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.