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So, I’m a new fan of the Mother/EarthBound series. I only got into them a few months ago, after using Ness in all three Smash Bros for years and wondering who exactly he was. I played EarthBound first, using a SNES emulator, and absolutely loved it, all down to the horrifying final boss. I became totally obsessed with it, getting three of my friends into it too to be the Chosen Four for Halloween. It didn’t take long for me to get a Mother 3 ROM translated and play it, too. If possible, I loved it even more than EarthBound, and genuinely cried in at least three points in the game. And then, of course, I just had to play the last game left, the original Mother.

Now, I was a bit confused while looking into getting a ROM for it, for a few reasons. First, as you might know, there’s two translations of the game: the Earth Bound 0 version that was intended for official release but never made it, and the Mother 1+2 translation from the same guys who did Mother 3. I ultimately decided to go for the Mother 1+2 version because I thought Mother 3’s writing was amazing. However, this then left me with having to find a ROM, as the translators give no direction in that regard.

I tried downloading the first few ones I found, but they all ran very poorly and crashed frequently. I knew this couldn’t have been the emulator because I used the same one for Mother 3, which still working just fine. After wandering for a while I wound up on some obscure old Starman.net thread and found a link posted by someone named “Loid’s Revenge” to a ROM that supposedly worked well for people with similar issues. I downloaded it, ran the translation patch, and finally managed to play the game.

The game seemed to run normally enough. I’ve never played a whole lot of NES games, so I wasn’t sure how much was reasonable to expect, mechanics-wise. The best I had to compare it to were Pokémon Red 

and Blue, so I figured some glitches were to be expected. And, of course, there were improvements that the later two games made that this one lacked, like the rolling HP meter and random encounters, but it didn’t take long for me to just accept these and enjoy the game regardless. I was in no way disappointed: the game was incredibly enjoyable.

One thing I liked was the constant mentioning of various NPCs in Mother’s Day (or Podunk in the other translation) of “that weenie Loid in Thanksgiving (or Merrysville, I think) who everyone picks on.” This reminded me of how NPCs in EarthBound kept mentioning Paula before you met her, and I already knew who the main characters in this game were, so I thought that was pretty cool. In fact, I was a bit disappointed when I later learned that this wasn’t normal.

Once I got to Thanksgiving, though, something seemed a bit odd. Instead of just referencing Loid in passing or expressing pity for him, everyone who mentioned him seemed very hostile. Several said they 

were looking for him to “beat him within an inch of his life,” or something like that. It seemed common knowledge that no one liked him. One kid in the school even said he used to be Loid’s friend but decided it was too dangerous and now bullied him like everyone else. Such overwhelming malice in this context seemed kind of out of place in a Mother game to me, based off of the later two, but I assumed the game was going somewhere with this and didn’t question it.

Loid

When I finally met Loid in the trashcan on the school’s roof, he reacted with fear, pleading for me not to beat him up. After I selected “no” a few times when he kept asking if I was going to hurt him, however, his fear turned to anger, and he ranted briefly about how much he hated everyone in Thanksgiving. Then, when I gave him the bottle rocket, he said that he was very happy to have Ninten as a friend, and asked Ninten never to abandon him.

Loid then went down to the science lab with Ninten, which was empty except for a teacher. Loid set off an explosion with the bottle rocket (which does happen normally, if you haven’t played it), but afterwards the teacher was lying on the ground. Talking to him gave the “Who are you talking to?” message, and checking him said “He looks dead. Or maybe he’s just sleeping.” Loid then assured me that “he got what was coming to him.” I was perplexed and a bit horrified, to say the least. EarthBound had never included much of a death, and Mother 3 had at least treated it very seriously, and it had been very plot-critical. But here a random NPC had been killed off before I’d even spoken to him, and the game had almost joked about it.

I almost didn’t want Loid to join my party, but I knew there was no other way. I started wandering around, trying to work out what to do next, and soon faced some enemies. Loid, being level 1, gained levels very quickly at first, and, after the game listed his stat increases, he would say something like “let’s see them pick on me now” and “now I can show them.”

I went back to the Little Sweet’s Factory after a while, since I hadn’t had the inventory space with just Ninten to hold a lot of items there. While searching through, I found to my surprise that the bottle rocket I had given to Loid was back. Or another one, I guess, since Loid still had the first one. I gave the second one to him and figured I’d test one in battle soon. After clearing out the items and leaving, I tried to use one of the rockets, but Loid said “No. I’m not gonna waste this.”

I finally found the Big Duncan Factory and figured that I needed something from it. The whole thing was brutally hard, but after a long time I managed to reach a room with two huge rockets. Loid fired them both. The first one was shown blowing up the rocks on the train tracks that had been blocking my progress, so I assumed I’d done what I was supposed to. The second one, however, was shown hitting one of the tall buildings in Thanksgiving that you can’t enter. When the explosion cleared, the building was a crater. Someone ran up and said “Who could have done this?” before the cut scene ended.

When I regained control of Ninten and Loid, I hurried out of the factory. Part of me wanted to investigate the destroyed building, but I ultimately decided against it, and instead proceeded along the track. I got to the train station soon and talked to the guard there, expecting to head to another town, but the guard just said “I’m not letting you on with that freak.” He wouldn’t say anything else no matter how much I talked to him, so I just decided that wasn’t where I was supposed to go.

I started wandering around, looking for another way, but before I could find much a textbox suddenly appeared saying “Ninten. I need more bottle rockets. Let’s go back to the Little Sweet’s Factory.” It was a long way back, but I figured that was supposed to be a hint if players got stuck and trekked back. I went back to where I’d found the first two bottle rockets, and found that there was in fact another one there. I took it, but nothing seemed to happen. I was confused, but suddenly remembered the building that got blown up, and hurried to check on it.

There were three people standing in front of it. One was the guy who’d shown up in the cut scene, who still said “Who could have done this?” when spoken to. A lady said “Oh, my poor father…” and the last guy said “Get out of here, Loid, you loser!” I then checked the crater, and the game gave the message “Looks like this is where Loid’s second rocket hit. Maybe messing with him isn’t such a good idea after all.”

I was a bit unsettled, but mostly at a loss for what to do next. I started exploring the area around the train station again, but Loid again said “Ninten. I need more bottle rockets. Let’s go back to the Little Sweet’s Factory.” I was kind of annoyed, since this hadn’t done much the last time, and didn’t want more inventory space taken up by rockets Loid refused to use in battle. I decided to keep exploring for a while before trekking all the way back there, but Loid shortly said the same thing. I again ignored him, and a few steps later he said the same thing. His dialogue got more and more frequent, until he was saying it literally every step. I couldn’t decide if I was more frustrated or unsettled, but I knew I wanted to shut him up, so I made the horribly slow journey back to the factory. He stopped when we entered the factory, but I figured I’d better go ahead and get a bottle rocket. Sure enough, there was one, though I had to throw away some bread Loid was carrying for it.

I didn’t even make it back to the train station before Loid again asked for more bottle rockets. I wasted no time in hurrying back, but he got impatient very quickly. I got him another one, but this time I didn’t even get a few steps out of the factory before he was asking for another. Creeped out and ticked off, I just started filling his inventory with bottle rockets, throwing away the rest of his items. I didn’t get far outside, though, when Loid now said “Ninten. I need more bottle rockets. You’ll have to carry them for me, though.” My immediate thought was hell no, I’m not wasting my whole inventory, but the next step he said “Ninten. I need more bottle rockets. Please, we’re friends, right?” He repeated this every step, so I just broke down and filled Ninten’s inventory up with bottle rockets, too. I had to leave key items with Ninten’s sister, which was a grueling journey with Loid’s constant pestering. Finally, when I was carrying sixteen bottle rockets, I figured he had to stop.

And he did, sorta. For a while. After more aimless wandering though, he said “Ninten. You should take me to Magicant. Please, we’re friends, right?” I knew he wasn’t going to stop bothering me, so I went back to Ninten’s house, switched a bottle rocket for the Onyx Hook, and used it. I just walked a bit and talked to the first person I saw, who gave me the Magic Candy for Loid. I shrugged and used it on Loid, and the game suddenly listed huge stat increases for him. He was on par with Ninten, despite being five levels lower and with inferior base stats. Loid then said “Now I’m ready to show them all. Let’s go back to the school in Thanksgiving, Ninten.” He kept repeating this last phrase every few steps while I found my way out of Magicant. I was starting to piece together the bottle rockets and all his dialogue, and was starting to fear what was going to happen.

Once I got out of Magicant, Loid kept talking every few steps, but instead started saying the sort of things he would after leveling up: “They’re gonna wish they hadn’t picked on me” and “Soon we’ll see who’s laughing.” I was having misgivings about this, but knew better than to try to stop Loid from getting what he wanted by now.

When we finally got to the school, Loid insisted we go to every room. He’d rush to a corner, appear to be working on something, and would leave a bottle rocket blinking when he was done. I tried to leave after he did this once, hoping to convey a no Loid, you shouldn’t do this, but Loid said “Ninten. We’re friends, right? Don’t abandon me, Ninten. Don’t be like everyone else. You’ll regret it if you do.” I bit my lip, breathing heavily, uncertain of what to do. I finally assumed this was how the game went, and entered each room like Loid asked. He would mutter angrily while working. Finally, when he’d used all the bottle rockets, he said it was time to leave. Before I did, I checked one of the bottle rockets, and the game gave the message “Looks like Loid’s made these far more powerful. They’ll be quicker than the scum in this school deserves.” Horrified, I reluctantly exited the school.

Ninten continued to walk a few steps away in a cut scene, before he and Loid turned to look at the school. Loid then said “Now they’ll finally get what’s been coming to them for a long time,” and the school began to be shaken by explosions. After a few bursts, a few kids and a teacher rushed out of the school, one of which said “Oh my god, everyone’s dead.” Loid then walked up to them before they could get far, and a battle initiated.

The text “You engaged the Horrible Bully and its cohorts!” was displayed, along with three sprites of scared-looking children and a horrified-looking teacher. I was prompted to choose Ninten’s move, and just selected run. I didn’t get to choose Loid’s move, though, and the game just immediately said that Ninten failed to get away. Loid then attacked one of the kids and got a smashing hit. The game said “The Horrible Bully A got what was coming to him!” and the kid’s sprite vanished as though defeated. On the enemies’ turns, the game said “Horrible Bully B cried like a baby! Horrible Bully C fell over! The Neglectful Teacher pleaded with Loid to stop! No effect on Loid!” Terrified, I tried to run again on the next turn, but again failed to get away. Loid then attacked, got another smashing hit, and took out “Horrible Bully B.” Horrible Bully C then cried like a baby, and the Neglectful Teacher “tried to protect Horrible Bully C!” I tried to think of something I could do on the next turn to stop Loid, but could think of nothing, so I just tried to run again, but, again, failed. Loid then took out the Neglectful Teacher, and the Horrible Bully C “begged for mercy! No effect on Loid!” I halfheartedly tried to run again, expecting nothing, and nothing was what I got. Loid finished off the last Horrible Bully, and, after saying “Horribe Bully C got what was coming to him!” the game said, instead of “You won!”, “Loid took his revenge!”

After the battle, the building suffered more explosions until it finally collapsed. Loid walked up to the ruins, turned after a moment, and said “You were trying to abandon me, weren’t you, Ninten? I thought we were friends. But I guess not. I told you you would regret it…”

Another battle began, and the game said “The Victim suddenly attacked!” with a sprite of an angry Loid. I immediately tried to run, but, of course, it didn’t work. Loid dealt a surprising amount of damage with his first hit, but not nearly enough to take out Ninten. Instead, I just kept guarding until he whittled my HP down, and then used PSI LifeUp. This went on for a long time, but I soon realized that the battle wasn’t going to end if I kept this up. So, reluctantly, I attacked Loid. He took fairly heavy damage, and said “I should’ve known you were just like everyone else.” I continued fighting him, knowing he wouldn’t stand a chance with my healing PSI. He said something similar after every turn. Finally, I got a smashing hit on him, and the game said “The Victim succumbed to years of abuse!” and Loid’s sprite vanished, as though defeated. The game skipped the “You won!” entirely, and just returned to the overworld.

Loid merely stood in front of Ninten for a few seconds, before falling on the ground. A textbox read “Well… It’s over now… At least… I got… my revenge…” I just stood there, utterly horrified at the dark turn this game had taken. Given Mother 3’s ending, though, I wasn’t suspicious, and just assumed that was how the game went. I checked Loid’s body, and the game said “I’d be surprised if he were still alive.” I then checked the ruins of the school, and got the message “Looks like that weenie Loid finally got his revenge.”

I left Thanksgiving and never came back. Without Loid in my party, the train guard let me pass. I went to Snowman and got Ana in my party. She said she thought I looked like I needed a good friend. No one ever mentioned Loid. We went into Halloween’s haunted manor and got the fourth Melody. Just as I entered a room, however, I saw Loid rushing out the door opposite. I froze, terrified, wondering if he were a ghost or just following me, not really dead. I tried to chase after him, but didn’t see him again. When I exited the manor, Ana asked what was wrong, but Ninten didn’t seem to reply.

Anyway, I continued back to the first train station and started trying to make my way to Easter, to look for Ana’s mom. I crossed the desert, got the next Melody, and found myself in Magicant by way of the Monkey’s Grotto. The only odd thing that happened was, when I went into the caves for the next Melody, I again just barely caught sight of Loid running off screen. It freaked me out again, but I just got the Melody and quickly left Magicant.

I proceeded through Easter, struggled through the swamp, and reached Valentine (Ellay in EB0, I think). Here, Teddy joined me after I fought him. However, he spoke to someone behind Ana, saying “Get lost, freak, no one likes you.” This immediately reminded me of Loid, and really creeped me out. Was this just something leftover from beta, when Loid was supposed to stay in the party until now? Or was it somehow possible to not kill Loid, and the game assumed you’d do that, but I screwed up? Or… Was Loid’s ghost somehow following us? I tried to shake these thoughts from my head, and just proceeded to Mt. Itoi.

Mt. Itoi was grueling, of course, but I fought through it. Teddy got very strong very quickly, so we managed. Everyone got better weapons, too, and Ana learned PK Fire Ω, so we were looking pretty strong by the time we got out of the caves. I found the healer’s house soon, and rushed to it, as we’d been getting worn down. I approached the back room after healing and saving, and Teddy said he’d let Ninten and Ana be alone and crash on the couch. Ninten and Ana danced together, and said that they like each other. Just as I was d’awwwwing, Teddy rushed into the room and shouted “Guys, get out, quick! It’s that freak!” Before I had time to really register this, a battle started, and I nearly screamed.

The text “Loid seeks his revenge!” appeared, along with a sprite of Loid in the tank from the desert. Panicking, with any sympathy I’d had for Loid gone, I just had everyone attack him. But, like in the fight with R7307 in the desert, the tank reflected everyone’s attacks. Loid then screamed “I told you, didn’t I, Ninten? I told you you would regret abandoning me.” He then fired the cannon, leaving Teddy with a mere 4 HP. I had Ninten raise a shield over everyone, Teddy use Medicine to heal himself, and Ana try PK Beam γ. Ninten and Teddy did just fine, but Ana’s attack didn’t work, presumably because Loid was a boss. Loid fired the cannon again, dealing strong but non-mortal damage to Ana. This time, Ninten raised everyone’s defense, Ana tried PK Beam Ω instead, and Teddy just guarded. I hoped the tank wouldn’t reflect PSI damage, but it actually did, dealing major damage to everyone. Loid fired the cannon again, and Ana fainted. Loid then said “Do you regret it, yet, Ninten? You’re new, cooler friends are going to pay.” This made me angry, so angry that I forgot I couldn’t attack him, and just had both Ninten and Teddy do so. They both took heavy damage, and, when Loid fired the cannon again, Teddy fainted. Loid said “Are you suffering now, Ninten? Do you have any idea of the suffering I’ve had to go through? To have no friends?” I couldn’t think of what to do but guard, but Loid’s next attack killed Ninten anyway. Before the fight finished, Loid said “That’s right, Ninten. You deserve it. You’re just like all the others. You deserve to suffer like you’ve made me suffer.”

The fight then ended. I wasn’t given the usual game over scene, though. Instead, it showed Ninten lying on the ground, with the message “Loid’s revenge is now complete.” This lingered for a moment, before the screen faded to black, and returned to the title screen. When I went to select I file, mine was gone, and all three slots just said “new game.” I just stared, both disturbed and frustrated by the abrupt ending. Was that really the end of Mother?

I usually don’t like online walkthroughs, but I thought one was in order here. I wanted to see if there was a way to avoid this ending. However, none of the walkthroughs I could find mentioned anything about Loid’s strange and violent behavior. Apparently, he wasn’t supposed to pester Ninten at all after joining, and just stay with the group until Teddy joined, replacing him. In fact, he was supposed to arrive in a tank to save them from a giant robot halfway up Mt. Itoi, not attack them. I came to the conclusion that I’d stumbled upon a hacked ROM, and a morbid one at that. I eventually managed to find a different one to play through, which I constantly checked with a video walkthrough to make sure nothing unusual was happening. Nothing did, and this ROM played normally, but I’ve never been able to be very fond of Loid, and have been quick to jump to the defense of the bullied, having seen what that can do…

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