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Tips for Buying EarthBound

April 4th, 2009 | Interviews, MOTHER 3

Note: this is kind of a side-update to this post from a few days ago.

Chris Kohler from Wired alway has EarthBound fans’ backs, so it’s cool that he and a few other media folks keeps asking Reggie about the series for us. Because, honestly, we peons can’t ask him these things ourselves. Of course, Reggie always seems to give his patent mixture of politician talk and corporate talk when he answers, but that probably comes with his job 😉 Anyway, in Chris’s latest interview with Reggie, this little part at the end touched on MOTHER 3:

Wired.com: Finally, when is Mother 3 coming out?

Fils-Aime: Mother 3. OK, Chris. So I have seen all the hate mail and all of the stories that say that Reggie is deliberately holding back Mother 3. Nothing is further from the truth. I would love to see Mother 3 here in the U.S. market. But it’s not a title that we’re working on, not a title that we’ve announced. Personally, that disappoints me, but as we look at what’s important for DS or for Wii, we’ve got other priorities right now.

It’d be nice if Reggie would just come out and say yes or no to something, or just answer one of these questions clearly for once. Even just a “I don’t know what the deal is, sorry.” would be nice. Instead, he answers this “Is MOTHER 3 coming out?” with “I would love to see it here.” which doesn’t answer the question at all. He’s done this same vague dancing-around-the-question for every single EarthBound-related question he’s been asked in the past. I get the feeling those are the only kind of answers we’ll ever get from him.

Probably, the first time or two he was asked about the games, he genuinely didn’t know what they were, so, as a way to save face (the new president of NOA doesn’t even know about one of the company’s IPs??? is what people would say), he used this wave-of-the-hand sidestep-the-question card. But he knows about the games now. Of course, it’s probably scary and stupid for someone running a business with stockholders to actually go and give bad news of his own accord. And, it’s probably scary giving bad news to the masses because that’d direct a lot of hate toward him. But given all the hateful messages out there already, I don’t think he can get any more 😉

It’s true though that he shouldn’t be the one to blame for the situation, and using him as a scapegoat is stupid. Though he probably is deserving of some discontent for always avoiding the issue 😐

As always, my offer to let them use my translation script of MOTHER 3 still stands. I’m a professional translator, been at this for many years now, know the series in and out, put a ton of work into it. They’re free to take my work and use it or modify it or whatever, however they see fit, for free. They don’t even have to mention my name anywhere or anything. I’ll even gift-wrap it 😛 They know how to contact me too. So the offer is always there, and it would save them many tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, I don’t expect the offer to be accepted, but it’s always there just the same.


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47 Comments to Reggie Talks Some More MOTHER 3

HossTehMaster said on Apr. 4, 2009

Well maybe one day we’ll get an answer….or just plain never.

SoupOfTheSeason said on Apr. 4, 2009

It sure would be nice to finally get an answer in the form of “yes” or “no.” Not that it will be the former. If anything, Reggie should be pestered about why Nintendo still doesn’t want to acknowledge/release Earthbound on the VC. The gba might not be relevant anymore, but the Wii is.

Totally Not Fassad said on Apr. 4, 2009

In my opinion, even if they do take up on your offer of using your script, there are probably some parts in the game that seems questionable. The ENDURE IT FOR A LITTLE LONGER and the oxygen distribution people spring to mind. For the latter, they could probably just change it to be just some generic “oxygen robots” or something but chances are, Nintendo of Japan are probably going, “why change? We don’t see anything wrong with that”.


Mato said on Apr. 4, 2009

I dunno about you, but I’d be fine with that. Some sacrifices would probably be necessary no matter what anyway.

ChickenHunter said on Apr. 4, 2009

NOA’s edit #1 to your script would be to remove all instances of foul langauge

Anonymous said on Apr. 4, 2009

It doesn’t appear to me that Reggie is sidestepping the issue. He says quite clearly that “it’s not a title that we’re working on, not a title that we’ve announced…. we’ve got other priorities right now.” I’m definitely reading that as a “no” that he won’t have to retract at a later date if Nintendo does decide to publish Mother 3 in North America.

Darien said on Apr. 4, 2009

“Anonymous” right there is me. Seems that I somehow managed to log out between typing that post and posting it without realising I’d done so. Well, that’s me for you. 😉

Mato said on Apr. 4, 2009

He does give that info, but that’s not exactly the info that was asked for. It’s one of those sneaky way of saying no without saying no, like you mention, but if you’ll recall, it’s also the same thing that that Nate guy in the Treehouse said like 3 years ago right before DIYD, and what Reggie’s said in the past before too. What I’m saying is that it’d be nice to have a clear answer for once rather than these fuzzy non-commital replies. If someone could just say, “No, we have no plans to release any of the games. End of story.” or “We looked at possibly releasing Mother 3, but for these specific reasons we chose not to.” that would be preferrable.

It’s not just here though, Reggie seems to have a real knack for saying a lot of words but not really meaning anything or answering the question at hand. I see some other examples in this same interview even 😛

Jesse said on Apr. 4, 2009

Probably just my own bias but Mother 3 should be a priority title, it seems like a lot of people really want it. Besides, what are Nintendo’s priorities? Wii Sports 3? Wii Music 2? I mean really…

Mato said on Apr. 4, 2009

Well, to be fair, both of those games would probably outsell Mother 3 a few times over without even trying 😛

Dale said on Apr. 4, 2009

I feel that although Reggie’s answers in the interview with Wired & the previous one with MTV weren’t to our liking… the fact that these interviewers are bringing Mother 3 up shows him that there is large enough interest from the fans that it might be worth it. I’m remaining optimistic that it will eventually see a Western release, although I feel it would probably be censored, just as Mother 2 was. At least your translation let the hardcore Mother fans see an accurate script, Tomato.

That One Guy said on Apr. 4, 2009

Honestly, I’d rather have a definite “no” than a “maybe possibly sometime in the future” thing he’s doing.

Darien said on Apr. 5, 2009

Any of you guys ever played World of Warcraft? I played it for a few years, and one thing that sticks out immediately in my mind reading this discussion is that, in a lot of cases, players would ask “is thing X coming” questions to which Blizzard would reply “we have no plans for that at this time.” A lot of people complained about that answer and said they’d rather have something more or less like what Tomato said: “No, we have no plans to release any of the games. End of story.”

I think the major disconnect is that, from Nintendo’s perspective, it’s *not* the end of the story. Why would they tell us “it’s never going to happen” when it very well may happen? It’s the same idea I’ve observed when reading Scribes ( http://www.rareware.com/extras/scribes/12feb09/index.html ) — people ask “when will Killer Instinct 3 come out” and don’t want to hear “we dunno, maybe sometime.” They want to hear either a hard date or “never,” but neither of those answers really applies.

To sum up, the question Reggie was asked was “When is Mother 3 coming out?” He cannot answer that question “simply.” The game is not in the pipeline as of now, so he can’t give a date, but nobody’s sealed it in a box and buried it under concrete like with the Atari E.T. cartridges, so he can’t say “never” either. Really, I find it hard to fault the man for giving a wordy, complicated answer to such a loaded question.

Not that I disagree fundamentally that Reggie is good at saying a lot of words without revealing much information. He is. Which is a good thing, since that’s part of any executive’s job description. You’re supposed to turn the interviews to your recent announcements and get them more time in the spotlight but not reveal anything that hasn’t been formally announced yet. Ah, business politics. 😉

James said on Apr. 5, 2009

To be honest, I think the best thing for Reggie to say is, “We will no longer pursue legal action against copyright infringement as it relates to the EarthBound series.”

As a rule, I am against piracy at every turn. But in this case, Nintendo obviously doesn’t feel that Mother it worth the trouble. Making the series “opensource” would allow Fangamer and others to distribute Mother 3 in cart form to dedicated fans without subjecting Nintendo to the consequences of its more colourful content.

Relinquishing the copyright, although completely without precedent, would be the best thing for the series and for gamers. Nintendo would even benefit to a degree, in that they would no longer have to waste time and resources answering questions and mail demanding a retail release.

Obviously, it will never happen. But I think the sad truth is that this is about as likely a scenario as Mother 3 getting a legitimate release. So if we’re going to dream…

Tonchiki said on Apr. 5, 2009

I think most of the problem with Mother 3 outside Japan is its entire tone and themes (especially in the USA). EarthBound glossed over death and such, but this game deals HEAVILY with it (I hope that wasn’t too spoilery), and there’s no way to get around that. There are some twisted things in M3, and I’m not sure they’d even be able to market it, because it unfortunately falls under the category of games that are likely to be marketed towards children over here.

captain_falcon said on Apr. 5, 2009

What, no ( laughs )?

Rambo M. said on Apr. 5, 2009

Can’t say much of this is Reggie’s fault (we know it isn’t) but neither can I say I feel sorry he’s become as much a fall guy for this topic as he has. When you get down to it, he’s PR with a bullseye. Taking bullets for the american wing is his job. He seems used to it, anyway.

If it’s any consolation guys, know that Sega of America’s Simon Jeffery is holding basically the same job, only he’s associated with a company/divison still running itself into the ground, and this SOB’s got fangs:
(the really bad shit is at the end of page 2)

Darien said on Apr. 5, 2009

Rambo: I think you’re 100% correct. As president of the company, Reggie is going to end up taking a lot of the flak for what the company does, for good or for ill. A good deal of the Wii’s success was laid at Reggie’s feet (the “Reggie Revolution” and all that), and a lot of the heat for Mother 3’s lack of release is also on him. He’s a professional; he can take it. 😉

Tonchiki: I was actually just thinking about that while I was in the shower, believe it or not. I wonder if Mother 3 has a market in North America. I mean, besides us crazy Earthbound fans, who, vocal as we are, aren’t enough. Mother 3 is a very serious, adult game that deals with heavy subjects like death, memory, and free will, but at the same time it’s a cute Game Boy RPG. Does the North American market have a niche for cute Game Boy RPGs for adults? I don’t have the answers; I know diddly-squat about market segmentation. But it does appear that a great many American adult gamers, much in contrast with Japanese adult gamers, aren’t interested in cute Game Boy RPGs that explore complicated topics. They’re more interested in discussing the meaning of free will with the Combine from the other end of a pulse rifle.

Jesse said on Apr. 5, 2009

You’re right Tomato, they would outsell Mother 3 hands down, unfortunately, and Nintendo is in the business to make a profit. ): Ah well, one can wish it’d sell well, ha ha. 🙂

Deiphobus said on Apr. 5, 2009

seriously, reggie probably doesn’t care about mother at all.

santiagoff said on Apr. 5, 2009

Damn reggie , why doesn’t he tell us “We don’t really care about your mother series , so go make yourselves mother 4 or something”. It’d be much better than this… although it wouldn’t be good for Nintendo.

Metal Gear Squalid said on Apr. 5, 2009

You know guys, if you loved the series sooooo much you could, uh, take some japanese classes instead of whining about Nintendo’s obligation to instantly gratify you?

Everyone acts like the games have never been released, but really they’re just as noncommital as Nintendo. “What? I’d have to DO SOMETHING?”

Lothis said on Apr. 5, 2009

The way Reggie worded it makes me thing that they have tried to release it but haven’t been able to but are still trying to and can’t give a clearer answer because… well, a comment he has made before about tossing EarthBound fans a bone and it exploding out of proportion on the internet into expectations that NOA can’t meet comes to mind.

honeymustard said on Apr. 5, 2009

He’s just a spokesman, a figurehead, much like Jack Tunney of the old WWF. The big cheeses in Japan are doing all the work, pulling the strings, and Reggie is just PR in America. He has no control over anything, so that’s why he says what he says.

HossTehMaster said on Apr. 5, 2009

If the game was released here with no changes I’m assuming that they could put a E10+ or a Teen rating on it. As for would it sell, it would. I wasn’t even a Mother fan when I played the translation but SSBB got me interested in it. The smash bros series has converted a lot of people into Mother fans, so to M3 sell on the DSi (while using Mato’s script) they would get quite the profit.

Millhouse said on Apr. 5, 2009

really, do we care if it ever comes out?
I for one, don’t.
I mean, seriously, we have Mother in japanese and an official translation available to us, we have Mother 2 available to us, and we have Mother 3 in english, the best of them yet (the best game, anyways in my opinion, ignoring that the owner of this blog translated it)

So, if Nintendo would release it, they wouldn’t use Mato’s script (and hacks), and if they did, they’d completely rape it. …rip it, I mean. apart.

The most awesome thing that could happen is a Mother trilogy for DS with the official versions of 1+2, and Mato’s unchanged version of 3, but since that’s never gonna happen, who cares? I mean, I’d buy the game for sure. Any release of Mother 3? sure I’d buy it. But I’ve played through it twice, in english, I don’t exactly _need_ it.

Claus said on Apr. 5, 2009

But isn’t he the president of NOA? Doesn’t he make all the decisions about games being released here? If he really was a fan, I’d think he’d try harder at it.

Ska kid said on Apr. 5, 2009

I don’t get it, you translated it Brownie Brown’s willing to work on it. People will buy it. It just boggles the mind.

Gooeyheat said on Apr. 7, 2009

His answer seemed pretty clear to me. Sounded like a “no”. Plans could change in the (far) future, but don’t expect MOTHER 3 anytime within 5 years, basically.

GoldenEevee said on Apr. 8, 2009

So they won’t release Mother 3 because they think their dumb DS and Wii are more important than the importance of their fans. stop thinking about how youre DS and Wiis are selling, and start thinking about the fans!!!!!!!!

Claus said on Apr. 8, 2009

Especially since the wii isn’t doing so well anymore.

FuzzyPicklez said on Apr. 8, 2009

You know, some day they’re gonna release a horrible title for DS or Wii, that they’ll lose money from, like “Super Hyper Ultra Mega Pony Day of Sunshine and Grass” and those guys at Nintendo will say, “You know, maybe we should have worked on Mother 3 instead.” You know, I wonder what Iwata said about Mother 3. Maybe IWATA is the reason why there is no Mother 3! XD jk but it just might be a possibility.

Anyway, I think that Mother 3 WILL be released. But heaven knows when.

PK Scatman said on May. 5, 2009

it just pissis me off that reggie is HOLDING BACK mother 3

MegazeroX said on May. 20, 2009

@ PK Scatman: It is not his fault. If anything, its our society. They would get could sued for some of the songs in the game. For example, the Mr. Batty’s music’s begining sounds like the old batman song.

pdRydia said on Jun. 12, 2009

So long as Nintendo owns the property and stands to make money off of it, they are never going to come out and say “Nope, not going to release it.” Why would they? They’d look really stupid to do so only to later gain the ability/desire to release the game.

Ector said on Jul. 3, 2009

Priorities like Imagine Babyz and Pokemon 84? Right.

Lucas200x said on May. 15, 2010

Kumatora: “Damn that cheap bastard” that would definitly have to go for a kids game

Cubivore10 said on May. 22, 2010

Damn, he’s not responsible for Mother 3 not coming out here! Get over it people. By the time they freakin’ translated it, it’d be like, 2007 (back then). GET OVER IT!

DoseiSan said on May. 22, 2010

We were over it… the article is from 2009 dude >_>

Ozzie said on Sep. 1, 2010

Here’s the truth:

“we have very recently heard, from a very reliable source, that this game will never be officially published in the English language. The developers themselves commissioned full English, French, Spanish, and German translations of the game for the purpose of communicating it to Nintendo of Not-Japan. It did not pass their quality examinations. According to our source, the plot was “too serious”, to a point betraying the graphic design (cartoon-like).”

source: http://www.actionbutton.net/?p=422

JeebusMcChrist said on Nov. 16, 2010

I’m glad Nintendo never released anything other than Earthbound. Think about it – had they released the whole series and supported it, it would have stayed a niche little title that a lot of people really enjoyed playing. However, the rabid Earthbound fan base would never have come into being.

There might be a bit of fan art, true, and there might be a small website devoted to it, but the massive Starmen.net community would be nowhere to be found.

Of course, I might be wrong. We all might just be obsessive lunatics regardless.

Jon-Jon said on Jul. 1, 2011

ok, either the translators would take the bad stuff out or they rate the game m or t

Zoom! said on Sep. 15, 2011

Since I can’t say it there, I’ll say it here: Like Mato said, good call Rock. Reggie-haters sure are a large bunch 😀

Matteomax said on Sep. 16, 2011

Jeez, there are way too many rude comments on the other post.. Thanks, Mato for disabling comments on that one.. 😉

@ Jon-Jon: They probably would replace the curse words with other words, or censor them out.

RadicOmega said on Nov. 2, 2011

I mean to post this on Reggie talks MOTHER 3 but Rock disabled the comments. @Anonymous Mato has a standing offer to allow Nintendo to use Tomato’s screen free of charge. The text doesn’t have any errors, but has to have a couple bugs. Nintendo wouldn’t put borrow it. @Zoom! What Anonymous is saying isn’t as stupid in the words your using. Would it really hurt Nintendo to have some help from a extremely loyal fan base?

Username? What's that? said on May. 15, 2012

Reading this doesn’t make sense. What is so important that Ninendo is doing? Making the Wii U? The 3DS? Can’t they just take the time to translate the damn game and market it, gaining plenty of money in the process??? It’s not our fault Nintendo is the only company making good games on the Wii.

Michael said on Sep. 28, 2012

Nintendo will never learn


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