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Mother 2 Deluxe

Hack of EarthBound

Description:

The new 2.0 version of Mother 2 Deluxe is a VAST improvement over the old 1.31 version that was here in romhacking.net.

A very small selection of major new features:

  • Massively rebalanced to make the game more fair and less arbitrarily difficult.
  • Jeff has his own Tools menu of his special items to free up his inventory.
  • Many new battle animations for PSI and Jeff’s Tools.
  • New final dungeon to tie Mother 2 and 3 together.
  • Your Places (formerly known as Your Sanctuaries) that can be skipped until later (Lilliput Steps, Milky Well, Magnet Hill, and Pink Cloud) now auto upgrade their enemies and bosses over time to stay at your power level all game.
  • Enemies completely reprogrammed to be very intelligent. Bosses and stronger enemies can detect status ailments on them and heal themselves.
  • New PSI and PSI arrangements and costs.
  • New battle sprites and enemy overworld sprites.

SO MUCH MORE!

Hack requires EBP (Earthbound Patcher) in order to patch.

Does not play nice with Snes9x and Zsnes (why are you using Zsnes!?) Recommended emulators are BSNES and Mesen-S.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: EarthBound (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20210222-050638)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: D67A8EF36EF616BC39306AA1B486E1BD3047815A
  • File/ROM CRC32: DC9BB451

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
MessianicDesignEverything other than ASM hacking, and a small amount of ASM
The KirbyHackingASM hacking all previous versions

User Review Information

An amazing way to revisit the game

Reviewed By: Cloyd on 06 Dec 2021

Summary of pros and cons in case you don’t wanna read through my essay:

Pros:

  • Amazing enemy variety, you actually have to adapt and take different playstyles for different enemies and areas.
  • Incredibly good animations and spritework.
  • New PSI to experiment with.
  • A revamped Jeff with a new mechanic that makes him similar to MOTHER 3’s Duster.
  • Battles that encourage quick thinking.
  • Restoration of censored elements. You can now see Ness’ butt in all of its glory!
  • Optional difficulty scaling for bosses.
  • Unique overworld sprites for each enemy.
  • Non-offensive PSI is actually useful now.
  • New secrets to discover. I won’t tell you about them though.

Cons:

  • Struggles a lot to make a good first impression, very slow early-game.
  • Difficulty scaling feels all over the place. You’ll find large spikes and troughs more often than not.
  • Jarring framerate drops due to overabundance of enemies.
  • Some PSI can feel unbalanced sometimes.

===========================================================================================

  • INTRODUCTION:

As someone who tends to replay videogames frequently, I must say that this type of hack is definitely my favorite. I love going through games over and over and slowly see what I missed on my previous playthrough, I love getting a reminder of what my experience was like and, on the way, discover new things I haven’t seen before because I played in a different way or simply due to lack of attention and/or knowledge about the game.

However, while this is true, it will eventually get stale. Each time there will be less ways to enjoy an adventure, and unless the game itself is so fun that you just can’t get enough of it, things will feel repetitive because there’s just no new things to see anymore. So, why not try out someone else’s vision of the game? This is what this hack feels to me. This is what EarthBound taken to its limits would be like to the hack’s author, and it certainly does feel like it.

Before I continue, I have to say that, in its current state, this hack is not a replacement to the original game. You won’t exactly find it to be capable of replicating the same feelings you had while playing vanilla EarthBound, because they work pretty differently. While the core combat mechanics stay mostly the same, you’ll find the game’s high difficulty to demand that you play things differently from how you used to play, and to pay a lot more attention to what sort of equipment you’re using. In short, this game requires much more brainpower to get through than the vanilla version, and thus, you’ll be thinking a lot more about what you’re doing with your numbers.

  • DIFFICULTY AND VARIETY:

For once, one thing I feel this hack does, is turn battles into a race against the clock. Enemies can and will deal huge numbers of damage to your characters (unless you play really tanky builds, which in turn will make you susceptible to getting outsped and hit by status) and will make healing something to be done just when you’re about to die in order to make enemies waste attacks on characters whose HP has virtually hit zero, but due to how HP works in this game are still on their way to such number. That’s the biggest example I can think of how this game changes things up, but there’s much more different types of battles. Battles that require you to rush the enemy so they can’t snowball too hard, battles all about maintaining the battlefield balanced, battles in which you want to get hit in order to reflect as much damage as possible to your enemies, you name it.

While I absolutely adore this, this will make more casual players feel stressed by this as there isn’t a clear way to learn all of these new strategies and would make them avoid the hack altogether, sadly missing out on all of the cool content it has to offer, such as visual adjustments like enemy re-sprites, re-balanced and new PSI taken from other MOTHER games, restoration of censored elements, reworked characters (Jeff is incredibly fun in this hack) and, of course, a really cool post-game dungeon, which while a lot shorter than what I would’ve imagined, I think it’s a great way to wrap things up. Don’t fret though, I’ve heard there’s an easy mode in the works for the next update, so if you want to see what this hack has to offer without getting frustrated at freakin’ Onett, I seriously recommend you wait for 3.0.

  • BALANCE AND TECHNICAL ASPECTS:

This is a 2.0 review however, so I must say that game balance feels like an issue in some places. Specially in Onett, Twoson and Fourside. Both Onett and Twoson will have you hiding like a child scared of monsters while you walk the streets getting stronger by drawing out enemies to fight alone due to how strong they are, they’re not enemies you’d be fighting with a party of one, so it’s very likely these areas won’t give you a good first impression of the hack. If you’re reading this before playing, don’t worry, things will get smoother once you get Paula, so try to endure, but I feel like this part of the game can make people not want to continue playing. Fourside on the other hand isn’t exactly the location I have trouble with, but the Department Store.

The Department Store is hell to get through, with enemies that you should not be fighting with a party of two. I think these enemies should be re-balanced with that in mind. Not only that, but some PSI can feel underwhelming. PK Fire specifically feels much weaker than it should. I find myself fighting enemies that resist it a lot, and when enemies don’t, it feels like it doesn’t deal as much damage as its cost would suggest. Yeah, I know, hits an entire row, but many times I end up thinking it would be much better to just focus fire on a single enemy to get rid of a nuisance for a turn and minimize damage.

Another problem I have with this hack is the sheer number of enemies you’ll find. While this wouldn’t be an issue to me as I do like to fight frequently, the thing is, the amount of sprites on the screen at the same time will make the game lag like crazy. Many times I’ve found myself just de-spawning enemies because going through them would otherwise be super tedious with the stupidly low framerate.

I must say though I’m very impressed about the Jeff rework. Seriously, how does the tool inventory even work? I’m really glad it exists and if I had a hat right now I would take it off. A̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶n̶k̶s̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶o̶l̶s̶,̶ ̶P̶a̶u̶l̶a̶’̶s̶ ̶P̶S̶I̶ ̶M̶a̶g̶n̶e̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶n̶o̶n̶-̶o̶f̶f̶e̶n̶s̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶P̶S̶I̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶u̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶f̶u̶l̶.̶

  • ART:

On the topic of sprites however, I need to say that the spritework here is stunning. Not only do enemies have their own unique overworld sprite, but some of them have had their battle sprite re-designed. Big fan of the kraken sprite! This alongside the secrets the game has to offer makes continuing the playthrough an exciting experience that I personally looked forward to all the time while also enjoying the much more natural-feeling script that comes with the restoration of censored elements. You can truly feel this hack brings both the scripts and sprites much closer to Itoi’s original ideas, while still showing enough of the author’s creativity when it comes to their reinterpretations. Sprites in specific feel like a massive improvement and bosses that previously were just enemy recolors have new depictions that feel right at home.

While music hasn’t been changed, there’s a couple of themes in specific that once went unused and found their way into the hack through a very interesting method. I’m not going to spoil it though!

  • CONCLUSIONS:

This hack has not reached its full potential yet, but it still makes for a very enjoyable way to replay the game and feel like you’re having a completely new experience, even if it’s still a few steps away from truly being “MOTHER 2 Deluxe”. It’s different, yeah, but trust me, it’s the good kind of different once you get the hang of it. I personally had a lot of fun with it and I’m excited for the next update, which I believe will truly be the definitive EarthBound experience and make this hack live up to its own name. For the moment, however, my verdict is that this is a really good way to revisit the game once you feel like the original one doesn’t really have much else to offer to you.

Version 2.0 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
It's like playing for the first time againMenderMan11 Dec 20212.0Yes
An amazing way to revisit the gameCloyd06 Dec 20212.0Yes
The Definitive Earthbound ExperienceMegaHarv22 Nov 20212.0Yes
Mother 2 in an entirely new way!SNESS21 Nov 20212.0Yes
Has potential, but struggles with balance.Teacyn19 Nov 20212.0No
A must for any and all Earthbound fans!Amber Phantom09 Nov 20212.0Yes
One of the best Mother 2 hacks I've seenYoshiWhite6209 Nov 20212.0Yes
Re-balanced Difficultybreak09 Nov 20212.0Yes
It was like playing the game new again.Runic08 Nov 20212.0Yes
The difficulty rebalance is great... but a couple bugs creep in.tacticalcraptical23 Apr 20211.31Yes
The Good and the Badmagictrufflez21 Oct 20151.31Yes