Playing the original Mother (EarthBound Beginnings) for the 1st time, on the NES

I was curious to play the first game of the Mother franchise since it‘s the only i haven’t engaged with in any capacity…

Sooooo i decided to play on the NES using a flashcart to simulate the feeling of those who played it on the FAMICOM in the late 80s. I don‘t have my CRT with me but it’s ok (i‘m also capturing the footage).

I’m 2 hours in so far, liking it despite not caring much for the NES games era.

I understand that this game has a lot of foundation for what EarthBound/Mother 2 would become but i wonder, why this game isn't as nearly talked singularly about as much as it's sequels?

Anyway, i've downloaded the translated game manual, been grinding a little. Such a cool game!
Any tips of what i should/ shouldn't do as a first timer?

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Duncan‘s Factory is pretty infamous online for being a very giant dungeon that all looks the same, but you will save yourself a ton of time by just pulling up a zoomed out map of the entire area via Starmen.net’s walkthrough and realize the path is actually fairly simple once you can see the whole thing and aren't stumbling around trying to keep track of things.

When you get to Magicant, just run immediately from any enemies named Yddet because I know one of them summons a variaton that will basically one shot you. Also, just run from Woodohs because they explode when defeated (as per trees in the Mother series tradition), but unlike EB and Mother 3, there's no rolling health meter to save you. There's also this weirdo floating glasses and mustache enemy in Magicant called Groucho and if you just defend and don't attack for a few turns, it'll give you some dialogue and go away and you get waaaaaay more EXP.

When you reach the final section of Mt. Itoi (I think it's right after you >!lose Eve and you're on your own!<), RUN FROM EVERYTHING. I'm pretty sure I read Itoi or someone in an interview said they didn't playtest the last area of the game properly for balance (kinda like Dragon Quest II) and I found the enemies in that closing stretch nastier than the final boss and by that point you should fine to fight the final boss anyways so it's better to just conserve PSI and items and focus that on the final boss.

If you're ever in a pinch, I forget the name of the item but the thing that lets you warp back into Magicant at any time you always want to keep in your inventory. You can easily escape dungeons if you're in a dangerous position to get easy healing in Magicant and while you may have to trek back out the exit until you have Teleport, you will save yourself ultimately a lot of time and in-game money.

Other than those warnings, have fun! Some people feel like Mother 1/EB Beginnings/Zero is redundant or hard to go back to, but I find it has this weirdly unique melancholy vibe that none of the other games in the series has and I honestly don't feel like Earthbound is just a redo because Mother 1 has plenty of unique and interesting places and things to offer. Each game in the series I've gone back to several times depending on the vibe I want.

It's not talked about as much because less people have played it, and even less people have stuck with it to the ending. It had a reputation even back in the early days when the series as a whole was still underrated, unspoken, & obscure. But sometimes it can be good for something to remain unsung. It makes it a secret treasure trove that only those with determination can uncover.

I need to avoid being a perfectionist here... I would recommend playing the game on a CRT, and playing a very specific & highly curated delocalization patch. But hey, it's your first time. My first time playing through the game was on the PSP, and pretty much the same version you're playing.

I also agree with @"HeavenlyHalberd"#1563 and recommend starmen dot net's walkthrough. It's the best. It will get you through the toughest areas and it's very considerate. With that guide, the game is a breeze if you want it to be. I think it was written by Tomato-san? The guy who would go on to make the mother 3 translation patch.

The problem with Mother 1 is that it's a Family Computer RPG from 1989. You have to be able to enjoy it on its own terms, and you will be rewarded. The writing is far beyond that of any other game of its era, so at the very least, while you grapple with everything else, the characters and writing aren't going to make you feel like you're playing a dumb game and wasting your time. There's a lot to glean-- lessons of life, even. I think the goal of the series as a whole was to bring authentic experiences to video game players that reflect the nature & cosmic irony of life itself.

More than any other game in the series, it's a Proto-Pokemon. APE would go on to become Creatures Inc.

Have fun relaxing and exploring the world. If you're a fan of Yume Nikki, that game was inspired by exploring every inch of Mother 1's very open map. You can look at it as Yume Nikki, but with numbers that go higher as Ninten becomes an extremely jacked nine year old.

There's a lot of very subtle things in the first game that are echoed in Mother 3 that no one talks about. Of course Mother 2 as well. I wouldn't call any of it redundant at all.

You could get yourself in the mood by watching films that informed the game. If you haven't seen Stand By Me, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or the original War of the Worlds, that's a place to start. Listen to the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, and of course The Beatles & John Lennon.

When I play games, I'm choosing to enjoy them and try to have an authentic experience as possible. I think Mother 1 was the first time I did that. Enjoy the game on its own terms, is the best way I can put it.

Maybe wear literal rose-tinted glasses while you play the game. (don't do that)
Read [my thread about mother-like games and media if you want.](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/673-mother-like-games-with-twin-peaks-sprinkled-on-top)

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@“treefroggy”#p120291 a very specific & highly curated delocalization patch

I'd love to know which delocalization patch you're talking about, it seems like there are a number of them out there.

@“frog”#p120324

I have two recommendations, depending on your hardware:

For NES/Famicom:

I think MOTHER Restored is the latest idealized version.

For some people, they may only have access to playing GBA games on CRT and not NES. So for those who have hardware in the GBA family, to keep things as simple as possible I recommend [Tomato's english translation of Mother 1+2 for GBA](https://www.romhacking.net/translations/1609/). It has the easy ring, it has a better translation, and it has the MOTHER title screen, and a few bug fixes. There's also [patches to stack on top to remove the splash screen, boot straight to the game, etc](https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2695/)

really liked heavenly & froggys posts here, especially about other media so i'm gonna go check out that post soon

i'm also prolly gonna get rocks thrown at me here, but i wanted to play this ages ago before i knew about flashcarts and did so with a repro cart of the translation + easy patch, on my RGB modded NES & CRT. i also used the starman guide (didn't know it was tomato!) and told myself i just wanted to experience this without the slog of heavy grinding/etc
i'm gonna echo others here and say it's absolutely worth your time, there's enough stuff it does differently and as someone who'd run through earthbound numerous times i was so happy to find another one

@“IrishNinja”#p120368 Repros are awesome though, especially MOTHER ones. So much of the experience surrounding that game is put into the packaging and ephemera. Before repros were a wide spread thing, I dreamt of having all three games in english fully patched to my liking on real cartridges. Now, I can patch the original japanese game cartridges myself, but I've bought repros of Maternalbound, and used to buy Mother 3 and 1+2 english patch carts three at a time because of how often and easily I would lend them out to people, like a book, haha. In the case of repros, you can also just put them into an OEM shell for the original game yourself without any soldering. Even if you have a flash cart, a repro can be a very good thing. It gets you into the game that much faster and is a pretty big improvement to the overall experience, imo…

Thanks for the tips!

I started using the starmen guide, as i did when i played EB and Mother 3. It's really neat!

As for playing on a CRT, sadly mine is in my farm house (an hour away from home). I can't bring it now but i could play there! It's just not pratical because [i'm recording my first playthrough](https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlGL1YHfd27tcaklKgmpaohcAzMUPdkQM) so i need to do this at home lmao... Next time i play it, i'll be using the delocalization patch and the CRT, no recording...

Nice post, i've favorited it for later refference.

I'm 3 hours into the game so far. >!just defeated the starman jr. at the zoo, got the 3rd melody!< i'm loving it, i wanna just sit down and play through it all the time but work keeps me from doing so lol

@“marxseny”#p120373 I love that starman junior so much. I love Mother 1‘s scenarios so much, and I wish I could experience them for the first time again. Another benefit to the games’ relative obscurity is no one is spoiling it, because no one even so much as references it most of the time…

The best way to enjoy these games is to just take it easy and let yourself game over and not worry about it.

No one is hovering over your shoulder waiting to take the controller away, nobody is going mock or deride you for not doing everything perfect the first time you try it. It is unrealistic for a 10 year old child to beat up an entire car. This game was made by 40 year old men who just shikata ga nai and smoke a cigarette when that stuff happens. If you do not allow yourself to fail you have not really experienced the true game which includes absorbing setbacks and continuing after unfair situations in order to feel like more of an adult.

Just roll it up and smoke it like a big fat spliff

@“Reverse Kaiser”#p120393 oh yeah, of course! It was just a little question tbh.

For example, The first time i played through The Legend of Zelda: BOTW i wish a friend suggested me to turn minimap off or something.

It was a question on that vein, or “be careful of softlock, points of no returns etc”. I don't believe in “perfect way to play games” . I do like to hang out in my on pace, take my time, talk to npcs 3x lmao