MOTHER 3 Comics Attacked!
Okay, finally got time to sit down and read some parts of this book. For those just joining us, in the 2002 novel The Three Natagiri Women (what is natagiri? anyone know? I see some possible definitions, but they don’t make sense), the very first chapter is about three women who randomly play MOTHER 2 one day and get addicted.
Anyway, I’d like to translate this chapter someday, but won’t be able to for a while, obviously. The chapter is called “Mr. Baseball Cap” and is about 50 pages long. In it, we’re introduced to three women, all around 40 years old or so. They like to chit-chat and hang out at one of the women’s houses. One day, one of them brings over a Super Famicom they got from a used game shop. None of them have really ever played video games before, so this video game stuff is like all new to them. The lady who bought the Super Famicom also just happened to see MOTHER 2 in the store and bought it too. She was originally going to buy a boring Mahjong game (there are zillions of these in Japan btw).
Anyway, the women figure out how to hook up the system and they start playing. They name the main character Takuya, as that’s one of the default names and it’s the famous guy from SMAP. The lady who bought the system sucks at MOTHER 2 and keeps talking to the same people and keeps checking stuff that’s not checkable. So the alpha lady is like, “Gwah gimme that controller!” and it turns out she’s better at the game. They start out in Onett and walk around, talking to people and fighting Runaway Dogs and Spiteful Crows. The order of events are slightly wrong sometimes, but for the most part everything is true to the actual game.
After a while, they decide to save the game and call it a day. They’re shocked when they see it’s like 1 or 2 in the morning already. “Ah, so that’s why kids play these things late into the night,” they say with new realization.
The next night, they play some more. Except they had all purchased strategy guides for the game… and each guide was a different one, luckily. They use the guides to go and get the Mr. Baseball Cap in the hidden clubhouse. They’re really excited because it’s something you can’t buy with money, and they had to work really hard to even get to that part of the game. So they have a strong attachment to the item.
They then try to go fight Frank, but keep getting killed by Sharks, Frank, and Frankystein Mark II. They get more and more angry at these baddies, but eventually the women prevail. They look at the clock, and it’s 3 am. They quit for the night.
They continue to play the game, and sometimes they can’t all get together, so the main girl plays it by herself. When the other girls come over, she’ll show off what’s new, like suddenly a cute girl and a boy with glasses walk behind Takuya in a line. One night, main lady shows the others that she’s in Deep Darkness. She also shows Takuya’s equipment… but the Mr. Baseball Cap is gone! The other two girls are in shock, and demand to know where it is. Eventually the girl playing is like, “Shut up! That thing is no good against enemies this strong now! So I sold it!”
The other two girls gasp. The Mr. Baseball Cap was something that money couldn’t buy, and it was something all three of them had worked hard to get. So they’re shocked she would just sell it.
Poo shows up to beat Master Barf, and the girls start to realize that yeah, maybe the Mr. Baseball Cap isn’t so necessary.
Some more time passes, and they’re finally at the end of the game. The playing girl keeps dying in the Cave of the Past, but eventually makes it to Giygas. Giygas starts kicking ass and everyone is dying left and right, until Paula’s the only one left. Left with nothing to do, Paula prays and prays, and eventually her prayers are answered by everyone the player met throughout the game, even some former enemies pray. This kills Giygas, and thus ends the game.
The girls are moved to tears by the end, and understand why kids like games so much now. What’s more, one of them heard that MOTHER 2 had an especially large amount of work and dedication put into it, so it’s no wonder it was so good.
And that ends the chapter.
I think it’s actually really neat how this ties in with the slogan for MOTHER 2, which is something like, “Kids, grownups, and even older girls”. Itoi used that as the slogan because by the time MOTHER 2 was released, the big video game boom in Japan had subsided, and his own sister didn’t play games anymore. So he wanted his game to try to pull people back into gaming. In that sense, it’s neat how these three ladies got pulled into gaming because of MOTHER 2.
Also, the descriptions of the game are really interesting, and probably sound really cool and crazy to people who don’t know games or had never played a MOTHER game before. It was neat.
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