So as you might already know, this game has HEAVILY ignored by Nintendo of America. It was ported to the GBA and was originally only going to be available in Japan on VC for the Wii U. Only recently was it FINALLY announced in America but lets see how many delays it might go through. But enough ranting, lets start with the story.
In a mystical world where dragons roam the earth...wait. This is a modern story? Alright, start over. In a modern day world where children controlled by TVs roam the earth, the amazing story of a thirteen year old boy is about to be told.
It all starts when our main character Ness and everyone else for that matter are sleeping happily one night in the town of Onett. Suddenly a meteorite falls from the sky and lands on a mountain, waking everyone up. If it had landed on somebody's house I'd be laughing pretty hard though. But really, HOW did nobody get hurt from this? HOW? Being adventurous, Ness tries to check it out but is stopped by Porky who I'll say this right now, by the end of the game you're going to want to rip out his large intestine, whip him with it, and throw him over the edge of Niagara Falls.
Ness returns home for more sleep when he is awakened by Porky annoyingly knocking on the door. Porky tells Ness that his brother Picky is missing so Ness grabs a cracked bat as a weapon and brings Porky and his dog King with him. Suddenly, animals attack. This is where the battle sequence comes into play.
It's your average turn based RPG however you can only see the enemy and a very trippy background. You have an HP meter for your health and a PP meter for Psychic points which I'll get into later. But couldn't there be a better name for it? I don't know a single person who can say PP without cracking a smile. It should also be noted that the HP and PP meters move down like a slot real. Because of this If you press the A button fast enough after taking fatal damage you can save yourself before it reaches zero. After defeating enemies, you're rewarded with experience points. Getting enough experience points will let you level up, you know, the usual gig. If you're level is high enough already, you can defeat a weak enemy before the battle even begins.
After finding Picky on the mountain where the meteorite landed, the meteorite opens and a talking bee comes out named Buzz Buzz. Buzz Buzz tells Ness that it's his destiny to defeat the Universal Cosmic Destroyer known as Giygas. On their way back to Porky's house one of Giygas's minions known as a Starman Jr. You can't lose this fight because Buzz Buzz gives you a protective shield while doing a shit ton of damage to him.
Ness returns Porky and Picky to their home where their furious father brutally spanks them and then tells Ness to move away. Then his wife smacks Buzz Buzz which kills him. What a bunch of dicks. Abusing their children, telling their neighbors to move and killing a talking bee. Before he dies, Buzz Buzz gives Ness the Sound Stone, a tool to record the melodies of eight Sanctuaries.
The next morning, Ness goes to the house of Lier Horando X Agerate to see what he discovered. He found a golden statue underground that will be important later on. But why does Ness trust him? He told Ness to come to his house alone. He could be a pedophile. Next, Ness goes into town to find Giant Step, the first Sanctuary, but a locked door blocks his path. He goes to the mayor to ask for the key, but the mayor is busy dealing with the Sharks, a local street gang that hangs at the arcade.
Since nothing will happen otherwise Ness goes to the arcade to deal with the Sharks himself. He fights his way into the backyard when he finds Frank, the leader of the Sharks. Frank attacks Ness and our first mini boss begins. At this point you probably should have unlocked at least one PSI move to assist you. PSI is a psychic power that is this game's equivalent to Magic. This is what the PP meter is for. There are four kinds of PSI moves, offensive, healing, assisting, and other. When you use a PSI move, the PP meter will go down.
After defeating Frank, he becomes friendly and the Sharks are no more. The Mayor gives Ness the key to the shack blocking Giant Step. Giant Step is being guarded by Titanic Ant, one of Giygas's minions sent to make sure Ness doesn't get the eight melodies. By the way, you do NOT want to die in the dungeons. The saving method is bullshit. To save you must go find a telephone and call Ness's dad. Obviously, there aren't any telephones in dungeons with one or two exceptions, which means if you die, you go back to the last city you were in, right by the phone! This problem is fixed in Mother 3, but unless you're using an emulator (which you probably are) this is going to give you a LOT of trouble!
After beating Titanic Ant and getting the first melody, Ness is stopped by a cop who tells him that he's not aloud in there and is trespassing. Ness has to go to the police station and the chief makes him fight five of his men, as well as the chief himself. If Ness is victorious, the road block to the next city will be removed. Let me get this off my chest. These guys are by far the WORST police force ever. They put up unnecessary road blocks EVERYWHERE, and they beat up kids for trespassing! Even Sonic 06's police force is better than this, and they make you play a pointless and confusing game just to advance to the next area!
After entering the city of Twoson and getting to the next hotel to heal yourself, Ness has a dream where a girl named Paula Polestar calls to him and tells him that she needs his help. Ness goes to the Polestar house which is also a preschool, where Paula's father says she is missing. After wandering around a little, you should find Burglin Park, where a man by the name of Everdred attacks Ness. With Ness victorious, Everdred develops a respect for Ness and tells him that a man named Mr. Carpainter and a chubby kid kidnapped Paula. She could be found in a cabin that Everdred rented to them in the Grateful Dead Valley.
Ness then invests in the business of a scientist named Apple Kid. Apple Kid tells Ness to wait a little bit before he finishes some inventions. When you travel to the Grateful Dead Valley, you're stuck in a dead end because the bridge is out in one spot, and an iron statue shape like a pencil blocks the other spot. When Ness returns to Twoson, Apple Kid has finished his newest invention, the Pencil Eraser which lets you make the statue blocking the path disappear. While walking through Grateful Dead Valley, Ness finds a town called Happy Happy Village which despite the name, is very blue. *Cues Rimshot* Everyone seems like they got high on something, and there are blue cultists who attack Ness everywhere.
Eventually, Ness finds the cabin, but he doesn't have the key to free Paula. Paula tells Ness that Mr. Carpainter attacks with lightning, so she gives Ness the Franklin Badge which can deflect lightning and send it back to the attacker. Ness leaves the cabin where it turns out that Porky is the "chubby kid" who kidnapped Paula. After sending two more cultists after him, Ness goes to the church where Mr. Carpainter is located and fights him. With a few blows to the head with a bat, Carpainter regains consciousness and gives Ness the key. Turns out that everyone there except Porky was being possessed by the Mani Mani Statue, the same statue that Lier Horando X Agerate found. Porky runs away while mocking Ness and Ness goes to the cabin to free Paula.
Paula is a lot more capable than Ness in terms of offensive PSI but has much less HP than anyone else in the game. Yeah, I know that you'd expect the female character to be the white mage of the game, but Paula's more of a black mage. While Ness can only use PK Flash and his signature move PK Rockin, Paula can use PK Freeze, PK Fire, and PK Thunder.
To the right of Happy Happy Village is the second sanctuary dungeon being guarded by Mondo Mole, who is even easier than the last guardian. Upon getting the melody of Lilliput Steps and returning to Twoson, Ness and Paula get a backstage pass to see the Runaway Brothers, the most popular blues musicians in Eagleland. I love these guys. Not only are they an obvious rip-off of the Blues Brothers, but their Jazzy Blues songs are some of the best songs in the game. And this series has one of my favorite soundtracks in all of video games.
After the show, Ness finds Everdred, who gives him a wad of bills that has about 100,000 dollars. Ness and Paula use the money to bail the Runaway Brothers out of their contract. To pay them back, the Runaway Brothers give Ness and Paula a ride in their tour bus to the town of Threed, which you couldn't access before because ghosts were blocking the tunnel. However, the Runaway Bus's siren is so loud the ghosts get don't chase it.
When the Runaway Brothers drop us off at Threed, we find that the town has been infested with zombies. A zombie apocalypse in an E rated video game. Ness and Paula head to the cemetery and find a new area that is blocked by two zombies. Since you can't go there, you will wander around until you see a woman in a bikini. She walks into the hotel and Ness and Paula follow her. The reason for following her probably depends on your gender. If you're a guy, it's probably man's nature, and if you're a girl you're most likely thinking she looks suspicious. Either way it turns out to be a trap and Ness and Paula get thrown in a prison cell underground.
Meanwhile, we cut to Jeff, a boy who lives at a boarding school in the snowy land of Winters. In the middle of the night, Jeff has the same dream Ness did about Paula needing to be rescued. Jeff grabs a popgun and leaves the school. At the store right by the school. He finds a monkey with bubble gum. It's now the adventures of Jeff Andonuts and his amazing monkey sidekick! The two awaken a sea monster known as Tessie who gives them a ride because Tessie loves monkeys.
Jeff can't use PSI. However, he can fix broken machinery and get stats on other opponents to find their weaknesses. Jeff quickly travels through Brick Road, an easy dungeon that's nothing more than a short maze with a few enemies. Jeff then enters a cave which is a Sanctuary dungeon that can't be completely accessed yet because only Ness can absorb the power of the Sanctuary. After exiting the cave Jeff finds the lab of his father, Dr. Andonuts. Dr. Andonuts lets Jeff use the Sky Runner which lets him fly over to Threed where Jeff crashes in the cell Ness and Paula are in and helps them escape.
Ness then gets a call on his receiver phone from Apple Kid. Apple Kid tells Ness that he's finished his newest invention, Zombie Paper! They put the Zombie Paper in a circus tent which is the safe zone and everyone escapes while Ness goes to the hotel. Overnight the zombies enter the tent and get stuck on the Zombie Paper. This opens up that area that was blocked before.
The path leads to Saturn Valley where the Mr. Saturns live. They're all being forced to work for Master Belch, a giant pile of puke that works under Giygas. Ness and friends storm Master Belch's factory and fight him. Master Belch can only be defeated if you give him the jar of fly honey found somewhere in Threed. Otherwise, Master Belch will have infinite HP. Past the factory you return to Saturn Valley where you find a cave that leads to the third Sanctuary guarded by Trillionage Sprout who once again isn't very strong.
Ness returns to Threed, which is now zombie free, and heads for the next tunnel which takes you to the Dusty Dunes Desert. This desert is stuck in a large traffic jam which means you have to take the long way. This causes a status affect which is more common on some characters than others, Sunstroke. Sunstroke causes a player to slowly lose HP until using a wet towel item, or the PSI move, healing. On your way through the desert you'll meet a man who's looking for gold. He says if you give him a snack, he'll give you some of the things he finds.
Past the desert is the large metropolis of Fourside. Notice a pattern in the town names yet? Turns out the Runaway Brothers got trapped in their contract again, and this time they need about a million dollars. After watching the show, Ness returns to the desert where the digger's progress has improved greatly. However, in order to dig any farther, he asks Ness to fight the Guardian Diggers, five giant moles who are blocking the way. I hate this dungeon. HATE IT! Not only is it easy to get lost, but most of the enemies her can poisen you!
After defeating the moles, the digger finds a diamond and gives it to Ness. Ness gives the diamond to the manager of the theater and bails the Runaway Brothers out of their contract again. Next you should go to the department store to buy some new upgrades. You can also find the sign that tortured many fans for twelve years and even longer outside of Japan. But on the way out of the store, the lights go out and Paula is kidnapped again. Following the mook who kidnapped Paula, Ness finds an alien who fights him. When the alien dies he says that Ness is too late and his last word is Monotoli. Geldegarde Monotoli is the mayor of Fourside who has been very suspicious lately.
Ness and Jeff go to the bar that Monotoli has been hanging around lately. They hear a noise outside and find Everdred in an alleyway. Everdred tells Ness that Monotoli's men did this to him and that he shouldn't look behind the counter in the bar. Turns out Monotoli got a hold of the Mani Mani Statue and is using it for evil. Everdred tried to steal it and was beaten up because of it. With those last words Everdred dies. Ness goes to the Monotoli building only to find out that Monotoli's right hand man is Porky. That asshole calls security and sends us out.
Returning to the bar, Ness looks behind the counter only to find himself in a very creepy place. Suddenly the game just turned into Ib and wait, Ib didn't come out until much, MUCH later. Ness is now in Moonside where "yes" means "no" and vice-versa. This place got VERY confusing on my first playthrough but when you find your way out you will fight the Mani Mani Statue and beating it will cause you to return to the Fourside bar.
Upon exiting the bar a maid of Monotoli tells Ness that she wants trout flavored yogurt to give to a guest. Incidentally, Apple Kid calls right after that and tells Ness that he finished is newest invention, The Trout Flavored Yogurt Dispenser! Ness goes to the Monotoli building to give it to the maid. Along the way you'll encounter the clumsy robot. Right before this thing whoops your ass, the Runaway Brothers come in and save Ness and Jeff.
Entering Monotoli's office, Ness finds Paula and Monotoli apologizes for causing so much trouble. He tells Ness that He was told to stop them from going to Summers. Monotoli decides to let the three take his helicopter to get to Summers, but Porky being the dick he usually is, steals the helicopter and flies away.
The kids return to Threed where Jeff fixes the Sky Runner and the three return to Winters. They use this opportunity to take the fourth melody which you couldn't get to before. It's guarded by Shroom, another incredibly easy boss fight. 'Nuff said.
When you return, Dr. Andonuts tells you that he's finished reprogramming the Sky Runner to take you to Summers. Summers is a town on the beach where nothing seems out of place. Ness meets a sailor who can't go out to sea because his wife became a confusing mess of a woman. Ness finds the woman and asks her to make some magic cake, which is her job until she went crazy. Turns out what makes Magic Cake magic is that there are drugs in the cake. Ness sees a faraway land known as Dalaam where the prince of the land named Poo finishes his training in which his fear is removed by imagining that his life is being taken on a mountain where he was meditating. His master sends him to Ness, who becomes his new leader as he teleports to Summers.
Oh right! I forgot to mention the teleport PSI move. It's the only move that can be used in the "Other" category, and it's used to teleport to towns you've already been to. After Poo joins the team, the four go to the museum where they learn that fighting Giygas isn't just Ness's destiny, but an Egyptian prophesy.
When Ness leaves the Museum a call is received from the Fourside Museum saying that the owner found something amazing. Turns out, he found the fifth sanctuary. It's guarded by the Plague Rat Of Doom. This is one of the easiest bosses of them all. Just use PK Flash and it should be over quickly.
In the fifth sanctuary, we find the carrot key which gives access to the sixth sanctuary in Dalaam. It's guarded by Thunder and Storm. This boss would be kind of challenging if you didn't have the Franklin Badge, but you do so by all means, abuse it. Now we have six melodies. We're almost done.
Returning to Summers, Ness finds the sailor who lets him ride his boat to the Egyptian-like town of Scaraba. On the way there, they come face to face with the Kraken. Shouldn't be too hard of a fight. In Scaraba, Ness gets a key to the Dungeon Man. This will come in handy later. The four find a pyramid where on the inside they find the Hawkeye. This will light up paths where you can't see. After exiting the pyramid, Poo is taken away by the Star Master. His goal is to teach Poo PK Starstorm.
Ness, Paula and Jeff find the Dungeon Man, who is really the creator of Brick Road fused with a dungeon to become the ultimate dungeon. This is the ONLY dungeon to have a phone in it, so whenever you see one, by all means use it to save your game. After clearing the dungeon, Ness takes the submarine in the vehicle storage and uses it to get to Deep Darkness.
Deep Darkness will probably make you pull your hair out. Since you have to walk through the swamp to proceed, when your head goes under the water, your HP goes down as you move! Thankfully, it's not that long of an area. However, near the end, Master Belch attacks us again. The battle ends when Poo swoops down and uses PK Starstorm on him. He then leaves weapon for Ness, the Casey Bat. Do NOT equip this. When it hits, it's powerful, but it will usually miss.
Next is Tenda village, where the Tenda tribe lives. All of them are too shy to assist you though. Your job, find the book known as "Overcoming Shyness". Turns out, Apple Kid has the book. But he was then kidnapped by some of Giygas's minions. The place where he, along with many others are held is a base in the center of Stonehenge located in Winters.
This dungeon shouldn't take you too long. If you want you can try to get the only weapon Poo can equip, the Sword of Kings, but because of how unlikely you are to pick it up, I usually don't even bother. At the end of the dungeon is the Starman DX. After defeating him, the factory will shut down and everyone will be freed. Apple Kid tells you that he returned the book to the Onett library. Son of a bitch.
After getting the book and reading it to the Tenda tribe, the Tenda become a lot more talkative. The strongest Tenda then lifts a boulder out of the way and lets you into the seventh Sanctuary dungeon, where we fight Electro Specter. He can be pretty challenging at first but later he should be no problem.
After getting the seventh melody, Ness falls in a hole and lands in the Lost Underworld. You may get a little lost over here, but look for a spot where a fence is located. This is another civilization of Tenda. There is a big rock here that can talk for some reason. He'll tell you that the final Sanctuary is nearby.
Eventually, Ness will find Fire Spring, the final Sanctuary dungeon. It's guarded by Carbon Dog. He's definitely the toughest of the Sanctuary bosses. Eventually he will flash and evolve like a Pokémon and wait. We won't be seeing Pokémon for another couple years. He is now the Diamond Dog and believe it or not, he actually becomes even easier.
After collecting the final melody, Ness will be warped into his mind and whoa. This is Magicant. It's nothing like Magicant in the first Mother and thank god, it's much more linear too. Eventually, Ness will reach the Sea of Eden, where he will fight the evil within his heart. It's pretty much the fight against a certain statue all over again. With it defeated, Ness will level up again and learn the last few PSI moves, and wake up.
The kids return to Saturn Valley where Dr. Andonuts and Apple Kid are almost finished with the Phase Distorter, which will warp them to the location of Giygas's base. However, it needs one more piece of material to finish it. That material can be found on a meteorite. That's right; we're going back to Onett!
This place while not at all destroyed or even damaged, is swarming with Giygas's minions. However, you can still get to the meteorite easily, as well as stay at Ness's house to recover health, and save your game. When you return to Saturn Valley, give Dr. Andonuts the material, and enter the Phase Distorter.
Your destination is the Great Underworld. When you first walk through here, the Star aster gives Poo the final upgrade to PK Starstorm and leaves. Dr. Andonuts and Apple Kid arrive through another Phase Distorter and tell Ness that Giygas is attacking from many years in the past. Oh boy, time for more questioning. If Giygas is attacking from the past, why isn't the world in devastation already? It just doesn't make since. Anyway, Dr. Andonuts tells us that Ness and friends need to become robots if they want to time travel.
The only one who looks different from the other robots is Ness, because of his cap. What about Paula's ribbon or Jeff's glasses? Oh well, no matter. The Cave of The Past features the toughest henchmen of all. However, it's extremely linear which eases off some pain. At the end of the dungeon we have Giygas who unlike in the first Mother, doesn't look like Mewtwo even though Mother is still older than Pokémon. Instead, Giygas is a giant sphere with Ness's face on it, and many tubes coming out of it that make up the ground.
In front of Giygas, we have Porky the fatass who is now discolored and has his own spider-mech. Porky states that Giygas has become this powerful thanks to him. And that he has become the embodiment of evil itself. Now in order to complete the first phase of this fight, keep this piece of advice in mind. Do not attack Giygas no matter what! Giygas has a shield that never goes away and reflects all attacks back at you. Only attack Porky because after he is defeated, he turns off the Devil's Machine, which is containing Giygas.
What is this thing? It's like some demonic alien...thing. Just imagine how many children were frightened by this thing back in the day. After sending a few attacks toward Giygas, whose attacks you cannot grasp the true form of; Porky tells you that it is all futile. He gloats about Ness crying to his parents in fear. However, he accidentally told us how to beat Giygas. Take a look at Paula's options. Do you see pray? Select that and watch the fireworks. It's up to Ness, Jeff, and Poo to keep Paula alive. To win the fight, Paula must pray nine times, which is her maximum limit. This is not as easy as it sounds!
Paula's call touches the hearts of Dr. Andonuts, the Runaway Brothers, Paula's family, roommate Tony, a woman in Dalaam, Frank, Ness's family, and finally, the player.
With one last prayer, Giygas is destroyed, Porky runs away, and Ness and friends return to their actual bodies in Saturn Valley. But really, this whole thing means that the kids were supposed to fight Giygas all those years in the past within the timeline of existence, but if that were the case, it would mean that if Ness never defeated Giygas, the world would be in ruins for the amount of time between then and the present. So why is only the future ten years late bad? This is why time travel is always creating plot holes, and in an RPG, plot holes are the last thing you want in the story.
Anyway, Poo returns to Dalaam to continue his duties as prince. Jeff stays in Saturn Valley to work with his father. Ness escorts Paula to her home in Twoson, and Ness returns home to Onett. However, defeating Giygas caused many things to change around Eagleland. So if you're in no rush to end the game, by all means check it out.
Ness returns home and looks in the photo album brought by an evil and annoying photographer and the credits begin to roll. As the credits conclude, an annoying knock is heard late at night as if the game started over. But at the door we get Picky who gives us a letter from Porky leaving an effective cliff hanger to end the game that wouldn't be answered until 2006. Assuming you either use an emulator or live in Japan.
I used to really love the story, and I still do, but compared to the stories of Mothers 1 and 3 it's definitely lacking. I can't really explain it, but the other two games had something extra to the story that I can't describe. Also this game hasn't aged well. At least in the US it hasn't. I want to blame Nintendo Power for it for their poor choice of puns in the article, but it might have been the toon like graphics that Shigesato Itoi chose to put in the game.
Nintendo of America had high hopes for this game back in 1994. There were ads, collectables, and even an extra large box to fit the official guide in. Today, Nintendo of America seems to look at the game like it was a failure, and any chance we've gotten to play it has been removed. (Except for the new Wii U's VC release) It was even a masterpiece in the Japanese version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. But look at our version, it's not there.
If you are a core gamer, I recommend you at least give this game a try. You might end up liking it, and if you do, I recommend you play the first and third game as well. I myself became a fan when I gave EarthBound a try after becoming a badass as Ness in Super Smash Bros. games. Truly, one of the best games on the SNES. I give it a 9.0 out of 10.