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September 23rd, 2012 | Audio Stuff, MOTHER 1+2, MOTHER 3

The other day I posted about some hacking progress with the MOTHER 1+2 and MOTHER 3 music formats (see here). The problem with the GBA music (particularly MOTHER 3) is that the hardware limitations produced a sort of soft “fuzz”. But now you can play the music on your computer without that fuzz!

For example, here’s the Love Theme from MOTHER 3, as it sounds on the GBA:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

And here’s how it sounds without the GBA’s hardware limitations:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Right now, the method to play all the music is kind of complicated, but if you’re interested, see here. Simply playing the MIDI files in an audio player won’t work right!

Hopefully someone will be able to make MP3s of these so it won’t be necessary to jump through lots of hoops, but for now the above forum thread is the only way to go. But it’s worth the trouble!

I haven’t tried this with the MOTHER 1+2 soundtrack, but you can download the files for that and many other GBA games here!

For those of you who get this to work, let me know how MOTHER 1+2 sounds and how the other GBA games sound!

And many thanks to everyone who’s been making this awesome stuff a possibility 😀

UPDATE: Yes, as soon as a finalized set of MP3s is available I’ll make a new update – no worries!


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58 Comments to Finally, Crisp MOTHER 3 Audio

EarthBoundRules said on Sep. 23, 2012

This is amazing! Finally we can hear one of the greatest video game soundtracks ever composed the way it was meant to be heard! 😀

Satsy said on Sep. 23, 2012

I would love to see more of this. It’s amazing quality.

Earthbounder said on Sep. 23, 2012

Please do one of earthbound to!

Tamers12345 said on Sep. 23, 2012

Holy ****! It sounds so much better without the fuzziness! Please do this with all the songs! 😀

Tamers12345 said on Sep. 23, 2012

Or at least theme of Duster. That’s all I ask ^__^’

Mill said on Sep. 23, 2012

Dunno. I find the fuzziness a bit nostalgic. I’ll probably end up keeping both kinda 😉

man said on Sep. 23, 2012

Incredible. An option to get rid of the fuzz in emulators would be a GODSEND, unless they’ve already worked it out by now.

SuperTrainStationH said on Sep. 23, 2012

I wonder what the Pokey Bots theme sounds like “upgraded”.

Did said on Sep. 23, 2012

You’ll tell us when mp3’s are released, right?

Poe said on Sep. 23, 2012

Wow, the difference is truly incredible! Man, I had no idea how much better these songs were supposed to sound.

RandomGuardian said on Sep. 23, 2012

OH MY PORK! when I played Mother 3, I was always sad the music quality had that rough sound. It was like listining to music created for a soundtrack. then ported to a crappy broken Game Boy. They were such good songs too…

Now I read this post and all I can say is

I <3 YOU!!!

Hukky said on Sep. 23, 2012

The results of doing this with MOTHER 1+2 are… interesting. Unfortunately, the sample order gets somehow screwed up in the conversion process, so a lot of songs have bizarre samples. However, the songs that work sound pretty good, certainly better than on GBA hardware.

Ninten said on Sep. 23, 2012

Someone please make the Mother 2 side of mother 1+2 sound somewhat good

EmeraldWind said on Sep. 23, 2012

Wow, I hope someone posts a full archive of the Mother 3 music.

manny said on Sep. 23, 2012

wow HD btch! lol, nice work!

Alixi said on Sep. 23, 2012

I like the GBA version better. The “fuzz” makes it warmer, more comforting.

LuigiBlood said on Sep. 23, 2012

Why didn’t I think of doing this? Damn, it sounds so much better, but I didn’t really made the difference between those…

Hendricks266 said on Sep. 23, 2012

I added links to MP3 and FLAC packs (via BitTorrent) in the forum post.

It would be helpful if anyone could report any issues with the pack they find.

Dan said on Sep. 23, 2012


Linkzcap said on Sep. 23, 2012

i never realized how that the fuzz made mother 3’s music sound so different and special

KingOfSwords said on Sep. 23, 2012

To be honest, I rather like the way it sounds with the fuzz.

That being said, I’d love to hear what Big Shot’s Theme sounds like without being fuzzy. This is pretty cool.

asdf said on Sep. 23, 2012

It would be a dream if somehow you could encode the better-sounding music into a patch for the game… Tomato work your magic!

JRokujuushi said on Sep. 23, 2012

@asdf – That can’t be done. That IS the music from the game. The issue is that the GBA’s sound hardware outputs 8-bit audio, which is low quality and results in the fuzzy sound. This program extracts the audio samples and music data from the game and plays them through a computer’s higher quality sound hardware. I expect if there was a way to do that in realtime in an emulator, it would have been figured out by now considering how much better it sounds. Whatever the case, patching the game simply wouldn’t help.

As for the music itself, it does sound a lot better. I actually tried doing a similar project using a program called GBA2MIDI, but it didn’t compile the samples into a soundfont which meant I had to compile them manually, and even then the velocity mapping was inaccurate. Now I don’t have to bother!

PsiWolf674 said on Sep. 23, 2012

One thing I think should me mentioned is that a good pair of headphones + the DS lite’s better speakers seems to make the noise in the background a little less of an annoyance. Listening to it without headphones and with the GBA’s normal speakers on the other hand…
Of course, there’s still some noise in the background, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it’d be without the ‘phones and, in some cases, can even sound pleasant. (For example, Shower Time Ballad [or whatever it’s called] pans the soft white noise from headphone to headphone, so the devs definitely attempted to work with it, and even managed to make a nice effect with it!)

That being said, it’s really cool to hear this piece without the noise in the background! Although after listening to the Love Theme as-is for almost 6 years, I can’t help but feel a bit used to the soft BG noise of Love Theme. Weird.

I downloaded the MO3.rar file from the Sonicretro Forums, but… some of the tracks don’t sound as good as the originals. There’s others that sound really clear, and then some that sound more like remixes of the originals. Hmm… Guess it just depends on the track itself and what instruments were used.

Well, I hope this’ll lead to some more interesting results! Not just for Mother 3, but for GBA games in general!

PsiWolf674 said on Sep. 23, 2012

*I think should BE mentioned
Gotta love typos.

Mato said on Sep. 23, 2012

PsiWolf674: Just to be sure, make sure you’re following the instructions here, if you’re just playing the MIDI files without doing any other stuff then it’s going to sound different/wrong much of the time.

PsiWolf674 said on Sep. 23, 2012

Mato: D’oh! Well, aren’t I brilliant!
Well, at least I got to hear some rather… interesting variations of M3’s music.

Mr Rex said on Sep. 23, 2012

I guess that’s why they called it fuzzy pickles.

MegaZon said on Sep. 23, 2012

Beautiful upgrade, hopefully one day we can hear the rest of Mother 3 in HD. Maybe there can be two seperate versions, GBA quality and HD Quality of choice. Weirdly enough the HD quality shows how much love the creators of the soundtrack had for the game and the storyline especially.

TheNessEB said on Sep. 23, 2012

I’m starting to upload these to YouTube. If you don’t want to hassle with a download, here’s the playlist.

B. Sharp said on Sep. 23, 2012

Does anyone have JUST the Love theme MP3? I don’t get technology stuff n’ stuff..


sci said on Sep. 23, 2012

resident musician here to remind you that this “fuzz” is called “aliasing”

the GBA has really bad (ie, absolutely none iirc) interpolation, so if you play a sound at a pitch other than [whatever it’s default pitch is], you get aliasing. Give or take basically yeah.

honestly I’m more interested in the (fixed) midis :O

Rhyselinn said on Sep. 23, 2012

WOOT! Yeah awesome Mother 3 soundtrack! I think this is how the songs were meant to be heard. Hey, some day if there’s ever a Wii U Mother 1+2+3 (ha! that’d be the day), maybe the audio would sound like this… :O

PKEmeraldian said on Sep. 24, 2012

Can anyone get a .ZIP of these? I really don’t want to download a bunch of programs just for this one time…though I’ll admit, it’d be worth it [still won’t do it though]. I can’t use torrents either. 🙁

PK TrumpetBlast said on Sep. 24, 2012

So much better :’)

Kiriplant said on Sep. 24, 2012

Wow, that’s wonderful.

bjp907 said on Sep. 24, 2012

The instructions state that I should use foobar2000, which is a Windows-only media player. However, I use OS X. I tried using the soundfont in VLC, but the audio was very poor. Is there any OS X compatible media player that works with this soundfont, or will I just have to download the FLAC versions?

Hukky said on Sep. 24, 2012

Theoretically you could use any MIDI player that supports loading custom .sf2 soundfonts, but I don’t know if there are any for OS X.

Of course, there’s always Wine if all else fails…

Reficul said on Sep. 24, 2012

Wow, I seem to remember the music sounding a lot more like the higher quality sample when I was playing the game. Goes to show how powerful the track is. I converted it in my head. 😀

These sound just beautiful, though.

ZeroShift said on Sep. 24, 2012

Some of these tracks sound off. Take Mr. Saturn Theme Z for example, in the first few seconds it plays a flat note when transitioning.

No idea if other tracks suffer from this, but I’m sure it’s an easy fix.

ZeroShift said on Sep. 24, 2012
BoundToEarth said on Sep. 24, 2012

If anyone cares, I have the link to the full MP3 Soundtrack in this crisp quality. It’s a pretty massive file, though. (600+MB)

EmeraldStarstorm said on Sep. 25, 2012

@BoundToEarth: Yes, please! I really want it..

poben said on Sep. 25, 2012

this is incredible. I never even though that it might be possible to hear the audio without the GBA limitations.
I’d love to have the mp3 version.

Rmp13798 said on Sep. 25, 2012

@BoundToEarth: YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES please!

BoundToEarth said on Sep. 26, 2012

Here’s the link I just uploaded to the entire Mother 3 Soundtrack without the fuzz.

Tell me if the link breaks so I can fix it.


Hendricks266 said on Sep. 26, 2012

I updated the forum thread with download links to both packs.

Goldcheese said on Sep. 28, 2012

Ok, we now need a mother 3 remake with the amazing translation and the uninhibited audio files. I would cry tears of joy and sadness approximately every 5 minutes of awesome gameplay.

Drew said on Oct. 1, 2012

Personally, I think the fuzz makes the soundtrack sound better. “Love Theme”, “It Is Finished”, and “16 Melodies” all just have more… feeling from the fuzz. I personally like the GBA version better.

Rmp13798 said on Oct. 3, 2012

@BoundToEarth Hey, just wanted to let you know that the song “Right Left Light Reft” only has 1 second…
Could you fix that? 😀

Rmp13798 said on Oct. 3, 2012

@BoundToEarth Also, “Pigmask Anthem of Lethargy” is only 1 second as well…

MaxOfS2D said on Oct. 3, 2012

That is pretty amazing!

I love how some detail comes out in most songs… kinda sucks that the vibrato effects seem to be too speedy, or that some others are messed up, though.

Also, that unused Giygas theme is… incredible

neonix said on Oct. 3, 2012

This is really awesome. The difference and improvement in the sound is just amazing.

JFDP13 said on Oct. 5, 2012

Wow… that’s a huge difference!!

Bombo said on Oct. 24, 2012

Thanks so much for this. Btw, how to convert from mid to mp3 keeping full quality ? I’d like to do the same for Sonic Advance ! (in url there’s my twitter, you can answer me on it)

jinxkatty7 said on Nov. 9, 2012

I feel like I just played Mother 3 again. wow, just wow. I didn’t every notice the fuzzy sound until hearing this. Its a whole different experience.

Sunnymoon said on Oct. 17, 2013

…Wait, so THAT’S HOW IT REALLY SOUNDED IN THE FIRST PLACE? Oh my god, just with the GBA limitations, Shogo Sakai was a GOD on composing and playing the Mother 3 musics…But here…HERE…Ooooh my god, he’s not even a GOD, HE’S THE MADAFAKIN CHUCK NORRIS!!

djnforce9 said on Dec. 16, 2013

Really wish I knew about this sooner. Just set it up using the Synthfont2 Winamp plugin and it works great! The sound is so clear now as opposed to how abysmal it was on the actual GBA. I HATED that sound chip.


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