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|Example of a localization change
|This is filler text.
|This is filler text.
It's not uncommon for changes to be made in media during localization. These changes are often made to make it appeal to western audiences. EarthBound Beginnings has recieved numerous changes during its transition to EarthBound Beginnings, whether for censorship purposes, or for the game to be more appealing for all audiences.
It's worth noting that all the changes made in the localized version were carried over to the Mother portion of the Japan only Mother 1+2.
List of changes
- The game's title screen changes the name from MOTHER to EARTH BOUND.
- The opening credits are rewritten to be clearer and more grammatically correct.
- The game's setting is explicitly listed as 1988 in the Famicom version as well as Mother 1+2, but in the NES version, the year is left vague for unknown reasons, simply stating "80 years have passed since then" after explaining George and Maria's story.
- Giygas, whose name was originally rendered in Japanese as 'Gyiyg', is translated as Giegue.
- Several enemies are renamed for censorship purposes (i.e. changing "Devil Truck" to "Psycho Truck").
- The Black Blood gang is renamed to the Bla Bla Gang
- Several of the game's graphics were censored:
- Crows no longer hold cigarettes in their wings.
- B.B. Gang Members no longer smoke cigarettes.
- The B.B. Gang's leader no longer holds a knife, and his left elbow is changed for reasons unknown, likely a sprite error. His skin is also darkened for unknown reasons as well.
- Kelly, Nancy, and Juana's chests are altered to remove the nipple-like reflections on them.
- Gang Zombies and Nasty Zombies have their gunshot wounds removed.
- Shroudlies no longer drip blood from their hands.
- A small, barely-noticeable bloodstain on Dr. Distorto's coat is removed.
- Crosses on gravestones were replaced with obelisks, crosses in churches were replaced with stain-glass windows, and crosses atop churches and on priests' necks were removed entirely.
- Several overworld characters are redesigned to remove resemblances to the 1950 comic strip Peanuts:
- Carol's hair is straightened somewhat in order to bear less of a resemblance to Sally Brown.
- The girl with glasses has her straight hair tied up in pigtails in order to bear less of a resemblance to Marcy.
- The tramp boy has the dust around his feet removed in order to bear less of a resemblance to Pigpen.
- The stripe on Ninten's shirt is changed from black to beige, though this change is possibly to better reflect his official model, rather than to differentiate his design from Charlie Brown.
- The map appears as an item in Ninten's basement in the Famicom version. In later versions, the map is now an option in the menu, and the item box that contained it in the Famicom version now contains a loaf of Bread.
- With the exeption of Reindeer and Snowman, all of the game's towns are renamed to better suit English-speaking audiences:
- Mother's Day was renamed Podunk.
- Thanksgiving was renamed Merrysville.
- Santa Claus Station was renamed Union Station.
- Halloween was renamed Spookane.
- The Advent Desert was renamed the Yucca Desert.
- Easter was renamed Youngtown.
- Valentine's Day was renamed Ellay.
- Holy Loly Mountain was renamed Mt. Itoi.
- The Time Machine (which, upon buying it, triggers a cutscene that uses it up immediately) was replaced with the more practical Super Bomb.
- In Twinkle Elementary School, one kid asks Ninten in the Famicom version "Have you played Dragon Quest IV? I'm still having trouble with Dragon Quest III." In the NES version, to avoid copyright issues (as the Dragon Quest franchise was the intellectual property of Enix Software, and is still owned by them today as Square Enix), Dragon Quest III and Dragon Quest IV were respectively replaced with Super Mario Bros. 3 and the nonexistent "Super Mario Bros. 7".
- The following glitches were fixed:
- A glitch involving Bread Crumbs commonly used to skip large portions of the game.
- A glitch where the Flea Bag can be used to stall the R7038 and R7038XX fights to the point where the maximum limit of 255 turns is reached, causing the battles to end by default. This glitch can be utilized to avoid losing Teddy or EVE, though doing so would cause some minor graphical glitches.
- Pressing and holding the B button on the overworld causes the game to run twice as fast, effectively functioning as a run feature.
- Several portions of the game's map were altered:
- Magicant Underground was simplified.
- The path to Mt. Itoi was simplified (by blocking off the misleading portions of the path).
- The layout of Spookane was altered.
- An extra cavernous path was added at the summit of Mt. Itoi. This path forks between the crater where Giegue's mothership lies, and a room filled with Giegue's prisoners. The prison room was initially located lower on the mountain, where EVE can access it. The cavern to this room was completely removed in the NES version.
- PSI powers are learned in a different order.
- When Ninten learns a melody, the background now changes to a set of downward-scrolling black and purple lines.
- The man in Magicant's Magic Fountain changes duties from a healer to an ATM.
- If Ninten incorrectly answers one of the Forgotten Man's questions, the Forgotten Man will simply restart his prompt, instead of warping Ninten to the beginning of Magicant Underground.
- Enemies from the Yucca Desert now appear in the train tunnel between Union Station and Reindeer, likely to discourage players from skipping the Merrysville portion of the game.
- The battle with R7038 has a more optimistic ending: In the Famicom version, R7038 would flee by tearing a hole through space. Lloyd will arrive in the Army Veteran's tank, having hoped to save his friends, and will express his dismay at his inability to assist them. In later versions, Lloyd successfully reaches R7038 in time and destroys him with a shot from the tank. However, Lloyd, not being the best shot in the world, hits his friends as well and doesn't completely destroy R7038, leaving room for the robot's improvement.
- When Teddy lies in bed, recovering from the wounds received from R7038, he is aligned closer to the center of the bed. Due to the Famicom version's ambiguous ending, it is implied that Teddy dies in the 1989 release.
- The rocks blocking Giegue's lair are redesigned.
- The circumstances surrounding the Eighth Melody are heavily altered: In the Famicom version, Ninten and co. are instantly warped to Queen Mary after learning seven of the Eight Melodies. After hearing the parts of the song that the trio learned, Mary sings them back and remembers the eighth one on her own.In later versions, Ninten and co. learn the Eighth Melody from George's spirit, via his gravesite. Ninten and co. must then return to Magicant on their own (possibly done to encourage players to obtain the Onyx Hookearlier on in the game), and must manually reach Queen Mary. They then sing to her the Eight Melodies, which she then recites, remembering only the words. The dialogue associated with the Famicom version appears translated in the NES version's ROM, yet goes unused.
- The XX Stone is only cosmetic in the Famicom version. The revisions given to it in later versions effectively make it one of the most drastic changes in the game.
- The ending was heavily revised (see "Story").
- The Famicom version is more personal when it comes to names -- the player is asked for their own name for Ninten's name, their friend's name as Lloyd's name and another friend's name as Teddy's name. When asking for Ana's name, the game uses just "A girl's name". The NES version just uses generic "boy" and "girl" nouns when asking for all names.