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Edited 3 articles Vivian Zhiyao Che[edit]

Dino Crisis 2 Edited[edit]

Dino Crisis 2
Developer(s) Capcom Production Studio 4
Publisher(s) Microsoft Windows
Capcom
Director(s) Shu Takumi
Producer(s) Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Artist(s) Kazunori Tazaki
Writer(s) Noboru Sugimura
Yosuke Hirano
Kishiko Miyagi
Composer(s) Sayaka Fujita
Makoto Tomozawa
Platform(s) PlayStation, Microsoft Windows
Release PlayStation
  • JP: September 13, 2000
  • NA: September 29, 2000
  • EU: November 24, 2000
  • JP: April 13, 2011 (PSN)
  • NA: April 19, 2011 (PSN)
Microsoft Windows
August 20, 2002
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Dino Crisis 2 (ディノ クライシス2, Dino Kuraishisu Tsū) is an action-adventure video game for PlayStation and Microsoft Windows developed by Capcom Production Studio 4[1] and is published by Capcom in Japan and North America and Virgin Interactive in Europe. The game is a sequel to Dino Crisis and was followed by Dino Crisis 3 in 2003.

The storyline follows the events of the previous game, where Regina is on a mission at a facility located close to the fictional Edward City, where a major anomaly caused the whole city to be transported back in time to the era of dinosaurs, along with all the human inhabitants. Regina is sent on a rescue mission with her new ally Dylan Morton, who has a strange connection to the events on the island. The player switches between controlling Regina and Dylan at specific points in the game.

Gameplay[edit]

Dino Crisis 2 is an action-adventure game, but the perspective changes with movement into new areas and fields of view using predetermined camera angles. The game also departs from the survival horror of the first Dino Crisis and is more action-oriented, with more open areas, more items and less puzzles.

As players kill dinosaurs in succession while countering attacks and avoiding damage in areas, they can earn "Extinction Points" that act as a form of in-game currency that tally up as player moves between locations.[2] Throughout the game, the player can locate and use computer stations that act as a save point where players can save and load games. Players can also spend "Extinction Points" on new weapons, upgrades, health packs and ammunition. There are also bandages that are used to stem bleeding, which occurs when a player takes damage from certain attacks and results in the health slowly draining.[2]

There are two forms of weapons in the game: main and sub-weapons, and the player can only equip one of each at a time.[3] Main weapons deal the most damage and are used for the majority of attacks, for example shotguns, flamethrowers and rifles. Whereas sub-weapons are used to get past obstacles, such as the machete for cutting plant vines and the firewall gun for creating a temporary wall of fire against foes.[3] Over the course of the game, players can switch roles between Regina and Dylan. Since they use different weapons, some passages are blocked for one but accessible for the other.

Among the action-adventure gameplay are sections of on rails shooting, where the player shoots at dinosaurs that are chasing an automatically driven vehicle and, like the previous game, contains several puzzles. Throughout the game, there are data files and documents that progress the story and give details of certain areas. There are also Hidden "Dino Files" that go into detail about each dinosaur in the game. Upon collecting all the available Dino Files, the player is granted unlimited ammunition for weapons on the next play through.

Extra Crisis[edit]

After completing the main game, the Extra Crisis mode is unlocked with two gameplay modes: "Dino Colosseum" and "Dino Duel". Colosseum is a survival mode where a chosen character with pre-set weapons fights off a series of attacks by certain dinosaurs and become larger and more deadly as gameplay goes on. Upon completion the player is graded and awarded a trophy on how well he/she performed. Dino Duel is a fighting mode that allows the player to take control of a dinosaur and battle another. Completion of the game on harder difficulties unlocks more characters and dinosaurs for purchase, using the final Extinction Points gathered from that play through.[2] Dinosaurs can also be used in Dino Colosseum, however they must be unlocked by completing the game in normal or hard mode.

Story[edit]

Plot[edit]

On May 10, 2010, after a government experiment goes awry, TRAT is selected for search and rescue. Their mission is to travel through the Time Gate, locate 1,300 survivors and collect data on the Third Energy project. Key team members are soldiers Dylan Morton and David Folk, and intelligence operative Regina is brought along due to her prior experience.[4]

Shortly after their arrival by patrol ship, the team's camp is attacked by a large pack of Velociraptors. Dylan, Regina and David are the last ones standing when the raptors turn and flee as a Tyrannosaurus Rex bursts from the jungle. David saves the others with a RPG. His shot damages the Tyrannosaur's eye, leaving it permanently disfigured. The enraged dinosaur then chases Dylan and Regina off a cliff. Having survived their fall, the two characters go in separate ways as Regina returns to the ship while Dylan heads into the jungle. He reaches a military facility where the one-eyed T. Rex attacks him. Fleeing to the barracks, he is shot at by unknown helmeted figures. Later, he attempts to retrieve a key card and in doing so triggers a security alert that imprisons him. Regina receives Dylan's distress call. She takes an alternate route to the facility through a poison gas zone. Along the way, after a fight with an angry Allosaurus, she catches one of the mysterious attackers. She removes the helmet, revealing a blonde teenage girl who is unable to speak. Regina leaves her handcuffed and goes to save Dylan. Back at the patrol ship, they find the engine room ransacked — apparently by the figures wearing helmets. Dylan tends to the unknown girl, who stops struggling upon seeing him.

Dylan then travels to a new part of the Research Facility to find parts for the ship. Inside, he finds a nest of Oviraptors. Having dealt with the spitters, he is about to open a locked door when a Compsognathus snatches his key card away. Dylan eventually manages to outsmart the Compsognathus, locking it in a cage and winning the key card back. Inside the locked room, he discovers human containment chambers and a starter battery for the ship. He returns to find the girl gone. With the ship repaired, they travel to an offshore Third Energy facility. Regina evades attacks from Mosasauruses and Plesiosauruses in the underwater areas, and restores the reactor. Once topside, she and Dylan receive a distress call from David who has found survivors in Edward City. Following signs left by their teammate, they traverse caves filled with Inostrancevias and stumble into the Allosaurus nesting grounds before emerging next to a dying Triceratops fawn. It cries out, alerting adult Triceratops who charge Dylan and Regina while they escape in a nearby jeep before crashing into a field infested with Velociraptors. David heroically rescues them with a helicopter, but when they fly to Edward City it is under siege by raptors. Arriving too late to save anyone, the team splits up to find the Third Energy data. Dylan uses a tank against a T. Rex before fighting another helmeted figure. The blonde girl appears to save him. She flees, but Dylan recovers something she dropped: a necklace worn by his dead sister. Regina asks about it, and Dylan explains his dark past.

Regina then heads to the Missile Silo where she finds the Third Energy data and is confronted by the persistent Tyrannosaurus Rex. Her saviour is a massive Giganotosaurus that defeats T.Rex in a brief one-sided fight. The giant dinosaur follows her inside, where it fights her — only for Regina to incinerate its head and render it briefly comatose. Although she manages to stop the silo, the beast awakens from its coma and smashes the missile to the ground with three swings of its iron-hard head. Regina and the others use the ship to escape. Dylan is attacked by an Allosaurus, but is saved by David, who pushes him into the river. David is eaten while Dylan is swept away. He awakes in an unknown area. The blonde girl returns, leading him into a large base complex. There, she plays a hologram of an army colonel who explains the truth of the disaster. Widespread time skewing was carried out in the future to study dinosaurs, with disastrous results. When it became clear dinosaurs and humans could not coexist, the military enacted the Noah's Ark Plan: they would transport the dinosaurs far into the future, before sending them back to the Cretaceous once the technology was perfected. When the gate overloaded and was destroyed, both dinosaurs and humans were stranded in the future. The helmeted attackers are children of the survivors who were brought to the safety of the Habitat Support Facility and placed in special life support chambers. These allowed for growth and learning; they taught the children how to survive among dinosaurs, thus losing the ability to speak. Because of the Noah's Ark Plan, they were also instructed to protect the dinosaurs. The hologram then reveals himself to be Colonel Dylan Morton, speaking in 2055. Dylan realizes that the blonde girl before him is his daughter, Paula. The hologram explains there is a basic gate they can use to go home, but it will work only once.

The self-destruct activates as Dylan is attacked by another helmeted figure. Their fight is interrupted by a Giganotosaurus and the helmeted figure is killed. After re-linking a series of satellites, Dylan triggers an orbiting laser cannon that blasts the giant dinosaur out of existence. Regina returns and they activate the gate, but a sudden earth tremor leaves Paula trapped by falling equipment. Unable to free her and with the building ready to explode, Dylan decides to stay. He begs Regina to go back alone and find a way to save them with the Third Energy data. Regina promises to return and dashes through the gate moments before the facility explodes, their fate ambiguous.

Playing the game three rounds will give three rating epilogues: one with Dylan driving a sports car through the city, one with Regina standing in front of a window in her bedroom, and one with Paula lying on a grass plain wearing her necklace.

Characters[edit]

  • Dylan Morton (Gabriel Hogan) - Part of the Tactical Reconnaissance and Acquisition Team (TRAT), an off-record covert group of shady characters recruited from army special forces. They focus on subversive activities like jailbreaks and insurgency.
  • Regina (Stephanie Morgenstern) - A member of Secret Operations Raid Team (SORT), Regina is the only returning cast member from Dino Crisis. She is skeptical of Dylan's abilities at the outset, calling him "Mr. Barbarian," before going it alone.
  • David Fork - Another prominent TRAT member, David is a heavy weapons specialist and Dylan's friend. He is separated from the others during the opening cinematic. David is boastful, loyal, and can fly a helicopter.
  • Paula - A recurring character. This teenage girl is part of a helmeted syndicate that is hostile towards Regina and Dylan. She appears childlike and is unable to form complete sentences. Paula shares a special connection with Dylan.
  • Colonel Dylan Morton - Appearing as a hologram at the end of the game, Colonel Morton plays an important role in the story. He reveals the truth about the helmeted attackers and what went wrong with the experiment.

Soundtrack[edit]

Dino Crisis 2 Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album
Released September 20, 2000 (September 20, 2000)
Genre Soundtrack
Language Japanese
Label Suleputer

Dino Crisis 2: Original Soundtrack was composed by Sayaka Fujita and Makoto Tomozawa with a catalog number of CPCA-1046.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS1) 80.70%[5]
(PC) 57.33%[6]
Metacritic (PS1) 86/100[7]
Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu (PS1) 32/40[8]
GamePro (PS1) 5/5[9]
Game Revolution (PS1) B[10]
GameSpot (PS1) 9.2/10[11]
IGN (PS1) 9.3/10[12]

Dino Crisis 2 was met with mixed to positive reviews, with an average score of 80.70% based on 22 reviews for the PlayStation version[5] and an average score of 57.33% based on 3 reviews for the PC version[6] at GameRankings and an 86/100 based on 13 reviews for the PlayStation version[7] at Metacritic.

A review by GameSpot mentioned it was possible to argue that the first Dino Crisis just "replaced the zombies with carnivorous dinosaurs" as a Resident Evil spin-off. However they found Dino Crisis 2 "an original, enjoyable experience that can no longer be considered just another entry into the survival-horror genre", as it "avoids the stereotypes of the genre and delivers one of the most refreshing takes on the action-adventure genre to date."[11] IGN concurred by saying it was "stripped of its slow-paced Resident Evil shell and its haunting, creepy shockeroo tricks". They particularly praised the game’s artwork and level design that "the creatures and the design are both excellent, and the jungle backgrounds, and especially the underwater environments, are simply top-notch."[12] On the game’s sound effects, GamePro stated the "[s]ound is solid, with an unobtrusive musical score that blends well with gaming effects, i.e. the telltale rustle of foliage preceding a raptor's leap for your throat isn't drowned out by J-Pop."[9]

As a survival horror however, Game Revolution felt the "arcade-like" gameplay "detracts a bit from the whole survival-horror theme". And while they praised the sequel for not over-using puzzles and key fetch objectives, "the back and forth gameplay gets tired after a while" and can make it "very easy to get distracted from the storyline and get sucked into the process of amassing an arsenal."[10]

Like its predecessor, Dino Crisis 2 was a commercial success. The PlayStation version of game has sold 1.19 million copies worldwide.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Production Studio 4" (in Japanese). Capcom Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on February 6, 2005. 
  2. ^ a b c CAPCOM CO., LTD., ed. (2000). Dino Crisis 2 instruction manual (PlayStation). Virgin Interactive Entertainment. p. 12. 
  3. ^ a b CAPCOM CO., LTD., ed. (2000). Dino Crisis 2 instruction manual (PlayStation). Virgin Interactive Entertainment. p. 9. 
  4. ^ CAPCOM CO., LTD., ed. (2000). Dino Crisis 2 instruction manual (PlayStation). Virgin Interactive Entertainment. p. 2. 
  5. ^ a b "Dino Crisis 2 Review (PS) at GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  6. ^ a b "Dino Crisis 2 Review (PC) at GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  7. ^ a b "Dino Crisis 2 Review (PS) at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  8. ^ プレイステーション - Dino Crisis 2 (ディノ クライシス2). Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.17. 30 June 2006.
  9. ^ a b "2BARRELFUGUE" (2000-11-24). "GamePro Dino Crisis 2 Review (PS)". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  10. ^ a b A.A. White (2000-10). "Game Revolution Dino Crisis 2 Review (PS): They just won't stay extinct". Game Revolution. Retrieved 2008-08-15.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ a b Ben Stahl (2000-09-23). "GameSpot Dino Crisis 2 Review (PS)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  12. ^ a b Doug Perry (2000-09-25). "IGN Dino Crisis 2 Review (PS): Capcom aims its dinosaur "horror" game at the action genre and comes up with a bull's eye". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  13. ^ "CAPCOM Platinum Titles". Capcom.co.jp. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  [dead link]

External links[edit]

Final Destination edited article[edit]

Final Destination
Directed by James Wong
Produced by Glen Morgan
Warren Zide
Craig Perry
Screenplay by James Wong
Glen Morgan
Jeffrey Reddick
Story by Jeffrey Reddick
Starring Devon Sawa
Ali Larter
Kerr Smith
Tony Todd
Music by Shirley Walker
Cinematography Robert McLachlan
Edited by James Coblentz
Production
company
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date
  • March 17, 2000 (2000-03-17)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States[1]
Language English
Budget $23 million[2]
Box office $112,880,294[2]

Final Destination is a 2000 American horror film directed by James Wong and the first installment of the Final Destination series. The screenplay was written by Glen Morgan, Wong and Jeffrey Reddick, and is based on a story by Reddick. The film stars Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith and Tony Todd. Sawa portrays a teenager who "cheats death" after having a premonition of himself and others perishing in a plane explosion. He uses his premonition to save himself and a handful of other passengers, but is stalked by Death, who gradually takes the lives of the passengers who should have perished on the plane.

The film is based on a spec script written by Reddick intended for The X-Files. Wong and Morgan, The X-Files writing partners, were interested in the script and agreed to rewrite and direct a feature film, marking Wong's film directing debut.[3][4][5][6] Filming took place in New York and Vancouver, with additional scenes filmed in Toronto and San Francisco. Released on March 17, 2000, Final Destination was a financial success, making $10 million on its opening weekend.[2] The DVD release of the film, on September 26, 2000 in the United States and Canada,[7] includes commentaries, deleted scenes, and documentaries.[4][8][9]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Negative reviews described the film as "dramatically flat" and "aimed at the teen dating crowd," while positive reviews praised the film for "generating a respectable amount of suspense," "playful and energized enough to keep an audience guessing," and "an unexpectedly alert teen-scream disaster chiller".[10][11] It received the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and Best Performance by a Younger Actor for Sawa's performance.[12][13] The film's success spawned four sequels, as well as a series of novels and comic books.

Plot[edit]

Alex Browning, a high school senior, boards Volée Airlines Flight 180 with his classmates and teachers for their senior trip from New York City to Paris, France. Before the airplane takes off, Alex has a premonition that the airplane will explode, killing everyone on board. As events from his vision begin to repeat themselves in reality, he attempts to stop the flight. The resulting commotion leads to the removal of a handful of passengers including: Alex, Clear Rivers, best friend Tod Waggner, teacher Valerie Lewton, Alex's rival Carter Horton, Carter's girlfriend Terry Chaney and student Billy Hitchcock. None of the passengers except Clear believe in Alex's premonition until the airplane explodes. The survivors are interrogated by two FBI agents, who suspect the students were involved in the explosion.

After attending a memorial service for the victims, Tod accidentally hangs himself, but the accident is deemed as a suicide. Mortician William Bludworth tells Alex and Clear that Death is reclaiming the lives of those who escaped from the explosion. When Terry is suddenly rammed by a speeding bus, this theory seems to be coming true.

As he watches a news report on the cause of the explosion, Alex concludes that Death is killing the survivors in the same order that they were meant to die in the explosion. Nonetheless, he is too late to save Ms. Lewton from an accidental kitchen knife impalement or the subsequent explosion of her house. The remaining survivors (Alex, Clear, Carter, and Billy) get together, and Alex explains the situation. Frustrated by Terry's death and the lack of control over his own life, Carter attempts suicide by stalling his car on railroad tracks. He changes his mind at the last minute, but gets stuck when his seat belt jams. Alex manages to save him before the train hits the car, however Billy is decapitated by flying shrapnel from the wreckage.

Alex believes that Death skipped Carter and moved on to Billy. Alex realizes that Clear is next, because he and Clear had switched seats in his original premonition. He rushes to her aid while being pursued by FBI agents. Meanwhile, Clear is trapped inside her car with a leaking gas tank, surrounded by loose live wires. Alex grabs a wire, allowing Clear to escape before the car explodes, but incapacitates himself in the process.

Six months later, Alex, Clear and Carter arrive in Paris and discuss their survival. Alex believes Death skipped Carter and Clear because he saved them, but Alex himself was never skipped. Fearing that their struggle is still unfinished, Alex leaves and narrowly avoids being hit by a bus, which then topples a neon sign. After Alex pushes Carter to safety, Carter asks "so who's next?" and the neon sign toppled by the bus swings back down and kills Carter.

Production[edit]

"One thing we were all in agreement on from the start is that we didn't want to do a slasher movie. We didn't want a guy in a dark cloak or some kind of monster chasing after these kids. That's been done again and again. I became very excited when we decided to make the world at large, in the service of death, our antagonist. Everyday objects and occurrences then take on ominous proportions and it becomes less about whether or not our characters are going to die and more about how they will die and how they can delay their deaths. The entertainment value is in the 'ride' not in the outcome, and by placing the premise of the film on the inevitability of death, we play a certain philosophical note".
— James Wong on how he accepted the directing and writing privileges for the film.[6]

Development[edit]

The development of the film (and its subsequent franchise) began after Jeffrey Reddick took notice of the TWA Flight 800 explosion and its investigation, which gained widespread attention in the media. "I was actually flying home to Turkey and I read this story about a woman who was on vacation and her mom called her and said ‘Don’t take the flight tomorrow, I have a really bad feeling about it.’ She switched flights and the plane that she would have been on crashed," said Reddick. "I thought, that’s creepy—what if she was supposed to die on that flight?"[5] Building on his idea, Reddick wrote a 14-page script entitled Flight 180 for The X-Files.

His script was ignored by "The X-Files" series creator and producer Chris Carter and his staff of writers. However, writing partners James Wong and Glen Morgan took an interest in it. Both writers were willing to make it into a film, although they rewrote the script to comply with their standards. "I believe that at one time or another we've all experienced a sense of prescience. We have a hunch, a feeling, and then that hunch proves true," Wong said. "We want to do for planes and air travel what Jaws did for sharks and swimming".

Morgain said, "The main thing they wanted about Death coming to get people is that you never saw a kind of a Michael Myers figure. You never saw a killer. And they liked that idea and they said 'Okay. Go write it,' Once we had a basic story, I started cataloging the strange coincidences in my own life. For example, I was in the Vancouver airport waiting for a flight when John Denver came on over the loudspeaker. I remember saying to myself, 'Hey, he just died in a plane crash — that's a little weird.' We wrote that version of that experience into the script"[3][4][6]

Producers Craig Perry and Warren Zide from Zide/Perry Productions helped with the film's budget because both were similarly fascinated about the idea of an invisible force executing its victims. Perry, a fan of The X-Files, claimed that he "responded to Wong and Morgan's work for one specific reason: dread".[3][5] New Line Cinema accepted financing and distributing rights for the film after Reddick came to them personally.[4][6]

Casting[edit]

"One of the most important things we were looking for in casting was the actors' ability to play the subtleties—the little things that a character doesn't say or do that create the edge, the things that get under your skin and spook you," Morgan said about the auditions.

Alex Browning, the last role cast, went to Canadian actor Devon Sawa, who previously starred in the 1999 film Idle Hands. Sawa said that when "[he] read the script on a plane, [he] found [himself] peeking out the window at the engine every couple of minutes" and "[he] went down and met Glen and Jim and [he] thought they were amazing and already had some great ideas".[4][14] However, Morgan and Wong were undecided about casting him for the part, so they requested him to perform again as they reviewed his previous works. Morgan was astounded by Sawa's performance in Idle Hands, and Sawa was hired.[3]

Sawa described his role as "in the beginning, [Alex] was kinda loopy and cotter, and you know, probably not the most popular guy in school. I think he might have been a dork, you know, doing their stuff and they had their own thing going and they're after the two beautiful girls in school, but there's no chance of that happening. I guess after the plane goes down, his world completely changes". "Devon has an every man quality that makes him accessible," Wong said. "He doesn't appear as if he's supremely self-assured. He's more of a regular kid who can take on the complexities of the role and become a hero".[3][4][6] Perry was amazed by Sawa's vulnerability in acting, describing him as "a very distinctive actor. He's very loose and he's kind of a cut-up when he's not on camera, but the moment the camera's on, I'd never seen anybody to completely slide right through the moment".[3]

Ali Larter, who starred in the 1999 film Varsity Blues, was cast as female lead Clear Rivers. "The film shows how easy it is to turn on someone, to blame someone when you're scared," Larter said. "It's also about trusting your intuitions and yourself." She defined her part as "that girl who has a lot of loss in her life and has fallen for herself, and had made a life within that. She's an artist, she lives by herself, and she's kinda holding to her grip for what the world has given her".[3][4][6]

Seann William Scott, famous for portraying Steve Stifler in the 1999 film American Pie, was hired as class clown Billy Hitchcock. Scott admired the film and felt that "it's [as] dark and eerie as any Twilight Zone".[6] He laughed at his role, saying that "[he] is lacking some social skills, he doesn't have many friends, and he's like the tag-along".[3] Scott was surprised when in the script his character was written as fat. The writers eventually changed it for Scott.[4]

Dawson's Creek star Kerr Smith was cast as jock Carter Horton. Smith identified Carter as "your typical high school bully whose life depends on anger" and mentioned the fact that Carter feared Alex not having control of his own life.[3]

"There's not a lot of good stuff, you know, for my age. You get a lot of scripts and all but they're teen ensembles and they're just crap. And then I got Flight 180... I mean, it's just awesome".
— Devon Sawa on the script of Final Destination.[3][4]

Kristen Cloke, Morgan's wife, was cast as teacher Valerie Lewton.[15] "I have incredible respect for them," said Cloke. "Jim's the kind of director who knows exactly what he wants. As an actor, I can find a way to get there if I know specifically what I'm going for, and Jim gives me that. The fact that he won't move on until he's got exactly what he wants creates a safe environment, which allows me to experiment and try different things." Cloke described her part as "strong and sassy—in control. After the crash she comes unglued, probably more than any of the kids, and it's a quick, drastic change. I had to understand the psychology of a person who can turn on a dime like that."[6]

Newcomers Amanda Detmer and Chad E. Donella were cast as students Terry Chaney and Tod Waggner, respectively.[15] "When I first read the script, the thing that struck me most was that the characters were well-written and the relationships between them were strong and believable," Detmer said. "That's important, because you have to care about these people in order to be worried about what might happen to them." Detmer defined Terry as "very put-together [and] seems content to defer to [Carter]—to not make waves. But the stress of what happens affects their relationship and interestingly enough brings out a certain strength in her."[6] On the other hand, Donella observed how similar his role was to himself. "I believe in fate. I think you come into this life with some things to accomplish and you're taken out earlier or later depending on the game plan."[6]

Tony Todd, who played Candyman in the 1992 film Candyman, was cast as mortician William Bludworth.[15] Morgan initially wanted Todd for the role because he felt his deep voice would give the film an eerie tone.[4]

Additional cast members included Daniel Roebuck and Roger Guenveur Smith as FBI agents Agent Weine and Agent Schreck; Brendan Fehr, Christine Chatelain and Lisa Marie Caruk as students George Waggner, Blake Dreyer and Christa Marsh; Barbara Tyson and Robert Wisden as Barbara and Ken Browning, Alex' parents; and Forbes Angus as teacher Larry Murnau.[15]

The film mentioned John F. Kennedy International Airport was the location of the Flight 180 explosion, but the crew actually used Vancouver International Airport (above) for the film.[16]

Filming[edit]

With Final Destination cast, filming took place on Long Island for the plane scene and Vancouver Island for the additional scenes. Unfortunately, the cast members were filming other projects during production, so filming schedules had to be moved repeatedly in order for all of the cast to appear. Sawa restrained his appearance in The Guilty during production, and even commented that "[he] had to share a trailer with Bill Pullman because it was bigger and would make him look more famous."[14] Smith, who was a regular in Dawson's Creek, had to hold episodes for the film.[17]

According to Detmer, her death scene (being rammed by a speeding bus) was filmed first because "it was easy but much anticipated."[3][4] All death scenes were filmed using lifecasts of the actual actors.[3] The death scenes, the memorial, the forest scene and the scenes in Paris were all filmed in Victoria.[4] Additional scenes were filmed in Toronto and San Francisco.[4] For the airport, the crew used Vancouver International Airport as a stand-in for John F. Kennedy International Airport, the airport mentioned in the film.[16]

Effects[edit]

The plan behind the scenes was to create an intriguing visual signature. To serve the subtleties of the script and to help personify death, production designer John Willet developed the concept of "skewing" the sets. "What I've tried to do with the sets themselves, with their design and with various color choices, is to make things just a little unnatural," Willet explained. "Nothing that calls attention to itself, but instead creates a sense of uneasiness—the unsettling feeling that something's not quite right." To achieve this mystique, Willet designed two versions of virtually every set—one version was used before the crash and the other sets were used for scenes after the jet explodes.

"On the skewed sets I force the perspective either vertically or horizontally," Willet explained. "Nothing is square and, although you can't put your finger on it, it just makes you feel like something is not right." Skewing was also part of the overall design for the color palette used in set decoration and costume design. "In the real world, the colors are bright and rich," Willet said. "In the skewed world, they're washed out and faded. Nothing is obvious, and it's only in the overall effect that these subtle differences will work their magic".[6]

File:FD Prop 747 Plane.jpg
The crew of the film used a miniature model of the Boeing 747 used by the actors for the plane explosion scene. The model was lifted 40 feet up in the air and lit. The explosion was captured by four high-frame cameras rather than simple ones to let the audience visualize slowly the "crescendo" of the explosion.[3]

The plane scene during which passengers die in mid-air was created inside a very large sound stage. The three-ton hydraulic gimbal was operated automatically. "We spent two months building this central set piece that weighs about 45,000 pounds and holds 89 people," special effects supervisor Terry Sonderhoff explained. Used for filming the on-board sequences, it could be shifted on the gimbal to create a pitching movement of up to 45 degrees side-to-side and 60 degrees front-to-back, realistically conveying the horror of airborne engine failure. Sawa said that "the screams of the cast inside the gimbal made it appear more real." Wong said, "You walk into the studio and there's a huge gimbal with a plane on top and you think, 'What have I done?' I was afraid we were gonna have 40 extras vomiting."[3][4][6]

A miniature model of the Boeing 747 airplane was created for the explosion scene. The model, one of the most detailed miniature scenes in the film, was about 10 feet long and 7 feet wide, and the landing gear was made from all machined metals.[18] According to visual effects supervisor Ariel Velasco Shaw, the miniature had to be launched about 40 feet up into the air to make it look like a real Boeing 747 exploded into a fireball. When blowing up a four-foot plane, the explosion must be a minimum of eight feet in the air. To film the explosion in detail, the crew used three cameras running 120 frames per second and one camera running 300 frames per second (if they had filmed using a real-time camera, the succession of the explosion would not be filmed in a particular order).[3][4]

The train scene (in which Carter's car is smashed by the train) was one of the most difficult scenes to shoot. The car used for the crash was a replica of the original, severed in half prior to filming. According to Sonderhoff, in order to ensure the safety of the actors, they had to make sure that there was no real sheet metal in the car.[3][4][6]

For the death scenes, the crew used several lifecasts of the actors and chocolate syrup for fake blood. Creating the Rube Goldberg effect for Ms. Lewton's death scene was the most difficult to plan according to the crew. Perry said that "it was very hard to generate an atmosphere of dread, to create suspense out of scenes that are common."[3][4]

Music[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

No official album accompanied the motion picture. However, six songs are featured in the film. The most prominent is "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver, which is heavily highlighted throughout the film,[19][20] reminding the survivors that Denver died in a plane crash. The song is heard either before an accident or a character's demise,[19][20] and is also played by a street performer (Alessandro Juliani) in French.[20] Other songs featured in the film include "Hundred Grand" by Pete Atherton (during the Flight 180 memorial scene), "Into the Void" by Nine Inch Nails (during the café scene), "All the Candles in the World" by Jane Siberry (during Carter's car scene), and "And When I Die" by Joe 90 (during the end credits).[20]

Score[edit]

Final Destination: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score
Film score by Shirley Walker
Released March 17, 2000
Genre Film score
Length 47:53
Label Weendigo Records
Shirley Walker chronology
Superman: The Animated Series
(1999)Superman: The Animated Series1999
Final Destination: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score
(2000)
Final Destination 2: Original Motion Picture Score
(2003)Final Destination 2: Original Motion Picture Score2003

Final Destination: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score was released on March 17, 2000.[21][22] The film's score was conducted by Daytime Emmy Award-winning composer Shirley Walker.[21][22][23][24] Wong and Morgan initially wanted Walker to score the film after having previously worked with her on their sci-fi television series Space: Above and Beyond.[23][24] Walker said, "[Morgan and Wong] are great believers in melody and having music for the characters and situations they find themselves in. Of course, the atmosphere had to be there also, especially for a film with as much suspense building as this film has."[23]

The score is mostly low-key, with the exception of the suspense and death scenes.[23] It was performed by a union orchestra, obliging New Line Cinema to grant the film its own score.[21][22][23] Walker described her score as "very theme-driven, conservative music that covers the range from bizarre animal noises with stronger visceral impact to stirring emotional music with well-defined melodies that evolve through the storytelling."[22] The "Main Title" piece, used for the opening credits, was rare for opening a film aimed at a youth audience at the time. "What a treat for me to get to write a piece that calls you into the movie and lets you know something bad is going to happen from the get go," Walker said.[23] According to Walker, "Main Title" consumed most of her time, due to its "dark theme and counter melody which carries throughout the score."[23]

The score was positively received by critics. Judge Harold Jervais of DVD Verdict wrote how "[the sound effects, dialogue and] Walker's wonderfully creepy and effective score are mixed together to form a very pleasing, almost organic-like whole."[25] Mike Long of DVD Review said that "Shirley Walker’s eerie score comes across powerfully with a wide spatial integration."[8] Derek Germano of The Cinema Laser wrote that "Walker's creepy musical score is really a winner, and is one of the things that will help to make Final Destination a minor genre classic a few years down the road."[26]

Final Destination: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Length
1. "Main Title" 3:01
2. "Night Wind" 1:05
3. "25 September, 9:25 PM" 0:46
4. "Volee Airlines" 0:29
5. "Flight 180" 0:54
6. "Bad Dream, Part 1" 1:27
7. "Bad Dream, Part 2" 0:39
8. "Out of Flight 180" 1:00
9. "The Crash" 0:37
10. "Aftermath" 1:50
11. "Solitude" 1:30
12. "The First" 3:14
13. "Fuselage" 0:11
14. "Todd's Death" 1:53
15. "Too Late" 1:19
16. "Commemoration" 1:20
17. "The Morgue" 2:36
18. "Signs" 0:45
19. "The Drawing" 0:57
20. "Miss Lewton" 2:18
21. "Fire Signs" 0:12
22. "No Luck" 0:25
23. "Remember" 1:04
24. "The Train Accident" 1:52
25. "Preparation" 3:20
26. "Clears Home" 0:36
27. "Alex's Revelation" 8:10
28. "Six Months Later" 0:43
29. "Non-Stop Ending" 1:39
30. "End Credits" 2:01
Total length: 47:53

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film premiered on March 17, 2000, in 2,587 theaters across the United States and Canada, earning $10,015,822 on its opening weekend, with an average of $3,871 per theater.[27] Final Destination placed #3 in the United States box office on its opening weekend, behind the biography film Erin Brockovich and the science fiction film Mission to Mars.[27] The film remained at #3 during the second weekend, before dropping to #7 on its third weekend.[28][29] Final Destination continuously dropped across subsequent weekends until it fell from the top-10 list on its eighth weekend.[30] The film lasted in theaters for 22 weekends, its last screening airing in 105 theaters and grossing $52,675, placing at #56.[31] Final Destination grossed $53,331,147 in the United States and Canada on its total screening, and earned $59,549,147 in other territories, earning an overall gross of $112,880,294 internationally.[2]

Home media[edit]

Final Destination was released on DVD on September 26, 2000, in the United States and Canada.[7] The DVD bonus features include three audio commentaries, three deleted scenes, and two documentaries.[3][4][8][9][32] The first commentary features Wong, Morgan, Reddick, and editor James Coblentz describing the minute subtleties included by the creative team throughout the film, which either allude to death or foreshadow the deaths in the film invisible upon initial airing. They also discuss how the film was made and how they fought the executives of New Line Cinema over various factors.[8][9]

The second commentary includes Sawa, Smith, Cloke, and Donella discussing what was involved in certain scenes and how they each were cast.[8][9] The third commentary is the isolated music score of Walker included in the film's score.[8][9]

Deleted scenes cover two subplots of Alex and Clear, an alternate ending where Alex dies after rescuing Clear from the live wires, Clear bearing a baby which she names Alex, and Clear and Carter finishing as the only survivors of the film.[4][8][9]

The first documentary entitled A Look at Test Screenings runs for 13 minutes and outlines the test screening process, giving an overview of how those screenings were conducted and scored.[4][8][9] The featurette shows video footage of the test screening audience and specific comments regarding why the deleted scenes were either cut or reshot.[4][8][9] The second documentary, titled Premonitions, explores real-life intuitive investigator Pam Coronado, who has helped police solve many murders and missing person cases with her psychic abilities. The featurette runs for 20 minutes.[4][8][9] Some DVDs contain two non DVD-ROM games—Death Clock and Psychic Test—in addition to the film's theatrical trailer and filmographies of the cast and crew.[4][8][9]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported 33% of critics gave the film positive write-ups based on 93 reviews, with an average rating of 4.7/10.[33] The site's consensus of opinion is that "despite a panel of X-Files alums at the helm and a promising premise, flighty performances and poor execution keep Final Destination from ever taking off".[33] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film holds a mixed/average score of 36 based on 28 reviews.[11] On June 14, 2010, Nick Hyman of Metacritic included Final Destination in the website's editorial 15 Movies the Critics Got Wrong, noting that "the elaborate suspense/action set pieces from the first two films are more impressive than most."[34]

"Providing itself some laughs and scares, Final Destination is a flawed but often entertaining teen horror flick".
— Marjorie Baumgarten of The Austin Chronicle[35]

On the negative side, Stephen Holden of The New York Times said that "even by the crude standards of teenage horror, Final Destination is dramatically flat."[36] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post commented that "the film's premise quickly deteriorates into a silly, badly acted slasher movie—minus the slasher."[37] Kevin Maynard of Mr. Showbiz described the film as "crude and witless,"[38] while Rita Kempley of The Washington Post wrote that "your own final destination just might be the box office, to demand your money back."[39]

Robert Cashill of Newsweek remarked that the film "should be in video store bins,"[40] and Jay Carr of The Boston Globe commented that it "starts by cheating death and ends by cheating us."[41] Phoebe Flowers of Miami Herald felt the film "stoops well below substituting style for substance,"[42] whereas Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader described the film as "disturbing—if less sophisticated than the best SF (science fiction)-horror TV."[43] Luke Thompson of the Dallas Observer found it "a waste of a decent premise";[44] Ernest Hardy of LA Weekly said that the film "fails because it takes itself both too seriously and not seriously enough."[44] Although Barbara Shulgasser of the Chicago Tribune said that it "met the low standards of a mediocre TV movie,"[45] Desmond Ryan of the Philadelphia Inquirer commented that it was "as full of terrible acting as it is devoid of suspense."[46] Both Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today and Walter Addiego of the San Francisco Examiner thought it was "stupid, silly and gory."[47][48]

In contrast, the film gathered positive reviews from top critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times enjoyed the film and gave it three out of four stars, stating that "Final Destination will no doubt be a hit and inspire the obligatory sequels. Like the original "Scream," this movie is too good to be the end of the road. I have visions of my own."[49] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised the film, saying "[it] was playful and energized enough to keep an audience guessing."[50] Joe Leydon of Variety praised the film, saying "[it] generates a respectable amount of suspense and takes a few unexpected turns while covering familiar territory,"[51] while Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times said it was "a terrific theatrical feature debut for television veterans Glen Morgan and James Wong."[52] Chris Kaltenbach of The Baltimore Sun found the film "fitfully thrilling,"[53] while Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide defined the film as "serviceable enough, if you come to it with sufficiently modest expectations."[54]

Despite the film's generally mixed reception, critics praised Sawa's performance as Alex. Holden of The New York Times commented that "[t]he disaster and Alex's premonitions set up a heavy-handed fable about death and teenage illusions of invulnerability."[36] David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews remarked "Sawa's personable turn as the hero is matched by a uniformly effective supporting cast rife with familiar faces (i.e. Seann William Scott, Brendan Fehr, Tony Todd, etc)...,"[55] while Leydon of Variety pointed out that "Sawa is credible as the second-sighted Alex—unlike many other actors cast a teen protagonists, he actually looks like he might still be attending high school—but the supporting players are an uneven bunch."[51] LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised Sawa and Ali Larter's pairing, saying that "Larter and Sawa, who becomes more scruffy and wild-eyed as the film progresses, make an appealing pair."[50]

Accolades[edit]

The film had a major impact on the horror film audience, earning itself the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film in 2000.[12] Sawa won the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor the same year,[13] and Larter won the Young Hollywood Award for a Breakthrough Performance by a Female.[56] At the 2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, both Sawa and Larter were nominated for Favorite Actor in Horror (Internet Only) and Favorite Actress in Horror (Internet Only), respectively. Both actors lost the awards to Scream 3 actors David Arquette and Neve Campbell.[57] Additionally, cinematographer Robert McLachlan was nominated for Best Cinematography in a Theatrical Feature at the Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards in 2001, but lost to Pierre Gill for his work on The Art of War.[58]

The film's concept was listed at #46 in Bravo's 100 Greatest Scary Moments, in which Smith represented the film.[59] The Flight 180 explosion scene was included in the lists of best fictional plane crashes or disaster scenes by Break Studios, Unreality Magazine, New Movies.net, The Jetpacker, MaximOnline, and Filmsite.org.[60][61][62][63][64][65][66] Filmsite.org also included the plane scene and the deaths of three characters (Tod, Terry, and Ms. Lewton) in its Scariest Movie Moments and Scenes, and all fatalities in its Best Film Deaths Scenes.[67][68] The demise of Detmer's character entered the listings of the most shocking deaths on film of George Wales and Simon Kinnear of Total Film (#29 and #10, respectively), Simon Hill of Eat Horror (#10), and Dirk Sonningsen of Mania (#10).[69][70][71][72]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FINAL DESTINATION (2000)". Film & TV Database. London: British Film Institute. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Final Destination (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r James Wong (director). Final Destination: A Look at Test Screening (Videotape/DVD). New York, USA: New Line Cinema. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w James Wong (director). Final Destination (New Line Platinum Series) (DVD). New York, USA: New Line Cinema. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Special Feature 'Final Destination': Not So Final After All!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Final Destination Press Book". Angelfire. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b CSwap.com, CSwap. "Final Destination (2000) - CSwap". Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k DVD Review. "DVD Review - Final Destination". Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j DVD Review. "DVD Review - Film Vault (Final Destination)". Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ Flixster, Rotten Tomatoes. "Final Destination Movie Reviews - ROTTEN TOMATOES". Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b CBS Interactive Inc., Metacritic. "Critic Reviews for Final Destination at Metacritic". Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, Saturn Awards. "Past Saturn Awards Winners for Best Horror Film". Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, Saturn Awards. "Past Saturn Awards Winners for Best Performance by a Younger Actor". Retrieved October 28, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b DevonSawa.org, Starshine. "Starshine Devon Sawa - Auditions". Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c d Yahoo!, Yahoo! Movies. "Final Destination Cast List in Yahoo! Movies UK and Ireland". Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b MaryAnn Johanson, FlickFilosopher. "Final Destination and Final Destination 2 (review) - MaryAnn Johanson's FlickFilosopher.com". Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  17. ^ Sony Entertainment, Dawson's Creek. "Dawson's Creek Official Website". Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ YourProps.com, Your Props. "Final Destination (2000), Original Screen Used 747 Used During Production, original/screen-us". Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Manning, Andrew. "Radio Free Movie Review: Final Destination (2000)". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c d Music from Film, Music From Film. "Music from Final Destination". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c United Press International, Inc., UPI.com. "Film composer Shirley Walker dies at 61". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b c d Autotelics, LLC., Soundtrack.net. "Shirley Walker's Musical Destination". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Klaatu Media, CineMusic.net. "Shirley Speaks". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b The Film Music Society, Inc., FMS. "Shirley Walker: An Appreciation". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  25. ^ Jervais, Judge Harold (October 6). "DVD Verdict Review - Final Destination". Retrieved April 13, 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  26. ^ Germano, Derek. "THE CINEMA LASER DVD REVIEW--FINAL DESTINATION". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  27. ^ a b IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for March 17–19, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  28. ^ IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for March 24–26, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  29. ^ IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for March 31-April 2, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  30. ^ IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for May 5–7, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  31. ^ IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for August 11–13, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  32. ^ Amazon.com, Amazon. "Final Destination (New Line platinum Series) - Amazon.com". Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  33. ^ a b Flixster, Rotten Tomatoes. "Final Destination Movie Reviews - ROTTEN TOMATOES". Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  34. ^ CBS Interactive Inc., Metacritic. "15 Movies the Critics Got Wrong". Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  35. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie. "Final Destination Movie -AustinChronicle.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  36. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (March 17). "'Final Destination': Lucky Teenagers Skip A Doomed Flight Only To Meet Their Match On The Ground". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  37. ^ Lumenick, Lou. "Lou Lumenick's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  38. ^ Maynard, Kevin. "Kevin Maynard's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  39. ^ Kempley, Rita (March 17). "Bumped Man Tell No Tales: Washington Post.com: Entertainment Guide". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 23, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  40. ^ Cashill, Robert. "Newsweek's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  41. ^ Carr, Jay. "Final Destination Review - Boston Globe". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  42. ^ Flowers, Phoebe. "Miami Herald's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  43. ^ Alspector, Lisa. "Final Destination Movie - Chicago Reader.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  44. ^ a b Thompson, Luke Y. "Final Destination Movie - DallasObserver.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Luke" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  45. ^ Shulgasser, Barbara. "Barbara Shulgasser's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  46. ^ Ryan, Desmond. "Desmond Ryan's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  47. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan. "Susan Wloszczyna's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  48. ^ Addiego, Walter (March 17). "Final Destination Movie - SFChronicle.com". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 25, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  49. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Final Destination Reviews - RogerEbert.com". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  50. ^ a b LaSalle, Mick (9 January). "Death, Teens Engage In Immortal Combat - 'Final Destination' a playful, stylish thriller". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 22, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  51. ^ a b Leydon, Joe (March 17). "Final Destination Review - Read Variety's Analysis of the Movie Final Destination". Retrieved April 22, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  52. ^ Thomas, Kevin. "Final Destination Reviews - calendaralive.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  53. ^ Kaltenbach, Chris. "Chris Kaltenbach's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  54. ^ McDonagh, Maitland. "Final Destination Trailer, Reviews, and Schedule for Final Destination". Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  55. ^ Nusair, David (September 28). "The Final Destination Series Review". Reel Film Review. Retrieved October 26, 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  56. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company, Young Hollywood Awards. "Young Hollywood Awards Official Website". Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  57. ^ Movie-Collection. "Final Destination (2000) - Movie Awards". Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  58. ^ Canadian Society of Cinematographers, Directory of CSC Active Members. "Robert B. McLachlan - Directory of CSC Active Members (M)". Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  59. ^ The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film & Television, EOFFTV. "The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003) @ EOFFTV". Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  60. ^ Break Studios, Made Man. "10 Best Plane Crash Movies". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  61. ^ Break Studios, Made Man. "10 Best Plane Crash Survival Movies". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  62. ^ Unreality Magazine, Unreality. "Five Realistic and Tough To Watch Movie Plane Crashes". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  63. ^ Movie Wallpapers, New Movies.net. "Top 10 Flight Scenes in Movies". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  64. ^ The Jetpacker, The Jetpacker. "Top 10 Movie Flights That Will Make You Fear Flying". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  65. ^ Alpha Media Group, Maxim. "The Greatest Movie Plane Crashes". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  66. ^ AMC, Filmsite.org. "Greatest Disaster Film Scenes - Part 5". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  67. ^ AMC, Filmsite.org. "Scariest Movie Moments and Scenes - F". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  68. ^ AMC, Filmsite.org. "Best Film Deaths Scenes - 2000-2001". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  69. ^ Future Publishing, Total Film. "50 Most Shocking Movie Deaths Of All Time". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  70. ^ Future Publishing, Total Film. "30 Unexpected Movie Deaths". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  71. ^ Eat Horror, Eat Horror.com. "Top Ten Shocking Horror Film Deaths". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  72. ^ Mania, Mania: Beyond Entertainment. "10 WTF Movie Character Deaths". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Final Destination
Directed by James Wong
Produced by Glen Morgan
Warren Zide
Craig Perry
Screenplay by James Wong
Glen Morgan
Jeffrey Reddick
Story by Jeffrey Reddick
Starring Devon Sawa
Ali Larter
Kerr Smith
Tony Todd
Music by Shirley Walker
Cinematography Robert McLachlan
Edited by James Coblentz
Production
company
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date
  • March 17, 2000 (2000-03-17)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States[1]
Language English
Budget $23 million[2]
Box office $112,880,294[2]

Final Destination is a 2000 American horror film directed by James Wong and the first installment of the Final Destination series. The screenplay was written by Glen Morgan, Wong and Jeffrey Reddick, and is based on a story by Reddick. The film stars Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith and Tony Todd. Sawa portrays a teenager who "cheats death" after having a premonition of himself and others perishing in a plane explosion. He uses his premonition to save himself and a handful of other passengers, but is stalked by Death, who gradually takes the lives of the passengers who should have perished on the plane.

The film is based on a spec script written by Reddick intended for The X-Files. Wong and Morgan, The X-Files writing partners, were interested in the script and agreed to rewrite and direct a feature film, marking Wong's film directing debut.[3][4][5][6] Filming took place in New York and Vancouver, with additional scenes filmed in Toronto and San Francisco. Released on March 17, 2000, Final Destination was a financial success, making $10 million on its opening weekend.[2] The DVD release of the film, on September 26, 2000 in the United States and Canada,[7] includes commentaries, deleted scenes, and documentaries.[4][8][9]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Negative reviews described the film as "dramatically flat" and "aimed at the teen dating crowd," while positive reviews praised the film for "generating a respectable amount of suspense," "playful and energized enough to keep an audience guessing," and "an unexpectedly alert teen-scream disaster chiller".[10][11] It received the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and Best Performance by a Younger Actor for Sawa's performance.[12][13] The film's success spawned four sequels, as well as a series of novels and comic books.

Plot[edit]

Alex Browning, a high school senior, boards Volée Airlines Flight 180 with his classmates and teachers for their senior trip from New York City to Paris, France. Before the airplane takes off, Alex has a premonition that the airplane will explode, killing everyone on board. As events from his vision begin to repeat themselves in reality, he attempts to stop the flight. The resulting commotion leads to the removal of a handful of passengers including: Alex, Clear Rivers, best friend Tod Waggner, teacher Valerie Lewton, Alex's rival Carter Horton, Carter's girlfriend Terry Chaney and student Billy Hitchcock. None of the passengers except Clear believe in Alex's premonition until the airplane explodes. The survivors are interrogated by two FBI agents, who suspect the students were involved in the explosion.

After attending a memorial service for the victims, Tod accidentally hangs himself, but the accident is deemed as a suicide. Mortician William Bludworth tells Alex and Clear that Death is reclaiming the lives of those who escaped from the explosion. When Terry is suddenly rammed by a speeding bus, this theory seems to be coming true.

As he watches a news report on the cause of the explosion, Alex concludes that Death is killing the survivors in the same order that they were meant to die in the explosion. Nonetheless, he is too late to save Ms. Lewton from an accidental kitchen knife impalement or the subsequent explosion of her house. The remaining survivors (Alex, Clear, Carter, and Billy) get together, and Alex explains the situation. Frustrated by Terry's death and the lack of control over his own life, Carter attempts suicide by stalling his car on railroad tracks. He changes his mind at the last minute, but gets stuck when his seat belt jams. Alex manages to save him before the train hits the car, however Billy is decapitated by flying shrapnel from the wreckage.

Alex believes that Death skipped Carter and moved on to Billy. Alex realizes that Clear is next, because he and Clear had switched seats in his original premonition. He rushes to her aid while being pursued by FBI agents. Meanwhile, Clear is trapped inside her car with a leaking gas tank, surrounded by loose live wires. Alex grabs a wire, allowing Clear to escape before the car explodes, but incapacitates himself in the process.

Six months later, Alex, Clear and Carter arrive in Paris and discuss their survival. Alex believes Death skipped Carter and Clear because he saved them, but Alex himself was never skipped. Fearing that their struggle is still unfinished, Alex leaves and narrowly avoids being hit by a bus, which then topples a neon sign. After Alex pushes Carter to safety, Carter asks "so who's next?" and the neon sign toppled by the bus swings back down and kills Carter.

Production[edit]

"One thing we were all in agreement on from the start is that we didn't want to do a slasher movie. We didn't want a guy in a dark cloak or some kind of monster chasing after these kids. That's been done again and again. I became very excited when we decided to make the world at large, in the service of death, our antagonist. Everyday objects and occurrences then take on ominous proportions and it becomes less about whether or not our characters are going to die and more about how they will die and how they can delay their deaths. The entertainment value is in the 'ride' not in the outcome, and by placing the premise of the film on the inevitability of death, we play a certain philosophical note".
— James Wong on how he accepted the directing and writing privileges for the film.[6]

Development[edit]

The development of the film (and its subsequent franchise) began after Jeffrey Reddick took notice of the TWA Flight 800 explosion and its investigation, which gained widespread attention in the media. "I was actually flying home to Turkey and I read this story about a woman who was on vacation and her mom called her and said ‘Don’t take the flight tomorrow, I have a really bad feeling about it.’ She switched flights and the plane that she would have been on crashed," said Reddick. "I thought, that’s creepy—what if she was supposed to die on that flight?"[5] Building on his idea, Reddick wrote a 14-page script entitled Flight 180 for The X-Files.

His script was ignored by "The X-Files" series creator and producer Chris Carter and his staff of writers. However, writing partners James Wong and Glen Morgan took an interest in it. Both writers were willing to make it into a film, although they rewrote the script to comply with their standards. "I believe that at one time or another we've all experienced a sense of prescience. We have a hunch, a feeling, and then that hunch proves true," Wong said. "We want to do for planes and air travel what Jaws did for sharks and swimming".

Morgain said, "The main thing they wanted about Death coming to get people is that you never saw a kind of a Michael Myers figure. You never saw a killer. And they liked that idea and they said 'Okay. Go write it,' Once we had a basic story, I started cataloging the strange coincidences in my own life. For example, I was in the Vancouver airport waiting for a flight when John Denver came on over the loudspeaker. I remember saying to myself, 'Hey, he just died in a plane crash — that's a little weird.' We wrote that version of that experience into the script"[3][4][6]

Producers Craig Perry and Warren Zide from Zide/Perry Productions helped with the film's budget because both were similarly fascinated about the idea of an invisible force executing its victims. Perry, a fan of The X-Files, claimed that he "responded to Wong and Morgan's work for one specific reason: dread".[3][5] New Line Cinema accepted financing and distributing rights for the film after Reddick came to them personally.[4][6]

Casting[edit]

"One of the most important things we were looking for in casting was the actors' ability to play the subtleties—the little things that a character doesn't say or do that create the edge, the things that get under your skin and spook you," Morgan said about the auditions.

Alex Browning, the last role cast, went to Canadian actor Devon Sawa, who previously starred in the 1999 film Idle Hands. Sawa said that when "[he] read the script on a plane, [he] found [himself] peeking out the window at the engine every couple of minutes" and "[he] went down and met Glen and Jim and [he] thought they were amazing and already had some great ideas".[4][14] However, Morgan and Wong were undecided about casting him for the part, so they requested him to perform again as they reviewed his previous works. Morgan was astounded by Sawa's performance in Idle Hands, and Sawa was hired.[3]

Sawa described his role as "in the beginning, [Alex] was kinda loopy and cotter, and you know, probably not the most popular guy in school. I think he might have been a dork, you know, doing their stuff and they had their own thing going and they're after the two beautiful girls in school, but there's no chance of that happening. I guess after the plane goes down, his world completely changes". "Devon has an every man quality that makes him accessible," Wong said. "He doesn't appear as if he's supremely self-assured. He's more of a regular kid who can take on the complexities of the role and become a hero".[3][4][6] Perry was amazed by Sawa's vulnerability in acting, describing him as "a very distinctive actor. He's very loose and he's kind of a cut-up when he's not on camera, but the moment the camera's on, I'd never seen anybody to completely slide right through the moment".[3]

Ali Larter, who starred in the 1999 film Varsity Blues, was cast as female lead Clear Rivers. "The film shows how easy it is to turn on someone, to blame someone when you're scared," Larter said. "It's also about trusting your intuitions and yourself." She defined her part as "that girl who has a lot of loss in her life and has fallen for herself, and had made a life within that. She's an artist, she lives by herself, and she's kinda holding to her grip for what the world has given her".[3][4][6]

Seann William Scott, famous for portraying Steve Stifler in the 1999 film American Pie, was hired as class clown Billy Hitchcock. Scott admired the film and felt that "it's [as] dark and eerie as any Twilight Zone".[6] He laughed at his role, saying that "[he] is lacking some social skills, he doesn't have many friends, and he's like the tag-along".[3] Scott was surprised when in the script his character was written as fat. The writers eventually changed it for Scott.[4]

Dawson's Creek star Kerr Smith was cast as jock Carter Horton. Smith identified Carter as "your typical high school bully whose life depends on anger" and mentioned the fact that Carter feared Alex not having control of his own life.[3]

"There's not a lot of good stuff, you know, for my age. You get a lot of scripts and all but they're teen ensembles and they're just crap. And then I got Flight 180... I mean, it's just awesome".
— Devon Sawa on the script of Final Destination.[3][4]

Kristen Cloke, Morgan's wife, was cast as teacher Valerie Lewton.[15] "I have incredible respect for them," said Cloke. "Jim's the kind of director who knows exactly what he wants. As an actor, I can find a way to get there if I know specifically what I'm going for, and Jim gives me that. The fact that he won't move on until he's got exactly what he wants creates a safe environment, which allows me to experiment and try different things." Cloke described her part as "strong and sassy—in control. After the crash she comes unglued, probably more than any of the kids, and it's a quick, drastic change. I had to understand the psychology of a person who can turn on a dime like that."[6]

Newcomers Amanda Detmer and Chad E. Donella were cast as students Terry Chaney and Tod Waggner, respectively.[15] "When I first read the script, the thing that struck me most was that the characters were well-written and the relationships between them were strong and believable," Detmer said. "That's important, because you have to care about these people in order to be worried about what might happen to them." Detmer defined Terry as "very put-together [and] seems content to defer to [Carter]—to not make waves. But the stress of what happens affects their relationship and interestingly enough brings out a certain strength in her."[6] On the other hand, Donella observed how similar his role was to himself. "I believe in fate. I think you come into this life with some things to accomplish and you're taken out earlier or later depending on the game plan."[6]

Tony Todd, who played Candyman in the 1992 film Candyman, was cast as mortician William Bludworth.[15] Morgan initially wanted Todd for the role because he felt his deep voice would give the film an eerie tone.[4]

Additional cast members included Daniel Roebuck and Roger Guenveur Smith as FBI agents Agent Weine and Agent Schreck; Brendan Fehr, Christine Chatelain and Lisa Marie Caruk as students George Waggner, Blake Dreyer and Christa Marsh; Barbara Tyson and Robert Wisden as Barbara and Ken Browning, Alex' parents; and Forbes Angus as teacher Larry Murnau.[15]

The film mentioned John F. Kennedy International Airport was the location of the Flight 180 explosion, but the crew actually used Vancouver International Airport (above) for the film.[16]

Filming[edit]

With Final Destination cast, filming took place on Long Island for the plane scene and Vancouver Island for the additional scenes. Unfortunately, the cast members were filming other projects during production, so filming schedules had to be moved repeatedly in order for all of the cast to appear. Sawa restrained his appearance in The Guilty during production, and even commented that "[he] had to share a trailer with Bill Pullman because it was bigger and would make him look more famous."[14] Smith, who was a regular in Dawson's Creek, had to hold episodes for the film.[17]

According to Detmer, her death scene (being rammed by a speeding bus) was filmed first because "it was easy but much anticipated."[3][4] All death scenes were filmed using lifecasts of the actual actors.[3] The death scenes, the memorial, the forest scene and the scenes in Paris were all filmed in Victoria.[4] Additional scenes were filmed in Toronto and San Francisco.[4] For the airport, the crew used Vancouver International Airport as a stand-in for John F. Kennedy International Airport, the airport mentioned in the film.[16]

Effects[edit]

The plan behind the scenes was to create an intriguing visual signature. To serve the subtleties of the script and to help personify death, production designer John Willet developed the concept of "skewing" the sets. "What I've tried to do with the sets themselves, with their design and with various color choices, is to make things just a little unnatural," Willet explained. "Nothing that calls attention to itself, but instead creates a sense of uneasiness—the unsettling feeling that something's not quite right." To achieve this mystique, Willet designed two versions of virtually every set—one version was used before the crash and the other sets were used for scenes after the jet explodes.

"On the skewed sets I force the perspective either vertically or horizontally," Willet explained. "Nothing is square and, although you can't put your finger on it, it just makes you feel like something is not right." Skewing was also part of the overall design for the color palette used in set decoration and costume design. "In the real world, the colors are bright and rich," Willet said. "In the skewed world, they're washed out and faded. Nothing is obvious, and it's only in the overall effect that these subtle differences will work their magic".[6]

File:FD Prop 747 Plane.jpg
The crew of the film used a miniature model of the Boeing 747 used by the actors for the plane explosion scene. The model was lifted 40 feet up in the air and lit. The explosion was captured by four high-frame cameras rather than simple ones to let the audience visualize slowly the "crescendo" of the explosion.[3]

The plane scene during which passengers die in mid-air was created inside a very large sound stage. The three-ton hydraulic gimbal was operated automatically. "We spent two months building this central set piece that weighs about 45,000 pounds and holds 89 people," special effects supervisor Terry Sonderhoff explained. Used for filming the on-board sequences, it could be shifted on the gimbal to create a pitching movement of up to 45 degrees side-to-side and 60 degrees front-to-back, realistically conveying the horror of airborne engine failure. Sawa said that "the screams of the cast inside the gimbal made it appear more real." Wong said, "You walk into the studio and there's a huge gimbal with a plane on top and you think, 'What have I done?' I was afraid we were gonna have 40 extras vomiting."[3][4][6]

A miniature model of the Boeing 747 airplane was created for the explosion scene. The model, one of the most detailed miniature scenes in the film, was about 10 feet long and 7 feet wide, and the landing gear was made from all machined metals.[18] According to visual effects supervisor Ariel Velasco Shaw, the miniature had to be launched about 40 feet up into the air to make it look like a real Boeing 747 exploded into a fireball. When blowing up a four-foot plane, the explosion must be a minimum of eight feet in the air. To film the explosion in detail, the crew used three cameras running 120 frames per second and one camera running 300 frames per second (if they had filmed using a real-time camera, the succession of the explosion would not be filmed in a particular order).[3][4]

The train scene (in which Carter's car is smashed by the train) was one of the most difficult scenes to shoot. The car used for the crash was a replica of the original, severed in half prior to filming. According to Sonderhoff, in order to ensure the safety of the actors, they had to make sure that there was no real sheet metal in the car.[3][4][6]

For the death scenes, the crew used several lifecasts of the actors and chocolate syrup for fake blood. Creating the Rube Goldberg effect for Ms. Lewton's death scene was the most difficult to plan according to the crew. Perry said that "it was very hard to generate an atmosphere of dread, to create suspense out of scenes that are common."[3][4]

Music[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

No official album accompanied the motion picture. However, six songs are featured in the film. The most prominent is "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver, which is heavily highlighted throughout the film,[19][20] reminding the survivors that Denver died in a plane crash. The song is heard either before an accident or a character's demise,[19][20] and is also played by a street performer (Alessandro Juliani) in French.[20] Other songs featured in the film include "Hundred Grand" by Pete Atherton (during the Flight 180 memorial scene), "Into the Void" by Nine Inch Nails (during the café scene), "All the Candles in the World" by Jane Siberry (during Carter's car scene), and "And When I Die" by Joe 90 (during the end credits).[20]

Score[edit]

Final Destination: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score
Film score by Shirley Walker
Released March 17, 2000
Genre Film score
Length 47:53
Label Weendigo Records
Shirley Walker chronology
Superman: The Animated Series
(1999)Superman: The Animated Series1999
Final Destination: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score
(2000)
Final Destination 2: Original Motion Picture Score
(2003)Final Destination 2: Original Motion Picture Score2003

Final Destination: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score was released on March 17, 2000.[21][22] The film's score was conducted by Daytime Emmy Award-winning composer Shirley Walker.[21][22][23][24] Wong and Morgan initially wanted Walker to score the film after having previously worked with her on their sci-fi television series Space: Above and Beyond.[23][24] Walker said, "[Morgan and Wong] are great believers in melody and having music for the characters and situations they find themselves in. Of course, the atmosphere had to be there also, especially for a film with as much suspense building as this film has."[23]

The score is mostly low-key, with the exception of the suspense and death scenes.[23] It was performed by a union orchestra, obliging New Line Cinema to grant the film its own score.[21][22][23] Walker described her score as "very theme-driven, conservative music that covers the range from bizarre animal noises with stronger visceral impact to stirring emotional music with well-defined melodies that evolve through the storytelling."[22] The "Main Title" piece, used for the opening credits, was rare for opening a film aimed at a youth audience at the time. "What a treat for me to get to write a piece that calls you into the movie and lets you know something bad is going to happen from the get go," Walker said.[23] According to Walker, "Main Title" consumed most of her time, due to its "dark theme and counter melody which carries throughout the score."[23]

The score was positively received by critics. Judge Harold Jervais of DVD Verdict wrote how "[the sound effects, dialogue and] Walker's wonderfully creepy and effective score are mixed together to form a very pleasing, almost organic-like whole."[25] Mike Long of DVD Review said that "Shirley Walker’s eerie score comes across powerfully with a wide spatial integration."[8] Derek Germano of The Cinema Laser wrote that "Walker's creepy musical score is really a winner, and is one of the things that will help to make Final Destination a minor genre classic a few years down the road."[26]

Final Destination: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Length
1. "Main Title" 3:01
2. "Night Wind" 1:05
3. "25 September, 9:25 PM" 0:46
4. "Volee Airlines" 0:29
5. "Flight 180" 0:54
6. "Bad Dream, Part 1" 1:27
7. "Bad Dream, Part 2" 0:39
8. "Out of Flight 180" 1:00
9. "The Crash" 0:37
10. "Aftermath" 1:50
11. "Solitude" 1:30
12. "The First" 3:14
13. "Fuselage" 0:11
14. "Todd's Death" 1:53
15. "Too Late" 1:19
16. "Commemoration" 1:20
17. "The Morgue" 2:36
18. "Signs" 0:45
19. "The Drawing" 0:57
20. "Miss Lewton" 2:18
21. "Fire Signs" 0:12
22. "No Luck" 0:25
23. "Remember" 1:04
24. "The Train Accident" 1:52
25. "Preparation" 3:20
26. "Clears Home" 0:36
27. "Alex's Revelation" 8:10
28. "Six Months Later" 0:43
29. "Non-Stop Ending" 1:39
30. "End Credits" 2:01
Total length: 47:53

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film premiered on March 17, 2000, in 2,587 theaters across the United States and Canada, earning $10,015,822 on its opening weekend, with an average of $3,871 per theater.[27] Final Destination placed #3 in the United States box office on its opening weekend, behind the biography film Erin Brockovich and the science fiction film Mission to Mars.[27] The film remained at #3 during the second weekend, before dropping to #7 on its third weekend.[28][29] Final Destination continuously dropped across subsequent weekends until it fell from the top-10 list on its eighth weekend.[30] The film lasted in theaters for 22 weekends, its last screening airing in 105 theaters and grossing $52,675, placing at #56.[31] Final Destination grossed $53,331,147 in the United States and Canada on its total screening, and earned $59,549,147 in other territories, earning an overall gross of $112,880,294 internationally.[2]

Home media[edit]

Final Destination was released on DVD on September 26, 2000, in the United States and Canada.[7] The DVD bonus features include three audio commentaries, three deleted scenes, and two documentaries.[3][4][8][9][32] The first commentary features Wong, Morgan, Reddick, and editor James Coblentz describing the minute subtleties included by the creative team throughout the film, which either allude to death or foreshadow the deaths in the film invisible upon initial airing. They also discuss how the film was made and how they fought the executives of New Line Cinema over various factors.[8][9]

The second commentary includes Sawa, Smith, Cloke, and Donella discussing what was involved in certain scenes and how they each were cast.[8][9] The third commentary is the isolated music score of Walker included in the film's score.[8][9]

Deleted scenes cover two subplots of Alex and Clear, an alternate ending where Alex dies after rescuing Clear from the live wires, Clear bearing a baby which she names Alex, and Clear and Carter finishing as the only survivors of the film.[4][8][9]

The first documentary entitled A Look at Test Screenings runs for 13 minutes and outlines the test screening process, giving an overview of how those screenings were conducted and scored.[4][8][9] The featurette shows video footage of the test screening audience and specific comments regarding why the deleted scenes were either cut or reshot.[4][8][9] The second documentary, titled Premonitions, explores real-life intuitive investigator Pam Coronado, who has helped police solve many murders and missing person cases with her psychic abilities. The featurette runs for 20 minutes.[4][8][9] Some DVDs contain two non DVD-ROM games—Death Clock and Psychic Test—in addition to the film's theatrical trailer and filmographies of the cast and crew.[4][8][9]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported 33% of critics gave the film positive write-ups based on 93 reviews, with an average rating of 4.7/10.[33] The site's consensus of opinion is that "despite a panel of X-Files alums at the helm and a promising premise, flighty performances and poor execution keep Final Destination from ever taking off".[33] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film holds a mixed/average score of 36 based on 28 reviews.[11] On June 14, 2010, Nick Hyman of Metacritic included Final Destination in the website's editorial 15 Movies the Critics Got Wrong, noting that "the elaborate suspense/action set pieces from the first two films are more impressive than most."[34]

"Providing itself some laughs and scares, Final Destination is a flawed but often entertaining teen horror flick".
— Marjorie Baumgarten of The Austin Chronicle[35]

On the negative side, Stephen Holden of The New York Times said that "even by the crude standards of teenage horror, Final Destination is dramatically flat."[36] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post commented that "the film's premise quickly deteriorates into a silly, badly acted slasher movie—minus the slasher."[37] Kevin Maynard of Mr. Showbiz described the film as "crude and witless,"[38] while Rita Kempley of The Washington Post wrote that "your own final destination just might be the box office, to demand your money back."[39]

Robert Cashill of Newsweek remarked that the film "should be in video store bins,"[40] and Jay Carr of The Boston Globe commented that it "starts by cheating death and ends by cheating us."[41] Phoebe Flowers of Miami Herald felt the film "stoops well below substituting style for substance,"[42] whereas Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader described the film as "disturbing—if less sophisticated than the best SF (science fiction)-horror TV."[43] Luke Thompson of the Dallas Observer found it "a waste of a decent premise";[44] Ernest Hardy of LA Weekly said that the film "fails because it takes itself both too seriously and not seriously enough."[44] Although Barbara Shulgasser of the Chicago Tribune said that it "met the low standards of a mediocre TV movie,"[45] Desmond Ryan of the Philadelphia Inquirer commented that it was "as full of terrible acting as it is devoid of suspense."[46] Both Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today and Walter Addiego of the San Francisco Examiner thought it was "stupid, silly and gory."[47][48]

In contrast, the film gathered positive reviews from top critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times enjoyed the film and gave it three out of four stars, stating that "Final Destination will no doubt be a hit and inspire the obligatory sequels. Like the original "Scream," this movie is too good to be the end of the road. I have visions of my own."[49] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised the film, saying "[it] was playful and energized enough to keep an audience guessing."[50] Joe Leydon of Variety praised the film, saying "[it] generates a respectable amount of suspense and takes a few unexpected turns while covering familiar territory,"[51] while Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times said it was "a terrific theatrical feature debut for television veterans Glen Morgan and James Wong."[52] Chris Kaltenbach of The Baltimore Sun found the film "fitfully thrilling,"[53] while Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide defined the film as "serviceable enough, if you come to it with sufficiently modest expectations."[54]

Despite the film's generally mixed reception, critics praised Sawa's performance as Alex. Holden of The New York Times commented that "[t]he disaster and Alex's premonitions set up a heavy-handed fable about death and teenage illusions of invulnerability."[36] David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews remarked "Sawa's personable turn as the hero is matched by a uniformly effective supporting cast rife with familiar faces (i.e. Seann William Scott, Brendan Fehr, Tony Todd, etc)...,"[55] while Leydon of Variety pointed out that "Sawa is credible as the second-sighted Alex—unlike many other actors cast a teen protagonists, he actually looks like he might still be attending high school—but the supporting players are an uneven bunch."[51] LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised Sawa and Ali Larter's pairing, saying that "Larter and Sawa, who becomes more scruffy and wild-eyed as the film progresses, make an appealing pair."[50]

Accolades[edit]

The film had a major impact on the horror film audience, earning itself the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film in 2000.[12] Sawa won the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor the same year,[13] and Larter won the Young Hollywood Award for a Breakthrough Performance by a Female.[56] At the 2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, both Sawa and Larter were nominated for Favorite Actor in Horror (Internet Only) and Favorite Actress in Horror (Internet Only), respectively. Both actors lost the awards to Scream 3 actors David Arquette and Neve Campbell.[57] Additionally, cinematographer Robert McLachlan was nominated for Best Cinematography in a Theatrical Feature at the Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards in 2001, but lost to Pierre Gill for his work on The Art of War.[58]

The film's concept was listed at #46 in Bravo's 100 Greatest Scary Moments, in which Smith represented the film.[59] The Flight 180 explosion scene was included in the lists of best fictional plane crashes or disaster scenes by Break Studios, Unreality Magazine, New Movies.net, The Jetpacker, MaximOnline, and Filmsite.org.[60][61][62][63][64][65][66] Filmsite.org also included the plane scene and the deaths of three characters (Tod, Terry, and Ms. Lewton) in its Scariest Movie Moments and Scenes, and all fatalities in its Best Film Deaths Scenes.[67][68] The demise of Detmer's character entered the listings of the most shocking deaths on film of George Wales and Simon Kinnear of Total Film (#29 and #10, respectively), Simon Hill of Eat Horror (#10), and Dirk Sonningsen of Mania (#10).[69][70][71][72]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FINAL DESTINATION (2000)". Film & TV Database. London: British Film Institute. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Final Destination (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r James Wong (director). Final Destination: A Look at Test Screening (Videotape/DVD). New York, USA: New Line Cinema. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w James Wong (director). Final Destination (New Line Platinum Series) (DVD). New York, USA: New Line Cinema. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Special Feature 'Final Destination': Not So Final After All!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Final Destination Press Book". Angelfire. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b CSwap.com, CSwap. "Final Destination (2000) - CSwap". Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k DVD Review. "DVD Review - Final Destination". Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j DVD Review. "DVD Review - Film Vault (Final Destination)". Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ Flixster, Rotten Tomatoes. "Final Destination Movie Reviews - ROTTEN TOMATOES". Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b CBS Interactive Inc., Metacritic. "Critic Reviews for Final Destination at Metacritic". Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, Saturn Awards. "Past Saturn Awards Winners for Best Horror Film". Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, Saturn Awards. "Past Saturn Awards Winners for Best Performance by a Younger Actor". Retrieved October 28, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b DevonSawa.org, Starshine. "Starshine Devon Sawa - Auditions". Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c d Yahoo!, Yahoo! Movies. "Final Destination Cast List in Yahoo! Movies UK and Ireland". Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b MaryAnn Johanson, FlickFilosopher. "Final Destination and Final Destination 2 (review) - MaryAnn Johanson's FlickFilosopher.com". Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  17. ^ Sony Entertainment, Dawson's Creek. "Dawson's Creek Official Website". Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ YourProps.com, Your Props. "Final Destination (2000), Original Screen Used 747 Used During Production, original/screen-us". Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Manning, Andrew. "Radio Free Movie Review: Final Destination (2000)". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c d Music from Film, Music From Film. "Music from Final Destination". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c United Press International, Inc., UPI.com. "Film composer Shirley Walker dies at 61". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b c d Autotelics, LLC., Soundtrack.net. "Shirley Walker's Musical Destination". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Klaatu Media, CineMusic.net. "Shirley Speaks". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b The Film Music Society, Inc., FMS. "Shirley Walker: An Appreciation". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  25. ^ Jervais, Judge Harold (October 6). "DVD Verdict Review - Final Destination". Retrieved April 13, 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  26. ^ Germano, Derek. "THE CINEMA LASER DVD REVIEW--FINAL DESTINATION". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  27. ^ a b IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for March 17–19, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  28. ^ IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for March 24–26, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  29. ^ IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for March 31-April 2, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  30. ^ IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for May 5–7, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  31. ^ IMDb, Box Office Mojo. "Weekend Box Office Results for August 11–13, 2000 - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  32. ^ Amazon.com, Amazon. "Final Destination (New Line platinum Series) - Amazon.com". Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  33. ^ a b Flixster, Rotten Tomatoes. "Final Destination Movie Reviews - ROTTEN TOMATOES". Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  34. ^ CBS Interactive Inc., Metacritic. "15 Movies the Critics Got Wrong". Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  35. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie. "Final Destination Movie -AustinChronicle.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  36. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (March 17). "'Final Destination': Lucky Teenagers Skip A Doomed Flight Only To Meet Their Match On The Ground". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  37. ^ Lumenick, Lou. "Lou Lumenick's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  38. ^ Maynard, Kevin. "Kevin Maynard's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  39. ^ Kempley, Rita (March 17). "Bumped Man Tell No Tales: Washington Post.com: Entertainment Guide". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 23, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  40. ^ Cashill, Robert. "Newsweek's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  41. ^ Carr, Jay. "Final Destination Review - Boston Globe". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  42. ^ Flowers, Phoebe. "Miami Herald's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  43. ^ Alspector, Lisa. "Final Destination Movie - Chicago Reader.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  44. ^ a b Thompson, Luke Y. "Final Destination Movie - DallasObserver.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Luke" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  45. ^ Shulgasser, Barbara. "Barbara Shulgasser's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  46. ^ Ryan, Desmond. "Desmond Ryan's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  47. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan. "Susan Wloszczyna's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  48. ^ Addiego, Walter (March 17). "Final Destination Movie - SFChronicle.com". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 25, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  49. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Final Destination Reviews - RogerEbert.com". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  50. ^ a b LaSalle, Mick (9 January). "Death, Teens Engage In Immortal Combat - 'Final Destination' a playful, stylish thriller". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 22, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  51. ^ a b Leydon, Joe (March 17). "Final Destination Review - Read Variety's Analysis of the Movie Final Destination". Retrieved April 22, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  52. ^ Thomas, Kevin. "Final Destination Reviews - calendaralive.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  53. ^ Kaltenbach, Chris. "Chris Kaltenbach's Reviews - Metacritic.com". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  54. ^ McDonagh, Maitland. "Final Destination Trailer, Reviews, and Schedule for Final Destination". Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  55. ^ Nusair, David (September 28). "The Final Destination Series Review". Reel Film Review. Retrieved October 26, 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  56. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company, Young Hollywood Awards. "Young Hollywood Awards Official Website". Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  57. ^ Movie-Collection. "Final Destination (2000) - Movie Awards". Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  58. ^ Canadian Society of Cinematographers, Directory of CSC Active Members. "Robert B. McLachlan - Directory of CSC Active Members (M)". Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  59. ^ The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film & Television, EOFFTV. "The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003) @ EOFFTV". Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  60. ^ Break Studios, Made Man. "10 Best Plane Crash Movies". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  61. ^ Break Studios, Made Man. "10 Best Plane Crash Survival Movies". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  62. ^ Unreality Magazine, Unreality. "Five Realistic and Tough To Watch Movie Plane Crashes". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  63. ^ Movie Wallpapers, New Movies.net. "Top 10 Flight Scenes in Movies". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  64. ^ The Jetpacker, The Jetpacker. "Top 10 Movie Flights That Will Make You Fear Flying". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  65. ^ Alpha Media Group, Maxim. "The Greatest Movie Plane Crashes". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  66. ^ AMC, Filmsite.org. "Greatest Disaster Film Scenes - Part 5". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  67. ^ AMC, Filmsite.org. "Scariest Movie Moments and Scenes - F". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  68. ^ AMC, Filmsite.org. "Best Film Deaths Scenes - 2000-2001". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  69. ^ Future Publishing, Total Film. "50 Most Shocking Movie Deaths Of All Time". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  70. ^ Future Publishing, Total Film. "30 Unexpected Movie Deaths". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  71. ^ Eat Horror, Eat Horror.com. "Top Ten Shocking Horror Film Deaths". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  72. ^ Mania, Mania: Beyond Entertainment. "10 WTF Movie Character Deaths". Retrieved April 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Earthbound article edited[edit]

Mother 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back
EarthBound
Developer(s) Ape
HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Shigesato Itoi
Producer(s) Shigesato Itoi
Satoru Iwata
Designer(s) Akihiko Miura
Programmer(s) Satoru Iwata
Kouji Malta
Artist(s) Kouichi Ooyama
Writer(s) Shigesato Itoi
Composer(s) Keiichi Suzuki
Hirokazu Tanaka
Hiroshi Kanazu
Series EarthBound
Platform(s) Super Famicom/SNES, Game Boy Advance, Wii U (Virtual Console)
Release Super Famicom/SNES
  • JP: August 27, 1994
  • NA: June 5, 1995
Game Boy Advance
  • JP: June 20, 2003
Wii U Virtual Console
  • JP: March 20, 2013
  • WW: July 18, 2013
Genre(s) Role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player

EarthBound, originally released as Mother 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back (Japanese: マザー2 ギーグの逆襲, Hepburn: Mazā Tsū: Gīgu no Gyakushū)[1] in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. Both releases have semi-alternate titles identified in the game's attract demo:[Jargon] "EarthBound: The War Against Giygas!" for EarthBound and "Mother 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back!" for Mother 2.

It was designed by Shigesato Itoi, who also developed its predecessor, the Japan-exclusive Mother. The game was released as Mother 2 in Japan on August 27, 1994, and rebranded as EarthBound for its June 5, 1995 North American release.[2] Despite its poor sales figures, the game has been lauded by gamers for its humorous depictions of American culture and parody of the role-playing video game genre,[3] and has since become a cult classic.[4]

A sequel to EarthBound for the Nintendo 64DD, titled EarthBound 64, was in development for many years before eventually being canceled.[5] This project later resurfaced as a Game Boy Advance title called Mother 3 and was released only in Japan.[6] Like Mother, Mother 3 has only a loose connection to EarthBound, starring new characters, though it does include several returning characters. A collection of Mother and EarthBound was released in Japan under the title Mother 1 + 2.[7] The game was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in Japan on March 20, 2013 and was released for North America and, for the first time, Europe and Australia, on July 18, 2013.[8]

Gameplay[edit]

EarthBound features many traditional role-playing game elements: the player controls a party of characters who travel through the game's two-dimensional world, which is composed of villages, cities, caves, and dungeons. Along the way they battle enemies, after which the party receives experience points for victories.[9] If enough experience points are acquired, a character's level will increase. This increases the character's attributes, such as offense, defense, and the maximum HP and PP of each character. Rather than using an overworld map screen like most console RPGs of its era, the world is entirely seamless, with no differentiation between towns and the outside world.[10] Another non-traditional element is the perspective used for the world: oblique projection, while most 2D RPGs use a "top down" view on a grid or an isometric perspective.[3]

Unlike its predecessor, EarthBound does not use random encounters. When physical contact occurs between a character and an enemy, the screen dissolves into battle mode. In combat, characters and enemies possess a certain amount of hit points (HP). Blows to an enemy reduce their amount of HP. Once an enemy's HP reaches zero, they are defeated. If a specific type of enemy is defeated, there is a chance that the character will receive an item after the battle. In battle, there are specific action options, including attacking, healing, spying (reveals enemy weakness/strengths), mirror (emulate a specific enemy), and running away. Characters can also use special PSI attacks that require psychic points (PP). Once of each character is assigned a command, the characters and enemies perform their actions in a set order, determined by character speed. Whenever a character receives damage, the HP box gradually "rolls" down, similar to an odometer. This gives players an opportunity to heal the character or win the battle before the counter hits zero, after which the character is knocked unconscious (although if the counter reaches zero as the battle is won, it will be set to 1 instead and the character will survive). If all characters are rendered unconscious, the game transitions to an endgame screen, asking if the player wants to continue. An affirmative response brings Ness conscious, back to the last telephone he saved from with half the money on his person at the time of his defeat, and any other party members showing as still unconscious. Because battles are not random, tactical advantages can be gained. If the player physically contacts an enemy from behind (indicated by a translucent green swirl which fills the screen), the player is given a first-strike priority. However, this also applies to enemies, who can also engage the party from behind (in this case, the swirl is red). If both enemy and player are facing each other, the swirl is grey. Additionally, as Ness and his friends become stronger, battles with weaker enemies are eventually won automatically, forgoing the battle sequence. Weaker monsters will begin to flee from Ness and his friends rather than chase them.[9] While most RPGs up to the mid-1990s primarily use swords and other traditional weapons, the characters in EarthBound use less conventional weapons such as baseball bats, yo-yos, and frying pans, with the exception of Poo, who can actually use a sword.

Currency is indirectly received from Ness' father, who can also save the game's progress. Each time the party wins a battle, Ness' father deposits money in an account that can be withdrawn at ATMs. In towns, players can visit various stores where weapons, items, and armor can be bought. Weapons and armor can be equipped to increase character strength and defense, respectively. In addition, items can be used for a number of purposes, such as healing. Towns also house several other useful facilities, such as hospitals, where players can be healed for a fee.[11]

Plot[edit]

Setting[edit]

EarthBound takes place in Eagleland, a country similar to the United States,[12] during the 1990s.[13] Eagleland has four major cities: Onett, Twoson, Threed, and Fourside. Other areas include the icy Winters, beach resort Summers, East Asia-influenced Dalaam, and the ancient Egypt-influenced Scaraba.

Characters[edit]

EarthBound features four playable characters, three of which possess PSI abilities. The game begins with Ness, the main protagonist, as the only character in the player's party and is characterized as a 13-year-old boy who lives in Onett. Ness is destined to defeat Giygas, the main antagonist. Paula, the second playable character, lives in Twoson. Paula is first seen as a captive of the Happy Happyist cult; she joins the player's party upon being rescued by Ness. Jeff, the next playable character, is a mechanical genius from Winters who can rebuild broken objects into items useful in battle, but does not possess any PSI abilities. Paula telepathically summons Jeff when she and Ness are held captive in a secret room in Threed. Jeff then joins the party shortly after rescuing them. Poo, a martial arts master from Dalaam, is the last character to join, after learning that it is destined that he should accompany Ness to defeat Giygas.

Non-player characters include Ness's parents, whom the player contacts to cure Ness's occasional homesickness and to save the game. The Runaway Five, a Jazz band, is a recurring group of characters whom the player aids. Giygas is an alien with the power to influence people and animals using their own evil nature. Pokey Minch, Ness's next-door neighbor, antagonizes Ness and allies with Giygas over the course of the game.

Story[edit]

The story begins when Ness is awakened by a meteorite that has plummeted near his home. Investigating the crash site with Pokey, Ness encounters an alien named Buzz Buzz, who informs Ness that it is from the future where Giygas dominates the universe.[14] Buzz Buzz instructs Ness to embark on a journey to defeat Giygas in the present, because he is too powerful in the future. Ness then proceeds to seek out eight "sanctuaries", to unite his own powers with the Earth's and gain the strength required to confront Giygas.[15] Buzz Buzz is later killed by Pokey's mother, who mistakes Buzz Buzz for a dung beetle. Dying, Buzz Buzz gives Ness the Sound Stone, an item that is vital to the completion of his quest.

Ness eventually activates all of his "Sanctuary" locations, discovers Magicant within himself, and defeats his "Nightmare", which represented all of the evil hidden away in Ness' heart and unlocks his true power. Jeff's father, Doctor Andonuts, creates a device that will allow them to travel to the past to battle Giygas—however, they are forced to transfer their souls to robot bodies, as organic material cannot withstand the warp through time. In the past, they encounter Giygas and Pokey (commanding a giant spider mech), who informs Ness and the others that Giygas has consumed so much evil power, that his mind was completely destroyed and is being held in a somewhat stable form using a machine called the "Devil's Machine." After defeating Pokey, he deactivates the machine, unleashing his power which destroys the machine and creates a chaotic, bizarre dimension, trapping himself and the four children in darkness. Giygas uses psychic attacks that Ness and the others can't comprehend, and speaks in a confused babble. Paula then prays, reaching out to a variety of people on Earth, including their family and friends, who all pray for their safety. Eventually, she reaches out to the player, whose prayers defeat Giygas due to his weakness to human emotions. Pokey escapes into a time warp, and Ness and his friends manage to have their spirits returned to their bodies. Then, they all return to their homes (with the exception of Paula, who Ness escorts home). After the credits, Picky gives Ness a message from Pokey, a dare for to go look for him.

Development[edit]

Development on EarthBound took place as a joint effort between Ape and HAL Laboratory and was designed by Shigesato Itoi, Ape programmer Kouji Malta and HAL programmer Satoru Iwata, both of whom were the main programmers for EarthBound. The total development time for the project took five years, much longer than was initially expected. Of this, Itoi has stated that many times he felt the project was "doomed".[10] Because two companies were working on EarthBound, responsibilities were spread out between the two studios. Ape had more people working on the title and oversaw the data aspects of the game while HAL worked on the programming. Also, the two studios were based at separate locations so employees would regularly have to travel between the studios to work.[16]

Initial gameplay features that Itoi had in mind involved an unconventional level structure and hit points system (HP). Itoi decided to exclude an overworld, because he wanted no distinction to remain between towns and the outside world. Because of this, each town had to be carefully designed to be unique.

The first design concept for the HP boxes were to make them like pachinko balls and have them fall off the screen whenever a character was damaged. However, this was later changed to the "rolling counter" HP boxes because the pachinko balls were not effective when characters had large amounts of HP.[10]

Some of the difficulties posed by the development of EarthBound were the data restrictions imposed by the SNES cartridge size. It was initially designed to fit on an 8-megabit cartridge. However, it was later pushed to 12 megabits and then finally pushed onto a 24-megabit cartridge. This can partially be attributed to the large amount of music composed for the title (as an example, there are ten different music tracks for regular and boss battles). Other aspects of the project that were difficult were programming concepts. The oblique projection techniques proved difficult to program and were time consuming as well.[10] The bicycle and delivery-man systems also posed problems due to their own complex programming schemes.[16]

Some aspects of the character designs remain very personal for Shigesato Itoi. In an interview on his website, Itoi describes how his inspiration for the final battle with Giygas resulted from a traumatic childhood event. When Itoi was a young boy, he accidentally viewed the wrong movie at a theater, a Shintoho film entitled The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty. According to Itoi, the film featured a graphic rape scene near a river that traumatized Itoi so much that his parents began to worry about his wellbeing. In actuality, the scene showed how the titular beauty was murdered. Years later, Itoi integrated the experience into Giygas' dialogue for the final battle.[17]

Nintendo eventually announced a release date of August 27, 1994 for Japan,[18] and invested a large amount of money into promoting the new game.[6] One of the marketing campaigns involved Japanese celebrity Takuya Kimura of SMAP, who was heavily featured in Weekly Famitsu promotional ads.[19] For its North American release, efforts included bundling a full-length strategy guide with the game, complete in a bigger box, and affixing a price much higher than other titles at the time.[3] Scratch and sniff stickers also came bundled with the game.[20] EarthBound was released in Japan on August 27, 1994, and was well received. The North American version was released months later on June 5, 1995, and was met with lukewarm responses.[6]

Audio[edit]

The game's music was composed by Hiroshi Kanazu, Keiichi Suzuki, and Hirokazu Tanaka. The soundtrack was released by Sony Records in Japan on November 2, 1994.[21]

Development of the music for EarthBound remained much easier than its predecessor. In an interview with Weekly Famitsu, Suzuki commented on how the SNES gave the composers much more freedom to compose what they wanted. This was an advantage, because one of the many problems the makers originally faced was trying to get their music on to the cartridge.

Major influences harken back to the sounds of the 1970s Los Angeles music scene, which include the likes of Van Dyke Parks, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, the Beach Boys, and their bandleader Brian Wilson.[22] A cover version of "Good Vibrations" was recorded by Suzuki shortly after the game had been completed. Suzuki also cited John Lennon as an influential figure to all the composers while the soundtrack was being developed.[23] Other influences include Miklós Rózsa, Godley & Creme, Yabby U, the Flying Lizards, My Bloody Valentine, and Frank Zappa.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 88%[31]
GameStats 9.0 / 10[32]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 4/5 stars[24]
All RPG 9.2[25]
Famitsu 34/40[26]
Gamer's Mark 8/10[27]
Nintendojo 9/10[13]
Game Force 9.5/10[28]
VicioJuegos 92%[29]
IGN 9.0/10[30]

The game sold 140,000 copies in North America, and about twice that number in Japan.[33] American audiences were largely indifferent to Japanese role-playing video games, and would remain so until titles like Final Fantasy VII popularized the genre.[3] Years later, many critics praised the game for being ahead of its time,[3] as well as for its storyline, graphics, and particularly, its humor.[24] In the June 2008 issue of Nintendo Power, EarthBound was revealed to be the #1 "Readers' Most Wanted" Virtual Console title, with Mother close behind at #4.[34] Then in the July 2008 issue of Nintendo Power, EarthBound was yet again the #1 "Readers' Most Wanted" Virtual Console title, with the original Mother now placed in second.[citation needed]

EarthBound is regarded by critics as one of the greatest role-playing games on the SNES,[35] as well as one of the best of the 1990s.[25] The game has also become a cult classic and possesses substantial fan-bases in both Japan and North America.[4] As a result, the game regularly appears on readers' choice polls in both countries. In a 2005 readers' choice poll of the top 99 best games of all time conducted by IGN, EarthBound was voted 46th on the list.[36] A year later, IGN conducted a similar readers' choice poll where EarthBound moved up to be 33rd on the list.[37] A 2005 GameFAQs poll of the 100 best games ever had EarthBound at the 37th spot.[38] The game has also appeared on lists conducted by the Japanese. In a 2006 readers' poll conducted by Famitsu magazine, the game was voted the 37th best game of all time on a list of 100 titles.[39] In a retrospective of the 20 essential Japanese RPGs, Gamasutra featured EarthBound on the list.[35] In the January 2010 issue of Nintendo Power, editors named the game "The Ultimate Cult Hit."[40]

Reviews of EarthBound have generally been positive. In Allgame's review, EarthBound was declared "one of the most original role-playing games of the 1990s."[25] The site then went on to praise its storyline, humor, music, and characters. A point of contention between critics were the simplistic graphics. In All RPG's review of the game, the graphics were described as "horrid,"[25] while Nintendojo and 1UP enjoyed them, with 1UP going so far as to say "regardless of what anyone tells you, the graphics are awesome." 1UP also criticized the title's similarities to Dragon Quest, but in the end declared EarthBound a game "worth experiencing."[3] Nintendojo and Gamasutra also criticized the similarities to Dragon Quest, with Gamasutra declaring EarthBound an "unabashed Dragon Quest clone..."[13][35] Despite the criticism, Gamasutra regarded the title "as one of the greatest RPGs on the SNES." The game's audio was also praised, with All RPG declaring it "some of the best music on the Super Nintendo."

Of all EarthBound's elements, however, the most lauded was its humor, being universally praised by all critics for its comedic, albeit confusing, depictions of Western culture and parody of the role-playing video game genre.[3][13][24][25][27][35] Ranging from trips in a yellow submarine to fighting a diamond dog, both of which are nods to British music, or the American national anthem,[41] the game is rife with subtle cultural references. Described by Gamasutra as "a warped, confused tribute to American culture, designed by people who've only experienced the country through books and movies", the quirky humor of the game is one of the chief reasons for its popularity.[35] Amongst the ranks of absurd enemies in the game, Ness must face down New Age Retro Hippies, Pogo Punks, Extra Cranky Ladies, and Big Piles of Puke throughout his quest. Much of the dialogue and plot of the game pokes fun at traditional RPG and sci-fi clichés. Even the advertising campaign played off its humor, with the slogan "This game stinks," referring to the scratch and sniff stickers that were included in the Player's Guide.

Legacy[edit]

The character Ness is featured as a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games, where he utilizes psychic-based offensive attacks. Super Smash Bros. Melee features the Onett and Fourside towns seen in EarthBound as selectable stages.[42] Pokey and Lucas, the main character in the EarthBound sequel Mother 3, appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a boss character and a playable character, respectively. Other characters, such as Mr. Saturn and Jeff, appear as items used in battle or as trophies collected by the player as rewards for accomplishing certain tasks.

EarthBound's soundtrack has been lauded by critics and fans, including Alex Hall, a staff writer for the online music magazine The Tune, who named it the best video game soundtrack of all time.[43]

On December 21, 2012, hip hop artist YTCracker released an album dedicated to the game.[44]

Sequel[edit]

A sequel was announced in 1996 for the Nintendo 64DD, entitled EarthBound 64 or Mother 3. However, the game became plagued by problems as release date pushbacks occurred,[45] as well as failures to appear at popular gaming conventions, like E3.[46] Nintendo eventually announced its cancelation on August 21, 2000.[5] Years later, Mother 3 resurfaced as a Game Boy Advance title and was released only in Japan.[6] On May 5, 2005, Shigesato Itoi announced that he had no plans to develop the Mother series any further.[47]

Virtual Console re-release[edit]

In 2008, Nintendo of America announced that the game would be rereleased on the Wii's Virtual Console. However, despite being rated by the ESRB, the game was never re-released for Wii. In December 2012, it was announced that the creator was planning a re-release of a Mother game. On January 23, 2013, it was announced that EarthBound (Mother 2) would be released in Japan on the Wii U's Virtual Console service starting March 20, 2013, but no mention was made of an international release. On April 17, 2013, Nintendo announced in its Nintendo Direct presentation that the game would be released internationally in late 2013, marking the game's first release in the PAL region.[8] On July 18, 2013, Nintendo announced EarthBound's availability on the North American and PAL Wii U Virtual Console eShops and that the accompanying Player's Guide had been digitized on Nintendo's website, with a special version designed for the Wii U GamePad.[48][49] ESRB originally rated the game as "K-A" (Kids to Adults; the former equivalent of the "E" rating) when it originally launched on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but despite being fully identical, the Virtual Console re-release was given the higher "T" rating instead.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nintendo; Ape; HAL Laboratory (August 27, 1994). Mother 2: Gyiyg no Gyakushū (in Japanese). Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo. Scene: title screen. 
  2. ^ "NINTENDO NEWS RELEASE: EARTHBOUND" (Press release). Nintendo. 1995. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Parish, Jeremy (April 13, 2006). "Retronauts 5: Earthbound". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Thomas, Lucas M. (August 17, 2006). "Retro Remix: Round 25". IGN. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Earthbound 64 Cancelled". IGN. August 21, 2000. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d Cowan, Danny (February 7, 2007). "Vapor Trails: Games that Never Were". 1UP.com. p. 2. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ Hindman, Heath (April 14, 2003). "Mother 1 and 2 Hit the GBA". RPGamer. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b McElroy, Griffin (April 17, 2013). "EarthBound coming to Wii U Virtual Console in North America and Europe this year". Polygon. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Nintendo of America, ed. (1995). EarthBound Player's Guide. Nintendo of America, Inc. pp. 10, 11. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Interview with Shigesato Itoi". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain, Inc.: 21–24. 1994-09-02. 
  11. ^ Nintendo of America, ed. (1995). EarthBound Player's Guide. Nintendo of America, Inc. p. 12. 
  12. ^ Dziuba, Paul (May 1, 2008). "'EarthBound' is the title gamers forgot". Columbia Daily Tribune. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d Gomer, Jeremy. "Earthbound Review". Nintendojo. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  14. ^ Ape, Inc. and HAL Laboratory, Inc. (1995-06-01). EarthBound. SNES. Nintendo. Buzz Buzz: A bee I am not... I'm from 10 years in the future. And, in the future, all is devastation... Giygas, the universal cosmic destroyer, send all to the horror of eternal darkness... 
  15. ^ Ape, Inc. and HAL Laboratory, Inc. (1995-06-01). EarthBound. SNES. Nintendo. Buzz Buzz: To defeat Giygas, your own power must unite with the Earth's... the Earth will then channel your power and multiply it... There are eight points that you must visit. Make these places your own... Each of these locations is "Your Sanctuary." 
  16. ^ a b "Interview with Kouji Malta and Satoru Iwata". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain, Inc.: 72, 73. 1994-09-09. 
  17. ^ "Interview with Shigesato Itoi" (in Japanese). 1101.com, Sigesato Itoi's website. 2003-04-24. Retrieved 2008-04-02.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  18. ^ "EarthBound Release Date Announced". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain, Inc.: 170. 1994-07-15. 
  19. ^ List of Weekly Famitsu issues featuring Takuya Kimura EarthBound ads: July 24, 1994; August 5, 1994; August 12, 1994; August 19, 1994; September 2, 1994; September 9, 1994; September 16, 1994
  20. ^ IGN Staff. "IGN EarthBound Profile". IGN. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  21. ^ "Mother 2 Gyiyg Strikes Back". VGMdb. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  22. ^ ほぼ日刊イトイ新聞 - MOTHERの音楽は鬼だった。
  23. ^ "Interview with Keiichi Suzuki". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain, Inc.: 12. 1994-10-28. 
  24. ^ a b c House, Michael L. "allgame: EarthBound review". Allgame. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  25. ^ a b c d e Gravy Train. "All RPG: EarthBound review". All RPG. Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  26. ^ "New Games Cross Review". Weekly Famitsu. Enterbrain, Inc. 1994-09-23. 
  27. ^ a b Hancock, Robert (2001-08-03). "Earthbound (SNES) Review". Gamer's Mark. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  28. ^ GameStats: EarthBound Articles
  29. ^ Análisis de EarthBound (SNES) >> El pequeño héroe que llevamos dentro
  30. ^ Thompson, Scott. "Earthbound Review - Bound for Greatness". IGN. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  31. ^ "Game Rankings: EarthBound". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2012-04-30. 
  32. ^ GameStats: EarthBound Cheats, Reviews, News
  33. ^ Linde, Aaron (2008-05-06). "EarthBotched: A History of Nintendo vs. Starmen". Shacknews. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  34. ^ Nintendo Power June, 2008. Future US. 2008. p. 25. 
  35. ^ a b c d e Kalata, Kurt (2008-03-19). "A Japanese RPG Primer: The Essential 20". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  36. ^ IGN Staff (2005). "IGN and KFC Snacker Present Readers' Top 99 Games". IGN. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  37. ^ IGN Staff (2006). "IGN Readers' Choice 2006—The Top 100 Games Ever". IGN. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  38. ^ "The 10 Best Games Ever". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  39. ^ Campbell, Colin (2006-03-03). "Japan Votes on All Time Top 100". Next Generation Magazine. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  40. ^ Editors of Nintendo Power: Nintendo Power March 2009; issue 3 (in English). Future US Inc, 30. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  41. ^ Booze, associated with our anthem?! « EarthBound / MOTHER 2 « Forum « Starmen.Net
  42. ^ IGN Staff. "Super Smash Bros. Melee Stages". IGN. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  43. ^ Hall, Alex. "The 10 Best Video Game Soundtracks of All Time". The Tune. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  44. ^ earthbound - adventures of the sound stone vol. 1
  45. ^ IGN Staff (2000-03-22). "Mother 3 Pushed Back". IGN. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  46. ^ IGN Staff (2000-04-18). "Not Bound for E3". IGN. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  47. ^ Klepek, Patrick (2006-05-03). "Earthbound Series Dead". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  48. ^ Sarkar, Samit (July 18, 2013). "EarthBound now available on Wii U Virtual Console for $9.99". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on July 18, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  49. ^ Scullion, Chris (June 18, 2013). "Earthbound released on Wii U in US and Europe". Computer and Video Games. Future Publishing. Archived from the original on July 18, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Vivianche/sandbox at Wikimedia Commons


Mother 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back
EarthBound
Developer(s) Ape
HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Shigesato Itoi
Producer(s) Shigesato Itoi
Satoru Iwata
Designer(s) Akihiko Miura
Programmer(s) Satoru Iwata
Kouji Malta
Artist(s) Kouichi Ooyama
Writer(s) Shigesato Itoi
Composer(s) Keiichi Suzuki
Hirokazu Tanaka
Hiroshi Kanazu
Series EarthBound
Platform(s) Super Famicom/SNES, Game Boy Advance, Wii U (Virtual Console)
Release Super Famicom/SNES
  • JP: August 27, 1994
  • NA: June 5, 1995
Game Boy Advance
  • JP: June 20, 2003
Wii U Virtual Console
  • JP: March 20, 2013
  • WW: July 18, 2013
Genre(s) Role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player

EarthBound, originally released as Mother 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back (Japanese: マザー2 ギーグの逆襲, Hepburn: Mazā Tsū: Gīgu no Gyakushū)[1] in Japan, is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. Both releases have semi-alternate titles identified in the game's attract demo:[Jargon] "EarthBound: The War Against Giygas!" for EarthBound and "Mother 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back!" for Mother 2.

It was designed by Shigesato Itoi, who also developed its predecessor, the Japan-exclusive Mother. The game was released as Mother 2 in Japan on August 27, 1994, and rebranded as EarthBound for its June 5, 1995 North American release.[2] Despite its poor sales figures, the game has been lauded by gamers for its humorous depictions of American culture and parody of the role-playing video game genre,[3] and has since become a cult classic.[4]

A sequel to EarthBound for the Nintendo 64DD, titled EarthBound 64, was in development for many years before eventually being canceled.[5] This project later resurfaced as a Game Boy Advance title called Mother 3 and was released only in Japan.[6] Like Mother, Mother 3 has only a loose connection to EarthBound, starring new characters, though it does include several returning characters. A collection of Mother and EarthBound was released in Japan under the title Mother 1 + 2.[7] The game was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in Japan on March 20, 2013 and was released for North America and, for the first time, Europe and Australia, on July 18, 2013.[8]

Gameplay[edit]

EarthBound features many traditional role-playing game elements: the player controls a party of characters who travel through the game's two-dimensional world, which is composed of villages, cities, caves, and dungeons. Along the way they battle enemies, after which the party receives experience points for victories.[9] If enough experience points are acquired, a character's level will increase. This increases the character's attributes, such as offense, defense, and the maximum HP and PP of each character. Rather than using an overworld map screen like most console RPGs of its era, the world is entirely seamless, with no differentiation between towns and the outside world.[10] Another non-traditional element is the perspective used for the world: oblique projection, while most 2D RPGs use a "top down" view on a grid or an isometric perspective.[3]

Unlike its predecessor, EarthBound does not use random encounters. When physical contact occurs between a character and an enemy, the screen dissolves into battle mode. In combat, characters and enemies possess a certain amount of hit points (HP). Blows to an enemy reduce their amount of HP. Once an enemy's HP reaches zero, they are defeated. If a specific type of enemy is defeated, there is a chance that the character will receive an item after the battle. In battle, there are specific action options, including attacking, healing, spying (reveals enemy weakness/strengths), mirror (emulate a specific enemy), and running away. Characters can also use special PSI attacks that require psychic points (PP). Once of each character is assigned a command, the characters and enemies perform their actions in a set order, determined by character speed. Whenever a character receives damage, the HP box gradually "rolls" down, similar to an odometer. This gives players an opportunity to heal the character or win the battle before the counter hits zero, after which the character is knocked unconscious (although if the counter reaches zero as the battle is won, it will be set to 1 instead and the character will survive). If all characters are rendered unconscious, the game transitions to an endgame screen, asking if the player wants to continue. An affirmative response brings Ness conscious, back to the last telephone he saved from with half the money on his person at the time of his defeat, and any other party members showing as still unconscious. Because battles are not random, tactical advantages can be gained. If the player physically contacts an enemy from behind (indicated by a translucent green swirl which fills the screen), the player is given a first-strike priority. However, this also applies to enemies, who can also engage the party from behind (in this case, the swirl is red). If both enemy and player are facing each other, the swirl is grey. Additionally, as Ness and his friends become stronger, battles with weaker enemies are eventually won automatically, forgoing the battle sequence. Weaker monsters will begin to flee from Ness and his friends rather than chase them.[9] While most RPGs up to the mid-1990s primarily use swords and other traditional weapons, the characters in EarthBound use less conventional weapons such as baseball bats, yo-yos, and frying pans, with the exception of Poo, who can actually use a sword.

Currency is indirectly received from Ness' father, who can also save the game's progress. Each time the party wins a battle, Ness' father deposits money in an account that can be withdrawn at ATMs. In towns, players can visit various stores where weapons, items, and armor can be bought. Weapons and armor can be equipped to increase character strength and defense, respectively. In addition, items can be used for a number of purposes, such as healing. Towns also house several other useful facilities, such as hospitals, where players can be healed for a fee.[11]

Plot[edit]

Setting[edit]

EarthBound takes place in Eagleland, a country similar to the United States,[12] during the 1990s.[13] Eagleland has four major cities: Onett, Twoson, Threed, and Fourside. Other areas include the icy Winters, beach resort Summers, East Asia-influenced Dalaam, and the ancient Egypt-influenced Scaraba.

Characters[edit]

EarthBound features four playable characters, three of which possess PSI abilities. The game begins with Ness, the main protagonist, as the only character in the player's party and is characterized as a 13-year-old boy who lives in Onett. Ness is destined to defeat Giygas, the main antagonist. Paula, the second playable character, lives in Twoson. Paula is first seen as a captive of the Happy Happyist cult; she joins the player's party upon being rescued by Ness. Jeff, the next playable character, is a mechanical genius from Winters who can rebuild broken objects into items useful in battle, but does not possess any PSI abilities. Paula telepathically summons Jeff when she and Ness are held captive in a secret room in Threed. Jeff then joins the party shortly after rescuing them. Poo, a martial arts master from Dalaam, is the last character to join, after learning that it is destined that he should accompany Ness to defeat Giygas.

Non-player characters include Ness's parents, whom the player contacts to cure Ness's occasional homesickness and to save the game. The Runaway Five, a Jazz band, is a recurring group of characters whom the player aids. Giygas is an alien with the power to influence people and animals using their own evil nature. Pokey Minch, Ness's next-door neighbor, antagonizes Ness and allies with Giygas over the course of the game.

Story[edit]

The story begins when Ness is awakened by a meteorite that has plummeted near his home. Investigating the crash site with Pokey, Ness encounters an alien named Buzz Buzz, who informs Ness that it is from the future where Giygas dominates the universe.[14] Buzz Buzz instructs Ness to embark on a journey to defeat Giygas in the present, because he is too powerful in the future. Ness then proceeds to seek out eight "sanctuaries", to unite his own powers with the Earth's and gain the strength required to confront Giygas.[15] Buzz Buzz is later killed by Pokey's mother, who mistakes Buzz Buzz for a dung beetle. Dying, Buzz Buzz gives Ness the Sound Stone, an item that is vital to the completion of his quest.

Ness eventually activates all of his "Sanctuary" locations, discovers Magicant within himself, and defeats his "Nightmare", which represented all of the evil hidden away in Ness' heart and unlocks his true power. Jeff's father, Doctor Andonuts, creates a device that will allow them to travel to the past to battle Giygas—however, they are forced to transfer their souls to robot bodies, as organic material cannot withstand the warp through time. In the past, they encounter Giygas and Pokey (commanding a giant spider mech), who informs Ness and the others that Giygas has consumed so much evil power, that his mind was completely destroyed and is being held in a somewhat stable form using a machine called the "Devil's Machine." After defeating Pokey, he deactivates the machine, unleashing his power which destroys the machine and creates a chaotic, bizarre dimension, trapping himself and the four children in darkness. Giygas uses psychic attacks that Ness and the others can't comprehend, and speaks in a confused babble. Paula then prays, reaching out to a variety of people on Earth, including their family and friends, who all pray for their safety. Eventually, she reaches out to the player, whose prayers defeat Giygas due to his weakness to human emotions. Pokey escapes into a time warp, and Ness and his friends manage to have their spirits returned to their bodies. Then, they all return to their homes (with the exception of Paula, who Ness escorts home). After the credits, Picky gives Ness a message from Pokey, a dare for to go look for him.

Development[edit]

Development on EarthBound took place as a joint effort between Ape and HAL Laboratory and was designed by Shigesato Itoi, Ape programmer Kouji Malta and HAL programmer Satoru Iwata, both of whom were the main programmers for EarthBound. The total development time for the project took five years, much longer than was initially expected. Of this, Itoi has stated that many times he felt the project was "doomed".[10] Because two companies were working on EarthBound, responsibilities were spread out between the two studios. Ape had more people working on the title and oversaw the data aspects of the game while HAL worked on the programming. Also, the two studios were based at separate locations so employees would regularly have to travel between the studios to work.[16]

Initial gameplay features that Itoi had in mind involved an unconventional level structure and hit points system (HP). Itoi decided to exclude an overworld, because he wanted no distinction to remain between towns and the outside world. Because of this, each town had to be carefully designed to be unique.

The first design concept for the HP boxes were to make them like pachinko balls and have them fall off the screen whenever a character was damaged. However, this was later changed to the "rolling counter" HP boxes because the pachinko balls were not effective when characters had large amounts of HP.[10]

Some of the difficulties posed by the development of EarthBound were the data restrictions imposed by the SNES cartridge size. It was initially designed to fit on an 8-megabit cartridge. However, it was later pushed to 12 megabits and then finally pushed onto a 24-megabit cartridge. This can partially be attributed to the large amount of music composed for the title (as an example, there are ten different music tracks for regular and boss battles). Other aspects of the project that were difficult were programming concepts. The oblique projection techniques proved difficult to program and were time consuming as well.[10] The bicycle and delivery-man systems also posed problems due to their own complex programming schemes.[16]

Some aspects of the character designs remain very personal for Shigesato Itoi. In an interview on his website, Itoi describes how his inspiration for the final battle with Giygas resulted from a traumatic childhood event. When Itoi was a young boy, he accidentally viewed the wrong movie at a theater, a Shintoho film entitled The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty. According to Itoi, the film featured a graphic rape scene near a river that traumatized Itoi so much that his parents began to worry about his wellbeing. In actuality, the scene showed how the titular beauty was murdered. Years later, Itoi integrated the experience into Giygas' dialogue for the final battle.[17]

Nintendo eventually announced a release date of August 27, 1994 for Japan,[18] and invested a large amount of money into promoting the new game.[6] One of the marketing campaigns involved Japanese celebrity Takuya Kimura of SMAP, who was heavily featured in Weekly Famitsu promotional ads.[19] For its North American release, efforts included bundling a full-length strategy guide with the game, complete in a bigger box, and affixing a price much higher than other titles at the time.[3] Scratch and sniff stickers also came bundled with the game.[20] EarthBound was released in Japan on August 27, 1994, and was well received. The North American version was released months later on June 5, 1995, and was met with lukewarm responses.[6]

Audio[edit]

The game's music was composed by Hiroshi Kanazu, Keiichi Suzuki, and Hirokazu Tanaka. The soundtrack was released by Sony Records in Japan on November 2, 1994.[21]

Development of the music for EarthBound remained much easier than its predecessor. In an interview with Weekly Famitsu, Suzuki commented on how the SNES gave the composers much more freedom to compose what they wanted. This was an advantage, because one of the many problems the makers originally faced was trying to get their music on to the cartridge.

Major influences harken back to the sounds of the 1970s Los Angeles music scene, which include the likes of Van Dyke Parks, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, the Beach Boys, and their bandleader Brian Wilson.[22] A cover version of "Good Vibrations" was recorded by Suzuki shortly after the game had been completed. Suzuki also cited John Lennon as an influential figure to all the composers while the soundtrack was being developed.[23] Other influences include Miklós Rózsa, Godley & Creme, Yabby U, the Flying Lizards, My Bloody Valentine, and Frank Zappa.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 88%[31]
GameStats 9.0 / 10[32]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 4/5 stars[24]
All RPG 9.2[25]
Famitsu 34/40[26]
Gamer's Mark 8/10[27]
Nintendojo 9/10[13]
Game Force 9.5/10[28]
VicioJuegos 92%[29]
IGN 9.0/10[30]

The game sold 140,000 copies in North America, and about twice that number in Japan.[33] American audiences were largely indifferent to Japanese role-playing video games, and would remain so until titles like Final Fantasy VII popularized the genre.[3] Years later, many critics praised the game for being ahead of its time,[3] as well as for its storyline, graphics, and particularly, its humor.[24] In the June 2008 issue of Nintendo Power, EarthBound was revealed to be the #1 "Readers' Most Wanted" Virtual Console title, with Mother close behind at #4.[34] Then in the July 2008 issue of Nintendo Power, EarthBound was yet again the #1 "Readers' Most Wanted" Virtual Console title, with the original Mother now placed in second.[citation needed]

EarthBound is regarded by critics as one of the greatest role-playing games on the SNES,[35] as well as one of the best of the 1990s.[25] The game has also become a cult classic and possesses substantial fan-bases in both Japan and North America.[4] As a result, the game regularly appears on readers' choice polls in both countries. In a 2005 readers' choice poll of the top 99 best games of all time conducted by IGN, EarthBound was voted 46th on the list.[36] A year later, IGN conducted a similar readers' choice poll where EarthBound moved up to be 33rd on the list.[37] A 2005 GameFAQs poll of the 100 best games ever had EarthBound at the 37th spot.[38] The game has also appeared on lists conducted by the Japanese. In a 2006 readers' poll conducted by Famitsu magazine, the game was voted the 37th best game of all time on a list of 100 titles.[39] In a retrospective of the 20 essential Japanese RPGs, Gamasutra featured EarthBound on the list.[35] In the January 2010 issue of Nintendo Power, editors named the game "The Ultimate Cult Hit."[40]

Reviews of EarthBound have generally been positive. In Allgame's review, EarthBound was declared "one of the most original role-playing games of the 1990s."[25] The site then went on to praise its storyline, humor, music, and characters. A point of contention between critics were the simplistic graphics. In All RPG's review of the game, the graphics were described as "horrid,"[25] while Nintendojo and 1UP enjoyed them, with 1UP going so far as to say "regardless of what anyone tells you, the graphics are awesome." 1UP also criticized the title's similarities to Dragon Quest, but in the end declared EarthBound a game "worth experiencing."[3] Nintendojo and Gamasutra also criticized the similarities to Dragon Quest, with Gamasutra declaring EarthBound an "unabashed Dragon Quest clone..."[13][35] Despite the criticism, Gamasutra regarded the title "as one of the greatest RPGs on the SNES." The game's audio was also praised, with All RPG declaring it "some of the best music on the Super Nintendo."

Of all EarthBound's elements, however, the most lauded was its humor, being universally praised by all critics for its comedic, albeit confusing, depictions of Western culture and parody of the role-playing video game genre.[3][13][24][25][27][35] Ranging from trips in a yellow submarine to fighting a diamond dog, both of which are nods to British music, or the American national anthem,[41] the game is rife with subtle cultural references. Described by Gamasutra as "a warped, confused tribute to American culture, designed by people who've only experienced the country through books and movies", the quirky humor of the game is one of the chief reasons for its popularity.[35] Amongst the ranks of absurd enemies in the game, Ness must face down New Age Retro Hippies, Pogo Punks, Extra Cranky Ladies, and Big Piles of Puke throughout his quest. Much of the dialogue and plot of the game pokes fun at traditional RPG and sci-fi clichés. Even the advertising campaign played off its humor, with the slogan "This game stinks," referring to the scratch and sniff stickers that were included in the Player's Guide.

Legacy[edit]

The character Ness is featured as a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games, where he utilizes psychic-based offensive attacks. Super Smash Bros. Melee features the Onett and Fourside towns seen in EarthBound as selectable stages.[42] Pokey and Lucas, the main character in the EarthBound sequel Mother 3, appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a boss character and a playable character, respectively. Other characters, such as Mr. Saturn and Jeff, appear as items used in battle or as trophies collected by the player as rewards for accomplishing certain tasks.

EarthBound's soundtrack has been lauded by critics and fans, including Alex Hall, a staff writer for the online music magazine The Tune, who named it the best video game soundtrack of all time.[43]

On December 21, 2012, hip hop artist YTCracker released an album dedicated to the game.[44]

Sequel[edit]

A sequel was announced in 1996 for the Nintendo 64DD, entitled EarthBound 64 or Mother 3. However, the game became plagued by problems as release date pushbacks occurred,[45] as well as failures to appear at popular gaming conventions, like E3.[46] Nintendo eventually announced its cancelation on August 21, 2000.[5] Years later, Mother 3 resurfaced as a Game Boy Advance title and was released only in Japan.[6] On May 5, 2005, Shigesato Itoi announced that he had no plans to develop the Mother series any further.[47]

Virtual Console re-release[edit]

In 2008, Nintendo of America announced that the game would be rereleased on the Wii's Virtual Console. However, despite being rated by the ESRB, the game was never re-released for Wii. In December 2012, it was announced that the creator was planning a re-release of a Mother game. On January 23, 2013, it was announced that EarthBound (Mother 2) would be released in Japan on the Wii U's Virtual Console service starting March 20, 2013, but no mention was made of an international release. On April 17, 2013, Nintendo announced in its Nintendo Direct presentation that the game would be released internationally in late 2013, marking the game's first release in the PAL region.[8] On July 18, 2013, Nintendo announced EarthBound's availability on the North American and PAL Wii U Virtual Console eShops and that the accompanying Player's Guide had been digitized on Nintendo's website, with a special version designed for the Wii U GamePad.[48][49] ESRB originally rated the game as "K-A" (Kids to Adults; the former equivalent of the "E" rating) when it originally launched on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but despite being fully identical, the Virtual Console re-release was given the higher "T" rating instead.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Media related to Vivianche/sandbox at Wikimedia Commons