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The Relevance Qualifier - by Anthadd

The Relevance Qualifier

First, I've got to say two things: I'm getting a lot of my article ideas off the fora recently, and two, yes, the title of this article was inspired by a certain Phantasy Star theory.

Now, the most recent inspiration for writing this article was a forum topic called "When does the adventure happen -- during school or summer?". On that topic, there was an interesting musing on the parts of many that the only schools appearing in the game were Twoson's Polestar Preschool and Winters' Snow Wood.

There's a very good reason for that, and I call that reason the Relevance Qualifier. It's basically a set of criteria that determines the relevance of a specific site in the EarthBound towns, etc. in the game. For the most part, a location would score high on the Relevance Qualifier to earn appearing in the game.

For example, Paula and her family live in the upper floor of the Preschool, and work in the lower floor; the preschool is needed because you have to talk to Paula's parents to advance the game. Similarly, the schools in Onett, Fourside, and most likely Threed are there; they're merely not shown because there's no real relevance therein to advancing the game.

And, as we all well know, Snow Wood is in the game because that's where Jeff begins his adventure to reach Threed. Without it, we'd be left with a blank spot. An answerless question: Where exactly did Jeff come from? After all, starting his adventure before he receives the 'summons' from Paula? Where's the sense in that? And we lose two wonderful Jeff character development points: Maxwell and Tony. We would only be first introduced to them in Winters after the kidnappings and in Summers after receiving the Stoic Club's phone number. Plus, we'd barely "know" them at all. At least you'd "know" them if there were a Snow Wood.

Of course, the Relevance Qualifier doesn't always hold the truth.

What's the point of the house in Onett who throws a pop quiz on you? What's the relevance of The Beatles' Yesterday to EarthBound? Or, for that matter, Heidi to Mother 2? I suspect that was merely space-filler, but the text could have been put to better use.

Other Submissions by Anthadd

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