Telephone

PhoneM2.png

Telephones (Japanese: テレホン Telephone) are important objects in EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound. In Mother 3, it was replaced by the Save Frog, which also functions as an ATM.

In EarthBound Beginnings

In EarthBound Beginnings, telephones are the only method of contacting Ninten's father, which is vital to saving the player's progress. There are two types of phones; normal phones and payphones. Payphones require a single dollar to be used, and are generally located in drugstores alongside the ATM, while normal telephones are only located in select locations, notably Ninten's house and Healer's houses. The Phone Card allows for 50 free usages of the payphone before reaching the credit limit and becoming unusable. When using the phone in the healer's house in Snowman for the first time, Ninten's father will register the player's name. The Mysterious Mimicker functions nearly identically to the telephone.

In EarthBound

Telephones in EarthBound have a somewhat expanded role from their original appearance. While functioning similarly, Ness must have registered a phone number in order to make a call, with his father and mother registered at the beginning of the game. In addition to calling his family, telephones can be used to call multiple services, such as Mach Pizza and Escargo Express. Similarly, the receiver phone is used to receive calls from many people, including Apple Kid, Orange Kid, and Tony. Similarly to in EarthBound Beginnings, there are payphones and normal phones. Normal phones are now somewhat more common, appearing in hotels and various other places.

There are also unique phone designs only used in specific locations: in Dalaam a man who's hair resembles a phone is used, in Deep Darkness the phone takes the appearance of a myna bird, and in Magicant is a lighter colored simplistic phone on a pedestal.

In Mother 3

Telephones do not appear in Mother 3 due to Save Frogs taking their primary role of saving the game. Three phones, however, make a cameo appearence in the Hall of Memories in the Empire Porky Building. They cannot be interacted with as they are on the pedestal when Lucas and his team are riding the boat.

In the Super Smash Bros. series

 
The spirit Ness's father uses the telephone sprite

The telephone sprite is used in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the Spirit artwork for Ness's father, which references how telephones are commonly used to communicate with his father throughout his journey in EarthBound. In earlier versions of Ultimate the Spirit had a slightly different hue with green pixels appearing underneath the receiver. The 2.0.0 update corrected this and it now appears identical to the sprite in EarthBound.

Gallery

Sprites
 
The payphone in EarthBound
 
The phone in Dalaam
 
The phone in Deep Darkness
 
The phone in Magicant
Artwork
 
Artwork of the reciever phone from the Mother 2 strategy guide
 
Artwork of the Deep Darkness telephone from the EarthBound Player's Guide, identified as a myna bird.