Nowadays, piracy protection usually focuses on prevention rather than punishment, but back in The Day, before technology allowed constant Internet connections and horrible, system-degrading mechanisms, developers had to get creative with piracy protection. The above video shows one instance of how EarthBound, known as Mother in Japan, got clever and sneakily evil with their protection: At the boss fight with Giygas, the game freezes and forces the player to reset, and when they return to the saves menu, they discover the game erased their save file, causing them to lose all of their progress. EarthBound games are oldies, so the piracy protection focused on checking if the game was using a cartridge copier. At least back then, one could find humor in the ways developers dealt with piracy; now it’s all constant Internet connections and registry edits.
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