M2 vs. EarthBound: Monkey Caves
Gabryel sent in some scans on an article from an issue of NGamer Brasil about MOTHER 3:
Here is his quick translation of the article:
The classic Japanese RPG finally gets an unofficial English version:
Before starting, two questions: 1) Why did Mother 3 take so much effort to be translated into English? 2) Why concern yourself with it? To answer these questions, it’s necessary to know a bit more about the series.
Mother 2 was known in the West as Earthbound and was released in the U.S. in 1996. Despite its success among players and specialized critics, it was a financial failure. And if something doesn’t sell well, the Big N doesn’t even want to know about.
In Japan, on the other hand, the series became a cult hit. After Mother 2, designer Shigesato Itoi and his team started work on Mother 3 for the now-extinct 64DD system. Satoru Iwata was the game’s producer. Images and videos were released to the public before its release, but the game ended up cancelled, thanks to the decline in sales of the N64 and the discontinuation of 64DD.
Mother 3 returned in the middle of 2003, probably because Satoru Iwata became Nintendo’s president. Giving up the 3D visuals of the 64DD version, the game was moved to the GBA, with the 2D graphic style of its predecessors. The game was released in 2006, but after the commercial failure of Earthbound, Nintendo saw no reason to localize it for the West.
However, the game deserved better treatment, and it received it thanks to some dedicated fans who decided to translate it into English, which ultimately cullminated into the release of an unofficial patch distributed on the Internet at the end of October (see the box on the facing page).
Right, but what is the Mother series? It is the principal creation of a genius named Shigesato Itoi, and takes place in a bizarre pop-culture world. Take the name, for example: “Mother.” It’s a common word, but it has two meanings: the woman that gave you life, and the planet that sustains you with her natural resources. The series is founded on these two things–family and the environment–and the principal theme of Mother 3 is growth.
The first thing that you do in the game is name the five members of a family, in addition to defining some of the things that they like and dislike. As in Dragon Quest IV, the story is seen from various perspectives and only begins to make sense halfway through the game. By this time, you realize how conected you’ve become to the characters and the plot–when the game asks for your real name the first time, it is almost as if you are being awakened from a dream.
Mother 3 is an example of how life can’t be faced alone–nothing more suitable for an RPG. The family in this game encounters the most diverse situations to prove it. For each tragedy, there always exists a strange machine that allows you to explore uncommon places.
The unique factor that distinguishes one RPG from another is the quality of its plot. And Mother 3 is, without a doubt, among the best in this regard. However, even more than that, it serves as evidence that it’s possible to create a mature game without a single drop of blood.
Son of Mother
The basic concept is important, too. You explore the game world, controlling a party of characters, and need to talk to people and defeat enemies to win experience. Additionally, there is a rhythm element to the battles: pressing the attack button in time with the rhythm of the music, it is possible to hit an enemy sixteen times in a single turn.
As you become stronger, you can defeat bigger enemies, and thus new areas became avaliable for exploration. In terms of interaction, Mother 3 doesn’t stray from the forumula and should be familiar to anyone who’s played an RPG before. It’s just that the term “experience” has a much greater meaning in Mother that in any other series of its kind. The third episode is exactly as you’ve read, but what make it so special is the fact that it doesn’t matter how much you know about games, but how much you know about the world, about the people that live around you, and about yourself. But this, of course, is something you can fully understand only after playing until the end.
By now, you should be asking yourself: “What do I need to play this game?” The first thing to do is calm down–NGamer Brazil is here to help you! First, check all of the steps necessary to play one of the best games created for GBA, in a language more acessible than Japanese.
1. Before anything else, import a copy of Mother 3 copy. It’s illegal to download the ROM of a game without having the original version. You’ll be hurting Shigesato Itoi and Nintendo if you skip this step, so use commom sense.
2. Find and download to your PC the ROM of the Japanese version of Mother 3. Google is helpful here.
3. Access the site www.mother3.fobby.net and click on the link located on the upper part of the page to download the translation patch.
4. Unzip the file and you’ll find three executable files–one for each operating system: Windows, Linux and Mac. After this, put the ROM (unzipped) in the same folder as the patch.
Thanks to Carl and Joshua for cleaning up the translated text!
It’s cool that magazines around the world give the series and the translation attention. It would’ve been much cooler if there had been an official translation though.
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24 Comments to MOTHER 3 in NGamer Magazine
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- .: I once bought Metroid: Other M for $5 at Best Buy in the bargain bin. It wasn’t the greatest Metroid ever, but for $5 it was a great game!
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