A summary of the Mother 3 project

A summary of the Mother 3 project

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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 drago.jpg

Lucas rescues our heroes with his drago.

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It is obvious that these ruins are from Earthbound’s cities.. maybe a vision of the forgotten civilization ?

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The snow levels.

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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.

ippobeta.jpg

This is a weird screenshot. It is likely that the developers moved ippos from the removed jungle to the Porky’s building.

logos.jpg

The title logo.

principessa22 copia.jpg

The princess in the castle.

scimmia copia.jpg

The monkey gets electrocuted.

spiaggiabach copia.jpg

The beach.

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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.

il bivio del villaggio copia.jpg

The big crossroads near the village.  There is one on the Gba version too, but it is much more smaller and barren.

happybox copia.jpg

The monkey carrying the Happy Box.

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Bronson tells the “good news” to Flint.

numerosi sogni sono rimasti nel gioco.jpg

A flashback from Mother 64. There are still many dream-like scenes in final game.

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Zombies!

fuoco copia.jpg

The villagers reunited around the fire.

dino ferro copia.jpg

One of the first bosses.

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The DCMC beta style.

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Duster from Mother 64 was almost a caricature of Zelda’s Hero.

elicottero copia.jpg

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.

fabbrica copia.jpg

The factory.

fints rage copia.jpg

Flint’s great rage.

beta fassadds copia.jpg

Fassad and his monkey.

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The bar.

padrefigliocastello.jpg

Duster and his father in the castle.

For more informations about Mother 3 you should check:

[Article written by Yota]

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yota

yota

A video game enthusiast since 1989, he was in the past a contributor for multiplayer.it and alternative-reality.com, two italian video games websites. Currently he writes about popular culture on playersmagazine.it
yota




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12 thoughts on “A summary of the Mother 3 project

  1. icantfeelmyarms

    I’ve beaten all three MOTHER games, and I’m glad MOTHER 3 turned out how it did, even if its development hell may have caused Itoi to leave the industry. He could’ve made so many more great games…

    I hope a copy of MOTHER 3 64 will get leaked or found someday, though. I mean, look how long it took all the Sonic betas to get released… It can still happen with M3 64.

  2. mother

    it was confirmed that the “ness-like” character is ness
    Pokey was going back to Ness’s time ( Mother 3 is set in the future ) and destroyed Onett ( you can see the Onett sign in the middle of the rubble in one of the pics )
    in a way it would be a direct sequel from mother 2’s ending

    it’s estimated that about 50~60% of the game was cut when porting it to gba, i think they just wanted to release it as quickly as possible to avoid another cancellation
    since some people were trying to force its cancellation ( from what I heard, satoru iwata, which was responsible from mother64’s cancellation, was one of them )

    itoi mentioned a full version would be released, named Mother 3.5, however as far as I know, it was never mentioned again
    some leftover content was left in the rom, tomato was exploring it for a while but then stopped, it was really interesting
    sadly, they simplified the story as much as possible and even cut up some of the character development.

    copies of the 64 dd version still exists, they were in the brownie brown offices and were used to inspire the people working on the gba port, they could take breaks and try the game…

    1. Arlette

      Oooh! I talked to him on skype (his buddy)!
      He had lots of interesting things to say if you want me to share!

  3. JokerJay779

    What a shame most of the photos on here were taken down by Nintendo or don’t work anymore. I want to know what did Duster look like in the beta?

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