When you start a new game in MOTHER 2, you first get to choose how fast the text will display. Next, you choose Stereo or Mono sound. After this, you get to choose the window type. Here is a list of the types to choose from:
Note that MOTHER 2 doesn’t mention the idea of a window “flavor”.
You then get to choose your characters’ names. In MOTHER 2, you’re allowed to use 3 different character sets: hiragana, katakana, and the roman alphabet:
If you’re too lazy to think of a name, both MOTHER 2 and EarthBound have a set of default names to choose from for each character/food/etc.
Default Names for Ness
Default Names for Paula
Default Names for Jeff
Default Names for Poo
|Kinopio (Toad in the U.S.)||Aziz|
Default Names for Ness’ Dog
|(To go for a) Walk||Misty|
Default Names for Ness’ Favorite Food
|Honey Pie (in the literal sense)||Cake|
Default Names for Ness’ Favorite Thing
Interesting default names. I wonder why EarthBound didn’t have all those Super Mario characters.
Anyway, you’ll notice several things about the sets of names. One set contains Beatles-related stuff. For some interesting info on that, see this video.
Another set of names is commands you say to dogs.
Another set has ape-related names, because APE was involved in the game’s creation.
Another set contains the names of members from SMAP, a mega-popular Japanese boy band. SMAP is really hard to describe, but basically, if you ever so much as step foot in Japan, you’ll have already encountered them in some form. Even just looking in Japan’s direction, you’ll probably see them. They’re EVERYWHERE, even a decade and a half later.
Incidentally, Kimura Takuya of SMAP played the older brother in the MOTHER 2 commercials. Here are some videos and images for reference:
MOTHER 2 magazine ad
MOTHER 2 in-store poster
This section of the EarthBound Legends of Localization book also includes:
- A look at Nintendo’s multiple & inconsistent spellings of “EarthBound”
- Details behind Japanese’s three main writing systems, and why Shigesato Itoi purposely only uses two in the MOTHER games
- The real inspiration behind the name “Ness”
- Further details about SMAP
- The reason the Beatles names were dropped from EarthBound’s localization