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Tips for Buying EarthBound

January 29th, 2010 | EarthBound 64, MOTHER 1, MOTHER 1+2, Polls

In the history of the MOTHER series, there’ve been several released games and a few cancelled projects. But out of those, only one game made it out of Japan: EarthBound.

By now we all know the story and history of the series (if you don’t, see here), so I won’t go into that. But we can still play the “what if” game 😛

So today’s poll question is this: What if EarthBound Zero, or EarthBound 64, or MOTHER 1+2 HAD been officialy released in English? Would the series have gone on to be big enough for Nintendo to treat it like its other franchises? Or would those games have flopped and caused the series to be ignored just as it is today (or worse, if that’s even possible)?

What answereth thee? Click here to vote!

POLL: Do you think the EarthBound series would be alive and well today if MOTHER 1, EarthBound 64, or MOTHER 1+2 had been released in English?

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89 Comments to Nintendo & EarthBound: What If?

Miles Vialpando said on Jan. 29, 2010

The series just needs a chance. Daddy Nintendo likes issuing time-outs.

userofdoom said on Jan. 29, 2010

Honestly I still think it’d be dead to Nintendo 🙁 If Mother 1 had been released in English, it would still be too early for America to grasp the concepts of RPGs, so they wouldn’t release Mother 2 in english, which would be horrible because fan translation would be terrible. Am I overthinking this? O_o

darkzzii said on Jan. 29, 2010

well one of the things that i always thoght of it chould just be that they didnt want ness the face of nintendo. if they brought the other games in it whould probley kill the old face of nintendo. MARIO if the mother series took off in no time at all there whould be so much more things of earthbound every were. and probley not so much of mario…

Anonymous said on Jan. 29, 2010

I reckon that the reason Earthbound “sucked” was because Americans weren’t ready for good RPGs like this.0

Mother 4 said on Jan. 29, 2010

Ness would not replace Mario… Even if Mother was a hit it still wouldn’t REPLACE their mascot… Nintendo controls their mascot, not the games.

Mother 4 said on Jan. 29, 2010

Wait a second, who said Earthbound sucked? The only reviews besides 1 or 2 have said great things. It never sucked, it was underated for it’s time. Mother wasn’t quite ready for the US and marketing is the only reason it wasn’t released. Did you guys even read the history of each game? Mother was fully translated and was ready for release but since there was no marketing Nintendo thought it would bomb, which it probably would have. Mother would have been as underated at Earthbound and there is a good chance Earthbound wouldn’t have been released in English over here.

Mother 3 on the other hand is a confusing issue. Nintendo has a good chance of making a big profit off the last installment. There is really no reason for them not to release it, Earthbound was a big hit and I’m sure a lot of other people would be introduced to the series and love it as much as we do. I know how Reggie says all this crap about they aren’t interested in certain titles but really a business like Nintendo should be looking for the best way to make a profit. If they have done any research into the subject they would see that Mother 3 would make a HUGE profit. I’ve played through the game multiple times now and I’d still grab a copy to play through again, it really is a strange choice.

Earthbound not being released on the Wii’s VC and on other possible ports like the Gameboy in English makes perfect sense, considering the copyright issues on various words and music. I’m sure they could replace or change the music around a little bit and literally release a copy of the SNES English version on VC and Gameboy and make another huge profit.

Although Nintendo isn’t quite hurting in the video game market today I still question their business methods.

Mother 4 said on Jan. 29, 2010

I want to correct my previous post and say that Earthbound, to the people who have played it, was a big hit.

Ree said on Jan. 29, 2010

Mother 1 wouldn’t have been a big deal at the time, but it could have been a sort of cult classic. With that in place, maybe Mother 1+2 would have come here as well, gathering more fans, and made Mother 3 a shoo-in.

Olivia said on Jan. 29, 2010

I want to qualify my ‘Yes’ vote and say that I think if Earthbound Zero/Mother had been released here, it probably would have sold poorly and really hurt our chances of ever seeing Earthbound/Mother 2. Earthbound 64 and Mother 1+2 on the other hand…I think Earthbound 64 would have likely done fairly well as a 1st party game on a system that pretty much lived and died by its 1st party titles, and I think by the time Mother 1+2 rolled around, the Earthbound/Mother fandom noise was big enough that it would have seen solid sales.

Lothis said on Jan. 29, 2010

I think if EB0 had been released, then we would have that and not EB. However, I think that if any of the other 3 games had been released that the series definitely would’ve gotten bigger – particularly EB64 since that would’ve been an AMAZING RPG on a system with less RPG’s than you can count on one hand (and none of which are particularly stellar barring possibly Ogre Battle 64)

CMB said on Jan. 29, 2010

This is a very “iffy” topic for a “What-if” topic.

I’d say it would all be in the TIMING of the releases. For example, if Mother released in America at it’s original date, then it would be a flop. As we all know, RPG’s didn’t start getting sold until FF6-7 (YES, I admit that FF got the US going with RPG). Plus with the quick release of the SNES, it would also add insult to injury.

EB64 would depend on other 64 RPG’s. If the people didn’t like a few RPG’s it makes them hate ALL of them for the most part.

Now, If they re-Sold Mother1 and EB after they showed Ness in SSB and SSBM then it’s a definite maybe. I know it was the Smash Bros. games that made me realize who Ness was and had a curiosity about the game.

If they released them NOW, due to the fact that the people of Starmen.net actually built the fire of how EB and the Mother series were good, then yes. It would definitely sell fast and quick. The problem would be, though, that Nintendo would also either A) ignore all copyright issues and just go with it B) completely butcher the stuff to take out censoring or C) maybe have to remake the project for the Wii or DS, which if they really had or wanted to, would take time and let’s face it, a lot of money to make it a Wii title. DS not so much.

Cape_Mario said on Jan. 29, 2010

I think if EB0 had been released then we might have more backing to get the others heck Nintendo could still Release them on VC if they would get on it.

KidwithCap said on Jan. 29, 2010

In my opinion this is the right time for the Mother series to hit America is a time where people are looking for something out of the ordinary. Now Nintendo have an oportunity to release Mother in the states. RPG are so popular these days people might give it a try.

pooppoop said on Jan. 29, 2010

earthbound zero wouldn’t have done much. it wouldn’t even be a cult game like earthbound but on a smaller scale because of how difficult it was. it would be one of those “nintendo hard” games for a few dozen people on the internet to trade stories about.

if earthbound had been released on gba or ds it would experience a nice spike in popularity. as much garbage as there was on the gba any game that was slightly above average really stood out. earthbound would be near the top of the heap. it wouldn’t explode or be a phenomenon, but a few thousand kids outside of japan who wouldn’t have played it otherwise would have been introduced to it

Steve! said on Jan. 29, 2010

If mother 1+2 had been released I think it would’ve done well. Anyone who played smash bros would recognize Ness and anyone who heard of EarthBound but had never gotten a chance to play it would have an opportunity to play it. Also a lot of RPG’s that got ported to the GBA from the SNES did better than they originally did on the SNES.

Chad said on Jan. 29, 2010

By the time MOTHER would’ve been hitting the states, it would’ve been a flop. The reason Nintendo pulled the release of it was because the Super Nintendo was already into it’s run, and it was just pointless, by that point. Had MOTHER been released in the US, it would’ve changed absolutely nothing, except costing Nintendo even more money.

Earthbound 64, it’s hard to say. Had the game been completed PERIOD, things would be different. As far as MOTHER 1+2 goes, I think it would’ve paved the way for MOTHER 3, but nothing’s certain.

Darien said on Jan. 29, 2010

Mother was probably not going to sell no matter what, since it was simply finished too late. This is most likely exactly why it never came out; Nintendo clearly intended to release it, as they localised it and did some early promotion in Nintendo Power, but by the time it was done the NES market was drying up.

Mother 2, as we all know, was released with a huge amount of promotion; Nintendo threw everything they had into marketing this game. And it bombed. There’s no one simple answer as to why nobody bought it; the marketing seemed to be aimed at the early-teen set, which is the exact group most likely to be put off by the game’s simplistic graphics.

Mother 3 is probably unreleasable in North America without pretty heavy changes. Our parents or legal guardians at the wonderful ESRB would never allow elements like the Magypsies, the oxygen machines, and the significant amount of innuendo without giving the game a very high rating. And the market for cutesy GBA RPGs was almost exclusively young. And is there a way to sell a game that looks this young and has such mature content? Censorship notwithstanding, the game’s themes and content are fairly adult; it’s about life, death, and the meaning of free will, which is all likely to go completely over the heads of the young audience, while the graphical style turns off older players. On top of this, the game came out so late that there was no time to localise it; GBA support was winding down already.

Mother 1+2 probably had the best chance for success. The content is a bit lighter and friendlier than Mother 3, so it has a better chance of appealing to younger players. If Nintendo used its existing translations for the games as a “base,” localisation would take a bit less time than it would otherwise. The real issue with these games is, of course, the copyright concerns. If we’re allowed to assume for a moment that Nintendo could just magic those away, then I think 1+2 could have sold moderately well; the GBA never had been hurting for cute RPGs, though, so the market’s a bit crowded.

neonix said on Jan. 29, 2010

I voted yes, ONLY because if EarthBound 64 had been released, it would have gained a lot of attention and love. (I’m not going to speculate about MOTHER 1. Only about if EB64 had not been canceled.)

My reasoning is logical:
Because of EarthBound’s poor sales, Nintendo probably would have rethought their marketing strategy.
1) They probably wouldn’t have packaged in another gigantic (albeit awesome) guidebook. Or if they did, they would have done something to keep the price of the game down.
2) NoA probably would have thought up a better marketing campaign, and luckily for M3, there aren’t a whole lot of really stinky things to spark off that brilliant idea again (iirc).

Gaming has been extending it’s reach to different groups of people since it began, so undoubtedly, there were more gamers to buy up EarthBound 64 than there were to buy EarthBound.

After playing EB64, people would want to check out the predecessor of course, and boom, more sales.

EB64 being released at that time would have affected the release of MOTHER 1+2–in specific, preventing it. MOTHER 1+2+3 probably would have been released either on the Wii or on DS. Then again, there still are the copyright issues, which may have prevented or severely stalled EarthBound 0+1+2 in the US. If it were released, things would have been changed, and it would have upset many fans and it would be a common thing to find rants all over the internet.

This kind of makes me want to write a story, sort of like a blog post, as if I were speaking from this alternate dimension where EB64 was released. Hmmm…

Deraj626 said on Jan. 29, 2010

I think if they increased mother 1+2 graphics and then released it world wide (I’m from the USA, but what about the other fans? XD) sales would have gone well.

ha said on Jan. 29, 2010

Just because Nintendo will love MOTHER if it succeeds does not mean more MOTHER will come. It’s all Itoi’s decision.

Unless they outsource it after MOTHER 3, which can never EVER happen because Nintendo treats Itoi with a great deal of respect (they put his name in the opening of every game).

Chrissii said on Jan. 29, 2010

I know we love EarthBound Zero, but I honestly think that if Nintendo had released it at the time, it would have ultimately flopped under the SNES’ up-and-coming dominance, and I’m honestly not sure that our community would be what it is if EarthBound wasn’t the first game that we had gotten! I mean, I know we love EB0, but was it really a good enough game as a standalone, and not just as a predecessor to the rest? I really can’t say for sure, but my instinct points to “no”. 😐

missy said on Jan. 29, 2010

I think the series would be pretty popular here. maybe not as popular as Final Fantasy or anything, but still popular.

usually it takes a few sales for the first, and a few ppl to play it and recommend it for it to sell more; and for the next game to sell even more. by the third game, and the GBA re-release of Mother 1+2, I think we’d have a lot more fans.

Anonymous said on Jan. 29, 2010

We’ve seen the use of MOTHER things is Smash Bros, we could assume they would treat it like they did with Smash Brothers.

I dunno. Ask Batman? said on Jan. 29, 2010

Hey there people here. I’m 13 years old, and I’m just getting into Earthbound/Mother. I’m currently playing Earthbound Zero and Earthbound. And I really like these games! But of course, I’m just giving my hellos.

On to the topic at hand, people have played SSB and SSBM and SSBB. Of course, they see Ness/Lucas in those games. But I think not many people look up what games there in. Or they look it up and don’t like the way it looks/play. If Mother 1 was released now on the VC, I think it’ll be great. The US is really into RPGs from what I’ve seen. (But maybe I’m wrong. I’ve hung out with otakus alot lately. But who am I kidding? I’m an otaku. :P) The GBA release would be even better. Then, we could get a port of Mother 3 for the DS, and I think the name would be more out there.

pooppoop said on Jan. 29, 2010

also if earthbound 64 had been released i think people would think even less of the whole franchise than they do now. i played a ton of nintendo 64 games and i’m telling you the vast majority of nintendo 64 games were just terrible. n64 had a much worse ratio of good games to bad games compared to any console except for maybe the jaguar

mother 3, as good a story as it has, would not have been remembered well just because as a nintendo 64 game it would have been terrible to play. thinking of all the classic n64 games how many rpgs are on the list? if they’d done earthbound 64 in a harvest moon style it might have been pretty good. but of all the screenshots i’ve seen earthbound 64 looked a lot closer to that really terrible quest 64 game.

final thought: if earthbound/mother 64 had been released people would not think of snes earthbound as highly as they do/its cult following would be even smaller

he0ffaireyez said on Jan. 29, 2010

I’d like to go for the middle of the road. I don’t think that it will be the next Final Fantasy or Mario series if they were released in English, but I also don’t think it’d be like the leaper of the Nintendo franchises. I’d wager it’d just be a decent blip on the Nintendo Radar, maybe something like to the popularity of Donkey Kong games.

Soiherduliekeb said on Jan. 29, 2010

54 people who said it wouldn’t go big, Why are you even on this site?

You’re saying there’s no hope…

Poe said on Jan. 29, 2010

@Soiherduliekeb – If they voted “no”, that doesn’t mean they don’t love the series, it means they believe Nintendo still wouldn’t care about it. Hope has nothing to do with it.

Ricardo said on Jan. 29, 2010

Who knows, maybe if EBZ would have been released, they would have though that EB was harder and changed it for another RPG, just like they did whit Super Mario Bros. 2
But, anyways, it would have been a SMASH!ing hit

Anonymous said on Jan. 29, 2010

Sorry, with, no whit

Ricardo said on Jan. 29, 2010

Come to think it… they didn’t removed Lucas from Brawl, because that was really hard. They removed the EB Demo from Brawl, because that was a ROM slapped to the game, but taking out a character was a lot of job.

PsychedelicStarman said on Jan. 29, 2010

Well I think if they were released, the Mother series would defenatley have some attention, but I don’t think it would be too big, like Zelda and Mario e.c.t.

Big A2 said on Jan. 29, 2010

I think if they released Mother 1+2 it would’ve gotten popular thanks to the Super Smash Bros series. It happened with Fire Emblem, so I guess it could happen with Mother.

Ninji said on Jan. 29, 2010

I think that EarthBound Zero SHOULD be on the Virtual Console, because there almost isn’t any other copyrighted music besides the Hotel Theme, and I think if they released all the other games here, they would be one of Nintendo’s biggest money-maker ever, why does Nintendo ignore us like this? They’re treating us like trash, and don’t even RESPOND to us when thousands of us try to reach out to them, are they honestly going to do this to the loyal customers of Nintendo who bought all of their products that they released? Honestly, now that, is true evil, it’s like we’ve been betrayed (kinda,maybe,not exactly…) or backstabbed or double-crossed, about EB64, it was a true shame that that wasn’t released, I honestly think there should be an interview with Itoi on EB64, and ones of the questions could have been if there were any prototype copies made!.

On the MoonSide said on Jan. 29, 2010

If the trilogy was released, I think it would be very popular. The message it sends is very strong and I think it wouldn’t be just a kid’s game.

Nintendo could have Ness as an RPG mascot, too. If they would give Mother a chance.

FF Series = Playstation
Mother = Nintendo
A RPG vs RPG battle.

Mother 4 said on Jan. 29, 2010

Except nearly half of the good FF games were released on Nintendo.

Mother 4 said on Jan. 29, 2010

“I think that EarthBound Zero SHOULD be on the Virtual Console, because there almost isn’t any other copyrighted music besides the Hotel Theme, and I think if they released all the other games here, they would be one of Nintendo’s biggest money-maker ever, why does Nintendo ignore us like this? They’re treating us like trash, and don’t even RESPOND to us when thousands of us try to reach out to them, are they honestly going to do this to the loyal customers of Nintendo who bought all of their products that they released? Honestly, now that, is true evil, it’s like we’ve been betrayed (kinda,maybe,not exactly…) or backstabbed or double-crossed, about EB64, it was a true shame that that wasn’t released, I honestly think there should be an interview with Itoi on EB64, and ones of the questions could have been if there were any prototype copies made!.”

There were TONS of prototypes made, SpaceWorld ’99 had a crap ton of them.

That's what she said on Jan. 29, 2010

not sure about mother 0 or earthbound 1&2 but I’m glad earthbound 64 got canned. Judging from the interview with Itoi I would not have enjoyed the results nearly as much as the mother 3 that was fan subbed.

Elobo said on Jan. 29, 2010

I don’t believe it would become very popular. Mother 1 would go largely unnoticed, no dif with EarthBound, and EB64 probably wouldn’t have terrific marketing.

EB64 would probably receive cult status if it was a competent game based purely on the general dearth of RPGs on the N64. If they pushed this side of the game in advertising, they’d probably move units. RPG quality on the N64 really ran the gamut from fantastic (Ogre Battle 64) to rather less than stellar (Quest). So it would have been a fair niche.

As much as people want MOTHER to succeed the subject matter is its stumbling block right out the door. Or the theme, the general feeling conveyed by promotional material and reviews. The majority of people who play games don’t care about what series are staying behind in Japan. The typical gaming demographic, especially today, won’t gel with an RPG with a mostly antiquated battle interface that doesn’t hit up the themes of swords and monster high fantasy they’ve come to expect. Those who might be drawn in to the game might never get a chance with their retail game shelves choked with the more hot button items.

So I believe that the series could achieve moderate success with the right backing, but I can’t see it gaining such mass appeal.

DragonKazooie89 said on Jan. 29, 2010

Probably not. I have a feeling that game(s) would have probably been overshadowed by Pokemon or the Mario RPGs.

Karma said on Jan. 30, 2010

It would have failed.

There was just too much working against it. In the end, the fate of what would have happened is pretty clear. It would have been another financial bomb every time.

If Mother on NES would have been released, it would have failed harder than Earthbound on SNES did, for all the reasons we already know. Especially the lateness of the game and all of the marketing required which would have just made the game overpriced and ignored by people that didn’t feel like spending $80 on some game with a huge book they never heard of and didn’t care about.

For comparasion, Dragon Warrior 1, 2, 3, and 4 all sold very poorly, as well. Final Fantasy on NES likewise also did not become a hit until the SNES and major money and hype being poured in from Squaresoft, even though it never flew off shelves or sold a lot, either. I still think the popularity of Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger, even though they are much better games than Earthbound (let’s be honest here), were still a fluke that they even sold enough to keep their heads above water.

And if those huge RPG titles, back then, failed so really make that big of an impression in sales, an underdog even compared to those, as earthbound was, would have bombed, and generally met the fate of roadkill, no matter what. Fate was against it.

By the time of Earthbound 64, it was only a small, vocal group of fans that wanted the game. Earthbound on NES would have failed had it came out, and they probably would never have even bothered with Mother 2 because of that. Instead of dying after the SNES game, it would have died after the NES game.

So, had that been the case, there would not even be all the people that there is today that wanted EB64. People would have seen EB64, and said “What’s this crap?” Then it would have been canceled and no one would have cared.

So by the time there would have been time to release Mother 3, at the end of the GBA’s life span, absoutely no one would have even heard of the other two games, or 64. So no one would have wanted Mother 3, either. There would be zero fan base at all. Not even a cult fanbase.

You’d likely even have the internet reviewers of today, doing retrospectives on “this sucky, weird little RPG that never came out here” and the US would probably be making Youtube videos occasionally, of this game series no one had ever heard of as a curosity, shrugging the shoulders, and going “never heard of it, probably wasn’t any good.”

Of course, we know the games were awesome. But see.. people only care about what they already know about. If it’s not a household name, people could care less. That’s the way the human mind works.

I’m just saying that if there was no release of Earthbound on SNES, people would have remembered it differently and wrongly as just some “stupid game” they’d never heard of. It would have far less fans than it does, today.

It would have just been a lost curiosity lumped in with other unknown Japanese games series like Makeruna Makendo 2. Ever heard of that game? Probably not. Do you care about it? Probably not.

The best thing that the Mother franchise has ever gotten was an actual release on SNES. It was the only one that anyone would have noticed, anyone would have bought, and anyone would cared about, even slightly. And they did. It got a cult followin after it disapeared.

But if the NES game was the first to come, everyone would have hated it due to it’s difficulty, bad graphics, and level grinding. We would never have seen any SNES Mother game here. You’d have people like The Angry Video Game Nerd today doing reviews of Mother where he curses at the game, i’m sure.

We actually owe it’s success to the fact that the right game came out. It was just met with apathy like all RPG at the time, but the seed was planted for people to remember the game (That was far better than Mother 1) from their childhood.

However, if Earthbound on SNES had come out as it did and WAS followed by Mother 3, if say, the japanese had made the game during the time when it would have been profitable….

It probably would have been a quick release with no fanfare, and probably would have only mat a small amount of money for really hardcore fans.

In short, what i’m getting at… is that maybe, just maybe… the fact that ONE game came out, and all the other ones were unreleased have today, worked for the games benefit and it’s the reason why there are fans of it today.

The fact that all of the games in the series have come out except for one of them, have gotten it it’s reputation as a game with an interesting history and is the one thing that has raised it to the status and fanbase it enjoys today.

If they all had come out, no one would probably have even batted an eyelash. They would be as ignored in the US as Dragon Quest has been, and thought of as mediocre games overshadowed by others and forgotten by all.

I say that the series has done as well outside of Japan as it ever could have hoped. I think this is the biggest and most popular right now, it ever would have been.

MarioFan3 said on Jan. 30, 2010

Hmm, I respect your opinion, I also disagree with several of your points.

If Mother was released, of course nobody would have heard about it, it was brand new, every other game was never heard of at one stage too!
You’re right that it would have done the same as Final Fantasy did, but people never heard about that game at the time either, and yet they still bought it. 😉

Final Fantasy got hyped up by Square Soft on the SNES, because of the previous NES failures, so seeing as that was around the same time, wouldn’t the Mother series have done the same?
I don’t think it would have been roadkill either, what makes you think they would have canned a Mother2 release? FFIV wasn’t canceled despite the failures of the previous 3 (I’m comparing it to FF because they were your comparisons too)

What do you mean that people would’ve seen EB64 and said “What’s this crap?”
What about Blast Corps, and Perfect Dark? They were completely out of the blue, brand new series’ games, did people say “What’s this crap?” No, they checked it out, just like every other game there is.

By the way, you said:
“people only care about what they already know about. If it’s not a household name, people could care less. That’s the way the human mind works.”
Then that must mean I’m not human. 🙁
Hellloooooo? I live in “Australia”, and I had BARELY EVEN HEARD OF THE MOTHER SERIES a few years back. I saw “Mother3 Fan Translation” on Google, looking for a translator and Ness in SSB and…. and……….. umm yeah, AND??????

Many other countries that aren’t called America also happen to exist on this planet, and those countries saw Ness in SSBM like they saw Marth in SSBM.
A good RPG that’s only in Japan. We see Ness in the N64 SSB, our FIRST sighting of the Mother series. I looked in the trophy section and I saw “From EarthBound/Mother2” or something like that (I was around 5 at the time) and I looked in wonder “What’s Mother2???”
Then in SSBM, he makes another appearance. Again it says “SNES EarthBound/Mother2” except this time it also says “Not released in Europe.” 🙁

I decided to look up this mysterious “EarthBound/Mother2”, and found out that it was only released in Japan and USA. “Bummer, I wonder why it was never released?”
Recently in SSBB, I see Lucas and again, Ness, and I see “Mother3 GBA (Japan Only)” and Porky and New Pork City, and fancy cutscenes in Campaign, and stickers, and this, and that, and more references than you could poke a stick at!
A little over a year ago I thought “That’s it, so far it looks awesome, and I am playing this game even if it means piracy!” and it also happens this is the very same day that the “Mother3 Fan Translation” I saw on Google a year and a half ago was just completed. 😀
I took this opportunity to try out this “Mother” game that had always been dodging me.
I download the patch, then the ROM, and try it out.
5 mins in, I thought it was pretty good for a GBA game, and I got addicted pretty quick. Halfway through playing it, I decide to give the developers some money, but I didn’t know how to, as I couldn’t actually “buy” the game in English. So instead, I bought the OST, paying some $80 for it. 🙂
Now, after I played through Mother3, I was wanting more of the Mother experience, so I downloaded the never-released-in-Europe-EarthBound/Mother2, followed by Mother1, and well, here I am. A fan of a series that wasn’t even released, and people still look at me stupid when I say that I’m playing Mother on my GBA Flash card around here, I tell them to give it a try on my GBA, they play it for a while and then they too, get the game themselves.

My overall point is, 99% of people around here haven’t even heard of EarthBound, or Ness, so it is a good environment to test the reaction of EB when they first play it, so far, it seems that if they were all released, most people would have liked it.

Just because it flopped in America doesn’t mean it would have in other countries.
America DID have a video game crash in the 80’s, whilst we didn’t, so the result may very well have been just as different.
I’m pretty sure that if EB was released in this country, it would have done brilliantly!
We didn’t get ANY of the good RPG’s for the SNES! Seriously, look up SNES PAL releases, you’ll soon find that there weren’t very many RPG’s that made it through. That would have made EB stand out, there was NO competition for RPG’s, I hear EB was usually overlooked in favour of Chrono Trigger, but we didn’t get Chrono Trigger, so it’s pretty basic that it might have been bought more than the USA.
Mother3 (64) might’ve set an appearance outside of Japan, and it would have received a fair amount of pre-orders. It might not have been canceled had there not been a lack of pre-orders, so the series may have lived on.

Still, this is only the “What if?” zone…… unfortunately 🙁

P.S: I hope you don’t say TLDNR. What do you expect me to do, make a sextuple post?

Halloween said on Jan. 30, 2010

I think that two games in the series would have increased support. Nintendo of America probably sees it as incredibly easy to abandon all that is EarthBound because as far as the English readers know, there was only one game.
If there had been just one more, I feel like Nintendo would have felt obliged to release the trilogy, even if the fanbase wasn’t as huge. But that may be a moot point, because if there were more games then that undoubtedly means more fans.

Zaxtur said on Jan. 30, 2010

I think EarthBound 64 would have been released in the US had the game not been canceled. And that may have been enough to revive interest in the series to warrant the release of Mother 1+2 later on.

Leirin said on Jan. 30, 2010

There were some other mildly successful NES games that came out in 1993. Kirby’s Adventure, anyone? I personally think EarthBound Zero would’ve been a little money, not a big success, but not a failure or anything. And then the carts would pop up on eBay at ridiculous prices, and it’d become an obscure cult classic. Like Don Bluth movies.

Ninji said on Jan. 30, 2010

Wait… However, if EB64 WAS released, then the GBA Mother 3 we all know and love will cease to exist, and apparently, I preferred the GBA version because it’s portable and more better designed and less flawed than it’s N64 counterpart, besides EB64 was much,much,MUCH, more darker than the GBA version, I heard that Kumatora was supposed to be a Magypsy (impossible to imagine) and that she would have passed on like the other Magypsyies, it’s pretty crazy…

mr.yoshiboy64 said on Jan. 30, 2010

your right Ninji

Ricardo said on Jan. 31, 2010

Right, Ninji, but maybe, if EB64 would have been released, Itoi would keep working on the MOTHER Series.

MarioFan3 said on Jan. 31, 2010

Didn’t Itoi lose a lot of motivation in continuing the series after the constant delays and then ultimate cancelation? I heard he was almost broken hearted to see it canceled.

I am a loser :( said on Jan. 31, 2010

MarioFan3 and Karma have really big posts


I am a EarthBound fan too but could someone explain
why in nintendo magazines that they are saying
“It is a (cult) hit!” I don’t get why we and they
say (CULT)… explain please 🙂

if earthbound carts are getting expensive
does that mean that there is people that think earthbound is fun and exciting?

if you look on ebay for earthbound carts
they will be over 60$ if it is buy it now.
so if i am wrong.. why would earthbound be so expensive??? :/

I chose that it would be a hit and be very popular
because of this reason. 🙂

Anonymous said on Jan. 31, 2010

I voted yes, but there should have been an “in between” option. I doubt it would be the most popular Nintendo franchise ever, but it clearly wouldn’t have been ignored as it is right now.

Mato said on Jan. 31, 2010

Actually that’s precisely what I intended the “yes” option to mean. I don’t think it would ever be on the same level as Mario or Zelda.

resetsurvivor said on Feb. 1, 2010

Unfortunately, I think that it still would have had just a cult following if they were released. I definitely think that SSBB (..and 64/Melee) gave a big boost to the franchise, but on it’s own merits… not in America.

Strawberry Tofu said on Feb. 6, 2010

Nice thumbnail.

Joshua Johnson said on Feb. 7, 2010

the reason Earthbound gets no attention today is that there was only one game in the US, on a system in the mid 90’s, and it wasn’t a well known game.

so if we got those other games, it ould probobly be treated very well

2Sang said on Feb. 14, 2010

They’d probably be around Starfox popularity.

FuzzyPicklez said on Feb. 23, 2010

Well, if Earth Bound was released, then when Earth Bound II was released, then they would judge how to advertise it and who to market it to from the sales of the first game. So not only would Earth Bound II sell better because it’s a sequel, but they wouldn’t be so disappointed in how it sold based on how heavily they advertised it. And yes, I think that Nintendo would jump at the chance to localize ANOTHER sequel, although I doubt it would be as good as YOUR translation, Mato.

I say Earth Bound because that was what the first game was going to be called and every game in the series would probably be named that if the first one was released.

People would probably say about Earth Bound: A JRPG set in America? Now this has gotta be interesting. And interesting it is.

PKSTARMAN said on Feb. 26, 2010

I agree… MOTHER 1 is kind of strong… I mean… Ive never played it but… People kidnapped, Zombies all over the place, a Town where kids were abandoned and the story of hw Gyigas came to be is… you know what I mean. MOTHER sequels and remakes would never existed after that.

Gabo said on Feb. 28, 2010

I agree, you see now the Earthbound/MOTHER series has a Large Fanbase, like what SEGA has right now. but still, if nintendo would have not put the slogan of earthbound ”This game stinks”,it might be successful. I liked the 2 slogans of mother 3, ”funny, strange, and heart rendering”, and a MOTHER 3 favorite [also mines], ”no crying until the end”. I mean, nintendo should do something about this, because now everyone who knows about MOTHER or Earthbound, loves it! Seeing how dark MOTHER was, Earthbound made things lighter and adventurous. MOTHER 3 [my favorite] Made the series an emotional feel, and that’s what i like.

Gabo said on Feb. 28, 2010

What nintendo should do NOW is PAY MORE attention to MOTHER, and have the things people want now, Earthbound on virtual console, MOTHER 3 on the DS, and Mother 1+2 on the DS, too. So Noa should STOP backstabbing MOTHER, have Reggie release the things i just told you about, and everything would be alright.
Good Day!

Gabo said on Feb. 28, 2010

I will say this, i want to THANK Chaisu, The Dave, and Zack for being brave in making THIS:
I will be patient until the game comes out!

DCH said on Apr. 12, 2010

Can you remake “Earthbound Zero” on the Nintendo DS. The game is called “Earthbound: The First”. The graphics should should look like from “Mother 3” from the GBA.

DCH said on May. 21, 2010

Can the nintendo company make a DS game called “Earthbound Compilation”? It has all three Mother games in one DS card but all the games are translated to english.

Ultrapyre said on May. 29, 2010

If it HAD happened, it would be Itol that decides to create Mother 4, not Chaisu (can’t remember his name too well.) Interesting prospect, no?

TOTAL Nessifier said on Jun. 9, 2010

I dunno,but if they had at least make any sequel to Earthbound for the USA,whether the same mother 3 as japan’s,or a new official mother 4 in japan,it would be a big hit!Maybe the next pokemon!(Maybe.)

TOTAL Nessifier said on Jun. 9, 2010

i would buy anything at a good price

abc said on Aug. 18, 2010

Just wait for Fantasy life ds,and u will like it.

Randomizer said on Aug. 31, 2010


Umm dude,

Starfox is now smaller than Earthbound,
even the Fans said so.

Randomizer said on Aug. 31, 2010

All on Arwing Landing, SFO, and Lylat Wars.

Ozzie said on Sep. 1, 2010

Here’s why Mother 3 was never released in the West:

“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

Pacalakin said on Nov. 10, 2010

Nintendo is like a bad parent. if the game doesn’t live up to expectations the first time, its left for dead.

fat kid said on Nov. 21, 2010

if they were released in USA it would be more popular because it would have more a chance of some one finding it caching thier intrest

fat kid said on Nov. 21, 2010

some one should start a petetion for EB64

giygas27 said on Nov. 22, 2010

@fat kid:
I totally agree, even though it’s failed before there’s more chance of getting it with a petition than sitting and doing nothing. Even a petition for a ds compilation would be good.

Dark Kirby 63 said on Dec. 5, 2010

I really want the MOTHER Series
to be in the u.s. MOTHER fans will buy it
and the series will become popular fast.
so i am casting my vote as a yes

Dark Kirby 63 said on Dec. 5, 2010

82 percentage said yes and 18 percentage said no
so Yes, the EarthBound games would get a lot of love and attention from Nintendo to this day won!

~FireEmblem~ said on Feb. 10, 2011

I think if they had released one of the other games or even done a better job marketing Earthbound, the series would be much more widely known.

pranavmeno said on May. 25, 2011

MOTHER’s release would have made EarthBound sell better. Fans of the first in a series almost always buy the sequel. And MOTHER3? This one’s the most accessible to the average modern-day gamer. MOTHER3’s release would have literally printed money for Nintendo. GBA RPG fans would have bought the game blindly trusting in Nintendo’s ability to churn out quality RPGs on the GBA; I mean, do you remember Golden Sun I and II and Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga? Nintendo’s GBA RPGs were some of the best titles on the GBA, and MOTHER3 would have made the GBA the definitive choice for the RPG gamer back then.

Zoom! said on Sep. 20, 2011

A better question is: What if EarthBound never got a US release? 😯

Zoom! said on Sep. 20, 2011

@fat kid A petiton for EB64 was done by Starmen a long time ago, and was finished just around the time of the MOTHER 1+2 ad annoucing MOTHER 3 for GBA

Pikachu said on Dec. 4, 2011

If MOTHER had been released, it’d be taken down by Final Fantasy. Earthbound was killdd by FF3/6, and Mother would NOT have been died off, as there are no good GBA RPGs I can think of. Better they could’ve release Mother 3 with a new title but no Earthbound. They could’ve called it The Seven Needles or something. So, if MOTHER was released, it would maybe win the title of “The First Great RPG”. Earthbound died off since other RPGs *cough*Chrono Trigger/FF6*cough* killed it off. If MOTHER 3 was released, it would’ve been very popular. They chose to release the wrong game…

RadicOmega said on Dec. 4, 2011

@Pikachu, I’m not sure. They are both very good games. The reson EB didn’t do so well was the fact of bad graphics. MOTHER had really good graphics, but I agree, MOTHER 3 would’ve been a big hit at the time. But I’m not sure which one would stand, MOTHER or FF I?

Final Fantasy > Earthbound said on Dec. 4, 2011

^^ You know what would happen!When you put EB and FF together, FF creams. EarthBound sucks, FF is 1000 times better then EB!

RadicOmega said on Dec. 4, 2011

@Final Fantasy > Earthbound, well may I inform you that this site is prefered for people who’s opinion is based towards liking EarthBond. Here isn’t the best place to express your feeling for not liking EB. There are many places to express your opinion, I repsect your opinion, but dislike it. There are many other places to share your thoughts of FF and EB, perhaps the FF fan site.

Final Fantasy > Earthbound said on Dec. 4, 2011

^^EarthBound still sucks though. I’ll share my opinion where I want!

Mr. A said on Jan. 28, 2012

I really think that Earthbound would still be underated.
Even among fans, Mother is some sort of a “dark” game, personally I adore it, but I can understand other peoples thoughts: It is too hard, it can be confusing if you don´t know where to go and many gamers really don’t want to dig into 8-bit games.
About Mother 2… If people back in the day considered that the SNES Earthbound had bad graphics, the GBA would had been a bigger downer considering that both graphics and music are reduced for the GBA.
But who knows, maybe it could had created a good hype considering the internet element; but even like this I think the game would just be a cult game.

Now about Earthbound 64, nobody can really say that it was gonna be a good game. Probably the aplication of graphics could had been a big downer, as Itoi admitted that his team really had a hard time with 3d polygons.
But I really think that Mother 3 could had made a big diference.

Nyx said on Feb. 19, 2012

It wouldn’t have been ignored THAT much if the first game got released. It would’ve done well enough to get the rest of the series translated, with no publicity, and not too many copies, but the whole series might’ve been released. Now and again, we wish to go the land of what could’ve been, though it’s just a dream once reality sets back in.

Ness PK Rocks said on Jun. 20, 2012

It pains me to think that the series could have been acknowledged more if Mother had been officially released.:(

Apple Kid said on Sep. 3, 2012

If Mother had been released it would’ve gotten a bad advertisment campaign ( like this game sucks, like big time) so because of the advertising combined with the fact Americans didn’t really like rpgs then it problably would’ve sold worse than Earthbound. Mother 3 would have sold well due to the fact it has a big fan base and Americans like rpgs. So in my opinion if Mother and Mother 3 were released Mother would flop on the NES, Mother 3 would do well and we would get a re-release of the Mother series as a whole on the DS or Wii or on virtual console.


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