As seen in: Mother/Earth Bound (Famicom)
Distinguishing feature: Man Baseball cap doffed to the side like a tween gangster; half-tucked shirt
Strengths: Telepathy; psychokinesis; little league training.
Weaknesses: Colds; daydreams; monsters from space.


Profile by Philip Armstrong? | January 23, 2011


Itís easy to assume that Ninten (as in Nintendo) is just like Ness (as in Nintendo Entertainment System, Super). They both wear the same clothes. They both wield baseball bats and psychic explosions. And they both are on a quest to save their respective worlds (world? Earth?) from alien invaders.

But beyond these surface similarities lay a wealth of differences. For example, while Ness has one sister, Ninten has two. And while Ness wears his baseball cap backwards like a drunken frat boy (or in front like a wuss) Ninten rocks it to the side, proving just how tough he is.

But the truth depth of Ninten's character lies in his motivation. While Ness sets out to save the world because he looked at a meteorite and a bee told him to, Ninten seeks to solve a long family mystery. Years ago, something happened to his great-grandparents. This enigmatic event left his great-grandmother missing and his great-grandfather so affected that he holed himself in his study, speaking to no one. This tragedy was a heavy weight on the family, and even generations later it still cast a dark pall.

When Ninten is attacked by his reading lamp he knows that the solution to this mystery is close to hand. And yes, he does encounter zombies and robots and monkeys just like Ness does, but ultimately his is a journey to reunite two lost loves and end a family burden. Itís this selfless devotion to his family that makes Ninten a true hero. Heís the opposite of Ness, the guy who ignores his family in favor of talking to a rock.


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