A little introduction
[Article written by Yota]
Mother 3 was going to be a Nintendo 64’s sequel of the SNES RPG know as Earthbound. It was, however, cancelled in 2000, but later the game resurfaced on the GBA and it was officially released in 2006. Now that the english fan-translation of Mother 3 is out, we can finally try to analyze the old beta with the help of the few informations we have in English. (Itoi posted some notes about the cancellation of Mother 64 on his japanese site, but unfortunately only two pages have been translated by Tomato.They can be found here).
It seems that Mother 3 was already scheduled for the SNES even before the release of Earthbound in America, but the development was quickly switched to the 64DD, and the game was officially announced only in 1996. We don’t know much about the Disk Drive version, but, like Zelda URA, it would have used all of the add-on features, and it would have been compatible with Mario Artist. Also, according to Dream 64, the original story was originally intended to cover ten years of the characters life.
In 1998 Nintendo said that the 64DD Mother 3 was going to be ported on a cartridge, with an F-zero-like expansion scheduled for later. The cart version had twelve chapters, more characters, more locations (like a jungle and a river that you can see in a screenshot), but the main narrative was roughly the same as the GBA version, only more mature. Flint, Claus and Lucas probably had a bigger role in the first chapters compared to the final version.
A playable demo of Mother 3 N64 version was even presented at the Space World 1999, showing some beautiful beta scenes from the beginning of the game. Thanks to a video trailer from this 1999 version, we can see that many parts of this build were later ported to the GBA, even if with some interesting exceptions: Flint was able to use one of the Pig’s vehicles, there were a desert and a train showed only much later in the GBA game, a mine cart with Claus and Lucas inside, a jungle, a river, a mysterious dungeon.The most enigmatic sequence was however showed in a different video: a Ness-like character that drives one of the Pig’s vehicle.
The development of Mother 3 / Earthbound 64 was slowed down by many factors and not even the help of HAL, which tried to scale down the game, saved the project from its end. The official reason for the cancellation was the “Dolphin” (GameCube) imminent release. Mother 64 was 60% completed according to Miyamoto, and 30% completed according to Itoi.
Mother 3 GBA Vs Mother 3 N64
In this article there are many spoilers about Mother 3 Gba, so.. play the game first!
In this screenshot we can see that there were stores and money even at the beginning of the game.
Lucas rescues our heroes with his drago.
It is obvious that these ruins are from Earthbound’s cities.. maybe a vision of the forgotten civilization ?
The snow levels.
In the GBA game the pigs uniforms color identify their grade. As we can see from this screenshot, it was the same in Mother 64 too.
This is a weird screenshot. It is likely that the developers moved ippos from the removed jungle to the Porky’s building.
The title logo.
The princess in the castle.
The monkey gets electrocuted.
Lucas and Claus sitting at the table. It is probably not the same exact sequence and the dark cutscene / flashback from Mother 64 has been removed.
The big crossroads near the village. There is one on the Gba version too, but it is much more smaller and barren.
The monkey carrying the Happy Box.
Bronson tells the “good news” to Flint.
A flashback from Mother 64. There are still many dream-like scenes in final game.
The villagers reunited around the fire.
One of the first bosses.
The DCMC beta style.
Duster from Mother 64 was almost a caricature of Zelda’s Hero.
The most interesting thing in this beta screen is Flint’s presence and Kumatora’s absence. It is likely that Flint was playable in later chapters too.
Flint’s great rage.
Fassad and his monkey.
Duster and his father in the castle.
For more informations about Mother 3 you should check:
[Article written by Yota]
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