A Winner is You!
For some reason or another, the localizers decided to reword “YOU WIN!” to “YOU WON!”, and made the text less thick. It was probably a result of someone’s personal preference, but who knows for sure.
The crying icon changed between the two games. I’m not sure why, the Japanese version on the left seems clearer to me. Maybe they thought kids would be confused and think it meant “rain” or “water” or something?
Catching a Cold
The icon when you have a cold changed. In MOTHER 2, it’s not even really an icon, it’s text that means “cold”. With so little room to write anything, the logical choice for the localization was to use an icon instead.
Poison Poiii sonnn po i sonnnn
The poison icon is also different between the two games. In MOTHER 2, it’s text that says “poison”, while in EarthBound it’s an icon of skull and crossbones.
PK vs. PSI
In MOTHER 2, most of the special psychic techniques use the prefix “PK”, which stands for psychokinesis.
For some reason this was changed in EarthBound – most techniques use the prefix “PSI” instead, which stands for psionics.
This is why they always say “PK Fire” and such in the Smash Bros. games instead of “PSI Fire”.
When you’re possessed by a little ghost during some parts of the game, the ghost is referred to as the “Tiny Li’l Ghost” in EarthBound. In MOTHER 2, it’s more super-literally “Mini-Mini Ghost”.
This section of the EarthBound Legends of Localization book also includes:
- More on the “YOU WIN” to “YOU WON” change, including the legacy of the message throughout the series
- More details on the various status ailments and the reason their icons were changed
- A look at a status ailment that was only half-localized for a while
- A closer look at the PK and PSI prefix change
- How the differences between Japanese and English put EarthBound players at a slight disadvantage
- Party members’ special skills, their differences, and how one looked before EarthBound’s final release
- A look at two different enemy actions and how their localizations went in slightly different directions
- Two of Pokey’s actions in battle while he’s a part of Ness’ team, and what the Japanese text indicates
- A look at some extra programming that EarthBound’s localizers added that make certain aspects of EarthBound surpass MOTHER 2