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September 9th, 2009 | Images, MOTHER 3

Gabryel sent in some scans on an article from an issue of NGamer Brasil about MOTHER 3:

mother3pt1 mother3pt2

Here is his quick translation of the article:

Mother 3
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.

Fan things

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

Wil said on Sep. 9, 2009

It’s nice to see Mother 3 and the English translation team getting the worldwide recognition they deserve.

Even if it’s not from the Big N.

santiagoff said on Sep. 9, 2009


curiouspasserby said on Sep. 9, 2009

Tomato, I’ll correct the text. I will need an e-mail address to send it to, however.

Megamiun said on Sep. 9, 2009

Oh, I forgot to say that this is from this year January. And thanks for fixing some parts of the text that are strange, I know english, but I am not fluent in the english language

Hyperstar96 said on Sep. 9, 2009

I thought Earthbound was made in the U.S. in 1995, not 1996.

Mato said on Sep. 9, 2009

curiouspasserby: the contact form at the top of each page is fine, or just tomato@starmen.net.

Lord Nikon said on Sep. 9, 2009

Hey Mato, I am sure you have been asked this before…… but have you ever thought about re-translating Earthbound? Seeing as there are many instances that were changed in the game by NOA for copyright or Rating reasons? The game is already translated and it would be a matter of changing the actually words not a total re-program of the game.

Must say I visit the site every day 🙂 hoping something new and exciting will come along (fingers crossed, come on 64dd version of m3)

Wil said on Sep. 9, 2009

@Lord Nikon: I think that’s what the Mother 1+2 translation is going to be..

At least that’s what I thunk.

Ice Sage said on Sep. 9, 2009

“…evidence that is possible create mature games without dropping a unique drop of blood.”

It’s sad how many times I’ve said almost exactly this to my friends, but with today’s view on gaming, blood and good graphics are like THE requirements now.

psycowithespn (aka someone) said on Sep. 9, 2009

Are Brazil’s laws on ROMs different than in the U.S. of A..
Even owning a copy doesn’t make owning the ROM legal (though I am not sure if you dump the ROM yourself).
Bad idea to anyone who doesn’t know the law to leave that in there.

Foffano said on Sep. 9, 2009

Oh, if the brazilians wait for a bit longer they will have the patch in Portuguese too! Go EarthBound Brasil!

Kingpendragon said on Sep. 9, 2009

Actually, here in Brazil having the rom is illegal but isn’t a “crime” unless you try to sell it (because of a loophole in the law, there is no legal punishment for just owning the rom, even if you don’t have a copy of the game).

curiouspasserby said on Sep. 10, 2009

I feel like an idiot for not saying it before, but great find.

MarioFan3 said on Sep. 10, 2009

Neat article, unfortunately even though some people like me have found the glories of the Mother series, the games in many countries around the world like my own are a complete unknown.
Most people haven’t heard of Mother3, not even Earthbound rings a bell!
It’s such a shame good games rarely get released to most of the world 🙁

Yes, that is what’s going on, after Mother is translated and patch 1 is released, a Mother2 translation will be done, as i think putting in EB text would be A: pointless and B: take just as much effort to hack in.

Mato said on Sep. 10, 2009

MarioFan3: No, please don’t speak for me. I’m pretty sure that even if I did want to retranslate the script I wouldn’t have the time for it at all. Probably what will happen is that I’ll fix a few lines but otherwise it’ll be EB’s script.

Mato said on Sep. 10, 2009

Okay, I put a cleaned up version. Skimming through it, I see a lot of typos but I don’t have time to fix them 🙁

curiouspasserby said on Sep. 10, 2009

Tomato, I guess you don’t need me to fix it anymore? Oh well, Carl did a good job so It’s o.k.

Mato said on Sep. 10, 2009

Actually, I still need someone to clean up the cleaned-up version too, like I mentioned.

Megamiun said on Sep. 10, 2009

On the end of the translation the steps 5 and 6 are missing… And thanks, Carl, for cleaning the text.

Gyiyg said on Sep. 10, 2009

Ha! I didn’t need the translator. Viva Brasil! Campeao do Futebol!

Megamiun said on Sep. 10, 2009

I don’t need the translation too! I am a Brazilian from SP hehe

Claus said on Sep. 16, 2009

Um ’96?

earthbound freak said on Sep. 13, 2010

hey mother 3 was mentioned in game informer as a fan comment saying mother 3 is art and its the first game to make him cry! i could proboble send you a scan of it mato!

StarmanFan said on Aug. 2, 2012

I can read it that is simple


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