Random Fandom: MOTHER 3 fan-translation is GO!


Okay, okay, so this isn’t really about anime or manga… but I don’t care! This is an important announcement aimed primarily at the numbered yet staunch fanbase of the SNES RPG cult classic, the one, the only — Earthbound (known in Japan as Mother 2.) For all those who haven’t heard the awesome news, I am extremely pleased to say that after two loooong, arduous years, the Mother 3 English translation is finally complete. Let us rejoice! Visit the fan-translation site, buy the game, download the ROM, download the patch — whatever. If you enjoyed Earthbound, I hereby decree that it is your DUTY to play Mother 3. I promise that it is a game well worth your time, and the translation patch is a gorgeous piece of programming.

Rather than relate the entire tale of how Nintendo refused to produce a United States (English) version of Mother 3 (due to a supposed lack of fanbase, which, lacking in quantity, we Earthbound fans MORE than compensate for in quality), I decided I would copy the website summary. Have a look:

When on your way out

The Backstory

“Mother 3 is the sequel to EarthBound (an epic Super Nintendo RPG released in 1995) which was in development for 12 years before it was released in Japan in April 2006. It soon became clear that Nintendo of America was uninterested in localizing the game, so in November 2006 the fans took matters into their own hands with the Do it Yourself Devotion project.

Be sure that you say goodbye

For two years a team of translators and hackers worked to produce an in-depth, professional translation and localization of MOTHER 3. In August 2007 the team began blogging about their progress, attracting the attention of the gaming industry, media, and more than half a million unique visitors. On October 17, 2008, version 1.0 of the fan translation was released. Crazy times.” (Quoted from the fan translation website.)

Then lock the door tight

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  1. LDC
    Posted October 17, 2008 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Mother of god.

  2. Karry
    Posted October 17, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    1) Fix the link to the patch site

    2) I honestly cant see whats so special about this game. Primitive graphics and overall presentation, and a rather primitive gameplay. Certainly nothing to rave about, like many do…but then again, people rave about Naruto&Bleach too, so…

    Now, a couple days ago Persona 2 translation patch was finished – now THAT is what i’m calling an achievement.

  3. unsquared
    Posted October 18, 2008 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    I loved Earthbound/Mother 2, so I’ll definitely play this…though I might wait until I figure out whether it’d be better to port it to my PSP or DS. I’d rather go portable with this type of thing! :D

    It’s all about the quirkiness! Well, for me anyway. Based on the screen captures, I think very little has changed much from the original, but that doesn’t really matter. I found neither the graphics nor the gameplay amazing when playing Mother 2; it’s just really charming because it’s weird, haha. I’m looking forward to the same kind of quirkiness in this sequel. I can’t get over the novelty of the homesickness alignment, hippies, cults, and zombies!

    Persona 2 has a patch out? That’s worthy of celebration too! :D

  4. Posted October 18, 2008 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    @Karry: If you didn’t play Earthbound, or if you did and you weren’t swayed by it from the very beginning, this post unfortunately is not for you ^_^ Thanks for pointing out the link info, by the way — it is fixed now. Now, about the comparison of Mother 2 & 3 to Naruto/Bleach, I really don’t think that’s a fair analogy. Naruto and Bleach have HUGE followings. They are aimed at the populace and rely on mass appeal. Conversely, the Mother series has always had a small fan base. You are looking at two different types of fandom, the latter being a cult following; unfortunately, cult favorites tend to be somewhat exclusive by nature… in other words, if you didn’t play Earthbound, you probably aren’t going to care about this game.

    @unsquared: You can run the ROM patch on a DS rather easily using certain flash carts (the ones that support GBA ROMs, like EZ Flash.)

  5. Posted October 18, 2008 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    I can’t stop laughing at Cattlesnake XD

  6. Posted October 18, 2008 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I downloaded the patch minutes after it came out – been checking the site pretty much hourly since the announcement earlier this week XD Unfortunately, I had to go to a dinner party last night so I have yet to get a chance to play it :(

    On a side note, props to the translator for making the patch not just a windows .exe, but a mac, and more importantly linux, executable as well.

  7. EvilDevil
    Posted October 18, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    mmm… not working for me.
    I gets stuck on the ‘this is a free translation’ screen and nothing happens…

  8. Posted October 18, 2008 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    @Vin-nii: The “Reconstructed Caribou” really did it for me ^_^

    @jiff: Yea, seriously. The translation team did a fantastic, very, very professional job. With people like fan subbers and fan translators producing such professional-quality for, it’s no wonder that the real “pros” feel threatened by their presence.

    @EvilDevil: What type of emulator are you using? I recommending downloading the latest version possible and trying that first, because I had a similar problme last night.

  9. Kobukson
    Posted October 18, 2008 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Maipeisu: Same issue myself. I’m on a Mac 10.5.5 and tried both all versions of VisualBoy as well as the beta of VBA-M -.-

  10. Kobukson
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Nvm, figured it out. The Mac version of VBA required me to press ‘Z’ rather than Space or Enter to continue (how misleading since the health warning was bypassable by Enter -.-

  11. d
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Permalink


    i love earthbound, first of all. if you’ve really given it a chance and still don’t like it, i obviously can’t dissuade you. but if you’re judging it based on appearances alone (it IS a GBA title) you’re doing yourself a disservice. personally i’m extremely fond of the graphics, and the gameplay i think is actually kind of challenging.. in EB when you lost a party member, you felt it. and i died a whole lot more in that game than any other for the SNES. as far as RPGs go, it is fairly atypical.. story-wise, and even several game mechanics are unique (again, for the SNES/GBA) like seeing enemies when out of battle, as well as the rolling health meter and the ability to auto-beat enemies that no longer pose a challenge so you don’t need to enter a battle sequence. and really it’s just so endearing and hard to describe. not the BEST GAME EVAR but worthy of its following, absolutely.

2 Trackbacks

  • By ~MOE~ // Memories of Eternity on October 18, 2008 at 7:05 pm

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  • […] thanks to THAT for informing me of this little gem, and of course to the translators for supporting one of the […]

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