Nintendo Nerds, EarthBound/MOTHER Fans
United States of America

EarthBound, known in Japan as Mother, is a role-playing game series created by Shigesato Itoi for Nintendo. The series started in 1989 with the Japan only release of Mother (known unofficially in the US as Earthbound Zero) for the Famicom, and was then followed up by a sequel, released in the U.S. as EarthBound for the Super NES in 1995, and followed up again much later with the Japan only release of Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance in 2006.


Mother tells the story of a young boy who has to journey around the world to save the planet from an evil race of mind-controlling aliens. Along the way he is joined by several friends, and meets many unusual characters and visits strange settings before ultimately confronting the leader of the aliens. The game was a smash hit in Japan, and gamers appreciated its unorthodox and refreshing take on the often formulaic RPG genre.

Nintendo of America translated and planned to release the first Mother game in the United States under the title Earth Bound. Although the game's localization and translation was finished a year earlier, the game was ultimately deemed unprofitable for a Fall 1991 US release, and the planned release was canceled after the game had already been translated and all packaging and advertising was ready.

It was confirmed by former Nintendo employee Phil Sandhop, that Nintendo chose not to release Earth Bound in the U.S. because the Super Nintendo was to be released at the same time originally planned in the country and it thought that insufficient customers would notice a new NES game in favor of the new Super NES console and its games. Furthermore, the cost of releasing the game with the extensive manual and hint book planned would have not been economical without significant sales.

All of Sandhop's changes in Mother appear in the Game Boy Advance Mother 1+2, such as the B Button run command. These features were original ideas of improvement in Mother by Sandhop or the development team. The reason for these changes appearing according to Sandhop, is that "with games produced by NCL, the development teams continued to work and tweak their projects that they knew would be localized and produced in other territories. Often they would address their own desires that were not completed due to time constraints or not completed to their satisfaction and also address issues raised by Japanese consumers as that release hits the street." Eventually, a copy of the unreleased NES Earth Bound cartridge was auctioned and the game code was extracted from it and circulated for download on the Internet. To avoid confusion, the game was dubbed EarthBound Zero by fan translation group Neo Demiforce, as Nintendo had since released the SNES sequel to Mother in the United States under the title EarthBound. This copy was shipped over to a relative of one of the members in Neo Demiforce. Soon after, fans of the series and other video game enthusiasts, at first, debated as to the origin of the original development cartridge. It was believed by some to be a forgery, simply an english fan translation with a few changes that was dumped onto a cartridge. But since all of the modifications made to the original in Earth Bound later appeared in Mother 1+2, this theory has effectively disproved.

Ness's mother telling him to be careful.EarthBound (known as Mother 2 in Japan) is a distant sequel to the original Mother (sometimes referred to as EarthBound Zero), with many characters, themes, and tunes borrowed from its predecessor. The game also includes many subtle pop-culture references: the fight against the neighborhood gangster backdropped by Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Goode" is one of several. Many of the characters and settings are very similar, but the only explicitly returning character is Giygas, who swears revenge at the end of the first game (evidenced by EarthBound's Japanese subtitle: Gyiyg Strikes Back!).

Though Mother never saw the American marketplace, its sequel for the Super Famicom/SNES, EarthBound, did, and stars a young psychic boy by the name of Ness. The series was commercially successful in Japan, while it was not commercially successful in the United States.

In May 2008, EarthBound was added to the ESRB database, listed with an E rating for the Wii platform; however, no official announcement has been made regarding its release.

Mother 3
Lucas and Boney walking around town.Mother 3 is the third long-awaited (and according to Shigesato Itoi) final game in the EarthBound series. Beforehand, the game was in development for Nintendo 64 and the main character was Flint, but the project was cancelled due to the release date being near the end of the system's life span (and possibly with issues with the 3D engine and other production problems) The project picked up again for the Game Boy Advance (which was announced on a commercial for Mother 1 + 2). The game was finally released on April 20, 2006, and retained the traditional EarthBound artstyle and the general story and characters that were introduced in the cancelled N64 version. Unlike the first two games, the story focuses on a boy named Lucas and his family on Nowhere Island. Their home is invaded and the peace is disrupted by the mysterious "Pig Mask Army" who dramatically changes Nowhere Island by introducing technology and infrastructure and performing bizarre experiments on the flora and fauna in their takeover. The game chronicles the trials and tribulations of Lucas and his family and friends as they fight against the Pig Mask Army threat.

The game is only available in Japan, but on October 17 2008, a fan translation patch was released on the Internet.

Mother 1 + 2
Mother 1 + 2 (MOTHER 1+2, Mazā Wan Tsū?) is a port release of Mother and EarthBound of the EarthBound series for the Game Boy Advance. Released on June 20, 2003, by Nintendo, a bonus cell-phone strap of Mr. Saturn was included for pre-ordered packages of the game. Though the strap was originally intended only for those who had pre-ordered the game, its popularity caused it to be sold briefly on amazon.co.jp.

Though the concept of Mother 1 + 2 was to compile two separate games into one easily accessible package, promotion focused entirely on EarthBound, much to the dismay of long-time fans, who argued that the promotional strategy was reducing the importance of the first game. EarthBound figurines were made available through the sale of Coca-Cola products. Though the port was only released in Japan, the version of Mother in Mother 1 + 2 is actually a Japanese translations of the planned English version of Mother. However, the version of EarthBound in Mother 1 + 2 remains the same as the original Japanese release. The name of the company that directed the port and translation was never announced by Nintendo.

The game's score, Mother 1 + 2 Original Soundtrack, was also released. The pieces included are different arrangements of the originals. However, its release lead to renewed calls for a re-release of the Mother soundtrack, and a "remastered version" of the Mother soundtrack was released by Sony in February 2004.

Mother 1 + 2 was given a totalscore of 35 out of 40 by a panel of four reviewers for Famitsu. Although the compilation was not released in North America, Nintendo Power magazine listed Mother 1 + 2 as the most-wanted import game in a 2005 issue.

By the end of 2003, Mother 1 + 2 had sold over 278,000 copies.

I, the undersigned, am demanding an official EarthBound/MOTHER Trilogy for the Nintendo Wii/DSi.

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The Force Nintendo to Release the Whole Mother Series on DSi in North America petition to Nintendo Nerds, EarthBound/MOTHER Fans was written by Keenan and is in the category Gaming at GoPetition.