South Park Creators Cite Earthbound as a Major Inspiration for Their Own Game
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Praise from all corners
South Park: The Stick of Truth is an RPG based on the adult cartoon series, and one that's had a troubled and challenging development history to date. It is coming, though, and is a project with the full involvement of series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
During a panel at Comic-Con, the two writers behind the franchise were asked to name games that have most influenced the approach to their own project. After jokingly naming Crash Bandicoot 2, Trey Parker got serious and named a title that's been making a big splash on the Wii U Virtual Console in the last couple of days — Earthbound.
We're big gamers and I think what was inspiring the game was a lot more lofty than what we could pull off. I was a big fan of it and what I kept thinking in my mind was EarthBound.
I haven't played it [EarthBound] again in forever, but I just remember something being about 'Oh wow, I'm a little kid in a house and there's my mom and I go outside my house and am fighting like an ant and a little mouse.' It started out feeling so real. I kept having in my head 'do I really want [South Park: The Stick of Truth] to feel like that you are a little kid and you're playing this game and bigger s**t ends up happening.' But I really loved that feeling that EarthBound had of 'I'm a cute little kid in my neighborhood and we're running around playing a game.'
Also noted as inspirations were Link as a silent protagonist in The Legend of Zelda, while the art style of the Paper Mario series supposedly influenced the design of the South Park game.
When it comes to Earthbound, it seems, its influence can be found in fairly unlikely places.