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Tips for Buying EarthBound

May 26th, 2013 | Polls

EarthBound/MOTHER fans can now play all of the games in English and other languages, thanks to fan translations and the one official translation. I recently got to wondering though – how many fans have ever played any of the original Japanese versions, whether for fun or to try to learn the language?

So this calls for a poll!

POLL: Have you played any of the original Japanese versions of the MOTHER games? If so, which ones?

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42 Comments to Poll: Playing in Japanese

Pwesty said on May. 26, 2013

It says the maximum amount of choices is 1…

Mato said on May. 26, 2013

Oops, I thought I fixed that. It should be fixed now!

FlyingManCourage said on May. 26, 2013

“It says the maximum amount of choices is 1…”

Well that works for me since my answer is a big fat ZERO.

I never understood how people who don’t speak the language could enjoy a Japanese game. I would just get frustrated with curiosity. If I could read Japanese, I would definitely see the appeal, though.

pk_stan said on May. 26, 2013

I remember back in 2007 I played Mother 3 all the way though in Japanese. If I remember right, I used the menu patch that you had at the time, Mato. I also used an online guide, I think it was on GameFAQs, that had most of the dialouge translated. It was a really unique experience getting to play the game in Japanese and them in my native English.

They were similar experiences but kind of different. I’m not sure how to explain it, but I’m glad I was able to experience both. I’m learning Japanese now, so who knows, maybe I’ll go back and play the Japanese version sometime many years from now. At this time I am better at audible conversations more so than reading/writing, so it’s far off but it’s something I’m looking forward to doing some day.

pk_stan said on May. 26, 2013

through* … then* …

Blargh I hate typos.

Pengo said on May. 26, 2013

I played M2 in Japanese it was fun.

Someone Else said on May. 26, 2013

I’m playing Tales of Vesperia in Japanese. I played it in English already on the XB360, but the PS3 version (which adds Flynn Scifo and Patty Fleur as playable characters) was never released in English. Also playing Tales of Destiny (PS2 Remake), Tales of Rebirth and also Tales of Symphonia, all in Japanese.
I own official Mother 1+2 and Mother 3 cartridges too, which are of course in Japanese.
I have some other Japan-only games, such as Kaeru no Tame ni, a whole load of Fire Emblem games, and a few odd games here and there (like Joy Mecha Fight on Famicom). My Japanese isn’t at total comprehension yet, but I’m getting there. Slowly. :/

Esper said on May. 26, 2013

I use to go to a GBA rom site all the time. That morning when I saw MOTHER 3 on the recently added, my heart skipped a beat. Got that junks without hesitation.

What’s amazing about MOTHER 3 is (minor spoiler warning) the part when Flint hears the news about Hinawa. Even though I was playing a game in a foreign language, it took no effort to understand what that news was.

Vukadin said on May. 26, 2013


I don’t understand either.

I AM, however, being hypocritical due to me playing Digimon Adventure for the psp in Japanese: due to there being no English patch what-so-ever and me being a huge Digimon fan. I guess if you’re a huge fan of something, the Japanese doesn’t really bother.

Stringy said on May. 26, 2013

I haven’t played any of the MOTHER games in Japanese, but I definitely plan on doing so as soon as I can. I only recently started studying Japanese (about a month ago), so my vocabulary and grammar probably aren’t good enough to understand what’s going on.

Once I get five hundred Kanji under my belt and understand Japanese grammar a little better, I’ll definitely give it a shot. (PS: I know the MOTHER games only use Kana, but I figure that learning Kanji would be the best way of building up a vocabulary, at the very least to start me off).

Douche Mcallister said on May. 26, 2013

I’ve played all of the games through on my GBA in Japanese, but I know how to read it.
First Japanese MOTHER game I played though was the first one on the Famicom. My cousin bought it for me when we to Japan when I was about 8 or 9. Strangely enough I played Japanese MOTHER 1 before I played English EarthBound haha.

gBev said on May. 26, 2013

I played Mother 3 in Japanese with an online translation of the script like pk_stan back in 2008 or so. I also played through the Mother 2 part of Mother 1+2, because at the time I did not have an SNES and it was the only way I could afford to play it legally. Of course, I’d already played EarthBound so I knew what was going on.

Robo85 said on May. 26, 2013

I’ve never actually beaten Mother or Mother 3 in English, though I’ve beaten them both at least 3 times in Japanese. Funny thing is, I can’t even read Japanese, I just never got around to downloading the translation patches. Plus, I can’t use the patches on an actual Gameboy Advance cartridge.

Fuffelpups said on May. 26, 2013

I never really played any of the games in japanese. I bought Mother 3 used and on the cartridge is a save file at the endboss. Sometimes i try to beat the game with this file but i never played the game from the beginning on japenese.

Rhyselinn said on May. 26, 2013

I got Mother 3 on GBA, and I decided to try it out. The previous save file was at the start of Chapter 3, so I tried to push through it with my basic knowledge of Hiragana and Google Translate, figuring I’d learn some vocabulary along the way. It didn’t work out like that (Google translate couldn’t differentiate the words, and therefore told me nothing helpful), so I’ve decided to try again later after taking an actual Japanese class. But technically I have briefly played Mother 3 in Japanese.

megamegaman247 said on May. 26, 2013

I bought a famicom just to play Mother 1 legaly (I do not have Mother 1+2 and had some other Famicom games I wanted to try) and it was evil to play through but I did beat it. I later played Mother 3 on the GBA before the fan translation (not all the way through though, chapter 4 maybe?) and it was a bit easier but then I heard word of a fan translation, you may have heard of it (sarcasm). So I decided to wait it out for that.

Gilbert Smith said on May. 26, 2013

I played Mother 3 in Japanese because I couldn’t wait for the translation.

PiePusher11 said on May. 26, 2013

I actually speedrun the original Famicom version of Mother 1! (On emulator, because I don’t want to get a Famicom just for that one game)

I’ve also played the Japanese versions of all the games, but I haven’t finished a playthrough of any of them (other than Mother 1)…

Jason said on May. 26, 2013

Oddly enough, I’ve never beaten Earthbound (always made it to Summers or so, started the game dozens of times since it first came out) but beat Mother 2 in Japanese on the GBA.

Chivi-chivik said on May. 26, 2013

I prefer to play games in a language that I can understand so I can enjoy it at the fullest (English and Spanish are the only ones I can play XD).

Prayer For Safety said on May. 26, 2013

Last summer I did my first playthrough of Mother 3 on a Japanese GBA cart. I also played a little bit of Mother in Japanese, but quickly stopped.

Beelzebub said on May. 26, 2013

I played and completed Mother 3 in Japanese while the fan translation was still in progress. I just couldn’t wait to play it English. It’s still the only Japanese RPG that I’ve completed all the way through.

TyBlood13 said on May. 26, 2013

I’ve only played MOTHER 2 in Japanese since I actually own the cart. I’ll probably play MOTHER 1 & 3 like that too when I buy both the GBA games.

Giggleface said on May. 26, 2013

Yeah multilingual up in he-uh for the win!

KyoZaber said on May. 26, 2013

Mother 3. It was my first, and currently only imported game.
I played through it in Japanese more or less to see if I could do it.
I did end up getting stuck a few times, mainly because I didn’t have an open item slot.

Erikku8 said on May. 26, 2013

I own a copy of all but one of the Japanese Mother games, and that game is the uncut Famicom version. I would like to get a copy of that one of these days.

misterdigi said on May. 26, 2013

Played through EB dozens of times in English. Played through Mother 3 a few times in English. Played through Mother 1 once in English. Never played any of them in Japanese, because i would have no idea what is going on, unless i was playing EarthBound (because I’ve played it so damn much.)

Darien said on May. 26, 2013

I bought a Mother 2 cart a few years back just on a whim so I could fiddle around with it and see how things are different in the Japanese version.

XavandSo said on May. 26, 2013

I only own Mother 2 and frequently play it, even though I can’t read Japanese. I play it so much, I can’t fathom playing EarthBound in any other language. It feels too weird.

PK Rockin said on May. 27, 2013

I played to the beginning of Chapter 7 in Mother 3. That was before I played past Chapter 3 in the fan translation. I guess the let’s plays of the game I watched are the reason I could make it that far. I don’t think I used a guide other than a PSI translation guide.

UbaNess said on May. 27, 2013

I personally don’t want to ever play Earthbound in Japanese. While I want to know as much as I can about the game I am also entirely in love with the games charm. Having varied dialogue I think would ruin some of the magic this game has.

KingDarian said on May. 27, 2013

Back before it was an option to play through a fan translation, I made my way slowly through the Japanese version of MOTHER 3. The BIG help was that each item had its own unique icon in the menu. This made it easy to figure out what I was doing in battle. I still had to rely on the super-quick guide Tomato made so many eons ago, but it was still pretty fun.

Other than that, when MOTHER 1+2 came out, I played through MOTHER 2 up through Saturn Valley. I had to make use of the item translations available in the MOTHER 2 section of Starmen.Net to get anywhere. I know the game well enough to play through it without outside assistance, but having to go back and forth between item translations and the game was the biggest hurdle for me, and why I left it unfinished. I haven’t touched MOTHER yet. I’ve played through the infamous EarthBound Zero version almost a decade ago, but I’ve yet to try the original Japanese version.

Al said on May. 27, 2013

I’ve played all the games in Japanese many times.
I eventually learned a bit of Japanese by doing so.
Playing RPGs is the best way for me to learn! 😀

Mr. Saturn said on May. 28, 2013

I could probably play Mother 2 just fine since I’ve played a ton of EarthBound and it probably doesn’t have any particular difference in progression. Except maybe the monkey cave. Mother 1 and 3 I’d probably have a harder time with.

But no I haven’t played any of them in Japanese.

toaker said on May. 28, 2013

I’ve never played any of them in English. Only in Japanese

PriestessPaula said on May. 29, 2013

I own japanese cartridges of all three, but I haven’t finished any of them.

Mother 1 has a dead battery at the moment,
Mother 2 had a save randomly disappear when I was Jeff leaving the boarding school during the funktastic gameplay 2 years ago or so.
Mother 3 was played slightly, but was mostly bought for the Gameboy Micro and owning the game for the fan translation.

Arturo said on May. 29, 2013

I first player Mother 2 in japanese because at the time I didn-t know it had been translated to english. My little brother and I had fun playing it because it was so weird and the psychedelic battle backgrounds, but we couldn-t get very far from it. I made videos at the time and I even recorded music tracks from it to use them.

Goveynetcom said on May. 29, 2013

I bought Mother 2 about a year or two ago, started playing it as I’m learning Japanese, but since I haven’t gone into full-on study mode I only play it occasionally. I’ve played a lot of Japanese games over the past few years and begun collecting them (my Super Famicom collection is like at 16 or 18 games now, while my SNES collection is around 25 or 30). One reason is that even the high profile games are generally so much cheaper ($11 for Mother 2) and I really want to finish learning Japanese. The most I can do in Japanese games is read the menus and usually enough of them either through context or my dictionary or my current knowledge so I can play the games, but story is totally lost on me for the most part. I stopped right before I got Paula in Mother 2, though I did mess around with save file it had that was maxed out and at the Cave of the Past.

AwesomePaula said on May. 30, 2013

I just beat Mother 2 in Japanese. English would have been better (especially in the monkey cave), but an Earthbound cartridge was $170 more expensive.

lolololol said on May. 31, 2013

If I knew Japanese, I would totally play the original carts…but I don’t know Japanese 🙁

Shannon Carr said on Jun. 3, 2013

Same lolololol. I can’t read Japanese either. Still, it’s good to see Earthbound Central doing a poll. They could do a poll for best Earthbound character. Maybe?

Pk said on Jun. 17, 2013

I’ve played mother2,3 as japnase version. My japanese isn’t really good but in mother games, There aren’t many kanjis so I was able to play.
I’m not american either. And sadly in my language, none of mother game has released so.


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