Nintendo of America originally published the EarthBound Player’s Guide back in 1995, which came packaged with the game in the US. The strategy guide was marketed as the “complete guide to EarthBound—straight from the pros at Nintendo!” with 134 pages of content. If you’ve never been one to use strategy guides for RPGs well, first of all, I commend you, but let me paint a picture to show you why this guide was such a big deal at the time: The year was sometime in the ’90s and you didn’t have a smartphone, internet access, or even GameFAQs. Your only source of info was your cousin Tomoko from Japan, who got the game before you. That’s it.
While EarthBound isn’t exactly the most difficult RPG out there, it is certainly challenging in its own quirky ways. If it’s your first time playing, you might want to take a peek at the guide at some parts.
The guide starts with a manual section that has info on controls, characters, how to fight, and more. The meat of the strategy guide covers everything from the first town Onett all the way to the Cave of the Past and the final battle. The last part of the guide has charts on various items such as weapons, food, and goods. It also contains mini-guides for areas such as the Scaraba Desert, Deep Darkness, and Lost Underworld. Again, you can grab the free digital EarthBound Player’s Guide from Nintendo.
EarthBound and EarthBound Beginnings are now available via Nintendo Switch Online. In case you missed it, watch series creator Shigesato Itoi’s reaction upon learning that both games were finally coming to Nintendo Switch.