I've never had a game give me whiplash before.
So, big confession here, I'd never played EarthBound before a few weeks ago. I've heard it described by many people, in real-life and on the internet, as their favorite game. So when I found it at a game shop last month I bought it thinking that it would definitely be worth the $30 price tag, at least (although that still seems pretty high for an SNES game). Also, I guess spoilers for EarthBound ahead.
And yeah, an hour in I was definitely hooked. The gameplay was solid, the script disturbing but hilarious, and the characters interesting. I especially liked how it kept up with the real-life weapons and items, instead of Ness suddenly finding a sword to use instead of a bat and chugging potions instead of scarfing down hamburgers.
But this is all about the final area and boss, Giygas. Up until the last part of the game, EarthBound was bright and colorful, filled with ridiculous enemies like hippies, giant ants, 50's sci-fi robots, and even a large pile of vomit. And then suddenly you're transported to Giygas's Lair, an area so unlike any other place in the game in design and so bizarre and horrifying that I honestly wouldn't think it was from the same game if I hadn't played it myself.
Same thing with Giygas. I mean, seriously, if I had seen this thing as a child I would have been scared out of my mind.
This thing is like some kind of Lovecraftian horror (which I guess is kind of the point given what it's done over the game and the fact that most of his attacks are indescribable). Not something you'd ever expect to see after so many hours of pretty much the exact opposite. Heck, even the music change was unsettling.
But still, I loved the game. I can easily understand why it makes so many favorite games lists. Although I'm still not sure why praying defeated Giygas. That part doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.