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January 15th, 2009 | Audio Stuff, MOTHER 3, Uncommon Knowledge

The other day, Dan Bruno, professional music QA guy extraordinaire, decided to take a closer look at MOTHER 3’s battle music combo system.

Personally, I’m as musically inclined as a rock tied to a stick, and I suck horribly at the game’s combo system despite translating and hacking the game until I was blue in the face. But reading his descriptions and staring really hard at the sheet music, I think I might be able to do better sometime now. So give it a look!

Incidentally, one thing I’ve wanted to do for a while now is make a Flash app for this site and/or the online M3 walkthrough that would let you accurately practice the music combo system, and it would also include graphical indicators to help you master each song. The problem with that is 1. I don’t have the time, 2. I don’t know music, 3. I don’t know how to make Flash apps. But I really like the idea, and I know where in the ROM the combo system data is, so someday I’d like to try anyway, if at least for my own benefit only 😛

Also, as a side note, there is one MOTHER 3 strategy guide that lists all the battle music and tries to use charts to show you when you need to press the button. Actually, there might be two guides that do that. If that sounds cool to you, then you should check out the strategy guides page I put up the other day!

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40 Comments to Analyzing MOTHER 3’s Battle Music

Mikhail said on Jan. 15, 2009

A flash game based on Mother 3’s combo system would be very addictive, fun and popular… If you really want to do something like this Mato you should see if anybody knows flash, or learn it yourself. Sounds like a great idea to me!

SoreThumb said on Jan. 15, 2009

*Looks around, left and right*
I know Flash. o_o

If you and I chit-chat about this, I can see if it’s within my realm of expertise. I’ve done some apps that would use enough coding for this. I’d need some insight from you before I could feel comfy working– a song that’s in 29/16ths time sounds nightmareish to code properly, but I’m definitely intrigued.

flatluigi said on Jan. 15, 2009

I would absolutely love it if you could do that. I have a terrible time with the combo system but I’ve always loved the idea.

Clockerstance said on Jan. 15, 2009

Oh come on, the combo system ain’t that hard…

Oh, Oh No, wait… OH GOD!

Alxprit said on Jan. 15, 2009

I’m very good at combos. I had plenty of time to practice.

gBev said on Jan. 15, 2009

I usually get 14-16 every time, I really don’t know how.

The only songs I can’t get often are the ones with odd beats like Serious, songs like that would probably do great in a Flash App like that…

Leirin said on Jan. 16, 2009

I love the idea of it, but I’m pretty bad at it. Most of the time, anyway. Sometimes I get comboes when I’m not even trying and don’t when I am.

Songs like the Clayman theme and “Rock ‘n Roll” (the Jealous Bass theme) I found easiest. I dunno. Maybe I’m just inexperienced since I always used PSI to take care of the job, anyway.

Jeeves said on Jan. 17, 2009

I’m proud that I already knew everything in the article (braggity brag-brag, sorry). It was still a very nice read.

I think it’s funny that he came up with the same way of dealing with Back Beat Battle as I did, which took me three playthroughs to develop. Honestly, for that one the usual rhythm-combo fare is turned on its head, because you essentially have to /avoid/ tapping in time with the beat. That and the hard version of it are the toughest songs for me.

Pimpshi said on Jan. 17, 2009

A song in 29/16…combine that with an emulator delay that usually causes me to aim for the offbeats in most songs, and you have a recipe for disastrous failure. 🙁 Oh well, gotta love the idea at any rate. That’s a very well-presented article and a pretty fun read.

Izumi said on Jan. 18, 2009

Wow, that article is really awesome. I’m poor at combis myself because I tend to listen to the sound of my attacks rather than the music after the first two hits, so everyone but Boney ends up distracting me. 😛

GoldenEevee said on Jan. 20, 2009

The strong one heartbeat goes right to the beat of the song! But I wonder why the masked man version has no heartbeat, does it refet to the fact that the Masked Man has no heart, or something else……..

Feykie said on Jan. 28, 2009

I knew that some of the songs in the game had odd meters (Fate/Serious go away D<), but I didn’t know they had a ‘hard version’. Other than that, I knew what the article had to say; it was still nice, though. I hope to do something like this for every track in the game, as in, provide the heartbeat track, then tips on how to combo to it with perhaps a musical transcription. The problem is that I have no place to get the tracks, so the most I’ll be able to do is record off the battle memory. :p

Thanks for posting that, though; Strong One has a freaking weird beat, but it’s still ~so cool.

888chilly said on Feb. 10, 2009

whoa!!! after seeing that same website before seeing this post, i got the same idea
thats weird

eb0ebm3 said on Feb. 19, 2009

A flash app would definitely be helpful 😀
Hopefully this article helps me and some friends of mine, thanks ebcentral!

BSX said on Feb. 24, 2009

I’ve gotten 3 hits, possibly 4.

I one got 3 hits when I had the music off xD.

I wish my save file wasn’t dleted just at the final area…

Mr. Nosy said on Mar. 5, 2009

I am pretty much between “I’m okay I guess, I can get good combos sometimes” and “I eat 16-hit combos for breakfast.”

Either way, sound battles are my favourite part of Mother 3.

Claus said on Mar. 17, 2009

It’s easy once you get the hang of it. I didn’t need any practice.

Bobbyjkl said on Mar. 26, 2009

I just smash the A button and I hope that I get lucky, lol

Big A2 said on Apr. 3, 2009

What? I never knew you could use the Hypno thingy to find the beat. Thanks a lot!

FuzzyPicklez said on May. 31, 2009

He thinks Back Beat Battle – Hard is the most difficult? He obviously hasn’t tried Absolutely Safe Capsule.

Doseianasan said on Jun. 29, 2009

I usually get 10-16 hit combos, but only if I’m playing the game on a GBA/DS. I can’t do combos on an emulator because of the lag.

Anonymous said on Aug. 12, 2009

uhm, couldn’t you just write a stepmania of it using only one of the arrows? i heard it comes with a step editor.

Andrew Roughwind said on Nov. 15, 2009

Ugh… the lag is very anoying on emulator, longest streak i can done just about 11-13. Try 9 frameskip.

Helter Skelter Ω said on Mar. 12, 2010

Er…is it possible to play through Mother 3 without all this combo-related stuff? I don’t know, because I haven’t played it yet, but I’m hoping it’s easier than it sounds…

SkyRocket said on Mar. 12, 2010

It is possible, even so, comboing is very easy to do.

Helter Skelter Ω said on Mar. 12, 2010

I’m sure I’ll pick it up, but thanks though. That’s a huge relief.

mother2fan1 said on May. 24, 2010

“I eat 16-hit combos for breakfast” lol i voted i suck at it so bad

SomeUser said on Sep. 12, 2010

I would say I suck at it, but a lot of times I get at least 3 hit combos.

This one time I got like a 12 hit combo and then I went “wtf?”

iwata kicks you know what said on Jan. 15, 2011

If I’m lucky I’ll get at least a 6-hit combo.
In Club Titiboo, in the attic area, I can really do awesome 16-hit combos on the arachnids, but only with Boney. Anyone else like this, because throughout the game for some reason it’s easiest to do combo attacks with Boney for me for some reason.

Pk awesome said on Mar. 6, 2011

I don’t have the game and I can’t get the emulator (long story) so can someone pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee make a flash game like that? =)

thomas1up said on Mar. 12, 2011

I’m terrible at doing combos on an emulator but I play much better on the GBA japanese copy, the problem with the fan translation is that it isn’t portable (My flash card wont work ‘.’) so I need to learn japanese even though I can play through the japanese mother 3 with ease without a walktrhough.
Why do I talk like English isn’t my main languege when I try to sound smart?

Matteomax said on Jun. 23, 2011

If Mother 3 was released in America, Id be awesome with combos.. 🙂

kmeisthax said on Sep. 24, 2011

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that some of Nintendo SPD1 snuck over to Brownie Brown when the sound combo system was being developed?

OctobotFire said on Oct. 25, 2011

Someone should make the battle memory and combo system on the iPod touch or computer. That’d be cool (especially since only one mother 3 product is on iTunes *wink*)

Chris Highwind said on May. 6, 2012

I suppose it’d be a stretch to hack the combo window to be a bit more forgiving, as I play Mother 3 exclusively through emulators (gPSP on Vita, and the GBA emulator on the Supercard DSTWO on my 3DS).

Opinionated said on Jul. 25, 2012

Soot Dumplings are good for practicing combos 😉

M1Fan said on Sep. 14, 2012

Usually I’m pretty good, the most i’ve ever got is like 8 and usually I get 3

KingOfSwords said on Sep. 14, 2012

He says that Accelerondo is harder than Fate, but I can’t get more that a 3-hit combo on Fate yet almost always get 16-hit combos on Accelerondo and Stringent.

Chris1212 said on Mar. 6, 2013

Well all I can say about the combo system of the game is that I personally do not find it hard. This may seem because I know about music and I know how to play the clarinet, but I really do not practice playing my instrument a lot. I heard somewhere else (probably youtube) how people would brag how they are good at the combo system because they know about music and how to play an instrument. I got good with the battle system for most of the fight songs of Mother 3 (I.e. Dry Guys, Mr. Batty Twist, ect.)but of course there were some that really threw me off (Titany songs, N.K. Cyborg song, ect.) But although I know how the combo system works, one thing that always makes it hard for me to get those 16 hit combos is probably how the emulator or my computer is not in perfect sync of the sound when I do the combos. Or maybe my keyboard is not in perfect sync when tapping the keyboard. But anyways, if you really want to get good at the combos, practice trough the memory battle or use Duster’s Hypno-Pendulum constantly to listen to the beat of the song.

Chris1212 said on Mar. 6, 2013

Oh and hey Mato, why not include a vote button between the ‘good sometimes’ and ‘eating 16-combos for breakfast’, because although someone like me knows how the combo system works (higher than 5 or six depending on which song), but I think it all depends on the battle songs.


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