When we think about RPG classics from the 16-bit era of the early 90’s one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is Earthbound for the Super NES. Earthbound also known as Mother 2 was in initially released in Japan back in 1994 before coming to America in ’95. Earthbound/Mother 2 was considered to be the direct sequel to Mother 1 which came out on the NES back in 1989. For whatever reason Mother 1 never made it to the United States and remained a Japanese exclusive despite its appearance on other consoles such as Game Boy Advance and the Wii-U during the 00’s & 10’s decade. Earthbound was an RPG that had a very intriguing plot were the setting if the game took place ten years following the events of Mother 1. Players control a character by the name of Ness who investigates the aftermath of a meteor crash with his neighbor only to make a startling discovery. Following the meteor crash players learn about aliens known as Giygas which were deadly creatures ended up turning humans and animals into vicious creatures through hatred. Along the way Ness eventually meets a few allies with different backgrounds who helps him on his journey to stop the Giygas from spreading malevolence around the world.
Ness’s group consisted of an inventor, a marshal artist and a female psychic who were named Jeff, Poo and Paula. The were many interesting developments that unfolded throughout Earthbound with players ultimately discovering the weakness of the Giygas which ended up being human emotions through prayer for the children of Earth. This takes place after Ness and his crew had to travel back in time to fight Giygas following having their souls being transported into robots to protect their bodies from destruction. While Earthbound looked like it was intended to be a family-friendly RPG there were definitely some parts of the game that seemed pretty dark despite how intriguing the story ended being. Despite, Earthbound not being too popular in America and selling poorly within the country it was still considered to be a very solid RPG in Japan.
Also, by the time Earthbound was released in America back in June 1995 many people were looking towards the future and became more interested in consoles such as the PS1 and the Sega Saturn; the decline interest for the SNES in ’95 could have been one of the few reasons why Earthbound did not do as well in sales as Nintendo wanted. After all, Nintendo did spent approximately $2 million on marketing Earthbound which was a pretty big deal. However, the prequel for Earthbound which came out on the NES in 1989 was never released in the United States and Americans were just not familiar with the series in general. While RPG’s were still popular to some degree in America during early to mid 90’s many people within the US preferred violent video games such as Mortal Kombat II or Street Fighter II. If Mother 2 was released a few years earlier prior to the release of the PS1 in ’94 the game could have definitely been more successful than it was in America.