Monday, August 30, 2010

Earthbound Zero: Know Your Roots

It’s hard for many of us to not get caught up in the excitement of the recent MOTHER 3 Fanfest, hosted by If you’re reading this, either you enjoy MOTHER games enough to read essays about them, or something went horribly wrong while you were surfing the net, and you crashed-landed, cold and confused, on my virtual doorstep. (For the latter – keep reading anyway; it’ll make me feel loved.) I’m assuming you’re here because you just finished MOTHER 3 along with the fanfest and are rabidly soaking up any and all MOTHER information as a sort of conclusion to the fun. But let me ask you what might sound like an odd question, given the circumstances: What did you think of MOTHER 1 or as some know it, Earthbound Zero? Have you finished it? Have you ever played it?

Buried deep within the abyss that is my closet, I have a T-shirt that I wore so much, the stitching started to unravel and one could see my armpit through the sizable hole it left. On the front was an 8-bit Nintendo controller, with the words “Know your Roots!” scrawled across the bottom. MOTHER 2 might have been the only installment of the series we’ve officially seen (and probably ever will see) in English, but MOTHER 1 has been available, just as Nintendo was planning to release it in the United States, for more than a decade now. There’s nothing wrong with being excited about MOTHER 3 – especially after the fanfest – but if you still haven’t played the original, you’re missing out on an indispensable part of the MOTHER trilogy.

Every summer, devoted MOTHER fans everywhere break out their copies Earthbound and their likely-decaying Super NES control decks to participate in’s Earthbound Funktastic Gameplay Event, with MOTHER 3 getting the limelight this year with its own fanfest. Yet, no one has never had a playthrough event for the title that started it all, MOTHER 1. So ponder this: Wouldn’t it be awesome if everyone banded together for the first ever Earthbound Zero Fanfest? We could call it the “Know Your Roots Campaign.” Like previous fanfests, we would only need about 30 days of gameplay points for the event, so hopefully it wouldn’t be as much work to set up as one might think.

But like I’ve said before on this blog, you don’t have to wait for to have a gameplay event before you can enjoy the MOTHER series. If you’ve never played MOTHER 1 much (or at all), give it a whirl – I think you’ll like what you find. And even if you’ve finished MOTHER 1 before, load it up and walk around for an hour; take in the sights and sounds of a surreal adventure that smacks of a childhood you once knew.

It’s time to know your roots.

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