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Tips for Buying EarthBound

April 4th, 2011 | MOTHER 1, Uncommon Knowledge

The other day I posted an excerpt of kenisu’s translation of the MOTHER 1 novel – but I must’ve given people the wrong idea – only like two or three pages out of the several hundred pages are mushy lovey-dovey romance novel-like. Most of the book is actually a pretty brisk adventure story, so don’t let that initial impression sour your opinion of the book!

kenisu is always updating with more excerpts, you can check them out here.

Here’s some stuff from Chapter 3, this first part is when the main characters enter the haunted house for the first time:

Feeling not quite like themselves, they were seen off by Mr. Rosewater and his taciturn daughter waving a handkerchief, and crossed town until they arrived again at the haunted house in question.

The key they had gone through a huge mess to finally borrow, naturally, matched the door perfectly. The rusty keyhole gave a disagreeable creak and the heavy, evergreen oak door opened. They passed through and immediately, like an automatic door, it slammed shut.

Right at the entrance was a great parlor. It was filled with a nasty air that felt both musty and chilly. Because all the windows had been nailed up from the outside, to eyes that had walked there through the daylit outdoors, the place was terribly and completely pitch-dark.

It was risky to move until their eyes became accustomed to the dark, so the trio stood silent for some time. The atmosphere suggested there was some utterance being withheld. It felt as though something would come out at any moment, out of the old mantelpiece, out of the genuine-craft Chinese Hu vessel, out of the shade of the dust-covered velvet curtains. The darkness was especially dense about the corners of the high, arched ceiling, betraying no sign of sinister entities patiently holding their breath, surmising their quarry’s situation.

The anxiety, the regret, the suffocation. Ana’s heart ran ragged, and she felt as though she wanted to scream. It was the sort of feeling where she thought she had to stand there fixedly for all eternity, but if she did, she’d surely lose her mind. Even though she wanted to exchange stupid jokes and laugh, no matter even if it was with Ken and Lloyd, even though she wanted to return things to their former cheerful atmosphere, she had a hunch that even if somebody were to greet her, she’d grow oddly peevish and pick a fight with them.

I wish those ghosts would hurry and come out and get it over!

Would it lighten the mood if she shouted WAAUGH! loudly, then made a huge, desperate riot with everything she had?


There was a sound like a door closing somewhere far away, and Ana’s heart leaped into her throat.

Also, the book begins from Ana’s point of view when Ken/Ninten and Lloyd show up. So now we get to see a flashback of what happened earlier in the adventure:

One day, Ken awoke just like on any other day, but to a house filled with an evil atmosphere. Inanimate objects were thrashing around as though possessed by demons, threatening his mother and his younger twin sisters. Toughing it out with his Little League-tempered body, he somehow managed to restore order, but it had all made no sense. Grabbing the phone, he spun the number he had been told only to contact if some trouble happened: his father, who was out on an awfully long business trip. Upon doing so, his father told him the truth for the first time.

The earth was currently on the verge of a crisis, mysterious aliens were secretly commencing an invasion, abnormal situations were happening all over the place, and it was for this reason that he was so buried in work he couldn’t even come home.

“And you see, Ken,” he said, “we especially seem to have an unusual connection with the aliens. You know the story of how your great-grandmother Maria went missing, right? And also how your great-grandfather George was also spirited away with her, but for whatever reason, returned alone, and that his life after that was devoted entirely to researching PSI. Not to mention, Ken, you look a whole lot like your great-grandfather. Head for the storeroom. Check out what he left behind.”

As you can see, the MOTHER 1 novel isn’t a dime romance novel. It’s a pretty interesting take on the original game, to the point that I’m surprised the author was able to make a whole book out of it. There’s a LOT more translated text to read here, so check it out if you ever get time!

POLL: Would you read a full translation of the MOTHER 1 novel if one were released?

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18 Comments to More of the MOTHER 1 Novel

Anonymous said on Apr. 4, 2011

MUCH BETTER! Too bad the novel will cost a fortune.

DJMankiwitz said on Apr. 4, 2011

That’s actually pretty interesting, and certainly a far cry from what the previous passages led me to believe. Thanks.

Anon said on Apr. 5, 2011

I would even buy it, if it would be published :3

The Great Morgil said on Apr. 5, 2011

What’s a “genuine-craft Chinese Hu vessel”?

The Great Morgil said on Apr. 5, 2011

Ah, thanks.

BTW, i’ve been thinking: How exactly are you gonna release this when it’s finished. I hope you’re not just gonna throw it in a word document. If you don’t know any pagination software, i’m trained in both InDesign and Quark (though i’m better with the former). If you want, i can help set up a good, professional layout, and make a print-ready PDF.

Mato said on Apr. 5, 2011

You mean me? It’s not my translation, I’m not gonna release anything 😛 It’s entirely up to kenisu. I’d imagine he’d take Chewy’s stance of not releasing the full thing and hoping/trying to get an official release or at least presenting most of it in an alternate manner, but it’s up to him.

kenisu said on Apr. 5, 2011

Aaah… guess I misworded something again. I meant that three pages is how much romancey goo you can expect from *chapter 2*.
The *total* amount of particularly mushy stuff scattered throughout the novel would be closer to something like 15 pages, but out of 371 pages of story, hopefully that still isn’t that bad.

It’s still too early for me to think about how I plan on releasing the translation… I’ve never published anything before, so I’d have to ask somebody how to get the rights to this novel (ugh, just typing that makes it sound impossible already), so that it can see an official English publication. It sounds like trying to grasp at clouds, but that certainly is what I want to shoot for. If things were to work out with Chewy, and she were able to get the MOTHER 2 novel published, who knows, I might be able to simply follow her lead.
And it hopefully *won’t* cost a fortune, but again, I’ve never published anything, so I can’t really speak from personal knowledge.

Mato said on Apr. 5, 2011

Tis no problem, the important thing was to dispel the idea that it was a romance novel throughout the entire thing 😛

I bet if it were possible to get the M2 novel approved, it’d maybe be possible to get the M1 novel approved at the same time. But who knows. As it is, it doesn’t look very likely, but man oh man that would be so cool to see happen.

pranavmeno said on Apr. 5, 2011

I just want to read this… Something tells me that I’ll appreciate MOTHER 1 a lot more if I read this…

Would it be possible to release it as a fan translation? And, if it were finished in time, it could be a cool bonus to include with the MOTHER 1+2 patch. Even better would be if Chewy finished her MOTHER 2 novel translation and included that too!

I for one could care less what format the translation is released in. Heck, I’d even read it in Notepad if I had to!

The Great Morgil said on Apr. 5, 2011

Actually, what i meant by that was releasing a PDF, and then if someone wanted to, they could print out a copy for themselves so they wouldn’t have to read it off a computer monitor. I just thought that throwing it all in a word document was kinda plain, and doing good quality page layout in InDesign, and then outputting to a PDF would be a preferable way to release it to us fans. The way i see it, a fan printing out a copy for themself would equal to that same person putting the Mother 3 fan translation on a flash cart.

pranavmeno said on Apr. 5, 2011

@The Great Morgil

Yeah, that would be pretty awesome.

I checked Chewy’s M2 novel blog, and it says that the drafts for all the chapters are done. Does anyone know if she’ll be releasing a ‘v1.0’ of her translation soon? The site only has excerpts from the novel up…

blahmoomoo said on Apr. 6, 2011

You may want to look at the last question in the FAQ.


In other words, an official publishing would have some legal hurdles. Especially if it was being sold. Even if it was given out for free, there would still be legal issues regarding the creative content of the original story. I suppose it’s a bit different with fan translations of games, since the game company may have no future plans to release a translated game and therefore do not care given that no tangible profit is gained off of it (though they still have the right to care and stop the translation). However, books can still be printed; there is no technical issue of needing to port the content to a new console or anything similar that would significantly increase the cost of production, beyond the translation itself. So the copyright holders would likely care more over a book translation.

Nyx Sparkle said on Jan. 15, 2012

It’ll probably turn out just fine if you just export to various ebook formats. The guys who used to do Haruhi Suzumiya just put them on ePub. It’s that easy.

Mike D said on Sep. 1, 2012

If a full translation of the Mother 1 novel, and the Mother 2 novel were released I would pay good money for them. Probably more money than I care to mention.

Tom M said on Sep. 3, 2013

Is there any word on the novels being released? Maybe you guys can start a kickstarter. I would pay for whatever you guys have up to this point 🙂

Mato said on Sep. 4, 2013

Nope, nothing to report. A couple years back Chewy got in touch with the author, and the author seemed interested, but there’s so much other red tape that nothing’s come of anything yet. But who knows, Chewy DOES know Itoi now, so maybe some year something might happen.


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