How Ness Got His Groove Back

So yeah, I guess I don’t hate Earthbound quite so much anymore. It still has some really annoying elements, like the slightly lopsided combat system that makes it much too easy to lose your weaker combatants in an instant but much too difficult to revive them, and I hate (in the non-platonic Kefka sense which involves me spitting the word “hate” in a rapid-fire sequence) the entire concept of Mr. Saturn. But overall, yeah, not so bad. I don’t know that I’ll ever wax quite so eloquent as Señor GameCat managed, but at least I won’t be beaten as a heretic by the Church of Itoi anymore.

Earthbound Zero, however, is awful. But I guess we knew that already.

Please do read the Contact preview that went up alongside the Earthbound thingee — it’s never too early to learn more about the next freaky cult phenomenon, you know? I’m a little stuck in the game due to my illiteracy in things Japanese (and the fact that I seem to have somewhere between three to eight games in progress at any given moment), but along with Children of Mana and Legendary Stafi 4 it’s high on my “hurry up and finish the stupid import, you dope” list. So that’s good. It’s also interesting and fun. So that’s even better.

Well, back to people-watching here at Atlanta Hartsfield. People come in forms here in the south that you never really see in San Francisco — enormously large, for one, but also deep-fried crispy tan with sun-bleached hair. I think it has rained something like 40 days in a row in SF, so that kinda makes the whole “tanning” thing pointless.

Beauty in paleness, that’s the San Francisco treat. That and Sharkey.

15 thoughts on “How Ness Got His Groove Back

  1. Yes, the weather here in Northern Cali has been insane… or so I’m told. I just moved here, so I don’t really know any better.

  2. my best friend in college introduced me to the game – giving me the opportunity to play it legally without (a) spending $70 on eBay or (b) building a functioning flux capacitor.

  3. This has sort of gotten me interested in Earthbound again. I liked it when I first played it, but then I decided I hated it for reasons I can’t recall. It turns out I still have the cartridge, and I’m curious as to how I might appreciate it now that I’m an adult. If I had time, I might get my hands on a SNES and try to play it again. Maybe someday.

    Contact wasn’t looking terribly notable to me at first, but now that I know Grasshopper is making it I’m sort of intrigued. I need to play more of their games to determine whether Killer7 was just a fluke or if they really are that awesome.

  4. Oooh! Some of my comments were used! Thrilling! Nice article. Actually, I’ve liked this article series in general. I wonder why Nintendo was so against someone else releasing the Gameboy advance port of Earthbound in the US. If they aren’t going to do it themselves, why not let another guy take the risk? I just want to trade some money for the Earthbound games! Do they not want my currency?
    Contact looks good; I will look forward to its US release.
    I just looked at the bottom of’s cult page. I think they put up a little tribute to your article.

  5. I could never get into Earthbound. I loved the presentation of it but I found the actual game bits utterly frustrating. Like why the hell is it that when I get a new character they always start at level 1?

  6. Bah. I liked Earthbound better when it was called Digital Devil Saga and Starman was actually a self absorbed megalomaniac who was also an invisible squirrel.

  7. Next time you’re passing through Atlanta, let me known and I’ll buy you a beer and we’ll, as the locals say, “Shoot the shit”. Which I assume is somewhat similar to the breeze. Which gets shot. You know.

  8. I dunno, claiming Mother2 was about man overcoming God breaks the “Tim Rogers barrier” for me. I think you’re nucking futs.

    Anyway, everyone wondering why Mother 1+2 never came out but why did Nintendo want to retain rights, I have two words for you: Virtual Console. Hello.

  9. On a slightly separate note: The latest “Land of the Rising Fun” has been Slashdotted.

  10. I dunno, claiming Mother2 was about man overcoming God breaks the “Tim Rogers barrier” for me. I think you’re nucking futs.

    Actually, I think my unhinged assertion was that nearly all RPGs are about man overcoming god(s), and that Earthbound was just the only one where you don’t get to finish the job by getting your wallop on. Take that where you will, I guess.

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