I’m a sucker for console role playing games. Give me a good one and I’ll be dead to the world for a few weeks. And when I played Earthbound? I was dead to the world for months.

Why did I like the game so much? It’s hard to say. At first glance it appears to be pretty atypical as far as role playing games go. It’s set in the 90’s instead of some medieval period, the graphics are far from stellar, and

The game starts when Ness, a kid with psychic abilities, is awakened by a meteor crashing down near his house. He goes to investigate, and is befriended by a bee sent from the future who tells him that he’s destined to save the world. He’s then accosted by a robot who was sent back to deal with Ness and the bee.

Then it gets weird.

In your quest to guide Ness to save the world, you’ll encounter street gangs, zombies, aliens, dinosaurs, sea monsters, monkeys, and… ambulatory cups of coffee. Most of these bent by the will of Giygas, the ill-defined evil entity and antagonist of the game. Of course, in typical role playing game fashion, you have to defeat them all, and do a little time traveling to win.

I suppose what I like about this game is that it’s exceptionally well written, and never takes itself too seriously. Sure, there’s a world to save, but no reason to not throw in a gag every now and then. Check out the dialog at about 4:30 in the following clip.

So what we end up with is a game that’s almost completely incomprehensible, yet makes a strange amount of sense in its own universe, and it still manages to somehow mostly come together in the end. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this game to anyone, but you can’t find it. It enjoyed exactly one release here in the US, and all other sequels haven’t made it over here for some reason, likely because of dismal sales of the original, despite a fairly vocal fanbase. Which is a real shame.

And, no, my copy is not for sale.

2 Responses to “Earthbound”

  1. [...] no big secret that I liked Earthbound, so when I saw a preview for a game that featured a guy that looked suspiciously like a character [...]

  2. [...] it. They took some of their most memorable characters from some of their most popular games (also Earthbound) and threw them into an all-out fighting [...]

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