MOTHER 3’s Timeline of Hope

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This is Part #4 of my write-up about the hope, hype, and disappointment that has followed MOTHER 3 for over 20 years. For more details, see Part #1.

2012

For whatever reason, things started to change in 2012. New hope and optimism rushed in and fans were hungry for an official MOTHER 3 translation announcement.

Early in the year, the official Nintendo World Store in New York showcased a lot of MOTHER series merchandise, including MOTHER 3 and MOTHER 3-related items.

Well, at least they acknowledge the series existence, something they don’t always do….

Not all hope is lost! I thinks its neat that even if Nintendo themselves don’t talk about or acknowledge Mother/Earthbound their employees do

Wow. That’s really nice. It’s great to see that at least the series is remembered.
A “glimmer of hope”, huh? Definitely a faint one, but still, I wonder how far it might go…

Hope for a MOTHER 3 release via the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program hadn’t quite died out yet:

As most know, the Nintendo 3DS recently dropped its price, and people who bought the 3DS beforehand were introduced to the Ambassador program, which offered them a choice of 20 free NES and, most notably, Game Boy Advance games. This made me think, “So, Nintendo has hinted that they might release GBA games on the eShop, and at least proved that they could port a GBA game to the 3DS, so even if they aren’t planning to release many GBA games on the eShop, they could do a standalone title. What better standalone title, or better yet, GBA eShop launch title than Mother 3?” Then the gears in my head started to turn. I realized that there were actually many factors in favor of Nintendo launching Mother 3 on the eShop. Here are the reasons: (NOTE: I’ve left out the giant list of reasons followed this) More… »

Satoru Iwata, now the president of Nintendo, commented on the MOTHER series and fans outside of Japan:

Iwata: [in English]: “Just yesterday, before I left from Japan, I met with Mr. Itoi, who is the creator of the Earthbound series. [laughs]”

Me: “Oh, I know. Are we ever going to get it?”

Iwata: “And, yeah, accidentally we were discussing that there are huge fans from Western countries for the Mother series [laughs].

Me: “So, someday? Someday?” [I stand up to shake his hand]

Iwata: “[laughs] Thank you. Great to see you!”

Kotaku

This brief quote from Nintendo’s president led to excited speculation that also seemed a bit premature:

One Nintendo news site really jumped to conclusions after seeing the Kotaku interview

Iwata just said that he knows that there are fans fron the West.

Doesn’t exactly correlate to Mother 3 going to America, especially when the GBA “died”.

IWATA PLEASE DONT PLAY WITH MY FEELINGS OK?
oh my god ; _ ;

Looks like it’s time for Nintendo’s annual trolling of the Earthbound fanbase again. We couldn’t have a year go by without it.

The new 3DS game crosswords plus has an EB reference, so it’s not dead!

As for Mother 3, it’s too little too late, guys. Nintendo held out too long. Those who were waiting it out probably got bored and just downloaded the ROM and patched it with the English translation, which Nintendo surprisingly stayed mum on. If they release it now, it’ll sell like crap. They can theoretically make it a digital release, which is the best and most cost-effective route possible. Or make a Mother compilation.

By this point in time, many of the original 1990s EarthBound fans were grown up and had careers. One longtime fan named Chewy even started working at Shigesato Itoi’s office. She was able to share her experiences with the MOTHER with Itoi face-to-face, and even went on to explain how and why the series is so popular outside of Japan now.

This Chewy stuff is actually a topic all of its own that goes in its own direction, but it’s helpful to know now because it was instrumental for some of the things to come. For now, check out this podcast if you’re interested in learning more.

Itoi was also aware that Chewy was part of Starmen.Net (or the “Starman Club” as he puts it), so he offered a little present to the community in 2012:

For years, fans had tried to get Itoi’s attention to let him know how much they like the series and how much they want to see MOTHER 3 translated. And the fans finally succeeded. There was excitement and hope in the air.

A few weeks after talking with Chewy, Itoi began talking about Starmen.Net and posting Twitter messages about the MOTHER series. He would usually only talk about MOTHER stuff a couple times a year, so this was very out of character for him. He even mentioned an upcoming meeting with Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto after a follower asked about the MOTHER series. This flurry of Itoi activity lit the fire of a new hope.

Then, after a few more enigmatic MOTHER-related tweets, Itoi suddenly announced a secret MOTHER series release in the near future.

Details were sparse, but fans were excited by the possibility that EarthBound might finally get a re-release, that MOTHER 3 might finally get a translation, or that some all-new game was being made.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I’m reeeeeally excited now!!:D

Just seeing “Itoi Announces MOTHER Developments” was already too good to be true.And it is truth!

Ok,I know I shouldn’t get too much hopes up.But as a Mother fan and a Mega Man I got some really good surprises today.Of course the Mother one was more unbelievable and exciting,but I’m just happy ☺

I think it would be pretty safe to assume it’s a compilation release. Since he is referring to the MOTHER series as a whole, that seems slightly more likely. Perhaps for the 3DS? That would be great.

Unfortunately, i doubt it’ll be released outside of Japan, due to Itoi kind of stating that one of the reasons they didn’t brin mother 3 to the U.S. is because of not that many people liking the mother franchise. Unless it’s on virtual console.

hhahahaaaah i can already see the purists pooping themselves over every little change and running to the internet to cry about it

The little child in me can’t stop screaming. It’s that same little child who was told Santa doesn’t really exist, but that won’t stop me making one specially for her. It’s that kind of emotional outcry.

The year ended with very strong hopes for something MOTHER 3-related in 2013.

2013

Things are usually quiet at the start of each year, but this year was different. Itoi continued to tweet about something he called his “MOTHER Revival”, but details remained sparse.

Itoi also continued to tweet to fans outside of Japan and talk about fans outside of Japan. Fans grew more hopeful for a MOTHER 3 announcement, but they displayed it in different ways:

Honestly, I would appreciate and take advantage of any opportunity to purchase the EarthBound games that come out on any platform, especially if they come to North America.

If it turns out to be some B.S. “Anniversary Collection” thing like they did with Kirby and Mario All-Stars for the Wii, I’m not even going to bother. Nintendo can’t be completely oblivious to the fact that people hate crap like that.

It would be pretty awesome if something is planned for sometime in 2014, since it’s the 25th anniversary of MOTHER.

Eventually, it was revealed that the “MOTHER Revival” thing Itoi spoke about for months was actually just a MOTHER 2 re-release on the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console. It had nothing to do with MOTHER 3 at all.

Some fans were understandably disappointed the secret game wasn’t MOTHER 3, but most longtime fans were used to not getting overly hopeful. If anything, fans were antsier about whether or not EarthBound would get a similar re-release.

I am happy for those in Japan, who will finally be able to play this game.

I am also happy for those in the US, who are far more likely to see a version released than the UK, EU, and AUS.

It’s a first step, and that is good news.

This is not the time for disappointment. This is not the time for outrage. This is the time for hope, action, and enthusiasm. Here is our opening, one that parallels the Mother 3 release. It is our time to demonstrate our demand for a US/EU/AU release with the utmost earnest sincerity.

Nintendo has shown its responsiveness in listening its fans (Xenoblade, The Last Story, acknowledgment of Wii U problems in today’s Nintendo Direct, et al.). Let us organize, explain our wishes, and show Nintendo and Nintendo of America (and Europe, etc.) that our hopes of playing EarthBound (and Mother 3!) are not empty desires. We have an unrelenting love for the games, and we plan to demonstrate how localizing the game(s) for **at least** Wii U Virtual Console availability would be an excellent business decision.

Mother 3 on 3DS virtual console wouldn’t be a bad Idea Either

Itoi continued to reach out to fans outside of Japan:

This acknowledgment and appreciation from the series’ creator continued to build hope very slowly:

this is our chance to show our love and support this game and Nintendo and show just how much the Earthbound fanbase has really grown. And at the end of the day, that’s what this is really all about. And who knows, if it does well and wakes Nintendo up to this, they’ll release MOTHER 3 worldwide?

This fight. Now for THE ULTIMATE BATTLE OF LIFE AND DREAMS!

Or, instead of that, let’s just see about getting Mother 3 and NES Earthbound to be officially released.

Unrelated to all of this, Nintendo of America suddenly mentioned MOTHER 3 on Facebook:

I doubt this got any hopes up, but it did generate some strong reactions from fans:

NoA, can we have more Mother 3 info, like that game itself. 😀

Mother 3? What’s that? I have never seen it over here in the US…. ☺ I am actually surprised that you acknowledged its existence. Reggie normally tells us how much he hates Mother 3 fans.

Welp I’d sure like to legally find out what makes the dog in Mother 3 so goreat, but gee, SOMEBODY won’t bring it to the States! C’mon, Nintendo. Seriously. Bring it here.

Mother 3? What’s that? That game doesn’t exist according to you guys!

EarthBound eventually saw a Wii U Virtual Console re-release, even in regions where the game had never been released before. This was a huge deal – EarthBound was finally getting an affordable, legal re-release 18 years after it debuted. Fans had also been trying to convince Nintendo for 6+ years to release EarthBound on the Virtual Console. So this was a big step forward.

It felt like Nintendo was finally acknowledging the game’s existence and its fans. Naturally, this raised hopes that MOTHER 3 would eventually get a translated release too. Many fans already owned EarthBound but bought the Virtual Console re-release based on that hope alone:

What I do know is that since GBA game are going to be available for the Wii U VC( and hopefully for 3DS too),if this sells a lot,there’s a good chance of Mother 3 coming too 😀

YEEEEEEESSSSSSSS! My favorite game of all time! I’ve only bought one game for the Wii U, but this now makes buying it at launch WORTH IT. It costs about the same to buy an SNES and Earthbound as it does a Wii U. (of cource I already have all three, but I’m buying the Virtual Console game just cuz.) Maybe some day we’ll see MOTHER 3 on the Wii U!!!

Will buy it. Maybe we’ll get a port of Mother 3. 😐

EarthBound quickly rocketed up the Wii U sales charts:

Nintendo of America even mentioned in a press release that EarthBound was “off to a great start”. Fans were excited by this news and hopeful that this meant Nintendo would finally consider a MOTHER 3 translation:

In all seriousness, I’m really happy that Earthbound is doing so well. Maybe This will be their cue to bring Mother 3 overseas… Please?

As for earthbound being released in general. If you mother fans want mother 3 mother 1 or any slim chance of a mother 4 of 3DS or wii U. go pick up a wii U and download earthbound. It’s already the #2 seller of all time on the eshop in just 4 days. Idc if itoi said no mother 4, mother is a nintendo property, no mater what he says nintendo can make it or buy out whatever they need to make it happen if they think it’ll sell

REALLY!!!
That Could Give MOTHER 1 & MOTHER 3 A Chance!!! 😀

Oh my, I can’t help but think we’re on the way to an international release of Mother 3.

Of course, even after all of the exciting news, not everyone shared this same level of optimism:

In all honesty I don’t think Mother 3 will get a release outside of Japan, since it never got translated officially. Now Mother I think has a chance.

Meanwhile, on a whim, I posted an offer to Nintendo that said they could use the MOTHER 3 fan translation script if the issue holding back a release was time or money. I also offered to re-translate it from scratch for free if that would make a deal less complicated. Of course, I didn’t expect to get taken seriously, but I wanted to put the offer out there just in case.

I had actually posted this same offer many times before in different places, but because I posted it on MOTHER 3’s release anniversary and possibly because it was a slow news day, the blog post hit all the major gaming news sites:

Any mention of “MOTHER 3” and “translation” on gaming news sites will get fans’ hopes up and/or result in bystander backlash. I used this as a learning experience to be extra careful about what I say about MOTHER 3 on a whim from now on!

Later on in 2013, with no warning at all, Nintendo created a new, dedicated Miiverse community called the “Onett Times”:

A post from “Tom” greeted visitors to this mysterious Miiverse community:

Why was it made? What kind of “EarthBound news” could there even be after all this time? It was a big mystery that understandably increased hope for an official MOTHER 3 localization to be released soon.

Mother 3 at Nintendo Direct tomorrow? Pleeeease!

Well, if it’s one thing we’ve learned it’s persistence in Miiverse can pay off. If fans keep clamoring for Mother 3 and Earthbound Zero, and if Earthbound has strong sales numbers, we may see the full trilogy released before it’s all said and done.

I’m really hoping for a Mother 3 announcement from this or, preferably a brand new Wii U Mother title that is being released outside of Japan [once it’s finished].

Mother 3 is a definite possibility, though. Ease of distributing it [through the Virtual Console] in addition to Earthbound being as popular now as it is [and for good reason, it’s a shame so many missed out on it until now].

COME ON NINTENDO!!

Nothing happened on the channel after Tom’s first post, though – the whole thing went silent until 2017 when an Undertale-related post was made for some reason. I hope Tom is okay.

In August, Reggie claimed he was well aware of the demand for Mother 3, but stated that there’s nothing to announce for Mother 3 when asked about the game’s chances on the Virtual Console:

To answer your specific question, I would have to say no. We knew the response to EarthBound was going to be strong. Believe me, I’ve met those fans. The first question out of their mouth is, ‘Reggie, when is EarthBound coming? Mother 3!’ I’ve met, I think, all of them,” Fils-Aime told IGN. “So we’re always looking at our rich history to identify those opportunities of games we could bring back and have consumers experience.”

[…]

So is Mother 3, the sequel to EarthBound released on the Game Boy Advance in Japan, coming to Virtual Console? “I have nothing to announce regarding Mother 3 at this time,” Fils-Aime said.

IGN

As always, Reggie’s “nothing to announce yet” response got some fans’ hopes up, while other fans were already used to this type of answer:

He said they had nothing to announce in regards to Mother 3 “at this time”. Would be surprised if it’s announced before the end of the year.

*crosses fingers*

If they said they arn’t going to announce anything about it means that they have something to announce about it but they aren’t yet!

key words “at this time”… thats code for not telling. there was no plan for a price drop or a wind waker hd bundle. so im hoping that means not yet (there is an official earthbound announcement community on miiverse). i also hope this applies to a potential wii u ambassador program…

All that means is the possibility is not ruled out, but it also tells us nothing. EarthBound fans have heard this line from Reggie countless times. It’s just something you get used to, lol.

For fans, 2013 was full of surprises, vindication, misunderstandings, and hope.

2014

Now that fans had their EarthBound Virtual Console re-release, MOTHER 3 became the main focus again. There was a feeling of momentum as 2014 began. This year also marked the 20th anniversary of MOTHER 2’s original release in Japan. Things were looking up.

In March, Nintendo announced that Game Boy Advance games would start joining the Wii U Virtual Console lineup.

This news excited some MOTHER 3 fans. For others, the Wii U Virtual Console didn’t seem like a logical fit for a MOTHER 3 translation. The news was met with a mixture of excitement, lukewarm hope, and hardened skepticism:

I would LOVE to see any type of release of Mother 3 in English, but none of us can really get our hopes up. But then again, EB came out on the Wii U VC… So really, who knows?

They won’t translate it into english, because they are too lazy to do that. I won’t get my hopes up. The only reason they released Earthbound on the VC is, that it already had an official english version. They didn1t even translate it into different languages here in Europe. That would have been important with a game that has so much text. Though english is important, there are still people who don’t speak it or don’t know it well enough… -.-

I honestly believe it will see release here. Because one of the two scenarios will play out, I think…

1. Nintendo releases everywhere. HUZZAH!

2. Nintendo makes a Japanese-exclusive release. Fans make petitions, call-ins, letters, e-mails and more. MOTHER 3 is released stateside. HOORAY!

In time… I do think it will happen.

Hope for a MOTHER 3 announcement at E3 returned in 2014. There was even a separate sliver of hope sparked by a comedy video featuring Reggie:

The box Reggie picks up at 3:14 looks strikingly like the Mother 3 Special Edition Micro.

The color scheme is what makes me think Mother 3 the most. It’s almost identical to the SE Micro. When the video is slowed down the back of the box reveals a white 2DS diagram. The only legible golden lettering on the side is the 2DS. It’s larger than a standard 2DS box which leads me to believe it comes with a physical copy of a game.

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, or far too much time spent browsing eBay for a copy of Mother 3, but could this happy box on Reggie’s desk be a potential spoiler of an e3 Mother 3 software and hardware reveal?

To everyone’s utter surprise, MOTHER 3 did get mentioned during Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event. A Nintendo-produced video showcased a fan asking Reggie for a MOTHER 3 translation. Then Reggie set the fan on fire.

Although it didn’t provide any new information or announcements, this surprising and sarcastic mention of MOTHER 3 by Nintendo of America – in the full spotlight, no less – caught everyone’s attention, whether they were fans or not. The overall fan response was a complicated mixture of frustration, anger, laughter, and hopefulness.

The fact that Nintendo of America had acknowledged the game and its fans instantly revived hope that had been lost over the years. This also marked the beginning of a new wave of MOTHER 3 hope that we’re still riding today. It also rekindled the “Reggie vs. MOTHER 3 fans” idea, which has given outsiders an entertaining show to watch for years now.

Reactions were widespread, especially on social media sites:

Kinda sick of Nintendo’s attitude towards Mother and its fans. I’ve supported NOA my entire life and this is the crap that is constantly thrown by Reggie.

Get off the high horse and release the damn game already. Would take almost no effort (fan translation exists).

Look Nintendo. I get that you don’t want to release Mother 3 in the west. It’s the greatest game of all time, and it’d be as simple as putting it on the Virtual Console, but you’re a business, and I’m sure you have your reasons.

But that doesn’t mean you have to rub it in our faces.

For those of you who missed it, Nintendo opened their E3 Digital Event with a Robot Chicken-style bit. At one point, a journalist demanded Mother 3. Reggie Fils-Aime responded by a attacking him with a Fire Flower.

I know it’s just a gag, but I’m actually kind of annoyed by this. Mother 3 is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever experienced, and fans have every reason to ask for a western release. Nintendo doesn’t need to give in to those requests, but they shouldn’t mock gamers over them either.

If a Mother 3 announcement is in the pipes, then Nintendo can joke all they want. But if Mother 3 is never coming, then that was a low blow, Nintendo. Seriously.

I seriously doubt they would mention Mother 3 if they had no plans to do anything with it, you know. Nintendo knows better than to rile people up on a wanted game they have no plans to bring over on their biggest 1 hour of 2014.

I think they have practically confirmed that they have heard people want it and thus they acknowledge it as something for the future. Eventually something will show up, I’m certain.

I think it was just a fun reference, nothing more. NoA doesn’t really seem like that’d publish/localise M3 here. Mature stuff like that (let’s say SMT4 as a comparison) seems like stuff they’re OK with 3rd parties releasing in the West, but not something they’re into doing themselves.

Star Fox Joke -> New Star Fox game
Mother 3 Joke -> ????

I very highly doubt that anything will come of this, but keep in mind that MOTHER’s 25th anniversary is next month. So you never know.

I thought it was funny. It’s a good sign noa is cracking jokes about it. Noa is aware of the fan base. It will sell like crazy when the new smash bros comes out. Timing. If lucas or ness make the roster, i’d be shocked if the game isn’t localized. As another poster mentioned. Star fox was a target and there’s a new game in the works. Why would they call out a fan base to ignore them? Just wait. I’m positive they’ll buckle. Metroid fans should be sweating. Shouldn’t have done that. Poor lil’ feller. She’s just a bounty hunter.

At the beginning of the Digital Event, there was a little skit where Reggie appeared on stage and someone in the audience said, “Another Mario game? Reggie, give us Mother 3!” Reggie then proceeded to fry him with his laser-death ray eyes. A little later, the same fan demanded a new Star Fox. Now, we know Star Fox is actually happening, so a M3 re-release could be in the works.

Two new Super Smash Bros. games were released as 2014 came to a close. MOTHER 3 content was included this time around too, although not quite as much as in the previous entry. The “Masterpieces” section of the Wii U release also provided fans with hope that some sort of playable version of MOTHER 3 would be available outside of Japan. Most of these hopes fizzled out over time, however.

Despite all the disappointment, these Super Smash Bros. releases also brought back the old feelings of “If Nintendo is going to include MOTHER 3 content in Super Smash Bros. then they’d be stupid not to release MOTHER 3 in English soon!”

In late 2014, news of an “EarthBound Forever” for the Wii U hit gaming news sites, social media, and message boards. It was said to be a set of all the games in the MOTHER series – including MOTHER 3 – translated into English.

This was met with skepticism by longtime fans, but the news got enough traction to excite many others. It eventually turned out to be a hoax.

2015

Things were looking good in 2015. First, it marked the 20th anniversary of EarthBound’s release. Over the years, I’ve noticed that EarthBound fans love anniversary dates and place extra MOTHER 3 hope around them. This year was no different.

In April, Nintendo announced that Lucas would be made available as a DLC character in the recently released Super Smash Bros. games.

This announcement also suggested that a Lucas amiibo would get released at some point down the road. All of this Lucas love boosted hope that MOTHER 3 might finally get an official translation of some sort:

But just think, we’re getting official MOTHER 3 merchandise in the USA. This will be the first (and only?) amiibo for a chracter whose original game is not available in our region. I think this tips 0.0000001% of the scale in favor of an official release for MOTHER 3 here.

It’s interesting to note that it was specifically mentioned in the direct that MOTHER 3 was never released outside of Japan. It might be wishful thinking, but with all of this, maybe they’re gearing up for a MOTHER-related announcement sometime?

Mother 3 announcement at E3 right

This is the year. Mother Collection. Mother 3. Something.

You could say that I’m being too optimistic here, but I think they may be planning a virtual console release, and we may hear an announcement this E3. People all across the globe have spoken that they love Mother 3 and want it, that’s part of the reason as to why we got Lucas as a DLC character in Smash Bros. now. We had the guy talking about M3 in the Robot Chicken trailer last E3, and regardless of whether Nintendo had a word in putting that in or not, it shows that it’s common knowledge now that people have been begging for a western Mother 3 release.

Lucas in Smash, Earthbound’s 20th Anniversary this year with Mother 3’s 10th Anniversary the next, Nintendo no longer being a stranger to fan-demand and localization, Amiibo selling out like crazy, 1-Up Studio currently unknown to be working on something; it all seems to add up. Call me crazy, but something may be up. Hopefully it is.

On the other hand, some longtime fans were already too weary to have any more hope:

If we ever get Mother 3 in the U.S., I’ll buy gold for every member of this subreddit. I gave up years ago.

In June, the Lucas DLC was finally released… and to commemorate it, Nintendo also released an official translation of MOTHER 1 on the Wii U Virtual Console. The game had been translated in the early 1990s but never released, so this was a huge, huge deal. it also received a new name: “EarthBound Beginnings”.

Fans were delighted. It felt like something impossible had happened. The surprise release was well-received, but it did disappoint fans expecting a MOTHER 3 announcement. Even so, hope wasn’t lost:

This is wonderful, and I never thought it would happen. This great game is now going to be enjoyed by more people, our chances of getting Mother 3 are getting better.

I called it in 2003, i called it in 2006, i called it about a year ago and I’m calling it again. we were getting Mother 3. I will never lose faith.

I think it will happen, someday, sometime… but not soon, that’s for sure. I don’t want to expect something to happen just to get disappointed once more. If I have learned something from Nintendo recently, is not to have great expectations (E3…). Sorry for being so pessimistic… but I’m one of those who thinks that Lucas coming back for Smash Bros was mostly because of Lucas’ mains who wanted him back, not because of the Mother fanbase.

After EarthBound Beginnings’ release, it immediately jumped to the top of the Wii U eShop charts in multiple regions and remained high for a long time:

This was a good sign for fans:

MOTHER 3 officially in the pipeline now, hopefully. I think the public has proven themselves at every opportunity provided by Nintendo.

Reggie commented about EarthBound Beginning’s success on the Virtual Console and what it means for a MOTHER 3 translation:

Fils-Aime, in reference to MOTHER 3: “Look, again, I think this is an example that demonstrates we’re constantly listening. We’re hearing what the fans say. And we thought it was great to bring back the very first Mother, Earthbound Beginnings here in the market. It’s been out for sale and doing quite well in the eShop. Again, we’ll never say never, but there’s nothing to announce right now.”

[…]

Fils-Aime: “The Mother/Earthbound series is quite niche. And so for us it’s constantly thinking about the investment and then return for a game like that. There is quite a bit of localization to be done and we just need to make sure that volumetrically there’s enough volume to offset that investment.”

Totilo: “Is it safe to assume that you guys are pretty happy with how Earthbound was received last year and that helped motivate and get Mother 1 out?”

Fils-Aime: “That’s exactly right.”

Kotaku

”He has nothing more to announce for the series for now”
“for now”

So, we still might get mother 3?

Later in the year, Lucas and other MOTHER 3-related content was released for Super Mario Maker on the Wii U. This additional MOTHER 3 content bolstered hopes for a MOTHER 3 release in the near future.

Then, in late 2015, MOTHER 3 was released on the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console.

Naturally, this made fans elsewhere envious and hopeful that a translated release would soon arrive:

With all that’s happened, it seems more likely than ever that they actually do intend to translate and release the game now. It’ll be a big undertaking, much bigger than just releasing already translated ROMs, but I think they now know the demand is there.

They won’t releasing it to the west, end of story.

I just noticed that it was literally faster for me to learn Japanese than to get an English release of Mother 3. ( . _ . )
It’s been a long 9 years.

Yes, it will cost money to translate this game. But their first party games have pretty much perpetual shelf lives. They’d only have to spend money to translate MOTHER 3 once, and afterwards, they’ll have a game they can sell and resell to the US and Europe literally forever.
The Wii U is likely going to have a sizable dry spell between Pokken and Zelda U, and this would be perfect for plugging it up.

It’s super duper real. Well I hope it is because I just bought a Japanese WII U on EBay.
I hope it’s officially in English for the tenth anniversary.

As the year came to a close, some fans shifted their hope to 2016, as it marked the 10th anniversary of MOTHER 3’s release in Japan.

A new wave of MOTHER 3 hope had built up over the past few years. In 2016, that wave would take an unexpected turn and reach new places. Check it out in the next section, Part #5: 2016 to 2018.
63 Comments
  1. (I still need to edit this article and renovate the final section but I wanted to get this out in time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mother 3 fan translation’s release. So please overlook any cracks in the walls at the moment!)

    Reply
    1. Ah ok, I was going to say…

      “surprise appearance’s” (page 2)

      Reply
    2. I think it’s amazing you chronicled all this, Clyde. Thank you for sharing the storied history of a little GBA title that has eluded localization for over a decade. It is really sad that they ignored and continue to ignore all this love for a game that many fans want so badly. They even turned their noses up at your generous offer of providing your translation efforts as a base to work from.

      Looking at this, it’s funny how, in another example, the PC version of Ys: The Oath in Felghana was originally fan translated by Deuce and Nightwolve because the PC versions of Ys games had trouble coming here. Because Ys was making a new boom overseas, XSeed purchased that fan translation and revised it to flow even more naturally in English, and then released it on PSP. It’s a shame a different company couldn’t do the same with your work, since Nintendo is just yawning and not listening.

      Reply
    3. Tomato,

      I just want to say following you guys for all these years has been an up and down process, but we all love the same thing and some great stuff was born from all this. Thank you guys for keeping the community alive!

      Leo

      Reply
  2. what an incredible, heartbreaking read!! thank you so much for putting all of
    this together! i was a newborn when this whole thing started back in 1997, so it was really fascinating (and sad) to learn about the beginning of where we are now as mother fans. i used to think rumor season was fun, but reading through all of this has given it new meaning. i hope that one day, for all the fans who have been waiting since day one and for all the people like me who were born after that but who became fans pretty much as soon as they could, we will get some kind of closure; whether it be an official translation or confirmation that it will never happen. no crying until the end! and thank you so much for all the work you and the other veteran mother fans have done over the years!

    Reply
  3. how to debunk a rumor/leak list:

    look out for Mother 3

    Reply
  4. Translation of Dutch article:

    MOTHER 3

    Blurb: STICKS OUT BECAUSE: This game will probably come to Europe, but won’t appear in America.

    Article: The bizarre Mother-RPG-series is very popular in Japan, and was developed by the, there, widely loved artist and media personality Shigesato Itoi. In the West, the series is barely known – part 2 appeared here for the Super Nintendo under the name Earthbound, but sold badly. That game world is really primarily known from Super Smash Bros. Melee, hero Ness in the forefront. Strange then that Mother 3 is heading this way (probably under the name Earthbound 2). But we’re happy with it, because the Mother-series manages to sell a kind of bizarre and self-deprecating humor that we can appreciate. An evil masked pig army invades Nowhere Island and some inhabitants – including the boy Lucas, thief Duster and monkey Salsa – revolt.

    Bought the handbook ten years ago. Thanks for the memories.

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  5. C’mon Nintendo, give us Luigi’s Pie Factory

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  6. Nintendo’s marketing for Earthbound was terrible. During a time where I sucked up just about any JRPG, I skipped over Earthbound due to the gimmicky ad campaign with the rancid scratch and sniff stickers. I stopped subscribing to Nintendo Power a year or so later due to decreasing quality, and the Earthbound campaign was a definite contributing factor.

    I remember when Neo Demiforce crowdfunded something like $500 to borrow the English-translated Mother prototype board around 1998. That was some of the hugest news in emulation. Xodnizel, Starmen.net admin and eventual FCE Ultra author, had to hack the game to make it work in Nesticle because of then-infamous “mapper 4” problems, which is also why Demiforce’s Final Fantasy II intro works correctly only in Nesticle (though there is a corrective patch now). Then, the game hacking tripped Mother’s anti-piracy protection, so that had to be hacked, too.

    Back on topic, I hear Mother 3 is co-branding with Half-Life 3 to be released simultaneously. Against all odds, Robert Guillaume will present these games at E3.

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  7. I remember being pretty excited for this game back in the day. I loved Earthbound, though I have never been as ardent a fan as there are nowadays, but the idea of wandering a drug store in three dimensions really excited me back then.

    These days, I mostly want Mother 3 to be released here, if only for the catharsis of the fans who have built a community around the series. I have the first two games (Haven’t played Zero, even though I have it on my Wii U, and I haven’t played EB since about 1998), so having the third would make for a fine occasion to play through the series for me.

    Thanks for the (very loooong) article!

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  8. I’m honestly glad it ended up being released for the GBA instead of the N64. If you ask me, the N64 version just looks SO ugly compared to the beautiful sprites of the final product. A 3D Mother title would’ve been neat, but 2D fits the series’ aesthetic so well somehow.

    Of course, I wasn’t a fan yet back during the EB64 drama, so I suppose I was spared the agony of constant rumors, delays, and cancellations. It might be a different story for people who were really invested in seeing EB on the N64. But hey, now I get to hope and pray for an official English version like the rest of us!

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  9. Heh, the “sadfly” misspelling under the Dutch article capture really makes me want a Sadfly emote or cartoon to appear somewhere.

    What a rollercoaster this one game has been for the Earthbound community.

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  10. Seeing how I became a Mother fan years after the release of Mother 3, it really was something to read this and fully see the adventure which was the hype behind Mother 3 and it’s translation (that probably won’t happen). I have replayed the translation so many times, and I thank you for translating it, so many people could finally play it after all of the waiting. All there is to do now is to hope!

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  11. Is there any way to get the Wii U VC sales numbers on the games?

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    1. I remember there were running threads on NeoGAF that would take what little information was known (if an indie spilled hard data on sales numbers, or if Nintendo announced a landmark number to investors) and would extrapolate from there — if Game #5 on the chart sold this much, Game #4 sold at least more than that.

      So to answer your question, no.

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  12. I remember when shit blew up so much a few years back. I never believed that lying Emily [person] for a second, and laughed my ass off a the 90% of the internet that actually believed she was actually some credible insider source.

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    1. I’m also upset that nothing came of those rumors, but please let’s not start name-calling. I edited your post and replaced that word.

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      1. Sorry, I didn’t really mean anything that malicious about it. I guess i’m just used to talking that way on other websites. Again, i apologize for my colorful language.

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        1. No problem, thank you for understanding 🙂

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    2. I forgot how many people were trying to make a name by promising a Mother 3 release. I don’t really get the internet rumour myth-making thing either.

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  13. I remember seeing a broadcast in the Radio PSI archives from the day M3 came out in Japan, and everyone’s on there talking about it and looking back, kind of like this. And being emotional, of course, since it was FINALLY finished! Apparently there isn’t enough space to host the archives anymore but hopefully I’ll be able to hear that broadcast again one of these days.

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    1. I was reading through this again, and I was reminded of the ice cream comic, that’d be a good thing to add after the “fan generational divide” mention

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  14. I never got caught up with the online gaming community growing up, and never had to experience these repreated rounds of excitement and disappointment. I long awaited Earthbound 64 since its announcement, only to be heartbroken upon its cancellation. The GBA release coupled with a professional quality fan translation made up for it all (Thank you, Mato and programming team). The 32- and 64-bit era graphics have not aged well over time, while the 16-bit era retains a charming quality, and Mother 3 definitely benefits from the aesthetic we’ve come to love from Earthbound–amusingly, at the time, we were told to ignore the mediocre graphics of Earthbound to uncover the gem from within.

    I suppose nothing could ever match my disappointment with how Final Fantasy IV has been handled: an initial release with cut content and stripped dialogue (the one that brought me into RPGs), a poor fan translation, several ports stateside with subpar translations, and, finally, a seemingly polished translation for the DS with additional backstory included, but at the expense of its visual nostalgia.

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  15. That was quite an emotional ride. I’ve been a diehard Mother fan since playing and falling in love with Earthbound in the mid 90s… I’ve been one of those delusional fans that has believed forever that Mother 3 was always just right around the corner. Heck, the last couple nintendo consoles I’ve purchased were almost solely because of Mother 3 rumors. I’m a man in my mid 30s now, and I pretty much feel like that hope is dead, and find it increasingly hard to give a crap about what nintendo does anymore. It’s sad.

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  16. I understand being too busy to make this into a full book, but if you ever do decide to take this information and turn it into a printed publication later down the line, I will absolutely still buy it.

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  17. If only Starfy had this big of a fan base and documented of a history

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    1. Starfy is easy.
      First game was planned for Game Boy, then Game Boy Color, then released on the GBA. Everything else is straightforward for the Japanese releases up until 5. Then Nintendo had him appear in Super Mario Maker. Some cameos in Mario and Luigi (as “Legend of Starfy”), Super Princess Peach (also TOSE) and the Smash Bros series since Brawl, which was the point that probably convinced Nintendo to bring the last fifth game and only that overseas.

      The other games were repeatedly pitched by TOSE to Nintendo, with awkward preliminary English translations with profanities like shit and fuck, we know of the existence of one for the first game and for the fifth game, and probably more. While some rumors said it was due for a 2005 Western release, nothing came of it. TOSE said NoA rejected the series because it was “too Japanese”. Series director said “stafy is NOT starfy or a starfish” but the sole published localization, and even those early prototypes used the “starfy” name. (by the way, one thing the article doesn’t mention is the rumors about Brownie Brown pitching unfinished localized prototypes, but in 5 languages, of Mother 3 GBA to overseas branches for approval)

      What Starfy’s localization trials and tribulations lack compared to Mother 3 (or even 1 and 2, really) was the dramatic momentum, unexpected plot twists (who could have foreseen Nintendo cancelling the CONSOLE the game was supposed to release on?) the passion, and Nintendo actually enjoying keeping that suspense. The bogus rumors supported by a media blitz that was a repost of just one source’s rumor helped keep that alive.

      I don’t personally think Nintendo will ever release Mother 3 in English.
      IF, and that’s a big if, the 2015 Virtual Console version really existed, that means it was made around the same period of time Fire Emblem Fates was done. Nintendo’s localization policies around that period were really controversial and they did efforts to distance themselves from their negative PR and future projects, down to abandoning Fates’s DLC content. If Mother 3 was translated following those guidelines, er, it wouldn’t be a pretty sight for the fanbase.
      On the other hand, once I saw Kotaku’s 2017 article here “Why it’s okay to release Mother 3 in 2017”, I immediately remembered some articles, posts by those same writers, tweets months after that that sound like sword rattling in anticipation for an upcoming controversy. Things like “there’s so much problematic content that needs to be changed” in Mother 3, like so and so, that aren’t even unanimously agreed to be problematic but still assumed to be so.
      If Nintendo is controversy-averse, and they still are to this day for some subjects even though they softened their recent policies, a Mother 3 localization sounds like very bad news.

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    2. You think Starfy has it bad? At least Starfy had one of his games localized and earned himself a physical appearance in Smash Bros. Poor Lip _still_ doesn’t have any of that. Panel de Pon is, to this day, one of Nintendo’s most overlooked classics, and it’s a crime that it isn’t more recognized.

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  18. Post-Apolcalyptic Nu

    Great article; it brought back memories of those mysterious blue carts and grainy Mr. Saturn fish tank images. That was around the time I first joined too, and I haven’t seen those images since then.
    In an old Starmen thread written when EB64 was recently cancelled, I read some kids talking about whether it could move to PlayStation like FF did. The replies were something like “What, do you want it to be filled to the brim with FMVs??” not to mention a Nintendo franchise would never cross over like that… but I still thought that was funny.

    Anyway, I’m not really clamoring for an official MOTHER3 localization anymore. I played your version when it first came out, Mato—Loved it, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s like how you framed it in the last paragraphs; Older fans have already seen the rumors come and go, they’re nothing new. I’d welcome an official release of course, but right now I have no expectations.

    “But… the future refused to change.” sums up the whole article nicely.

    With the Wii U discontinued, right now there’s no avenue to re-release a GBA game like MOTHER 3. Maybe if they ever made a “GBA classic” of some sort, they could use it as a system-seller ala Star Fox 2.

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  19. Great work as always!

    I think the death of the VC has officially killed any Mother 3 hype for me. The only way I could see it being a viable product is if Nintendo releases all three games as part of a collection (kind of the like the Seiken Densetsu collection in Japan).

    I also wonder whether EarthBound Beginnings will be added to the Switch Online service, or whether EarthBound will be if they add SNES games?

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  20. Reading this was a journey. Thank you for taking the time to document it.

    My heart can’t bear pinning my hopes on rumors anymore, but I’ll never stop hoping in the back of my mind.

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  21. 10 years since the fan translation wow. I’ve only been a Mother fan for 13 years when I first played Earthbound so reading about fan reaction to Earthbound 2/64 was really insightful. I had given up on an official Mother 3 release since 2016 when the 10 year anniversary game on wii u was revealed to be Twilight Princess. This article however sparked that small hope in me that laid dormant for so long. Just thinking about an official mother 3 localisation makes me feel younger again. Seems like not long ago I was inspired by a video to use PK Call and ask Nintendo about Earthbound and mother 3.

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  22. The Claus cosplayer from last Camp Fangamer

    That was an awesome article.

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  23. Being a Mother fan in the states has always been a strange thing. I realized sort of how we’re viewed in Nintendo when the tag line for the Wii U Virtually console release of Earthbound was “You’re Not Dreaming.” Mother releases in the states these years are sort of “in case of emergency” type things. I can see an official release happen if adoption of say Switch online is poor and having that be the only way to play Mother 3 possible be part of a future thing, but honestly Smash will push that more. Will Mother 3 get an official US release: maybe, but it’ll happen when Nintendo needs to summon the most “ride or die” fan base. Great read.

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  24. Christian Hendrickson

    Dismaying article. But good article.

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  25. 10 years since I was on my break at work and decided to pull up starmen.net on my nokia’s primitive phone browser. I saw that the translation was out, and I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself.

    I left work that day and wouldn’t you know it, the flash cart I’d ordered literally two months prior had arrived as well.

    I spent the next two days completely absorbed in Mother 3. It’s all I did outside of working, sleeping and eating. I’d take my lunch breaks at work and just play Mother 3 in the backroom. And I cried giant tears at the ending.

    No other game has been simultaneously such a delight to me, and also so heartbreaking. I always wanted an official translation, but the chances of that happening are less and less every single day. But, that’s okay. I had my “Mother 3 translated” moment. 10 years ago, on my break at work, on that busted old Nokia phone.

    It’d be easy to say that the series has changed my life, and honestly it has. I’ve met people who are also fans of the series, I’ve made lifelong friendships that have carried across the world thanks to this series. I couldn’t be more grateful.

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    1. Pretty much my story. I was a Schwan’s driver in 2008 when the fan translation was released. My GBA flash cart had died by then, but I loaded Mother 3 onto my trusty Dingoo A320 and brought it to work every day so I could play it on my lunch breaks. It was hilarious and heartbreaking, and quickly became my all time favorite video game.
      I haven’t touched it since that first play through…has it been 10 years already?
      If there’s ever an official release, it’ll be the perfect excuse to play it again. If not… I’ll still come back to it eventually, because it’s just too good to not replay it at some point.

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  26. The Mother 3 FAM translation is great – no doubt – and I am thankful for the (what must have been) tireless work that went into it, that I finally got to play the game.
    Here’s the thing about the game, though: Earthbound is sooooo much better IMO. I see and can appreciate what Itoi was trying to do, but I think in the end the project was too ambitious. The final product seems to reflect a (I can’t think of a better way to put it and yes, I recognize the irony) rush to market. It’s cool that the different chapters focus on different PCs, but we don’t get to spend enough time with most of them to end up caring much about them. This could have been at least partially remedied by granting these characters a larger presence as NPCs, but in many cases it seems the game goes out of its way to avoid doing this. That brings me to my next issue with the game – the world feels way too small when compared to Earthbound. Part of the fun of Earthbound was the open-world feel. There were a slew of different towns to visit, and each had its own unique story and cast of quirky characters. The player even learns spells that specifically enable easy travel from one location to another. After defeating the final boss, you can still travel around and revisit everyone. By contrast, in Mother 3, there are only a few locations. Travelling between them is rarely easier than walking the long distance and fighting a bunch of monsters along the way, but it doesn’t much matter because usually all of the NPCs vacate the site once the plot moves on. So even though the world remains mostly open for most of the game, it’s actually very linear, and the game does very little to reward the player for exploring, which to me is the cornerstone of any great RPG.
    My last big problem with Mother 3 is its existence as a sequel to Earthbound. For most of the game, there really is very little evidence that it is at all. Obviously the world is different. I guess it’s possible that it takes place on a different continent on the same planet, but if you are expecting a story continuation from the previous entry in the series, you will spend most of the game grasping. There’s a Dr. Andonuts, but is he the same guy? The mythology seems to be brand new – there was never any indication in Earthbound that there were godlike sleeping dragons underground who could be awoken in order to ignite a major cataclysm. Just when I was ready to accept that this was, in fact, a standalone story, Mr. Saturn shows up late-in-game. But the late reveal that this is actually a sequel is problematic in its own right. To a player who’s expecting a sequel, its existence as a sequel seems tacked-on and forced. To a player who’s never played Earthbound, this might be a fun game to play through until the end when you’re suddenly on the outside of some bizarre inside joke.
    So anyway, as I said, I am very thankful for the effort that went into the fan translation. Having actually played the game, though, I was left pretty disappointed and wondering if the original intention for the game was a much richer experience than what we actually got in the end.

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  27. So many memories.

    Looking back at everything now, I honestly don’t think we’re ever going to see the game localized. It would be interesting, though, if they decided to do an EarthBound collection and include the Japanese releases as bonuses, while also including an untranslated MOTHER 3. It wouldn’t be an ideal release, but at the very least get MOTHER 3 outside Japan. It would also be neat if they included little Japanese lessons as extras to help non-Japanese speakers get through the game. I’d love for something like that to come out.

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  28. Really enjoyed reading this, it brought back a bunch of memories and it was also very informative. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Can you shed any more light on the Undertale-related post you mentioned that was made on the Onett Times section of Miiverse? I never heard about this before, so I’m curious about what it said and if it was actually a real official Nintendo post or if it was just the result of a Miiverse hack or something.

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    1. I was wondering about that too.

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    2. I actually don’t really remember myself, I wrote that section back in 2017 but have no way to go back to find out what it was now that Miiverse is down. I want to say it was something simple like ‘Undertale is a fun game” and nothing really noteworthy.

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      1. Now that I think about it, I might be able to go back though some videos I made and find that very post. I made videos detailing lots of Miiverse stuff on the very last day it was open. Fingers crossed that I can find it.

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  29. “Actually, now that I think about it, Space World would be better because then they can show it to a Japanese audience instead of the American media, who will demand an English version.”

    Wow, I wonder who the anon who wrote this is, because he sounds hatefully anti-American. Like duh we would want an English version, it’s the language we speak here. Guess he forgot the Japanese is not our primary language. What a snot.

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    1. …but you’re basically agreeing with him. Or proving his point.

      When option A is “show the game off at Spaceworld and get zero complaints” and option B is “also show the game off in the west and get people like you complaining that it’s not in English”, it makes sense to go with option A.

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      1. I’m not complaining about wanting it in English, genius. I’m merely stating a point of fact. What’s your problem?

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  30. A 10-year anniversary seems as good a time as any to say thanks for the translation patch! Haven’t played it in about a decade but it was a great time.

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  31. People still talk about Mother 3? I think at this point it’s best to move on from said game and focus on something else. Even the native japanese audience didn’t praise it much if I remember correctly… That said, I certainly wouldn’t mind it if Itoi decided to team up with Toby Fox someday…

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  32. I remember being offended by that E3 joke about people asking for a Mother 3 translation, but after seeing this, I kinda feel sorry for NoA, for ten years of constantly being bombarded with demands every time they mentioned anything that could even vaguely conceivably be linked to the Mother series somehow.

    Regardless, whenever an official translation of a game comes out after a popular fan translation (especially one with as high a level of quality as Mother 3’s), it is universally reviled 90% of the time, so I don’t think anything they could have done would ever have satisfied fans.

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  33. This is a nice piece you’ve posted, even with the rushed bits (like the “Beginning‘s” on page 4).

    I know the focus of this is 3 quarters on localizations of the games & how desired they are by westerners, but do you have any reference as to what the Japanese fans thought/hoped in the leadup to Mother 3’s planned release, cancellation & GBA revival, as well as they perspective on the western fans? Not to put things on your plate, but that would be interesting to read.

    Also, where could I read more about the 64DD development disks? Even though they held no Mother data, I’m curious about what they did in fact contain (especially the latter 2). The only link I found on Starmen Club (from a more-than-a-decade-old post) points to a forum board, but their forums appear to have been restructured since then.

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    1. It looks like the games were: Mario Artist, Sim City 64, and two copies of Doshin the Giant. I wrote an article about it almost when it happened… almost 10 years ago… oh no time is going too fast
      I posted about it at the time here: https://earthboundcentral.com/2009/03/blue-disk-saga-is-very-over/

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      1. Thanks for linking that. Was kinda hoping that the disks would contain non-final builds of the games, but I guess from the wording that they didn’t, pity.

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  34. 2018 will be our year! Mother 3 will finally be announced! I C A N F E E L I T
    [As the comment oozes and drips with sarcasm]

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  35. So I’m just gonna throw out a bold proclamation here. We’re going to see Mother 4 get officially developed and released along with an English localization. So the west will have Mother 1, 2, and 4, but we’ll spend forever waiting for 3.

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  36. The post about Undertale made me think it would be ideal if MOTHER 3 was released in the west nowadays thanks to the former’s massive popularity.

    Also, I have a question. Recently, I read somewhere that the actual reason NoA hasn’t localized the game has something to do with the Magypsies. Is it true? I forgot if it was a legitimate interview or if it was pure speculation, though.

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    1. I’ve heard something similar, probably from the same article or wherever, but I assume it’s one of those situations where leaked info can’t easily be verified because it’d jeopardize the source, so everyone passes around the same info in a circle and/or leads to confusion and a bit of drama. So I don’t know what to make of it myself.

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  37. Mole Playing Rough

    This is actually a very nice article, Mato. I just thought about this right now, but since the west would somewhat react negatively to a Mother 3 localization, wouldn’t PETA create some parody or some game about Mother 3’s Chapter 3? Salsa is literally abused by Fassad. I mean this has happened with other games like Super Mario 3D Land and Pokémon Black and White.

    I really hope that PETA doesn’t try to make Mother 3 look bad. Sorry if I didn’t make that much sense, but I just had this thought and I was suprised that nobody brought this up. (It’s probably because people are focusing more on the Magypsies)

    Anyways, thank you for making the fan translation!

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  38. What an amazing read, outstanding job as usual Mato! I first experienced the Mother series late 2013 so I just experienced a page of this timeline but loved going through it all, especially the N64- GCN days since I was a year away to be born when first mentions of the game existence first appeared and to young to used the internet when it was moved to the GBA.

    One of my favorite parts where definitely the user comments. It was both amusing and heart wrenching when people said stuff like “Pokemon will eventuall die” to “I bought the SNES classic controller just for when Earthbound hits Virtual Console”, boy does time changes.

    The other one is the Wii U Virtual Console era, especially the fan outcry. I decided to give the game a chance once the eshop trailer sparked some interest for me. To think I owe it to all those amazing fans who ask for a USA release. I wouldn’t ever found one of my favorite videogame series if it wasn’t for all of those people. The Mother series is a series who I take with me wherever I go, it really impacted my life, and it’s something I owe to fans like you Mato, thanks to you and all the Starmen community for expanding the audience of this game, here to the future of the Mother series.

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  39. I should point out that that E3 2010 list was originally posted as a joke by Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb. Basically the only reason it became a “rumor” was because of people posting it elsewhere without context.

    http://jeff.zone/post/38428394561/back-before-e3-2010-i-decided-to-slap-together-a

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  40. This post pointed out how batshit crazy the Mother/EB fans are, taking every post and thinking it means a release date.

    It’s amazing how Mother/EB fandom hasn’t devolved into toxicity for the most part.

    Great article. I remember reading along with your translation updates, Mato.

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  41. I think one of the worst things about having EB64 cancelled was that, at the time, I desperately wanted to keep supporting Nintendo over the recently popular Playstation (which had “stolen” all the great RPG developers). Even though huge franchises like Final Fantasy were never going to be on the N64, at least we had a great first-party Earthbound franchise that we could count on…… I remember reading all of the updates in Nintendo Power with eagerness and then they just stretched on for years….and then it was going to be on the 64DD peripheral….and then it was just cancelled. I’m in my mid-30s now and have plenty of love for both Nintendo and Sony systems, but I think that was the year that I really gave up on Nintendo ever being an RPG powerhouse again….and that is still very sad to me, having fond memories of growing up in the NES/SNES Golden Age.

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  42. It’s nuts that it’s been so long already. Ten years? I can remember my anticipation as the fan translation progressed like it was yesterday, and I was in middle school at the time… yeesh, that’s a weird sensation.

    Still hangin’ on to my physical copy and my guide book, and I’m still hangin’ on to hope. Granted, that’s partially so they can become a gift for my special someone, but I think that’s fitting in it’s own way.

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  43. There is hope.
    There’s a streamer, Vinny, (accounts are Vinesauce on YouTube and Twitch), who has a knack of summoning announcements regarding games.
    Before the announcement of Metroid Prime 4 and Samus Returns, he played a Metroid game. This has happened other times, though my memory fails me right now.
    He recently played through Mother 3.
    Therefore: next Nintendo Direct there will be a Mother 3 announcement.

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