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This page details one or more prototype versions of EarthBound.

Hiddenpalace.org logo.png  This prototype is documented on Hidden Palace.

So very stubbly.
This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue this article?
This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.

On May 30, 2020, an American prototype of EarthBound was found and dumped by Stephan "Archon1981" Reese. This build is dated March 27, 1995, about three months before the game's American release.

For whatever reason, various things are glitchy. This is known to be an issue with the original cart, rather than being the result of a bad dump (the ROM was dumped with a SuperNT and has been verified multiple times).

To do:
  • There's more.
  • Cover all other corrupted anomalies, and maybe provide a patch fix for them later.

Graphical Differences

Intro/Title Screen

US Proto US Final
The war against higher text. The war against lower text.

The "EARTH BOUND" text is higher in the prototype.

US Proto US Final
This font is bound to be changed. We are bound to go on Earth.

The font for the copyright info is the same one used on Mother 2's title screen, while the final US release opted for a smaller, anti-aliased font. The background color in the prototype is a slightly different shade of indigo, which was changed so it matched with the main title graphics. The positioning of the logo is slightly lower than the final version.

Overworld Sprites

US Proto Japan/US Final
Ness' down walking sprite, are you okey? Good night, darkness!

One sprite with Ness in his pajamas instead pulls from his bike spriteset.

Japan/US Proto US Final
I'm a nurse, how can I he- I'm a nurse, how can I he- My red cross got erased! >:( My red cross got erased! >:(

The red cross on the nurse's hat is still present.

US Proto Japan/US Final
I'm so quirky! I'm so normal!

One of the sailors has different sprites.

US Proto US Final
Why the eraser is thin? A thick eraser.

The pencil and eraser statues are slightly different.

Japan/US Proto US Final
Is this a CD player? Is this a guy?

The Saturn Valley ATM still has "CD" written on the top.

Japan US Proto US Final
Perverted! Still perverted! Welcome to dream land!

Ness still appears nude in Magicant, though he's now smiling. This was replaced with a copy-pasted version of Ness' pajamas sprites in the final US release.


Japan/US Proto US Final
So is Nintendo of America bound to release MOTH- Oh.

The "TO BE CONTINUED" screen from Mother 2 is still present.


Japan/US Proto US Final
Scarab- bee. Scarab- bah.

Scaraba is still called "Scarabi".

Japan/US Proto US Final
I'm Japanese.I'm dropping a tear. Achoo!I'm literally crying.

The original status icons for crying and cold are still used.

Text Differences

US Proto US Final
Spark Sparky

King's character limit was reduced from 6 to 5, which was reverted in the retail US release. As a result, an extra letter was added to King's third "Don't Care" name.

US Proto US Final
Police Chief Strong Captain Strong

Captain Strong has a different title.

US Proto US Final
Tarah Rama Talah Rama

Since the R and L overlap in Japanese, Talah Rama is named "Tarah Rama" here.

US Proto US Final
Smart food lunch Brain food lunch

The Brain Food Lunch has a slightly different name.