Earthbound (SNES) AVGN: Episode 156

James / April 25th, 2018

Earthbound (SNES) Angry Video Game Nerd: Episode 156

This video has been in the works since last October (2017), when I first started the playing Earthbound on the mini SNES Classic. It wasn’t originally meant to be an AVGN episode. It was for myself. I never played much of Earthbound before, but it’s a game that always appealed to me. Yes, even when I saw the ads in Nintendo Power. The only reason I never played it much was because I was too busy with Final Fantasy 3 (6) and Chrono Trigger. SNES has so many amazing masterpieces, it’s almost impossible to play them all. But after more than 20 years, I owed it to myself to complete Earthbound. The gameplay took me 45 and a half hours. After recording it all, I decided to put all those hours to good use, and make a video. At first, I didn’t think it would be an AVGN episode, but more of a casual “James review”. But I realized there were plenty of wacky moments in the game that the Nerd could react to.


If you’re wondering about the characters’ names such as “Milly” and “Lilly”, my 4 year old daughter named them. To write the script, I had to search through 45+ hours of game footage, to confirm and describe accurately all the moments that I wanted to comment on. Then came a bunch of researching facts, and developing my own personal theories. It turned out, I had a ton to say. It became the longest single-part AVGN episode, by total accident (running nearly 40 minutes). On top of that, I couldn’t resist adding a dream scene with laborious green screen effects. In total, counting gameplay, writing, shooting, editing, the entire video took 137.5 hours to finish, making it the 2nd most time-consuming AVGN episode to date. (Episode 139: Mega Man still barely holds the record at 138.5 hours). Ironically Earthbound was meant to be a break for myself, but it turned into a major task, as all my other projects screeched to a halt. I had fun with this video and am happy with it, but now that it’s finally done, I hope to get back to my personal long-term projects such as a film and a book I am trying to write. But I will always be jumping back and forth with AVGN episodes. I’m always trying to keep those coming.




P.S. The AVGN theme cover was by Andreas Hedlund. (Originally composed for the Mega Man episode)


  • Casp3rGaming

    April 25, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Amazing! Well worth the wait. Easily my favourite SNES RPG!

  • Vinz Clortho

    April 25, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Very nicely done, Nerd! Thoughtful, weird, and inventive.
    I too missed out on this title when it debuted, so vicariously playing through your review catches me up.

  • NashKnight

    April 25, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Totally awesome episode! About Earthbound, I myself find it good, but overrated: it’s trying to hard to be zany and the gameplay is too tedious, and I’m not even talking about the things he mentioned , but the boring and repetitive combats. One more thing, the director you can interpret any which way is David Lynch, not Stanley Kubrick. Anyway keep up the great work!

  • frostare

    April 25, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Wow, didn’t expect Magicant to make a return! That’s amazing! I see this time Ness created it, not Maria who’s Ninten’s grandmother.

  • RichterBelmont

    April 25, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    The time you put into this really shows. A very fun and creative episode! Thanks James.

  • Sakenomi

    April 27, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Thanks for the great episode, James! As for the Giygas theories, I as a guy, who has several traumas, would interpret that as a symbolic representation of fighting Your trauma. It truly attacks from the past and creates all kind of SHIT and mental chaos You have to deal with.

    • klaus84

      May 22, 2018 at 12:30 am

      SAKENOMI, thumbs UP on that comment.

  • Matt

    April 28, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Wow, the line “your mom has an oversized box!” almost made me do a genuine spit-take with my drink.

    That said, I do agree with one or two of the other commenters that this game was good but somewhat overrated (for example, I think Chrono Trigger is vastly better, and I also rate Final Fantasy III/6 higher). I don’t mind the modern setting for an RPG, but I don’t think the story as all that compelling, and sometimes it just seems like the game is being weird purely for the sake of being weird (which is fine, I guess, but it feels contrived at certain points).

    Nevertheless, great AVGN video like usual. Cheers.

  • Ryan Watterson

    May 4, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Laughed so hard at the Metallica reference! And mom’s box! Great episode! This must take so much work & time to produce.

  • Brandon McCormick

    May 5, 2018 at 12:34 am

    Hey James, you should really watch the film Resolution. It’s a really great movie that creates it’s own universe through the subsequent movies. It’s by two small film makers and doesn’t get almost any attention and done with a very low budget. There is tons of nuance and re-watch value. My fiance and I traveled over three hours just to see their latest film The Endless and we both LOVE to hear your take on it. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE watch it!

  • Charles Mcdaniel

    May 5, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Hey James how do you record on your retro consoles?

  • Lukas Sprehn

    May 8, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    One of the most heart-warming and amazing episodes in many a year. Thank you James and co.

  • Steven Walker

    May 11, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Wow, this was an amazing episode out of nowhere! EarthBound truly was/is a masterpiece, and I didn’t realize how much sci-fi trippiness was in it until you put all those parts side-by-side! I also enjoyed how you gave away the final boss battle but didn’t even mention the coolest “breaking the 4th wall” part that happens at the very end.

  • snoogins

    May 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Wait, there are AVGN reviews of non-shitty games now?

  • RMBowie

    May 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Great episode again. Keep up the good work.

  • klaus84

    May 19, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    its great for us to watch you get back into the Nerd. i loved this episode, and it was throwback right to classic avgn. you picked up right where you left off. please release another avgn episode, my life is getting boring james hahah. i can only watch so many reruns of the nerd hahah.

  • Carlos Hoyos

    June 2, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    I genuinely believed you would have chosen on purpose a version that triggered the hilarious and really cruel anti-piracy protection of this game, as it has happened in the past with other games sold in the virtual store (such as Medievil). That would have made this episode perfect, with a classic AVGN-induced rage ending.
    I still enjoyed it very much.

  • June 24, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Even we can even nitpick on good games.

    I need to play it so badly…. I feel like I’m living under a rock or something…. *sighs sadly*

  • October 28, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    The game is fun but not that big of a deal

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