Earthbound is a cult classic, mixing excellent RPG gameplay with a purely nostalgic 90s-Americana style. So how better to evoke that latter feeling than by being able to play it on an arcade machine? Thanks to Camp Fangamer, that option is now a reality — running on a ROM hack that randomizes everything in the game (be it enemy names, items, or NPC sprites), the cabinet game (seen below) plays more like a roguelite RPG. Most importantly, the only way you can play the cabinet is at Camp Fangamer on Jul 18-19 in Tucson, Arizona — all proceeds will be going to charity.
This seems like a long stretch but Amazon has apparently put up a description for the February issue of Game Informer. What’s interesting is the cover game is apparently Earthbound Forever. It seems pretty far-fetched but stranger things have happened in the past. The description says the game is coming to Wii U in 2016.
This week’s European eShop downloads and special offers have been revealed. In with various deals is an excellent offer for 40 per cent off Earthbound on the Wii U Virtual Console in order to celebrate its first anniversary on the eShop. From this Thursday, European home console owners can download the classic RPG adventure for €5.99/£4.19 (usually €9.99/£6.99) until July 24.
Elsewhere on the Euro eShop from Thursday is a free demo of Cubit the Hardcore Platformer Robot, as well as a limited discount on the full game, plus Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land for the Virtual Console and new release Gaiabreaker for Wii U. You can check out all downloads and price details in the list below.
- Gaiabreaker (UBIQUITOUS ENTERTAINMENT) – €10.99/£9.89
- Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (Nintendo, GBA VC) – €6.99/£6.29
- EarthBound – €5.99/£4.19 (Ends July 24, regular price €9.99/£6.99)
- Little Inferno – €4.99/£4.59 (Ends July 24, regular price €9.99/£8.99)
- Pick-A-Gem – €2.99/£2.69
- Cubit The Hardcore Platformer Robot – Free demo
- Secrets of the Titanic – €4.99/£4.99 (Ends July 24, regular price €10.99/£9.99)
- SteamWorld Dig – €4.49/£3.99 (Ends July 31, regular price €8.99/£7.99)
- escapeVektor- €3.99/£3.59 (Ends July 31, regular price €6.99/£5.99)
- Cubit The Hardcore Platformer Robot – €2.00/£1.80 (Ends July 24, regular price €2.99/£2.69)
- Steel Diver Sub Wars: Premium Version – €6.99/£6.29 (Ends July 24, regular price €9.99/£8.99) – More subs and more missions are available in the Premium Version of Steel Diver: Sub Wars, now 30% off for a limited time! The Premium Version can be purchased from the Steel Diver: Sub Wars title screen.
Marcus Lindblom, one of the people that worked on the EarthBound translation in late 1994, has told Polygon that the book he put together detailing EarthBound localisation and development was shut down by Nintendo. Lindblom said it was never his intention to earn money from the book, but it was just something to say thanks to all the dedicated EarthBound fans out there.
“When I did the localization I went in and gave it some American flavor and humor because that is what the developers wanted. They didn’t just want a straight translation. There were a lot of things that were not easy to translate and so I had freedom to put in weird American humor to flavor things and it worked out pretty well. All these years later people still find it charming which is nice.”
“I realized there was a large and vocal fan community. About a year and a half ago I went to PAX and I kind of walked up to the Fangamer booth and said that I had worked on the game. They were really surprised. They wanted to hear about my work on the game.”
“I was never going to make money from the book. I just wanted to pay for the cost of publication. It was just something for the fan community. They seemed so dedicated after all these years. I thought that, in a way, I owed them something.”
“There were a lot of little things I thought they might appreciate hearing about like why a certain character might say something in the game or why something was named the way it was or whatever. That was my original intention. Just to give the fans some insight into the way the game was localized.”
“I owe a lot to Nintendo. They gave me my start in the game business. I don’t want to do anything that makes them seem bad. I wanted to just write about the fun bits in the game that I think the fans would enjoy. But I have no desire to rock the boat with Nintendo at all.”
“…It isn’t anything that I can speculate on. All I will say is I was the one who went and talked to Nintendo because I thought I might as well see if I can get their blessing. I asked them and they came back and said we’d rather you didn’t.”
“My goal was always to honor the game and the fans and Itoi’s writing. I am going to honor Nintendo’s wishes that I don’t put something down into a book, but I know that the fan community is owed some tidbits of information and I will continue to do that and to talk about it.”
Thanks, Barry Bee Benson
Nintendo has launched a new EarthBound community for Miiverse which will give users official updates on the revered series. The page, which is dubbed the Onett Times, will be used by Nintendo representatives to post news and information related to EarthBound. It’s not clear if Nintendo’s looking to localise Mother3, but it’s a possibility given the sales of EarthBound on the Wii U Virtual Console.
EarthBound, the long-awaited SNES classic for the Wii U Virtual Console has claimed the number one spot in the Virtual Console charts in various regions including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands and Portugal. EarthBound is also selling well in the United States where it’s currently sitting behind Donkey Kong which costs 30 cents compared to EarthBound’s $10 price tag.
Thanks, Gaminglord and Kallum
The legendary RPG title EarthBound hit the Wii U Virtual Console last week but after the initial excitement abated, fans soon wondered why the game featured an unexpected price hike. Most virtual console titles will appear in the eShop with a $4.99 price tag (NES) and $7.99 (SNES) or £3.49 to £5.49 for the UK, however EarthBound is currently sitting pretty at number 2 in the eShop at $9.99 or £6.99. Fortunately, Nintendo has explained the reason for such a price increase and gave the following comment:
“As for EarthBound, Nintendo sets prices in the Nintendo eShop and Virtual Console on a game-by-game basis. Different games will be offered at different prices.”
Nintendo, no doubt, knew how well the game would sell as it had been a fan favourite for many years, and the anticipation and teasing from the company was award-winning, nail-biting stuff. However, the price increase could be due to the release of the online strategy guide, marketing from the new trailer, or toning down the game’s lighting effects so it would be less likely to strain the eyes and cause seizures. But even so, does this warrant a price increase? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.