mother 3

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.


Mother 3 [GBA – Unused Boss & Sprites]


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 (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:

[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: