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Difference between revisions of "User:Supatoad64/EarthBound history"

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Revision as of 02:06, 30 November 2019

Another draft of mine for a large revision.

Franchise history

The series was created by an influential Japanese copywriter, actor, and minor television celebrity named Shigesato Itoi, who took part in Nintendo's video game industry in the late 1980s. After forming his own subsidiary Ape Inc. with then-Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, he began working on the franchise starting with Mother, later released internationally as EarthBound Beginnings. Released in July of 1989, the game took on a different theme opposed to the medieval sword-and-sorcery theme found in most RPG games at the time. Instead, the game was set in modern-day America with the cast consisting of average children with psychic powers, using average everyday items such as baseball bats and frying pans as weapons. Mother was a commercial success in Japan, and so the game was then planned to be translated and released internationally with the title Earth Bound. It was scheduled to release in 1991, however it was cancelled because the upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System was thought to overshadow the English release of the game, thus the game was decided too costly to market and produce, and was shelved with no plans for a release in the future.

On June 15th, 2015, the game was released for the first time internationally to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series in North America, the game was given the official title 'EarthBound Beginnings. Similar to Japan, the game recieved positive reception, with critics praising its originality story, and its music. However, the game did recieve criticism for its difficulty and balance issues.

With the success of Mother, Shigesato Itoi began to work on a sequel for the Super Famicom, Mother 2. However the game featured numerous delays with development taking 5 years, with the game nearly facing cancellation.

However, the project was saved when veteran programmer Satoru Iwata joined the development team, making the Mother 2 project now a joint effort by Ape and HAL Laboratory (HALKEN at the time), separate studios based at separate locations (employees would regularly have to travel between studios to work). The game was then completed and released in Japan in August 1994. It was then released in North America on June 5th, 1995. While the game was a success in Japan, it recieved poor reception in America. During the time of EarthBound's release, the RPG genre was generally unpopular in the west (this eventually changed with the release of Final Fantasy VII, and the game was criticized for having simple, cartoonish graphics as opposed to advanced graphics that were more appealing at the time. EarthBound's unusual marketing campaign, "this game stinks", was also thought to be a cause for the games faliure in America. These poor sales prevented the game from being released in PAL regions.

Despite this, the game began to recieve recognition because of Ness, the protagonist of EarthBound, recieving representation in Super Smash Bros. and its successors. Because of this, the game began to recieve a large following on internet sites such as Starmen.Net. Retrospectively, the gane became a massive success with critics calling it not only one of the best RPGs of all time, but also the most original. The game recieved praise for its quirky humor, and its many parodies of American culture. The Wii U virtual console release of the game was the first time the game was released in PAL regions, it was one of Nintendo's most popular downloadable games of all time.

After the release of Mother 2, Itoi began on a sequel to the game, Mother 3 (named EarthBound 64 by western fans). The subtitle used in the Japanese game was changed several times during development, with one being "Forest of the Chimera" (森のキマイラ), but the most common one being "Fall of the Pig King". Initially planned for the Super Famicom, development actually began on the Nintendo 64, where it was planned to be a launch title for the system in the west. Development then moved onto the Nintendo 64 disk drive expansion to use the expanded features. When the disk drive was seen as a commercial failure, the development moved back onto the N64. EarthBound 64 featured 3D graphics as opposed to the 2D art style from the previous 2 games. However, the development team faced many difficulties, forcing the game to have numerous delays across the years of the N64 lifespan. One of the biggest difficulties was how Itoi and his team were inexperienced with developing 3D video games. Development continued to struggle, with fears that the upcoming Nintendo GameCube would overshadow the release of the game. After more delays, the game was officially cancelled in August 2000, with Itoi citing that he did not want to make anything other than "something truly special" in addition to the project becoming too complex with its interest in 3D graphics.

However, after the success of the Super Smash Bros. series, encouragement from fans eventually led to Shigesato Itoi returning to development on Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance. To promote the revival of Mother 3, Mother and Mother 2 were ported to the Game Boy Advance in June 2003, being the compilation cartridge Mother 1+2, released only in Japan.

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