EarthBound fans: The Mother 3 fan translation is done! BOING!
Everyone else: EarthBound was released on our shores in the summer of ’95, so it’s been over thirteen years since we got anything new from the mind of Shigesato Itoi. Fans were ecstatic, then, when Nintendo released the Game Boy Advance sequel, Mother 3, a couple years back. But Nintendo of America…seemed less so. There was no word on a domestic release, and slowly but surely, the GBA died off without seeing it brought over. Eventually, frustration gave way to determination, and the folks over at Starmen.net (yes, the ones single-handedly responsible for giving “being an EarthBound fan” that kind of stigma) assembled a team of hackers and writers to produce a professional, localized translation. Two years later, it’s finally been released, and based on some of the screenshots they’ve provided, the localization has fully captured the spirit of EarthBound:
[[image: ar_101708_mother_01.jpg:Insert ”mother” pun here.:center:0]]
So now we’re free to enjoy the fruits of their labor, but the fight is never over to show Nintendo that their beloved series can actually make some money, if only they’d give it a chance. I, for one, still plan to buy EarthBound the second it goes up on the Virtual Console, and yes, I’d buy Mother 3 and play it all over again if it ever saw some kind of official release here. (As it stands, a donation to Starmen.net and buying a cheap flash cartridge makes me feel a little better, though I’m guessing all they really want is an official release of by Nintendo.) Scruples, and all that.
And really, there isn’t much else to say. Go try it for yourself, even if you haven’t played EarthBound; I hear it’s not a direct sequel at all, and you can fully enjoy it on its own merits. EarthBound was an enamoring -– but decidedly weird –- RPG with enough charm to create a fan base dedicated enough to do something like this, and Mother 3 looks to be that and more. If nothing else, play it until the end of Act 1; I’ve been told that the game’s opening segment conclusively proves sprites can have as much emotional impact as anything else. It isn’t every day you’re given a chance to experience something you’d given up on because you were born in the wrong part of the world, so please, enjoy it.