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Tips for Buying EarthBound

November 11th, 2009 | Fan Games

For a good while now Chaisu and a team of EarthBound fans have been working on a fan game MOTHER series sequel called Mother 4. Obviously it’s not an official game, but with little hope for any new games or remakes in the MOTHER / EarthBound series (and even less hope of them being released outside of Japan), fans and fan games are what will continue to keep the series alive.

Anyway, the game’s site has tons more info and answers to questions than I can provide here, so here’s a look at some screenshots and music from the game:

And here are some music previews:

For a fan game, this is looking really good so far! If you’re interested, check out the project site for more info and details and such.


Other Related Posts:


80 Comments to MOTHER 4 Fan Game

fael said on Nov. 11, 2009

i was impressed you didn’t mention it before, considering the quality of the things they’re showing up, specially the music.

you should help them with the script or something. of course, if you have some free time, mato.

Antiaverage said on Nov. 11, 2009

I, too, am surprised this wasn’t mentioned earlier. I’ve been following them for some time now. I have a few gripes about them, but overall am excited to see their release. The people they got to do the music, the snobodys, are amazing. The pixel art is fantastic. The story is convincingly Mother-like. Get some popcorn, because this is going to be a good show.

Mato said on Nov. 11, 2009

fael: For fan games I usually prefer to post something when there’s something substantial, and until the fan game convention the other week it seemed like the Mother 4 site was mostly posts about fan submissions, clay models, and stuff like that that wasn’t about the game directly.

Without that policy, I’d wind up making tons of posts about fan games as they make small steps forward, which would take away from the oomph of posting about fan games in the first place. In fact usually I prefer there to be at least a demo before I post about it, but in this case the screens and music seemed substantial enough.

resetsurvivor said on Nov. 11, 2009

On a scale of 1 to 10 this game looks like a promising 9! Wow! What detail. Great work. Is this a Mother 3 hack?

Anonymous said on Nov. 11, 2009

This had made me so very excited. 🙂 I don’t know if I should though. I’ve seen a lot of fan games just fall apart. Best of luck to them! This looks great so far!

Dale said on Nov. 11, 2009

Iiiiinteresting… thanks for the heads up, I did not know about this.

Millhouse said on Nov. 11, 2009

So it /is/ still alive and well? Wow, haven’t heard of this for an eternity…

Anonymous said on Nov. 11, 2009

Looks amazing. I sure hope they can complete it.

Karma said on Nov. 11, 2009

I was very excited and happy to hear about this, too….

Until I saw in the FAQ that they are using the Game Maker software to make it.

Then my hopes that this would be any good, were utterly dashed and crushed.

Poe said on Nov. 11, 2009

Karma – What’s so bad about Game Maker? I don’t know anything of game-making software, so could you please elaborate?

fael said on Nov. 11, 2009

mato, yeah, i understand. i didn’t know about the project and i visited it last monday and found some screenshots and good music and i found it strange you mention it on weekly roundup but not on an individual post.
sorry about bothering you, if i did. anyhow, you should apply to write the story.

Poe, game maker is too lame. it kinda helps if you know nothing about game programming, but if you want something more real, with several improvements and custom event triggers, game maker is very limited.
i have to say i’m making this up as i’ve never made a game, not even on game maker, it’s just a programming generality, as if you wanted to build a website on dreamweaver.

Karma, last time i checked, they were rewriting the whole stuff and giving up game maker. now that i’m looking for the source, i can’t find it. maybe it was mentioned on the trailer. look it up on youtube.
or maybe i was dreaming.

pidgezero_one said on Nov. 11, 2009

I think you’re correct, Fael, I remember that being mentioned somewhere in the most recent thread about Mother 4 on Starmen.

Ginrei said on Nov. 11, 2009

Regardless of how they’re making it, I think it looks promising! The music especially; it has a very Mother vibe to it.

Dookie said on Nov. 11, 2009

game maker can be quite a powerful engine. it has much more flexibility than say rpgmaker vx or 2k3, which is unfortunately what I’m making my earthbound fan game in. I’ve heard its quite difficult to craft an rpg in game maker but i’ve seen all sorts of games made with it and it looks like the mother 4 team is doing a great job.

Phones said on Nov. 11, 2009

Haha, guys Game Maker is absolutely fantastic. It has it’s own built in language that you can learn to program just about anything. Don’t worry.

G.Wicks said on Nov. 11, 2009

I am really, really excited about this game, and have been checking the site for development news for a while. This looks like a high quality game, and they’re definitely implementing a lot of new gameplay ideas (staying at an inn, leaving friends behind so you can wander around town alone, randomized crowds, etc.). It looks really great!

My only question is this: does game maker allow for fullscreen? I guess I should ask them at their site, and not here. But if any of you guys have used the program I’d like to know a little more about it.

Hyperbound said on Nov. 11, 2009

Gamemaker has it’s pros and cons but at the end of the day it is just a tool, just like any other piece of software. It seems that these folk are doing a really excellent job with the tools they have chosen to use and I look forward to the finished product.

I am especially enamoured with the sprite work being done for the game. It has a vibrant look and a very polished feel to it.

Fiends said on Nov. 11, 2009

Mato, I sent you an e-mail, I’m serious, I got an e-mail message from Itoi… Can you please translate it? I think it’s a thank-you message.

The Dave said on Nov. 11, 2009

Wow! Thanks for featuring this Tomato. 🙂

As for Game Maker, being the project’s programmer, I am well aware of the limitations of the system. However, I’m using it’s scripting language which opens up many new possibilities. I know the general image of Game Maker made games is poor since people often don’t take the time to make their games really shine, but Game Maker has a lot of potential if you know what you’re doing. (Which I like to think I do. ;)) I think the game would turn out the same whether we did it in Game Maker, C, Ruby, C# or some other language. But programming it may be easier in a different, more feature-full language, so porting it to another language is a possibility. I’m still scoping out my options.

Zephys said on Nov. 11, 2009

It fills me with pride to see this here. Thanks for featuring us, Mato.

Also I can’t help but laugh at those who look down upon Mother 4 because it’s being made in game maker. Having played what we have done of the game constantly, the engine is solid and real.

mr saturn coffee addict said on Nov. 11, 2009

@ fiends: why didnt you just run it through a translator?

Mato said on Nov. 11, 2009

Fiends: A couple people got that mail just now. I’ll post about it later today or tomorrow sometime. Basically it’s a form message written by Itoi giving his thanks.

Curiouspasserby said on Nov. 11, 2009

This looks like it will be one of the best fangames ever. I’m starting to get excited about this!

hollow leviathan said on Nov. 11, 2009

From the clay model in the banner, I thought it was going to have a girl main character. Ah, well.

Linkzcap said on Nov. 11, 2009

Geez, don’t scare me like that… I thought there was an actual Mother 4. Still looks cool though.

kalasad said on Nov. 11, 2009

Wow, this is looks great! I love how the environment is actually 3d, instead of just being flat. That was one thing I was disappointment about with Mother 3. This though, I’m really excited for. The EarthBound fan base has some really dedicated fans! (:

Millhouse said on Nov. 11, 2009

Oh God I hope they’re not still working with Game Maker… however on their site it says that they’re using game maker.

See, game maker is a powertoy, but I wouldn’t call it an IDE. It’s not the kind of thing you’d make a complete game in, because of its fuzziness:
There’s a lot of stuff already provided for you, but you can never be sure whether there isn’t a bug in the Game Maker framework. Every glitch or bug you see, you have to ask yourself: “is that my fault or theirs?”
(example: a glitch that occurs with NVIDIA gfx cards which looks really ugly and screws up your display because it can’t correctly handle tilesets)

Also, getting a hold of a certain instance of an object is a nuisance, and it’s obvious that this has to be done quite frequently.

Also, there are some issues with the basic building blocks of the framework, like there’s no sensible management of data types. everything gets cast implicitly, and there’s no sensible way of making sure a variable is still what you wanted it to be (i.e. coordinates get cast to floating point values for no apparent reason, and the built-in speed variables can’t be used due to rounding errors within Game Maker.)

Also, there’s no such thing as memory management. It basically behaves as if their oh-so-fancy GML is just a compiled hacky scripting language with a fancy drag and drop interface.
Seriously, if you’re gonna make a fan game, use a real programming language. It’s more work to get the engine up and running, but at least you can fix the errors yourself instead of having to wait for them to fix their framework.

That turned out way too long, but meh, whatever.

LightningLuigi said on Nov. 11, 2009

I’ve heard about this, sounds promising.

I’m kind of interested in making my own game actually. I have a basic idea (inspired by EarthBound, of course) and I’ve been learning about programming in my Computer Science course, and I think I might be able to do it. Or it could just be one of those crazy dreams, who knows.

motherfan mark 2 said on Nov. 11, 2009

Man, this looks really good! I want to play it write now!

PSI Wolf said on Nov. 11, 2009

Am I the only one who DOESN’T want another installment in the Mother series?! (official or not)
I think Mother 3 ended the series perfectly. And plus, Itoi isn’t the one behind the project and, I’m sorry, but if Itoi isn’t behind the project, It’s NOT a Mother game…
To be honest, I don’t like the way the game looks…
The biggest thing with me though is that it isn’t from Itoi and it isn’t official.
Being the huge Mother fan I am, I’ll go ahead and try it when it’s released. But I’d like to see either a demo or a video. Maybe seeing the game in action would change my thoughts.

Gabriel Rodriguez said on Nov. 11, 2009

@ Millhouse: I’m pretty sure that The Dave and the rest of the team know exactly what they’re doing. They’ve probably tested every single part of the game a dozen times to make sure it’s exactly how they want it. If there were some sort of big problem with GML and there was a clearly superior alternative, they most likely would’ve done that by now. But hey, I don’t anything about coding of any kind, so I can’t exactly be trusted 100%.

@ PSI Wolf: No, I doubt you’re the only person who feels that way. Myself, I’m indifferent as to whether or not there should be a sequel. My only issue is that it is GOOD. And this particular Mother 4 looks good to me. But, like you said, I think we all should wait until we see something for ourselves before we can make an absolute decision on anything. But, until then, I’m perfectly content on having them describe bits and pieces of the game to us.

fael said on Nov. 11, 2009

yeah, i’m with you guys, Psi wolf and Gabriel, i think naming it MOTHER 4 will raise the bar too high and maybe we will not fully enjoy it because it’s not Itoi’s.
personally, i would prefer they name it other thing and announce it like “hey, we’re Mother fans and we’re making a sequel inspired on it”

also think if Itoi changes his mind by 2018 and decides going ahead with MOTHER 4. it would be a huge mess hehe.

Monodi said on Nov. 11, 2009

Holy crap, the project actually progressed. I was there when it was just blooming and it was still going slow months ago.

JHJS said on Nov. 11, 2009


UltimaLink said on Nov. 11, 2009


>Game Maker

… hopes halved.

I wonder if they will release an engine.

Millhouse said on Nov. 12, 2009

Okay, my rampage there might have shed a bad light and conveyed a wrong message:
You /can/ do amazing things with Game Maker, but it’s… annoying. Of course, once you find out there’s a bug in the framework, you code your way around it, and then it’s not an issue anymore, but debugging is quite time-consuming, compared to things like the XNA framework.

Of course, Game Maker has one big, big advantage: it doesn’t send you into the desert with a programming language and a screwdriver, like most programming languages would. There’s this arguably extensive framework already provided for you, and it’s easy to learn. It’s got issues that most programming languages don’t, but most of those come from the fact that it’s trying to offer a myriad of different ways of doing something, from simple drag and drop to programmable pixel shaders. The thing is just this: if you’re good enough at programming to fully use Game Maker and circumvent its bugs and nuisances, you’re more than good enough to have done the same thing in another language, so why bug yourself and others and use Game Maker, except if you’re not quite experienced enough?

The Dave said on Nov. 12, 2009

I started programming the game 2 years ago, and until I hit around the one year mark, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to branch out into some other language. But if Game Maker is going to be received this poorly, it’s all the more reason to switch to something else. I’ve been playing with the idea, and trying out different libraries, but until now I hadn’t really seen the need to switch over. But using a different language does open up exciting new possibilities, so I’ll be looking into it. Expect good things.

Gabriel Rodriguez said on Nov. 12, 2009

@ fael: I don’t think I said that naming the project Mother 4 would raise the bar too high, although I hope, since they ARE calling it that, they can make a game that fits the name. Jeez, maybe I DID say something to that effect.

@Millhouse: Once again, I must insist that I know NOTHING about ANY programming languages, so I don’t know what I’m talking about. I just assume that The Dave knows what he’s doing. I say, if it’s working fine for him, then it’s good enough for me.

Zephys said on Nov. 12, 2009

Again, I laugh in the faces of those who doubt the power of our engine.

Chaisu said on Nov. 12, 2009

This game reeks!

PKSTARMAN said on Nov. 12, 2009

I thought a MOTHER 4 was never coming, but, THIS IS AWESOME!!!! I hope it is a long RPG because if not, for me its just a big pile of waste.

Ninji said on Nov. 12, 2009

Is there an official release date coming up?? I am SO excited for this, specially about the music track, if I were Itoi and listened to the track, I would have said “I couldn’t have done better myself” Congrats guys, this looks amazing whether it’s in Game Maker or not. Chaisu, I think this game reeks sounds like a good slogan, and if possible, maybe a Japanese patch would be cool too… Anyways, thanks for filling up in Mato!!.

Ninji said on Nov. 12, 2009

*filling US in, sorry…

ryanrafferty said on Nov. 12, 2009

Seems to be a rip off of mother 3…. be more original!!

Dumbo said on Nov. 13, 2009

Am I the only one who thinks the Mother series is just fine as it stands now? There’s not much you can eleaborate, when you take a good, hard think about it…

Still, this is a pretty awesome looking fangame! They’re doing a mighty good job. Maybe call it ‘Mother: Side Story’ or something instead?

Deraj626 said on Nov. 13, 2009

Hey. I was going to put this on starmen.net put I had to become a member and I could just post it here. Anyway, I’ve tried about the first 10 pages of google and none of them were the original Mother 3 image file! I think it’s my computer because some people posted videos with links (why?) and even those sites didn’t work! I just want to know if it’s possible to post a pre-patched copy of the game and post it here or on starmen. Thanks.

MarioFan3 said on Nov. 13, 2009

This actually looks great for a fangame so far, I wonder who the Villain is (Fassad? can’t be Porky)
Unfortunately many fan RPG’s never reach the “finished product” stage.
Mother Saviour is a good example of a very promising game that got canceled due to too much hype.
Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes is an example of the greatest RPG fan sequel projects i’ve seen yet, but that was sadly shut down by Square Enix,
So until this is finished, I’m not too excited but I’m looking forward to it as it looks great!

However, I do agree with PSI Wolf, Mother3 wrapped up the story well and there shouldn’t be a sequel (at least for 10 years or so) although because this is a fangame, it’s technically NOT a sequel as it’s not made by Itoi. There’s one thing though: The Title.
Mother4 sounds like an official sequel to me, and that’s where there’s going to be much confusion, it sounds TOO official, the title really bothers me, too many issues.

On another note, others are saying it’s made with GM and that’s fine, i have a two sided argument here:
It will most likely be released as a completely unrelated engine (correct me if I’m wrong) as many modifications to GML code led to creating a new engine.

However If it DOES runs off GM, then it is NOT fine because:
a) GM has a bad rep for quality as we can already see, and
b) GM does not run on computers that are immune to viruses (Mac) not yet anyway.

Although after what I’m hearing, I’m pretty sure they’re making a custom engine. I want to wish the team “Good Luck” and present them with a Mr. Saturn saying “Potential”

Zephys said on Nov. 13, 2009

We appreciate the comments and are taking the criticism to heart as we continue our progress. We’d like to thank you all for your honest views. We are certain we have picked the right direction, and do not plan to stop until this project is finished.

Thank you all, and keep checking in.

Poe said on Nov. 13, 2009

You sound like a political figure now, Zephys ;P

blahmoomoo said on Nov. 13, 2009

MarioFan3: “computers that are immune to viruses (Mac) not yet anyway.”

I laugh at you 😛

“Thirdly, if you’re a Mac user, don’t consider yourself immune. While you are a smaller target, attacks and exploits are still out there. Symantec recently spotted the first Mac botnet in the wild (an army of zombie computers used to send spam or execute denial of service attacks) – proof positive that you should be running anti-virus software as Apple recommends.”

Source: http://www.securecomputing.net.au/News/159273,snow-leopard-vs-windows-7-which-is-more-secure.aspx

MarioFan3 said on Nov. 13, 2009

Bah hogwash, a Windows PC marketing campaign is biased, then again so am I 😉
Either way you see my point, GM don’t work on Macs yet.

(besides, if you want facts)
Over 10 years my first Mac never had a virus and didn’t break, yet I easily went through about 8 more expensive PC’s during that time too, therefore my computer is, so far, immune 😀

Flintbuza said on Nov. 13, 2009

Seriously, if any of you don’t like the game, don’t play it. Its as simple as that. Don’t do complaining, let OTHERS actually get to enjoy the game, while few of you weep. Jeez.

G.Wicks said on Nov. 13, 2009

I sent the game designers an email and asked a few questions, namely if the game is fullscreen and if it will support gamepad control. They said “Yes” and “Yes”, but also mentioned that the game maker fullscreen interpolates poorly, so they completely re-did it and fixed it up. Essentially, they are taking full advantage of the program and are striving to make this game truly impressive.

Only a really impressive fan game is worthy of the ambitious title “Mother 4”, and I believe these guys are aware of that. It’s really a huge thing to live up to, and I honestly believe they will achieve it. I have a good feeling about this. DIY forever!

2Sang said on Nov. 14, 2009

I personally would like to see M1+2 in English first. Mato already started it. I say take a break afterwards, Mato. You’ve done so much with translating, it’s time for you to relax a little and play around with this site.
I’ve started submitting music myself for Mother 4. I want to help with the writing too, but I don’t think they’ll take any of my suggestions or they even need any at this point.

2Sang said on Nov. 14, 2009

I think Mother 4 shouldn’t be Mother 4. I think it should be Mother 2.5
The series did end perfectly, but that doesn’t mean that had to be the last game.

PSI Wolf said on Nov. 14, 2009

At least the music sounds cool.

Drowzee64 said on Nov. 15, 2009

Has a Mother fangame ever been smashed by Nintendo?

MarioFan3 said on Nov. 15, 2009

Fortunately, not that i know of, let’s hope not….
Itoi himself would have to do that though, he said he would say “go ahead” if someone asked.

MarioFan3 said on Nov. 15, 2009

Oops, as in he would allow a fangame sorry, heheh. 😉

Galvatron3000 said on Nov. 15, 2009

Actually, there is a Mother 2.5 made by fans, though not in Video game format. It’s a comic called
Mother 2 Harmony. In my opinion, a masterpiece of comic art, and it recently finished it’s run. You can read it on Starmen.net 🙂

SuperTrainStationH said on Nov. 16, 2009

My question is, why even call it MOTHER 4?

Though clearly MOTHER inspired, it appears to be almost entirely original in terms of the characters, scenario, and music aside from the presence of the Mr. Saturns and the name of the game.

It would seem to take very little effort to make this entirely independent and off the radar of NOA’s occasionally overzealous legal team.

Plus, I have a feeling that Mr. Itoi deliberately engineered the MOTHER series to allow for faithful fan interpretations and spiritual sequels that are still unique works that can fully belong to their creators.

That aside, I’m really proud and excited by this project, the look, feel, and premise (and even the logo) are so realistically diverse from the previous three MOTHER games that if I were to have been pranked and told that it were an official MOTHER 4 game, I would believe it.

Zephys said on Nov. 18, 2009

This game is no more individual and separate from the Mother series as Mother 3 was to it’s predecessors. Many generalizations are made about the content of this project, which I find curious, since we’ve revealed very little.

ShadowX said on Nov. 22, 2009

Wow, this is looking pretty awesome. Looking forward to one day playing it!

103sandra said on Nov. 24, 2009

real or no real.!REAL i think?

Anonymous said on Nov. 26, 2009

You’d have to define ‘real’. It’s advertised as what it is; A fan game that aspires to be comparable to a real, nintendo-released Mother 4. Mother 4 is not a hoax, but it is also not official or endorsed by nintendo.

Anonymous said on Dec. 3, 2009

i do not think the game looks good at all i like mother3 and mother2 they are a lot better i have mother3 and my bother has mother2.

Lukas said on Dec. 4, 2009

Hey, Every game neads a commercial!

Joshua Johnson said on Dec. 5, 2009

hmm. for a fan game its not bad.

Anonymous said on Dec. 9, 2009

But why title it “MOTHER 4”? What an insult.

Anonymous said on Dec. 10, 2009

An insult to who? Itoi WANTS to play someone else’s Mother 4 and this one looks like it’s goign to come out at a full fledged Mother 4.

BrianTheObservantGuy said on Jan. 4, 2010

It’s in C++ now.

Snobodys said on Jan. 10, 2010

Thanks for the compliments on the music, you guys. Means alot. Hard at work right now. The music is only getting better 🙂


Ultrapyre said on May. 31, 2010

I’ve done my part by sending an idea of my own! 😀
I just hope i get a good review of it.

Anonymous said on Jul. 20, 2010

The one thing I fear is that people will truly take this game as canon because Itoi is allowing you guys to do this game,

I’ll try this game out but if it’s not made by Itoi or if its not offical it will never be canon to me.

Anonymous said on Jul. 21, 2010

to the guy right above me:

You really should look at some of the stuff they have showed about the game. Give the game a chance. who knows, you might change your mind.

pkfreak said on Mar. 15, 2011

wat about lucas or ness…i mean its great but i love them too.

JAMESGHOST said on May. 25, 2011

they should’ve named it “Mother other”

Leroy said on Jun. 12, 2011

I can’t wait…. I mean, wouldn’t Chaise be a descentant of Lucas? 😮

Kraken of the sea said on Dec. 1, 2012

I always wished in an Earthbound game that the 4th characther is a wizard and does magic instead of PSI

David said on Mar. 27, 2013

You should change the URL to http://mother4.andonuts.net/


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