After years of waiting, Earthbound fans are finally getting a digital re-release of the beloved SNES RPG. Today Nintendo revealed that Earthbound (aka Mother 2) will be hitting Virtual Console on the Wii U in North America and Europe later in 2013.

Earthbound, originally released in 1994, begins in the sleepy suburban town of Onett. A young boy named Ness is visited by an alien who tells him he needs to stop a being named Giygas from taking over the universe. Before confronting this alien being, he must travel across the world to eight "sanctuaries" and gather their power. Along the way, Ness will fight a variety of enemies including hippies, taxis, and cavemen.

Why did it take so long for the cult classic to be released on Virtual Console? Rumor has it that legal issues were to blame. The soundtrack for Earthbound contained songs that were apparently too similar to established hits.

Whatever the issues were, Nintendo appears to have overcome them. After some hintingby the series' designer, Earthbound hit Virtual Console in Japan this March. There was no mention of an Western release, though.

The first footage of Earthbound on Wii U is below. It was taken from the Nintendo Direct presentation currently underway.

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