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The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #34: Super Mario Bros. 3
All Articles: Mother 3
It’s the question that has plagued Nintendo fans for more than a decade now… when will Mother 3 (often known as Earthbound 2 on this side of the Pacific) be released in North America? Originally released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2006, we first started hearing rumors last year that a North American release for the game on the Wii U was imminent. But there’s been nary a peep about Mother 3 from Nintendo since then.
Now, in the first days of 2017, the Mother 3 rumors have surfaced once more.
Laura Kate Dale (of Let’s Play Video Games) is reporting that the elusive RPG will be available for the Nintendo Switch in Spring 2017. According to Dale’s sources, Mother 3 was originally on track for a Wii U release in 2016 (it was “done and ready to go”), but Nintendo pulled the plug to give fans one more reason to make the switch to the Switch this year. Her sources also confirmed that Mother 3’s North American debut will receive a new English translation, and it’ll likely be released directly after Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference.
Nintendo will fully unveil the Switch on January 12, and my fingers are crossed that Mother 3 will be part of the presentation.
Hold on to your hats, Eurogamer has some good news for fans of the EarthBound franchise. According to Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips, Nintendo will likely release Mother 3 (also known as EarthBound 2) in the US and Europe later this year.
Phillips originally began chasing the Mother 3 rumors on Twitter and Reddit, but Eurogamer’s own sources within Nintendo eventually vouched for their accuracy. According to these insiders, Nintendo wants to release Mother 3 on the Wii U’s Virtual Console in North America and Europe to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its launch on the Game Boy Advance in Japan.
Momentum for a Mother 3 release in the West has been building since Nintendo added EarthBound Beginnings to the Wii U’s Virtual Console last June, ending its 26 years of Japanese exclusivity. While I’m hopeful that Nintendo may finally make Mother 3 available for English-speaking fans, it’s important to remember that this is still just a rumor.
With the news that Nintendo is finally bringing EarthBound to their Virtual Console service, fans have once again begun asking the inevitable followup question, “What about Mother 3/EarthBound 2?”
As is typical of Nintendo, they haven’t discussed the prospect of a North American release of Mother 3 since the EarthBound announcement. But the team behind the Mother 3 Fan Translation wants to get a dialogue going. And their first shot is a big one: they’ve offered to let Nintendo use their translation of the game, for free, in an American release of Mother 3. And, if need be, they plan to go even further than that to secure an official release of the RPG:
I realize that localizing a game this size can cost a lot, so if it’ll help in even the slightest, I’ll gladly offer to let Nintendo use my text translation files for any use at all, completely for free. I’ll even edit the files to fit whatever new standards are necessary (content, formatting, memory size, etc.), completely for free. I’ll even retranslate everything from scratch if need be. Just whatever it takes to get an official release out.
While it’s unlikely that Nintendo would use a fan translation to bring the game to the US, the translators have pointed out that it has happened before. Most recently, XSEED used a fan translation as a starting point for the Ys: The Oath in Felghana localization.
The other major hurdle to a North American release of Mother 3 is the fact that the game was originally released on the Game Boy Advance, a system that is “dead” for all intents and purposes. Of course, there’s always the Virtual Console on the 3DS…