News Article

Believe, People - EarthBound Is Coming To The Virtual Console At Last

Posted by Damien McFerran

The wait is finally over

Nintendo fans have been clamouring for a Virtual Console release of the SNES RPG EarthBound ever since the Wii launched, but during today's Nintendo Direct the happy news was finally delivered: Shigesato Itoi's seminal title is coming to the Wii U Virtual Console.

Launched in Japan as Mother 2, a North American release seemed unlikely due to rumoured licencing issues, but it would appear that Nintendo has overcome those problems.

How long have you been waiting to play EarthBound on the Virtual Console? How happy has this news made you? The comments section below is your friend.

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User Comments (151)

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#1

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

How many people went on the Japanese Miiverse and kindly asked for a Western release? I, for one, did!

Captain_Toad

#2

Captain_Toad said:

Thank you Nintendo for giving me the best birthday gift ever: People to stop asking about Earthbound! Seriously, it's getting annoying and upsetting to the point of depression.

Now to see what the fuss about Earthbound is all about.

Noxia

#4

Noxia said:

I'm confused, is this for NA only? I thought it was released in NA anyway as you can buy the SNES cartridge for it.

SilentHunter382

#7

SilentHunter382 said:

Fantastic news. Just hope its released here. My only way of playing it was through an emulator since it was never released here. If it does get released here I will be buying it.

Captain_Toad

#9

Captain_Toad said:

@Noxia I'm pretty sure that the game was released everywhere. The game had couple of bad adverts resulted in low sales. It also doesn't help that game had some parodies of copyright music in it thus preventing a VC release. This was released in Japan for sometime now.

Palom

#15

Palom said:

Excellent news for people who've been waiting for it forever. But Wii U VC? Does this mean the Wii is never going to get it?

Grumpalo

#18

Grumpalo said:

I've never played this, so am looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the Hype! (Assuming it also gets a European release)

nik1470

#19

nik1470 said:

May have just screamed YES at the top of my voice in a quite office after reading this news! A lit of people are looking at me!

SMW

#22

SMW said:

I still cannot comprehend this news. After SO many years of being told no, Iwata conquered all and just flat out revealed it. My how have things changed. I wonder what all was changed in order to bring it here. Surely they couldn't have gotten around all that legal mumbo jumbo without tweaking things, could they?

Does this gives a chance for MOTHER 3? They did say that GBA games are coming.

Dpishere

#25

Dpishere said:

I have been waiting to play this game for years! I did not think they would ever be able overcome the licensing issues! Consider this a purchase.

FonistofCruxis

#26

FonistofCruxis said:

Assuming this is also coming to Europe, this is fantastic news! Although, I would want to play Mother first so I hope that gets a Wii U VC release too.

rjejr

#27

rjejr said:

Man that is some groovy box art. I think Greg Brady had a poster of it hanging in his attic room.

Emaan

#28

Emaan said:

I can't believe it! <3

After all these years of waiting, and disappointed fans all over. This game is finally being released on the Virtual Console! I'm so happy right now. This made my day! :D

Dreams do come true~

brooks83

#30

brooks83 said:

I don't think there ever was any licensing issues. I guess I'll have to get a Wii U eventually.

RupeeClock

#31

RupeeClock said:

Not only is Earthbound finally getting that much demanded VC release, but it's getting it's first ever European release.
Praise be Nintendo.

Clayfrd

#35

Clayfrd said:

I'm incredibly excited. I absolutely cannot wait for this release. Wonderful, long-awaited news.

Mario500

#37

Mario500 said:

I hope the game becomes available through the Virtual Console for the original Nintendo Wii. That would be very convenient for folks not interested in getting a Wii U system. It would still help Nintendo financially if they were to offer the game for the same price through both the original Virtual Console and the Wii U Virtual Console.

IxnayontheCK

#38

IxnayontheCK said:

Def thinking this may be Nintendo trying to remind people about this game as a means to possibly create a sequel??

WoS

#41

WoS said:

It would be stupid to not release this on Wii's virtual console but you never know. I need this for my Wii :D

astarisborn94

#42

astarisborn94 said:

At long last, the suffering of Earthbound fans are finally coming to in.

The most wanted game for the Virtual Console is finally coming. I can now respect Nintendo of America for making this possible.

Time to buy a Wii-U. :)

brooks83

#45

brooks83 said:

@mario500 - Why would they do that? They want you to buy a Wii U lol. I really believe Nintendo was saving this game as an ace in their sleeve and now they feel that the time is right to release it.

DarkKirby

#46

DarkKirby said:

Wasn't the reason Earthbound was never remade/rereleased because of a bunch of ridiculous copyright infringement claims made on it?

HeatBombastic

#47

HeatBombastic said:

I'm glad this game is finally coming to US. Even if it's highly overrated, especially by people who haven't even played the game.

Peach64

#49

Peach64 said:

@mariobro4 Nope, never got a release outside Japan and North America.

I also think it's going a bit over board to call this an ace up Nintendo's sleeve. It's almost the very definition of a cult classic. The vast majority of gamers today, even the vast majority of Nintendo gamers, will have never heard of this game. It sold badly when it was a new, cutting edge game, it's hardly going to make millions rush out for a Wii U 20 years later. I think this is more of a thank you from Nintendo rather than something to sell consoles.

Tasuki

#50

Tasuki said:

Quite possibly the best news of the day gaming related. Now I can finally pack away my cartridge.

bluecat

#51

bluecat said:

All indicators seem to point to this being a Wii U only release. Think of it this way: it costs about the same to get a Wii U as it does to buy a SNES cart of this game.

You might as well get a Wii U.

Angelic_Lapras_King

#53

Angelic_Lapras_King said:

And the morel of the story kids, if you want Nintendo to do something, post about it in as many numbers as possible on Miiverse.

60Hz VC games in Europe? Done.
Earthbound? Done.

It's clearly its the only place they review feedback, lol. XD

DestinyMan

#54

DestinyMan said:

Wonderful news not just for fans, but for those like me who never got to play the game to see why it's so considered so good. This proves that Miiverse is the place to go to make your voices heard by Nintendo.

Squiggle55

#57

Squiggle55 said:

Hooray! I'll be double dipping to show support for the franchise. The game isnot overrated, if RPGs and 16 bit and nostalgia are your cup of tea. I feel as fondly about this game as I do A Link to the Past. Pure joy.

Melkaticox

#60

Melkaticox said:

Hmm...I could never get into it. But hey! Now I'll play it in my Wii U (when I get one) soon! So maybe that'll change things...

Then again, Mother 3 is one of my favorite RPGs of all time. Make a Mother 3 remake, Ninty!

odd69

#69

odd69 said:

I ve played this didnt like it but the mass loves it, im excited for them though. Im glad its on wii u as well

ueI

#73

ueI said:

Why is it that none of this year's most ridiculous stories are April Fools jokes?

Kevin

#74

Kevin said:

@DarkKirby Cartridges are the way to go regardless of how much a cart is. Emulators aren't perfect unlike the original hardware.

Kaeobais

#77

Kaeobais said:

I don't even like turn based RPGs, and I might buy this. I tried it a little before, and the comedy is spot on. I just wish it were an ARPG, but ah well.

mch

#79

mch said:

I've been hearing about this game since ..ever, but i don't know it myself. Anyway, i will get it ASAP, i want more RPGs of all types and styles!

SCAR392

#80

SCAR392 said:

Now carts don't need to be sold on eBay or where ever else for $80. Good day.

ClassicJetterz

#82

ClassicJetterz said:

I believe in make believe...fairytales and lucky charms and...
I believe in promises...spoken as you cross your heart, oh...
I believe in skies forever blue...

Why shouldn't I believe the same in you?

Moshugan

#85

Moshugan said:

Oh baby! I'm so downloading you for Wii U my darling!
I agree that it needs to be on Wii VC also!! It would be a crime against the fandom to skip it.

TheXboxHero

#87

TheXboxHero said:

WE asked for it and THEY LISTENED! Gosh, Im so excited. Day one purchase for me as soon as it arrives on the Nintendo eShop.

Sabrewing

#88

Sabrewing said:

I have to admit, it'd be kinda hilarious if everybody refused to download it out of spite of being shunned for so long, thus reinforcing Nintendo's thoughts that the game just doesn't sell at all in the US. :)

NintendoPro64

#93

NintendoPro64 said:

On topic, this is AWESOME! Could get me into the series, which Nintendo should REALLY consider reviving. :)

Intrepid

#96

Intrepid said:

@Angelic_Lapras_King So true. People petitioned for this, as well as for Mother 3, filled a book with 31,000 signatures and fan art, which was mailed to NoA, and spammed thier facebook, twitter, and Club Nintendo sites with requests, and they were all ignored. Nintendo must feel Miiverse is special for some reason.

tanookisuit

#97

tanookisuit said:

Finally the predatory resellers feeding off the hype will have their cash cow crippled and definitely not soon enough. A fairly common game with a fairly rare game price will now end up at your standard VC pricing so anyone who isn't a rabid must own it collector should hopefully pounce on this and somewhat wreck the asking price on the cart only copies online.

swordx

#99

swordx said:

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm a bit excited...

RetroGBHippie92

#100

RetroGBHippie92 said:

I can't believe I woke up to find out that Earthbound was finally being released on a VC service! But you know, this has me curious as to why Mother 1 isn't being released, what's happening there? the first game is a masterpiece too you know Nintendo!
Hey I'm just thankful they heard us out (FINALLY!) and are giving it to us, I'll pay anything to be able to experience the brilliance that is Earthbound.

FOURSIDE_BOY

#102

FOURSIDE_BOY said:

The best game ever coming to north america? I'm definitely excited!!!!! Now I can finally give peace to my original snes cart and store it, I've played the hell out of it. The runaway five will always be the best musicians ever in a videogame!!!!!

OdnetninAges

#107

OdnetninAges said:

Yay! Now I get to see what all the fuss is about! I've been interested in this for quite a while.

AtomicToaster

#109

AtomicToaster said:

And all it took was a miiverse! Nintendo fans have a new found use for Miiverse! Getting Nintendo to release the stuff we've wanted for years!

AtomicToaster

#110

AtomicToaster said:

@Intrepid I bet it's more addictive to look through drawins on miiverse than open letters that may be hard for. the Japanese to read and NOA does very little for fans much of the time. So drawing stuff on Miiverse is probably one of the first times we've had access to developer eyeballs!

SKTTR

#111

SKTTR said:

So much love and truth in this charming RPG that it's always a pleasure to play through this.
I hope more people can appreciate the art, music and story now. It was way too mature and revolutionary for a 1995 RPG.

ThetaRobo

#114

ThetaRobo said:

@mariobro4 Maybe you should research a bit more. The game had a limited run in North America, and was not released at all in Europe. The only English copies there are (in box) go for a surplus of $700.

Sometimes I wish some people would give the trilogy a chance and see what the fuss is about instead of hating on a game they're oblivious to.

MadAdam81

#115

MadAdam81 said:

I played it, but didn't think much of it - I felt it was inferior to many RPGs and JRPGs I have played (such as Pokemon & Chrono Trigger).

XCWarrior

#118

XCWarrior said:

Why the heck isn't this the top story stuck to the top of the page? This is the biggest news since the internet! It may be bigger than the internet!

CaptainBones

#121

CaptainBones said:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah, this looks pretty neat.

Intrepid

#122

Intrepid said:

@AtomicToaster Makes sense; Miiverse is rather addicting, and I'm sure Nintendo feels it important to monitor it closely. I've avoided Miiverse due to Yeah spammers, but I may make an exception for when it comes time to campaign for other things on there.

Although, even if they didn't have the capacity to open and read them all, just looking at the vast amounts of letters and signatures should have overwhelmed them. I just find it kind of funny that Miiverse had to be the thing to push it over the edge, considering that we were essentially screaming into their ears with a megaphone years before.

Iggy

#123

Iggy said:

Hopefully it comes to the 3DS too. If its only going to be on the Wii U VC it will be the first game I play when I buy a Wii U.

oOo-Sega-oOo

#129

oOo-Sega-oOo said:

Can't wait! Finally get to play this awesome game so many people have raved on about. Roll on release day.

ogo79

#131

ogo79 said:

i have been trying to tell you all for years now, it will come. i tried telling you also that its probably being saved for the wii u. if it does good, we will see the other 2 games. i got them all on cart, however i will be downloading this even though i have 2 complete sets of earthbound, i can be a jerk like that
i am happy for folks that never played this game now have a chance.

bluecat

#132

bluecat said:

@tanookisuit "Finally the predatory resellers feeding off the hype will have their cash cow crippled and definitely not soon enough. A fairly common game with a fairly rare game price..."

No kidding. Uncommon? Yes. Super rare? No, not really. I hope to see the prices drop from about $200 - $300 to well under $100. I'd like to own one but hell if I will pay those prices. Honestly that game shouldn't be going past $50....

LordessMeep

#135

LordessMeep said:

No words, just fangasming right now.

On another note, Nintendo listening to people on the Miiverse is encouraging.

TheAdza

#136

TheAdza said:

What can we Miiverse Bomb them for next? New F-Zero? Less Mario? Captain Rainbow? Lol

LavaTwilight

#137

LavaTwilight said:

Never played it, can't stand Ness in SSB, don't know much about it... still psyched for it to play what everyone else is raving about! Can't wait :)

McRokert

#138

McRokert said:

Really nice to see that they lisent to those people on Miiverse, but with that said.. If they are reading that.. Where the hell is the Majora's Mask anouncment? Well perhaps they are saving that one for next year haha

Nibelilt

#140

Nibelilt said:

Hopefully it arrives to PAL regions as well, I hear lots of hype about this game but I've never played it.

Gregor

#142

Gregor said:

I can finally play this game! Listen up everyone: BUY THIS. If millions of us get this game we could potentially get Mother 3 and even a mother 2 1/2! But remember, once it comes out BUY IT IMMEDIATELY. Why? Because I have a feeling it will get pulled like Mother 1 did from the Wii (Yes mother 1 did come out for virtual console on the wii, but it was pulled. I saw it on there a long time ago and disregarded it but when I went back to check it wasn't there anymore. Don't believe me? Go to the wii shop channel and search for virtual console games and start typing mother, a search suggestion will pop up.) SO PLEASE BUY THIS GAME BEFORE IT DISAPPEARS FROM THE ESHOP!

Gregor

#143

Gregor said:

@Sabrewing shut your mouth. We Earthbounders aren't anywhere near as bad as the sonic fanbase. Not to mention that most of us are aware that Nintendo had their reasons. REMEMBER PEOPLE DAY 1 DOWNLOAD. EVERY OTHER GAME CAN WAIT. This one could be pulled within a week! Buy it before the Corporal apes shut it down!

Gregor

#144

Gregor said:

@RupeeClock now ya brits can see how stereotypical CRRAZY it was here in America in the late 80s lol. Long live Itoi for being absolutly erratic!

kdognumba1

#146

kdognumba1 said:

If there's any 1 announcement that I can say I always wanted but never expected, this is it. The moment it's on the eShop will be the moment I download it and start playing. I always wanted this game when I was a kid but it was waaayyyy too expensive. Now I'll finally get the chance to play it (I don't use emulators) and I'm super stoked about it.

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