It goes without saying to anyone who has played it, but EarthBound is a truly quirky experience. Known as Mother 2 in Japan, EarthBound has become an acclaimed IP and cult favourite that has been dormant in the west since the Super Nintendo days. Since then, it has become one of the most collectible games on the SNES platform, and one of the most frequently requested re-releases from Nintendo. If your experience with EarthBound has only been through dodgy ROMs or the endless pursuit of a reasonably-priced copy on eBay, you’ll be happy to hear that Nintendo has finally listened to their fan base. At today’s Nintendo Direct conference, president Satoru Iwata has committed to bringing the unique RPG over to the Virtual Console on the Wii U. While specific details are not yet known, you
For the uninitiated, EarthBound is a traditional role-playing game with a more moden 1990’s setting, and it follows the adventures of young Ness, a boy with psychic abilities who embarks on an epic quest after becoming aware of future plans to destroy the universe. He is joined by three other characters throughout the game, all children, and they must work together to stop the future destruction at the hands of Giygas, the evil alien antagonist. The story is fairly standard RPG fare, however the modern setting adds unique undertones. The typical RPG weapon cache of swords and axes has been replaced by baseball bats and frying pans, and instead of random encounters, battle is initiated when the player physically comes into contact with an enemy, similar to Chrono Trigger. It’s a solid RPG experience and one that more people will finally have a chance to play with the upcoming re-release.
Nintendo originally confirmed that EarthBound would be released on the Wii Virtual Console back in 2008, but rumored licensing issues and numerous delays have left the release in limbo ever since. While the re-release has been officially green lit, there is no official launch date or price, and no mention was made on what regions will get it. If it is released across all regions, this would mark the first time the game has been commercially available in Europe. We will update with more specific details as they become available.