Video Podcast: A Psychological Analysis of Magicant
A Jungian Deep Dive with Threshold Games' Mistress Astra Ebonwing
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Table of Contents
Book Giveaway Winners
Episode Notes & References
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:
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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!)
Podcast Notes & References
Legends of Localization, Volume Two: EarthBound, by Clyde Mandelin
Mistress Astra Ebonwing
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:
Guest + Game Introduction(s)
Guest + Host’s History with EarthBound
Gameplay/Analysis Starts (00:05:38)
Background Refresher + Story/Plot Recap
Dialogue Between Conscious and Unconscious (Dreams, Flashbacks)
Self, Personas, Shadow
Welcome to Magicant! (00:16:29)
Visual Symbolism of Mindscape (Magicant)
The Ego, The Self, and The Soul
The Anima + Animus
Ness’ Mental Projections/Constructions of Other Characters
The Flying Men: Avatars of Courage
Deeper into the Subconscious (00:43:50)
Shift in Visual Symbolism the Deeper One Goes:
The Familiar Becoming Strange + Menacing
Increasingly Abstract Imagery
Fate: Does God Play (Loaded) Dice with the Universe?
The Sea of Eden (00:53:31)
Caves + Water Motifs = The Mind + Knowledge
The Symbology of Eden
Eden as “The Beginning”
Similarities/Differences Between EarthBound’s Eden and the Eden of Judeo-Christian Mythos
The Known Beginning vs The Unknown Beginning
Facing the Nightmare (00:58:39)
The Shadow Self
Why We Will Always Cast a Shadow Self
How EarthBound’s Narrative, Visual, and Game Design Amplifies Player Immersion when Battling the Nightmare
How Do We “Fight” Our Shadow, If We Can’t “Beat” It?
Thematic Links to EarthBound Beginnings and Chrono Trigger
Ness’ Individuation/Apotheosis (01:08:18)
Individuation from Integrating Your Shadow
How EarthBound Visually Depicts a Very Abstract Idea and Process so Effectively
How Giygas’ Fear of Ness, Ultimately Created Ness
Waking Up from the Mindscape; Back to Reality
Where Jung’s Inspiration Came From
How Jung and EarthBound Have Stood the Test of Time
EarthBound as a Timeless Classic (and Why Nintendo Should Show It More Love)
Plugs + Pluggables