Bard Banter: Favorites From Earthbound
Since the debut of the Switch, fans of the Mother series have been clamoring for the iconic and beloved franchise to make its debut on the console. While we may be waiting much, much longer – let’s be honest, forever – for an officially localized Mother 3 release, we do, in fact, have access to both Earthbound Beginnings (Mother 1) and Earthbound (Mother 2) via Nintendo Switch Online.
Earthbound is near and dear to me. I was fortunate enough to own the original game when it first came out, massive scratch-and-sniff strategy guide and all. To this day, it remains one of the most unique and interesting RPGs I’ve ever played. In this edition of Bard Banter, we’ll be listening to and discussing some of my personal favorite tracks from Earthbound. Be sure to share your own favorites in the comments below!
Your Name, Please
When it comes to character creation and customization, a snazzy, catchy accompanying tune certainly helps one to relax and make decisions. Somehow, this track never made it to my Favorite Character Creation list from ages ago, which gives it an immediate and well-deserved entry into this one. But the track is not here just because of that, it makes the list on its own merits for accurately conveying the wacky and crazy world that the player will undoubtedly experience thereafter.
Home Sweet Home
As a direct counterpart to the aforementioned wacky and crazy vibes, Home Sweet Home reminds Ness and his companions that they’re never too old or too far to enjoy the comforts of home. There’s nothing a good night’s sleep and a home cooked meal can’t fix, and this track perfectly encapsulates that sentiment.
Snowman is easily one of, if not the most iconic track in the Mother franchise. While many tunes, including this one, have found their way across the Mother series in different ways, this track has also reached a more mainstream pipeline thanks to its inclusion in the Smash Brothers series. While not my absolute favorite version of Snowman – that goes to Mother 3 – it is still one of the best that Earthbound has to offer.
Super Dry Dance
The most unconventional track on the list (save for a bonus tune), Super Dry Dance manages to capture the essence of the “joy” of traffic on a sweltering summer day through quirky instrumentation and sound effects. In my previous job, I traveled across the country quite a bit and this track undoubtedly made its way into my mind any time a driving trip came to an unfortunate and abrupt stop.
The Metropolis of Fourside
When Ness and company reach Fourside for the first time, it is a big deal. While the young group of kids have visited numerous towns prior, none could remotely come close to the awe incurred via the grandiose skyscrapers and multi-floor malls of Fourside. This track has a “‘50s shopping music” vibe that I just adore, though the city also has its share of weird and disturbing things underneath its rather jovial guise.
Bonus: Moonside Swing
Fourside doesn’t just have its share of shady happenings, it also has a healthy dose of the Earthbound’s main theme: “wacky” and “crazy.” It may be difficult to appreciate this track out of context, but it undeniably complements the “backwards is forwards,” neon light infested underbelly of Fourside, aptly named “Moonside,” quite well.
That’s it for my picks! What did you think about my choices, and what would you have chosen differently? Let me know!