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access_time February 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM in Features by Charlie Grammer

Gamebusters myth 13: Earthbound has you perform an abortion

Is the disturbing rumor about Earthbound/Mother II true?

Is the disturbing rumor about Earthbound/Mother II true?

Welcome, dear readers, to the thirteenth myth in our Gamebusters series. Last week we took a look at the rumor that Fallout 3 actually predicts the future. This week we’ll be going a bit further into the past to take a look at a myth surrounding the classic Super Nintendo game, Earthbound, also known as Mother II. It should be noted that there will be spoilers, so those who haven’t played the SNES game may want to skip this article until you have.

For those unaware, Earthbound places you in the role of Ness and his friends as they attempt to stop a powerful creature named Giygas from ruling the universe. It starts off as Ness is awakened by a meteorite that has crash-landed near his home. Upon investigating the crash site with Pokey, he encounters a strange alien named Buzz Buzz, who states that he is from a future where Giygas dominates the entire universe.

Buzz Buzz instructs Ness to go on a journey to defeat Giygas in the present because he is far too powerful to be defeated in the future. Ness follows this advice, and, along with his friends, embark on a journey in which they fight things like bugs, robots, and taxicabs. It sounds light-hearted enough, right?

As you near the end of the game, however, things take quite a drastic turn. The souls of the four children are literally ripped from their bodies and put into robots. Giygas’s lair, the Devil Machine, looks strange as well, as you can see below.

Giygas's lair in Earthbound.

Giygas’s lair in Earthbound.

If the picture above reminds you of something, you’re probably not imagining it, and it’s intended to resemble what it does. The boss fight against Giygas starts off normally enough, but as you wound him he transforms to look like this:

Giygas at the beginning of the fight.

Giygas at the beginning of the fight.

But as the fight progresses, he turns into this:

Giygas transforms into this as the fight progresses.

Giygas transforms into this as the fight progresses.

If you’re thinking, “Wait, those look like fetuses,” you’d be correct once again, and the rumor goes that this is intended. According to the myth, the children, in an attempt to defeat the powerful foe, travel back in time to the point when Giygas is at his weakest: When he’s nothing more than a fetus. As a result, the game effectively has you performing an alien abortion.

Myth or fact? This one is actually false, although the rumor will continue to run rampant. Mr. Itoi has publicly stated that the image used is simply a coincidence. That said, it should be noted that Giygas was created based on a traumatic experience Mr. Itoi had as a child. As a young boy, he had walked into the wrong movie in a movie theater and witnessed a woman being brutally murdered (for those wondering, the movie he witnessed this in is titled The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty, a murder mystery created for a much more mature audience than he was at the time).

What’s worse is that his childhood brain actually thought that he was witnessing a rape, and this memory traumatized the young boy, as he later described what he saw to be “a direct attack on my brain”. As he spoke about creating Giygas in an interview, he stated, “s like a living being that deserves love. That part is the breast of Hisako Tsukuba from The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty.

Needless to say, his statement there succeeded in confusing the interviewer, who asked for clarification. He went on to explain the trauma, wrapping up that part of the interview by explaining, “In other words, there was this sense of terror having atrocity and eroticism side-by-side, and that’s what Giygas’ lines at the end are. During the end, he says, “It hurts,” right? That’s… her breast. It’s like, how do I put it, a “living-being” sensation.”

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Gamebusters. If there’s a particular myth you want us to tackle, please let us know in the comments.



  • Reynald of Chatillon May 1, 2018 at 12:24 AM

    I don’t care one way or the other about this debate, but citing Itoi’s comments is disingenuous at best. Never in a thousand years would he or anyone else publicly state (admit?) this was done by design. That would be career suicide and a PR nightmare the likes Nintendo has never seen. It would be like the Warren Commission asking the government if JFK was assassinated via conspiracy. If it were true, never ever EVER would they admit it.

    Saying ‘welp, Itoi said it isn’t so and therefore it isn’t’ when there’s — at a minimum — a preponderance of compelling evidence is not serving your readers justice.

  • […] Gamebusters Myth 13: Perform an Abortion in EarthBound. […]

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