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August 16th, 2010 | MOTHER 3, Uncommon Knowledge

For the MOTHER 3 fan translation, Jeff and I added a couple new secrets and new features to the game. One of these is the inclusion of a “hard mode”. You could normally learn about its existence by fulfilling some other special requirements, but since it’s been almost two year since the patch’s release, it’s probably okay to spill the beans by now… besides, most everyone knows about it by now anyway 😛

Anyway, in case you don’t know how to access the hard mode, you just have to call yourself (you, the player) HARD MODE when you’re asked at the forest temple in Chapter 1 or at the clay mine in Chapter 4. Type it in all caps, like this:

This has the most obvious effect of doubling enemies’ HP, but it also increases other less-noticeable states, like Speed and some other stuff I can’t remember offhand. Basically, it makes them tougher AND a little more aggressive. I actually didn’t test it as much as I should have, so the difficulty curve isn’t as steep in the later chapters, but it’s still a neat little challenge.

My hope with all these little extra inclusions was to give the fans more ways to enjoy the game. In terms of this hard mode, my goal was for players to fully master fighting tactics, use items in creative ways, and to just try and see new things they probably wouldn’t come across normally.

Anyway, if you haven’t tried Hard Mode yet, give it a play sometime! I had a lot of fun with it, and I hope it’ll give at least a little extra fun for the die-hard fans.

For those who’ve played through Hard Mode, what’s your opinion of it? Too easy? Too hard? Should it have been different in some way? I don’t really plan on adding any other new modes, but I’m curious to hear what ideas you can think of 😀


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47 Comments to MOTHER 3 Hard Mode

Aglio said on Aug. 16, 2010

I love you for giving me a plausible reason to play Mother 3 again.

(not that I need one)

EmpoleMew said on Aug. 16, 2010

It is a little challenging at first, but when chapter 7 starts, the increased difficulty isn’t noticeable. It does have a couple of “that one boss” moments from that point on, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a harder Hard Mode.

gwalms said on Aug. 16, 2010

EmpoleMew I wonder if its different if you don’t start hard mode till chapter 4?

j309902gr said on Aug. 16, 2010

what were the original special requirements one had to fulfill

PsiWolf674 said on Aug. 16, 2010

I think it was a tad too easy… It was a bit challenging at first, but after about ch.7… just what empolemew said.
I wouldn’t mind something that TRIPLED enemy HP, but I’m one of those people who likes a challenge :p

Mato said on Aug. 16, 2010

j309902gr: It’s hard to read, but here: http://handbook.fangamer.com/page121.html

I thought about doing the hard mode from a different angle, like making it so you only get half the experience or you can only level up to level 20 or something. But i didn’t have the time or energy left that would’ve been needed to test and polish such modes.

Balor said on Aug. 16, 2010

Hard Mode was a fun addition to the game, but a bit easy. I would like to see an extreme difficulty setting. 😀

MG said on Aug. 17, 2010

Oh, man having a level limit of 20 would be so hard.

gwalms said on Aug. 17, 2010

Maybe by Chapter 7 the difficulty should double again?

PK Saturn said on Aug. 17, 2010

I remember this from back when someone found it on Starmen.net, but I don’t use the fan translation, so I won’t be able to use it 🙁

The Pig King said on Aug. 17, 2010

Hard Mode was difficult in the first few chapters, but after that it didn’t seem hard at all. I almost feel like I might have accidentally turned it off in Chapter 4, but I didn’t change anything at the naming screen, so it’s doubtful.

Berserker said on Aug. 17, 2010

I would say fix hard mode after Chapter 7.
Make an extreme mode that triples enemy HP or something.
Add a time trial mode or speedrun mode of some sort.

NT-Yoyo said on Aug. 17, 2010

Well, I just tried it out about a month ago. I can’t get past Mr. Passion…

Ice Sage said on Aug. 17, 2010

The only bad part for me was the Pork Tank, and I think that was largely due to the fact that Salsa already has poor stats to begin with. I actually had to grind a bit before fighting it. Other than that I didn’t really have a problem, even though I could tell that the enemies stats and HP were boosted.

Starstormer said on Aug. 17, 2010

I tried it about two weeks ago, I found it to be pretty difficult. I found myself relying on combos more when I played hard mode.

Millhouse said on Aug. 17, 2010

Hey, I didn’t even know about this. Neato. Too bad I can’t allow myself to try it, as rhythm combos don’t work at all on the crappy emulator I’m playing it on, and the game’s difficult enough as it is when the best combo you pull off is 2 hits.

DruidMettool said on Aug. 17, 2010

I had played through all of Hard Mode. The difficulty felt much more believable the second time around. There were two boss fights that gave me an incredible challenge, specifically the Pork Tank in Chapter 3 and Miracle Fassad in Chapter 8, the latter which forced me to grind for a couple of hours in the sewers… thank god for that hot spring.

Dadalama said on Aug. 17, 2010

I’d also say, if possible, that it would be fun to give the boss monsters certain attacks from other enemies that would make the battle harder. Like the NKC able to summon high ranking pigmasks.

LakituAl said on Aug. 17, 2010

@Ice Sage

Why didn’t you try just using Salsa’s Mimic/ It may not be very useful, but you may get him to throw a cannonball, and each time that happens it cracks me up.

Deej said on Aug. 17, 2010

Someone’s been doing challenges of Kumatora lv 1 New game + on youtube. I think he/she’s been able to even take down the masked man with her.

Ice Sage said on Aug. 17, 2010


I did use Mimic pretty much every turn. The problem was Salsa’s low HP. All I can say is thank God for PK Thunder. Nothing was hard after that fight, though.

Crav said on Aug. 18, 2010

Last year I got a gold star on hardmode.
It’s really only much harder up to chapter 3 though. (Think the Pork Tank killed me once…)
Still, pretty fun.

Crav said on Aug. 18, 2010

Here’s a little tip that kinda defeats the purpose, but using the new game plus option you can give Salsa Duster’s best defensive equipment from chapter 7 and it’ll actually carry over. Makes the little guy much tougher, and it’s just fun to play around with. (He can’t unequip it and give it to anybody else though or it disappears)
He’s still not much of an attacker though.

PK Saturn said on Aug. 18, 2010

Hey Mato, in the latest Earthbound Stuff on Ebay column of this site, there is “Zaxxon MOTHERbase 2000” for the Sega 32X 😛

MG said on Aug. 18, 2010

Wait, there’s a New Game Plus? I never knew that.

Crav said on Aug. 18, 2010

The new game plus is just a glitch that starts the Psi users out with all of their abilities from the previous file (and Salsa with his equipment)
Just start a new game and immediately save over the old one. For some reason some stuff carries over.

G.Wicks said on Aug. 24, 2010

I love hard mode. It’s a little unbalanced but I love level grinding, and since the other mother games are kinda easy (after 10+ years of playing) I really embrace hard mode and never play the game without it anymore! The toughest boss is probably the pork tank in chapter 3. That took like 5 levels of grinding.

I know some people have tried making hard modes of EB, and I’d love to see a complete one 🙂

On a slightly quasi-related note, there’s an excellent “hard mode” type hack of Super Mario RPG called “Super Mario RPG Revolution” that is also quite wonderful (edited enemy stats, moves, skills, characters can level to 50 instead of just 30, etc.). I highly recommend it!

Jon-Jon said on Sep. 14, 2010

why would you want a hard mode?

leeb said on Nov. 12, 2010

Are there any other added secrets? I know there’s the L+R menu, anything else?

Matteomax said on Feb. 20, 2011

I think the N.K Cyborg has the most health?( 15,000 )But the pork tank is the hardest.(hp:?)

Floridian said on Feb. 20, 2011

What happens if you name yourself “HARD MODE” in Chapter 1, but then rename yourself a different name in Chapter 4?

KyleRXZero said on Feb. 20, 2011

^Hard Mode is turned off.

Floridian said on Feb. 21, 2011

^Ah, I see. I thought so. Thank you very much.

RadicOmega said on Sep. 16, 2011

I want the MOther 3 Fan Translation But My Visual Boy advance won’t allow it! I have the original mother 3 and I synced it on my VBA but it still won’t let me get it! Am I doing something wrong?

Mato said on Sep. 16, 2011

If you’re having trouble getting stuff working, see the instructions and troubleshooting guide here:


If you’re still having trouble, it would be better to post for help here: http://forum.starmen.net/forum/Games/Mother3FanTranslation

RadicOmega said on Sep. 17, 2011

@Mato, Thanks, i’ll have the translation soon

Ethan said on Dec. 4, 2011

Maybe try making a difficulty called “Insane”. To enter Insane mode you’d have to name yourself “INSANE!” in Chapter 1. You get 1/2 the exp. ,Enemies have triple the health (except for bosses which have double the health) , and they do 1/3 more damage than usual.

Just a suggestion.

Flami said on Feb. 6, 2012

I just completed the game in Hard Mode. I didn’t notice too much of a difference after Chapter 7, no. But thanks for the challenge! 😀

FlyingManCourage said on Feb. 6, 2012

For the record, I use both VBA and VBA-M to play the Mother 3 fan translation (English) all the time. I have no problems whatsoever with either emulator, however I do feel VBA-M is a bit more consistent with the frame rate. Both need to be have Frame Rate Skip set to Zero for best results with the combo system.

Matthewtheman said on Oct. 17, 2012

A hard mode? the game is hard enough as is(I suck at the combo system)! (btw, if you want to be able to save on a mac, make sure your emulator is VBA v1.7.2, and set the flash size to 64k, and make sure you have folder actions enabled for the Vba 1.7.2 folder as well as any folders within that folder. this is also true for the M1 fan translation)

??? said on Jan. 17, 2013

Needs to be harder than that. I suggest a Ultimate Chimera mode. Triple Health. Increase enemy stats by 1.5. Done.

Mato said on Jan. 17, 2013

Heh, talk about perfect timing, I was just about to get to that in my translation notes and was wondering what would be good for a harder mode if I ever made one.

Manny said on Feb. 27, 2013

Pleeasae make an insanity mode! Lol, game would be a lot more funner haha

Medric said on Jun. 30, 2013

This is an English translated “Insanity Mode” I made using the Mother 3 editor created by Jeffman. The following edits have been made:

-100% boost to all enemy hp.
-10% further boost to boss hp.
-25% stat boost to all enemies.
-Severely reduced bonus for back attack on enemies.
-Very tough last boss.
-300% boost to exp.

The exp boost was necessary to balance out the game and make the game a little less insane early on. You will now end the game around level 80. A few of the enemies have remained the same to prevent glitches. This is extremely hard and still takes a large amount of patience even with the exp boost.

link: http://www.2shared.com/file/cGxup0dd/2377_-_Mother_3__E__INSANE.html

KingOfSwords said on Oct. 9, 2013

I’m trying to get the needle on Tanetane Island first in a Hard Mode run. Master Eddy seems nigh impossible to beat, but I will do it or die trying.

KingOfSwords said on Oct. 16, 2013

Okay, forget Master Eddy. He’s a total pushover compared to the well-shielded, PSI-slinging, undying monstrosity that is the Barrier Trio. The fact that I’m not taking Kumatora or Duster just makes things one billion times worse. Also, Lucas and Boney are at level 53 each.


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