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Mother 3

What changes can we expect from an official Mother 3 localization?

Feb 06 // Ben Davis
So, what would Nintendo change during the localization process of Mother 3? Well, let's first take a look at EarthBound, a game that received quite a few notable changes before it made its way out of Japan. This might give us a clue as to the types of things Nintendo will be looking for in Mother 3. Ignoring the many revisions to text and dialogue for now, EarthBound featured several sprites and background visuals that were altered for various reasons. The major ones include: Ness's nude sprites in Magicant being covered with the pajama outfit from the beginning of the game, obviously because nudity would be more problematic in the West. The Octopus and Kokeshi statues changing into Pencil and Eraser statues, since the cultural references would be lost on a young international audience. The Insane Cultists' battle sprites had the letters "HH" removed from their hats and were replaced with little puff balls to make them look less like KKK members. Also, the town name Threek was changed to Threed, possibly because Threek could be interpreted as Three-K, or KKK. Red crosses were removed from hospitals and a certain red truck's appearance was altered to avoid potential lawsuits with the Red Cross and Coca-Cola. Signs that read "drug" were replaced with "store" in most instances (but not in the Dusty Dunes Desert, for some reason), and signs that said "bar" were changed to "café." Moreover, any references to alcohol being replaced with coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and the like. There was an emphasis on removing or reducing references to violence and death, including new sound effects used when Pokey and his brother are disciplined by their father. More changes can be found over at Legends of Localization, a handy resource compiled by Clyde Mandelin of So, to break it down, with EarthBound, Nintendo was specifically interested in nixing or mitigating any references to nudity, sexuality, drugs, alcohol, violence, material that might lead to a lawsuit, and obscure cultural references. Since Mother 3 happens to contain a few of those things too, here are some of the changes I expect Nintendo might make if (*ahem* when) Mother 3 finally comes to western shores. First off, a few name changes are probably in order. It's safe to assume that the game will be called EarthBound 2, or some other variation on the EarthBound name, rather than Mother 3. With the original Mother being changed to EarthBound Beginnings for its western release (I still wish Nintendo stuck with"EarthBound Zero!"), this would come as little surprise. There are also a few character and location names that might need to be reconsidered. Specifically: Kumatora, Hinawa, Club Titiboo, Osohe Castle, and DCMC. Of course, it's important to note Super Smash Bros. Brawl did use the names Kumatora and Hinawa on stickers, so they would probably stay the same -- although I honestly wouldn't mind Hinawa's name being changed to correspond with her husband's name, Flint. "Hinawa" refers to a matchlock gun, similar to a flintlock gun, and considering the names of with neighbors, Lighter and Fuel, I've always wondered why Hinawa wasn't changed to something more consistent. "Match" would be a weird name, but I'm confident a localization team could come up with something suitable to keep with the theme. As for the others, I'm sure Club Titiboo could be seen as potentially offensive (heh, Titiboo), Osohe Castle is a little hard to pronounce, and the band name DCMC might be too similar to ACDC. They already re-colored the Runaway Five to look less like the Blues Brothers, so who knows what else they might change, but I hope they leave it as is. I also expect we won't see an enemy called the Gently Weeping Guitar for similar reasons, even though it's a great name! Now onto the bigger stuff. Whenever the topic of Mother 3's localization comes up, fans point to a handful of scenes and characters as reasons why it will never see the light of day outside of Japan. For starters, we have the Magypsies. These wonderful characters are technically not human and have transcended gender. Their appearances resemble those of stereotypical drag queens, complete with dresses, makeup, and facial hair. They even give Lucas and friends mementos comprised of razors and lipstick. The Magypsies are some of my favorite characters in the game, but given their depictions, it would be no surprise if Nintendo thought they were too controversial for a western audience. I could see Nintendo changing their outfits, mannerisms, removing any references to gender, or choosing one specific gender and sticking with it. However, I sincerely hope the Magypsies would be left unchanged. I think they're perfect just the way they are. There's a specific moment involving a Magypsy named Ionia that I can almost guarantee would be changed, though. The scene in question occurs in a hot spring, when Ionia teaches Lucas how to awaken his PSI powers for the first time. The fan translation makes it a bit unclear what is actually happening, and it's probably just as ambiguous in the original Japanese text. Basically, Ionia (who admits to being naked in the hot spring) turns Lucas around as the screen fades to black. We then hear Ionia saying, "Don't struggle! Just endure it for a little bit!" After a moment, the screen opens back up to Lucas with his head under the water and Ionia standing behind him. And suddenly, Lucas has awoken to his latent PSI abilities. [embed]339478:62147:0[/embed] Now, I'll admit this scene has always left me feeling rather icky. It's more than likely that the scene was meant to be a sort of "baptism," with Lucas keeping his head under the hot water until the stress and pain forced his mental powers to surface. But it's definitely not made clear, and it's easy to see how it could be interpreted in a more sinister, suggestive way. This is actually one change I really hope Nintendo does decide to make, and it would be very easy to do. Simply add a bit of text when the screen goes dark to make it clear what's actually going on, or better yet, don't have the screen go dark at all so that we can plainly see what's happening. Problem solved. Aside from the Magypsies, the other big moment occurs in the jungles of Tanetane Island, where Lucas and friends consume some suspicious-looking mushrooms and end up with some seriously psychedelic hallucinations. With Nintendo's insistence on removing references to drugs and alcohol in EarthBound, it's no wonder why fans would be skeptical of this scene. Personally, I honestly don't think this part of the game is too problematic. They're eating the mushrooms to survive, rather than for recreational purposes, and they have to deal with the consequences. It's meant to be humorous. However, it's possible Nintendo doesn't not view this issue the same way and might decide to alter it, but how anyone's best guess. I think it's likely the mushroom sprite could be changed to something else, perhaps a pool of liquid or a food that causes dehydration, some kind of creature that uses hypnosis, or whatever other creative solution localization editors can come up with. Then just rewrite the text and remove any potential drug references, and Nintendo is in the clear. If they do decide to keep the shrooms though, it would certainly be ideal. It's one of my favorite moments in the story, after all! Staying consistent with the removal of drugs and alcohol, they might also decide to remove the wine-drinking ghost in Osohe Castle. They could also just make a point of having the ghost call it "juice" or something, kind of like the guy in EarthBound who calls his drink a cappuccino when it's obviously a mug of beer. Watching the wine flow through the ghost's body and splash onto the ground is always hilarious, so I hope they keep him. [embed]339478:62148:0[/embed] Next up is the issue of violence. Ignoring the final boss fight (which better not change, or so help me, Nintendo!), there are two questionable moments: the campfire scene and the chapter with Salsa and Fassad. The former is one of the most powerful moments in the story and it would be a huge shame to see Nintendo cut any of it out. But Flint straight up smacks a dude in the gut with a piece of wood and whacks another guy across the face with it before getting clubbed in the back of the head with a huge piece of lumber. If Nintendo is still concerned about the violence in EarthBound, then it's possible some parts of this scene could be edited. As for Salsa and Fassad, there's the whole issue of animal cruelty. But seeing as how Salsa eventually gets revenge on both Fassad and the device he uses to electrocute the poor monkey, hopefully none of that will have to be altered. Last, but certainly not least, we have the Oxygen Supply Machines of the Sea Floor Dungeon. These machines were made to resemble mermen with luscious lips, and in order to get oxygen from them, one must give them a nice big smooch. So, basically, we have a young boy, a woman, a man, and a dog making out with mermen in order to stay alive under water. Now, I'm of the opinion that the Oxygen Supply Machines are too ridiculous and hilarious to be seen as sexually obscene, but it's entirely possible Nintendo feels differently. I sure hope the company would keep them, though, because I love those guys. The Sea Floor Dungeon just wouldn't be the same without them. Oh yeah, and there's also the scene where we see Lucas's butt. Are butts okay, Nintendo? It's a funny moment, but I could take it or leave it. Other than that, I'm sure we'd see some new dialogue, updated enemy and item names, and many other changes to the text to make it stand out from the fan translation. I know the creators of the fan translation offered to let Nintendo use their work for free, but I highly doubt Nintendo would take them up on that offer. And that's fine! I'm excited to see what Nintendo's localization experts come up with, and if I don't like it as much, I can always go back and play the fan-made version. Those are the biggest changes I expect we might see if and when Nintendo finally localizes Mother 3. A few of them I would honestly be okay with, but some others would be severely disappointing. Of course, we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I'll be happy as long as we actually get the game. Anything is better than nothing, and I say we've waited long enough. Nintendo, we want Mother 3!
Mother 3 localization photo
Lucas' butt might be a no-no
We've waited nearly 10 years for Nintendo to officially localize Mother 3. The wait has been so long, it's started to seem like an impossibility. However, due to some rumors over the past week, it's beginning t...

Mother 3 photo
Mother 3

Is Nintendo preparing a Mother 3 localization?

Multiple sources say 'yes'
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
Mother 3 has been a long-awaited localization -- perhaps one of the most requested in the history of gaming. Gamers have been assuaged by fan translation efforts, but a real, actual release would get this classic into the han...
Mother 3... in Japan photo
Mother 3... in Japan

Such a tease! Mother 3 is headed to Wii U in Japan

Virtual Console
Nov 12
// Jordan Devore
There was at least one noticeable difference between today's Nintendo Direct in North America and Japan, and of course it involved Mother 3. The latter region is getting the treasured role-playing game on the Wii U Virtual Console next month. It's not our year, apparently. Will it ever be? Perhaps in my lifetime. The port will be available digitally in Japan on December 17, 2015.

Experience Points .23: Mother 3

Sep 12 // Ben Davis
Monkey business My favorite character in Mother 3 doesn't remain a party member for very long, but he uses his short amount of time to really shine. Chapter 3 introduces a cute little monkey named Salsa, who is being led around by a horrible man named Fassad. Fassad forces Salsa to perform for him with a device which electrocutes the poor monkey for disobeying. He has also kidnapped Salsa's girlfriend and threatens to harm her if Salsa doesn't do what he says. Fassad is a rather despicable man. Eventually, Fassad drags Salsa to the quiet town of Tazmily, hoping to trick the citizens into buying his "Happy Boxes" (which are basically televisions or computers) by charming them with Salsa's dance moves. He then forces Salsa to deliver the heavy electronics to each of the customers, which means he's free to walk around town without Fassad following him around for a while. Even though he's under strict orders to deliver the Happy Boxes in a timely manner, he can still pretty much do what he pleases. This is one of the most powerful moments in the game to me. A little chime plays each time Salsa picks up a Happy Box, but it's definitely not a happy chime. It's more of an apprehensive tune, which foreshadows the eventual downfall of Tazmily due to the Happy Box catalysts. And poor Salsa is the one being forced to deliver these evil boxes against his will, probably unaware of what he's about to cause. The music for this section, "Monkey's Delivery Service," is one of my favorite tracks. It almost sounds happy at first, but there's this subtle mournful tone to the music which starts to creep in once the player becomes aware of what's happening. It's quite brilliant. Chatting with the local townsfolk of Tazmily while he's supposed to be delivering boxes, Salsa will get a lot of comments about how sad he looks. Makes sense, given his current predicament and the horrible treatment he's been getting. Also, if he looks in the mirror at Lucas' house, he'll think to himself, "What does a smile look like again?" It almost broke my heart the first time I noticed this. But thankfully, Salsa is eventually redeemed, freed from Fassad's evil clutches, and reunited with his girlfriend. It's a good thing he got a happy ending, because I don't know how much more sadness I could have taken. I just wish he could have stayed with Lucas and friends for a while longer! Freaks of nature The enemies in Mother 3 are just amazing. Along with the usual wacky foes, such as living trees, walking musical instruments, and baked yams, Mother 3 also introduces chimeras into the mix. And these aren't your typical chimeras; these jumbled up monsters are all sorts of unexpected and terrifying! Some of the tamer chimeras include the Muttshroom and the Pigtunia, mixing animals and plants to horrific (possibly humorous) effect. But then things start getting crazy when Lucas and friends encounter such bizarre beasts as the Batangutan, an orangutan head with bat wings; the Ostrelephant, an elephant with ostrich legs and an ostrich head for a trunk; and the Parental Kangashark, a hammerhead shark with kangaroo legs and a pouch holding a baby Kangashark. The scariest chimera of all, however, is the Horsantula, a horrible hybrid of horse and tarantula, with eight horse legs, a tarantula torso, and a frightened-looking horse head (*shiver*). A real-life horsantula would probably make me shit my pants... that thing is truly the stuff of nightmares! And then, of course, there is the Ultimate Chimera, which appears to be some kind of demonic creature with a baby chick attached to its head. This foe is practically invincible. It actually cannot be fought in typical combat, and in fact, if it catches Lucas then it's automatically game over! The party's only hope for survival is to run for their lives and hope they're fast enough to escape. But there is a secret which temporarily leaves the Ultimate Chimera incapacitated... Snake charmer Mother 3 took the series' trademark ridiculous inventory items to a whole new level by introducing the Rope Snake, an item that actually becomes a character in the story (and one of my favorite characters at that!). Duster first purchases the Rope Snake from the ghosts in Osohe Castle to help him cross pits as a sort of adorable grappling hook device. Duster also uses the Rope Snake to try and grab hold of an escaping Pigmask airship, with Lucas, Kumatora, and Boney hitching a ride as well. At this point, Rope Snake proudly announces that he's now a major character in the story (and breaks the fourth wall in the process). But unfortunately for everyone else, he also announces that he's unable to support the weight of three people and a dog. His jaw gives out and they all fall from the sky. Later on, Rope Snake gets a second chance and tries to redeem himself by grappling onto a flying bird cage with the party in tow, but his jaw gives out again and everyone falls out of the sky for the second time. His pride shattered from letting his friends down twice, poor Rope Snake leaves the party to go hide in a hole and feel sorry for himself. I've never felt so bad for a snake before as I did for Rope Snake. I just wanted Lucas to give him a hug and tell him that they still believed in him, but instead they just let him go. It's okay, Rope Snake! You tried your hardest! Eventually, the gang meets back up with Rope Snake in New Pork City. He excitedly tells the party that he's close to becoming a behemoth of a snake and wishes them a happy new year, but it seems like Lucas and company are trying to avoid him. It's like they don't even care about their reptilian friend's feelings, the jerks! Oh well. You'll always be cool to me, Rope Snake! Mother 3: The Musical Mother 3 introduced an awesome new mechanic to the turn-based battle system where the player could keep an attack going by repeatedly pressing the button to the rhythm of the music. It's pretty difficult to get the timing just right, and it changes depending on the battle theme, but once you get the hang of it, it's extremely satisfying to pull off. A single attack can turn into a string of several more smaller attacks, stacking up the damage to quickly take down foes. I always enjoy when turn-based JRPGs add interesting mechanics like this to make the combat feel more action-oriented. Games like Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario were really good at this too, keeping players on their toes by allowing them to do extra damage or defense with a well-timed button press. Mother 3's rhythmic combat is possibly my favorite system, simply because of how fun it is to tap along to the music and watch the damage numbers steadily increase and bounce off the enemy. I like to imagine these attacks playing out with Lucas and friends circling around the enemy and bashing them to a rhythm, kind of like that scene from Shaun of the Dead where Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" suddenly starts playing on the jukebox. It's like a fully choreographed dance for every fight! I pity the fool who tries to throw his life away One of my favorite things about the Mother series are all the crazy NPCs. It's one of the few games where talking to every NPC I come across is almost always a rewarding decision. Everyone seems to have something interesting, funny, or completely random to say. Mother 3 happens to have my favorite NPC in the series. He doesn't have a name, and he can't be found wandering around on his own. Instead, he seems to appear out of nowhere whenever Lucas tries to walk on the railroad tracks leading out of Tazmily. If Lucas tries to enter the cave on the tracks, a man will shout, "Hold it!" and run on screen to grab Lucas and pull him off the tracks. He'll then go on about how dangerous that was, urging Lucas not to just throw away his life, and to forget they ever talked. After he walks away, a message pops up saying, "Your life was saved." The gravity of the conversation was so unexpected that I couldn't help but laugh. Even better, the man will continue to save Lucas' life each and every time he tries to enter the cave. He has different dialogue each time, growing more and more impatient and exasperated with Lucas until eventually he gives up trying to convince him not to throw away his life and just rescues him quietly with nothing more to say. The man also bears a striking resemblance to Mr. T, which just makes the whole scene so much more entertaining. Thanks for saving my life, Mr. T! Lucas be trippin' When Lucas and friends find themselves washed ashore on a seemingly deserted island with all of their items missing, they must go foraging for food. The only thing to be found, however, is a group of brightly-colored mushrooms. Lucas' dog Boney steps back as Lucas, Duster, and Kumatora consume the fungi for sustenance. At first, the mushrooms seem to be all right. That is, until they start to take effect and the party falls to the ground, the worlds turns bright pink and purple, and everything starts shifting and swirling. Maybe eating these strange shrooms wasn't the best idea after all... oops! Suddenly, the party springs back to life with the message, "Lucas and company felt just dandy!" But the island looks totally different now, and is strangely populated by... people you know? While running through the jungle, the party will encounter friends and family members who shouldn't be there. They're all saying really strange things, but they're just illusions. They can even be battled and destroyed, revealing that they were actually enemies shrouded in disguise. The jungle is also strangely littered with mailboxes, and these mailboxes are filled with some of the most insane things you can imagine. Among the many mailboxes Lucas comes across, some of my favorites include the following contents: "Inside the mailbox was the sound of yourself crying," "Inside the mailbox was absolutely nothing. Nothing after nothing came bursting out," "Someone looked back at you from inside the mailbox! ...Or so it seemed, but you were the one looking from the other side, too," and my personal favorite, "There's nothing in the mailbox. Except for the 1000 rat corpses." Man, those mushrooms were no joke! Eventually, the party arrives at the house of Mixolydia, the local Magypsy, who notices that they're all hopped up on shrooms and kindly knocks them back to their senses. So ends Lucas' crazy, drugged-out adventure through the psychedelic island jungle full of horrific, mind-blowing discoveries. It's just too bad they didn't run into Mixolydia before they decided to take a dip in a nice, relaxing hot spring which actually turned out to be a disgusting sewage dump... blech! The saddest man in the world Mother 3 has some awesome boss fights, but there's one optional boss that really stands out from the rest. Granted, he's not really boss material per se, but he does get the "Strong One" boss music, so I think he technically counts as a boss. I'm talking, of course, about Negative Man. Lucas finds Negative Man hunched over on all fours, alone and unmoving in the middle of a cave. If the party decides to battle him, they had better be prepared for the easiest fight of their lives! It's so easy, in fact, that I actually feel pretty bad for the guy. Negative Man very rarely attacks, and when he does, he can only manage to dish out a measly single point of damage. Mostly, he'll just be pathetic and feel sorry for himself. Instead of attacking, he'll use up his turns muttering things like, "There's just no way I can win..." or, "Just get rid of me now..." or even, "I'm nothing but a worthless protoplasm..." Meanwhile, Lucas and company just keep mercilessly beating the crap out of him until he's defeated. Poor guy... I almost want to just let him win so that he might feel a little better about himself. But let's be real, that could take ages and I don't want to wait that long. Sorry, Negative Man, but today's not your day! [embed]310276:60326:0[/embed] Open Sesame Tofu The Mother series is at its finest whenever it's trying to be funny, which is admittedly almost all the time. One of the funniest moments hands down happens in Mother 3 when Wess must open a secret door in Osohe Castle. And what better way to open a secret door than by... dancing in front of it? For a bit of background, Wess is an elderly gentleman with a rather serious disposition who spends most of his time scolding his son, Duster. The last thing I'd expect someone like Wess to do would be to let loose and start acting silly. But when the father-son duo finds themselves blocked by a grim-looking door, Wess does the unexpected. He urges Duster to turn around because he's about to do something embarrassing. And then, out of nowhere, some upbeat, goofy music begins playing and Wess starts shaking his butt and performs just about the silliest dance I can imagine, causing the door to crack a huge smile and open. It might just be my absolute favorite moment in the Mother series, just because it's Wess of all people. For an old guy, he can really shake it! Later in the game, Salsa also gets to perform the dance to open the door. It's a lot more adorable when Salsa does it, but also a lot less shocking and hilarious because he's not an old man. Video games could really do with more old folks dancing, in my opinion. Past Experience Points Level 1: .01 - .20 .21: Katamari Damacy.22: Tomb Raider
Mother 3 highlights photo
A story is a series of memories
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a p...

Mother 4 trailer photo
Mother 4 trailer

Fan-made Mother 4 still on track, finally gets a gameplay trailer

Ben started sweating generously!
Feb 24
// Ben Davis
EarthBound creator Shigesato Itoi has already confirmed multiple times that he's not interested in working on any more games in the Mother series, but he wouldn't mind playing Mother 4 if it was made by somebody el...
Mother 3 fan art photo
Mother 3 fan art

Mother 3 hot springs man lovingly recreated with polygons

Feb 11
// Ben Davis
YouTuber KamiWasa created a short animation of the mysterious old man from Mother 3, who is sometimes seen hanging out in the hot springs. It's just a quick loop of the man appearing and disappearing, as he often does, and u...
Mother 3 tease photo
Mother 3 tease

Nintendo pokes fun at fans, jokes about Mother 3

The platform holder strikes back
Jun 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Nintendo draws a lot of criticism for things it both does and doesn't do. Usually the venerable platform holder quietly takes it all on the chin, rather than responding to irate fans and hecklers. Not today, though. The Ninte...
EarthBound compilation photo
EarthBound compilation

Fan compiles all three Mother games for Wii

'MOTHER was turned on...'
Mar 18
// Darren Nakamura
EarthBound (Mother 2 in Japan) holds a special place in the hearts of many, but despite the clamor for it, Nintendo has never officially released Mother or Mother 3 outside of Japan. Mother went through official localiz...
Earthbound photo

Fan recreates Earthbound with HD visuals

Artist Christopher Behr gives the retro cult hit a new look
Dec 18
// Alessandro Fillari
To say that Earthbound, or Mother as it's referred to in Japan, is a much loved and admired game, is an understatement. From fans creating charity drives, to organized campaigns to get the game on Nintendo's virtual console -...
Mother 3 photo
Mother 3

Mother 3 fan translators offer their patch to Nintendo

... for free, of course
Apr 20
// Jonathan Holmes
Nintendo recently announced that they're releasing EarthBound on the Wii U virtual console in the U.S. and Europe. Then they debunked the theories that it hadn't been previously re-released because the music sounded too ...

Shigesato Itoi hints at something related to Mother

This can't possibly end in disappointment
Dec 21
// Jordan Devore
The folks at EarthBound Central have been following Mother designer Shigesato Itoi's Twitter like they presumably always do, and apparently something is a brewing. The outlet translated two recent tweets: "Since it's now okay...

Christmas lights synched to Mother 3 credits music

Dec 22
// Tony Ponce
Time for some more holiday cheer! Check out this lighting display that has been set in time with the beautiful "16 Melodies" from the Mother 3 soundtrack. AwesomeHouseLights has been taking requests for songs to get the ligh...

10+ games to help the Wii go out with a bang

Jun 27 // Jonathan Holmes
Pikmin 2 + Chibi Robo New Play Control Here are two games that that hardcore Nintendo fans love, but failed to gain much mainstream acceptance when they were first released on the Gamecube. Seeing as the translation has already been written for both of them, and Pikmin 2 New Play Control has already been released in Europe, the level of expense to bring these two games stateside is negligible, while the potential gain is bursting with flavor. Releasing these games is both a way to make sad Wii gamers feel better during this gaming drought, and a way to get people ready for Pikmin 3 while gauging interest in a new Chibi Robo game. they could be released as separate budget titles, or a double pack. Either way, Nintendo is sure to at least break even on these two, while working PR for the Pikmin and Chibi Robo (and Nintendo) brands in the process. Best of fan DLC for Super Smash Bros. Brawl With the 3DS eShop and its free apps, Nintendo is reportedly doing everything it can to grow their presence in the online space. So far, not so good. One way they could really blow some minds and defy expectations is to take some notes from Valve, one of the most successful online game developers in the world. When Valve released fan-created Team Fortress 2 content as an official product, it sent a message to their audience that there is no line between the people that create Valve games, and people that play Valve games. That's the kind of unity that Nintendo desperately needs to find with its consumers. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the most heavily modded game in the Wii's library, and also one of the most controversial amongst hardcore Nintendo fans. Releasing the best of Brawl fan-made content (particularly the still in production Project M) would give people a reason to care about Smash Bros. again, a reason to get their Wii's online, and reason to believe that Nintendo truly loves their fans. Fatal Frame 4 The Wii has always had a fan base waiting for a good survival-horror game. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition was one of the consoles first million sellers. Thing is, that audience never really got served.  Sure, the Wii got some great horror based on-rails shooters, some budget produced horror titles, a non-violent Silent Hill, and a goofy, critically panned port of Dead Rising, but none of those games really gave survival horror fans what they wanted. What a lot of them wanted was Fatal Frame 4. In fact, they wanted it so badly that they translated the game themselves. I've played the game with the fan translation, and other than few niggling bugs (something fans are quick to forgive with games from Grasshopper Manufacture), I loved the game. It may have been released in Japan back in 2009, but there is no reason that the game couldn't still make an impact on the Wii in 2011. Release it as a budget title, or pack it in with another unreleased Japanese horror game like Night of the Sacrifice, and you have yourself a deal that any horror-loving Wii owner would have a hard time passing up. Throw in the fact that the game has an unlockable Luigi's Mansion costume, and you have a game that is sure to grab the attention of Nintendo fans, and raise awareness of the upcoming Luigi's Mansion 2. Monado/Xenoblade Chronicles Now here is a real head-scratcher. Nintendo of America showed this game off years ago at E3. Nintendo of Europe has already announced that it's being brought to their territories. Fans have helped the game to reach #1 on Amazon's gaming charts. Yet, Nintendo of America is yet to say anything about the game coming here, other than release a canned customer service response saying "stay tuned for further announcements". Now, I've played Xenoblade. It's good, but it's not that good. That said, the game definitely has an audience here, an audience that has been wanting the game since Nintendo showed it off at E3 all those years ago. It's just bad business to lead your fans into thinking you're going to give them the option to buy a game, then taking that option away without any valid explanation. That's especially true now that Operation Rainfall is making so much noise about the game. At this point, Nintendo has to release the game (preferably without the useless Chronicles surname) if they want their small but dedicated RPG-loving fans to have any faith in them. That goes double for... The Last Story Final Fantasy is one of the most beloved series in gaming history. The creator of Final Fantasy recently made a game called The Last Story. He said that he may retire if the game isn't well received. Luckily for him (and for us), the game is better than just about every other game on this list, not to mention just about every Final Fantasy game released in the past ten years. Nintendo holds the publishing rights to The Last Story, and they may not release it in America, potentially depriving American Wii owners of one of the consoles best games, not to mention putting the career of one of Japan's most legendary developers in peril. In terms of catering to the "hardcore" gamer, it doesn't get much worse than that. It would be one thing if the game was "just too expensive to translate", but according to some sources, The Last Story is coming to Europe, just like Xenoblade. If Nintendo doesn't bring the game to the United States, despite the fact that it's already translated into English, well, they might as well put out billboards with Reggie Fils Aime wearing a devil costume, saying "We hate RPGs, and the people that play them", complete with maniacal laughter. Pandora's Tower + Dynamic Zan/Zangeki no Reginleiv double pack Speaking of action RPGs, here are a pair of budget titles that aren't likely to become huge hits, but are both extremely marketable to a certain brand of gamer. Pandora's Tower is basically a cross between Bionic Commando and Castlevania, but with a beautiful female heroine who needs to eat monster flesh in order to keep from becoming a monster herself, and a creepy old demon thing with a giant skeleton on it's back that cackles a lot. Dynamic Zan is the first game that Nintendo has published to receive the equivalent of an M rating in Japan, and it plays like Earth Defense Force, but instead of teaming up with friends via online co-op to save the Earth and kill giant bugs, you're taking out giant ogres and mythological beasts with swords and magic. Both of these games have the appeal of a weird, action anime from the 90's, and I'm sure they could find their audience in the U.S.  Bundle those two games together, or release them separately as budget titles, and Wii owning action game fans won't be able to resist. Seriously, Nintendo only has one major action/fantasy game coming out this year- Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Compare that to the PS3 and 360's line up for the year, and it's just disgusting. Even if they bring The Last Story here, that's still just two games. That's not OK, Nintendo. Give us a 3rd and 4th game, preferably in the two-for-one deal format, and we'll almost forgive you. Disaster: Day of Crisis + President Cat double pack Wii owners have a long history of showing that they know how to embrace ridiculousness and mini-game collections, and Disaster: Day of Crisis is one of the most ridiculous mini-game collections I've ever played. The game stars a sexy man with tribal tattoos who must cope with every type of disaster ever conceived, ranging from volcanoes and terrorist attacks to earthquakes and wild bears. One second you'll be doing CPR on a dying man, the next you'll be driving a car through falling buildings, and the next you'll be blasting bear cubs with a shotgun. The game wasn't meant to be funny, but from my time with the game's European release, I can confidently state that it's one of my favorite comedy games of this generation. It's also a lot of fun, as long as you approach it with the right attitude. It's not quite the Wii's equivalent to Deadly Premonition, but it's damn close. Then on the other side of the coin, we have President Cat, a mini-game collection about a cat who wears giant cat ears and runs her own publishing company (called CatQueen Inc, of course). She has to climb a rope, vacuume up mystical energy from the trunk of a convertible, play piano, and C'MON PEOPLE THE GAME IS CALLED PRESIDENT CAT! Do you really need for me to explain how insane it is? Packaging this game with Disaster: Day of Crisis would be the perfect way to tell fans "hey, we both know that these games are not triple A, but they're both surreal and hilarious in their own ways, so why don't you just relax and enjoy them?" It certainly worked for WarioWare:Smooth Moves, and it could also work for Disaster: Day of Crisis/President Cat. Trace Memory 2 Trace Memory is one of those games that has a small but highly dedicated cult following in the United States. The game's sequel (entitled Another Code R in Europe) maintains the series mysterious, atmosphere-focused adventure/puzzle formula, but transforms series protagonist Ashley Robbins from a ambitious but restrained little girl to an formidable 16 year old lady. She's one of my favorite characters of this generation of gaming. A lot of that is because her animations and mannerisms of are so surprisingly detailed, and undeniably charming, without reliance on photo-realism. Through her words and behaviors, we learn that Ashley is strong willed, determined, but very human, and highly self analytical person. I believe that if given a chance, she would elicit both empathy and admiration from the American Wii audience, regardless of their gender. Playing the game makes you feel like you're hanging out with Ashley Robbins, but it also makes you feel like you are Ashley Robbins. Despite the game's occasional wonky puzzle, you'll want to play through it from beginning to end, because being (and being with) Ashley makes it worth it. Earth Seeker As for Earth Seeker, I haven't played it yet, so I can't speak to its merits. I can say that, from what I've seen, the game has all the makings of a fantastic exploration focused RPG. More so, whenever someone brings up all the games that Nintendo of America hasn't localized yet, someone in the comments always says "What about Earth Seeker?", so I know the interest is there. The game is about a woman teaming up with a bunch of cute little alien-looking things, exploring a post apocalyptic earth and fighting giant robots with laser swords. That's not such a tough sell, is it? The game also has a cool tie in with a DSiWare game, which would again encourage Nintendo owners to get their damn consoles online. Earth Seeker may not be able to stand on it's own. It may need to be a budget release, or come packaged with another game (the exploration based Trace Memory 2 might be a good choice), but either way, the game definitely deserves a chance here in the US. Captain Rainbow + Mother 3 + Earthbound triple pack budget release Out of all the games on this list, this is the one I'm the most sure will never happen (even more so than the Brawl DLC, which is saying a lot). It's also the one that I'm most sure would sell at retail. There are millions of new Nintendo fans who want to play Earthbound and Mother 3, just to see for themselves who Ness and Lucas from Super Smash Bros. Brawl are. As for Captain Rainbow, it's a game where you finally determine what Birdo's gender is. There are millions of adults who grew up with Super Mario Bros. 2 who have been dying for an answer to that question for most of their lives. I'm sure that $30 would be a small price to pay to have that question answered.   One may argue that charging retail price from a SNES game, a GBA game, and a super-weird Wii game may not be a good business practice. Yet, Nintendo sold Super Mario All-Stars, an un-enhanced SNES game, on a Wii disc last year for $30, and people ate it up. Earthbound fans would do the same for Earthbound and Mother 3, while those who have never played the series before couldn't deny the value of getting three full length games for the price of one. Conclusion The issue with these games, and Nintendo's reluctance to publish them, isn't with value. The issue here is with Nintendo's image. Is the company willing to release these titles and risk "looking weird" in front of the mainstream American market that it's worked so hard to impress? I can't believe we're even asking that question. The answer is so obvious. From a hardware perspective, "looking weird" has saved Nintendo from certain doom. It's the one thing that kept them alive. With the DS and the Wii, Nintendo didn't try to "look normal". They didn't try to follow trends in the Western market, or any trends for that matter. Instead, they chose to try to lead the market, with a portable handheld with two screens, and a modified Gamecube with a bizarre motion-based controller. If they hadn't taken those risks, if they hadn't been willing to "look weird", they'd have been stuck with the Gamecube and the Gameboy Micro, which could have led to the death of the company. With this list, I'm merely suggesting that Nintendo try to take some similar risks with their software. Well, that's not exactly fair. Nintendo is taking risks with their software, but only in Japan. It's Nintendo of America that seems so acutely risk averse. On the eve of the release of the Wii U, Nintendo of America needs to prove to the "core" Wii gamer (who already feels deprived of 3rd party support that the PS3 and the 360 get), that they will do everything they can to give them games that they may want to play. They need to show that they aren't the same predictable, "casual" focused company that their detractors claim that they are. They need to make the gaming world feel that we don't know exactly what to expect from them, that the Nintendo of the Wii era is evolving, and that the "Wii U" might be more than just the "Wii 2". Releasing the games above would help to start that, and in the process, Nintendo would be giving desperate Wii owners something to play other than Kirby, Skyward Sword, and Rhythm Heaven this year. There is nothing more valuable to a successful game developer than maintaining the loyalty of your fans and building credibility and desirability amongst your non-fans . If Nintendo wants to stay on top, they'd do well to go after those two goals, by whatever means (and Earthbound games) necessary.

The Wii is on it's way out. Sure, with an install base of over 80 million, chances are that smaller developers will be making Wii games for a while, but when it comes to being Nintendo's primary home console, the little white...


Mother 3 Adventure Time mash up gets me giddy

Jan 15
// Jonathan Holmes
I'm currently planning an episode of Constructoid about constructive criticism for gaming's famous female protagonists. The idea is to talk about how they can be more effective and positive role models without alienating game...

Tomopop toy roundup: Sonic, Ezio, Mother, ZEKE and more

Dec 27
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Did you know that on top of all this videogame goodness served to you on a regular basis, the ModernMethod Network also brings you Japanese/anime culture, movies and toys? Videogames are an ever growing medium and more than a...

Game SERIES Debate to the Death! EarthBound (Mother)

Jul 27
// Tom Fronczak
EarthBound, which has always been known as Mother overseas, started out as one of the most beloved RPG series of its time, remained one of the most cherished series all throughout the 1990s, and has since then proven that it ...

Banpresto selling glut of Mother toys in next six months

Jul 20
// Conrad Zimmerman
If you need another, physical reminder that the Mother series gets no love outside of Japan, this story is for you. Banpresto has announced a new line of statues featuring characters from Mother and EarthBound. The first...

E3 10: Exploring the office of Dr. Andonuts

Jun 17
// Jonathan Holmes
EarthBound/Mother fans know who Dr. Andonuts is. The rest of you don't. If you're one of those in "the rest," I can tell you in brief that Dr. Andonuts is a major character in one of Nintendo's most beloved and maltreated se...

Mother 3 figurines will make you weep tears of joy

Dec 06
// Matthew Razak
You know that list of top 50 games of the decade that one site did? You know, the one. The one where we had Mother 3 as the third greatest game of this decade. I bet you thought there wasn't a way we could honor the game any ...

Nepotism FTW: Spirit Tracks has Mother 3's rope snake

Dec 04
// Jonathan Holmes
So I guess the Mother/Earthbound community has been talking about this for a while, but I didn't see the connection until this morning as I was cruising around the Game Watch Impress looking for news. LoZ: Spirit Tracks has b...

The Memory Card .76: Brotherly love

Nov 19
// Chad Concelmo
“The Memory Card” is a seasonal feature that dissects and honors some of the most artistic, innovative, and memorable videogame moments of all time. We all have experienced our fair share of sad moments in videoga...

Giygas: A psychoanalysis of evil Itself

Oct 18
[Editor's note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our...

The Memory Card .60: Flint's rage

Apr 02
// Chad Concelmo
This is it, kids: the Season 3 finale of The Memory Card. Like always, though, this feature will be back before you know it for a hopefully star-studded Season 4. My love of classic 16-bit era sprite graphics is so strong tha...

Fils-Aime is a 'big Mother fan,' game still not coming out

Apr 02
// Dale North
Nintendo nerds all want Mother 3 to come out. I get that. Hell, even Nintendo boss Reggie Fils-Aime gets it -- he loves the game. Despite his love for the title, Reggie sets the record straight on this much-wanted game in a r...

Brownie Brown interested in Wii title and Mother 3 localization

Jan 21
// Brad Nicholson
Brownie Brown is not a hooker, but it's looking for work. President of the studio, Shinichi Kameoka recently spoke to Siliconera about the developer’s desires for the future. Kameoka said that he would “like to tr...

An RPG Draws Near! Mother 3

Oct 21 // Colette Bennett
Mother 3Publisher: Nintendo Released: 2006 Platform: Game Boy Advance With all the pretty new RPGs on the market, what exactly is it about this old GBA game that is worth the trouble of downloading, emulating AND patching in English in order for me to play it? Such methods do not appeal to the lazy, and even fans of all things retro may not understand what it is about Mother 3 that makes it so special to so many people. I had an inkling, but felt I couldn't really understand until I had played it in English. Over this past weekend, I settled down to give it a whirl, thanks to the hard work of the fine people at Starmen.Net. If you've never played a previous Mother title (Mother 2 was released as EarthBound in the US), you don't have to worry: while the games are numbered in order, the stories are stand-alones much like the Final Fantasy series. The thing that ties the three games together are the final bosses, but I leave it to you to find out what exactly those ties are all about. If you have even a scrap of appreciation for older games, you will quickly notice that this game is absolutely charming. If you are positively fed up with wandering around medieval worlds in your RPGs (I certainly am), Mother 3 presents the perfect solution of a Western setting with a slightly Japanese perspective. It's basically the polar opposite of generic, from fights to interaction with NPCs. The story begins by introducing you to multiple characters, all of whom you will either play or interact with during the course of the story. Throughout the game's eight chapters, you will play as Flint, the father, Dustin, a limping thief, Salsa, the monkey, and finally as Lucas, Flint's son. Through their adventures, you discover that Nowhere Islands (the land in which the story takes place) has been invaded by the Pig Mask Army and you must fight to save it. Creator Shigesato Itoi embraces a quirky sense of humor, and it definitely shows in the title. Everything from saving your game by talking to frogs to reports on the inactivity of NPCs that fight with you is absolutely charming, and you'll find a smile plastered across your face while you play more often than not. That's not to say that the entire game is a bucket of laughs. The slogan for the game's Japanese release was "Strange, Funny and Heartrending", and it most certainly is all of those things. Fans of EarthBound have definitely noted that Mother 3 is a darker game despite the humor, and while it balances well, expect to be shaken up. This is not a game afraid to make you feel something (which makes me love it all the more). So how does combat work, you ask? Well, you'll recognize the basic, turn-based format if you've played any RPG, but not only are the battles quick and fluid to move through, but the things you fight are hilarious. Sure, I may have to fight forty dung beetles before I can move forward, but if you can keep me amused while I do so, grinding feels a lot less like a chore. I really appreciate that in a title. In addition, you have an optional method of fighting that is one of more clever twists I have seen in any turn-based title: the Music Combo system. Each enemy you encounter has their own theme, and when you attack, you can score combos by pressing the A button along with the beat of their theme. Sometimes the tempo varies, challenging the player to keep up. Sure, you don't have to use it at all, but considering you can score up to a 16 hit combo by using it, you might want to get your foot to tapping. After spending some quality time with this game, I feel I can honestly call it the antidote to the common RPG syndrome. I love the Final Fantasy series, but since it favors a serious dramatic route, there's rarely room for laughs. The execution of the humor in Mother 3 (and how elegantly it intertwines with more serious events) is truly what makes the game a masterpiece. I don't care if you have to borrow, beg or steal to get your hands on it, but any fan of retro RPGs that has not played this game really must do so. Actually, I do care if you steal -- you should buy a copy and then download the rom and apply the English patch. Much like my Super Famicom copy of Chrono Trigger, you may not actually be able to play and understand the original, but there's a talismanic power immediately granted to all gamers by simply owning that original cartridge. Frame it and put it up in the bathroom. I call that art. Command? >Attack: Immediately. Stop reading this article and go get it right now. As an RPG fan, you should be ashamed of not having the experience of this game under your belt.>Parry: If the same recycled medieval settings are your bread and butter. Even if they are, try to be open-minded and get this game anyway.It's simply not to be missed.

If you are already a fan of the other games in the series, there's no question why the excitement is so great for the English translation of Mother 3. Maybe you haven't discussed or even heard of the game, and reading all the...


The book fetish fairy strikes again: The unofficial Mother 3 Handbook

Oct 20
// Colette Bennett
I was suffering the paroxyms of book fetishist rapture last week after finally getting a gander at the Ninokuni in all its glory last week, but it seems that my day is not over yet when it comes to my hobby. As you may know, ...

Done and done: Mother 3 fan translation is complete!

Oct 17
// Nick Chester
We told you it was coming, and we just wanted to give you a heads up: the Mother 3 fan translation project is complete!"After more than 13 years of waiting, the sequel to EarthBound is now in English!" writes Tomato...

Destructoid interview: webmaster Reid Young

Oct 17
// Brad Nicholson
It has been a long journey for Reid Young, webmaster of For over a decade, he and a band of devoted followers have been fighting a losing battle with Nintendo of America. What Reid (popularly known by his handle ...

Fan translation of Mother 3 is finally finished!

Oct 15
// Chad Concelmo
Oh my gosh, I can’t believe the day has finally come (and before you yell, yes, I know this news was official a couple nights ago -- you can blame the blind, homeless children I have been reading bedtime stories to the ...

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