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EarthBound Has An Odd New Spiritual Successor

No suing Nintendo! Though not a true EarthBound game, spiritual successor Oddity gives off major EarthBound vibes. It has aliens, baseball bats, an adorable 16-bit style, and classic turn-based mechanics that evoke the quirky RPG that somehow transformed into a cult classic.


EarthBound played a key role in the creation of dozens of indie darlings. Known as Mother in Japan, the otherworldly adventures of Ness and his party inspired the production of titles like Undertale, another game that started out as a spiritual successor of EarthBound. Rather than an adventure in the underground, Oddity takes place in a '70s city called Pleiades in the middle of Christmas County, a place not nearly as idyllic as it sounds.

Oddity wasn't always so odd. It started out as a fan made Mother 4 that spent nearly a decade in production. The game now has an official title and functions as an original property heavily inspired by Nintendo's IP. This week's reveal trailer showed off some fluid animation and interesting new characters, all guided by a "vintage cartoon aesthetic" according to Oddity's Twitter. The account has existed since 2013, updating over 31,000 followers on the progress of this game over the last seven years. If that seems like a long time, just remember: 25 years have passed since Nintendo released the last Mother title in the west. 


The gap could explain why Nintendo hasn't gone after the Oddity crew with its own team of lawyers. The company does not usually tolerate fan productions. Remember Pokemon Uranium? The full-fledged, fan made game was scrubbed from the internet thanks to Nintendo. Oddity may have secured its safety by ditching the Mother 4 moniker and adopting its own setting and cast. While the release date remains a mystery, it seems like a safe bet to assume you won't have to wait another seven years to play Oddity.