EarthBound Halloween Hack, or Radiation's Halloween Hack, also sometimes known as Press the B Button, Stupid! is a romhack of EarthBound made by Toby Fox and released in 2008 for starmen.net's Halloween Funfest. It was inspired by the Brandish series, where the hack's protagonist, Varik comes from. It is much shorter than the original EarthBound.
The hack takes place in an alternate timeline of EarthBound, where Ness doesn't return to Onett after the defeat of Giygas. The hack starts in Twoson, where a bounty hunter Varik wakes up inside of Ness's house until he hears a voice tell him to wake up and that he'll call the cops (implying that Varik was drunk). After waking up inside of a building hosting the Sexy Sisters (formerly owned by the Runaway Five), a man reminds him that the ex-mayor of Onett, B.H. Pirkle, wants to talk to him in the manager room about an important issue. There, B.H Pirkle tells Varik that everybody is flocking over to the show place to just see him and then informs Varik that a monster who went inside a house and violently killed a young girl's parents. Pirkle attempts to guilt trip Varik to investigate where the monster is and kill it for the sake of Twoson. Varik is then granted the key to the Sewers from the ex-mayor, along with the promise that once his mission is done, he'll be elected mayor. His mission begins by going into the Sewers; the manhole used to access them isn't locked, effectively nullifying the need for the Key.
As Varik progresses through the Sewers, a foul place filled with enemies such as rats and human scavengers, he finds a door that leads him into what is assumed to be a warped, sickening variant of the Sewer that becomes a point of no return. Even more gruesome enemies will spawn, until he reaches to the end of the Sewer and onward to a black-and-orange landscape of Winters known as the "land of doom". From there, he made it to the laboratory of Dr.Andonuts as the narrator referring it a "metal coffin" and that the narrator said that it's making Varik's heart pounded, fearing what's going to happened next if he go opened the door. Varik touches the door of the laboratory and it's teleporting himself inside the quiet interior of the lab where it's just him and Dr.Andonuts. The doctor said the same dialogue as what he said from the original game with one exception: the death of his son. Starting to get a fearful thinking that Varik is being sent out from nowhere to kill him for what he had done, begging him to leave him be by teleporting himself into a realm of Magicant. Varik goes into a machine that "appears to be as it appears to be" an "ebb that's like the belly of a pregnant demon".
At this point, Varik has to make a choice whether or not kill Dr. Andonuts. The only apparent choice is "yes", since choosing the other, blank choice makes the narrator say it's not a choice and return to the selection screen. Choosing yes makes Varik kill Dr. Andonuts through the machine and which somehow kills Varik upon doing so, making the game to "end" early. If the player presses the B button, like the game's alternative title encourages, Varik gets into Dr Andonuts's mind, Magicant - his Magicant.
From there, Varik finds Dr. Andonuts's lost courage with few memory lanes of his past events (such as his abusive relationship with his unnamed wife and his operation on the Chosen Four as he claiming the Phase Distorter was a "death trap"), fighting 3 bosses and gaining the three out of four children from EarthBound - Jeff, Paula and Poo - as one states that their "death" were being transferred to the timeline where Giygas defeated, not the one where they're being sent from and aware that Dr.Andonuts been waiting for their return for the longest and the only thing what they can do now to "save" him. The four proceeds to the Sea of Eve .
After a very long journey through the Sea of Eve, Varik reaches to an area that looked just like Twoson just like in the beginning of the game and somehow Varik's mind is starting to take place temporarily as the people there are begs Varik that shouldn't have to kill monster and should leave this realm. Ignoring their requests and pleas, Varik finally enters Dr. Andonuts's brain right through between the trees. There, Varik and his party are now turned into the four main characters from Earthbound Beginnings (Ninten, Ana, Lloyd and Teddy) inside of the interior of the brain that strongely resembles the Devil’s Machine, but with blue-red palettes. As they reach to the brain's core, they meets Dr. Andonuts, whose appearance is now horrible, telling on how the world has done to him and made him a complete monster. The doctor proceeds on insulting Varik about him being a hero and that he's not really a hero because he "killed people for money" wondering where's the heroism in that. As his whole like been shaking with fear, he begs Variks not to kill him and leaves him alone but he wouldn't because he'll kill him anyway because that's what "heroes do; they have to kill the monster". From the words came out from from the Andonuts' mouth, Varik brought out a weapon as Andonuts starts panicking, saying that he'll make the monster cry, engaging a battle starting with Andonuts's Id, which doesn't use any attacks, but saying saddening words. After a depressing battle, Dr. Andonuts said the same dialogue like what Pokey/Porky said from his first defeat with Ness tthat he understands the four are already claiming to be heroes and "congratulates" Varik for killing the monster. He went on and said that he can feel the "blood from his brain leaking down to the rest of body" that it's making him sad. He then experiencing a strange effect upon Varik's killing of the monster and that his whole mind are filled with nothing but hatred and rage and then transforms into his new form with strange PSI powers, having blue aura around him.
Throughout the fight as Megalovania plays, Andonuts begins on cussing Varik out with excessive profanities as with he brought out various of deadly attacks and PSI. Varik and his party eventually defeat him as the exhausting Doctor admits of how weak he was and felt that he's better off dead. Before his passing, Andonuts to Varik that reminds him a lot of Ness and that the two will meet each other again, thus ending the battle. Afterwards, as the Bounty Hunter leaves the machine, he saw the corpse of Andonuts from inside the machine making the narrator mention that he didn't really have to kill him if there's a choice (which is not true - killing Dr. Andonuts is the only way to reach the end of the hack, though according to the making of the hack, the only way on avoid of killing Andonuts is by turning off the game). After leaving the lab, a SWAT team gave Varik an airlift back Twoson where everything turns back to normal just in time for Halloween.The hack ends with a ghost pooting on Varik's face upon sleeping to provide an anticlimax and Toby Fox thanking the player for playing the hack, stating that he had a blast making a hack and hoping that the player enjoyed it as the music Megalovania plays.
The overall gameplay is the same as in the original EarthBound, with the text or battle systems being unchanged. The hack is however, much more difficult than the original: the party now having the lowest number of health, the enemies are stronger, Varik doesn't use PSI Rockin as the text said "You aren't psychic".
The hack was created with the PKHack EarthBound rom editor, which is very difficult to use. Toby had to be very careful to not corrupt the ROM and had to leave in some corrupted and messed-up tiles, thus could explain why few of .
Toby Fox details the development of the hack in a HTML page included with the hack and on his former website.
Toby Fox composed a custom soundtrack for the hack, even though hacking EarthBound's music was really hard, according to the "making of" HTML page. Most of it is based on EarthBound's original songs, with 2 songs being ported from other games and 3 songs being completely original.
The hack's initial reception was very good, although after Undertale's release, most new people who discovered the hack through it was, as Toby Fox said himself in a tweet, just a "bad rom hack with swears", mainly because of the infamous final boss' dialogues.
- EarthBound Halloween Hack wasn't the only EarthBound romhack Toby made. Few years earlier before the Halloween Hack, he made another, much more lighthearted hack called Arn's Winter Quest.
- Originally, the hack concluded with the lost souls using their powers to revive Jeff but Toby Fox felt that was "too cheesy".
- The music "Nighttime Onett" was originally going to be an intro at one point for the hack but it was left unused.
- In Andonuts' lair the mini sprites are used and the mini sprites are ripped directly from Earthbound Beginnings
- Undertale referenced EarthBound Halloween Hack in a couple of places. One of the flowers in Magicant says that Dr. Andonuts used it in an experiment, which matches Flowey. Photoshop Flowey's game over screen is non-standard, with Flowey teasing the player about it just being a dream, and laughs for a while, before he closes the game. Same thing happens in the Halloween Hack if you lose to Dr. Andonuts, except the game doesn't close.And, of course, there's the fact that a version of Megalovania plays on a Genocide Route after Sans makes it clear that the protagonist is evil and a threat. Much like Sans, Dr. Andonuts has a battle phase where he is able to dodge nearly all of the player's attacks.
- “This is all just a bad dream... And you’re never waking up!” - Photoshop Flowey, Undertale
- “Oh, Varik, it’s all just a dream! Just kidding, you’re dead forever.” - Dr. Andonuts, EarthBound Halloween Hack
. 3. Press the fucking B Button
|Toby Fox's Games|
|EarthBound Halloween Hack ● Arn's Winter Quest ● Undertale ● Hiveswap ● Deltarune|