Smash Stage Analysis: Magicant


  • This article has content based on the author’s opinions that shouldn’t be taken as fact.
  • Some of the screenshots and gifs weren’t recorded by the author and are solely meant for illustrative purposes. Credit goes to the respective owners.
  • This article contains plot spoilers for Mother and EarthBound.
  • In this article, EarthBound Beginnings will be referred by its Japanese name, Mother, whereas EarthBound will be referred by its Western name. This is intentional, as it matches the terminology used in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.

This is the second installment of the Smash Stage Analysis, in which stages are analyzed in regards to both their origins, designs and how they tie together. This time, I chose the stage Magicant, which hails from the EarthBound series (known as Mother in Japan) and appears on the 3DS installment of the Super Smash Bros. franchise.

The previous entry was about Gerudo Valley, which you may check out by clicking here.

The stage’s origin

Magicant is an area that appears in the first two of the three games of the EarthBound series. The area differs greatly between each title, but both represent the inside of someone’s mind.

In Mother (known as EarthBound Beginnings in the Western release on the Virtual console), Magicant is the inside of Maria’s mind. It has the appearance of a pink, cloud-like land with light blue rivers. Several houses in the shape of shells are present in the area as well.

An area of Magicant as seen in Mother. Most of the elements in this picture are also found in the Smash Bros. stage.

In EarthBound, Magicant represents the inside of Ness’s mind and has the appearance of a grassy plain with all sorts of vegetation scattered across the area, including some bizarre elements such as giant tomatoes and giant carrots.

Magicant as seen in EarthBound.

In both games, five Flying Men inhabit Magicant and can serve as temporary party members for the protagonist. They are, however, limited, so once one perishes, he will be gone forever. In Mother, they’re found in one of the several houses, whereas in EarthBound, they’re found in a particularly tall building.

The five Flying Men as they appear in Mother.
Ness and a Flying Man near the Flying Men’s house.

In Super Smash Bros.

The area appears in Smash Bros. and is primarily based on its Mother incarnation, with a predominant pink color scheme making it stand out from other stages in the Smash Bros. franchise. Like in Mother, shell shaped houses dot the background and also appear in two of the stage’s platforms. A river can also be seen in the background of the stage.

However, elements from its EarthBound incarnation are also seen in this stage, as well as other references to both Mother and EarthBound.

Ness and Lucas in Magicant. A bit from each game in the trilogy in one picture.
In Mother, a lot of the houses found are shaped like shells. The same is true for Smash.
A course of water is seen in the background of the stage.

Stage elements

One of the main elements of the stage are the Flying Men. They first appear on the right side of the stage, near their house, which is identical as the house where they’re found in EarthBound, though recolored to match this stage’s color scheme.

Much like how they originally serve as temporary party members for Ninten and Ness to assist them in battle, Smash Bros. has the Flying Men serve as assistance for the player who first touches them. Their appearance are sprites based on those from EarthBound.

Ness inside the Flying Men’s house. In the Japanese version, Ness is actually naked when in Magicant, symbolizing purity. The localized version changed him to his pajamas, as seen in this picture.
Ness approaching a Flying Man. Note the Flying Men’s house is just like the one found in EarthBound.

Whenever a Flying Man perishes in battle, a tombstone will appear next to their house. This is also a reference to EarthBound. When all five Flying Men perish, no more Flying Men will appear.

A tombstone appears for every Flying Man defeated during the battle.
Once all five are defeated, Flying Men will no longer appear.

As stated by Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai, however, they were originally meant to use a 3D model just like the rest of the stage’s elements. This was changed due to limitations of the Nintendo 3DS hardware, as sprites would lessen the strain on the processor.

Image originally found on
Image originally found on

This model is based on their sprite design from EarthBound, sharing the same color scheme. Though this model went unused, it seems to be the basis for the downloadable Mii Fighter costume set.

No Flying Men were harmed in the making of this costume… We hope.

On the middle and left platforms, multiple elements may pop up from time to time, to different levels of disruptiveness. Of those, only a two directly relate to Magicant: giant tomatoes and trees. The former comes from the EarthBound incarnation of Magicant whereas the latter come from the Mother incarnation.

As pointed out in the previous section, EarthBound’s version of Magicant has plenty of giant tomatoes, along with other plants, scattered around the area. The giant tomato in the Smash Bros. stage heavily resembles those. They slowly sink into the cloud-like platforms and may also be broken by players’ attacks, though these aspects do not relate in any way to the original game.

Tomatoes pop up often and can serve as platforms for the characters to stand on.
They can also be broken as well… What kind of tomato breaks like this anyway?

Trees may sometimes pop up and act as platforms that can be passed through below or dropped from. Those trees are similar to those seen in the background of the stage.

The trees match the ones found in the background of the stage.

More elements from EarthBound make appearances as well: the octopus statues, the Mobile Sprouts, the Sky Runner and the Dungeon Man. None of those relate to Magicant in any way, so they might have been added to add more diversity to the obstacles in the stage.

The octopus statues originally appear in EarthBound as obstacles scattered throughout the game, impeding progress to certain areas and may only be removed through an item called the Octopus Eraser Machine.

Curiously, those statues only appear in the Japanese version of EarthBound, as they’re replaced by giant pencils in the international versions, changing the aforementioned item’s name to Pencil Eraser to reflect the change. Despite this, the octopus statues remain the same in all versions of Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. Like the tomatoes, they slowly sink into the platforms. Unlike them, however, they cannot be broken.

It may be impossible to tell, but this image was taken from the European version of the game.

Mobile Sprouts are one of the many common enemies in EarthBound, found in the eastern area of Twoson. In Smash Bros., it walks around back and forth in the left or middle platforms. Its leaves serve as platforms for the player characters. Despite its role as an enemy in the original game, they’re harmless in Smash.

Lucas standing on top of a Mobile Sprout.

The Sky Runner is a flying saucer invented by Dr. Andonuts and is used by Ness as a means of aerial transport in specific points of the story. In Smash Bros., it appears from above and serves as a platform. It can’t be passed through, so it also serves as an obstacle that may negate potential KOs. A bit of trivia: the Sky Runner is named Sky Walker in the Japanese version, the change in name during the translation process being due to copyright issues conflicting with a certain Star Wars character.

This isn’t the first time an EarthBound series stage features a flying saucer…

The Dungeon Man appears below the stage moving either from left to right or right to left and players can stand on it. The small platform on the bottom disappears when he gets closer to it. In the original game, he’s also another of Dr. Andonuts’ many inventions that literally combines a man and a dungeon, who also serves as a temporary party member and an explorable dungeon. Originally, he was a man named Brick Road, who wished to become a dungeon.

The Dungeon Man appears below the stage. Lucas is standing on top of him.

Finally, another element of this stage is the rift that sometimes opens in the background, showcasing different scenes from the first two games in the EarthBound trilogy. The scenes are shown as recreations of gameplay footage, using sprites from the original games. Several characters from the games cameo in these, including the protagonist of Mother, Ninten, as well as Ness and his friends.

There are five possible scenes that may be shown:

Ninten meeting with Lloyd. He’s found inside a trash can, by the way.
A boy and his dog. More specifically, Ninten and Mick.
The four main characters of EarthBound in the Lumine Hall sanctuary. The text reads “I’m Ness”.
Ness and Paula in Threed.
Ness, Paula, Jeff and Poo with Dr. Andonuts in Saturn Valley, near the Phase Distorter 2, about to take them to the final fight with Giygas.

Omega form

The Omega form turns the stage’s layout to that of Final Destination, but the background scenery is kept intact, including the rifts that open from time to time.

In the Omega form, the main scenery is kept intact.
The rifts showing multiple scenes from the original games are still seen in the background.

Music selection

As with all stages in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the stage offers two music tracks: the main track which plays the most often when selecting a stage and an alternate one which may play instead of the main track that can also be selected by holding down the R button upon selecting the stage.

The main song is “Magicant / Eight Melodies” from Mother. A new remix arranged by Yoko Shimomura, this track is a medley of two songs from the first game of the series the stage hails from: Magicant, which plays on the area of the same name, and the Eight Melodies, a plot relevant song needed to defeat the final boss, Giygas.

The alternate song is “Smiles and Tears” from EarthBound. This new remix was done by Toru Minegishi, who’s part of Nintendo’s sound team. The song originally played during the credits sequence of the game and contains the Eight Melodies as featured in EarthBound, though this remix also incorporates the original Eight Melodies from Mother subtly playing alongside the main melody.

The first song is a natural choice for the stage as it contains a new arrangement of the song that plays in Magicant, the area this stage is based on. The Eight Melodies are a song learnt from Queen Mary, who’s found in her castle within Magicant. The fact the Eight Melodies are learnt in Magicant is likely why it was included as part of the arrangement.


Closing thoughts

Magicant is the kind of stage that epitomizes an important facet of Smash Bros.: paying homage to Nintendo’s multiple franchises. This stage is riddled with many elements from the EarthBound series and done in a way that makes it stand out. Fans of Shigesato Itoi’s video game trilogy can reminisce back to their experience of the games, whereas people new to the series will take notice of the EarthBound series’ trademark wackiness.

As for myself, Magicant is a fairly interesting stage, though I never have played a game in the EarthBound series before. The Flying Men are maybe a little too powerful, but they cleverly translate an element of the EarthBound series into Smash quite well. What is your stance on this stage? Let me know in the comments!


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  1. Absolutely the most heartfelt, genuine slice of fanservice in the series, and I’m not saying that just because I’m a massive Mother fan! Everything from the dimensional rips to the Sky Runner to even the Mobile Sprouts make me squee with joy. And that music, mother of god. Yoko Shimomura’s Magicant arrangement in particular is probably the greatest Smash 4 remix. Now, if only they’d included swimming cats…

    The Flying Man is so incredibly easy to dispatch; actually, most boss characters are. Rather than “disrupting” the fight, they’re meant to frame Smash within different contexts. If anything, I think Ridley’s the only one they went too far with.

  2. When I saw this stage on a stream being played by someone who got a copy of the game early, I basically applauded in my seat. Sakurai and company did an incredible job – this felt like the best possible way to represent the first two Mother games within a single coherent stage in Smash.

    It really is too bad that Mother 3 didn’t really have a Magicant, I’d have loved to have had a single stage that tied all three together at once. (Maybe they could’ve had a space full of sunflowers somewhere, but it’s not quite the same…)

    In fairness, that may have been because Lucas didn’t make the initial cut. I was also as surprised as anyone that they’d go back to Mother 1 for the basic stage representation, but then again they also pulled the car enemy and the basic attack of the Starmen from there too for Smash Run.

    Either way, you did a great job covering all the elements that make this stage up.

    As for the Flying Men, in the very beginning their appearance and ability to recruit them were near-instantaneous, but in a later update to the game, they did a short hop to the air first and couldn’t be collected until they came back down… at least, as far as I can remember. They do cast an overwhelming presence on the stage, especially if you are playing a character who doesn’t have fast attacks to wear them down with.

  3. I really don’t want to offend anyone but we should really stop saying “Mother”. It’s now the “EarthBound series”.
    Yeah, it is confusing that EarthBound (Mother 2) has no “2” in the title. But Nintendo offically changed (localizied) the name.
    I know it’s splitting hairs but that’s the correct thing.
    As a German I’m used to lokalisation changes between games.
    For example:
    King Dedede:
    In the Kirby series before Brawl “König Nickerchen” (literally “King Nap”) and since Brawl “König Dedede” in Smash and the Kirby series.
    In Awakening “Robin” in the German version and in Smash 3DS/U “Daraen” in the German version.
    I wish there was a ingame switch to play this game in British without changing the system language. 🙂

    We all hate those name changes too but we have to accept them. 😉

    1. I actually asked Frostwraith about this when the article was still in draft form. He wanted to use the names that were used within Smash for 3DS/ Wii U itself, in order to reflect the timing of when the stage was made.

  4. This really is a well done stage. It captures so much of the essence of the Mother series while still being interesting to fight on.

    Shame the Flying Men are so overcentralizing, or it could’ve saw some competitive use…

  5. I honestly wanted to see a Mother stage on the pack of a flatbed truck (or a bus) across the roads that stretch across the world of Mother. Pipe dreams.

  6. When I first played this stage, I really loved it. The background, the graphics, the music…everything was beautiful.

    Sakurai really made a unique choice of making this stage, as a mixture of both MOTHER 1 and Earthbound, with a background of the MOTHER’s Magicant, and objects from Earthbound’s Magicant. Even those ripped background showing the memorable moments from both MOTHER and Earthbound was very fascinating too! Everything was full of nostalgia since I played MOTHER 1+2 on GBA, while I couldn’t finish the first one because GODDAMN!!! why are those enemies in the very first stage this so hard to beat!? How am I supposed to get to next stage or level up if these enemies are meant to be that strong and hard!? Yup, I was like that. Good ol’ memories. (lol)

    The musics were fascinating too, and my tears couldn’t stop whenever I listen to it, although I could still concentrate on fighting. Back in Brawl, these types of musics weren’t that fitful in battle, as New Pork City was mainly based upon those evil empire’s marching band-like music. But Smash 4 became more different as they accepted those touching musics too, and Yoko Shimomura really did a great job on it as I like her music style.

    It’s too bad that this stage didn’t get to Wii U. I bet it’d be more beautiful if it did. Much more, Wii U lacked new stages as they were focused on returning stages. But even though, Sakurai did a great job creating this beautiful stage for those players who loved MOTHER/Earthbound series. Thank you so much Sakurai!

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