Video Podcast: A Psychological Analysis of Magicant

A Jungian Deep Dive with Threshold Games' Mistress Astra Ebonwing


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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Newsletter Updates

    1. Book Giveaway Winners

    2. 500 Subscribers!

  3. Episode Notes & References

  4. Chapter/Section Timestamps


Good evening, dear readers!

So sorry for today’s delay! After two weeks' of toil, blood, sweat, tears, recording, re-recording, editing, transcribing, and rendering, I was able to—against all odds—release this very special bonus video to everyone, right on time!

Today, we’ll dive into a VERY deep analysis on Magicant, which you might remember from our previous two issues. Accompanying me in this journey is Mistress Astra Ebonwing, an industry veteran, Twitch streamer, and Lead Producer at Threshold Games.

Astra is not only a fellow MOTHER/EarthBound fanatic, but also a former psychology scholar, current storyteller at Geek Therapeutics, and fluent in all things Jungian. She was a delight to have on the podcast, and I hope you enjoy watching our analysis as we did recording it.

(Oh, and speaking of recordings… Astra graciously agreed to reshoot over 1.5 hours of footage after my crappy recording and editing software screwed up my video. Thanks, Astra!)


PS—I had originally meant to upload an abridged video for my free subscribers, and the full +1 hour-long analysis for my bonus subscribers. But since I’ve run out of time to edit the video down, I am temporarily making the full version available for everyone.

Once I finish editing and uploading the abridged version, I’ll place the full video behind the paywall. If you’re reading this after the fact—or want to re-watch but haven’t upgraded your subscription—upgrade to a paid subscription to access the complete analysis (and other awesome bonus content like it).

PS—UPDATE: Nevermind, I’ve decided to make this video available for everyone, forever. Paid subscribers who want to go even deeper on this topic can do so by reading the following (exclusive!) bonus article:

Game & Word
MOTHERly: From Innocence to Wisdom in the Sea of Eden
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Newsletter Updates

Hey, remember our book giveaway? Well, we’re happy to announce our two winners!

  • Subscriber Claire Carré is now the proud owner of a signed copy of The Psychology of Final Fantasy, and

  • Subscriber and Twitter follower Nattend0 snagged herself a signed copy of The Psychology of Zelda.

In addition to their signed copies, both winners will also receive 1-year comped subscriptions to Game & Word. Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway! It was a lot of fun, and I might have to do another one soon, considering Game & Word just hit…

I am simply beyond words. Thank you to each and every one of you for subscribing, reading the newsletter, and tuning into the podcast. I’ve said it many times already, and I’ll continue to say it as often as I have to, but NONE of this would be possible without you.


(Oh, and congratulations to neobahamut_ff7 on being the lucky 500th subscriber! They will be comp’ed a 6-month paid subscription for their good fortune!)

Thank you for reading Game & Word. This post is public so feel free to share it.


Podcast Notes & References




Chapter/Section Timestamps

I had included chapter/section markers in the original video, but it appears Substack doesn’t support those yet. So if you’d like to skip ahead to any particular section, here are the timestamps:

  1. Introduction (00:00:00)

    1. Themes Discussed:

      1. Guest + Game Introduction(s)

      2. Guest + Host’s History with EarthBound

  2. Gameplay/Analysis Starts (00:05:38)

    1. Themes Discussed:

      1. Background Refresher + Story/Plot Recap

      2. Synchronicity

      3. Dialogue Between Conscious and Unconscious (Dreams, Flashbacks)

      4. Self, Personas, Shadow

  3. Welcome to Magicant! (00:16:29)

    1. Themes Discussed:

      1. Visual Symbolism of Mindscape (Magicant)

      2. The Ego, The Self, and The Soul

      3. Archetypes

      4. The Anima + Animus

      5. Ness’ Mental Projections/Constructions of Other Characters

      6. The Flying Men: Avatars of Courage

  4. Deeper into the Subconscious (00:43:50)

    1. Themes Discussed

      1. Shift in Visual Symbolism the Deeper One Goes:

        1. The Familiar Becoming Strange + Menacing

        2. Increasingly Abstract Imagery

      2. Future Knowledge

      3. Fate: Does God Play (Loaded) Dice with the Universe?

  5. The Sea of Eden (00:53:31)

    1. Themes Discussed

      1. Caves + Water Motifs = The Mind + Knowledge

      2. The Symbology of Eden

        1. Eden as “The Beginning”

        2. Similarities/Differences Between EarthBound’s Eden and the Eden of Judeo-Christian Mythos

        3. The Known Beginning vs The Unknown Beginning

  6. Facing the Nightmare (00:58:39)

    1. Themes Discussed

      1. The Shadow Self

      2. Why We Will Always Cast a Shadow Self

      3. How EarthBound’s Narrative, Visual, and Game Design Amplifies Player Immersion when Battling the Nightmare

      4. How Do We “Fight” Our Shadow, If We Can’t “Beat” It?

      5. Thematic Links to EarthBound Beginnings and Chrono Trigger

  7. Ness’ Individuation/Apotheosis (01:08:18)

    1. Themes Discussed

      1. Individuation from Integrating Your Shadow

      2. How EarthBound Visually Depicts a Very Abstract Idea and Process so Effectively

      3. How Giygas’ Fear of Ness, Ultimately Created Ness

      4. Waking Up from the Mindscape; Back to Reality

  8. Conclusion (01:11:52)

    1. Themes Discussed

      1. Where Jung’s Inspiration Came From

      2. How Jung and EarthBound Have Stood the Test of Time

      3. EarthBound as a Timeless Classic (and Why Nintendo Should Show It More Love)

      4. Plugs + Pluggables