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Ness (ネス Nesu ) is a youth who is gifted with psychic abilities and plays the role of the main protagonist in EarthBound. Born in the town of Onett, in the fictional country of Eagleland (which is supposedly made to resemble America), Ness is a seemingly ordinary boy whose fate would be radically altered on the night of a meteor shower. Out of curiosity, he and his next-door neighbor, Pokey Minch, inspect the meteor landing site. There Ness learns from the time-travelling alien, Buzz-Buzz, that he has been chosen by the Apple of Enlightenment, a prophetic fruit, to destroy the evil alien, Giygas, who in the future destroys all of reality. To do this, he must travel to eight sanctuaries and absorb their psychic energies in order to unite his power with the Earth's. At each sanctuary, he records a fragment of a melody in his Sound Stone and experiences a personal sense memory. During the flashbacks experienced via the Sound Stone, it is revealed that Ness was born with psychokinetic abilities, and they manifested when he was an infant.
Ness is about 13 years old. He commonly wears a red hat, a t-shirt with blue stripes, blue shorts, and red sneakers, although he occasionally wears clothes such as a black t-shirt, blue shorts and sandals and other types of clothes. In the Super Smash Bros. video game series, he carries around a few toys such as a baseball bat and a yo-yo to use as weapons. He has black hair, black eyes and he is the same height as Lucas. He is generally viewed as the most popular series character.
Ness has appeared in every game of the Super Smash Bros. series to date. He first appeared in Super Smash Bros. as a hidden character. In this game, Ness possesses none of the PSI powers that he possessed in Earthbound, but instead, he possesses three powers that his partner Paula knew: PK Fire, PK Thunder, and PSI Magnet. It is notable that Ninten, Ness's predecessor from Mother, didn't know any of these moves either, and his female counterpart, Ana, did. Ness appeared again in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a starting character. This time, Ness's own PK Flash move was added to his arsenal. Most recently, Ness has appeared as a hidden character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, alongside Lucas, the protagonist of Mother 3. In Brawl, Ness and Lucas share the Final Smash known by Prince Poo and Princess Kumatora in EarthBound and Mother 3 called PK Starstorm, which causes meteor-like stars to jet down upon enemies. Ness is voiced by female seiyū Makiko Ōmoto in the Super Smash Bros. series.
Ness makes a cameo in Mother 3, a game where Lucas is the protagonist. He, as well as Paula, Jeff, and Poo, appears in a movie created by King P that the protagonist views in a theater in King P's amusement-park-like metropolis known as New Pork City.
Paula Polestar (ポーラ・ジョーンズ Pōra Jōnzu ) is a girl who joins Ness after he saves her from the Happy Happyist Cult. Paula's family runs a preschool that Paula helps at, and she is considered popular with the children due to her kind nature. Paula's main weapon arsenal consists of frying pans, but she can also make use of yo-yos and slingshots like Ness and Jeff. She also possesses extraordinary psychic abilities, PSI, similarly like Ness and Poo. One of which is her ability to telepathically contact people, even if they are in another part of the world. Her offensive moves are most useful, due to the breadth of choices and potential power. She is the only character of the chosen four who can utilize PK Fire, but Poo is able to learn PK Freeze and PK Thunder as she can.
Paula is about 11 years old. Her "pray" command is a key part of the game, as it plays a crucial role in the defeat of Giygas. Ordinarily, it produces a randomized result in battle, ranging from healing lights to harmful aromas. On a casual basis, many players do not tend to use her prayer ability unless in absolute jeopardy.
Paula is kidnapped twice in Earthbound. In Fourside, the Department Store Spook captures her and does not release her until Ness and Jeff complete a number of tasks, including being warped into the abnormal mirror world of Moonside, defeating the Evil Mani Mani, and making their way up to Monotoli's room, finally freeing her.
Paula is the counterpart of the Earthbound Zero (Mother) heroine Ana, who also wore a pink dress and was considered a skilled psychic, though Paula does not wear a hat, which is required to find in order to make Ana join Ninten's party.
Jeff Andonuts (ジェフ・アンドーナッツ Jefu Andōnattsu ) is a boy from the Snow Wood Boarding School in Winters. His traits are those of a stereotypical nerd or whiz kid; he wears glasses and lacks physical ability, but is great with mechanics. He wakes up in the middle of the night at a point receiving a telepathic message from Paula informing him that she and Ness need help. At that time, Ness and Paula were taken under captivity by zombies during their investigation of the undead-infested town Threed. Jeff breaks out of his dormitory with help from his friend Tony. Dr. Andonuts, his dad, lets Jeff use a machine called the Sky Runner (called Sky Walker in the Japanese version of the game) in order to travel the distance to reach Ness and save them from their imprisonment. Apparently, Jeff and Dr. Andounuts had not seen each other for 10 years before this, with the doctor saying they should get together 'in another 10 years', showing Jeff had been at school since infancy. Once he joins them, he becomes the third member of the party. By self admission, Jeff claims to be shy, and a geek, but is a willing and dedicated friend. Jeff is the only member of the four that cannot use PSI power, but he can repair broken items, making them into useful weapons and items.
Poo (プー Pū ) is the prince of the mystical land called Dalaam (Ramma in the Japanese version), an Eastern-style country high in the sky, resting upon a pink cloud. He has undergone strict martial arts training, called 'Mu Training', and is picky to the extreme about his diet. In Earthbound, that means that when he consumes Western-style foods, such as hamburgers or pizza, he will recover feeble amounts HP or PP (Psychic Points), deeming the Western food you offer worthless and a waste of money. However, he can drink bottles of water to adequately recover PP, and Eastern foods will allow his HP more recovery than they will the other characters. He also loses less health when hit by fire and ice attacks. Very late in the game, he learns one of the most powerful PSI attacks: PK Starstorm. He also has control of a mirror ability, which allows him to essentially transform into an enemy he is battling.
He is first introduced after Ness eats the "magic cake" at the Stoic Club in Summers. He completes his training by meditation, which he maintains despite a Mu spirit breaking various parts of his body, taking away everything until there is nothing left. Once mastered, Poo then teleports to Summers and declares his allegiance to Ness. Poo is taken from the party after they come up from the exit of the Pyramid in Scaraba by the Star Master, who takes him aside to teach him the powerful PK Starstorm, which he uses to finish Master Belch once Ness, Paula, and Jeff are reaching their limits. Poo is a solemn, dedicated warrior but is loyal to his friends and bringing peace to the world. Interestingly enough, Poo is very popular with the ladies in Dalaam.
Poo is the final party member, and also the most well-rounded. He has a wide variety of offensive and defensive PSI, along with being decent in the attack and defense department, but his drawback is that he can only wear armor from an "of Kings" set, four special stat-boosting items only wearable by Poo. Poo cannot use any weapons except his fists, the yo-yos, slingshots (which both lower his attack) and one special item, the Sword of Kings.
Other Important Characters
Doctor Andonuts (アンドーナッツ博士 Andōnattsu hakase ) is a fictional character who first appeared in EarthBound for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and later returned in Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance.
Doctor Andonuts is Jeff's father. When Jeff leaves Snow Wood Boarding School and finds his father's lab, Doctor Andonuts reveals that he hasn't seen Jeff in 10 years. In Mother 3, he was taken from his time to the future by Pokey and forced to work for him, creating Chimeras and other inventions.
He invented the Sky Runner (Sky Walker in Japan), a UFO-styled aircraft. Jeff uses it to get to Threed and find Ness and Paula. It crashes, but is later fixed up so the gang can make their way to Summers. However, it crashes again, and while Ness and his friends are unhurt, a few chunks of debris are all that remain of it.
The Phase Distorter (Space Tunnel in Japan) is Dr. Andonuts's last invention in EarthBound. He works in conjunction with the Mr. Saturn population and Apple Kid, another inventor. The first Phase Distorter is stolen by Pokey before Ness and friends have a chance to use it. Dr. Andonuts and the gang have to construct another Phase Distorter, called the Phase Distorter 2.0. The Phase Distorter 2.0 takes on the appearance of a Mr. Saturn and requires Zexonyte to operate. Once realizing that Giygas actually exists in the past, Dr. Andonuts invents the Phase Distorter 3.0, which can travel through space and time. Ness and friends must have their souls transmitted into robotic bodies to use this invention, as it would destroy their human bodies. Once the Phase Distorter is used and Ness and friends arrive at their destination, it can be used to repair the robot bodies and to call Ness's father.
Some have speculated that Dr. Andonuts is Loid from the first Mother game, due to their similar appearance and skill with machines.
Giygas (ギーグ Gīgu , Gyiyg in the Japanese version) is the main antagonist of EarthBound. Known as both the "Embodiment of Evil" and the "Universal Cosmic Destroyer," Giygas is an evil alien that intends to sentence all of reality to the horror of infinite darkness. With an army of Starmen, UFOs, and other deadly war machines, Giygas also used his immense power to influence the evil parts of the Earth's beings to assist him. Giygas appeared in Mother as the main antagonist. However, he vastly differs from his appearance in Mother. Giygas had gained such tremendous evil power that it destroyed his mind and body. Giygas then manifested as what can only be described as evil incarnate; in Pokey Minch's words, "he is the evil power". Due to the loss of his mind, Giygas becomes irrational, and incapable of thought; in the final battle, Pokey points out that Giygas isn't aware of himself, or what he is doing, referring to him as "an all-mighty idiot". This is highly reminiscent of the Lovecraftian god Azathoth, who is referred to as the "Blind Idiot God".
Now wielding vast cosmic power, Giygas becomes a threat to the existence of the universe. Ten years after the beginning of EarthBound, Giygas initiates the apocalypse. The only known being who manages to escape destruction is an alien insectoid named Buzz Buzz, who travels back in time 10 years and warns Ness of the impending catastrophe. In Ness's present-day, Giygas's influence is seen throughout the Earth, mainly in the form of enemies that Ness encounters. Now existing as the whole of evil power in the universe, Giygas is able to manipulate the evil in the minds of living beings, both human and animal, and he can apparently manipulate even the forms of inanimate objects.
In the final battle, Giygas is held within the Devil's Machine, a machine (with an image of Ness's face inside) created to contain Giygas' tremendous power. During the battle, Pokey shuts it off, causing all of Giygas's power to be unleashed; an event that creates a chaotic, bizarre dimension all around them in which only Giygas, Pokey, and the four robots remained trapped in darkness. His attacks are random and incomprehensible, and his speech is erratic and mindless. He is eventually defeated after Paula calls out to the people of the Earth to pray (including the player), and the combined prayers reach Giygas and exploit his weakness, which turns out to be human emotions. He fades into nothingness, and the end of all things is averted.
Shigesato Itoi stated that his inspiration for Giygas's speech came from a traumatic childhood experience where he unwittingly viewed a rape scene in the 1957 film The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty (憲兵とバラバラ死美人 Kenpei to Barabara Shibijin ).
Pokey Minch (ポーキー・ミンチ Pōkī Minchi ) is another boy from the suburbs of Onett; he is Ness's portly, obnoxious next-door neighbor. His family seems to hold a grudge against Ness's, because Pokey's father, Aloysius Minch, allegedly loaned a few hundred thousand dollars to Ness's dad (though he admits it could have been a lot less), and was never repaid. When a meteor shower occurs in the mountains north of their houses in Onett, Pokey and his younger brother Picky sneak out of their house to investigate. When Picky turns up missing, Pokey turns to Ness, pleading him to help him find his younger brother, clearly because he is too cowardly to go alone. After sweet-talking Ness's mother and pretending to be Ness' friend while hiding his obvious contempt of him, Ness agrees to help him. At the meteorite landing site, Ness, Pokey, and Picky meet Buzz-Buzz, an alien from 10 years in the future. Pokey learns of the impending destruction of the universe at the hands of Giygas, but convinces himself that he is not one of the heroes that the alien speaks of (and is ultimately correct). When they are confronted by one of Giygas's cohorts, a Starman Jr., Pokey cowers in fear while Ness and Picky assist Buzz-Buzz in defeating the alien. After Ness escorts Pokey and Picky safely home, Pokey isn't seen again for some time. Pokey joins the Happy Happyist cult, and becomes a high priest. When Ness confronts him, he orders two of the cult's followers to attack Ness.
After the cult is disbanded, he and his father end up working as business consultants for Mayor Monotoli. He uses the money to live a luxurious life, but he eventually steals Monotoli's helicopter after Monotoli is confronted by Ness. That helicopter is shown to have been crashed in the Deep Darkness swamp, and Pokey (Now discolored from time travel after stealing Dr. Andonuts's Phase Distorter, a time travel device, and abusing its power) is not seen until he appears with Giygas, where he claims that Giygas was leading him the whole time, and that he only serves "the strong and able". He expresses to Ness his new belief that Giygas should destroy the universe. He appears in an organic spider-like machine, and battles Ness and his friends (in their robotic forms) alongside Giygas. Once Giygas is destroyed, Pokey uses time travel to escape into another era, but not before taunting Ness one last time. His last message comes through Picky in the form of a note that says "Come and get me, loser! Spankety spankety spankety!"
Pokey returns in Mother 3 as The Pig King, drastically aged due to his abuse of time travel, but still mentally immature. The Pig King also makes an appearance as a boss in the Adventure Mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where he attacks Ness and Mother 3's Lucas. In Brawl he is listed as the original Japanese "Porky" (similarly, his city is marked as "New Pork City," as in the untranslated Mother 3).
Apple Kid (アップルキッド Appuru Kiddo ) is a portly, dirty slob, but extremely intelligent and useful to Ness' quest. His first contribution to the quest is the Pencil Eraser (Octopus Erasing Machine in Japan), which he makes in exchange for some food and $200.00. When Ness reaches Threed, he invents "zombie paper," which Ness, Paula and Jeff use to capture the town Threed's zombies. After Ness defeats Evil Mani Mani, and searches for a way to rescue Paula, he invents a machine that makes trout-flavored yogurt (Strawberry Tofu in Japan), which Ness gives to Pokey's maid Electra to bargain for access to the penthouse. He later goes to Dr. Andonuts' lab in order to build the Phase Distorter (Space Tunnel in Japan), which he concluded is needed to defeat Giygas. During his visit to Dr. Andonuts' lab, he also constructs the Eraser Eraser (Kokeshi Erasing Machine). Apple Kid also has a mouse assistant. However, since it has no name (in reference to the novel I Am a Cat, which features a similarly unnamed cat protagonist), it is called the No Name Mouse.
Dad (パパ Papa ) is is Ness' unseen father, a reference to the creator's plight in work-centered Japan, who only appears as a voice on the telephone. Even in the ending credits, a telephone appears in his place. To save the game, it is necessary to locate a phone and call dad. Dad is also the main source of money for Ness. Rather than it being dropped by enemies, Dad deposits money into Ness' savings account based on the enemies he defeats. At the end of the game, Ness' dad stops saving the game for you and states how he will be home in time for Ness' fourteenth birthday. It is stated in the EarthBound story that Ness's dad works in the Hamburger Industry. It is sometimes speculated that "Dad" is Ninten from the original Mother (video game).
Everdred (トンチキ Tonchiki , in the Japanese version) is a hustler and thief whom the party runs into at Burglin Park in Twoson. He attacks at first (to rob Ness's party), but when he loses, Everdred gives them information about where the kidnapped Paula is being held. The next time he appears is in Fourside, where he is found lying wounded outside Jackie's Cafe. He claims that he got too close to the Mayor's secrets, and tells Ness about how to get to Moonside. Ness can ask him to repeat what he said twice, but the third time Everdred will lose his patience and stagger out of sight (off-screen). His fate is unknown (although hackers have claimed to find an unused Everdred ghost sprite), but he appears in Ness' dream.
Evil Mani Mani
Evil Mani Mani (マニマニの悪魔 Mani Mani no Akuma , lit. "Mani Mani's Evil Spirit") is a glorious, golden statue that brings out the evil in human beings. First found in possession of Lier X. Agerate, it is bought by Carpainter and used to control the minds of the Happy Happy cultists. It is later found in Moonside, as a living entity that attacks Ness. Once defeated, it is broken forever and Moonside vanishes. After Mani Mani's destruction, it is implied the whole moonside sequence was just an illusion, or a dream generated by the evil statue's power, as Ness was in a small storage room the entire time he believed he was wandering around Moonside. Ness's Nightmare, which is fought in Magicant, looks exactly like Mani Mani, but it is unknown whether they share any connection. Since the Mani Mani is implied to mean "Dark Side" (such as in the creation of Moonside), the connection is referring to the darkside of Ness's mind.
Master Belch (ゲップー Geppu ) is a large, animated pile of vomit. Master Belch is one of Giygas' most esteemed minions, is addicted to Fly Honey, and is lord over smaller piles of vomit. He inhabited Threed with zombies and enslaves the Mr. Saturns at one point to mass produce Fly Honey. He can be distracted by the Fly Honey when the party fights with him in the factory. He reappears in Deep Darkness as Master Barf and attacks the party, but after he suffers enough damage, Poo swoops in to defeat him with PK Starstorm.
Mr. Saturn (どせいさん Dosei-san ) is a friendly species that aids the player's party. All individuals of the species are named Mr. Saturn, except for the friendly Dr. Saturn. They are identical in appearance, each short, peach, with an overlarge nose, whiskers, and a bow on its one hair. They speak Saturnian (composed of odd looking English letters), and erratically use the words "boing," "ding," and "zoom". Dr. Saturn says "zoomer" at the end of his sentences. ("aRE yOU kay-O? if yOU all RiGHt, tHat'S GReat. zOOmER!") The Japanese font is said to be inspired by the handwriting of the young daughter of EarthBound's designer, Shigesato Itoi. They make a return appearance in Mother 3, the Japanese sequel to EarthBound. In both games, they help with repairing or building various machines.
Mr. Saturns make their home in Saturn Valley, in Eagleland, which is just north of Threed. Their village has round homes which resemble flying saucers and/or the planet Saturn and strange furniture, such as ATMs which bounce up and down in place and resemble Mr. Saturns. Some of the Mr. Saturn's preferred foods are "almond monaka" and "pig yōkan" (changed to "peanut cheese bars" and "piggy jelly" in the English version of the game), goods that can be purchased in the Saturn Valley shop. According to Shigesato Itoi, the Mr. Saturn race are the symbolism of innocence in the game.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mr. Saturn appears as an item. He walks around the stage harmlessly until someone picks him up, allowing the player to hurl him at opponents. He causes very little damage and no knockback, but makes a characteristic sound on impact. However, he has high shield breaking properties.
Mr. Saturn also makes an appearance in the sub-game "The Great Cave Offensive" from the game Kirby Super Star as a treasure chest item.
Mom (ママ Mama ) is Ness's mother. In game, she may offer Ness a dinner of his favorite food and allow him a comfortable stay, fully replenishing his health. This hospitality is most useful during the start of the game, when it is easy to return to Ness's house. During his travels, however, Ness may develop a case of homesickness, where his dishearted state may lead him to daydream rather than take his turn to attack an enemy. This can be cured with a call back home, where the "sweet sound of his mother's voice" refreshes Ness and makes him feel better. According to the novelization, she was formerly a supermodel when Ness was a small child.
It is often speculated that Ness's mom is in fact Ana, the female protagonist from the original Mother for the NES. While no official proof exists as to whether this may be true, the similarities between the two characters are evident.
Runaway Five (トンズラブラザーズ Tonzura Burazazu ) is a band that performs in Twoson and, later, Fourside. The band is composed of two singers (who also dance on stage), a saxophone player, a double bass player, and a drummer. A keyboardist also appears with the band during stage performances as a sixth performer despite the band being called the Runaway Five. However, the keyboardist does not appear with the rest of the band in the managers' offices after they are freed, in the Monotoli building, or at the end of the game in Summers. In Twoson, Ness frees the band from a $10,000 debt to the owner of the Chaos Theater with a wad of bills acquired from Everdred. In return, the band gives Ness a ride to Threed. In Fourside, the band has incurred an even larger debt to the owner of the Topolla Theater which Ness pays with a large diamond. The Runaway Five are accompanied by a new act, Venus, during their final performance at the Topolla. The Runaway Five repay their debt to Ness by aiding him in the Monotoli Building by pushing a button on the invincible Clumsy Robot, deactivating it and saving Ness and Jeff. They also appear in Summers and pray for Ness and his party during the final battle.
The Tenda tribe (グミ族 Gumi zoku ) is a race of small species that live in Tenda Village, within a cave in Deep Darkness, as well as the Cage, in Lost Underworld. Each member of the tribe is very shy, and through their shyness, they hinder the path of Ness and his party from progressing forward to Lumine Hall; the tunnel to which is located under a large rock in Tenda Village. Ness obtains the "Overcoming Shyness Book" from the Onett Library, and gives it to the Chief of Tenda Village. After the chief reads this book to his fellow tribesmen, the Tendas are no longer shy, and the strong Tenda lifts the rock leading to Lumine Hall.
Tony is Jeff's roommate and friend at Snowwood Academy. Tony helps Jeff escape from Snowwood, and later sends Jeff a letter asking for him to come back. In a discussion with Itoi, he revealed that Tony had a crush on Jeff. Tony is a rare example of a homosexual in a Nintendo video game.
Tracy is Ness's younger sister. At the beginning of the game, she offers him her cracked bat that Ness uses as his first weapon. Tracy later serves as a storage for Ness and his friends, taking in most obtainable items to be kept for later use. Alternatively, Tracy gets a part-time job at Escargo Express and can be contacted on the phone to exchange items. If this option is utilized, Ness and his party must wait for a brief period of time before a deliveryman appears to accept their items at the cost of $18. Despite being Ness's younger sister (and Ness is around 13 years old in the game), she is shown to usually act like a teenager, dreaming about boys and being about annoying things.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Nintendo of America, ed (1993) (in English). EarthBound Player's Guide. Nintendo of America, Inc.. pp. 120.
- ↑ Smash Bros. DOJO!!
- ↑ Nintendo of America, ed (1994) (in English). EarthBound Player's Guide. Nintendo of America, Inc.. pp. 120.
- ↑ "Shigesato Itoi, Giygas, and Boobies". 2008-02-17. http://tomato.fobby.net/?p=213. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
- ↑ "MOTHER 2 to EarthBound and Back Again...". 2007-12-26. http://tomato.fobby.net/m2eb/twoson.php. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- ↑ "Yes, Tony is Gay. And Mr. Saturn is Innocent". 2008-06-21. http://tomato.fobby.net/?p=271. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
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