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The Law of the Story - by Zip Code Ness

The Law of the Story

There is misunderstanding of the story of Earthbound. Everyone has the idea that the story of Earthbound is all about "Kill Giygas and save the world." Although, this a main point of the story of Earthbound, it is not the focus of the game.

First, one must understand how stories work. There are 5 sections of a story: The Characters, The Problem, The Events, The Setting, and The Solution. (CPESS: Crazy People Eat Salty Stuff) No narrative comes into being without it's life factors.

Take this story for example. This story misses a key point.

-> Farmer Joe was a farmer in the middle of Mississippi, with a harvest of Tomatoes. One day, Aunt Sue comes over to talk to Farmer Joe. She says, "How is it going Joe." Joe smiled and said, "I'm having a great harvest." Sue says, "That's great."

Wasn't that a great story? Oh, wait, that didn't interest you at all? I'm not surprised, because it needs a problem or who would want to hear about Farmer Joe? Now, take this complete story:

-> Farmer Joe was a farmer in the middle of Mississippi, with a harvest of Tomatoes. One day, Aunt Sue comes over to talk to Farmer Joe. She says, "Joe! My son was just run over by a car. I need your first-aid to help save him!" Joe hurried, ran to his trailer-home, called 911, and grabbed his First-Aid Kit and instructions. Joe applied the first aid and the ambulance arrived, and Sue's son was saved.

Now that was a story; probably not on your top ten list, but is considered a "story" by law. It had The Characters (Joe, Sue, and the Son), The Problem (Life-Death Situation), The Events (Life Is Normal, Some One Gets Run Over, Joe Applied First Aid and saved the day!), The Setting (Farm in Mississippi), and The Solution (First-Aid attention). These 5 Factors all contributed to the story.

The most basic of sentences have this same concept. There is always a subject, and then a predicate following. If there was just a subject, who gives? John. "John" is a fragmented sentence! Who cares about John? What did John do? John has to face a problem before it becomes a sentence. John kicks. That is probably the most well constructed sentence in the entire English language! John had a problem: He had to kick the ball.

Basically, the point is that without a problem, no one cares. The problem could be considered the predicate of a narrative!

Even though, The Problem is a required thing of a story, it shouldn't be the focus of a story. The Problem is actually a subcategory of The Setting. The story's focus should always be on The Characters, and how they change when The Setting shifts gears. The only way The Setting can shift gears is when the Problem happens.

If the Character doesn't change, a moral isn't transfered to the audience of the story. Read the second Farmer Joe story. Joe had to change from his busy self to an on the spot medic! The moral is, when emergency occurs, stop what you are doing and consider what is happening.

There is a subclassifications of Characters: Main Character (PROTAGONIST), Arch Nemisis (ANTAGONIST), and sometimes a Setting Nemisis (ANTAGONIST).

The Main Protagonist has only one Arch Antagonist. In fact, without any Antagonist, there is no Protagonist. Everyone has to have a point in their ideas and beliefs that are different than anothers. Ex. Without darkness, there is no light; Without evil, there is no good.

A person can become an Arch Antagonist by doing at least one of the actions: 1. The Arch Antagonist creates the Main Protagonist. (Batman: Joker killed Batman's parents, therefore Batman hates evil.)
2. The Arch Antagonist was once good friends with the Main Protagonist. (X-Men: Magneto and Dr. Xavier were good friends, but have opposing views.)
3. The Arch Antagonist is the total oppisite of the Main Protagonist. (Unbreakable, The Movie: Elijah Price was very weak and easy to break, but David Dunn couldn't be destroyed.)

So, then you may ask, what is the point of the Arch Antagonist? As I said, there is a Arch Antagonist in existance to define the Main Protagonist. Oh, then what about this Setting Antagonist, you may ask? Well, basically, the Arch Antagonist and the Setting Antagonist are one in the same. Though, in many storys, they become different enbodiments. In both cases, the Setting Antagonist creates the problem in which makes the story exist.

Here are the EVENTS of a story: There is a Main Protagonist, surrounded by a Setting. One day, a Arch/Setting Antagonist comes along and makes a Problem. The Main Protagonist comes up with a Solution to this Problem, and applies it to the Problem. The Problem ceases, and the Character changes. A moral is then transfered to the audience.

So, now you ask, how does this all apply to Earthbound? Well, with the information you have learned in the previous passages, you can simply make the story of Earthbound. The Protagonist, which are the Chosen Four, are living in prosperous, peaceful Eagleland. Then there is Pokey, who is clearly the Arch Antagonist. The setting Antagonist comes along, and his name is Giygas. The Problem is that he wants to conquer existance and the universe. Ness comes up with a Solution. He goes to many points on the Earth to collect power from the Earth, and from is his pre-destined past and future. He then defeats Giygas! and Ness comes out as a new person.

In conclusion, Earthbound's focus can be said like this: "Earthbound is a game about three boys and a girl to become different people, and how the leader discovers himself as a the ultimate weapon against evil."


Other Submissions by Zip Code Ness

Author Sort Ascending Sort Descending Title Sort Ascending Sort Descending Description Sort Ascending Sort Descending Date Sort Ascending Sort Descending Rank Sort Ascending Sort Descending
Zip Code Ness Jeff's Geography Mistake
Jeff tries to send in another entry into another sm.net contest, yet his entry shows complete lack of knowledge on weather in October in Eagleland.
10/8/06 0.00
Zip Code Ness Ness' Creativity
Ness sends in five entries to the contest based on the October that no one really knows about.
10/9/06 0.00
Zip Code Ness The Law of the Story
1016
7/31/06 0.00

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