After teleporting back to Winters to investigate what’s happened to Apple Kid, you’ll see the Bubble Monkey’s wife again.
In EarthBound, she says, “My husband left me here to go play with Tessie along the shores of Lake Tess.”
In MOTHER 2, what she says is slightly different, a little more along the lines of, “My husband ditched me here and went to shore of Lake Tass to goof off and ride around on Tassie. Sheesh, what nerve!”
(Note: also remember that Tessie and Lake Tess were called Tassie and Lake Tass in MOTHER 2)
Basically, the Japanese version hints that 1: the monkey is riding Tessie and 2: that she’s not happy with his actions. If anything, #2 is the main thing that’s missing from the translation.
Chummy Chum Chum
In EarthBound, this Tessie watcher says, “Sebastian, chum, was kidnapped!”
It always just seemed odd, even though I understood what it was getting out. After playing the Japanese version, it’s clear that the “chum” was included to be the equivalent for the “-chan” suffix he uses in MOTHER 2, to show what good friends they were.
Personally, I’d have used the word “abducted” here too. He was abducted by a UFO as they all watched. Winters is like the weird supernatural / sci-fi / tabloid type area of the game – first you got the Lake Tess monster, then Bigfoot (known as “Cave Boys” in EarthBound), Stonehenge, and now UFO abductions.
The Wondrous Sights of Winters
In EarthBound, this guy says, “I finally saw Tessie! It’s like seeing a UFO.”
In MOTHER 2, he actually says something more like, “First, I managed to catch a glimpse of Tessie, and now I’ve witnessed a UFO.”
Poetry on the Shore
In MOTHER 2, this guy says a haiku about how Sebastian was abducted, then notes how he said it as haiku.
In EarthBound, his line is also in haiku form: “Where are you, my friend? They came and took you away. Come back, Sebastian. Hey, that’s a Haiku poem!”
As we’ve seen, the EarthBound translation hasn’t been consistent with how it treats haikus earlier in the game. I think that’s mostly because some lines weren’t obviously haikus to the translators and/or editors. But since this line was clearly marked as being a haiku, they knew for sure it needed the haiku treatment.
In EarthBound, the “Eraser Eraser Machine” is used to remove a big iron eraser statue beneath Stonehenge.
In MOTHER 2, this was actually called the “Kokeshi-keshi Machine”, which translates a little more into “Kokeshi Eraser Machine”. What’s a kokeshi? It’s basically a type of Japanese handcarved and limbless wooden doll. A big iron version is blocking the path under Stonehenge in MOTHER 2.
I can understand the humor and charm behind the Japanese version, but the EarthBound version just resonates with me so much more. I espeically like how it goes hand-in-hand with its pencil counterparts from earlier in the game.