TSM Episode 109: Earthbound

One fears that such will ever be the case as long as Nintendo has its tentacles wrapped around MOTHER.
MOTHER 2. Mismanaged once. Mismanaged again.

Download: Produced 2013.07.21

Nintendo, bowing to pressure, at last releases Earthbound on the Wii U Virtual Console, but the decision to price it above Nintendo’s own stated maximum price incurs the wrath panelists Lusipurr and SiliconNooB; and Sabin makes a fine guest appearance.


  1. Oh no they priced it over their stated maximum amount! In protest I will go pay 500.00 for it on amazon!

    [Fact check: complete copies of Earthbound routinely sold for less than $200 on Amazon and eBay up until the Virtual Console release. Lusipurr sold his complete, mint edition copy for precisely $200 in January of 2010. -Ed.]

  2. Blitzmage Translation: “Oh no! I’m too thick to realise that it is wrong for a company to treat its own rules with contempt!”

    Perhaps you like being diddled? $1 per customer is likely tens of thousands of dollars contemptuously squeezed from consumers for no reason other than rampant greed. I, as an Earthbound fan, don’t appreciate being punished for BEING an Earthbound fan. I don’t understand, in fact, why Nintendo should be forgiven for further shitting on the same loyal fans that have stuck by them all this time. It’s shocking that you can’t figure out precisely *why* or *how* Nintendo’s actions are reproachable.

    But, in retrospect, it may not surprising given that you were the fellow who was too busy playing League of Legends to be on the podcast panel, and who, as such, didn’t really participate in the discussion that looked at both the benefits and the downsides of the release–a subtlety which you have missed in your hamfisted misrepresentation of that discussion.

    Just because I’m not being royally screwed doesn’t mean that it is okay that I am being screwed. Being diddled out of even a dollar is wrong to begin with; it doesn’t start being wrong only after it crosses some imaginary Blitzmage-endorsed threshold.

    Moreover, Nintendo made these rules. If they treat them (and us) with such contempt, it shows how much Nintendo values their customers and fans. ‘We can make ’em pay, so why shouldn’t we!?’

    Yeah, that’s awesome. You’re totally right. Getting fucked by a company because they know they can fuck us is just the sort of attitude we should encourage!

    Oh wait, no, it’s not.

  3. Some nice Lusipurr quotes in this episode.

    They should be very very ashamed BUT THEY’RE NOT! I agree that it’s totally not fair to tell everyone that SNES games are $9 and then charge 10. What if they had not made a rule about the price in the first place? Would you still be angry?


  4. @Pierson – That is something I’d have expected Mel to say about a year ago.

    Happily, Mel has shown himself capable of learning…

    @Jahan – I still would have been irked if Nintendo arbitrarily raised the price of Earthbound in relation to other SNES titles, since they have absolutely no reason for doing so; but it is Nintendo’s breaking of their own codified pricing guidelines that has meant that I can’t bring myself to purchase Earthbound, despite really wanting to.

    Having Earthbound on Wii U is easily worth paying ten dollars for, but I find myself unable to reward Nintendo’s bad behaviour with my patronage…

  5. I’m amazed Earthbound is actually available in Europe. I see that they charge more for it here than in America, but it is the first we can legitimately own the game.

  6. Chris isn’t the Mel of the podcast! But I suppose I could be if I applied, I just don’t know what I’d write on a weekly basis.

  7. @Zoltan (3): Sure. I’d feel a lot better if the pricing didn’t violate the rules that Nintendo themselves laid down. Of course, I’d be upset if it were more expensive than every other SNES game that has ever been released on VC or WiiUVC, just as SN points out. However, by laying down those rules and then arbitrarily contravening them, they show just how arbitrary they can be; how flagrantly they are willing to act; how much respect they have for consumers.

    Personally, I’d think that consumer good will is worth more than a $1 premium, especially given the shit that Nintendo has put Earthbound fans through–and these, fans who are surprisingly loyal to Nintendo. Apparently not. It is easier to fuck the loyal fans over once again, apparently, just to make a cheap buck (literally!).

    @Dice (7): Damn. It would have to be on satellite. With the trees and the weather here, satellite is effectively useless. :(

  8. @Lusi: Preliminary evidence suggests that Nintendo’s betting on consumer goodwill is a wager they have won – voicing complaint about Nintendo’s rank opportunism with respect to Earthbound is a very unpopular sentiment on the internet at the moment. Doing so is to invite any number of other commenters to pull a Blitzmage style douche routine.

  9. @SN (11): That’s just sad. One can be a fan of Earthbound and still BE CRITICAL. I am glad, properly glad, that Nintendo has released Earthbound on Virtual Console. But I am NOT glad about how they have chosen CYNICALLY to stick it to people in the doing.

    What a fucking shame that fanboyism overrides critical faculties. Believe it or not, fantards, you can disapprove of one aspect of something without disapproving of all aspects of something. Herp a derp derp!

  10. @Lusipurr (12) You do realize that your same logic very readily applies to supporters of Xbox One don’t you? They can desire to purchase one for various reasons and not necessarily agree with every decision regarding it. I know that the view I propose to exist is rare, as most of the One’s supporters will stand for really silly things, but should there be such a fan willing to acknowledge that the One has faults but still desires to purchase one I would like to see the same logic applied to their case as you have with yours.

  11. @DA (13): Except buying Earthbound doesn’t knobble my future ownership of other things, in addition to other sundry differences. One is a console, the other a game. Apples and oranges.

  12. Pardon me if this is a stupid question, but weren’t there some legal or licensing issues that supposedly prevented or stalled either an earlier VC release or another Mother game? A cursory net search about this turned up nothing, so I guess I’m just imagining things or just am thinking of another series. Just trying to think of any possible reason that would drive Nintendo to price this higher beyond simple greed – though that is almost certainly all that it is.

    There are few fanbases out there as dedicated and passionate as there is for Earthbound. I still remember Lusipurr’s weekly updates for the fan translation project back in the day. It’s pretty saddening that Nintendo has chosen to exploit them.

  13. @DefChaos: That was a bunch of misinformation that circulated for a long while, but it was officially denied by Itoi some years ago.

  14. @DiceAdmiral – Xboners are very much entitled to purchase an Xbone if they wish, though they are certainly silly for wishing to do so.

    PS4 is not primarily geared towards being a delivery platform for TV, football, and Halo/Forza; so if those are the things which matter most to an individual in life, then I would heartily recommend an Xbone purchase to them!

    Bad people have my continued support to carry on making bad decisions.

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