In the American release, red hospital crosses had to be removed from the clinics, because it’s a trademark of the Red Cross organization.
In the Japanese release, Peaceful Rest Valley is called "Grateful Dead Valley". This was changed in the American release to avoid any potential law suits from the well known musical group.
Development of the game spanned over five years.
The American release was heavily marketed with the slogan "this game stinks." The strategy guide was packaged with scratch and sniff stickers which included the "stink" smell.
The American release of the game was not a huge seller and was initially met with lukewarm responses.
The game was featured at the first year of E3 in 1995. It had its own booth with lifesize standups of the game's characters and a neon EarthBound sign.
The game's development was split up between Ape and Hal Laboratories during development. Shigesato Itoi feared that the game was doomed from the start as the team members had to frquently walk back and forth between two office buildings.
Many of the team members for Earthbound were unmarried, and therefore willing to work long hours to complete the game's development.
The game's script was intentionally written in a humorous manner, in order to give dialogue more of a conversation vibe and feel more natural.
The desert miners in the game were based on real-life workers from a Japanese construction company.
The final boss fight with Giygas was based on a traumatic experience Shigesato Itoi had when he was a child. He went to a movie theater and by accident saw the wrong movie titled " The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty" which contained a physically violent scene. Itoi was so traumatized by this that his parents began to worry about his well-being.
This was the first RPG Shigeru Miyamoto completed work on.
There is a long-standing rumor that the final fight against Giygas is actually the process of aborting a fetus. This circumstance is evidenced by the notion that the entry point looks vaginal, Giygas' inner chamber looks comparable to human intestines, and there is what appears to be an image of an unborn baby inside the mother's womb mixed in with Giygas' graphics during the fight. Shigesato Itoi has neither denied or confirmed this.
The game's development started on an 8 megabit cartridge and increased to a 24 megabit cartridge when development was completed.
A particularly difficult feature to implement in the game was the in-game delivery service, since the player is not in any one location when the delivery man arrives.
In the original Japanese version of EarthBound, when Pokey and Picky returned home, their father chased them off to their rooms, then a slapping noise was heard. After that, if Ness spoke to Pokey, he'd complain that 'his butt hurt.' Nintendo of America, however, did not approve of domestic violence of any kind in their games, so the noise was changed to one that represented angry yelling. Afterward, when speaking to Pokey, he complained that he lost his dessert privileges for the rest of the decade.
Submitted by: Larcen Tyler. Rate it:
Camera Man: Pictures taken instantaneously! I'm a photographic genius, if I do say so myself! Okay, get ready for an instant memory! Look at the camera... Ready... Say, "fuzzy pickles."
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Pokey: My dad really got after me. He said I get no dessert for the rest of the decade.
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Moonside Resident: Welcome to Moonside. Wecomel to Soonmide. Moonwel ot Cosidme.
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"Pokey played dead."
"Pokey pretended to cry."
"Pokey complained to Ness."
Connection to Other Media
Two enemies in the game share the names of famous David Bowie songs: “Starman” and “Diamond Dogs”.
The Runaway Five are based off The Blues Brothers which is more obvious in the Japanese version where all the members wear all black clothing.
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The second song played by the Runaway Five in the Chaos Theater is a rendition of the song "The Changeling" by The Doors.
The yellow submarine in the game is noted to be a nod to the Beatles song and animated movie, Yellow Submarine.
The music played when starting a new game and naming the characters contains a short musical sample from the theme song for the show Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
The song played while the Dungeon Man is in your party contains a sample from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise).
The first few measures of the song played the morning after you stay at a hotel is a slowed down version of the melody from The Beatles song “Good Morning Good Morning.”
One of the weapons in the game the main character, Ness, can equip is called a "Casey Bat".
Two of the in-game locations, Giant Step and Lilliput Steps, are references to Gulliver’s Travels.
A character in Onett will play a melody from Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, movement 2 on trumpet upon being spoken to.
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