mother

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!

Videos:

 

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.

Images:

Video:

 

A summary of the Mother 3 project

<< More Articles

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.