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Tips for Buying EarthBound

May 25th, 2012 | MOTHER 3

Erik Foss recently sent me this e-mail out of the blue:

Hi Tomato,

A while back I wrote a paper on Mother 3 for a class I was taking at DigiPen Institute of Technology. Last October, I was invited to show it at the Game Developers Conference in Austin, Texas as part of their Interactive Narrative Summit. They paid for my pass and everything, which was pretty great. And incidentally, a lot of the developers I spoke with said they really appreciated the fan translation.

Anyway, I had neglected to put the paper up on my Web site until just recently and thought you and the EarthBound Central community might find it worth a look. So, here’s the link: http://www.erikfoss.net/

Check it out, it’s a nice read and not too long 😀

Having this kind of stuff at a developer’s conference is a really cool idea now that I think about it – breaking games apart and looking at what works and doesn’t work when it comes to storytelling will hopefully help developers with their own stories down the line.


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13 Comments to MOTHER 3 Analysis at GDC

Poe said on May. 25, 2012

Really excellent paper, thanks for sharing!

Puck Your Mother said on May. 25, 2012

Nice to see some statistics of human reactions during Mother 3. 😀

Anonymous said on May. 25, 2012

This was a great paper! I’m glad that someone finally did the analysis of the story arc of a major RPG…people forget that the structure and style of the game’s storytelling is what makes a game really engaging and great. And the Mother series is so famous because Itoi is such a talented writer!

Leeaux said on May. 25, 2012

It’s a great paper, had me thinking about Mother 3 in some ways I hadn’t before. It’s funny, even though I’ve played the game, I have to read more and more stuff about it to feel like I’ve gotten everything out of the game.

Kyle said on May. 25, 2012

Is it gone now? I see nothing on the site…

Leeaux said on May. 25, 2012

Kyle, its under GDC Austin. It’s hard to see the link but its in there.

MikAve94 said on May. 25, 2012
Rhyselinn said on May. 25, 2012

“Mother 3 is ultimately not
about a showdown between good and evil, but rather about coming to terms with life in
a world where both exist together.”
I have never heard Mother 3 described better, particularly in one sentence like that.

Earthbound was the portrayal of good against evil. The good guys are really good (Ness defeated any evil that may have been in his mind), and the bad guys are really bad. (It doesn’t get much worse than Giygas, folks.)

Mother 3 is the opposite: good mixed with evil. The good guys have bad characteristics (Flint lets his emotions get away from him)and the bad guys have good characteristics (final boss, anybody?)

Two opposite themes, two completely different messages. But both are brilliant.
Fantastic essay. 😀

What'sHerFace said on May. 26, 2012

I think Erik really hit the nail on the head here. This is probably the most poignant and accurate essay/article I’ve read concerning any of the Mother games.

It’s also made me see parts of it in a new light completely, which is absolutely fantastic. The recurring dragon motif wasn’t something I noticed up until now. I never realized that underneath the “Nature vs Progress” theme that sits on the surface there’s the story about “coming to terms with life in
a world where both exist together.”

Really beautiful essay.

Erik said on May. 28, 2012

I’m glad you guys found it worth your time! Thanks for reading.

MEG said on Jul. 3, 2012

I believe something’s wrong with the link.

Mato said on Jul. 3, 2012

Looks like the guy’s site is down 🙁

Erik said on Oct. 9, 2012

Hi everyone, sorry about the downtime. I had some issues with my Web hosting provider, but the site is back up. You can access the essay at http://www.erikfoss.net/Portfolio/Writing.html as well as some stuff I didn’t have uploaded before, including the poster I designed for the event.


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