Is Earthbound/Mother Coming to the Nintendo 3DS?

Let's hope so

Image © Nintendo

Are you familiar with the Mother series of role-playing games? Mother was born on the Famicom (Japan’s version of what eventually became our Nintendo Entertainment System) and has had sequels on the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo/SNES) and the Game Boy Advance. Only one game, Mother 2, officially made it to North America where it was released as Earthbound on the SNES. Earthbound didn’t sell very well, and it languished in relative obscurity until the internet reminded 16-bit RPG fans that they’d missed out pretty hardcore on one of the genre’s best games.

Mother/Earthbound For 3DS?

These days, Mother/Earthbound has a fiercely dedicated fanbase with some talented translators who’ve worked hard to make supplementary Mother games and information available for English-speaking audiences. Happily, the series’ creator, famous Japanese copywriter Shigesato Itoi, recently acknowledged Mother’s non-Japanese fanbase. A few weeks later, towards the end of 2012, Itoi also mentioned on Twitter that he’s hard at work on another Mother-related project:

Since it’s now okay to blurt this out, here goes: the “MOTHER republication” thing I mentioned briefly before is making progress.

(Translations of Mr. Itoi’s tweets come courtesy of Earthbound Central.)

Itoi was quick to mention that this upcoming Mother project is not Mother 4, so that’s one hope to fold up and store away. By the sounds of it, though, the ”Mother republication” involves a re-release of one or more of the Mother games, perhaps on the Nintendo 3DS.

Fans of Earthbound and Mother outside Japan have been clamoring for Nintendo of America and Europe to pay more attention to the series, and Nintendo has largely remained quiet and coy. This generation of systems is no different; there’s been no word about whether or not countries other than Japan will get to partake of the Mother republication—whatever it is.

Many fans hope that Mother, Earthbound, and Mother 3 are all being remade for the Nintendo 3DS as a retail/downloadable title, and that officially-translated collection will make its way to North America. Mother/Earthbound features amongst my favorite role-playing titles thanks to the games’ unique stories, modern settings, emotional writing, and distinctive visual style (which was sadly under-appreciated when Earthbound came to North America).