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Tips for Buying EarthBound

February 27th, 2011 | Itoi, MOTHER 4, Rumors

Whenever there’s even a slight hint of EarthBound/MOTHER news, sometimes it’s easy to try to read too much into stuff. I think the fan community’s been disappointed so many times by now that a lot of us have gotten numb to it, but it still happens a lot (not that I make things much better 😛 )

This isn’t just a Western thing though – for example earlier this month Japanese boards and sites suddenly lit up with things like:

  • Is Shigesato Itoi Developing MOTHER 4? A Meeting with Nintendo Comes to Light
  • Is Shigesato Itoi Revving Up to Start the Latest Game in the Series, MOTHER 4?

You can see a bunch of them here.

Anyway, this started a few days back when Itoi ended his daily post with:

Thank you for coming to Hobonichi today. I’m making a quick trip to Kyoto and then returning to Tokyo.

He also said on Twitter:

I’m staying just one night here and going back to Tokyo tomorrow.

In the past, whenever he would say that, it usually (but not always, since he has a second home/weekend home there too) meant he was visiting Nintendo. I was kind of surprised Japanese fans latched onto it. Though I like some of the responses people are saying, like:

  • It’s just another bass fishing game
  • please hurry and make another game third-rate copywriter
  • I say it’s just for gold mining stuff
  • Please make Giygas the heroine
  • Bass fishing on the 3DS!
  • Forget MOTHER, make another Monopoly game!
  • Nah, he’s just gonna be on Iwata Asks
  • What are you all freaking out about? He has a second home in Kyoto, this isn’t that big of a deal…

I really don’t think any of it points to anything. It might’ve been something with Nintendo, but he’s attended a few funerals in the past couple weeks too, it could very well have been that.

Update: his photo blog says that he was there for work reasons, so it probably was Nintendo-related. But it still seems like a huge stretch for Japanese fans to connect that with a MOTHER 4…

I think the rule of thumb with stuff like this is summed up well here 😛


Other Related Posts:


90 Comments to Japanese MOTHER Fans Get Excited

man said on Feb. 27, 2011

Salt is so damn tasty.

What’s this Monopoly game he made?

Mato said on Feb. 27, 2011

He was/(is?) the head of the Japan Monopoly Association, he loves the game like crazy. I think he helped make a version of the game for the Super Famicom, but I’m not 100% sure.

SerialPsychosis said on Feb. 27, 2011

Even if it is Mother 4, the U.S has no reason to get excited. We’ll never see it. 😐 *eats a bag of salt*

Onion said on Feb. 27, 2011

No way it’s Mother 4. We’ll be lucky if he makes another health trainer for DSiWare.

Poe said on Feb. 27, 2011

I personally think he’s just spending a few relaxing days in his second home. From the pictures he’s posted of it and its garden, it’s a very inviting place.

shibaru said on Feb. 27, 2011

I think…..
I like Monopoly 8)
And lol

Covarr said on Feb. 27, 2011

I went to Redmond the other day. Doesn’t mean I’m suddenly working on Microsoft’s next big project.

People who are jumping to these conclusions forget that there is more to Kyoto than just Nintendo.

Hypotenuse Man said on Feb. 27, 2011

“I went to Redmond the other day. … I’m suddenly working on Microsoft’s next big project.”

You heard it here first, guys.

Mato said on Feb. 27, 2011

Looking at his photo blog, apparently he WAS in Kyoto for business then. So it probably was something Nintendo-related, but I really doubt it was anything to do with a Mother 4.

tapioca said on Feb. 27, 2011

would you translate it for us if it was another bass fishing game? 😀

Shyamalan said on Feb. 27, 2011

I would love a game where Giygas was the heroine.

madammina said on Feb. 27, 2011

I think another Monopoly game would be nice, it could have internet compatibility. Come to think of it, how different is Japanese Monopoly from US Monopoly? Do they also use the Boardwalk?

Rhyselinn said on Feb. 27, 2011

Mother series for Virtual Console maybe? 😀
…sigh… *grabs salt shaker*

Miche said on Feb. 27, 2011

I’m hoping on a 3D remake of at least one of the games for the 3DS, even though I know that that’s unlikely.

I’d say that it’s either another bass fishing/personal training game, possibly a gold mining game, or (most likely) everyone’s getting worked up over nothing. It’s highly doubtful that Itoi decided to make a MOTHER 4.

MoonSide said on Feb. 27, 2011

I’m happy with anything Itoi-san does, as long as it ends up in the US. I’m even happier if it’s Mother 4!

*grabs salt block*

Masterge77 said on Feb. 27, 2011

Interesting, but I really want an EarthBound remake/port for the 3DS myself rather than a Mother 4, either way, we probably will never see it in America because NOA hates us.

watercat8 said on Feb. 27, 2011

I guess being numb to disappointment is universal in the mother fandom.

Frank said on Feb. 27, 2011

For some reason i doubt it being mother 4, but maybe i could be wrong. But i also do not believe it is not just to visit his second home, but to perhaps do something Mother related. If you think about it E3 is only 3 months and a week away. Something tells me Itoi has something up his sleeve.

shibaru said on Feb. 27, 2011

how bout.. earthbound monopoly 8B

GhostSonic said on Feb. 27, 2011

My dream scenario is re release of the trilogy.

Or another Bass Fishing game.

LakituAl said on Feb. 27, 2011

Damn you, Shibaru! I was about to say that!!

Now go to the Zombie Jail in Threed, without passing over Onett nor calling your Pa for $200!

Dlakii said on Feb. 27, 2011

I find it kind of fascinating how these responses seem to differ from that of the English fan community; specifically, how most’s thoughts drift toward the possibility a MOTHER 4, while as far as I know, here everyone’s desires and opinions along that line do seem to differ somewhat (I personally favour the possibility of a MOTHER compilation/remake of some kind… well, as much as it’s sane to favour anything new and MOTHER-related).

Also, the notion of a female protagonist Giygas. I can’t help but think that we’d have never thought of that, never mind seriously considered it a desire out of a new game. 😛

Miche said on Feb. 27, 2011

I don’t believe that Giygas was ever explicitly stated to be male or female in the Japanese version. I may be wrong, though.

Andromeda said on Feb. 27, 2011

cmon new bass fishing game!

Triverske said on Feb. 27, 2011

Hopefully it’s virtual console stuff, or something.

shibaru said on Feb. 27, 2011

yay for going to zombie jail… and for not coming out… xD

FuzzyPicklez said on Feb. 27, 2011

More likely to be MOTHER 3D than MOTHER 4.

I sincerely hope it’s not MOTHER 1+2+3 3D because then we’ll never get it.

I am not sure what to make of this yet, but I’m sure it’s not MOTHER 4.

FuzzyPicklez said on Feb. 27, 2011

Even better than MOTHER 1+2+3 3D would be a remake series like Zenithian Trilogy DS. That’d mean that the first and last games would have a chance to be released internationally.

But I am still not entirely sure it’s Nintendo-related.

DoseiSan said on Feb. 27, 2011

If it is a MOTHER game, let’s hope it’s not for 3DS… region lock. @///@

GhostSonic said on Feb. 27, 2011

New release = another chance for a state-side release.

I can dream, can’t I?

NekoKnight said on Feb. 27, 2011

MOTHER isn’t Itoi’s life, but it did play a sigificant role in his life journey. There may still be a role to play for MOTHER in Itoi’s life. He mentioned that he would like to be the “player” for once, and if someone wants a MOTHER 4, they can go right on ahead and make it.

Shigesato Itoi said on Feb. 28, 2011

yo dudez its totaly mother 4.

Random guardian said on Feb. 28, 2011

^ for teh troolZ I see.
anyways I wonder if it’s for some smash bros thing? Oh! perhaps it’s some sort of business on getting a state side release! Screw MOTHER4, a state side release is MY dream! The trilogy should stay closed anyways.

GhostSonic said on Feb. 28, 2011

Maybe he thought it’d be nice to go down there for a day.

EBP said on Feb. 28, 2011

So no one thought of Mother or Mother 2 on the VC?

PSI rockin' said on Feb. 28, 2011

This may seem a little stupid, but why did that guy stuff his mouth with salt, and smack his head against the ground? I’ve heard of taking things as a grain of salt, but that?

omnomnominous said on Feb. 28, 2011

@PSI rockin’
It’s like an extreme version of the ‘grain of salt’ since the Mother fans have been disappointed so many times over.

Hejiru said on Feb. 28, 2011

Did they say heroINE?

The Great Morgil said on Feb. 28, 2011

“Please make Giygas the heroINE”?! Excuse me? Since when is he a she?

unnoticedninja said on Feb. 28, 2011

If NOA hates us so much, why do they even allow to keep the EarthBound/Mother stuff in the Smash Bros. games? I mean I’m all for that, but to me it doesn’t seem like they hate us, they’re just to lazy to do anything about translating the series if it doesn’t make them a substantial profit.

Pak-Man said on Feb. 28, 2011

You’re all close. He’s going to be working on Monotoli! A board game about becoming a real estate tycoon in Fourside! You heard it here first!

Floridian said on Feb. 28, 2011

@Hejiru and The Great Morgil: a popular rumor states that Giygas is female, based on what a certain conman says in… I think it’s Threed? Whatever, all I know is it’s in EarthBound but it’s still JUST A RUMOR!

Mato said on Feb. 28, 2011

That GoNintendo article title seems a little sensationalist, the point of this post is to show that Japanese fans are just as over-analytical as we are, not that something secret is going down 😐

Some Guy from Onett said on Feb. 28, 2011

Pak-man try typing in “make your own-opoly” onto google,there’s all sorts of ways you could make that Monotoli Game

MikeTheEBGuru said on Feb. 28, 2011

i wonder if his twitter has anything interesting lately.

TGP said on Feb. 28, 2011

I can’t help but wonder if it had anything to do with localization. It’s only been 4 years after all, it’s never too late.
And yes, I know that it’s dangerous to get one’s hopes up. If it WAS Mother related, I’ll still hold hopes that anything that might become of this will reach western lands. Nintendo is obviously aware of us, and Reggie himself, even if he doesn’t have control over it, also thinks that it’ll be worth it depending on marketing decisions…
Either way they can’t ignore us forever. That new Kid Icarus game that came out of the blue is only proof that franchises and fanbases long forgotten will still live on.

Jamal said on Feb. 28, 2011

Oh great. Please no, let it die. Now we’re gonna have all the fantards feeling sorry for themselves that we might not get it. Because, Earthbound is the ONLY game that Nintendo should pay attention to.

Felipe said on Feb. 28, 2011

It’s probably not another MOTHER game, but Itoi working on a new game project (not related to fishing) would be enough to me.

Kintrex said on Feb. 28, 2011

I’ve seen enough Rule 34 to think of Giygas as either gender.

DarklingDragon said on Feb. 28, 2011


You really need to relax, man. If you don’t like a certain video game or such, there’s no reason for you to go onto an internet community and post such brash comments in the first place.

Regarding the article:

I’d have to agree that many fans both in the west and in Japan are always eager to find out something new regarding the Mother series. Unfortunately like others had said, he’s probably just visiting.

It would be nice if they eventually released a compilation of 1-3 for the DS, since not everyone owns a Nintendo Wii.

Qiezei said on Feb. 28, 2011


I love some of these responses. They seem so…negative, even towards Earthbound. Then again, I guess each country interprets each other’s celebrities and products differently (I’m sure there’s people in Taiwan obsessed with Britney Spears Pez Dispensers or something). Also, didn’t Itoi say he was basically done with Mother or something? I’ve eaten enough salt in my time to unfreeze Antarctica.

Zeke said on Mar. 1, 2011


…and everyone does own a Nintendo DS? Lol.

shibaru said on Mar. 1, 2011

I own a Wii and a DS C: and a gameboy and a gameboy color and a gameboy advance XD oh, and a snes I got a few days ago yay XD

- Gabriel said on Mar. 1, 2011

Ah, so that’s how that grain of salt thing works.

conn3r said on Mar. 1, 2011

why is everyone eating salt?

man said on Mar. 1, 2011

This is nowhere near as bad as the Andonuts door.

Onion said on Mar. 1, 2011

That ‘MONOTOLI’ game is actually a really great idea, Pak-Man. Don’t be surprised if I steal it in the future 😀 😀 😀

SmaMan said on Mar. 1, 2011

Mato, I think I know what game you’re talking about!


It’s an RPG-esque monopoly game on Super Famicom, and Ape Inc. is one of the publishers. I remember playing this and thinking, “Huh, why does this remind me of Earthbound?”

Jamal said on Mar. 1, 2011

Mind your own business…Tch. “community.”

Jungyin said on Mar. 1, 2011

Said the person commenting on other peoples comments.

Gurming said on Mar. 2, 2011

I find it hilarious that Jamal comes to an earthbound fansite to make his statement. Its almost like he wants to troll…
Also technically as far as NOA is concerned earthbound IS dead Jamal. You seem to assume that what ever happens in japan happens here. It didn’t work that way with mother3. If itoi does drag out another game who says NOA is going to bring it here?

Pigmask Private said on Mar. 2, 2011

ALMOST like he wants to troll?

Evan said on Mar. 2, 2011


Because it’s an unnecessary manipulation of the game. NOA doesn’t hate the MOTHER fanbase, they just… don’t see a substantial profit?

Random Guardian said on Mar. 2, 2011


Exactly but it brings up another point. If NOA wanted to try again with the MOTHER/EarthBound series would Itoi agree to marketing it again? Would NOA work on a new translation or steal the communitys translations? I think the odds are against us. 🙁

Pak-Man said on Mar. 2, 2011

I totally give permission for anyone to steal my Monotoli idea. :^)

Jamal said on Mar. 3, 2011

What I’m saying is, stop feeling sorry for yourselves. NOA does a good job. If there’s a market for it, they’ll bring it over. If not, move to Japan, or shut the hell up..

Everdred said on Mar. 3, 2011

Hi my name’s Jamal, I just commended on Earthbound Central, a blog that updates daily on only one topic, just to complain about the updates. And the topic. Aiiiiieeeeeee!

John said on Mar. 3, 2011

Mother AR cards please!

MoonSide said on Mar. 3, 2011


NOA just translates,censors, and releases to the US. They barely release anything. What job are they doing? Most cases, we translate and uncensor our own games (Like Mother 3, Dragon Quest 6 (SNES version), Seiken Denesetsu, and numerous others). I don’t think anyone here is belittling Nintendo, they are just upset because they won’t give Earthbound another chance now that it has become a cult classic. We don’t think Nintendo should pay attention to us only, we want to show that we have a large fanbase so that they will consider an eminent release. For example, Kid Icarus is coming to the 3DS, a game that hasn’t seen a sequel for years. We are hoping that we become this lucky and have a release, that is why we are hopeful.
Please be mindful that this is a fansite. We all share a common bond that we like (some more than others) Earthbound. It angers me that you come to our open community and openly insult us. I don’t go on to Zelda and Mario (or whatever you like) and post hateful comments about those games. I wish that you give us the same respect.

t4ash08g said on Mar. 3, 2011

we shouldent reapect nintendo.they dont respect us.until EarthBound 2 exists,f@#! you nintendo.

Blueblueblue said on Mar. 3, 2011

@ moonside
Just kidding. We need more people like you to have a bigger picture of things. Instead of being irate at the big N perhaps we should look at some facts.

Pepps said on Mar. 4, 2011


Uhh..earthbound 2 is already made…its called mother 3.

Kumatora said on Mar. 4, 2011

I don’t understand why there can be 893 Final Fantasy sequels and none of Earthbound. I was once an FF fan, but the series really started going downhill after FFX, if not FFVII. The series has clearly died out. Meanwhile, Earthbound is so well written and there is no other game out there like it…but it gets so very little recognition, despite how unique, interesting, and ahead of its time that it is!

Poe said on Mar. 4, 2011

@Kumatora – Not that I have anything against the franchise, but Final Fantasy has so many sequels because it’s a cash cow. They keep making new games because LOTS of people keep buying the games, remakes, movies, and the many different types of merchandise released for each one. If people stopped spending money on it, Final Fantasy would die out too.

I saw this thing recently: http://gameswag.com/view/final-fantasy-xii-artifacts-11-scale-judge-master-gabranth-helm/

A life-sized replica of Gabranth’s Helm from FFXII. It costs $1,000 new, which I think is insane, but people did buy it. And that’s why Final Fantasy will never go away.

Pepps said on Mar. 5, 2011

I think hes gonna make a new game. Kyoto is the place where Nintendo HQ is. 😀 I WANT MOTHER 4. I hope it gets released in Europe and in the US.

t4ash08g said on Mar. 11, 2011

Pepps,i ment in all of the countries instead of japan only.also we cant even get MOTHER 1+2 which also is translated for them.(my computer wont let me play MOTHER 3 or 1)on the topic of MOTHER 3 why couldn’t they make EarthBound 64 a Gamecube or wii game and update the graphics,or even make an unreleased section of the Vitual consol,because the cut stuff looks intresting and the story was great so i would love to see more

Pepps said on Mar. 12, 2011

oh man… the tsunami hitted japan… i hope Itoi is alright.

poop said on Mar. 12, 2011

itoi made a post about his do gafter the quake so hes ok

New Wave Retro Hippy said on Mar. 14, 2011

I wish the appearance of Ness Lucas and Clause in Smash Brothers Brawl meant they were making a new one for the wii. I think nintendo knows the impact of Earthbound on its community and is just teasing us until a new one comes out.

pranavmeno said on Mar. 19, 2011

Well, let’s just be positive. Itoi-san and Nintendo both know that MOTHER has some die hard fans out there. And they’re not exactly against us… They most definitely knew about about the MOTHER 3 Fan Translation, and they did absolutely nothing to stop it. What does that tell us? Two things: they support the fans and their endeavors, and they had no plans of giving us a M3 localization.

Reggie once said something about releasing games in the U.S. when there is a market for them to maintain business momentum. Frankly, he’s somewhat right: there isn’t much of a market for MOTHER in the U.S. I ran a poll at school just for the hell of it: Of the 200 kids that I interviewed, 186 had heard of the Zelda games and of those 186 kids, 170 had played at least one of the games TO THE END. I asked the same 200 kids about Earthbound, and only EIGHT kids knew about EB. Only one kid out of 200 had played Earthbound, and what’s more, this kid had only played up to the first sanctuary, then given up. As big as the MOTHER fanbase is now, it’s still minuscule when stacked against the Zelda or Mario or Metroid fanbases. Nintendo can see that, and that’s why we see Link getting new quests and refreshes every few years and Ninten, Ness, and Lucas being totally forgotten about.

I’m not saying that a new MOTHER title won’t sell, but it will sell considerably less if it has to compete against games like Ocarina of Time 3D and Paper Mario 3D. We might see a MOTHER 1+2+3 or MOTHER 4, but not now. After Mario and Link have had their fun on the 3DS, I think we might see some PK Action on the system. Maybe in 2012, or late 2011 if we’re lucky.

maskedsaturn said on Mar. 25, 2011

actually the reason we dont have Mother in America isnt because of Reggie. In fact Reggie tried gettin EB here. Nintendo Of Japan wont let us change the copyright issues EB has so EB cant be released ;(

pranavmeno said on Mar. 25, 2011

Fine, Mother 2 has copyright issues. So does Mother 1 (Hippie battle music around Podunk is the same as the Frank battle music in M2).

But Mother 3 doesn’t have the same music issues that its predecessors have. And it’s here that the lack of a HUGE fanbase really affects the decisions of NOA and NOJ.

We’re a really solid and hardcore fanbase, but we’re still kinda small… sort of like comparing a Mole Cricket (us) to a Mecha Drago (LoZ, Mario, and the like).

Starlight36 said on Jun. 28, 2011

“Please make Giygas the heroine”

I have no problem with this idea. In fact, I so don’t have a problem with it that I was thinking of making a fangame of it. It wouldn’t be Mother 4, though; a certain other group is already doing a good enough job of that. My fangame would be more like a Mother
Gaiden/Sidestory-type thing. It’d still be a full game, though.

By the way, the Japanese versions of Mothers 1 & 2 don’t state Giygas’ gender, so it could go either way.

Also, I understand having the opinion of Giygas being a male, but where does this notion of a really masculine, somewhat muscular Giygas come from? Giygas’ personality isn’t terribly masculine, (aggression/rage =/= masculinity) and s/he definitely isn’t muscular, or at least it’s unlikely, judging by the MOTHER 1/EarthBound Zero sprite.
And before anyone says, “No one brought that up!” I brought it up, just now.

Ross said on Jun. 28, 2011

Giygas is an alien… who said it has a gender at all? Or maybe it has a gender, just not an “Earth gender” like boy or girl… O.o

Starlight36 said on Jul. 3, 2011

True, Giygas may be genderless, but thinking of Giygas as having a human gender (and referring to him/her as such) makes it easier for humans to relate to/understand the character. I personally think Giygas’ race has Earth-type genders, but that’s because they look mammalian to me. (Well, near as I can tell) It’s just fine to think of Giygas’ race as having a different gender setup.

By the way, the “Giygas as the heroine” idea (or at least the one I have in mind) wouldn’t cast Giygas as some girly, prissy stereotype. She’d be just as rough-and-tumble as the other Mother heroes. (Well, Ninten and Ness, at least) Since I am armed with RPG Maker 2003, I can proudly respond to “Please make Giygas the Heroine” with “Challenge accepted”, even though I’m not Itoi.

Ross said on Jul. 3, 2011

I agree, just wanted to point that out! 😀

LMFAO_Sexy_And_I_Know_It said on Jan. 11, 2012

The image for this article is was my screensaver (still is) even before I saw this article. 🙂 LOL

Nyx said on Feb. 26, 2012

Giygas would not be a heroine. If there’s a certain word for “female villain protagonist”, let me know. Sorta like those little segments in CogDis, only they’d be the main game. I hold Giegue to be male, but Niiue to be female. Who knows, maybe there’s that thing where once a male becomes strong enough they become female in that species. Both that and th:l the inverse work for fish, so why not Psicats?

Matthewtheman said on Oct. 17, 2012

I don’t understand why Giygas would be a heroine. First of all, Giygas is hardly a hero, second of all, Giygas is dead, and third of all, Giygas is most likely not female, and is always referred to as male, though the NPC who heard that Giygas may be female leads me to believe that Giygas is genderless.


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