Tony asks Jeff if he remembers the rules of the Snow Wood Boarding House. In MOTHER 2, he says the rule is that if you get caught doing stuff you shouldn’t, you get spanked. In EarthBound, this was changed to the vague “punished big time”.
Incidentally, it might be my imagination, but it seems the color palette in MOTHER 2’s Snow Wood Boarding House is a little different from EarthBound’s. I normally would chalk this up to an emulator thing or my imagination playing tricks, but I encountered this same issue when working on this site back in 1999. So it’s possible that this slight palette change is for real. If it is, it’s probably either just a slight mistake or later on after MOTHER 2 they wanted to touch things up a bit. I don’t know what to make of it, so let’s just call it a case of weirdness.
In MOTHER 2, this guy says, “I’m sleepy. I’m gonna take a pee and go to sleep.”
In EarthBound, they make it more vague and add in some other stuff by having him say, “I’ll wash my face, brush my teeth, do my business, and go to bed.” I don’t know why, but I can’t shake the feeling that adding in that other stuff was partially meant as a way to make the “do my business” part seem less stand-out-y.
In EarthBound, a strange sea creature named Tessie lives in Lake Tess.
In MOTHER 2, the creature is named Tassy/Tasshi/Tassie (or any other variant) and lives in Lake Tass/Tasu.
They Might Just Be Giants
In EarthBound, this guy says there are stories of “Cave Boys” who live in the Stonehenge area.
In MOTHER 2, he says there are stories of a race of giants who live in the Stonehenge area. So I guess they’re not supposed to be cavemen or anything, but giants. I guess that makes sense, since giants are an especially old British legend thing, like dragons and knights and all that. Right? Oh well.
Maxwell… Isn’t Maxwell?
In EarthBound, there’s a guy at Snow Wood Boarding House named Maxwell who helps Jeff out in various ways.
In MOTHER 2, the guy’s name is Gauss. The change seems odd, but there IS some connection, at least. Gauss comes from the famous mathematician and scientist, Carl Friedrich Gauss. For more info on him, see this. Maxwell comes from James Maxwell, a famous mathematician and physicist who used Gauss’ work and made some more advances with it.
Why the change was made is anyone’s guess. Maybe Gauss seemed like a weird name to the localizers. Or maybe it looked/sounded like the word “gas”? Who knows.
Incidentally, Gauss/Maxwell is a student at the school, not a teacher. Given that they use the term “senpai” with his name, it’s clear that he’s an older and/or more experienced student. When I was a kid, it always seemed to me that he was a teacher, but I guess not.
In EarthBound, this guy says he hand-decorated all these cookies for Tony’s birthday. In MOTHER 2, he says he put his heart into wrapping up all the cookies for Tony’s birthday. That’s why all the cookies are wrapped up. I know it’s being picky, but there IS a difference between decorating cookies and wrapping them 😛
In EarthBound, Maxwell gives you the “Machine that Opens Doors, especially when you have a slightly bad key.”
In MOTHER 2, it’s more like the “Machine that Can Open Simple Locks Surprisingly Easily”.
The gum-chewing monkey that joins Jeff in Winters is known as the Balloon Monkey in MOTHER 2, and the Bubble Monkey in EarthBound.
However, the localizers forgot to make this change everywhere, so the description for the “Pak of bubble gum” item still refers to him as the Balloon Monkey in EarthBound.
The Shy Watcher
In EarthBound, this Tessie Watcher says, “If I find Tessie, do you think I’ll get in the newspaper? I’m looking for my 15 minutes of fame…”
In MOTHER 2, he says, “Do you suppose I’d wind up in the newspaper if I found Tessie? I don’t want to stand out/make a spectacle of myself, you see.”
So this was either a clear mistranslation or a case of localizers wanting to change things around.
The Octopus Returns
Just as we saw in Peaceful Rest Valley, the MOTHER 2 octopus statue has been replaced by an iron pencil statue. If you check the map on Page 44 of the EarthBound Player’s Guide, you’ll also see the octopus statue there. The map must’ve been made before the localization change was made.
Now For The Eraser
In the base hidden beneath Stonehenge is another statue blocking your way.
In EarthBound, the statue is of a giant eraser, and you need an item called the “Eraser Eraser” to get rid of it. In MOTHER 2, the statue is different. You won’t believe it, but it’s a statue of a wooden, limbless doll.
Why is a wooden, limbless doll sitting in the middle of an alien base? Well, it’s hard to explain in detail, but essentially it’s a play on words (in Japanese of course), sort of like EarthBound’s “Eraser Eraser”. The dolls are called “kokeshi”, and the word for eraser is “keshi”. So the item that gets rid of this is called the “kokeshi keshi”.
There may be more to this weird name and word play, but I’ve never been able to figure out any more than the above. I’ve heard theories, but never from any native Japanese MOTHER 2 fans.
If you beat a Cave Boy, you’ll get a Picnic Lunch 100% of the time. If you check the item description in EarthBound, it includes the line, “There’s even a slice of your favorite cake!”
In MOTHER 2, it says, “There are even octopus wieners in here.”
WTF is an “octopus wiener”, you ask? First, it’s definitely not what you think. Second, holy crap that’s not something you want people to find in your search history when looking for pics of them on Google :O
Anyway, an “octopus wiener” is basically like those tiny little Vienna sausages, with one end cut up somewhat, and then cooked. The cut-up ends pull away from the sausage and make the whole thing look kind of like an octopus. These are common in Japan, especially with stuff like picnic lunches. Here’s a small pic if none of that made any sense.
Oh God I Need One of These
Dr. Andonuts invented a machine that fully revitalizes you in just a matter of seconds. In MOTHER 2, this machine is called the “Instant Energy Machine”. In EarthBound, it’s called the “Instant Revitalizing Device”.
In EarthBound, Dr. Andonuts works on an invention called the “Phase Distorter”. In MOTHER 2, this machine is called the “Space Tunnel”. The Japanese version makes more sense, as it connects two points in space. The English name makes it sound like it tears apart the spacial dimensions or something 😯
EarthBound’s Sky Runner is perhaps Dr. Andonuts’ most famous invention. But you probably didn’t know that in MOTHER 2, it’s called the Sky Walker. It’s very obvious why they changed its name. Do I even need to mention it here? Here, I’ll just add an extra pic, that should be enough.
Dr. Andonuts’ laboratory has the word “LAB” on it in EarthBound, but in MOTHER 2 it says “LABO”. “Labo” is the Japanese shortened term for “laboratory”, just as in English our shortened term is “lab”. So the change makes sense.
What DOESN’T make sense is why the EarthBound version of the lab has more of those reddish lights or bolts or whatever. First, what are they, and second, why would they bother to add more during localization? Weeeeird.
This section of the EarthBound Legends of Localization book also includes:
- The reason behind the palette changes during the Snow Wood part of MOTHER 2 and EarthBound
- Info on Tony’s sexuality + Shigesato Itoi’s reasoning and thoughts on the matter
- Updated info on the Balloon Monkey/Bubble Monkey name
- A new realization behind the theme of this area of the game
- Some more insight into the shy Tessie Watcher from MOTHER 2
- Details about Brick Road, his very unique Japanese speaking style, and how it compares with his English speech pattern
- The inconsistent spelling of Brick Road’s name throughout the game
- A localized line that contains a grammatical mistake not due to poor writing, but because of an unusual programming mistake
- The Japanese origin of Dr. Andonuts’ name and a look at that tasty origin
- An unused line of text in the game that features internal development notes not meant for anyone to see + the Game Genie code to see it for yourself
- More information on the design of Dr. Andonuts’ lab, including how it was represented in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- A look at the Japanese word “LABO” and how it’s used regularly in real-life situations