EarthBound

Made by HAL Laboratories/APE, released in 1995

Giygas



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2007! I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




I have played a lot of video games in my life.

I have played almost every type of game at some point and beaten quite a few of them. Puzzle games, strategy games (real time or otherwise), adventure games, action games, platformers, RPGs, sports games, educational games, first-person/third-person, over-the-shoulder/top-down/side-scrolling shooters, ant builders, people builders, themepark builders, city builders, tower builders, world builders, galaxy builders and afterlife builders. I've played word games, number games, creature raisers, dungeon crawlers, dungeon builders, rhythm games, music games, and those quirky games that don't fit into an easy category like Katamari or Treehouse. I've played a lot of games and seen the endings for a lot of them, endings that range from satisfying to incredibly disappointing.

So I want you to know that I'm not engaging in hyperbole when I say that EarthBound has one of the most intense, frightening, and emotionally engaging end battles I have ever experienced in any game.

Without further ado, let's continue.

Oh, I forgot this a while ago, but there's also the ROBOTS vs. The Bullshit Samurai remix from the Bound Together project that I hadn't linked to yet...

Although I have to be honest with you guys, I don't...I can't really recognize what theme it's remixing. :/

Alright, let's do this.

More than anything, for this entry I really, really want you guys to download and listen to the music that goes along with it. I don't know if this whole sequence will still have the power that it does when you go through it yourself (and as usual, I exhort you guys to play the game yourselves, it's awesome), but I know that the music makes a huge difference. I really think it's important for this.

Giygas's Lair is a mostly empty, echoing whooshing, breathing sound.

This whole area pulses and moves while you walk along it, like it's breathing.

Current Zar Note: I also recorded myself doing this entire endgame sequence, so if you want to see the whole experience in motion/with music, you can watch the videos instead.

After listening to that breathing sound and walking up far enough along these weird paths...

This also pulses as you approach.

what

The Embodiment of Evil kicks in around this point. It's a kind of weird...more of a melody than Giygas's Lair, but it's kind of highpitched, off-key...it's hard to explain.

Skankpit vs. Giygas adds a backbeat to it, kind of neat. :O

JKSIHAIUHAHGAHGDHAHGUS

I guess.

So how much of Pokey's douchery is Pokey's fault, and how much is the influence of Giygas? YOU DECIDE.

Huh, that doesn't sound good.

AND WE'RE HERE jesus christ that Ness face in the background just gets more and more unsettling the more I look at it

Pokey, Armed and Dangerous is one of the coolest boss battle themes ever. Just listen to it and wait for it, you'll see. It's just so awesome.
Giygas Revamp is a remix I've had for ages, and if the shredding guitars in the original weren't enough, this one can melt your face. It's so cool. This isn't actually from Earthbound, I think someone stole a riff from another song and claimed it was! It's been a while since I looked it up though. I'll include it here anyway for comparison.
Giygas Final Battle is another really old remix I found that follows the original pretty closely, but is still pretty neat.
I linked to Vector Point Engineering Water Buffalo from the Bound Together project before, when we first met Pokey, but I might as well link to it again here, since it is a pretty neat remix and might actually work in bits from the final battle. Although again, to be honest, it's a bit hard to recognize the original theme in that particular remix.
~FATSHIT~ [Guitar Arrange Plus] is another track from Bound Together, a bonus one that got included later, and THIS one definitely remixes the Pokey, Armed and Dangerous theme. It's pretty neat, really.

just the face in the background

Of course, if you've played any RPG, you know that in boss battles like this, the first thing you have to do is kill off the supporter. Otherwise it'll just keep restoring the main boss, or doing annoying things (I'm looking at YOU, Lavos), or sometimes the next part will only trigger when you kill the supporter. Thus, for those following at home, FOCUS EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT ON POKEY. TAKE HIM OUT NOW.

Bizarrely enough, this attack works on Giygas. This goes against the rule in almost every RPG ever, where a boss or big end guy will NEVER get poisoned, or stoned, or instakilled, or confused, although all those attacks will work against YOUR guys 100% of the time. I always hated that. So confusing Giygas is pretty neat, I think.

HEY THAT'S MY ATTACK wtf

Ow ow ow

You WOULD do that, Pokey.

>(

YEAH TAKE THAT bring as many of these with you as you can, seriously.

Okay, this battle psyches me out no matter how many times I do it, so I was jittery and freaked out and I threw up the most powerful shield I had immediately. I stupidly forgot, however, that the most powerful shield you have reflects the attack back to the attacker, and since Giygas has his OWN shield up...

I just ended up reflecting something back on myself. Arrrgh. For those of you following along at home, don't do this.

I CAN DO THIS ALL DAY

Ha ha!

ARGH SHIELDS EVERYWHERE LOSING TRACK OF WHAT'S GOING ON

TAKE IT HARD

So he DOESN'T look like Ness, that's reassuring.

So that's what's making him look like Ness!

aw frick

FRICK

The Devil's Machine is kind of similar to The Embodiment of All Evil, kind of the same weirdly quiet, highpitched kind of weird noise.

You're not imagining things...there's no actual enemy except that thing moving around in the background. And it never stops moving...it just keeps shifting in and out of focus. Keep an eye on it through the screenshots, and you'll see it move and change. That's Giygas.

Still works!

Friiiick

FRICK

ahdughahga

DARN IT

STOP IT STOP SAYING MY NAME

D:

oh god HE'S CLOSER

Absolute Terror! is...also kind of hard to explain. Highpitched kind of whine, with random bursts of static and distortion, and still eerily, freakily quiet until the actual melody kicks in, with more static and kind of off-key, and it's SO CREEPY GAH especially coupled with how close Giygas is now and how he keeps moving

There's a shot of Giygas in one piece. Nightmares.

That is...so not good.

D:

You can bash away at Giygas forever, and you will never beat him. You can never, ever do enough damage to him, because he actually heals himself every turn. There is nothing you can do that will defeat him in the state he is now in.

The only thing you can do, here in this dimension, alone against an evil beyond your comprehension with no one to help you, is to pray.

oh god

Please, Give Us Strength plays whenever Paula prays, before it goes back to Absolute Terror!. It's...still staticy and distorted, with a kind of organ finding its way through...

oh jesus christ

oh god

Glad to see you guys on your feet.

I'm on to something here.

D:

The things that Giygas says during battle will never stop creeping me out. Keeping in mind that Giygas has gone insane at this point, it's just...gah it's so creepy on so many levels.

oh my god

Tony! <3

Frick well you're going to be defending until that wears off.

hagsgyagsa

Franky Fly! Haven't seen you in ages!

It's dark so it's a bit hard to see, but it's Ness's house, and...

Looking out the window in case it's hard to tell

You know, I am just even looking through these screencaps, I'm not even playing and I've looked through them a dozen times to get rid of repeats or extras, and even now, this is getting to me.

oh jesus christ frick FRICK

It's hard to even explain what's happening with the background at this point...it's shifting all this colors, pulsing and moving all ove the place at different speeds, staticing at points...

oh god oh god oh god D:

Just...every time I play this, I see it so clearly in my head, just the battered four standing against all odds, near collapse and Paula praying because they can't do this alone, and just the desperation of it, the pleading and hoping that someone, somewhere won't just let it end, won't let them die, that somewhere out there will help them, that it won't just end like this...

It just...it's always had such an effect on me, to this very day. Everytime i play through this part, I feel like I can really just...feel the desperation and despair.

Someone, please! Anyone!

Gah. D:

As random trivia about Giygas at this point, let me just get it from starmen.net...

Itoi revealed that he used a certain episode of his childhood as the basis for Giygas' character. When Itoi was a boy, he accidentally walked into the wrong movie at a movie theater. In the movie, he saw a woman getting raped near a river. The images he saw were like "direct attacks to his brain". He was so shocked that when he returned home, he stayed silent and worried his parents. He says that he used those strong feelings of fear and shock as the basis for Giygas' character and dialogue.

HOWEVER, this story has evolved into a big, unstoppable Internet rumor. The movie Itoi saw was NOT a porno movie. It was simply a movie intended for more mature audiences. The movie was called "The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty".

This is NOT a porno movie. But it's clearly a movie children should not see. With Giygas' character and text, Itoi tried to bring the same feelings he felt as a kid to the player.

And he succeeded, if you ask me.

Even if it's just screenshots, I just got this chill over my whole body. Everytime with this part, I feel it. I lean in close and I feel it, and I think I AM praying for you, I'm here, I hear you, I'm praying for you, you will win, you will WIN because I won't let you die

Every single time, I never feel as connected to a game as I do when EarthBound calls my name, and calls for my help. Just...there is nothing like this, there is no game that does this like this.

As a fun fact, me and Alex were playing through this together when we first got it, and when the Tendas and Tony asked for our names, we put in both of ours (ZarnAlex I think) and of course, we forgot about it by this point in the game, since we had to struggle to beat the Kraken, then Diamond Dog and Ness's Nightmare, then to get here to the very end, and it took us months and by that time, we'd forgotten it all.

So we were sitting in this room, late afternoon, lights off, both of us staring at the screen, tightened up and tense and nervous and frightened like with any end boss, except this wasn't any end boss this was Giygas, who was even more frightening because of the freaky things he was saying and doing, and we kept wondering what to do and who Paula would ask for next, and it began to spell out our names. Like you saw above, just in pieces. And we looked at each other and were like "...is it us? Is it asking for us? It can't be, the game can't know...there's no way it would know..."

And then it said our names, and we both sat there just...in awe, in this moment of mystery, of something amazing that seemed so unreal. Like...like when Sebastian sees his name in the Neverending Story, it was that same feeling only it was happening to us.

And I prayed for them.

I never forgot that. Even later, when we remembered how it would know our names since you input them earlier on, that feeling...I've never forgotten it, not in my entire life.

Only EarthBound has ever done that to me.

Not you.

The End of Giygas, and those of you who've been here since the beginning, some parts of it may sound a little familiar.

And...

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