27
Apr
09

Final Thoughts on Earthbound 2

Okay so I finished Earthbound 2 (Mother 3) in a 5 hour binge the other day. I think this is worth posting, because it changes a few of my feelings from the last post, both for better and for worse. Are you intrigued? No? Well too bad, I have a post to write.

  Oh yeah, this post contains spoilers bigger than the statues in New Pork City.

Remember how I was celebrating the completely wacky plot? I really liked the idea of the story jumping around from many different characters and even leaping forward several years unexpectedly. It told a very different story for an RPG. If you read the last post, I was quite happy with that. Well, it turns out I was less than an hour away from discovering that Lucas and friends needed to travel across the in game world and pull seven magical needles out of the ground before the bad guys get ’em…

So it devolves into the most basic and well worn RPG cliches at the end. It feels rushed too, since you can blast through getting each needle in a small amount of time (compared to some of the other quests and things you go on earlier). By the way, there is also not a hint of irony about turning the story onto the rails of a predictable RPG. The story plays it straight.

That being said… the ending had some moments. To explain, I’ll need to explain to you one thing that I really liked about the original Earthbound. Brace yourself, here come more spoilers.

At the beginning of Earthbound, you discover strange alien beings coming down to earth that are bent on reviving an ancient evil bla bla bla. Luckily, a good alien comes down to fight them, and he takes the form of a bumble bee. So you run around and kick ass with this super bee for a while, but then you need to take your fat friend Pokey home. Pokey’s dumb mom freaks out and kills the alien bee with a newspaper.

The protector of the universe that came down to save everyone got killed by a housewife with a newspaper.What a great opening to the story.

As the game continues, you hear news of a very rich kid that has gone through every town shortly before you, buying up everything and causing a ruckus. By the end of the game, Pokey, the fat kid from next door, becomes this kind of capitalist overlord that rules most of the land. In fact, at the end you fight not only the big ancient evil thingy, but a robotic Pokey as well.

(again, spoilers)

So at the end of Earthbound 2, when you go to New Pork City to find that everything is modeled after Pokey’s childhood, I was overjoyed. Pokey has had his name twisted into “Porky” (that could be a translation thing as well) and he is now the most technologically advanced being in the world. At the end of the last battle, Porky escapes into an “absolutely safe capsule”, where he is completely indestructible, but he can never affect the world again. (There’s another boss fight after this, but not with him).

Outside of my love for the idea of Porky/Pokey as a villain, the end of the game also heaps on the references to the original Earthbound. Remember that thing I said about not needing to play the first one? To appreciate the stuff in New Pork City at the end, you should probably play the first Earthbound first. 

The game let me down a little when I went through the process of pulling the seven ancient needles from the ground, but the final chapter of the game did bring me back around.

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