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August 3rd, 2010 | EarthBound, MOTHER 1, MOTHER 1+2, Uncommon Knowledge

Ivan R. recently sent me an e-mail about the MOTHER series logo, namely the planet that’s used in the “O” n the name. I had totally forgotten about it, this is exactly the kind of thing I made EarthBound Central for! So without further ado, here’s where the MOTHER planet logo thing comes from.

Here, we see the planet in the logos. These are the GBA MOTHER 1+2 versions so they’re probably somewhat squished but it’s still easy to see some details:

The planet is actually based on the famous “Blue Marble” photograph taken during the Apollo 17 mission. You’ve surely seen it before:

Take that, and rotate it 180 degrees:

Now make it black and white:

And then mess with the brightness and colors and stuff a little bit:

Tadah! You have the MOTHER logo planet! Overlook my horrible photo manipulation skills – I’m sure someone (maybe everyone) could do a much better job than me. Even with my crappy job though, you can see a lot of the main features:

Anyway, now whenever you see the logo, you can thank NASA!


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35 Comments to The World is MOTHER

kevinchai said on Aug. 3, 2010

Thank you, NASA!

Ice Sage said on Aug. 3, 2010

Oh, I thought this was pretty common knowledge, but maybe I’m just weird.

The Blue Marble picture was originally taken upside-down because of the position of Apollo 17 at the time. So maybe that’s why it’s upside down in the MOTHER logo.

It’s especially interesting to note that the final time the MOTHER logo is displayed in MOTHER 3, the Blue Marble image is right-side up. I always thought that signified the renewal of the world to its proper state.

Food_Eater said on Aug. 3, 2010

Fun fact: The Apollo 17 astronauts actually took the picture “upside-down” (if there was such a thing in space) because that’s how they were oriented at the time. NASA or someone must’ve rotated the picture 180 degrees since we perceive north as up and south as down.

Leeman said on Aug. 3, 2010

Is it just me or does it kinda look like one of Giygas’ final forms when it’s in black and white?

Linkzcap said on Aug. 4, 2010

Wow. Had no idea about that. Awesome.

Ninji said on Aug. 4, 2010

I had bought a marble (yes, a marble) off on eBay like, many months ago, because it looked uncannily similar to the Blue Marble design from MOTHER (the seller even put MOTHER in the description) if anybody wants, I can get in some pics, but it’ll be about 8-11 days to do so, because I’m currently in Switzerland, as I write this 😀

VideoGameExplorers said on Aug. 4, 2010

In the world of EarthBound, the world has gone upside down.

Tim Stoddard said on Aug. 4, 2010

MY GOD, that is quite impressive.

Roo said on Aug. 4, 2010

Ice Sage: Thank you much. I came in just to add that tidbit! 🙂

However, I hadn’t noticed that the logo was right side up at the end of Mother 3. Thanks for that. You learn something new every day.

random guardian said on Aug. 4, 2010

That CANNOT be a coincidence!

neonix said on Aug. 4, 2010

@Ice Sage: I thought it was common knowledge too, but I never noticed the logo was correctly oriented at the end of M3. That’s actually really nice to know, and I now share the same interpretation as you. …Or maybe it was just a mistake 😛

Of course, we can get Einsteinian here and say the world has no *correct* orientation because in space, there is no up or down.

Slightly relevant anecdote: During my senior year in high school, one of my classrooms had a world map that was “upside-down” with all the text correctly displayed at that orientation — supposedly to try and get you to break away from the rigid understanding of how the world is shaped. A really cool idea actually, even though it had no impact because we never used that map 😐 I guess the world does need standards. ~C’est la vie.

Starstormer said on Aug. 4, 2010

I never really thought of where the logo came from. But now that you look at it, it is very similar.

Ice Sage said on Aug. 4, 2010

I doubt it was a mistake, because it’s both right-side up and in color, so you can tell exactly what it’s supposed to be. Maybe it’s both representing the world being restored and a way to reveal what the MOTHER logo really was at the end. 😛

Ginrei said on Aug. 4, 2010

Man, I love the uncommon knowledge posts! Especially because people here are so cool and knowledgable and add MORE fun facts to it! Now I have to beat Mother 3 again to check the logo… good thing the Group Gameplay thing is coming up soon.

SmaMan said on Aug. 4, 2010

Hmm… what about the logo for the original Mother, though?
(Or Earthbound Zero in this case…)

You can kinda see the same image, but it’s animated and looks more like a generic Earth picture. I dunno, what do you think?

~FireEmblem~ said on Aug. 4, 2010

Wow, that’s awesome!!!
The world of Mother is just our world turned upsidedown and backwards ;D

Ice Sage said on Aug. 4, 2010

@SmaMan: That’s more of an issue of graphical limitations. The MOTHER 1 logo actually has the best image of the Blue Marble out of any of the other titles in my opinion – just look for an image of its box art.

otherhand said on Aug. 4, 2010

Fun fact: Final Fantasy Dissidia uses the same Earth image, if you play on the FF4 moon level and look up in the sky. It made me do a double-take when I saw it and instantly thought of Mother.

Mr. Anon said on Aug. 4, 2010

You know, Mato, what I really like about you and this site is that even when Earthbound is at a low point, you still find interesting things to talk about it, like this. Keep it up!

LucasTizma said on Aug. 4, 2010

@Ice Sage: Agreed. I love the gold emboss, actually: http://www.lucastizma.com/album_art/mother.png (from a custom scan I cleaned up)

Brian said on Aug. 5, 2010

And this is why I sometimes refer to the game as Mother Earth. Honestly, Mother doesn’t make much sense to me anyways.

Dlakii said on Aug. 5, 2010

Heh, I’ve actually been aware of this for a while, and assumed it was common knowledge. Around a month ago I actually did an essay analysing the EarthBound series for my media class – and I scored best in the class for the semester too -, so for a cover page for the folder I prepared a greyscaled Blue Marble in Photoshop. Not sure where I was going with this little segue, but yeah.

MG said on Aug. 5, 2010

I knew the logo was from the Blue Marble picture, but I never really saw any similarities between them until now.

Violet said on Aug. 5, 2010

How did anyone NOT notice this?

blahblah said on Aug. 5, 2010

wait….then what is the “O” in Mother 3 then? is it just a gray marble?

MoonSide said on Aug. 5, 2010

So then food for thought, Is Moonside a representation of our world? Since the world on the cover of Mother 2 was ‘upside down’ our world is ‘right-side up’ and Moonside is the opposite of Fourside……Man, I could make up a theory for this.

Violet said on Aug. 6, 2010

@blahblah: The O in Mother 3 represents the Earth as covered in metal, as Mother 3 is nature being turned into machines and chimeras and about a simple town in tune with nature rapidly changing into a soulless metal city. The logo shows a combination of wood and metal.

Mato said on Aug. 7, 2010

Heh, weird, this got picked up by one of the biggest Japanese gaming news sites:


JoeShmoe said on Aug. 21, 2010

Huhhh… Been wondering a lot about that. I noticed the continents weren’t in the right places. Go figure, upside-down. Who’d’ve thought. 😛
Nice find.

Crav said on Aug. 24, 2010

It’s rightside up at the end of Mother 3? *Runs to go check*

BTW Mato, I hope you see this. I recently finished my 8th play through of Mother 3. Just wanted to say thanks again for all the work you put into it.

Ivan Ramirez said on Aug. 24, 2010

Hey guys, I sended ‘Mato this. Glad to see everyone talk about it and it’s in 2nd currently. 😀
And I’m Randomizer form starmen.net forums.

And in fact, someone told me that someone posted this up here and i told him that it was me, and he was :0. XD. And this happned on Roblox. Im sonicvsmaio4, BTW.

Ivan Ramirez said on Aug. 24, 2010

And OMG, that mean’s I’m famous in Japan, XD.

Zoom! said on Jul. 8, 2011

I knew the logo was of Earth,I just never knew it was rotated.

Matthewtheman said on Oct. 17, 2012

I always thought the Earth in the MOTHER logo looked like the Blue marble, and now I know why.


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