I also played Earthbound before Mother 1, and but agree with a lot of this, particularly with what you say about being biased toward the game you start with.
skatebee I think Mother 1 has the best opening.
It’s interesting as someone who played Earthbound first, because I think the reason Mother 2’s opening didn’t work for you was the reason Mother 1’s opening didn’t work as well for me, because it wasn’t as much of a novelty.
To me it’s a little reductive to say EB’s opening is just about a robot that time travels to tell you you’re the chosen one. The mystery to it is what compelled me, becuase everything feels familiar but feels a little unsettling. Being asleep in your cozy town and awoken by a giant crash, the annoying neighbor kid egging you on, the weird guy who says he has a secret to show you, the police trying to cover things up, feral animals chasing after you, and you get the feeling you shouldn’t be at the meteor site. When you learn about the prophecy, it’s immediately subverted by Pokey & Picky’s parents grounding them and killing buzz buzz. All this captivated me and made me want to keep seeing what was next and unravel the mysteries. Meanwhile when I played Mother 1, because I was primed for an inciting incident and feral animals, that alone didn’t captivate me until I started learning some plot stuff.
skatebee Mother 1 has my favourite game mechanic in the whole series: catching a cold.
skatebee that original Fire Emblem that they re-released on Switch for a couple months before delisting (?????)
Hard disagree! sorry haha. I love Fire Emblem, but FE1 (and FE2 for that matter) are a rough place to start the series. If you have to start with Marth’s story, start with FE3 or possibly FE11 (although that one gives you a warped perception of Jagens and Marth is very underpowered compared 1 & 3 due to him not promoting). I had originally tried FE1 years ago but couldn’t get into it until I after I played Awakening and went backward to the DS and GBA games. Today I can appreciate FE1 a ton more, but I definitely would have given up on the series if I stuck to the games in release order. Worse yet, I could have become a jaded purist who can’t appreciate what they’re doing in the modern games, which is a sadder fate.