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Tips for Buying EarthBound

March 4th, 2016 | EarthBound, Videos

There was a Nintendo Direct yesterday, and it was announced that Super NES Virtual Console titles would soon be made available for the New 3DS. And later this month, EarthBound will be one of the first titles available in North America!


The game has already been made available in other regions, though – you can get it on your New 3DS if you live in Europe for example. MOTHER 2 is also now available on Japanese New 3DSes. I don’t have one myself, but I do have a normal Japanese 3DS so I was at least able to check out the promo video out of curiousity:

Also, to commemorate the release Shigesato Itoi posted a page on his site here, which is mostly snippets of text taken from older MOTHER series content on the site.


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26 Comments to EarthBound Soon Available on New 3DS Virtual Console

AwelCruiz said on Mar. 4, 2016

And I just purchased a physical copy of EarthBound from eBay a couple of months ago, too.

Eh, I’ll probably still get it anyway. Gotta show support for the Mother/EarthBound series somehow. And hey, portable EarthBound!

TheZunar123 said on Mar. 4, 2016

Welp, this almost makes the patch to translate the Mother 2 portion of Mother 1+2 basically moot now. Lol.

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 4, 2016

Agreed Zunar. So long as the emulator is good enough quality, the music is sure to sound better than the GBA version too.

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 4, 2016

I have to add I really hope they add Earthbound Beginnings to 3DS. (And, long-term, I really wish they’d sell GBA games on 3DS, since we know they work fine so long as you don’t mind the missing 3DS and emulator features.)

Noah said on Mar. 4, 2016

Maybe Nintendo is waiting to see how THIS performs before localizing Mother 3?

Joking aside, I never knew I wanted this. But I really do.

Prayer For Safety said on Mar. 4, 2016

Maybe this is a sign Mother 3 will be localized for the 3DS. Either way this is wonderful news, and really made my day.

Hard to believe in these past three years so many things that once seemed impossible are now happening with the Mother series.

Here’s hoping that EarthBound Beginnings will also make it to the 3DS eShop.

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 4, 2016

EBB (As I’ve decided I’ll shorten Beginnings to) on 3DS seems a straight shot for NOA. It’s the same ROM, running on an already functional NES emulator on 3DS. The game doesn’t do any particularly unique or taxing tricks with the hardware, so I expect it’ll work just fine using the same configurations as, say, Super Mario Bros 3. If I had to guess, I’d say we’ll probably see Nintendo announce it being stuck on the 3DS eShop in a few months. That’d be great, though the Mother 1 half of the GBA port actually had a couple nice touches: http://starmen.net/mother12/diff/eb0/systemfeatures/ . Further, Mato’s retranslation should be more complete (not to mention looking nicer) than the old NOA translation from the late 80’s/early 90’s.

As much as I’d love to read this as a sign of Mother 3 coming along, I’d say if anything it’s pushed it further back, if they were working on it at all. Japan was already working to make SNES games on the 3DS a reality, so this was happening whether Mother fans were clamoring for it or not. If it can run Mother 2, it can run Earthbound, so it was basically a no-brainer for Nintendo. Further, it gets them a few more months of big sales from the fans, especially fans that own a new 3DS but not a Wii U.

Mother 3 is just as difficult a proposition as it ever was, namely they’d need to modify the game, and do it through the source code rather than a ROM hack since Nintendo certainly intends to make that initial naming confirmation screen run nicely. Mother 3 is a text heavy RPG, so the best possible scenario is Mato selling/giving his script to the NOA programmers to work with, but even then they’ll need to implement their own versions of all the various coding Mato and pals had to do (variable width font, various control codes, the dreaded total recoding of the naming screen, and of course lots of testing). This is all pretty standard in any game of this sort Nintendo might translate, but it’s a matter of weighing investment vs reward. After all, as rabid as we fans can get, how many sales of Mother 3 could they really expect? Undertale’s popularity has probably increased interest in Mother 3, but it still is still no sure thing.

For my part, I’d make this argument. Even if the sales barely cover the cost of translation, the effort would have long-term rewards in terms of the good will it’ll garner with Nintendo fans. When Nintendo does things like this, it’s the sort of thing that keeps fans coming back. It’s the sort of thing that makes older fans like me remember the days when Nintendo would just flat out send out a free RPG to Nintendo Power subscribers. “Good will” is valuable stuff, and at this point the demand has been going strong for so long that everyone here would involuntarily throw their purses/wallets at their monitor the moment Nintendo made that announcement.

Clone5184 said on Mar. 4, 2016

Imagine if this was one of those 3D classics that Nintendo released a while back. Those battle background would be simultaneously cool looking and nausea inducing.

Anyhow, back to the content at hand, I really need to purchase a New 3DS now.

The Great Morgil said on Mar. 5, 2016

What’s with the orphaned “It” at the end of this article?

Anyway, i’m definitely gonna get this, just for the sheer awesomeness of being able to play EarthBound on my lunch break at work or when i go on vacation or whenever i just don’t feel like being tied to a specific TV set.

Elise said on Mar. 5, 2016

Well then! Here’s the push I needed to get the New 3DS I guess! ^^

Glitch said on Mar. 5, 2016

Already out in PAL region! The original resolution mode is the best!

skyrunner14 said on Mar. 6, 2016


A bit off-topic, but if the rumors are to believed, the game’s already entirely localized, it’s just been going through final QA and bug testing.

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 6, 2016

Well, internet rumors aren’t generally known for reliability. Got any sources for these particular rumors? Say, an inside source?

Justin said on Mar. 6, 2016

@The Great Morgil: Yeah, man. I need closure!

L.B. 367 said on Mar. 10, 2016

This makes me wish to have 3DS(New), and also wish a certain spin off of Mother 1, because the story of Ninten never is continued directly, and the fangame Mother congnitive dissonance, well it can be a lot better, but i apreciate the effort of Mother/Earthbound fans.

Also i think this games work better in a big screen, and i play all three in that way(even Mother 3).

TheShizzleSnizzle said on Mar. 12, 2016

Screw this. I want Mother 3 on Wii U.

Scotty said on Mar. 13, 2016

Zunar don’t say that! I’m still waiting for the gba translation of Mother2.
I don’t own a 3DS and a portable EarthBound for GBA would totally make my day.

Rachel said on Mar. 16, 2016

Will this work on 2DS?!

mariotti said on Mar. 17, 2016

rip in piece the mother 2 gba fan translation

nbr @thezunar123 please continue making it

mariotti said on Mar. 17, 2016

@rachel no

DJMankiewitz said on Mar. 20, 2016

Sadly, the 2DS hasn’t been updated with the higher specs of the new 3DS model. It won’t work for SNES games.

Zunar’s got some people who still want the translation done, but ultimately it’s the Zune’s call. For my part, I don’t really see the point at this juncture, except for those that for whatever reason can’t afford to buy a 3DS right now. If that’s the case, it’s still a lot to go through just to get it working on older systems.

Better to save up and buy a new 3DS. They’re pretty cheap, and a used new 3DS might be a good fit.

Scotty said on Mar. 21, 2016

I don’t want to buy a n3ds just for EarthBound…

Ninfan86 said on Mar. 21, 2016

I recently bought a 2ds to play earthbound and jump on the Nintendo handheld bandwagon. Earthbound being announced was the make and break why I bought a 2ds but…then I read the article that only the new 3ds would play it and other VC titles…I was furious… But, I did only pay 59.99 for my 2ds and bought smash with it and a few games I had to have…but, then I broke down and bought a new 3ds…I know that sounds lame but, I just got income taxes back and decided why not, bigger, faster, my option Nintendo is eventually make everyone buy one because it sounds they’re going to stop supporting old 3ds and 2ds. But, I have waited a long while to play earthbound again…and always wanted it portable. I had a Wii U but, ended up getting stolen from my house.

AwelCruiz said on Mar. 21, 2016

I bought a New 3DS XL mainly for the amiibo support, though it helped that EBGames was taking the original 3DS models for a $100 rebate towards the New 3DS purchase at the time.

Being able to play EarthBound on the go will just be icing on the cake to me.

Ninfan86 said on Mar. 22, 2016

@AwelCruiz must of been nice but, I am happy with my purchases my wife took over my 2ds because she doesn’t care about classic games but, I bought supet Mario world and so once in awhile she steals my new3ds and plays but, it’s perfect I play Zelda OOT while wait for earthbound next week so excited!!! Bought a Lucas Amiibo recently awesome!!

Sean said on Mar. 22, 2016

I bought a New 3DS just for Monster Hunter 4, then I realize they are releasing Earthbound as well! I am SO excited for Earthbound to be released on the Nintendo eShop! I will be buying and playing it on day 1! Please bring Mother 1 and Mother 3 to the Nintendo eShop too!!


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