he has indirect buffs from the nerfs of characters that counter him, which makes him play relatively better against the rest of the cast than in Brawl.
- Starman: A Starman will attack using PK Beam and will teleport around the stage similarly to how it moves in EarthBound. It can be reflected and absorbed by opponents, but PK Beam won't be reflected or absorbed by the fighter who summoned the Starman.
- Jeff: Jeff returns from Brawl unchanged.
- Starman: Starman acts the same way it does as an assist trophy. Unlike his assist trophy form, its PK Beam can be reflected and absorbed.
- Devil Car: The Devil Car appears an an enemy in Smash Run. Having a lot of HP, the Devil Car runs over opponents with great power.
- Mr. Saturn: Appears as an item once more unchanged.
- Franklin Badge: Appears apparently unchanged from Brawl.
Nintendo 3DS Version
- Magicant: An unlockable stage based off of an area from both EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound. However it is based on its appearance in MOTHER, which is housed inside Queen Mary's mind, though some elements are from EarthBound. A Flying Man will sometimes appear on the right side of the stage as a stage hazard. If a character touches one, it will fight along that character's side similar to an Assist Trophy. The Flying Man can be defeated by other players. Should one be defeated, another Flying Man will spawn in the same area after some time. After five Flying Men have been defeated, they will not spawn for the rest of the match. Occasionally, a "rip" in sky will open in the background and shows moments from EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound.
Wii U Version
- Onett: A returning stage from Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl. Other than some graphical updates and two mailboxes missing, the stage is essentially the same as it appeared in Brawl.
- Pollyanna (I Believe in You): Once known as MOTHER2 (Melee), this song now has its original name. The track has been made to loop earlier on than in previous instalments, effectively shortening the length of the song and eliminating its traditional ending. The song originally came from Melee.
- Onett: Previously known as MOTHER/EarthBound Beginnings (Melee), this song is the theme of the Onett stage, and is unchanged from Melee.
- Magicant / Eight Melodies (Mother): A peaceful remix of the music that plays in an area of the same name in EarthBound Beginnings. This track plays in the stage Magicant on the Nintendo 3DS version and on Onett in the Wii U version.
- Snowman: Coming straight from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it is a remixed version of a song that has been in every EarthBound game.
- Onett Theme / Winters Theme: A remix of the Onett theme from EarthBound, which then transitions into a remixed version of the Snowman theme, despite the name of the song stating that it contains the Winters theme.
- Smiles and Tears: A remix of the track by the same name used in EarthBound. This is the alternate music for the Magicant stage in the Nintendo 3DS version and plays on Onett in the Wii U version.
- Porky's Theme: Taken directly from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and used on the Onett stage.
- Unfounded Revenge / Smashing Song of Praise: Remains unchanged from Brawl. The only unlockable song from the EarthBound/Mother series in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
- Mother 3 Love Theme: Taken directly from Brawl, and used on the Onett stage.
- Victory! EarthBound Series: From Brawl, a sped up version of the EarthBound Beginnings Title theme. This song is Ness's and Lucas's victory theme.
Nintendo 3DS Version
Wii U Version
- ↑ If Lucas has not been downloaded, the name of this trophy is simply "PK Starstorm".
- Earthbound (SNES)
- Dungeon Man
Games with elements in or from the Super Smash Bros. series
- Numerous tracks from MOTHER appear between the three games:
- The two music pieces featured on the Onett stage, known as "Mother" and "Mother 2" in this capacity, originated in MOTHER as "Bein' Friends" and "Pollyanna" respectively.
- More songs from MOTHER were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, these being "Snowman" and "Humouresque of a Little Dog". Another song, Eight Melodies, was originally planned to appear, but was cut from the final game.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Ness and Lucas's victory fanfare is a sped-up snippet of the opening theme of MOTHER.
- In Super Smash Bros. for 3DS Ness's home stage is Magicant from MOTHER.
- A Starmen, one of the main enemies in MOTHER, appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a trophy.
- The Franklin Badge from MOTHER appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an item and a trophy. In addition, the main characters of MOTHER, Ninten, Lloyd, Ana, and Teddy, appear in Brawl as stickers.
- The special moves PK Fire, PK Freeze, PK Thunder and PSI Magnet, first appeared in MOTHER.
Ness, the main protagonist of EarthBound, is a playable character in all Super Smash Bros. games. Paula, Jeff, Poo, the Runaway Five and a Mr. Saturn make a brief appearance in Ness's 1P Game "congratulations" graphic in Super Smash Bros., and are featured as trophies in Melee.
In Melee, Onett, the first town from the game, becomes a starter stage, complete with the meteor in the background and a "Runaway Five" bus. The metropolis of Fourside is an unlockable stage. Mr. Saturn is featured as an item.
In Brawl, Jeff Andonuts is now an Assist Trophy. He fires Multi Bottle Rockets at opponents in several waves of five, the number of waves being random per summoning. The Franklin Badge, a lightning-repelling badge which Ness receives in Happy Happy Village, also becomes an item. Porky Minch is a boss in the Subspace Emissary, although his design is taken from MOTHER 3.
EarthBound trophies include:
- Ness (SSBB)
- PK Starstorm (Ness)
- Mr. Saturn
- Franklin Badge
- Jeff [PK] Attack +24
- Master Belch [Bite] Attack +9
- Mr Saturn - Carry Mr Saturn
- Ness [PK] Attack +33
- Paula [PK] Attack +10
- Poo [PK] Attack +9
- Porky [PK] Attack +15
- Starman [PK] Attack +10
Data was found in indicating that four songs from the EarthBound series, three from EarthBound itself, were intended to be used in the game but ultimately did not appear. The reason for this has not been clarified, but in the case of one of the songs it may be related to a copyright issue, which is generally theorized to be the reason for the ongoing lack of a release of EarthBound on the Virtual Console.
- Because I Love You
- Smiles and Tears
- Hippie Battle Medley
Originally, Lucas, the main character of MOTHER 3, was supposed to replace Ness in Super Smash Bros. Melee. However, since the Nintendo 64 version of the game was canceled, Ness remained. However, Lucas is in the next game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Porky Minch's design from this game is also used as a boss in The Subspace Emissary, although he does not appear as frail as he does in MOTHER 3. Also, in The Subspace Emissary (and to a lesser extent New Pork City), the Porky Statue (called the King Statue during battle) makes an appearance.
- Boney [PK] Attack +16
- Claus [PK] Attack +13
- Duster [PK] Attack +4
- Flint [Specials: Indirect] Attack +4
- Hinawa [Battering] Resistance +4
- Kumatora [PK] Attack +11
- Lucas [PK] Attack +13
- Mr Saturn [PK] Attack +7
- Pigmask [PK] Attack +7
- Salsa [PK] Attack +9
New Pork City from Chapter 8 appears as a level in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It is a large sprawling stage (similar to in the actual game) that is actually just outside an accurate replica of New Pork City from MOTHER 3. The Ultimate Chimera and flying Limousine occasionally turn up at some points during brawls.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl contains various themes originating from MOTHER 3.
- Porky's Theme
- Unfounded Revenge/Smashing Song Of Praise
- Mother 3 Love Theme [Mom's Hometown]
- You Call This a Utopia?!
- Eight Melodies (later removed for unknown reasons)
- PSI powers page on EarthBound wiki
- Official MOTHER website
- Official MOTHER2 website
- Official MOTHER3 website