What kind of a person do I want to be when I die?
August 8, 2013 12:57 PM   Subscribe

In anticipation of the Wii U Virtual Console release of EarthBound (Mother 2), Nintendo asked series creator Shiegato Itoi (official homepage) to say a few words about the game. What he wrote is nostalgic, heartfelt and perhaps even a little bit wise.

Itoi is a well known pop celebrity in Japan, famous for his copywriting and essays. He is the voice of Mei and Satsuki's father in My Neighbor Totoro and the co-author of a short story collection with Haruki Murakami, Yume De Aimashou* ("Let's Meet in a Dream"), as well as a number of other books.

Internationally, he is most commonly recognized as creator of the highly idiosyncratic set of auteur videogames, Mother, of which only the second has been officially released outside Japan under the title EarthBound.

An extensive interview was published in Nintendo Dream after the release of Mother 3, in which Itoi discusses all the happy accidents in that game's almost aborted development, making pancakes, the innocuous conspicuousness of amphibians, the importance of naming, the potential for games as a storytelling medium, becoming a better person, the extinction of humanity, the transience of all things, the importance of appreciating life while it lasts and how to break your readers' hearts in a single sentence.

* A comical short story that appears in EarthBound as part of a fictional magazine was rumored to be an excerpt from the collection with Murakami. Although this isn't true, the style of the book follows the same pattern of brief, wry humor.
posted by byanyothername (49 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
My favorite part of Earthbound are the two sesame seeds. In totally different places, found in obscure locations on the map. They serve no purpose. They're just there. EarthBound has a narrative tone and texture unseen in almost every game on Earth.
posted by The Whelk at 1:06 PM on August 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've been working on an Earthbound megapost, even went as far as to paste it into the post field, but finding a single thing to focus the post around that isn't a $10 download from Nintendo is difficult.
posted by JHarris at 1:07 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have never played Earthbound.

I consider myself a gamer and a poetry enthusiast.

That was some great poetry. I guess I should play Earthbound.
posted by 256 at 1:12 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess I should play Earthbound.

Yes, you should.

If you also enjoyed RPGs of that era, OMFGBBQ Why have you not played it already??!!
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:14 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm still not sure this is enough to help the WiiU sell.
posted by boo_radley at 1:15 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I sold my copy of Earthbound long ago (for $80, more than I got for Chrono Trigger) but it will always have a place in my heart.

Obviously the best part of Earthbound is the psychedelic tea breaks. Or the man who turns himself into a dungeon. Or all the Beatles jokes. Or having to call your mom to cure homesickness.

I'm terribly sorry, I'll come again.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:15 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Elementary Penguin: "I'm terribly sorry, I'll come again."

old video games are a hell of a thing, man, but you might be too nostalgic here.
posted by boo_radley at 1:16 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I sold my copy of Earthbound long ago (for $80

Can someone explain why this game commands such ridiculous prices? It's readily available(like a lot of other high priced SNES/n64 games), there's scads of copies on ebay and at local "classic game" shops and yet it's always really expensive. You would think that if it was the collectors item people claim it to be, it would be harder to get one. Like, wtf?

That said, i was also hoping someone could explain the feverish following of this game in general. I've played it, maybe 1/5th of the way through. I thought it was interesting and cool, and i liked a lot of things about it. I'm just struggling to get how it has this ridiculous following when it's probably on about the same level as say, ocarina of time to me.
posted by emptythought at 1:18 PM on August 8, 2013


My favourite part of Earthbound is the way that after you save the world you actually get a chance to visit all the places from earlier in the game and talk to the folk there. A huge number of NPCs have post-game dialogue. It feels so much more rewarding than a big cutscene.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 1:18 PM on August 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Earthbound is a beautiful world hampered by JRPG-style gameplay.

I pick it up every few months to give it a go, but I think I'm past the point where I can tolerate that amount of grinding. :-(
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:22 PM on August 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


I wish Nintendo would just release Mother 3 over here, already. The fan-translation is excellent, and was offered to them gratis, so it would cost them very little to drop it on the 3ds eShop. I don't get why they're dragging their feet so badly.

(I've tried to play it on emulator, but it just doesn't feel right. And GBA rom carts are impossible to find anymore.)
posted by rifflesby at 1:23 PM on August 8, 2013


This news has given a bunch of people a bit of hope that a Western release of Mother 3 is at least being seriously considered.
posted by blue t-shirt at 1:24 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tim Rogers' review is worth checking out.
posted by rustcrumb at 1:27 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm still not sure this is enough to help the WiiU sell.

At this point I'm not sure what will.
posted by kmz at 1:30 PM on August 8, 2013


Everything I've ever read about Earthbound has me convinced that I would love it. Have never had the opportunity to play it. So sad that it's not coming as a download for the plain old Wii, because the Wii U just isn't going to be in the budget for a while.
posted by jbickers at 1:32 PM on August 8, 2013


the Wii U just isn't going to be in the budget for a while.

You might be surprised.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:38 PM on August 8, 2013


Earthbound was the first RPG I loved. I'd sat next to friends as they played Final Fantasy III and listened to them blather about its arcane details, but something was putting me off.

Then, one day, I went to a Blockbuster to rent an SNES system (because poor, deprived me only had a Genesis at home) and picked out Earthbound as one of my rentals. All I knew about it was that it came in a large box, because each copy came with a strategy guide. Maybe it was the added shelf presence that inspired me to pick it up.

But once I started playing it and realized what it was, I figured out why I loved it. You didn't have a sword. You weren't riding a dragon or a wyvern or an ostrich. You weren't consulting books of spells. You weren't looting the corpses of your foes for gold pieces.

You were a kid with a baseball bat. You had a house and parents and a kid sister. You bought items at department stores. You got money from ATMs. To save the game, you called your dad. Of course, there were other elements in the game that made it fantastical, but they weren't of a type that I could put my finger on. It was a modern world gone weird.

Now, I'm not the most well-traveled geek, and I'm sure there's an earlier game that bucks the trend, one that I just haven't played. But Earthbound was the first RPG that I'd played that separated the mechanics of the system from its D&D origins. Even if it were half as good as it is, it'd be memorable for that reason alone.
posted by savetheclocktower at 1:46 PM on August 8, 2013 [8 favorites]


So sad that it's not coming as a download for the plain old Wii, because the Wii U just isn't going to be in the budget for a while.

It really bugs me that they've done a few shitty things here.

1. if you bought a game on the wii, you should be able to copy it over to the wii u. i mean come on

2. If they're going to keep releasing VC games that the wii would run fine, they should just release them on the wii as well as the wii u. No one is going to buy a wii u just to get some VC game.

I'm firmly in the camp of people who think they really bungled the backwards compatibility on the wii u. The way you launch the old system menu is slow and janky, and feels like a kludge. And the fact that nothing carries over feels really arbitrary and shitty when they're offering a whole lot of the same games.

Especially when they're giving you a discount if you owned the old games. It's like kicking you when you're down, because they're acknowledging they know you already paid for it and still charging you anyways.

It reminds me of when my fridge broke and my landlord tried to get me to pay for half of it. It just feels like a shady shakedown, and i don't think i'm the best at explaining why. If you bought a gamecube game, or a ps2 game, or an xbox 1 game no one was trying to charge you money to play it on the wii/ps3/360.

On preview actually, i remember exactly what this reminds me of. When apple tried to charge $5 for a driver update to enable wireless N. They eventually buckled and reduced it to $1.99, but refused to just say it was a bad call and make it a free update.

Charging someone for shit they already paid for is pure penny wise pound foolish shit. This is not the way to sell consoles when they're already getting whammed in the nuts here.
posted by emptythought at 1:51 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I usually try to play RPGs without consulting a strategy guide, gamefaqs, or the like, as it feels more "real" and also victories feel more like an accomplishment. Nevertheless, while I loved Earthbound, I don't think I would ever have figured out how to defeat the final boss without gamefaqs (I broke down and looked).*

*(SPOILER) You have to have Paula pray repeatedly.
posted by dhens at 2:03 PM on August 8, 2013


1. if you bought a game on the wii, you should be able to copy it over to the wii u. i mean come on

You can transfer every game you've downloaded on the Wii to the Wii U (except for Lost Winds, for some reason). It does remove them from the old machine though.

The upgrade price (which is only available for Virtual Console games that are available on both systems) is to enable playing it on the Wii U's gamepad (and a few other Wii U specific things), so you've got the choice of whether that's worth £1.50 or not really (it's probably not worth £1.50).

It's not the best way of doing things, but it's definitely better than the nothing the PS4 and the Xbox One are going to give you in that regard (although the PS3 might eventually offer streamed versions of old stuff).
posted by dng at 2:04 PM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have never played Earthbound.

WARNING WARNING

Just FYI: The Mother series is good, and I'm glad I played through it (partly through unofficial means, but if that was the only way...), but be aware that the experience just might sink into you on a cellular level, like herpes or something. I wish somebody had forewarned me that, even years after the fact, hearing a certain song from Mother 3 would make me tear up automatically.

Ah, and my favorite parts of Earthbound include buying the house and the guilt-tripping Flying Men.
posted by tyro urge at 2:06 PM on August 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm still not sure this is enough to help the WiiU sell.

I don't know. I think Pikmin 3 might help a bit. Myself at the moment I mostly use it for playing Earthbound and MST episodes off of YouTube. I made a playlist of all of them I could find that hadn't been removed for content violations.

I pick it up every few months to give it a go, but I think I'm past the point where I can tolerate that amount of grinding. :-(

Earthbound is of the second wave of JRPGs, that are designed so that, if you don't run from battles unnecessarily, it's nearly always possible to win battles, so long as you play intelligently. I find it's really easy to forget you have the Shield abilities, but they greatly help out in some situations.

If you can get to Dusty Dunes Desert, there is One Weird Trick you can use to quickly earn vast numbers of experience points with relatively little danger. No lie: half an hour at that spot will probably give all your party members 15 or more levels, and you keep earning them, although at a reduced rate, after that. There are other tricks you can use later, like the Rock Candy glitch. The only danger to using them is that, if Ness makes it to level 99 before the end of Magicant, he won't get all of the massive power boost he usually gets at that point in the game.

It's kind of amazing that Earthbound has blown up on the Wii-U Virtual Console like it has. Last time I checked its Miiverse community was up to 26K members, and still gaining about 1K a day. Second-place went to Balloon Fight, which is around 35K I think, mostly because it was the first of the VC communities.
posted by JHarris at 2:20 PM on August 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


(Well there's one other danger: several of your stats are not end-capped at 255, and will cheerfully wrap around to 0 if you build them up too high.)
posted by JHarris at 2:21 PM on August 8, 2013


Tim Rogers' review is worth checking out.
posted by rustcrumb at 5:27 AM on August 9

Only if you don't mind literary criticism of a work that does not actually exist as described, and is meant to be more about how brilliant the creator of the essay is rather than how great the creator of the alleged work in question is.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:26 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


That the opening paragraph of his review of Earthbound of all things is all about murdering prostitutes so you don't have to pay them tells you something about Tim Rogers at least.

I'm not sure I can bear to read the next 30,000 or so words.
posted by dng at 2:30 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


You were a kid with a baseball bat.

Hopefully it was the Gutsy Bat and not the Casey Bat.

I remember a little blurb in Nintendo Power which highlighted the difference between the two, probably as a way of exemplifying the mindset of the game. The Casey Bat might be a much more powerful weapon than the Gutsy Bat, but it misses its target most of the time. Earthbound's real-ish world allowed it to take advantage of and have fun with a priory knowledge much more than than typical RPGs which usually stop somewhere around "attacking a flame creature with a fire sword is bad."
posted by RonButNotStupid at 2:32 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I always forget what a masterful piece of localization work the name "Casey Bat" was, even if it's a little obtuse for non-literature fans.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:36 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I always forget what a masterful piece of localization work the name "Casey Bat" was, even if it's a little obtuse for non-literature fans.


Yeah, man. All those kids who never grew up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be totally confused. They should probably rename it for the rerelease to something simpler, like board-with-a-nail-in-it.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:48 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


but be aware that the experience just might sink into you on a cellular level, like herpes or something.

Some books have the power to do that kind of thing, but very very few video games do. My favorite part... well, I have lots (I wrote a comment about them some time back)... but I really like the credit roll snapshot review. All those pictures the photographer took throughout the game, up to 32 of them? It's saving them up. Under the closing credits, every one of them will sail by, while melancholy music plays.

Well here are some more bits that I didn't mention before:
At each of the "Your Sanctuary" locations, there is a brief, odd bit of text. Like "Ness caught a glimpse of a small, cute puppy," or "Ness thought he heard his mother say, 'I want him to be a thoughtful, strong boy.'" These are all referring to the odd cutscene when you visit all 8 locations, the flashback to Ness in the cradle where Ness' parents talk about him. It's easy to miss the connection.

Everything about Dungeon Man is awesome. But the signs scattered throughout the dungeons are the best part, which serve as a commentary on game design.

Just the novelty of using the bus to travel from town to town, before you learn Teleport, is great. But Teleport itself is pretty awesome; instead of taking you right where you want, you have to "build up speed." It's a great little thing that helps prevent the player thinking of the teleport points, at that point, as just nodes on a graph that you work out from.

Oh, and MR. SATURN. Everything about Saturn Valley is hilarious. YoU bUy ThInGs? yOu SeLl ThInGs? I, mR. sAtUrN, cAn Do AlL fOr YoU bOiNg!
posted by JHarris at 2:52 PM on August 8, 2013 [11 favorites]


Oh man, I always forget what a masterful piece of localization work the name "Casey Bat" was,

I like the series stalwart, the Franklin Badge, providing immunity to lightning, myself, although I think it was actually named that in Japan.
posted by JHarris at 2:54 PM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, and about the Casey Bat. What is the use of a high-offense item that misses 75% of the time?

Earthbound has an awesome (and unique to it) instant win system, where if you severely outclass an enemy, instead of going into battle mode, it just goes WHAP You Win!, and gives you all the experience and items from the battle automatically. It determines whether you Instant Win by: if you surprise the enemy, can your characters wipe out the enemy in one round just by attacking; if it's a normal combat, it sorts your characters and the enemy by Speed, and checks if each of your guys will kill the matching enemy in one hit.

The thing is, the Instant Win formulas don't take miss chances into account. So the Casey Bat is the king of Instant Wins, although since the other characters' strengths matter it alone won't suddenly mean you WHAP Starman Supers and Nuclear-Powered Robots to pieces.
posted by JHarris at 2:59 PM on August 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh also:
There's a place where you have to clear a gold mine out of moles. (This is slightly inspired by Shigesato Itoi's own adventures gold mining, by the way!) There are five of them, and they're fairly strong bosses. The first one says:

"I'm one of the masters of this hole. There are five masters in all. We are all moles, of course. I believe I'm the third strongest amongst us. Take your best shot!"

The battle begins. On the flashing background in the background it says NO. 3. You beat him. After that, a little later, you find the second, then the third, fourth and fifth moles. They say:

"I'm really the third strongest master. I'll destroy you now!" (Fight begins. NO. 3, etc.)

"My strength falls between the second and fourth strongest masters. Do you wanna test me?"

"I'm truly the third strongest master of this hole. I'll demonstrate the power of being third to you!"

Finally:
"Ha ha ha. You've fought the strongest master of this hole, the second strongest master of this hole, the fourth strongest master of this hole, and the weakest master of this hole! I'm truly the third strongest master of this hole. Now you see the true advantage of being third!"

I love those damn moles.
posted by JHarris at 3:08 PM on August 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


The upgrade price (which is only available for Virtual Console games that are available on both systems) is to enable playing it on the Wii U's gamepad (and a few other Wii U specific things), so you've got the choice of whether that's worth £1.50 or not really (it's probably not worth £1.50).

Wow, i was obviously seriously misinformed on this then. People in other threads mentioned the half price thing, and my friends have been whining about the upgrade process/backwards compatibility. I don't own one because i'm perfectly happy with my wii(and i like having a modded wii, and you can't mod the wii u...yet) so i didn't have any firsthand experience.

TIL, i guess.
posted by emptythought at 3:09 PM on August 8, 2013


I thought it was interesting and cool, and i liked a lot of things about it. I'm just struggling to get how it has this ridiculous following when it's probably on about the same level as say, ocarina of time to me.

Ocarina of Time also has a ridiculous following that sees it voted #1 game of all time occasionally. Both are cool games.

I pick it up every few months to give it a go, but I think I'm past the point where I can tolerate that amount of grinding. :-(

There's a rom floating around that makes the game too hard as an anti-piracy measure, so maybe it's not you. That version makes the game too hard even at level 99. Not that you wouldn't have played it on an old cart on an old SNES of course ;)

The music of Earthbound is amazing btw and lends itself well to remixes.
posted by ersatz at 3:10 PM on August 8, 2013


At each of the "Your Sanctuary" locations, there is a brief, odd bit of text. Like "Ness caught a glimpse of a small, cute puppy," or "Ness thought he heard his mother say, 'I want him to be a thoughtful, strong boy.'" These are all referring to the odd cutscene when you visit all 8 locations, the flashback to Ness in the cradle where Ness' parents talk about him.

I never realized that. That's beautiful. Ohhh.
posted by byanyothername at 3:20 PM on August 8, 2013


Oh man, I always forget what a masterful piece of localization work the name "Casey Bat" was,

I like the series stalwart, the Franklin Badge, providing immunity to lightning, myself, although I think it was actually named that in Japan.
posted by JHarris at 6:54 AM on August 9
[3 favorites −] [!]

Confirming that, yes, that was the case. Itoi is a pretty well-read guy overall.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:42 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, one other thing that always gets somehow bungled when talking about Itoi (but more a translation point): he's famous-ish as an essayist who writes, we are often told, "catch copy," a phrase that is repeated verbatim, thoughtlessly, as though a magical incantation. What is never done is the research to work out that that's the made-in-Japan "English" that actually means "slogan." Shigesato Itoi is noteworthy in no small part for writing slogans.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:46 PM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


About Tim Rogers --

I've snarked about him in the past. But really, the self-indulgent essays in question were written years ago now, and I think he's grown a lot as a writer since then. And even if they were wordy and inexcusably digressive, they still manage to get across, eventually, some great points that not a lot of others have made. I think it's probably time to lay the criticism of Tim Rogers' writing to rest.
posted by JHarris at 4:14 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some more things:
- There are several hotels in the game. Most of them have newspapers that a bellhop will read the headline to you from when you stay there. The thing is, each town has its own newspaper, and most of them have something to say after every plot point, even the one in Onett, and sometimes after really minor things. Some of the headlines are fairly humorous. What's more, during the zombie invasion, Threed's newspaper changes to the Zombie Herald, a newspaper produced by and for the undead population. (The zombie attack is a highlight of the game. After you use the Zombie Paper [heh] to trap the zombies, talk to the moving ones on the ground for some bitter recrimination.)
- Easy to miss: Belch's factory has a warning sign by the entrance. Apparently, even mobile piles of vomit care about safety.
- When you have the out-of-body experience, or whatever, in which Poo is introduced, you can save the game by talking to the guy with a phone on his head. But it's still Ness' dad who handles the saving, who is understandably confused as to why this other kid is calling him. There are also weird messages to be had when calling various people from Moonside and Magicant.
- All the fans know about Shigesato Itoi. But fewer know the lead programmer of Earthbound was the guy who founded HAL Laboratory, and worked on many wonderful HAL games, including the Eggerland and Kirby series. He's Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo!
- Earthbound has a very strange internal mapping system. Mother/Earthbound Zero used the single giant map approach to world design. Almost everywhere you can go outdoors, you can go on foot, it's all part of a single vast scrolling world. Earthbound doesn't have such a map, each town is its own area, but internally it's implemented the same way. All the game's locations, even indoor areas, are actually locations of a single huge map! Doors just warp you between locations. You don't know it because the map is constructed so that the borders of each area are off-screen. If you use one of the cheats or glitches to walk through a wall, though, you can easily walk between zones and perform absurd sequence breaks. Some of these will wreck the game, understandably, but one of the weirdest involves skipping most of Twoson and getting Paula, and getting Jeff in your party first. When he joins up, Paula is automatically in your group as if she had always been there. You can then go back to Twoson and "rescue" her to advance the plot; this doesn't mess up the game, the coding manages to cope with it, even when Paula "joins" while she's already with you.
- There are some other weird programming tricks going on behind the scenes. There are some events that involve a character finding you in the field, and three things you can to summon NPCs to perform services. (Namely: calling Escargo Express for item storage, calling Mach Pizza for pizza delivery, and using the For Sale sign to sell objects in the field.) Some people investigated the delivery system, and found the game actually pathfinds to your location from the edge of the screen, so the NPC isn't seen to walk through walls. The pathfinding is quite good: people have tried hacking the map to make the route difficult, but the delivery guy still finds a good way, while if there really is *no* way you'll eventually get an annoyed phone call from him about it. This is a substantial feat for a 16-bit game with very limited memory.
posted by JHarris at 7:36 PM on August 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yet another thing:
The main song from the original Mother is called "Pollyanna." Here it is on the Famicom/NES. In Japan, it's one of those iconic Nintendo songs, like the Super Mario Bros. theme, a song that perfectly encapsulates the game you play while hearing it. A remix of it is used as the music in your house in Earthbound/Mother 2. It turns out that song has English lyrics, and got released on CD. Here it is.
posted by JHarris at 11:28 PM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


mods: pony request

auto-favorite every JHarris comment

TIA
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:32 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Earthbound (and Shiegato Itoi) is one of my go-to examples why the video game industry needs people from outside of the video gaming industry to keep things interesting. Many video game creators nowadays are born into and breathe video games and it causes a monoculture where every game is borrowing everything from earlier games.

The turn-based combat and RPG format is borrowed from Itoi's experience playing Dragon Quest, but there's a more mature, thoughtful, and deeper meaning behind it that it continues to affect a generation of people.

I also want to share some excellent comics from Zac Gorman's "Magical Game Time":
http://magicalgametime.com/post/7326125712
http://magicalgametime.com/post/24434328122
http://magicalgametime.com/post/19718347285
http://magicalgametime.com/post/13178291972
http://magicalgametime.com/post/7979727595
http://magicalgametime.com/post/47060671766
posted by cyberscythe at 6:36 AM on August 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have never played any of the games in this series, but both they and their creator sound absolutely fascinating. Thank you!
posted by lucien_reeve at 6:36 AM on August 9, 2013


Earthbound (and Shiegato Itoi) is one of my go-to examples why the video game industry needs people from outside of the video gaming industry to keep things interesting. Many video game creators nowadays are born into and breathe video games and it causes a monoculture where every game is borrowing everything from earlier games.

I don't think I could have said this better myself, although I'll certainly elaborate upon it. Making video games is difficult enough that you tend to need someone deeply immersed in the culture of games to make a polished product; but, especially in the US, everyone has over-emphasized this aspect of game creation, resulting in a legion of samey products, resulting in gray-and-brown "realistic" landscapes, an over-abundance of first person shooters, a flotilla of scantly-clad female lead characters targeting teenage males (because fewer women grew up playing games obsessively, fewer women got into game development), and even a shared language of RPGs that emphasizes combat mechanics, with terms like "healer," "tank," "DPS," "aggro," "area effect," and "crowd control" becoming standard lingo among developers and players.

More than ever, game development needs outside voices. But good luck getting a job in development unless you eat, breathe and sleep video games. That's why, even at this date, it's still the people who got their start in video game development early on, and those from cultures where game developers tend to cultivate outside interests, the Shigeru Miyamotos and Hideo Kojimas, who consistently make the most interesting games.
posted by JHarris at 7:49 AM on August 9, 2013


(Really, that RPG lingo stuff, I can't emphasize enough how detrimental thinking about games in those terms is. It is corrosive. It is easier to think about them in those terms, sure, but as with so many difficult things, if you find yourself thinking about it easily, you're probably over-simplifying.)
posted by JHarris at 7:57 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


HERE's a recent interview with the translator/re-writer of Earthbound.
posted by pibeandres at 8:08 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is anyone still reading this? Here's a couple more things.... With this, I exhaust the items I had stockpiled for my Earthbound FPP. Thank you, thread. Good bye, thread.
posted by JHarris at 2:12 AM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh okay, just one more thing:
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*                             *
* THIS IS MY 10,000th COMMENT *
*                             *
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posted by JHarris at 2:25 AM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


JHarris's level is now 22!
Offense went up by 1!
Oh, baby!
Guts went up by 4!
IQ went up by 2!
Luck went up by 1!
Maximum HP went up by 2!
That rocks!
Maximum PP went up by 11!
JHarris realised the power of Brainshock!
posted by ersatz at 3:22 AM on August 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


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