Brandon Boyer

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In a wrap-up post of all the various goings-on that have been going on following the release of the fan translation to Nintendo cult-hit GameBoy Advance RPG Mother 3 (known in the West as Earthbound), pseudonymous project lead ‘Tomato’ has noted the release of his new patch for the notoriously difficult NES original, Earthbound Zero, which makes the game a bit more friendly to newcomers and the more casually curious by doubling experience and money from each fight.

For the uninitiated: Earthbound Zero is considered by retro collectors one of the original Nintendo’s holy grails — an officially translated but never released debut title in the series that would go on to achieve what can only be described as essentially-rabid cult success when it made its Western debut with Mother 2 as Earthbound on the SNES.

After whetting players’ appetites with Earthbound, Nintendo has repeatedly and some-might-say-sadistically teased the West by steadfastly withholding further releases, including both the GBA Mother 3 sequel, a remade Mother 1+2 GBA package, and, as it was later discovered, that original NES release which never saw the light of day (more on that can be found at Lost Level’s lengthy breakdown of its eventual discovery and release).

Until the day Nintendo pulls back the lid on a “ah, sorry, we were just teasing” Virtual Console/DS blowout, Tomato’s new patch is probably the best way to get a feel for just why the cutely subversive series has garnered that cult status.

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