One of the most oft-demanded titles in Nintendo’s library is finally available digitally – as of today, Earthbound is downloadable from the Wii U eShop.
The RPG, which first reached North American shores in 1995 for the Super Nintendo, has long been a cult classic and never legally re-released outside of Japan since the game’s original release.
Earthbound – or Mother 2, if you prefer – charmed players with its subversive, quirky sense of humor, most notably its skewered, off-kilter take on ’50s Americana. The game, set in the kitschy Eagleland (get it?), sees youngster Ness tasked with saving the planet from mysterious alien invaders, picking up companions, interacting with memorable side-characters and generally running through a laundry-list of classic role-playing tropes along the way.
Earthbound, developed by APE and HAL Labratory, has seen an increase in popularity since its initial release near the end of the SNES’ life-cycle – the game has found a new life in software emulation, and Ness’ inclusion in each Super Smash Bros. game to date has ensured the character has remained in the back of the collective Nintendo fans’ mind.
The game is available now on the Wii U Virtual Console for $9.99. As an added bonus, Nintendo has made the original strategy guide in its entirety – which famously (or infamously) came packaged with the game when it originally released in ’95 – available on its website…minus the packed-in scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers, unfortunately.
What do you think, Earthbound fans? Are you excited to finally be able to play the cult classic without dusting off your old SNES or emulating it on your laptop? Let us know in the comments.