+ In addition to the ending themes, note that the Eight Melodies theme is also in G major. The ending themes also use remixes of the Fourside theme, which, yet again, is in G major.
+ Since we're on the topic of music, also note how so many of the more "familiar" things--"Earthy" places, moods, events--are represented by more tonal and consonant themes, while stranger, more "unearthly" things are represented by more atonal and dissonant themes. Notably, Giygas's themes (various area/appearance/battle themes) are all very dissonant and atonal and they feel "cold" and "unlively" (especially Giygas 3), and this stands in stark contrast to the highly tonal themes of the game (such as the Eight Melodies theme), ESPECIALLY when juxtaposed with the prayer sequences. This in fact becomes very symbolic of Giygas's one weakness: human emotions.
+ Also notice the "strangeness" leitmotif: Listen to "Cave 1", "Battle 4", "Onett Night 2" and "Onett Buzz" 1 or 2, "Master Belch Base", and the "Hidden Track", and you'll notice a common, high-pitched tune.
+ In one of the "Your Sanctuary" area themes, you can hear parts of the original Mother 1 Eight Melodies theme.
+ The beginning of the heavy metal section of Giygas's first battle theme is very similar to the beginning of the 8-bit section.
Really, one of the coolest things about this game is how much it involves music--even as a core part of its plot. (Then again, I'm a videogame music nerd...)
(Sometimes I wonder if I could go to some music school and write a research paper on the Earthbound soundtrack and its use in the game.)
As for things other than music:
+ Magicant and Ness's Nightmare: Actually a pretty difficult area and boss. You'd generally think that "spirit-cleansing" quests should be pretty difficult, but unfortunately, they generally aren't that difficult--think Final Fantasy IV, for example. But, despite the bright, happy colors and the serene music, Magicant, the Sea of Eden, and the nightmare boss are in fact rather difficult areas. It really make a difference in the gameplay experience when scenarios that are supposed to be difficult actually are.
+ I think this game is basically a fantasy game. The skeleton of the story is that of a fantasy game--you need to save the world; collect these magical items that will give you the power to do so, and stuff happens along the way of course. But the special thing about this game is that it is so stereo-"atypical". There are a number of parodies of RPG conventions. The setting is far removed from a high-fantasy setting; while the game retains analogs such as buying and equipping items, learning psychic powers and spending PP to use them, the plot is set approximately in a suburban USA of the late 20th century. Even the Fourth Wall becomes a part of the game. And this is one of the reasons the game is awesome--how it can have a serious plot within a parodical tone and humorous use of characters, graphics, and other features.
+ Does the ruler do anything at all? And if it doesn't, are there other items that also do nothing? (I'm pretty sure the answers to these questions are "no" and "yes", in that order.)
+ WTF is the Ego Orb? I can understand dinosaurs, but I have no freaking clue what the hell produced this joke.
cross-posted to _earthbound_ and manimani