It's almost hard to believe that EarthBound (Mother 2) is 20 years old with the way it continues to pop up nowadays. The 27th of August marks the RPG's 1994 release in Japan, however, and paved the way for its strange journey through other parts of the world.
Brought to North America in 1995, EarthBound received a lukewarm reception from many critics and did not become as successful as Nintendo had hoped. This led to no subsequent release in Europe at the time, and otherwise this would have been a game swept under the rug of gaming history. And yet, EarthBound gained a following of fans charmed by its modern-setting story and trippy humour; very faithful fans who champion the game still to this day and helped make the cartridge a highly sought commodity in its rarity.
Luckily for many of us, Nintendo released EarthBound on the Virtual Console last year, giving those who never got a chance to play an easy way of experiencing that game the weird, psychic, bat-wielding kid in Super Smash Bros. is from.
Mother series creator Shigesato Itoi, a popular cultural figure in Japan who has recently been making news with peaches and underthings, posted a celebratory message you can see on his website, along with a nonsensical doodle of a Mr. Saturn. Translated by the good people at Siliconera, the message reads:
“It’s already been 20 years since the release of Mother 2.
… does that make you happy?
*Yes: me too.
*No: Then be happy.
August 27th, 2014.
Will do, Mr. Itoi. Will do.