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EarthBound is an SNES RPG, titled Mother 2 in Japan. This is a sequel to the NES game, Mother, which was translated yet never released in North America. A sequel, Mother 3, was released in Japan on April 20, 2006 but never localized.
EarthBound is probably most well known for its offbeat plot and game mechanics. Rather than copying the standard Final Fantasy formula, EarthBound takes place in a 1950s-like modern American environment (chiefly occurring in a country called Eagleland), starring a young boy in a baseball cap named Ness. He gathers three other children as his party, Paula, Poo and Jeff. Together, they run into a cult of blue, a valley of creatures called Mr. Saturn, help out a blues band called the Runaway Five despite the fact that they have six members, travel through a color-inverted dream world to fight a statue, and accomplish their ultimate goal: defeat the invading alien Giygas.
While those are just some of the zany peaks of the game, it is also known for its smaller, different approaches to the RPG formula. The battle system is in a unique first person perspective, with an innovative HP counter that rolls down number-by-number giving a slight real-time aspect to the turn-based battle system. Each battle against an enemy, whether you're fighting the typical RPG slime, a "Territorial Oak", a "New Age Retro Hippie", or "Abstract Art", uses random psychedelic patterns in the backgrounds.
A Nintendo 64 sequel (EarthBound 64), starring a new character named Lucas, was cancelled during development. Fans were disappointed for years until during a commercial for the Mother 1+2 GBA Port, it was announced that a Mother 3 title was in the works. The game was released in Japan in April 2006.