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Tips for Buying EarthBound

January 24th, 2009 | MOTHER 3

It’s been a little over three months since the English translation patch for MOTHER 3 was released. So, for those who played it, what did you think? Did you like the game? Was it worth the wait? Better than EarthBound? Or was EarthBound better? Was the game not what you expected it to be? Would you want more games in the series to be made? Or is three enough? What thinks you?

POLL: Which game is your favorite?

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46 Comments to Looking Back at MOTHER 3

Mise said on Jan. 24, 2009

I haven’t necessarily waited as long as some Mother fans, only having come to enjoy the games around the middle of lasat year. I believe this to be the best synthesis of all the positve aspects of the series, all in terms of battle, music, and story. The only thing that I seemed to miss as the story progressed is the feel of a “Modern America-esque” setting of the first two games.

I had no real idea of what the game was going to play out as, only having a few things spoiled but never really seeming to link to another spoiler or game. But I still see the ambigous ending as a final point in the series, and I would be content of no other game was made. If another game were to be realeasd, I’d still play it, however!

XX Stone said on Jan. 24, 2009

I can’t choose a favorite… All of them have characteristics that make them unique in their own special way… It’s like trying to compare apples and bananas.

…And I’ve waited 10 years for Mother 3, now that we’ve got it I’m completely satisfied 😛

MW said on Jan. 24, 2009

It’s really hard to compare the two. MOTHER 2 was all about the exploration and immersion, with that feeling of pure adventure being the game’s main point. I often recall that feeling of endless curiosity when out about Onett for the first time, then the Peaceful Rest Valley, followed by the Dusty Dunes. It was released during an era where kids were often put in fear “for their own safety”. Always being told not to leave the 100 metre radius encircling their parents, and that they should never talk to strangers. Even today, anyone below the age of 19 is always holed up inside some classroom with more rules posed on them than convicted felons. MOTHER 2 really just gave us what we always wanted; to experience the exotic we knew was possible, and not mere fantasy.

MOTHER 3 took more of a storytelling approach, and did an insanely good job at that. Even though the Earthboundy sense of adventure did not surface until chapters four and seven, it almost didn’t matter. It also gave us something the lot of us wanted too; a sort of satire of ourselves. It was definitely made for the original kids who played MOTHER 2, but all grown up to give something of an adult perspective. It took all the dissatisfactions we had with the world – why such a feeling of adventure could only be limited to something so petty as a video game – and gave them an identifiable platform through all the subtle satires of modern society to be found in almost every aspect of the game’s plot.

They are two insanely different paradigms, yet they go together hand in hand. They’re perfect in their own rights, apart; they’re perfect in every right, together.

Roy said on Jan. 24, 2009

You did a really good job doing the translation and all my expectations were filled when i played this game, but i didn´t expected it to be too sad. I would like more games in the future, even if i have to wait another 10 years or something

Erik said on Jan. 24, 2009

I loved Mother 3, and you have my gratitude. I thought it was different from Earthbound, but in a good way. The story made it worth the wait. Even though, like MW said, the exploration wasn’t as big a part, I didn’t care. It was just fun, and something that was truly worth the wait. It helped pass the time while waiting for StarCraft 2, which still isn’t out sadly.

Dr Shlub said on Jan. 24, 2009

I think I liked Earthbound more, although Mother 3 was definitely worth playing

rayefrenzy said on Jan. 24, 2009

Since I’ve been waiting for Mother 3 since I saved the clippings about Earthbound 64, I knew I would adore it. I think it was well worth the wait! I’m comfortable with there being only 3, but if a 4th one were to magically happen, I wouldn’t be opposed.

As for a favorite, well, they’re like my children. They’re different in ways and I love them all equally

AWWWWWWWW ^___________^

Poe said on Jan. 24, 2009

Well, MOTHER 3 had a much better story than EB, but I don’t think either of them is better than the other. They both have their unique pros and cons. There were a lot of surprises in M3 and I don’t think any video game made me cry as much as that one, and that makes M3 feel more personal than every other game in the world.

I think M3 wraps everything up nicely and there’s no need for another sequel.

Mr. Jupiter said on Jan. 24, 2009

Mother 3 seemed much better- IN EarthBound, you hear the plot at the beginning of the game and again at the end, and it’s pretty bad. “The evil alien Gigyas is taking over, get 8 things to win!” just like a generic RPG. In MOTHER 3, the plot is really powerful and original. All the characters have personalities too- It took everything that EB failed on and made it better.

Aqy said on Jan. 24, 2009

Definetely worth the wait… the funny thng about this release, the translation in particular is that I had told some of my friends about the translation to spread the word. Some of these friends never play RPGs anymore, but they know that EarthBound was worth playing back then because of various reasons. I think a lot of people played this and were very happy with it because it’s still different than all the other RPGs out there. In terms of heart… story, the devotion to the product. It makes me wonder why more RPGs don’t strive towards what the Mother series chases. But it remains the same.

darkhamsterlord said on Jan. 24, 2009

MOTHER 3 was an amazing game. Definitely worth the wait. The translation was amazing as well.

I still prefer EarthBound though. No RPG can entertain me like EarthBound can.

Mikhail said on Jan. 24, 2009

It was incredible and more would be awesome.

Zaxtur said on Jan. 24, 2009

I fell in love with EarthBound because of how unique the experience was. I loved its modern setting, its wonderful music (ONETT THEME!), and most of all its sense of humor. “Onett police are infamous for closing roads if something is going on. We’re going for the world record.” In what other game can you fight taxis and piles of pyuke?

Mother 3, on the other hand, seems to be lacking some of EarthBound’s humor, BUT has a MUCH better story and more polished gameplay/design. Seriously, the story really surprised me. I was expecting something closer to EarthBound, but Mother 3’s story was much more fleshed out and more emotional. Between the two, my favorite is probably Mother 3. My 3 favorite games of all time in no particular order are Mario Galaxy, Ocarina of Time, and now Mother 3.

Mother 4? I think three is a good, solid number. And I’d be afraid that a fourth one might seem inferior when compared to Mother 3. But I’d probably wet my pants with excitement if they announced a Mother 4. But I’d like it in 2D, probably on DS and ONLY if somebody’s gonna translate it into English! I don’t think I could stand being teased with another Japan-exclusive release.

Covarr said on Jan. 24, 2009

Mother 3 seemed to have better pacing and smoother gameplay. I liked Earthbound, but Mother 3 was simply more playable.

I didn’t like Mother, though that was largely due to the engine. A modern remake would probably be enough for me to finish the game.

Difegue said on Jan. 24, 2009

It’s really hard to say which one I prefered.
I tend to go with 3 through, because it have King P as an awesome main villain, and chars with deeper personnalities.

I should replay 2 someday.

Darien said on Jan. 24, 2009

I’d say Earthbound was the better game. Mother 3 was very linear (I’ve always found the “chapters” device distasteful in an RPG, since it greatly detracts from the feel of being in an open, explorable world) and didn’t really seem to improve on the gameplay from Earthbound at all. The only real difference was the combo system, which was cute but sort of irrelevant in the end.

(My full review, for those interested, is here )

Ms Saturn said on Jan. 24, 2009

I loved all 3 games and I am quite satisfied with this just being a trilogy. If Itoi doesn’t want make any further Mother games, I’m dandy with that. He deserves a break. =)

Darien said on Jan. 24, 2009

Oh, I should say. Strong language warning if you follow my link. So don’t if you don’t like that sort of thing.

confused said on Jan. 24, 2009

It was awesome, better then EarthBound (just a little), better then I expected, and I do want there to be more made!

Spitball Sparky said on Jan. 24, 2009

I can confidently say Mother 3 is the most coomplete game I know of. It has so much in it. People say different things after so many tiny events. It’s a small, realistic world with beleiveable characters…yet it feels so fantasy-like at the same time. Worth the many years of wait, but I shall always love EarthBound the most.

Dee said on Jan. 24, 2009

Liked mother 3 more.
Liked the ending to mother 2 the best.

Izumi said on Jan. 24, 2009

Mother 3 was fantasic and amazing in similar and yet totally different ways. Perhaps if I had played it first it would be my favourite, but Mother 2 still comes out on top. I also really liked EB0 for its story and what little character development we got, wish it was a little more playable.

Clockerstance said on Jan. 24, 2009

Earthbound Zero was really the only nes game I could sit down and play all the way through. (until I hit that god damn peice of %#@^^&*$~$@!% last @!#$@!%@!@$ boss)

… but, blah blah blah, I loved 3’s gameplay and story… 😀

MotherFTW said on Jan. 24, 2009

Mother is very awesome and worth the wait,thank you translaters!

Smash Bass said on Jan. 24, 2009

Sometimes I don’t know if a new Mother would be good or not so good. Having only three games in this series has allowed us to focus on them more than if there were more, but a Mother 4 would be nice.

Mother 3 wasn’t what I expected. It turned out to be way different. But that wasn’t a bad thing. I loved it. It was worth the wait, definitely.

Now, I don’t know which one I like more. I haven’t finished EB0 yet, and I think that both EB and M3 are equally good, so I can’t decide.

EBM said on Jan. 25, 2009

I, for one, LOVED the game. It promised “strange, funny, heartrending” and I got it! It was CERTAINLY worth the wait… a long… long wait…
I’m talkin’ a REALLY LONG wait.
I remember when I was a little kid. When I first read Mr. Sparkle…
It really got me pumped for MOTHER 3. I was jumping out of my chair and rooting for you all the way.
I still sit down to read it at least 3 times a year… to remember those feelings and to look back at times passed.
Also ’cause it’s still kinda funny. I’m personally waiting for a sequel or an RPG based on the story.
Or even an RPG AS a sequel.
But I digress. I DID expect the game to be more… “EarthBound-y”. But I really liked the change of pace. It was different… but still pretty cool!
I would love a MOTHER 4… or even a side game. I was thinking “MOTHER 2- Adventure of BuzzBuzz” or even “MOTHER 3- The Untold Story” which would be more like the N64 version. I think it looked different enough to merit its own game.
Heck, “MOTHER 3- Secrets of Oshoe” would be pretty great even!
There’s still SO much MOTHER unplayed… maybe I sound selfish, and maybe I’m the only one that thinks these things… but there is just so much MORE to the MOTHER world. I want to see it all.
One more thing- THINK on that Mr. Sparkle RPG. That would be GOLD.
I’d do it myself, but I don’t know the first THING about making a game… but if I did…
Gaming industry- LOOK OUT!

Teal said on Jan. 25, 2009

I’d say Earthbound/Mother 2 is my favorite. I like how the villains of the game had a more dark, mysterious tone with a little weirdness. Don’t take me wrong I like Mother 3 as well. I just like Earthbound’s story better and it’s locations were more diverse with no “hub” location.
Another thing I liked was that the climax was insane and after that it wasn’t just some quick cutscene then “The End” like most games but in Earthbound its gets all peaceful everyone’s happy for Ness and his friends and you can explore some more it actually feels like you really saved the world. (btw what happened to Everdred??)
As for Mother 3’s Lucas…I just couldn’t wipe away his first impression as a cry baby kid. (sorry Lucas fans, please don’t kill me.) I guess it was a good story about becoming strong.

wzrd said on Jan. 25, 2009

Story-wise I would choose Mother 3. However, I found Earthbound to draw the player in much faster than Mother 3, which I had to be patient with.

vivi3000 said on Jan. 25, 2009

Kind of a cool story. When the translation patch first came out I immediately threw something about it up in my Facebook status. I know probably 95% of my friends have never played Earthbound and maybe never will, but still it was pretty exciting times.

When Earthbound came out I was 7 years old. I had a best friend who was a couple years older than me and we were in a video rental store one time trying to decide what game to rent for our sleepover that night, as we often did every weekend and he pointed out the big box of Earthbound and was like ‘let’s try this one out’ and so we did. We stayed up for hours playing it and it was a game that left an impression on both of us.

Anyway, I threw that facebook status up and a couple days later this same friend from way back then whom I hadn’t even spoken to in years messaged me and he said something like: ‘I just ordered an SNES and Earthbound off of eBay for old times sake and he started asking me about the sequel so I told him about the translation patch and whatnot. He mentioned seeing my status a few days prior and that he was definitely gonna check it out after he played through Earthbound again.

This was almost 15 years ago that we played Earthbound and this friend of mine (who I might mention never went to starmen.net or anything so maybe he never had this constant Earthbound stimulus to keep him interested in the series) was still really in to it. It made me really happy.

Mother 3 too made me really happy. I’d played through to Chapter 5 on my Japanese cart before deciding I wanted to wait until the patch. And then when the patch came I had trouble getting started because I was retreading a bunch of stuff I’d already played before. Finally in December I bucked up and played through, taking my time, finishing up just last week. And it was so good and so worth it. Part of me wants to say I like Earthbound better but I think that might just be the nostalgia speaking and I’m fairly confident that Mother 3 was indeed the better game.

Whew, long comment I think.

Leirin said on Jan. 27, 2009

I think they’re all great! Mother 3 is probably my favorite, Mother 1 I’ve played a lot of and like, but I’m only in Twoson in Earthbound.

MW has good thoughts on the matter. Totally agree.

By the way, is the picture for your post by Asame?

Mato said on Jan. 27, 2009

Actually, I’m not really sure who made the pic. My starmen.net folder is filled with so much junk and so many pics that I don’t know what originated from where. It’s an awesome pic though!

Poopskin said on Jan. 29, 2009

Worth the wait, definately.
Thanks, mato!

SplatterHammer said on Jan. 29, 2009

Mother 3 was a great game and really benifited from the translation, but I think Mother 1 had the most character. Sure, there wasn’t that much for story, but the fact that the kids weren’t even the chosen ones is pretty kick-rear.

Dr Haisook said on Feb. 1, 2009

Hmm.. well, I didn’t like Mother 3. I didn’t even complete it because by the time I spent 10 hours playing, it became ‘really’ uninteresting to me. That doesn’t mean the game is not well-made; it is, but it’s just not the Earthboundish game I was expecting. As some people mentioned here, taking out the ‘modern America-esque’ environment was a big turn-off. Also, dividing the game into chapters, each played by different characters, was distracting, and the heavy story-telling made the game no more than an interactive digital story. I preferred to keep it as open as possible. I didn’t also like introducing the currency (DP) later in the game. It was like starting a new game after 10 hours of playing it! I know it served the story, but it was just too distracting for an RPG.

I also couldn’t ‘digest’ the fact that the evil merchant was let to reside in the village and even create training grounds for his troops after he had done (and the townspeople must have known about it). There could be a reason explained later, but it was just too irrational. That’s a minus in my opinion as regards to the story.

That said, I still enjoyed the 10 hours I played to ‘some’ extent. There were even a couple of tunes I really liked and so grabbed them from starmen site to keep them on my PSP.

Anyway, I’d like to thank Mato and his team for this well-crafted translation, and giving us the opportunity to try Mother 3.

Can0fMean said on Feb. 2, 2009

I can’t compare the two games, they were both just awesome. Like everybody said here, it had a great story-line, yet it was boring for the first 1-2 hours, then it got better and more exciting.

BUT, one LEAST thing I very disliked(hated) about Mother 3 was the music. Earthbound had nice & catchy music and the music of Mother 3 seemed so plain and simple to me after listening Onett Music 6 Hippie’s music at Earthbound. There were NO catchy battle themes or town musics and the game really dissappointed me in that way.

Iz_wantz_cheeseburger said on Feb. 3, 2009

Earthbound was delicious.

PK Soap said on Feb. 4, 2009

Alas, I’ve been so busy with, well, everything, that I still haven’t been able to complete MOTHER 3. I’ve had so many problems with just trying to play it, since moment one.

I promised myself that I would play it in it’s intended original format, because I think games lose some of their magic being played on a keyboard. Especially a handheld game; there’s nothing better than curling up with a DS on a school night and playing a great RPG in the darkness. It provides me with such comfort.
I got a job and a bank account with a debit card just so I could purchase an EZ-Flash IV. My limited tech skills plagued the experience of trying to get the ROM onto the cart, and it certainly didn’t help that the SD card broke off…INSIDE the EZ-Flash.

Finally, in December, I had a 13-hour plane ride to Hawaii for the holidays with my girlfriend, and I poured 10 hours into that game, being sure not to rush and to take the time to behold the wonder of it all. It’s such a beautifully crafted game. The art is eye-popping. Gorgeous. The story is just as the logo says; heartrending. The years of being wary of spoilers certainly paid off, and every turn of the story had me laughing, eye-popping, solemn.

I really can’t wait until I finish the game, but I’m taking my time, because I can tell I’ll be quite sad once I finish this journey. No experience amounts to the first time through a MOTHER game, and I want to prolong it’s end as long as possible.

Until then, thank you, Mato, for this wonderful translation. :]

jellytack said on Feb. 12, 2009

i definetly liked mother 3 best… which is quite the feat, cuz earthbound is one of my childhood sweethearts 🙂 honestly, m3 just felt so much deeper to me, the whole game just had this heavy, weighty feeling to it. and by the time i got to the last fight, i was so wrapped up in what was happening that i damn near cried. but i didn’t, cuz i’m hard and thats just how i roll 🙂 but seriously, thanks again guys, you made the many, many, many years of waiting worth it. good karma for you!!!

Krennthief said on Feb. 21, 2009

I loved EarthBound the best; it was just more addicting thatn Mother 3.

Still, Mother 3 I love with all my heart, but it’s just too sad for me to love it the most out of the three. I nearly cried at the end of Chapter 1, and the really short chapter where Lucas is chasing after Hinawa in the field of sunflowers made me nearly cry as well. After all, I love my own mother a lot, and I’d imagine I’d feel the same as Lucas if something like that happened to me.

I’m not finished with it yet, but I intend to. I’m just too…sad…to play it…

JeebusMcChrist said on Mar. 2, 2009


RCat said on Mar. 30, 2009


It’s a bit too late to mention this, but I think you may have missed the point of the whole Fassad thing. The player knows he is evil, and the party members knew he was evil, but the rest of the town didn’t. To them, Fassad was some charismatic guy who gave them happiness in a box and had friends who could protect them from the scary mismatched animals and lightning and junk. Of course they’d let him set up a training camp to raise more people to protect them and keep them happy.

As it stands, a big part of the game has you running around trying to stop these secretly evil guys from their doomsday plot while most everyone else was completely oblivious to your journey and were preoccupied with their own happiness.

Claus said on Mar. 31, 2009

I spoiled everything about MOTHER 3 bfore getting it and I still loved it. It is my favorite game (I didn’t get past Twoson in EarthBound and my file somehow got deleted so I stopped playing it). If any of you wish to play it on a GBA or DS, I recommend the elink. You don’t have to buy that one if you don’t want to, but I used it and it works great with MOTHER 3. The only part I hated was getting to level 60 for PK ground, but other than that, I loved every bit of the game.
(long comment)

dark-karito said on May. 4, 2009

Weeeeell…..I luv EarthBound, I couldn´t resist to play it like…5 or 6 hours per day 🙁
But Mother 3 is freakinglistic awesome (lol) I enjoyed it from the beggining to the end. Actually I´ve cried in the end T-T it´s because i luv Claus…

So, M3 is definitively my favorite. And yay for the pic of this article 😀

G.Wicks said on May. 8, 2009

Compared to EB Zero and EarthBound, Mother 3 is such a different experience for me. I liked the first two games in the series because it was fun exploring towns that represented a fictional, modern America. It really put me in the shoes of the main character. .
As neat as the actual world of Mother 3 is, I found it to be less interesting (I’m talking about the actual overworld map). there’s a lot of circling back, and the villages… well, there’s only 2, and so from the start the game is a different experience, and it took me a while to accept that.

However, about the same week Mother 3 came out, my dog died and my best friend committed suicide, so the tragedy aspect of the story became extremely personal. I tried playing through the game as a way to keep my mind off my friend who had just passed away but it didn’t work, and instead, I became obsessed with defeating the game’s main enemy, like he had personally affected me. I guess that sounds weird, but it was a very hard part of my life, just getting done with college, working a crappy job away from friends and family, and then tragedy strikes. I just really wanted to kick Porky’s ass.

In my opinion, Mother 3 works better as a standalone story than as a RPG I’d want to play again and again. When I started I couldn’t put it down, like a really good book, but after I was finished I found I had more of a desire to go through the old ones more, despite the fact that their stories are less interesting. I think it’s because of this that Mother 3 is my least favorite in the series. Still, it’s such better crafted and so much more heart, so please understand that even though I like the old ones better, this game is still one of my favorite games of all time.

Rotting Horse said on May. 31, 2009

I remember playing Earthbound back When it first came out and I was like…9. My mom bought it as a used game from BlockBuster. I remember starting it up and the first file was an already beat file, so I started up that file and noticed that I was playing as 4 robots and I was just like…. “what the fuck is going on here?”

Then I made a new file and played it for a bit, and I was really confused on what to do. I got to Frankie and for the love of Satan I could not beat him, so I gave up for… a few years. then when I was in the 6th grade and I was playing Smash Bros for 64. I noticed that Ness was in it. Then that reminded me that I still had the game, and I started playing it again, 2 or 3 months later I beat it, and have been such a huge fanboy ever since. So my favorite would have to be Mother 2. Just an amazing experience at such a young age. And for my 8th grade English assignment, I did a whole 5 page short story Based on Ness’s journey from the beginning to The end of Threed.

Mother 3 is amazing as well, since there is such an intense feeling of nostalgia whenever I play it.

I really should get around to playing Mother….
Haven’t beaten it yet heh..

Metakirby14 said on Jul. 4, 2009

I’ve never played Mother 3, but seeing how witty,exciting and thrilling when chuggaconroy LPed it, I was amazed by everything it had, I know some of you may have been bored until Chapter 4 or even 7, but give it a chance. And I fell in love with the music (F-F-Fire! anyone?) and great plot. First it seems so rural, then after the 4th chapter, it goes into what 300X would be like.

I also like Earthbound, not only because of the Runaway Five, The Sharks and the Starmen, but the feel of being your own hero inside. From naming your friends to fighting a giant ant, it’s all exciting and awesome until Carpainter steps in and fucks up Peaceful Rest Valley. then Threed causes kids to shit their pants, and it goes all downhill from there.

I have nothing to say about EB0 yet.


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