The format of these posts is simple: let’s discuss a specific game or series!

Let’s discuss the Mother series. What is your favorite game in the series? What aspects do you like about it? What doesn’t work for you? Are there other games that gave you similar feelings? Feel free to share any thoughts that come up, or react to other peoples comments. Let’s get the conversation going!

If you have any recommendations for games or series for the next post(s), please feel free to DM me or add it in a comment here (no guarantees of course).

Previous entries: Mass Effect, Metroid, Journey, Resident Evil, Polybius, Tetris, Telltale Games, Kirby, LEGO Games, DOOM, Ori, Metal Gear, Slay the Spire

  • JCPhoenix@beehaw.org
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    3 months ago

    Earthbound was probably the first game I was ever really enamored with. Even today, it’s definitely one of my favorite games ever. And it’s probably the first JRPG I ever played, and it’s what started me down a long path of JRPGs.

    My parents got me a subscription to Nintendo Power magazine, and I remember reading about the game there and wanting to play it. They didn’t buy it for me when it came out, but I did rent it from Blockbluster a few times. And they did eventually buy it for me for Christmas. It even came with the strategy guide!

    Everything about the game was great. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but it was insanely accessible, even to a then 7-8yo kid like me. JRPGs tend to be darker and complex (though not always). But Earthbound still had complexity, but it wasn’t darker. Yes these kids were having to save the world from destruction, but the story was told in an upbeat, fun way. And it was just the right amount of complexity.

    Earthbound is also probably the first game I ever beat. Certainly the first JRPG.

    I did try the fan-translation of Mother 3. I didn’t end up finishing it. I got close, but it was far too depressing and different from EB. The game was beautifully done (as was the player-made strategy guide!), but I just couldn’t really get into the story and characters. Just wasn’t for me.

    • NelDel@lemmy.one
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      3 months ago

      Ah that’s a shame about Mother 3, I really loved it. Seeing the gradual decay of a town affected by tragedy after tragedy (& a heaping dose of capitalism) become a shadow of itself was so beautiful. The pacing of the game is a bit odd at times, but overall I was surprised how much it resonated with me.

      • yukichigai@kbin.social
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        3 months ago

        That was someone’s insane interpretation of the ending of the first Mother game (a.k.a. Earthbound Beginnings). It’s not as out there as the guy who filled the Silent Hill wiki with claims that it was all symbolism for circumcision trauma (yes, really), but it’s still kinda nutters.

      • JCPhoenix@beehaw.org
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        3 months ago

        It’s certainly a fan theory, but that’s not a confirmed thing by any means. The location of the last battles does look the inside of a vagina, looking towards the cervix, but that’s supposedly only a coincidence.

  • RagnarokOnline@programming.dev
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    3 months ago

    I shouldn’t be commenting here, but I will. I haven’t played Earthbound yet, but it’s one of the retro games I’m most looking forward to (besides FF6).

    The music is so charming and the aesthetic is legendary.

    That’s all I’ve got.

  • yukichigai@kbin.social
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    3 months ago

    EarthBound was the first JRPG I ever completed and the first JRPG I ever enjoyed. Before it I’d never been able to get into JRPGs: there was just too much complexity while also having too little going on. Wandering an overworld only to be randomly pulled out of it for no apparent reason was maddening. As a kid, trying to piece together the backstory of some undefined thoroughly detailed fantasy world while also taking in the emerging plot in the opening sequence wasn’t anywhere near as appealing as firing up Mario or Mega Man and getting straight to the action.

    EarthBound neatly sidestepped all of the things that had stopped me from liking JRPGs. The equipment system was simple without being braindead. The setting was a pastiche of suburban life that I could easily understand. The stakes were high but the tone was still whimsical and amusing. And above all I knew why I was suddenly getting dragged into battle with a snake or a crow or a dog instead of just being clotheslined by combat.

    EarthBound still is my go-to recommendation in the (increasingly unlikely) event that someone says “I’ve always wanted to get into JRPGs, what should I start with?” It is the perfect “intro to JRPG” game without feeling trivial or like it cannot stand on its own. It singlehandedly made me love the JRPG genre, and I probably would not have played literally every other JRPG I’ve ever played if it wasn’t for EarthBound.

    • blindsight@beehaw.org
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      3 months ago

      Earthbound and Super Mario RPG are the two best entry points to SNES-era JRPGs. I haven’t played many JRPGs since the OG PlayStation generation, though, so I’m out of the loop on newer games. But they’re both better entry points than any of the PS1 JRPGs that I know of/played.

      I’m more partial to Super Mario RPG, personally. Timing attacks in battle made the grind more engaging, and the Mario world is well known by pretty much any gamer already, too.

  • Chloyster [she/her]@beehaw.orgM
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    3 months ago

    Earthbound and the whole mother series are some of my all time faves. Mother 3 in particular is so outstanding it is a crime it hasn’t been localized! I have the osts in my regular rotation. Earthbound is probably my favorite for nostalgia reasons since I played it well before the others, and I like its format a bit more than the chapter based format of 3. However 3 is probably the more polished and better game

  • eerongal@ttrpg.network
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    3 months ago

    Earthbound is eternally on my list of games i play through every couple of years. Its such a great game. Some aspects of it are a tad clunky by modern sensibilities (inventory management, going through the menus for a lot of things, etc.), but overall it holds up really well. Also if you liked earthbound, mother 3 is also 100% worth playing. Mother 1 (or beginnings, or whatever you wanna call it), is hard to recommend to anyone but the most diehard fans, though.

    I like earthbound the most of all of em, but thats purely for nostalgia reasons. From a critical perspective, i think mother 3 is the superior game.

  • skulblaka@startrek.website
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    3 months ago

    I remember trying to play Earthbound when I was younger. The story is fascinating, I really want to love the game, but the actual gameplay didn’t really grab me. I remember getting to the first major town area and getting my ass beat by the gangsters or whoever that you need to fight there. Never made it past that point.

    Any tips, if I wanted to pick it up again? Is this a game that expects you to grind? I found the early game to be really difficult, and I’m not usually one to be turned off by that but I really felt like I was hitting a brick wall and I think I must have missed something fundamental.

    • yukichigai@kbin.social
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      3 months ago

      Yeah, you do have to grind a bit. Nowhere near as much as some games (looking at you, basically every Final Fantasy game) but the leveling is designed around you doing some extra fights for XP. Every new area generally has a “grind spot” that is moderately to incredibly obvious, typically some grouping of enemies that are enough to fight but not enough to overwhelm you, placed within reasonable walking distance of a bed, hotel, or other way to refill your HP/MP for cheap/free.

      For the first town, before you take on the punks roaming the streets you should get some levels fighting crows, dogs, and snakes up near your house. Once you can kill them in two turns or less head into town and try taking on a single punk. If you survive that fight without being nearly dead, keep fighting punks. If you almost die, go heal up and farm a little more. And if you DO die… well you only lose half the money you have on you, so as long as you keep most of it in the ATM you haven’t lost much of anything.

    • blindsight@beehaw.org
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      3 months ago

      There’s a double XP romhack.

      “Skip the grind” romhacks are the only way I play a lot of JRPGs. I don’t want to mindlessly battle to advance in the game. I have better things to do with my time, like playing a wider selection of games. I don’t need games’ length padded!

      Not sure if it’s needed for Earthbound, but I’d probably just use it anyway. Most games set up a good leveling curve, so double XP shouldn’t break the game even if it’s unnecessary.

      • yukichigai@kbin.social
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        3 months ago

        If you want to bypass grinding entirely then you’d need something like that, but it might trivialize certain parts of the game. Won’t trivialize all of it though since several of the key fights rely on strategy.

        • blindsight@beehaw.org
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          3 months ago

          I was curious, so I looked it up: Earthbound has a fairly gentle XP curve. Double XP takes you from level 33 to 40, assuming you play the same.

          I haven’t played Earthbound enough to remember if there’s grinding, so idk if it’s necessary. In general, I tend to find the existence of double XP romhacks is usually enough to indicate that I’d rather use them, based on my playstyle preferences. Someone thought it was beneficial enough to put hours of work into!

  • Go-On-A-Steam-Train@lemmy.ml
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    3 months ago

    Heck yes! Earthbound! One of those games I felt was made perfectly to my taste :) funny, quirky, slightly uncomfortable… All great. :)

  • ted@beehaw.org
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    3 months ago

    Coincidentally I just started playing Earthbound (Maternalbound Redux ROM hack) this month. I’m just past the monkey cave. It’s charming, simple, fun. It’s great for my dad brain as right now I’m doing a lot of parenting and my brain isn’t able to handle something more complex.

    I love the humor and the adult jokes.

    • sic_semper_tyrannis@lemmy.today
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      24 days ago

      I have Earthbound on my new Retro DMG but haven’t played it yet. Thanks for referencing the ROM hack, I’ll play that one instead as it seems like a vanilla + experience

  • Match!!@pawb.social
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    2 months ago

    EarthBound set me up with my best friends and is the reason I lost my virginity to someone I love