Tips for Buying EarthBound

May 11th, 2012 | EarthBound, Misc.

I often get e-mails from people who’ve e-mailed Nintendo asking about EarthBound/MOTHER stuff, so I figure it’s about time to post something about it 😛

Alexander e-mailed me the other day with this:

Hi EarthBound Central! I just recently asked the Nintendo Support team if Mother or Earthbound was going to be released at VC, and I pointed out that no other company has been sued for using pop music in video games. This was their response witch may explain why they have not yet been touching on WHY it has not been released:

Hello Alexander,

I can see why you want to see the Mother/Earthbound series released in the Americas, but at this time we have no plans to release them in this market, either on disc or via download. Additionally, we do not have any details regarding why the games have not been made available here, so I’m unable to confirm or deny any rumors you may have heard.

I realize this is disappointing, but your comments have been documented and made available for other departments here to use as they see fit.

Sincerely,
Karen Johnson

From my experience, that’s pretty much the kind of response everyone gets when asking about EarthBound or MOTHER stuff – I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some sort of template they use. I wonder if they really do “document” and “make available” this stuff though, or if that’s just corporate speak for something else.

 

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54 Comments to Responses from Nintendo


NorthofOnett said on May. 11, 2012

I bet they just copy+paste that reply to every EarthBound-related email 🙁

I gave up hope a long time ago for NOA to re-release any Mother games in some form or another. I’m just going to try and get my hands on an original game instead.

Satsy said on May. 11, 2012

Actually that sounds a little more personal than normal, touching on the possibility of the music issue being a rumour.

Username? What's that? said on May. 11, 2012

Actually, Personal is how they want you to see their replies. I’ve given up hope on a Virtual console release or a “Mother 1+2” type either. If Nintendo really wanted to do it, they would of done in between the 15+ years when Fans were BEGGING for it.

Puck Your Mother said on May. 11, 2012

I can’t believe this, yet it was to be expected.

Bucky said on May. 11, 2012

You can always respond to the email, and if you get a human response, it’s probably all real. I mean, the Nintendo support staff does have to be professional. 😉

Anonymous said on May. 11, 2012

you know it wouldn’t bother me so much if Nintendo just told us why. like if Nintedo gave us reasons why EB wasnt coming back in the states, id be pretty content

LakituAl said on May. 11, 2012

It must be made by a person, alright, but it seems to be sorta business speak for ‘not happening’, the same way some employers tell you ‘we’ll call you’ and never do… (Not that that has happened to me before…) But hey, it is something, eh!!

Anonymous said on May. 11, 2012

@Username? What’s that?

Keep in mind that the legal reasons are very likely to be the reasons why we don’t have any of the games yet. Nintendo of America may actually see how profitable the Mother series would be here, and would port the games if possible. However, as I said, the potential legal issues are most likely what is preventing them from doing so.

Furball200x said on May. 11, 2012

I got a pretty much identical response when I asked for a new Smash Bros. game 2 years ago.

Furball200x said on May. 11, 2012

^ But that’s actually in development.

Bucky said on May. 11, 2012

The “legal reasons” is hogwash. It was released in the states before without litigation, and it can be again. Something tells me video games are very low on Paul McCartney’s radar.

Anon said on May. 11, 2012

I work in tech support for a large company and this response seems similar to a premade response system that we use. Essentially it IS a template, but they go and add some personal additions to it to make it seem like it isn’t canned. The bits about it being available to other departments almost certainly just means they have a database with every email and response. They keep those for legal reasons and to reference them if necessary.

Ah, the art of customer service.

Browny boy said on May. 11, 2012

I have recently sent an email to their company, it was a total dawdle, I got the same email, and I sent 50 more, the same email. They wasted me.

yani said on May. 11, 2012

I’ve emailed them and got the same exact response (minus the rumor part). I hope they really do save the comments though..

DJMankiewicz said on May. 11, 2012

They do “save it”, but the hard reality is they save it in a vast database that only ever gets called on if someone calls or e-mails back about a previous issue. Otherwise, the individual “tickets” are likely to languish in obscurity for all eternity.

Furball200x said on May. 11, 2012

Has anyone tried to get Itoi, Iwata, even Miyamoto to contact someone from NoA and ask them for a Mother game in the Us? Maybe then theyd listen.

tintinophile691 said on May. 12, 2012

Aaaaand the fanbase gets crapped on once more.

I wouldn’t be surprised if MOTHER stuff doesn’t appear in the upcoming Smash Bros game. Jerks.

Christian said on May. 12, 2012

@tintonphile691 Mother/Earthbound stuff will appear because Nintendo of Japan makes the game not NOA. If NOA made the game Lucas would have not been in SSBB.

SU-Team8 said on May. 12, 2012

Speaking of smash brothers… KUMATORA AND MASKED MAN FOR SMASH BROS 4!!! :0

NorthofOnett said on May. 12, 2012

@Christian It’s not guarenteed, though. The last Mother game was released 6 years ago; before Brawl even came out! NCL may decide to cut the franchise from being in the new game if they want to have more characters.

Then again, none of the original 12 fighters have yet to miss out on a Smash bros. game…

2Sang said on May. 12, 2012

Ness will always be in Smash Bros. as long as the series continues. There’s no way they’ll take out someone who isn’t a clone and was an original character.

Lucas will most likely appear in SSB4 but its not a guarantee.

I see either Claus (as masked man) Porky Duster Jeff or Ninten being possible characters for the next one. I would prefer pokey cause he’s in M2+3.

We should start a grassroots campaign to get as much Mother stuff in SSB4. That’s how we get more EB fans and more people interested in the game, thus pressuring Nintendo to make a Mother 4.

2Sang said on May. 12, 2012

Or Poo maybe.

I see there being 3 mother characters this time around. Again, hoping for porky getting in.

Dosei-San said on May. 12, 2012

I sent NOA a letter in the mail a while ago and got a similar answer.

Furball200x said on May. 12, 2012

Mother 3 is a very spoiler-sensitive game, so I doubt many M3 characters will appear. Flint, Jeff, or Poo seem like the most likely newcomers.

2Sang said on May. 12, 2012

It was released 6 years ago, too bad if you don’t want to be spoiled. Also, Porky was the main antagonist in EB, so he should still be considered.

Fuzzy Pickles said on May. 12, 2012

Well I would think nintendo would try to at least make all the main Mother series characters playable first in super smash bros before adding any bosses from the game into the roster. With that said, it wouldnt surprise me if ninten was added. Doesn’t mean other characters won’t make appearances,like porkey has shown up as well as mr.Saturn and Jeff in the last game. Jeff could be a cool character btw because he could shoot fireworks ranged and hit you with like a ruler or something up close. As for porkey being a character, I would love to see how that would work without his machines.would he blow smoke from his cigar or hit you with his bag of gold lol.

Anyways, I still think if they were to add a character it would be ninten just to finish adding the mother series main character. My vote goes for bubble monkey though lol

2Sang said on May. 13, 2012

But Porky was in Eb + M3 and could have his own moveset

If sakurai doesn’t get rid of clones, then no doubt Ninten will get in. I’d like to see him use PK darkness and hypnosis, brainshock,beam, and teleport

Anonymous said on May. 13, 2012

Why are you guys even discussing this? This article has nothing to do with Smash Bros. Plus, your argument is based entirely off of speculation; they may not even add another Mother character; unless Mother was remade/rereleased on the Wii U (that would never happen).

Furball200x said on May. 13, 2012

If they put Ridley in, there will be high chances of Porky making it too, but he would have to be in his spider mech, because he can’t fight for crap without it.

Anonymous said on May. 13, 2012

Nintendo most likely hates the series and thinks it will sell at least 1 copy in NA.

Just my guess.

Username? What's that? said on May. 14, 2012

Nintendo is focusing on Titles that will guarantee their finacial success, such as mario, and intriguing new titles, such as Kid Icarus. Even if they had the right to resell EarthBound, they would find it risky to market it in America and Europe. That’s why they didn’t sell Mother 3 outside of Japan.

Puck Your Mother said on May. 14, 2012

Nintendo is probably used to fans sending letters about the mother series. Thanks to the fan translation pack for M3, Nintendo probably doesn’t want to countinue with a Translation and resell it. Mother is too old and the graphics are a bit dated, but they probably don’t sell it on Virtual console because it never was marketed in America.

2Sang said on May. 14, 2012

I think the Wii U is going to be much more hardcore than the Wii, so here’s hoping that at least some of the forgotten series (Pikmin, Starfox, F-Zero, classic games like ice climber and balloon fight, Conker, Wave Race, and maybe….just maybe…mother)

If they released just any 3 of these, including Pikmin 3 since we know its coming, the Wii U will be a major success.

unnoticedninja said on May. 16, 2012

Leaving legal issues and no marketing aside, the amount of people who would buy Earthbound on virtual console even if its less than a thousand would still be filling Nintendo’s pockets, I mean SNES roms take up very little server space, so it’s not like they’d be losing money, and how much would legal issues cost on reselling a game from 15+ years ago in the U.S. And if the virtual console continues on the Wii U, Nintendo would potentially have many more sales over the course of 5-8 years depending on the next console generations lifetime.

BigDream said on May. 16, 2012

That happened to me too. EXACTLY THOSE WORDS.

Worksatnintendo said on May. 17, 2012

It’s not coming over here ever. Legal issues that you are all aware of come into effect. Music licensing is not something that Nintendo EVER wants to come into contact with and can be sued MILLIONS of dollars worth if ever contested.

Getting a call regarding Mother 3 used to be a write of passage for a lot of the call center representatives. We have a semi standard answer as you’ve seen basically saying “We’re not sure of why this is” and “We don’t have any current plans right now.”

I’ll tell you this, Earthbound WAS a VC project years ago, but then was stopped due to music licensing issues. There are no “risks” in marketing EB or Mother 3 here. Nintendo knows you’ll buy it. Fact of the matter is that they won’t deal with the legal shit fest.

Puck Your Mother said on May. 17, 2012

They never really used there music, just pulled a mimic off of it…

Bucky said on May. 17, 2012

As I said, Paul McCartney isn’t going to care. He didn’t care when the game was originally released.

Heck, the Summers theme sounds a lot like Hall and Oates “Abandoned Luncheon,” and Daryl Hall has had Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen admit they took bits of his music. Does he care? No.

Musicians are not always greedy. They’re normally flattered when another musician takes their influence. Look at the Beach Boys and tons of other bands who took note from note from Chuck Berry.

Again, the music thing is a cop out.

BB Gang Zombie said on May. 17, 2012

^ Not entirely true; and it’s not about the fact that some musicians don’t take action. What everyone needs to understand is that they’re avoiding an issue that COULD happen. I love the game as much as the next guy. Hell, I love it MORE than the next guy. But, I fully understand why music may be an issue.

And you know, have you gone to YouTube lately and seen videos removed due to “copyright infringement?” Some of those are simply music. In fact, most of them ARE simply because of music, and YouTube users re-upload with the sound blanked out due to this.

Lawyers suck, copyrights suck, and the fact that this game is likely not reaching shores sucks. It sucks. It really does.

But bickering over whether it is or is not an issue copyright-wise is not going to change the fact that it has not yet been released, and at this rate, likely won’t. And who knows? What if Paul McCartney does care? You know how much a lawsuit for that crap is!? It’s ridiculous! Completely and utterly ridiculous.

Don’t get me wrong, I want it here just as much as the next guy. But, I think people need to think a bit more about why it’s an issue, rather than just saying, “Nntdo raleese thsi nothnig wll hpn ok?” I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you need to look at it from their point of view; not just yours. And it’s not just you, it’s all fans that say these things. I know ‘I’ don’t want to be the guy that said, “Okay, let’s throw it on the virtual console so the fans shut up,” and then wake up a few days later and find I’m fired for a massive lawsuit that resulted from it. Again, I love the games, but I understand why Nintendo isn’t releasing it.

All _I_ want is them to say outright in a more official way that they aren’t coming to U.S. or European shores, but even then, the company has their reasons for not saying this, I’m sure. They’re not just refusing to give the games to us for no reason, you know.

Bottom line, musicians aren’t always greedy, but some _are_.

@Puck Your Mother Actually, they used sound samples from multiple songs, which isn’t just making “mimics of it,” because it takes data directly from a source file; they took a bit from the song which they do not own the copyrights to.

Earthbounder said on May. 17, 2012

^ I can also see why the music is a problem, but what about mother 3? I never had the chance to play it but I assume it’s not as “borrowing” as earthbound. I think if nintendo really wanted to inform the hardcore mother/earthbound fans they would make an official release of some sort stating why they can not release it here in the u.s. I would be happy with any reason. I understand that nintendo has to be professional and should not come out and say that the music is the problem, but some reason is due to the fans. All the work that the fans have done over the years such as all the unique signatures, music, fan art, ect deserves a response from Nintendo. They know they have a strong and devoted fan base here. So all I’m saying is that Nintendo should atleast give an explanation to all the fans.

Bucky said on May. 19, 2012

“Not entirely true; and it’s not about the fact that some musicians don’t take action. What everyone needs to understand is that they’re avoiding an issue that COULD happen. I love the game as much as the next guy. Hell, I love it MORE than the next guy. But, I fully understand why music may be an issue.”
Thanks for explaining that. I would have been lost without you. It’s not like I’m a musician or anything, and it’s not like I’m not fully aware of lawsuits in the industry.

“And you know, have you gone to YouTube lately and seen videos removed due to “copyright infringement?” Some of those are simply music. In fact, most of them ARE simply because of music, and YouTube users re-upload with the sound blanked out due to this.”
Prince, the Eagles, and even R.E.M. do this. It just encourages their fans to not pay for their music. I have several artists’ music uploaded, which I have remastered, and for the most part, they’re only blocked in Germany, and that’s by the publisher. Hell, I even know people who are close to the artist and could easily tell them “Some guy has your music on Youtube,” but it hasn’t happened. Youtube/Internet rights are different from Video games too. If you upload a full song, it shouldn’t surprise you when the artist takes it down. However, Earthbound was merely doing what many other artists have done since the 30’s: Taken influence from others.

“But bickering over whether it is or is not an issue copyright-wise is not going to change the fact that it has not yet been released, and at this rate, likely won’t.”
I’m bickering, eh? Please, elaborate on how my argument is just mere bickering, while you have the more “right” or intelligent opinion. I won’t be around to read it, though, because I generally don’t pay attention to people who say I’m “bickering.”
Guess what: Earthbound HAS been released in the States. It just hasn’t been rereleased, and none of the alleged musicians whose music was “Stolen” took action then.

“What if Paul McCartney does care? You know how much a lawsuit for that crap is!? It’s ridiculous! Completely and utterly ridiculous.”
What’s ridiculous is that you don’t know Paul. He supported music piracy until a year ago when he found out indie bands could have their material stolen. Do you think he cares about his own music being downloaded, though? No. How about the many bands who have taken influence from the Beatles. Turn on Sirius Garage, and you’ll hear A LOT of bands who sound like the Beatles. Did Paul sue them? If Earthbound has a few similar musical passages in it, then every artist from Michael Jackson to the Beatles should be sued for doing the same thing in their music. WE ALL DO IT. There’s not ONE musician who hasn’t taken some from another.

“ut, I think people need to think a bit more about why it’s an issue, rather than just saying, “Nntdo raleese thsi nothnig wll hpn ok?” I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you need to look at it from their point of view; not just yours.”
You don’t sound harsh, you sound stupid. For one thing, I have always used optimum grammar in my comments, and intelligent logic as well. You’re being rude to prove a point, and I’m not going to play that game.

“Bottom line, musicians aren’t always greedy, but some _are_.”
Gosh, I’m glad you’ve educated me. I’ll be sure to forward your post around, and the debate can end! You’ve answered everyone’s questions!

I hope you’re at least smart enough to read sarcasm.

BB Gang Zombie said on May. 19, 2012

First off, don’t flame. That’s not cool. I was just stating my opinion, because people think it’s as easy as throwing it on the virtual console and pretending nothing happened. It’s not as easy as people think it is, and I was just stating why.

And, yes, it is just a simple argument that I see as “bickering” when it shows up. In fact, look– this is “bickering” right now. There’s no need to insult me and call me “stupid” because I have an opinion. It wasn’t about your “grammar.” It was about the mindset that I see all the time.

It was released earlier only because copyright laws were not as strict back then. You had sound sampling EVERYWHERE. Songs on the radio had it, people used it to make jokes, and it was just plain popular at the time. Now, however, people take legal action. EarthBound dodged the copyright bullet by probably around 2~3 years.

I don’t disrespect you, but when you flame/insult people, it makes you look like a total baby who can’t have a proper debate. I didn’t call you “stupid,” I didn’t call your post “idiotic,” and I sure as heck didn’t type a message that long to have you call me an idiot. Don’t act like you’re high-and-mighty and bash people; it helps nothing but your own ego. I’m sorry if you felt I was insulting your intelligence or something, but I don’t feel I deserve your total disrespect simply because you disagree with me. Agree to disagree.

Again, Nintendo is avoiding a possible issue. I know Paul McCartney. I know he doesn’t care. But Nintendo doesn’t know he doesn’t care. And Paul McCartney isn’t the only one who is being infringed upon. Did you know that the painting that the Dali’s Clock enemy is based on is under legal red tape right now, too? The guy who painted that only died around 30 years ago, and they’re still taking legal action on it, even though it’s just simple references. Apparently you don’t work in the copyright biz; it’s not as simple as you might think.

Bucky said on May. 19, 2012

The only reason I “flamed” is because you did. You insulted me. If you think you’re so innocent, and I’m so bad, then why don’t you reread your post, and then reread my reaction to it? I think you’ll find that I reacted pretty fairly considering you said I was “bickering” and then compared my intelligence to typical internet dwellers.

“Apparently you don’t work in the copyright biz”

Prime example of “flame” right there, troll.

BB Gang Zombie said on May. 19, 2012

Dude. Chill.
I’m not angry, and you’re overreacting just a tiny bit. I never said you were ‘so bad.’ I _do_ work in that field. I know copyrights. I didn’t say anything negative about you with that comment.

Stop acting like everyone’s attacking you. I was just saying that it’s not as easy as it seems. And you know, this is a public comment section. If you have a problem with me, talk to me directly instead of where everyone can see.It’s Tomato’s website, not ours, and he has to be the one cleaning up our mess. I don’t want that. If you want an apology, I’m sorry, but just drop it; it’s getting old and tired.

Bucky said on May. 20, 2012

I didn’t ask for an apology. If you wanted to “just drop it” you wouldn’t have responded, would you?

I know copyrights too. I don’t need you to talk down to me, or act innocent. You responded with your “opinion” as though it was more “correct” than mine.

You are a troll.

Krisis said on May. 20, 2012

I really want EarthBound to be released on the Virtual Console. I think it would be a great addition to the VC roster. As for copywright issues, Nintendo could afford to take a bullet or twenty for the team and then make up the profit with the other popular games they produce. Don’t say “they can’t” or it never will. Be persistent. Send a petition to the various musicians to sign giving consent. Ask for support from Shigesato Itoi if necessary. Every doubtful action sets us back 20 steps from our goal. I know I sound like a desparate optimist saying all this, but growing up on EarthBound was a long strange trip I will never regret. I’ve beaten Mother & EarthBound and am still working on Mother 3. I will never lose hope of seeing the series in the future, whether near or far. In closing, I wish all my gaming bretheren to remain vigilant and persistent in their efforts. If Kid Icarus can be brought back from the dead, then it’s only a matter of time before our dreams become reality. I’d gladly pay 4000 Wii points to buy it for the VC.
Krisis.

Bucky said on May. 20, 2012

I think it’s popular for some people to say, “Earthbound will never be released…” for several reasons.

1. They probably paid 100-200 bucks for a copy, and they want to protect their investment. If Nintendo released Earthbound, even on VC, in America, the prices of the cartridges would lower.

2. You’ll notice a lot of “elitists” who look down on those who didn’t buy Earthbound when it originally came out. Why, I don’t know. They obviously want to keep Earthbound a secret.

3. They honestly think Paul McCartney or other artists will come out of the woodwork to legally take down a game people have been wanting for years. Oh yes, that would be such a smart move, because I know people who aren’t Earthbound fans who would never buy any McCartney product, or Dali or whoever, ever again if they found out they sued Nintendo. True story.

Otherwise, you can always just play the ROM, hook your computer/laptop up to your TV via HDMI cable, and play away.

Captain Hampton said on May. 20, 2012

^One thing we can be sure of is that if Japan doesn’t have it on VC yet, we won’t be getting it any time soon

Puck Your Mother said on May. 22, 2012

^So true. It should be perfectly fine out in japan for VC, but they don’t have it yet, which may give off the idea that maybe someone in the Nintendo HQ doesn’t want it released. This makes things even worse for fans in other countries, including America.

Dreamer said on May. 23, 2012

What I don’t get is why people never think about the reason it can’t be on VC.

The legal issues. Yes, it’s crazy, yes, no one cared back then, but think about it: if NCL (I like NOA most of the time, so no blame goes to them) wanted to release it, they could just change the music! But they probably realize it doesn’t feel like “Earthbound” if the iconic music was removed. They have a good reason, even if people do not like said reason. It may be a while before NCL may decide to give NOJ and NOA the go ahead to edit the questionable music. I personally think Mother 1 has a higher chance of being released, being less focused on culture than EB and mother 3. One of these days they may do something new with the old games, but until then, we must be paitent.

Mother 1 won't be released. said on May. 23, 2012

Plain and simple.

Bucky said on May. 24, 2012

“What I don’t get is why people never think about the reason it can’t be on VC.”

Really? People don’t? *Looks up, all through Earthbound Central, Starmen.net, internet*

I think a simple Google search defies that logic.

“Plain and simple.”

Nice argument, man.

Ninten=ness said on Jul. 15, 2012

I remember when i got into mother, i emailed them, and got this type of letter. And then i made a exceptional useless waste of space topic on starmen.net with something about 400,000 signature petition. The sign of a new mother fan: They are shocked,want petitions made, and blame reggie. Sometimes i wonder why i did this…

Kaabii said on Apr. 25, 2013

This is an outdated article now


 

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