Role in EarthBound
Instead of having train stations, signs are placed in towns that display the bus schedule. When Ness checks them from the sidewalk, a bus will come within moments. If Ness tries to check the bus schedule from on the road, it will instruct Ness to read it from the sidewalk to avoid danger. Similarly to the train from the first game, buses move at a much faster speed than simply walking, as well as avoiding enemies altogether. When Threed is invaded, riding a normal bus through the tunnel to Threed causes ghosts to remove the bus from the tunnel, preventing Ness from passing through it.
Runaway Five tour bus
The Runaway Five's tour bus plays a vital role throughout the game, as it is required in order to enter Threed due to the Runaway Five's loud music, which scares away the ghosts in the tunnel. When Ness is instructed to enter the bus if the player chooses not to do so, there are no enemies on the overworld map aside from sanctuary bosses and other similar scripted events. While this is useful, if the player is defeated by one of these scripted events a glitch causes an endless sequence of game-over scenes to occur, among other effects. This was fixed in the Mother 1+2 version of the game.
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