earthbound

Earthbound (Mother) [GameCube – Cancelled]

In 2003 Baten Kaitos director Yasuyuki Honne proposed to Nintendo a new Mother / Earthbound RPG for GameCube, but in the end the game was cancelled. This project was pitched in summer 2003, just a few months before the release of Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, possibly to become their following collaboration between Nintendo, Monolith Soft, tri-Crescendo and Namco.

While Earthbound for GameCube was never officially announced, in July 2019 Honne shown a couple images from their pitch-document on Twitter:

As you can see the game was imagined in a quirky felt-made diorama graphic style, that would have been somewhat similar to classic Earthbound promotional clay models. As translated by Nintendo Everything:

“I’m looking forward to the forthcoming book about Iwata-san. I met both Iwata-san and Itoi-san at the same time – it was back in 2003 when there were talks between Namco and Nintendo about a GameCube version of Mother. I was happy to come up with a visual concept, and when I went to Aoyama Iwata-san was also present. Itoi-san didn’t seem very interested; he felt it was a little strange, and yet we continued talks. Itoi-san said, ‘I wonder if Iwata-kun has any ideas?’ He seemed flabbergasted, he had an aura of something akin to ‘Aw jeez.’ In the end nothing came of it, but Itoi-san enjoyed the felt-like recreations of 1980’s America that I had come up with. Here are some images that I didn’t think I’d show off more than once. Ah, memories of the summer of 2003.”

Unfortunately it seems after the cancellation of Mother 3 for Nintendo 64, they were quite cautious about working on a new 3D chapter. 3 years later, Nintendo published Mother 3 on GBA and Yasuyuki Honne’s Baten Kaitos prequel (Baten Kaitos Origins) on GameCube.

By knowing what Monolith Soft were able to achieve with their RPG series, we can only imagine how much we lost with the cancellation of this “Earthbound GameCube” project. The Baten Kaitos team also had a third Baten Kaitos in development that was later canned, but they successfully released other beloved games such as Soma Bringer, Disaster: Day of Crisis and the Xenoblade Chronicles series.

You can take a look at the Sedna city in Baten Kaitos Origins (a strange world made of clay) to imagine how Earthbound Gamecube could have been like. 

Mother (Earthbound) [Beta – NES / Famicom]

Mother (aka Earth Bound) is a RPG developed by Nintendo Tokyo Research and Development Products in cooperation with Ape, published only in Japan for the Famicom in 1989. Thanks to OKeijiDragon and GlitterBerri, we are able to have a look at an old beta video, in wich we can notice many little differences in the beta version of Mother.

Originally found on Nico Nico Douga titled, ファミマガ Video 【 1989年 5月号 (2/2) 】 (literally Famimaga Video May 1989), I stumbled upon this interesting Mother footage while searching for media on Mother 3 for Shat-Canned Legends. Same as the SMB3 footage.

The video shows the various differences of this prerelease version to the final version that my annotations go over. While there isn’t anything hugely major to show, the path from Ninten’s house looks to be mirrored, some game menu details are different, and the O on 0:07 is at the lower right corner of the title!

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Earthbound 64 / Mother 3 video documentary (Part I)

As we all know, Earthbound 64 / Mother 3 for the Nintendo 64 DD is one of the most interesting games that were never released. It was an huge and ambitious project, that somehow was resurrected and ported (with many cuts) to the Gameboy Advance, with a long and troubled development cycle. OKeijiDragon has worked on a video documentary that tells the sad story behind Earthbound 64.

Part 1 of this documentart briefly details the conceptual stages of EarthBound 64 and it’s N64 unveiling at the Nintendo SpaceWorld 1996, with the early characters, objects and ideas. It also goes over the significance of music composer Shogo Sakai, who, according to Itoi, was an extremely valuable asset to the project. Last but not least is the last major unveiling of the game at Space World ’99.

 

Mother 2 / Earthbound [SNES – Beta / Concept / Unused Stuff]

Development on EarthBound took place as a joint effort between Ape, Inc. and HAL Laboratory, Inc. and was designed by Shigesato Itoi. The total development time for the project was five years, much longer than was initially expected. The first design concepts for the HP boxes were to make them like pachinko balls and have them fall off the screen whenever a character was damaged. However, this was later changed to the “rolling counter” HP boxes because the pachinko balls did not work so well when characters had large amounts of HP. [Infos from Wikipedia]

In the video, subtitled by the lovely Starmen crew, we can see a collection of beta scense, in which Ness has no backpack, and we can read some interesting facts about the development of the game. In the image gallery there are some unused sprites, like Everdred’s ghost, a climbing King, a Starmen Capsule, an unknow flag and a red beating heart. You can read more about these unused sprites in here. From the various concept arts that were in the MOTHER 1+2 Art Book, we can notice some nice differences from the same scenes in the final game, like a fortress on top ofDungeon Man’s head, a giant elephant that keeps up the Dalaam city, early design of Dr. Andonuts’s lab and missing snow in some areas. You can read more about these concept arts in here.

Also, some unused animations from the opening were found in the rom.

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Mother 3 [GBA – Unused Boss & Sprites]

mother3gbalogo.jpg

Mother 3 is the latest (and some say last) installment in the Earthbound saga. Released 12 years after the previous game in the series, Earthbound, it offers a radically different story and presentation than the other games it shares its name with, all the while retaining the same combat system and quirky sense of humor.

Creator Shigesato Itoi initially conceived mother 3 to be released for the N64 when it was announced first in 1996. However due to both the teams inexperience in developing with 3D graphics and the commercial failure of the N64 DD drive (which would have been required to play the game) the project was cancelled in 2000, even though the game was quite far in development. For an interesting comparison between the original N64 version and the GBA version, check this nice article by Starmen.net (warning for spoilers).

The next time anyone would hear about Mother3 it would be in 2003, when it was redesigned for the Game Boy Advance. Graphically the game looked closer to its predecessors, a league away from the blocky, early-3D look that it first appeared with. When it finally shipped in 2006 anticipation was high, so high in fact that when Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu polled its readers on what games they wanted most, Mother3 was on top of the list. Sadly, to date Mother3 has never seen a western release. Fans wishing to play the game are left with importing it and using fan-made guides to finish it. Recently however a dedicated group of fans has translated the entire game and made the patch available for the public. So those that never got to experience this hidden gem can now enjoy it in English.

Below are unused sprites (like a taxy, a bus and an UFO) and a video of unused backrounds. Many people said this was Giygas, but it is not:

From Earthbound Wiki:

Although, even if said by fans that the unused boss is Giygas, it has been said by Shigesato Itoi himself, that they were simply unused backgrounds depicting Lucas’s thoughts over the battle with the Masked Man. Although it makes a huge resemblance to Giygas, it is not. As told by Shigesato, the screaming faces of Claus show that Lucas is recognizing Claus and seeing his pain, even the red deformed face of Claus. This makes much more sense, because hackers have used programs to see where some of the unused music’s events originated from, and the “Lucas’s nightmare” music was going to originally be the Ultimate Chimera’s approach, but was later scrapped because it was too scary for a younger audience.

For more info check:
http://forum.starmen.net/forum/Mother/3_GameHelp/41877

[spoiler /Sweden translation/ /Hide/]Sve: Giygas skulle egentligen vara i Mother 3, men var raderat från datan, antagligen pga. att bossfighten var för skrämmande för nyare, ungare spelare (fast ironiskt nog så var Mother 3 mycket mer mörkare än Mother 2/Earthbound), eller pga. att Giygas var förstörd för evigt. [/spoiler]

Some sprites from: www.spriters-resource.com

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