|Console/platform of origin||Famicom|
|First installment||EarthBound Beginnings (1989)|
|Latest installment||Mother 3 (2006)|
|Article on WikiBound||EarthBound (universe)|
The EarthBound universe, also known by its Japanese name the Mother universe (マザー, MOTHER) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's cult-classic trilogy of Japanese role-playing games. The series was created by Shigesato Itoi, and the franchise's symbol is the Earth, which itself is a recurring motif in the EarthBound series (being represented in both EarthBound and Super Smash Bros. by the Blue Marble). Despite receiving poor sales in its initial release, the EarthBound series has recieved strong acclaim retrospectively due to its dedicated fanbase and representation in the Smash Bros. series. The games' re-releases have been constantly topping the charts as best sellers on the Nintendo eShop, most notably EarthBound is currently the fourth best selling Virtual Console game on the Wii U's eShop (surpassed only by Super Mario World, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Bros. 3) and the sixth best selling eShop game of all time. The Smash Bros. games represent the franchise with Ness and Lucas as playable characters, along with various other characters appearing as items and enemies.
An influential Japanese copywriter, actor, and television personality named Shigesato Itoi took a foray into the Nintendo-dominated video game market of the late 1980s despite some initial skepticism from Nintendo's higher-ups about working with celebrities. He and then-Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi formed a new subsidiary called Ape Inc. and Itoi pitched to Shigeru Miyamoto an RPG game set in modern day. this pitch was approved, and the game would release in July of 1989 for Famicom as Mother. Itoi wanted to make an unconventional take on the primarily sword-and-sorcery themed RPG genre. The game was set in a humorous rendition of contemporary America realized in the town of Podunk and had the player assuming the role of Ninten, a neighborhood boy with psychic powers who would go on an adventure that would eventually lead to him confronting Giygas, a villain that would become a series regular and one the few connecting elements of the series. It featured conventional objects such as baseball bats and yo-yos as stand-ins for weapons that could be equipped and a variety of bizarre and comical enemies such as possessed automobiles, crazed animals, and hippies and gang members. It also featured a very odd blend of simplistic character designs and dark themes and undertones. The game sold very well in Japan, and an English localization immediately began, with a planned fall 1991 release date with Earth Bound as the intended Western title. However, marketing executives anticipating the mid-1991 release of the Super NES decided that the prototype NES game would be too costly to produce and market, and the localized product was shelved with no foreseeable plans for a future release. This was the case until 2015, when the translation was finished and released for the Wii U Virtual Console as Earthbound Beginnings.
Itoi returned to design a sequel for the Super Famicom, Mother 2, though the title's development was troubled by a new inexperienced development staff and was stretched across five years, nearly facing cancellation. The project was only saved when late veteran programmer Satoru Iwata joined the development team, now making the Mother 2 project a joint effort by Ape and HAL Laboratory (HALKEN at the time), separate studios based at separate locations (employees would regularly have to travel between studios to work). It was released in August 1994 in Japan and, unlike its predecessor, actually saw a Western localization the following June, under the first public occurrence of the name EarthBound. This game saw new protagonist Ness and his friends and their adventures across time and space to save the world from Gyigas. However, while the game's Japanese sales figures were relatively close to the original's, it sold poorly in the West because of an unusual and ineffective marketing campaign and the fact that American audiences were largely indifferent to JRPGs at the time (this would only end with the 1997 release of Final Fantasy VII, which brought the genre to the mainstream). These poor sales even prevented the game from being released in the PAL regions. Critical retrospectives, however, portray it as not only one of the best RPGs in the 1990s, but also one of the most original, both in its approach to established JRPG mechanics and in its uniquely quirky humor, storyline (which is comparatively more light-hearted than its forerunner), character, and bizarre psychedelic aesthetic, as well as its many parodies of American culture and JRPG - and science fiction - storytelling conventions. Some publications have named it the defining example of a cult classic, with substantial fanbases in both Japan and North America.
More development and release date woes awaited the Mother franchise following EarthBound. Ape Inc. would immediately disband after completion, though most would come back to form the modern day Creatures to assist Game Freak to develop Pokémon Red & Green, which why they share ownership between Game Freak and Nintendo. Itoi immediately began development of the series's second sequel for the Super Famicom in 1994, which was then moved to the Nintendo 64DD add-on for the Nintendo 64, popularized by the media as the then-upcoming EarthBound 64. When the ill-fated disk drive peripheral was met with commercial failure, the game was cancelled and restarted its development cycle on the Nintendo 64 itself, where it was initially expected to be a launch title for the console's Western release. But Itoi's development team was inexperienced with developing three-dimensional titles and the Nintendo 64 hardware itself, and the project remained unreleased even as EarthBound was included by Masahiro Sakurai as an unlockable franchise in the original Super Smash Bros. in 1998. Itoi eventually announced the official cancellation of EarthBound 64 in August 2000, citing that he did not want to make anything other than "something truly special" in addition to the project becoming too complex with its interest in three-dimensional graphics. Shigeru Miyamoto subsequently became interested in finding ways to salvage some of the work, though this had to be put on hold because the Mother 3 development team was put on Nintendo GameCube projects. Meanwhile, the translated prototype of the Western version of the NES game was discovered and purchased by a fan translation group, which was modified, retitled "EarthBound Zero", and distributed through the Internet as a ROM image.
Itoi and Nintendo eventually decided to rerelease both Mother titles in Japan as ports compiled on one Game Boy Advance cartridge, Mother 1 + 2, which was released in June 2003 in Japan and included all of the enhancements the English prototype had made to the original Mother; to the dismay of fans, this was never released in the West either. However, Itoi realized he would once again be pressured into reviving his shelved project, an idea he was initially opposed to, but encouragement from fans led to his decision to restart development for the game for Game Boy Advance, which he approached as though he were developing his magnum opus. After three years of development, Mother 3 (essentially now a Game Boy Advance recreation of EarthBound 64) was finally released in Japan in April 2006, twelve years after development began and over a year after the launch of the handheld's successor, the Nintendo DS. This Game Boy Advance title returned the series to a two-dimensional aesthetic but placed more emphasis on a serious plot and character interaction and tweaked gameplay elements of its predecessors. The game saw new protagonist Lucas and his adventures with his family and later his newfound friends as they try to save the world from being destroyed entirely. It was released to critical acclaim that praised its new rhythm-based but otherwise simple approach to turn-based combat and, most significantly, tragic storytelling and characterization that achieved a rarely seen degree of depth in titles in the genre.
Unfortunately, Nintendo of America would once more decline to localize the game for Western audiences, once again apparently because of fears that its inconvenient timing at the end of the commercial lifespan of the platform it was based on would negatively affect its sales. The fansite Starmen.net made headlines in October 2008 when it released its own English translation patch that could be applied to a copy of the ROM image of Mother 3. This monumental translation effort was spearheaded by professional translator Clyde "Tomato" Mandelin and the patch received over 100,000 downloads from the website in the first week of its release. Despite the project not being completely legal, it became one of a handful of unofficial video game localization projects that officials in the video game industry did not formally object to, but instead expressed admiration for. In the meantime, the Mother series has regularly appeared in every subsequent Super Smash Bros. game to date, including Mother 3 being focused on in 2008's Super Smash Bros. Brawl, though Itoi has announced that he has no plans to direct a fourth Mother game and reaffirmed this statement several times. In the years to come, developers large and small would create role-playing games that would draw heavy inspiration from the world, humor, and battle system of the Mother series, including the critically-acclaimed Undertale in 2015 by Toby Fox, and more recently Omori in 2020 by omocat. Although the series is seldom referenced directly by Nintendo, the rights held to it by Itoi have enabled the continued development of merchandise and other projects honoring its legacy, such as a collaborative tribute book and a rearranged version of the first game's studio album.
While never acheiving the same mainstream success as Mario or even other RPG franchises, the Mother franchise has received a cult following that has only grown in the wake of the internet and continued representation in the form of cameos and the Super Smash Bros. series. Merchandise being made about the franchise to this day and fan projects that would go on to be successful game releases in their own right is a sign of this fan devotion, as arguably more popular franchises do not share this privilege.
EarthBound is one of the "bonus franchises" in the original Super Smash Bros. - contributing one unlockable character and a song (his victory theme). There are no stages based on EarthBound in the game, so Ness instead has to be fought on Kirby's stage in order to be unlocked.
- Ness (Unlockable): A boy living in the town of Onett, Ness is gifted with psychic powers. He is chosen by a little alien named Buzz Buzz to save the world from Giygas, a malevolent entity which is causing the citizens and animals of his town and others to become hostile. To do this, he must first travel to eight sanctuaries and record the Eight Melodies in his Sound Stone, given to him by Buzz Buzz. Ness then must combine those melodies and make the "Sound Stone Melody", which will give him the power of the Earth necessary to defeat Giygas at the end of the game. (The second half of the melody comprises Ness' victory theme in the first two games of the Smash series.) All of Ness's special moves (PSI Magnet, PK Fire, and PK Thunder) were incidentally used by Paula, not Ness, in EarthBound. Ness is currently in low tier, sitting at 10th out of 12 on the tier list, mainly due to his easily exploitable recovery.
- 24: Ness Wins: The victory theme of Ness is an orchestrated version of the last several notes of the Eight Melodies (not to be confused with the separate Eight Melodies from its predecessor, Mother) that Ness collects throughout his journey at the eight "Your Sanctuary" spots in EarthBound. This incarnation of the Eight Melodies also appears in EarthBound as part of "Smiles and Tears", which also appears in remixed form in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
EarthBound's representation in the Smash series was expanded significantly upon in Super Smash Bros. Melee, with a returning character, two new stages, a new item, and many new trophies.
- Ness (Starter): Ness is still the only playable EarthBound character in the game, but he now has PK Flash for his neutral special. As a result, his previous neutral special, PK Fire, has been moved to his side special. Despite his flaws in Super Smash Bros. like his recovery, Ness has suffered an overall nerf, countering most of his buffs. As a result, Ness is currently ranked 23rd out of 26 in the tier list, similar to his Smash 64 tier placement.
Melee is the first game to introduce stages for the EarthBound series.
- Onett (Starter): The quaint suburban hometown of Ness, whose citizens and animals become hostile under Giygas' otherwise invisible influence. The red spherical meteor on the hilltop in the background is the alien Buzz Buzz's spacecraft and, when Ness investigates it, he is instructed by Buzz Buzz to go on a quest to save Onett and the world from Giygas' influence. This stage takes place on and around houses and a drug store whose balconies serve as battling platforms. The road in front of the characters on the ground has speeding cars on it, and cars zooming past characters on the ground will almost certainly KO them.
- Fourside (Unlockable): The New York City-inspired urban metropolis in EarthBound manifests as a battle-on-skyscrapers-in-the-nighttime stage for Melee, and in essence, it is the spiritual successor to the Saffron City Pokémon stage from the first Super Smash Bros. The layout of the stage consists of three main platforms with bottomless pits in between buildings, so this is the most conceivable stage where the Wall jump technique can be used to save oneself from a fall. The Monotoli helicopter occasionally appears in the background, landing on the Monotoli building before flying off after a short time. In addition, from time to time a UFO will materialize above the city and serve as an extremely slippery semi-soft platform.
Melee introduced an item for the EarthBound series as well:
- Mr. Saturn: A race of odd little creatures with big noses, whiskers, and the ability to talk, Mr. Saturns are encountered as friendly NPCs by Ness in EarthBound. They make their home in an area of Eagleland called Saturn Valley, and when they speak the text in the game is presented as hard-to-read kindergarten scrawl, and they often mix the words "boing", "ding", and "zoom" into their speech for unknown reasons. As a Melee item, a Mr. Saturn is an intentional "dud" item. It walks around on its own, and it can be picked up and hurled at opponents for minor damage, but it can be reused this way because it does not disappear after one use. In addition, a thrown Mr. Saturn does 21 shield damage in this game, and several bonuses are available based on the usage of these creatures.
- Mother: Despite being known as "Onett" in Smash 4, it is not actually heard in the town of Onett or in EarthBound for SNES overall, and is instead a combination of two tracks first heard in Mother. The first is Bein' Friends, which is the overworld theme whenever Ninten has more than one character in his party, and the second is the Eight Melodies that Ninten collects throughout the game. Finally a small portion of title theme is played before the song finishes its loop. The music also ends with an enemy encounter tune, which appears in both EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound - albeit only for bosses in the latter. It is heard on Onett. It is Song 19 in the Sound Test.
- EarthBound: Synthesized music heard prominently in EarthBound, this is the official theme for the city of Fourside in both the game and in Melee's Fourside stage, with the first half of EarthBound's Eight Melodies inserted at a point (the last half of the original version, incidentally, are used as Ness's victory theme). It is heard on Onett. It is Song 20 in the Sound Test.
- Mother 2: The song's real title is Pollyanna. This is a quaint soft rock remix of the overworld theme in Mother whenever Ninten is the only character in his party. A slightly abridged remix also appeared in EarthBound whenever Ness returns to his house during his quest, with the intro to the original version also being used in that game in Onett when the sun rises. It also appeared in Mother 3. It is used as a secondary track on Onett. It is Song 35 in the Sound Test.
- Ness's Victory: The victory theme of Ness is an orchestrated version of the last four notes of the Eight Melodies that Ness collects throughout his journey. It is Song 47 in the Sound Test.
Lucky and Nice of the Runaway Five appear in the introduction movie in Onett. There is also a sign showing a picture of both members that is absent in the Onett stage. The equivalent sign in the stage is moved further to the right and has a different design, with only Lucky being present in the picture.
Sound effects from EarthBound can be heard in the beginning of the Special Movie.
The content from the EarthBound franchise have been given a boost in representation since Melee with two total playable characters and another item in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Ness (Unlockable): The protagonist of EarthBound was confirmed to be returning in Super Smash Bros. Brawl by the opening sequence of the game and by the official Dojo on February 1st, 2008. He has been slightly buffed from Melee while still retaining his old moveset and voice clips. He gained an additional 10 frames of lag when grab released, making him extremely vulnerable to infinite grab-release follow-ups. Thus, he is ranked 26th on the tier list, being a mid tier character rather than a low tier character in Melee.
- Lucas (Starter): The protagonist of Mother 3 and the most recent hero in the series is a newcomer in Brawl. Although his special moves are similar to Ness's, Lucas's standard moveset is largely different. Some similar moves between the characters differ in function, i.e. whereas Ness would have an attack that deals one solid hit, Lucas has one that deals multiple small ones and vice-versa. One of Lucas's alternate costumes makes him look like his twin brother from Mother 3, Claus. He is ranked 30th on the tier list, being lower than Ness, the lowest of the newcomers in Brawl, and at the very bottom of the lower-mid-tier. He shares the same problem with Ness, having an additional 10 frames of his grab-release animation that leaves him prone to grab-release follow-ups.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), the EarthBound characters occupy the eighth column alongside the Fire Emblem characters. Both of these series were originally Japan-only RPG series that later saw at least one entry released in the West.
- Porky: Porky Minch appears as a boss in Brawl's Subspace Emissary mode. Porky's supposedly robotic statue form chases Lucas around The Ruined Zoo. Ness retaliates against the giant statue and uses a PK Flash to destroy it. When the statue crumbles, a mechanized spider-looking machine appears with Porky in the center.
- New Pork City (Starter): An enormous stage akin to Melee’s Temple stage. Based on the locale from the Japan-only Mother 3, a beast known as the Ultimate Chimera makes an appearance here and can one-hit KO players with its bite.
- Melee Stages: Onett (Starter): One of the stages that returns from the previous game, it only has a few minor changes such as the addition of My Music and the knockback from the cars having been significantly lowered.
Bold italics denote an item new to the Smash Bros. series.
- Mr. Saturn: Mr. Saturn is mostly unchanged from his Melee appearance: he inflicts minimal damage when thrown, but now deals 43 units of shield damage, one more than twice as much as its Melee shield damage of 21.
- Franklin Badge: This equippable item from all three EarthBound games is an item in Brawl. In Mother, it reflects the normally one-hit KO Gamma-level PK Beam attack, while in EarthBound and Mother 3, it reflects electricity-based attacks back at the attacker; in Brawl, it is worn by a character for a short while, making him or her immune to all projectile-based attacks which get reflected back in the direction whence it came.
- Jeff: Jeff uses his bottle rocket launcher and launches homing missiles at all opposing characters.
- Porky's Theme: The theme of Porky, main villain of Mother 3, and his Pig Mask Army. The main portion is a remix of His Highness's Theme, taken directly from the Mother 3i soundtrack (with the Log-O-Type part of the song taken from another remix in the Mother 3i soundtrack). It is used on the New Pork City stage.
- Unfounded Revenge / Smashing Song of Praise: A remix and combination of the two boss battle songs of the same name from Mother 3. It is used on the New Pork City stage.
- Mother 3 Love Theme: Taken from Mother 3, this song is a remix of Mom's Hometown and the "Theme of Love" song from the Mother 3 and is the main theme of the game. It is used on the New Pork City stage. This song also plays during Lucas's Classic Mode credits.
- You Call This a Utopia?!: In Mother 3, it is the background music of New Pork City, which is another remix of Porky's Theme. It is the theme of the New Pork City stage.
- Humoresque of a Little Dog: This theme is a remix of the song played in the Drugstores in the first two games, and in Porky's jukebox in Mother 3. It is used on the New Pork City stage.
- Snowman: A cover of a song that plays in every single EarthBound game. It is very similar to the Mother 3+ soundtrack's version, minus the chanting and added instrument after first loop. It is used on the New Pork City stage. This song also plays during Ness's Classic Mode credits.
- Mother (Melee): An arrangement of Bein' Friends from Mother, it was slightly remixed in the transition from Melee to Brawl. It is used on the Onett stage.
- Mother 2 (Melee): An arrangement of recurring series theme Pollyanna (I Believe In You), taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Onett stage.
- Victory! EarthBound Series: Ness and Lucas's victory theme. Taken from the title song of Mother, Mother Earth.
- Mother 2 (Japan only)
The EarthBound universe is once again represented in Super Smash Bros. 4. Initially, Ness returned while Lucas was cut, but Lucas was later on released as a DLC character.
- Ness (3DS: Unlockable; Wii U: Starter): a small-town boy from EarthBound who saves his world from an alien invasion. He returns as an unlockable character in the 3DS version, but is once again a starter in the Wii U version. His appearance and proportions are closer to his original game; he has a thinner body and his clothing has much brighter colors. Some of his new alternate costumes also hold references to key characters from EarthBound. His extra 10 grab-release frames were removed, making him no longer subject to grab-release follow-ups. Overall, most of his moves are buffed, whether they are faster or stronger, making him more viable than in the past three games. Interestingly, some of his custom moves are taken from Lucas's special moveset. Ness is one of the few veterans to be given new voice clips.
- Lucas (DLC): the timid protagonist of Mother 3 who fends off Porky's Pigmask Army. He returns as a downloadable character that was made available for purchase on June 14th, 2015, the same day EarthBound Beginnings was released on the Wii U Virtual Console. Like Ness, he now has brighter-colored clothing, body proportions that match his debut title, and a constant smile. Also like Ness, some of his new alternate costumes make references to other important characters from Mother 3. Similar to Ness, his extra 10 grab-release frames were removed, and despite being slightly nerfed in the transition from Brawl to SSB4, he has indirect buffs from the nerfs of other characters that countered him before, which makes him play relatively better against the rest of the cast than in Brawl.
for Nintendo 3DS
- Magicant (Unlockable): staged in a dreamy realm from Mother and EarthBound. Its appearance primarily derives from Mother, though some elements are from EarthBound. A Flying Man will sometimes appear on the right side of the stage as a hazard. If a player touches one, he will fight along side them like an Assist Trophy. The Flying Man can be launched and defeated by other players. Should one be defeated, another Flying Man will spawn on the same right-side platform. After five Flying Men have been defeated, they will no longer appear in the rest of the match. Characters from EarthBound - the Mobile Sprout, Dungeon Man, and Sky Runner - cameo as platforms. Occasionally, a "rip" in sky will open in the background and shows moments from Mother and EarthBound. Many characters make cameo in this rip, including Ninten, the protagonist of Mother. This is one of the possible stages to appear in Level 5 of All-Star Mode as a home stage for Ness, who is also unlocked on this stage. Its Ω form is a floating platform like Final Destination.
for Wii U
- Onett (Starter): staged in Ness's hometown from EarthBound. Various vehicles drive on the road in the foreground and will hit grounded opponents. The colors of the stage are more pronounced than they were in Brawl and two mailboxes have been removed. It is one of the possible stages to appear in Level 3 of All-Star Mode as a home stage for Ness and it is large enough to accommodate 8-Player Smash. Its Ω form is columnar and staged on top of the Drug Store.
- Mr. Saturn (throwing): a bow-wearing being from EarthBound. It can be picked up and thrown as a bouncy projectile that does enough shield damage to cause an instant shield break. Otherwise, Mr. Saturn walks harmlessly around the stage.
- Franklin Badge (status): a badge from the EarthBound series. It reflects projectile attacks when equipped.
Bold italics denote an Assist Trophy new to the Smash Bros. series.
- Jeff: a bespectacled friend and ally of Ness's from EarthBound. He attacks opponents with a bottle rocket. He does not harm the summoner.
- Starman: an extraterrestrial enemy from Mother and EarthBound. It teleports around the stage and attacks opponents with PK Beam. Opponents can attack and ultimately launch the Starman if it accumulates enough damage. It does not attack the summoner. It also appears as an enemy in Smash Run.
Smash Tour items
- Mr. Saturn (Red): a bow-wearing being from EarthBound. The user can break an opponent's shield more easily.
- Franklin Badge (Red): a badge from the EarthBound series. The user starts battle with the badge equipped.
- Porky (Green): Ness's neighbor and a major antagonist from EarthBound and Mother 3. The user steals an opponent's Tour Items.
- Ultimate Chimera (Red): a toothy monster from Mother 3. The user takes two fighters from the last opponent KO'd instead of just one. It will activate even if the user did not place first in the battle.
- Starman: an extraterrestrial enemy from Mother and EarthBound. It teleports around the stage and attacks opponents with PK Beam. It also appears as an Assist Trophy. Its PK Beam can be reflected and absorbed only in Smash Run.
- Devil Car: Also known as the Psycho Car in EarthBound Beginnings, the English release of Mother. It attacks opponents by spinning doughnuts and running over them. It has a lot of HP and armor, making it difficult to launch. It cannot be grabbed.
Smash Tour enemy
- Flying Man: a yellow-and-red birdman from the first two EarthBound games. In Smash Tour, he aids the first player who bumps into him and travels along the board. He launches the next opponent he crosses paths with. He also appears in the 3DS version as a hazard on the Magicant stage.
- Flying Man Outfit (DLC): this outfit is based on a Flying Man, a yellow-and-red birdman from the first two EarthBound games who resides in Magicant. Pixelated, two-dimensional Flying Men appear on the Magicant stage in the 3DS version as hazards, but they were originally going to be three-dimensional models. This was ultimately scrapped, but the assets used to make the 3D Flying Man were repurposed for this outfit. The outfit was released with a corresponding hat in the Flying Man's likeness on July 31, 2015 as downloadable content.
Arrangements and remixes unique to SSB4.
- Magicant / Eight Melodies (Mother): an arrangement of "Magicant" and "Eight Melodies" from Mother. It plays on Magicant and Onett.
- Onett Theme / Winters Theme: an arrangement of "Theme of Onett (from "Let the Adventure Begin")" from EarthBound and "Snowman" from Mother. It plays on Onett.
- Smiles and Tears: an arrangement of the ending theme "Smiles and Tears" from EarthBound. It plays on Magicant and Onett.
Arrangements and remixes from previous Smash titles.
- Onett: A medley of the tracks Bein' Friends, Eight Melodies, and MOTHER Earth from Mother. It has been reverted back to its Melee version. It plays on Onett.
- Pollyanna (I Believe in You): an arrangement of "Pollyanna (I Believe in You)" from Mother similar to a vocalized arrangement of the same piece from the 1989 Mother album. This piece was abridged in Smash for Wii U. It plays on Onett.
- Snowman: an arrangement of "Snowman" from Mother similar to its arrangement from Mother 3. It plays on Onett.
- Porky's Theme: an arrangement of "His Highness' Theme" and "LOG-O-TYPE" from Mother 3. It plays on Onett.
- Unfounded Revenge / Smashing Song of Praise: an arrangement of the boss themes "Unfound Revenge" and "Smashing Song of Praise" from Mother 3. It plays on Onett.
- Mother 3 Love Theme: an arrangement of "Mother 3 Love Theme" and "Mom's Hometown" from Mother 3. It plays on Onett.
- Victory! EarthBound Series: a flourished arrangement of the first few bars of "MOTHER Earth" from Mother at a faster tempo. It is sourced from Brawl.
The EarthBound / MOTHER universe returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with its content from across the Smash series being curated for this installment (barring the Porky boss and Porky Statue hazard). All past fighters, music tracks, stages, items, and Assist Trophies return, with new elements such as a new item and music remixes being added. In English, the original Mother is now consistently referred to as EarthBound Beginnings. This is the first time since SSB where all of the EarthBound series fighters must be unlocked.
- 10. Ness (Unlockable): The small town boy from Onett returns as an unlockable fighter after being a starter in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. He is significantly more expressive than his past appearances, even having his pupils grow when he gets hit. Many of his attacks and animations, such as neutral air, up air, pummel, and PK Fire, have been reworked to distinguish himself further from Lucas and now even feature new PSI-inspired visual effects. For his Final Smash, Paula and Poo now join him to perform PK Starstorm. Although Ness was previously strongly buffed in his transition to Super Smash Bros. 4, Ness once again received improvements between games, and additionally, the new gameplay mechanics of Ultimate have indirectly buffed him in other ways, such as the return of directional air dodging greatly improving his recovery. Overall, Ness has achieved great tournament results in Ultimate's early metagame.
- 37. Lucas (Unlockable): The timid boy from Tazmily Village returns as an unlockable fighter after being DLC in Smash 4. Like Ness, he is significantly more expressive than his past appearances, even having his pupils enlarge when he gets hit. Several of his attacks and animations have been reworked, such as his pummel and throws, and some now feature PSI-inspired visuals. For his Final Smash, Kumatora and Boney now join him to perform PK Starstorm. Lucas has received a mix of nerfs and buffs in his transition to Ultimate. While his combo game was toned down, his overall mobility has been increased, and his aerials and specials were improved. Ultimate's engine has also indirectly buffed him in similar ways to Ness, such as the aforementioned changes to air dodging. Lucas has since achieved favorable tournament results in the early metagame, though not to the same degree as Ness.
All EarthBound stages from previous titles return.
- Onett (Starter): Based on Ness's hometown in EarthBound. The battleground is situated around a drug store and a couple of houses, with more buildings being visible in the background. Cars occasionally pass by and can damage fighters in their path, including a car based on the Runaway Five’s black bus. This stage is similar to its previous appearances, although the colors stand out more and some textures have been redone.
- Fourside (Starter): A metropolitan city that Ness and company visit in EarthBound makes its return after a 17-year absense. Its nightly appearance is based off of Moonside, an illusion created by the Mani Mani Statue. The Monotoli helicopter and the slippery-surfaced UFO make occasional appearances. The stage is darker than its Melee counterpart, and the colors stand out more; overall, the jump to HD required a graphical overhaul for the stage.
- New Pork City (Starter): The last city Lucas and company visit in Mother 3, being the headquarters of Master Porky and the location of the final needle returns after an absense in Smash 4. The flying limo makes occasional appearances and the Ultimate Chimera also roams around the city, and fighters who hit it get instantly KO'd, though no longer via the blast lines. The colors and streetlights now stand out more, and the city walls are now shaded purple.
- Magicant (Starter): Based on a mystical realm in both EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound that Ninten and Ness travel to, respectively. A rip in the sky reveals key moments from both titles. Elements from EarthBound make cameo appearances such as the octopus statue, Dr. Andonut’s Skyrunner, and the Dungeon Man. The Flying Men makes frequent appearances and - once a character allies with one - attacks other nearby fighters. The colors and textures are much more vibrant and detailed than its 3DS counterpart, and the background has been significantly updated to closer match the layout of EarthBound Beginnings's Magicant.
Bold italics denote an item new to the Smash Bros. series.
- Mr. Saturn: A peculiar entity that first appeared in EarthBound. They do minimal damage when thrown, but can instantly break a full shield on contact.
- Franklin Badge: A badge of great importance that has appeared in all three Mother games. When equipped, it will instantly reflect projectiles.
- Ramblin' Evil Mushroom: A minor enemy that first appeared in EarthBound; it acts as a spraying weapon that reverses the opponent's left and right controls.
- Jeff: One of Ness's party members in EarthBound, he launches one round of bottle rockets at the opponents. Cannot be KO’d.
- Starman: Extraterrestrial entities that first appeared in EarthBound Beginnings. They teleport around the stage and shoot PK Beams at opponents. The Starman can be KO'd.
All music tracks from the original Mother are now labeled under EarthBound Beginnings.
Arrangements and remixes unique to Ultimate.
- Magicant: A synth-heavy rock remix of the Magicant theme, sampling some 8-bit sounds from the original game's version, from EarthBound Beginnings.
- Fourside: A fast-paced rock and trumpet-centric remix of Fourside's theme, also known as "Because I Love You", that also incorporates the Eight Melodies from EarthBound.
Arrangements and remixes returning from previous Smash games.
- Bein' Friends: A medley of tracks from EarthBound Beginnings, including "Bein' Friends", the Eight Melodies, the title theme, and the "Enemy Encounter Theme". Returns from Melee, renamed from Mother in Melee and Onett in Smash 4. This track played in Ness's character trailer.
- Pollyanna (I Believe In You): A soft rock remix of "Pollyanna (I Believe in You)" from EarthBound Beginnings. Returns from Melee.
- Fourside (Melee): A techno-based remix of "Because I Love You", the Fire Spring theme, and the Eight Melodies from EarthBound. Returns from Melee, renamed from EarthBound.
- Humoresque Of A Little Dog: The theme that plays in Drugstores and Department stores, from EarthBound Beginnings. Returns from Brawl.
- Snowman: A remix of the theme of Snowman from EarthBound Beginnings. Returns from Brawl.
- Mother 3 Love Theme: A remix of "Mom's Hometown", the theme that plays during the prologue, in Mother 3. Returns from Brawl.
- Unfounded Revenge / Smashing Song of Praise: A remix of "Unfounded Revenge" and "Smashing Song of Praise" from Mother 3. Returns from Brawl. This track played in Lucas's character trailer.
- You Call This A Utopia?!: A remix of the theme "Isn't This Place Such a Utopia?" played in New Pork City, which itself is an arrangement of "His Highness's Theme", "The Pig King's Playroom", and "Theme of King P", from Mother 3. Returns from Brawl.
- Porky's Theme: An arrangement of "His Highness' Theme" and "LOG-O-TYPE" from Mother 3. Returns from Brawl.
- Magicant (for 3DS / Wii U): An arrangement of the theme from Magicant and the Eight Melodies, from EarthBound Beginnings. Returns from Smash 4.
- Smiles and Tears: A remix of the staff credits theme, "Smiles and Tears", from EarthBound. Returns from Smash 4.
- Onett Theme / Winters Theme: A remix of the theme of Onett from EarthBound, and the theme of Snowman, from EarthBound Beginnings. Returns from Smash for Wii U.
- Victory! EarthBound Series: A new flourished, faster arrangement of the final two melodies of the "Eight Melodies" from EarthBound Beginnings.
Media with elements appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series
The EarthBound universe has media represented throughout the Super Smash Bros. series with a total of 7 games and media. The latest media represented in this universe is Mother 3i, released on April 20, 2006.
- Playable characters:
- Ness uses Teleport on his on-screen appearance in all Smash games except for Melee.
- The special moves PK Fire, PK Thunder, and PSI Magnet, first appeared in this game. Neither Ness or Lucas were able to learn these moves in their respective games, however.
- A Baseball bat, a recurring weapon in this series, appears as Ness's foward smash, in one of his taunts, and in one of his victory poses.
- The special move PK Freeze first appeared in this game. Neither Ness or Lucas were able to learn this move in their respective games, however.
- Flying Men serve as a Mii costume for the Mii Brawler. It was available as a DLC in Smash 4, and in the base game of Ultimate.
- The overall aesthetics of Magicant primarily takes inspiration from the titular place in this game.
- Stage elements:
- Flying Men originate in this game, meant to represent the courage of the protagonist. They appear on Magicant as a stage hazard.
- Ninten, Mick, and Lloyd make cameos in Magicant's background during the "rip" in the sky sequences. The Twinkle Elementary School also appears during one of these sequences.
- The Franklin Badge originated from this game.
- Assist Trophies:
- Ana, EVE, Flying Man, Lloyd, Ninten, Starman, and Teddy appear as spirits.
- "Victory! EarthBound Series": Ness and Lucas's victory theme in Brawl and Smash 4, which is an arrangement of the track "Mother Earth", the game's introduction theme.
- "Pollyanna (I Believe In You)": One of the overworld themes, sourced from this game.
- "Humouresque of a Little Dog": The recurring shop theme in the series, originated form this game.
- "Bein' Friends": One of the overworld themes, sourced from this game.
- "Snowman": The theme that plays in the titular town, also originated from this game.
- "Onett Theme / Winters Theme": Incorporates the theme of the Snowman town from this game.
- "Magicant (for 3DS / Wii U)" The Smash 4 arrangement of the track originates from this game; both are themes that are played in the titular area.
- "Magicant" The Ultimate arrangement of the track originates from this game; both are themes that are played in the titular area.
- "Victory! EarthBound Series": Ness and Lucas's victory theme in Ultimate, which is a fast arrangement of the last two melodies of the "Eight Melodies" from this game.
- Main article: EarthBound (game)
- Playable characters:
- Ness, the main protagonist of the game, is a playable character in all of the Smash Bros games to date. Several of Ness's costumes also originate from this game.
- Ness uses a Yo-yo from this game in his up and down smash.
- PK Flash originates from this game. Ness can learn PK Flash.
- PK Starstorm originates from this game. However, neither Ness nor Lucas can learn PK Starstorm.
- The shirt of Ness's black costume features the sprite of a Mr. Saturn.
- The shirt on Ness's purple costume features the tile patern of this game's file select and character naming screens.
- Paula and Poo, two of Ness's party members, appear alongside him during PK Starstorm in Ultimate.
- Ness's moveset features new visual effects sourced from this game.
- A hat based on Mr. Saturn appears for every Mii Fighter type.
- Stage elements:
- The Runaway Five's tour bus appears on Onett as a stage hazard.
- A UFO appears on Fourside as a stage element.
- Dungeon Man, Sky Runner, and Mobile Sprout appear on Magicant as stage elements.
- Paula, Jeff, and Poo make cameos in Magicant's background during the "rip" in the sky sequences. Threed, Lumine Hall, and Saturn Valley also appear during these sequences.
- The design of the Flying Men is based of their design from this game.
- Mr. Saturns, docile creatures who reside in their namesake valley, appear as items in every Smash game since Melee.
- Ramblin' Evil Mushroom is a common overworld enemy in this game, it appears as an item in Ultimate.
- Assist Trophies:
- Jeff, one of Ness's party members, is an Assist Trophy in Smash.
- Jeff, Master Belch, Mr. Saturn, Ness, Paula, Poo, and Porky appear as stickers.
- Starman appears as a sticker using its clay model from this game.
- "Onett Theme / Winters Theme": Has themes from both Onett and Winters (which is based off of the Snowman theme from EarthBound Beginnings).
- "Fourside (Melee)": The Melee arrangement of the track originates from the titular city in this game.
- "Fourside": The Ultimate arrangement of the track originates from the titular city in this game.
- "Smiles and Tears": Is the theme that plays during the end credits of this game.
- "Victory! Ness": Ness's victory theme in 64 and Melee, which is an orchestrated version of the last four melodies of the "Eight Melodies" from this game.
- Ness himself, his party members, two of the Runaway Five members, Frankystein Mark II (who is a mini-boss in the game), a Mr. Saturn, and three UFOs can be seen in Ness's congratulations screen from Super Smash Bros.
- Two Runaway Five members and a Mr. Saturn appear on Melee's opening.
- EarthBound itself is one of the playable masterpieces in Brawl (only in the Japanese version) and Smash 4.
- A Mr. Saturn appears on Ultimate's panoramic character artwork.
- "Humouresque of a Little Dog": The arrangement includes an extra line that comes from this version.
- Playable characters:
- Lucas, the main protagonist of the game, has been a playable character since Brawl, but was also originally planned to replace Ness back in Melee.
- The Rope Snake appears as Lucas's grab and in one of his taunts.
- A Stick, Lucas and Flint's primary weapon, appears as Lucas's foward smash and in one of his victory poses.
- Lucas pulls one of the Seven Needles in one of his victory poses.
- Ness's white costume is based off of Fuel, a character from this game.
- The shirt on Lucas's grey, green, and purple costumes each contain the sprites of the Masked Man, Boney, and of a baby Drago, respectively.
- When Lucas uses PK Starstorm in Ultimate, Kumatora and Boney, two of his party members, appear alongside him.
- Lucas's moveset features new visual effects sourced from this game.
- New Pork City, the final area of the game and the biggest city on the Nowhere Islands, appears in Brawl and Ultimate.
- Stage elements:
- The Ultimate Chimera, a hazard on New Pork City, is an invincible enemy that originates from this game.
- "Mother 3 Love Theme": The main theme of this game and is played during many cutscenes. This rendition also includes the theme of pre-modernized Tazmily Village (Mom's Hometown).
- "Porky's Theme": Incorporates many themes from this game that relate to the Pig Mask Army and Porky Minch.
- "Unfounded Revenge / Smashing Song of Praise": Takes two themes from this game; the former plays during the fight with the Fierce Pork Trooper, and the latter plays during the fight with the Steel Mechorilla.
- "You Call This A Utopia?!": The theme that plays in New Pork City.
- "Snowman": The arrangement uses its version in this album as a basis.
- "Porky's Theme": The "LOG-O-TYPE" portion of "Tazmily in the Stage" from this album is used in this arrangement.
- The copyright for Shigesato Itoi / Ape Inc. is not listed in the title screen of Super Smash Bros. and the back boxart for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, possibly due to Ness being an unlockable fighter in both games. Additionally, the copyright is not listed in the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U eShop copyright listings without including the DLC page.
- EarthBound, Final Fantasy, Persona, and Dragon Quest are the only universes that do not have a character from their original installment playable in Super Smash Bros.
- Subsequently, EarthBound is the only Nintendo series with this distinction.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate marks the first and only time both EarthBound characters share the same availability, being unlockables.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate marks the first time where Mother is retitled EarthBound Beginnings via music source. This is due to Mother making its international debut on Wii U Virtual Console in 2015 as EarthBound Beginnings. The stage prefix for Magicant, however, is simply listed as EarthBound rather than EarthBound Beginnings, despite the stage being heavily based on its appearance in the latter game.
- In the Famicom version of Mother, a kid asks Ninten "Have you played Dragon Quest IV? I'm still having trouble with Dragon Quest III." The Hero protagonists from Dragon Quest III and the then-upcoming Dragon Quest IV would become playable alongside EarthBound and Mother 3 protagonists Ness and Lucas in Ultimate almost exactly 30 years later.
|EarthBound (Mother) universe|
|Fighters||Ness (SSB · SSBM · SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU) · Lucas (SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU)|
|Assist Trophies||Jeff · Starman|
|Bosses||Porky Statue · Porky|
|Stages||Onett · Fourside · New Pork City · Magicant|
|Items||Mr. Saturn · Franklin Badge · Ramblin' Evil Mushroom|
|Enemies||Devil Car · Starman|
|Other||Boney · Flying Man · Kumatora · Paula · Poo · Rope Snake · Ultimate Chimera|
|Trophies, Stickers and Spirits||Trophies (SSBM · SSBB · SSB4) · Stickers · Spirits|
|Music||Brawl · SSB4 · Ultimate|