Earthbound

I’ve always liked Earthbound, a Japanese RPG game for the Super Nintendo system.

[caption id=“attachment_2161” align=“alignright” width=“261” caption=“Earthbound”]Earthbound[/caption]

I like the Charlie Brown art style. I like the writing, which is surreal and matter-of-fact at the same time. I like the patterned, elaborate backgrounds during combat that give the game a feeling of dynamism even though there’s hardly any animation at all. I like the lectures your father gives you in-game when you’ve been playing for too long. I like that major plot points and interludes are generally introduced when your character decides to have a nice soothing cup of tea. I like the color palette of the game, and that the 8-bit synthesized music can fairly be described as ‘lyrical’. I like that you can buy a teddy bear to soak up damage for you. I like that if you get lost in a maze, you can use an “exit mouse” to find your way out; the exit mouse is a mouse with a big arrow on its head. The exit mouse sort of looks like Woodstock.

[caption id=“attachment_2162” align=“alignleft” width=“259” caption=“Earthbound”]Earthbound[/caption]

I like that the Mr. Saturn spacemen in the game talk in a different font. I like that one of the status ailments your main character can get is becoming homesick. I like that it’s almost impossible to get lost. I like that as you progress through the game, they make it easier to go back to earlier places to find things that you forgot. I like that save points are just telephones. I like that the game, while it has violence, is not meanspirited. I like that when you fight animals, instead of being killed, they become tame. I like that when you become sufficiently strong, enemies start running away from you, so you don’t engage in so much pointless combat. I like that the item which revives fallen allies in combat is called a “Cup of Lifenoodles.”

Yep. I like Earthbound.