Monday, March 5, 2012

Let’s Play a Game! Earthbound Zero Part 0: Prologue

Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_003
Prior to my delivering a flying elbow to this game (I like to think this is an appropriate metaphor for making a let’s play) lets take a look at the history of the game in which I will be playing, Earthbound Zero. Earthbound Zero or as it was originally going to be called “Earthbound” is the first of a series of games by Shigesato Itoi called Mother. Outside of Japan Mr.Itoi is really only known for his work on the Super Nintendo game Earthbound however in Japan he is known not only for the Mother series but for his numerous essays and for his personal website (it’s in Japanese by the way) in which he posts news and essays on his views of current events. Believe it or not the title Earthbound Zero did not always include “Zero” in its name, this was later added by the a fan-translation group called Demiforce. Demiforce originally was planning on translating the entire game themselves before they got a hold of the official English rom and changed the title to say “Earthbound Zero. (An interview with them can be read here).
Now you may be wondering, “Hey how could there be an official English translation of the game if it was never released stateside?” Well you wonderfully beautiful person, it was going to be released and even had some advertising behind it (Here's an ad from Nintendo Power). Earthbound Zero was slated for release and had been fully translated by Nintendo of America around mid-1990 and was slated to come out in 1991. Tragedy struck in the form of the Super Nintendo, Nintendo of America decided it would not be cost effective to release the game while a new system was slated for release and put the game on an indefinite hold. Around 1998 evidence of prototype cartridges of the cancelled Earthbound game came to light with the first one being what I’m going to be playing. To this day only four known copies exist though there is some speculation that there may be a fifth floating around somewhere. So there, now you have some history on this game and we can now Segway into the actual lets play.

Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_001Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_002Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_003
I’m liking it thus far. Lets push start and get this thing started! :o
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_007
Picking slot one!
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_008
A lesser person would name him something like “Butt’s” or something but being that I am a constant professional in all things I will keep all of the characters official names and what not.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_009
Ninten? I’m presuming his last name must be Doh. :D
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_010
Yes I realize it only has one “N” in it, and yes I know Anna isn’t supposed to be spelled that way. This is motherflipin’ Earthbound things don’t have to make sense!
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_011
I wonder if he will wind up having any space adventures. :/
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_012
I am absolutely honored to be fighting alongside our 26th president. I’m pretty certain that he should be the main character though, maybe I should write a letter to Mr.Itoi asking him if they made a mistake, as a complete BAMF like Teddy Roosevelt shouldn’t be playing second-fiddle.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_013
The food of only the most masculine of men.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_002
Yes, yes it is okay. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_014
They should have called up Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully to look into this, I’m pretty sure they would have figured out what went down in a timely fashion. :o
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_026
Sounds like he’d been in Las Vegas all this time. After all what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, or something like that. Maria probably hooked up with some rich go-getter and left George in the dust.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_027
I like where this is going…
 Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_029
Ok cool, just dropping me into the game. I’m fine without any formal introduction to my location, I’ll just do what Mulder and Scully would want me to do, INVESTIGATE! …and blame the government.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_031Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_033
Alright so the only two notable pieces of furniture in my room are both cool, nothing unusual about them. Guess I’ll have to take my investigations elsewhere.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_039Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_034
Um, hey lamp, you know you are supposed to be an inanimate object right? I also investigated you and my conclusion was that there was “No Problem” therefore you should not be spazzing out and moving around my room.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_049Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_050
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_056
Um. Excuse me, but could you stop coming closer to me Lamp? I would greatly appreciate it if you stopped menacing me with your oddly toothy grin from a mouth you just suddenly acquired.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_059
Looks like I have to fight my lamp, I thought this only happened on St.Patrick's day or Mardi Gras. Whatever… time for a breakdown of how battle works!
  • Fight: Is a Standard Attack with whatever weapon is equipped or lack there of
  • PSI: opens up a sub-menu wherein you can choose any Psychic powers you’ve acquired/learned
  • Goods: opens up a sub-menu where you can use any items you have on you
  • Check: Examines the enemy and give you it’s stats and condition
  • Auto: Lets the computer do all the work
  • Guard: Defends for that turn
  • Run: You Attempt to run away from the fight
So lets murder ourselves a lamp!
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_061
Damn right I did!
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_064
I can tell this will take a while. :/
01 - later1
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_068Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_069
That household appliance won’t be drawing near anyone else anytime soon!
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_070
That was oddly amusing. Onwards and upwards I guess.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_017Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_020
Now I’m in a hallway. I’ll door number one for $200.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_079Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_085
Dear lord not again…
01 - later3
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_088
“Oh my! Brother, our house is falling apart! Boohoo!”
Yeah, I kinda figured that out already. Do you have anything productive to tell me?
Of course. Well I guess I should check the next room.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_021
Curse my need to explore.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_090
“Help me!”
Okay. What am I helping you with?
Whoa, calm down there buddy, I’m sure you’re just overreacting. I totes encountered a couple of lamps that were clearly possessed by some sort of evil demon. If anything my investigation has proved that lamps are the most evil household objects.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_092Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_093
Oh, that’s not creepy at all. Wait…
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_093k
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_093kkkk
This is quite possibly the most evil thing I’ve seen in my life. It must be destroyed.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_098Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_102
Two hits? I’ve fought lamps stronger than this!
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_115
You know what it was? Aliens. I’m sure the government will be by sooner or later to try covering this up.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_116
I’m skeptic of examining the very thing that tried brutally murdering me earlier, but I’m certain nothing will be out of the ordinary.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_117Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_118
Oh, alright. This is interesting, but I must wonder why a music box would be inside a doll. I also would like to bring into question why is it that it wasn’t until this moment that we realized it was inside the doll. Surely someone would have noticed the bulging noise making device long before it was brought to life and tried to go on a murderous rampage :/
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_119
 Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_122
I feel that this must be a plot point.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_124
Of course! Smashing inanimate objects always makes me parched! Well I have a feeling that for now I do not have to go and smash anymore of the things in what I assume must be my house (if what that girl said can be trusted), so I’ll head downstairs now.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_025
No expense is to great when it comes to room furnishing.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_125
“Ninten. Are you alright?” 
Yeah, no thanks to you. I didn’t see you up there battling it out with evil lamps and malefic dolls.
“Egad! What is happening to our house?”
Was the house built on an Indian burial ground? If so then you have your answer right there.
“I wish your dad were here now. Maybe…”
Well he’s not so we have to make the bes-
“TELEPHONE! Ninten, please get it!”
Fine, but if it attacks me I’m out of here.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_129
“It’s your dad.”
That’s a pretty odd way to introduce yourself.
“Well… It seems like a poltergeist.”
What seems like a poltergeist?
“I’m not exactly sure how to… But, your great-grand-father studied PSI.”
What? You aren’t making any sense!
“You might find something in the basement to help.”
“But, I left the basement Key Someplace… can’t remember exactly where…”
Dammit all! What kind of person hides the key to a room in their own house and forgets where it is!?
“Anyhow, son, you are my only hope. It’s time for you to go on a little adventure, and explore the potential of your powers.”
“Powers not to be taken lightly. Whomp, go for it!! But remember to come back and check on our family.”
Wait, what is “Whomp”? What powers? Why do I have to go on an adventure? Explain old man, EXPLAIN!!!
“Bye. Phone me when you want to save. Call me whenever.” *slam*
Buh… Guess I better find that key… Time to recheck everything in the house!

Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_146
If it’s not inside so it must be outside. I bet it’s hidden in the doghouse, that’s a rational place to hide it.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_148
Oooookay. So then where could it be? Maybe, just maybe…
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_149
No… no way.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_150
“Tell you a secret. Why don’t you CHECK me out?”
I’ll pass. I’m not into that kind of stuff. I do however have a question for you, how is it that I can converse with animals?
“Bow wow.”
Mother-fffffffffffffffffffine. Whatever.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_153Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_152
I… I don’t know what to make of this. However I do know that now I can get into the basement.  TO THE BASMENT!
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_158
I bet there is going to be a bitchin’ Foosball table or some sort of old Billiards table.
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_159
Well, this isn’t exactly what I was expecting. At least there are presents?
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_161Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_164Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_167
Bread, a plastic bat, and a diary, who leaves bread as a present?  I guess I should focus on checking out this diary though…
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_168
“The Diary was hard to read, but opened up to this page…
….The one who lost the tail. The Forgotten one… the ship that sails… “
Cool. I guess this will be important later. Welp, lets blow this pop stand!
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_173
“Son of mine, you are braver than I thought.”
Was it the fighting off of murderous household items that tipped you off?
“I can’t let you go on a journey so famished. I’ll cook Prime Rib.”
B-but I want to start my adventure now!
Earthbound Zero (Demiforce Hack) (U)_176
Pffft other mothers would jump at the opportunity to let their sons throw themselves into danger.

Will Ninten do as his father says and go on an adventure to discover and harness his “powers”, and just what is this “PSI” Nintens great-grandfather was researching? Check back at some future point in time for answers to these questions*. *Answers to questions are subject to the plot and may or may not be answered or be completely forgotten in lieu of a pointless romantic subplot or several hours of level grinding in order to defeat random enemies who happen to be ten levels higher then the players party.