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"Well, now that the Earth's crisis is finally over, I think I'll just lay down for a moment and Zzzzzzzzz"
— Ninten

Ninten (ニンテン, Ninten) is the main protagonist of EarthBound Beginnings. He is a boy from the suburbs of Podunk. He usually uses common-place items such as baseball bats as his primary weapon, along with boomerangs and slingshots. Ninten is the only character in the EarthBound series to suffer from asthma during battle. This is similar to Ness's homesick status effect in that it is unique to their characters only. 


Ninten is 152 cm (5'0'') tall and weighs 42 kg (93 lbs).[2] He wears a red baseball cap with a blue bill turned to his left, and sticking out of it is his short black hair. He has black eyes, which on his clay model resemble the style of eyes drawn on 1920s-1930s cartoon characters. He wears a blue t-shirt with thin horizontal yellow stripes, tucked under blue shorts on only one side. His socks are red, and he wears blue shoes. 


Ninten is the eldest son of Carol and her husband, elder brother of Minnie and Mimmie, and the great-grandson of George and Maria. Ninten lives in a small house north of Podunk with his Mother and Father (although the latter is rarely at home, and does not appear in-game until the epilogue), and his two twin sisters. Ninten's adventure begins when a poltergeist causes some objects in his home to become animate and violent. After Ninten routs the poltergeist by defeating a possessed Baby Doll and learning the First Melody, he is called by his Father who explains to him what is going on and so, he begins to investigate the origin of these strange phenomena, which have begun occurring across the countryside. The cause of these events is later revealed to be a group of alien invaders led by Giegue.

He begins by visiting the rest of Podunk, where various citizens and especially the Mayor are concerned about the disappearance of a girl named Pippi. The Mayor pleads Ninten to go and save her so the citizens won't be mad at him. Ninten accepts the quest and successfully rescues Pippi from the cemetery she was being held up in.

After the Mayor congratulates Ninten on his achievement, his assistant lends him the key to the Zoo. On his way there, Ninten helps a lost canary chick to find their mom who then teaches him the Second Melody. Soon after entering the Zoo, a monkey steals Ninten's key. After defeating the Starman Junior who was driving the animals crazy, the monkey comes back to their senses, returns the key, and teaches Ninten the Third Melody.

Ninten discovers a mysterious rock inside a cave nearby. After using his psychic abilities on it, he is transported to the world of Magicant. Here he discovers from the land's ruler, Queen Mary, that the Melodies are a song to defeat the evil and that he needs them to stop the strange phenomenons.

Ninten arrives at the Merrysville School. After making his way through it and convincing the Janitor to let him go to the rooftop, Ninten meets and befriends a boy who was hiding there from bullies. His name is Lloyd, he is from Youngtown, and knows how to handle explosives. He agrees to accompany Ninten on his quest and tells him of a factory where they can find bottle rockets. Getting by the guard dog after failing to use an ID card, they manage to enter the factory and use the giant rocket launcher inside to destroy the rock obstructing the way to the train station.

After purchasing train tickets and arriving at Reindeer, an old woman comes up to the boys and asks them to return the hat of a girl that lived nearby to her. Trying to not get a cold from the citizens of the town, they arrive at a church where there is a girl inside it. She introduces herself as Ana, a girl with psychic abilities, and claims to already know they were coming since she saw Ninten in a dream. She also turns out to be the owner of the missing hat and, after putting it back on, she joins the duo in their adventure.

The trio then buy themselves tickets to Spookane where they have to infiltrate a haunted mansion to find a piano and thus learn the Fourth Melody. Arriving back at Merrysville, they go ahead and enter the hot Yucca Desert, where they meet a veteran who allows them to take a trip on his plane and his tank for some money. In the desert they find a singing cactus with a nose who teaches them the Fifth Melody. The tank is later blown up during the fight with a giant robot, much to the veterans's despair.

As his psychic powers grow stronger, Ninten is able to battle the Magicant Dragon and get the Sixth Melody.

The children then make their way to Youngtown, a town where all the grown-ups had been kidnapped. After talking with the local kids, learning how to Teleport, and having a conversation with Lloyd's father around the Swamp nearby, they finally make it to Ellay. It is in this town where Ninten and co. meet the dangerous Bla Bla Gang, a group of criminals. After beating most of them in and out of the Live House, Ninten is confronted by the gang's leader on the stage. After a small brawl the boss complements Ninten on his strength, reveals his real name is Teddy, and asks him to join the party. Ninten accepts and Teddy replaces Lloyd as the latter stays behind in the Live House since he is not very good at fighting.

Reaching the base of Mt. Itoi, the heroes enter the caves of the mountain and obtain various powerful weapons. They later arrive at the house of a lonely medic who offers to heal them up and rest for free. Ninten and Ana try to relax in the guest room while Teddy is making some phone calls. It doesn't last as they are soon attacked by another giant robot who severally beats them up. Teddy's previous assumption proves wrong when Lloyd comes back riding the tank, now repaired, and destroys the robot with a single shot, though accidentally also wounding his friends. After recovering in the doctor's house, Lloyd joins Ninten's team once again, since Teddy's injured and needs to rest.

Ninten finds a broken boat near the lake on Mt. Itoi which Lloyd repairs. They use it to navigate to the center of the lake and get pulled into a whirlpool that takes them to a hidden laboratory. There, they find a robot EVE, who was created by Ninten's great-grandfather, George, with the sole purpose of protecting him and his friends. EVE proves to be a mighty ally, easily overpowering and one-shoting even the strongest of enemies. Upon reaching the top of the mountain, the final and improved version of the giant robot attacks the party. EVE ends up self-destructing, destroying them both. Approaching EVE's remains, Ninten listens to and learns the Seventh Melody.

Going ahead, Ninten and co. discover a tombstone, which is revealed to be George's. His spirit reaches to Ninten and teaches him the final Eight Melody. The party teleport back to Magicant and sing the song to Queen Mary. She remembers the tune and talks about her past with George and their adoptive alien son Giegue, thus confirming that she is in fact Nintin's great-grandmother, Maria. The whole Magicant starts collapsing and is revealed to be but a creation of Maria's consciousness. The party returns to Mt. Itoi to enter the cave at the very top and venture ahead to finally confront Giegue.

Giegue explains his origin to Ninten and the reason behind Earth invasion, that being George's betrayal in the past. He even offers him to come with him but Ninten plainly refuses. While Giegue seems to be invincible at first, the children manage to fight him off by singing the song formed by the Eight Melodies. The song is what Maria used to sing to Giegue when he was a child. Having a small breakdown, Giegue retreats but swears revenge against Ninten.

After finally having fixed the problems around Podunk, Ninten says goodbye to his friends, with whom he still keeps in contact, and decides to take some well-deserved rest.

A post-credit scene shows Ninten's father calling home once again saying that "something new" had come up and he wants to tell Ninten about it.

Personality And Traits

Like most protagonists of early Nintendo games, Ninten is generally a silent character, having no speaking roles beyond "yes" or "no" responses, with the exception of a brief few lines of dialogue at the end of the game. Ninten's personal weapon type is baseball bats, and his PSI abilities are primarily supportive and restorative in nature. As the game progresses, Ana develops feelings for Ninten, which culminates in a scene in which the two dance in a cottage on Mt. Itoi, where the player may choose whether or not he reciprocates. In EarthBound Beginnings and Mother 1 + 2, it is implied that the two maintain a relationship after the events of the game as the final cutscenes show Ana receiving a letter from Ninten.

Ninten is the only character in the series to be asthmatic. When his asthma is acting up, he is unable to take action in combat, somewhat similar to Ness's homesickness. Ninten's exclusive ability is 4th-D Slip, which can be used to flee from any escapable combat engagement with guaranteed success. Ninten's favourite food is Prime Ribs, and his favourite animal is the penguin.

PSI Abilities

Throughout Mother, Ninten can learn a variety of different Assist- and Recover-type PSI abilities. Among the Assist abilities are 4th-D Slip , DefenseDown, DefenseUp, Hypnosis, OffenseUpPowerShield, PSI Shield and QuickUp. Among the other abilities are Telepathy and Teleport. Finally, among the Recover abilities are Healing and LifeUp. Ninten is the only Mother series protagonist that doesn't know any offensive PSI. However, it is interesting to note that in the commercial for the original Mother, Ninten and Ana are seen working together to cast the offensive PK Beam to destroy a robot resembling one of the R•7030 series; a slight departure from Ninten's in-game PSI arsenal.

In Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Ninten's sticker in Super Smash Bros

Ninten appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a sticker. Attaching this sticker to the bottom of Ness or Lucas's trophies in The Subspace Emissary increases their PK attack by 24.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate



Ninten appears as a spirit in the Spirits mode. He is a Legend level primary spirit that raises the power of Ness and Lucas's PSI attacks. During his fight, which takes place on Magicant, the player must fight four white Nesses in a stamina battle. His Final Smash meter charges quickly and his PSI attacks have increased power. Ninten is also a friend icon in the online features.


Ninten's name is derived from the name Nintendo (only without the "do"), the company that published and developed the Mother series. The name "Ninten" was used by Nintendo as a placeholder name in guides and suchlike for many games in the 1990's. Among the other generic titles, the characters received in the instruction manual, Ninten himself was referred to as 'Boku' (僕 (ぼく), a Japanese pronoun normally used by young boys, in order to leave his name entirely up to the player. Screenshots and player's guides used "Ninten" as the main character's name, and it has since been adopted as his official name.


  • In the live-action commercial for the original Famicom version of Mother, the actor playing Ninten is wearing a white, orange, and navy striped t-shirt rather than the blue and yellow stripes shown on his clay model, and a red neckerchief resembling those worn by boy scouts. No other official depictions of Ninten show him wearing that, but fans usually draw him wearing at least the neckerchief (or the bill on the cap facing in the opposite direction) to differentiate him from Ness.
  • Ninten's sprites were touched up in the Earthbound Beginnings and Mother 1 + 2 versions of the game in order to depict the stripes on his shirt in-game. His sprites in the original Famicom version didn't have the blue stripe.
  • Ninten is the only main protagonist of the Mother series to not be playable in the Super Smash Bros. series.
  • Ninten has the most known relatives of all the series' lead protagonists, with Ness having three, Lucas having four, and Ninten having either six or seven, depending upon whether or not Giygas (who would be his granduncle by adoption) is to be counted.
  • Oddly, in Earthbound Beginnings' Wii U Virtual Console release trailer, the demo player has erroneously entered "Steak" as Ninten's favorite food rather than Prime Ribs; Steak is not Ninten's favorite food, but Ness's.
  • Ninten was called "Ken" in the novelization of the game. This is due to Ninten having no official name at the time that it was written. The name Ninten didn't actually get confirmed officially until his sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Because of the novel and the name Ninten taking many years to get confirmed, he is known as "Ken" to some Japanese fans.
  • According to Mother Encyclopedia, Ninten is a big fan of baseball and he is a fan of San Francisco Giants. He received his cap as a gift from his father.
  • His blood type is A.
  • In the release trailer of EarthBound Beginnings, Ninten's figure appears to have no fingers. The same figure is also seen in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, as well as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Ninten is the only known Mother series character to be confirmed to have asthma.
  • The official Nintendo island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is called Ninten.