Twenty Years of MOTHER

On July 27, 1989, MOTHER was released in Japan for the Nintendo Famicom. It went on to spawn two incredible sequels and a compilation game. Now, twenty years later, let's take a look back at the game that started it all!

MOTHER was created by Shigesato Itoi, a famous Japanese copywriter. After discovering Dragon Quest for the Famicom, he instantly fell in love with the game. Being a creative fellow, though, he felt he could do better and take it in a completely new direction. He did this by placing MOTHER - his RPG - in a modern setting and making it a regular little boy's adventure in a realistic world. Until then, modern-day RPGs were virtually unheard of, and this uniqueness was met with great support from video gaming fans.

The success of the first MOTHER game was great enough to warrant a second game, which was also well-received and in turned led to a third. And, even though only one MOTHER game has ever been released outside of Japan, the series has garnered immense enthusiasm with gamers around the world.

Now let us celebrate the 20th annivesary of this great game and series!

Shigesato Itoi and MOTHER

Sending a Message to Itoi
If you want to send MOTHER series creator Shigesato Itoi a personal message, send an e-mail to

Since not many people at his office speak English, you should keep your sentences very simple (maybe 5 or 6 words per sentence) and keep the message very short. Paragraphs upon paragraphs of text will probably be too daunting and overlooked. A good phrase to include is
MOTHER 20周年おめでとう .

You probably won't get a reply e-mail, or, at the very most, you might get a simple template reply in English. But if you want to thank Itoi or let him know how you feel about the games, this is your best chance!
Itoi's Site
Also be sure to check out the MOTHER 1 and MOTHER 1+2 content on Itoi's site here!

Other Neat Stuff
Ten Years Ago
Back in 1999, on the 10th anniversary of MOTHER's release, Itoi visited the largest Japanese MOTHER community and posted this on the message board there:
DATE:99/07/27 04:24
Title:This may be breaking the rules, but...

Coming to this board like this may be breaking the rules in a sense, but please let me say something just this once.

Not even I, myself, was aware that July 27th was MOTHER’s birthday. I just happened to learn that this site was celebrating its anniversary, so I’ve come here with feelings of gratefulness.

MOTHER 3 is also coming along nicely now. Just like every other time, it’s taking a long time to come out. This one has quite a different “taste” than MOTHER 1 and 2, so it might not go over well with long-time fans. But I think it may be the very best one in terms of sheer excitement. But, I’m always worried, of course.

A playable version of the game is planned for an August game expo, whose name escapes me at the moment. It’s a bit of a dilemma, because a lot of time will be spent focusing on the demo and not the game. But I think it will show how things are.

I’m considering possibly releasing screenshots, sound clips, and the like little by little at some point in time on Hobonichi. I humbly ask for your patience and understanding, even if you’re not fond of how things are turning out.

I don’t have proof, but this has been Shigesato Itoi.
For more details about this, see here.

Interesting Related Videos

The famous live-action MOTHER commercial

Itoi promotes MOTHER prior to the game's release

Itoi discusses many unknown aspects of MOTHER while promoting MOTHER 1+2

MOTHER appears in a show about old games

MOTHER can teach us many things

MOTHER orchestrated music

MOTHER in Japanese gaming history

MOTHER is the ninth best Famicom game ever

Official MOTHER Merchandise

The MOTHER games generally have very little merchandise attached to them when compared to other big-name RPGs, but because the series has been around for so long, there is still a decent number of items for fans to add to their collections. What's more, many of these things aren't too hard to get ahold of.

Check out the merchandise section of EarthBound Central for a full listing of what other stuff exists, and keep your eye on this page to all see the latest EarthBound/MOTHER stuff on eBay as it updates every hour or so!

MOTHER Cartridge
The original cartridge isn't too rare on eBay these days. You can even get complete sets for as cheap as $20 sometimes. A must-have for any collector!

See all MOTHER carts on eBay
MOTHER 1+2 Cartridge
MOTHER 1 was also re-released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, together with MOTHER 2. This version is very easy to find and used copies are very cheap!

See all MOTHER 1+2 Carts on eBay
Franklin Badge
MOTHER Franklin Badges are very rare. Even the slightly different MOTHER 3 Franklin Badges are rare. If you ever find one, keep it!

Find Franklin Badges on eBay
Franklin Badge Shirt
When MOTHER 3 was released, these Franklin Badge shirts were also sold in limited quantities. They don't REALLY reflect lightning, but you already knew that.

Find Franklin Badge T-shirts on eBay
MOTHER Soundtrack CD
MOTHER's soundtrack is an extraordinary compilation of arranged music, most of them with awesome vocals! If you're a fan of the series, you GOTTA have this!

Get MOTHER Sountrack CD on eBay!
Sakerock CD
The band Sakerock has close ties with Shigesato Itoi. They recently released an album called "Songs of Instrumental" that includes a nice version of Eight Melodies.

Find Sakerock's "Songs of Instrumental" CD on eBay
Not many people are aware that a novel was written based off of MOTHER (there's a MOTHER 2 one, too). Here is a page-by-page summary of the book in English.

Find MOTHER novels on eBay
Cell Phone Cleaners
The MOTHER 1+2 cell phone screen cleaners are quite rare. There are four MOTHER-themed cleaners in the set, Ninten, Loid, Ana, and Teddy. If you can find any, you rock!

Find MOTHER cell phone screen cleaners on eBay
Strategy Guides
There were so many guides made for MOTHER, and they're all outstanding and full of life. Game guides back then always added a lot to the fun. Anyway, see here for a full list of guides!

See all MOTHER guides on eBay
There are a lot of MOTHER series comics out there. MOTHER comics were generally included in game comic anthologies and are somewhat rare.

Find MOTHER comics on eBay

Cool MOTHER Fan Art

by Anatotitan

by Artemis251

by Artemis251

by ayamemaiden

by beefcup

by Bluewolf

by Bundle 26

by Cafechan

by Cubivore10

by Elobo

by Flaming Turnip

by Flint

by Frezsparce

by Frida S

by GeoPyro

by Giegue

by GiyganMage

by Gonmon

by huedrian-9

by Jean

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by Kaigetsudo

by KAsmythM1

by KAsmythM1

by kenisu3000

by kenisu3000

by kenisu3000

by Kine

by kota12

by Kupo_KK

by kuruzen

by Lepidopterytestimony

by lordofpastries

by Mad-Duck-Falls-Down

by Master_G

by Missy

by morphine

by Nutsjesmoar

by ozwalled

by P. Soup

by Pancake

by Plushraysetiger

by Poo7878

by SalsaKitty

by SaturnStorm

by Sebastian

by Shroomdog

by T. Southerland

by Wilhelmina Carmel

by Macc

by masheysoup23

by Rock_Candy

by bloopie

by Mr. Truth

by Skull1984

by PoeTrader

by Mystic Pyro Freak

by LittleMetalDrop

Cool MOTHER Music

Game MP3s
Download the entire game's soundtrack here! (32 MB)

Here's a bunch of cool fan-made music!

Cool MOTHER Fan Videos

Mother Saga Episode 1 - by 0LimeLight0

Tales of the PseudoZombi - by Stafy

Pollyanna - by ChrisBlueStone

Queen Mary's Castle - by Pianothemes

MOTHER Intro - by FrnkFly

Cemetery - by FrnkFly

Mother XP - by Benpc91

Mother Saga Part 1: When Lamps Attack - by PsiPaula4

Cool MOTHER Fan Comics

Mother - by kenisu

kenisu has long been a huge fan of the first MOTHER game. The fact that he's put so much work into this enormous comic series is irrefutable proof of his love for the game. MOTHER / EarthBound Zero comics are rare, so it's awesome that his comics exist! Check them out this instant!
Ambience - by matilda_caboose

From matilda caboose, a fan creation powerhouse in the EarthBound community comes the story of Mother 1! As Ana predicts a strange coming of events, will her forseen hero Ninten pull through? Read on as the story flows on in utter Ambience!
Crying for Mother - by Strawberry Tofu

As a bone-chilling premonition strikes the heart and mind of a rich, yet sweet young girl from Snowman Town, a vast adventure awaits her in Strawberry Tofu's retelling of Mother/EB0's main story. Who knows what may happen when the world delves into chaos from the fateful encounter that started years ago....
The Power - by Skyechan

A bond of love traversing the ages; a menace threatening the existence of mankind; a reworked future devoid of potentials...all wrap together as one as SkyeChan brings to you her own take on the Mother series with a story (based on theories of the series) so big it couldn't possibly fit in one game! Witness The Power of MOTHER!
Check out these individual comics too!

MOTHER Fanfiction

MOTHER in Magazines

Other Interesting Stuff

Loids are Not Christmas

LanC is a spinoff of the fan-made radio play Fobbies are Borange. Where FaB was about EarthBound, LanC is about MOTHER 1 / EarthBound Zero. LanC was also entirely improvised, and the fact that xfis - the character who plays Ninten - had only played an hour into the game makes things crazier.
Ninten Speaks

Ninten Speaks is a spinoff of Loids are Not Christmas. They started out audio-only, but have moved to live-action video now.

An official MOTHER novel was released a little bit after the game was released. It was written by Saori Kumi, who's written a lot of game novelizations in her time, including the MOTHER 2 novel and Dragon Quest novels. We've contacted her about getting an official translation licensed and she seems to be all for it, but because there are other rights holders it's probably going to be pretty tough to get permission.

In any case, you can see a page-per-page summary of the novel here, though it's still being worked on.
Story of the EarthBound Zero Prototype

In 1998, a series of crazy events took place that eventually resulted in the general public getting access to a prototype version of MOTHER that Nintendo had translated into English but never released. Because this game also had the name "EarthBound", fans dub this game "EarthBound Zero".

A lot of the old sites from back then are gone, so this interview with demi is the best look back at how everything went down.
Lost Levels: EarthBound Zero

This is the definitive article on the subject of EarthBound Zero, its history, how it came to be, and many other things. If you're a fan of the EarthBound / MOTHER series, you MUST read this! Includes interviews with people who actually worked on the English version of the game!
Kid Buys EarthBound Zero Prototype

Back in like 1999 or 2000, someone bought the famous EarthBound Zero prototype from the collector who originally got it. Here's his story about how he got it and his experience playing with it.
Another EarthBound Zero Prototype Sells for $1500

There are three known EarthBound Zero prototypes in circulation, and at least one confirmed copy at Nintendo of America. One of the ones floating around recently sold on eBay for $1500!
MOTHER / EarthBound Zero on Virtual Console

It's no secret that EarthBound has been #1 of every Nintendo Power Virtual Console poll that applied to it. But MOTHER / EarthBound Zero has been tearing up the charts too! Could we see the game officially released in English someday?
Beating EarthBound Zero in 48 Minutes

TAS guru Nitrodon has worked his magic again and created an awesome speed run of EarthBound Zero. You can download the video here, and be sure to check out how he did it here!

Magicant is a great - if not THE greatest - fan site about EarthBound Zero. It's got all kinds of interesting and useful stuff, from walkthroughs to game comparisons to just about everything else!
Starmen.Net EarthBound Zero Walkthrough

Usually, players give up on MOTHER / EarthBound Zero after a few hours, but this is often because they try too hard to rush through the game. If you follow this info-packed walkthrough step-by-step, you'll breeze through the game like it's nothing! Give it a try!
MOTHER Stuff on EarthBound Central

There's a lot of stuff on this page you're reading now, but there's a LOT more to see, do, watch, listen, and play at EarthBound Central!

Translations, Hacks, etc.

EarthBound Zero Easy Patch

Having a tough time getting through EarthBound Zero? Can't stand having to fight tons of enemies to get to decent levels or money? Then use this simple IPS patch! It doubles the experience and money you get from enemies. It makes the game very easy, and you're usually at Level 20 by the first hour or two. To put that in comparison, When I first played the game a long time ago, I beat it at Level 23.

Use this patch if you don't like grindfests!
MOTHER 1+2 Fan Translation

After finishing MOTHER 3's translation, I've been slowly working on the MOTHER 1 portion of MOTHER 1+2. It's not ready yet, but if you want to follow progress, keep your eyes peeled here. For info on the project, including the often-asked "What's the point?" question, see here, too.
Other MOTHER 1+2 Translation Patches

In the meantime, there are other MOTHER 1+2 translation patches of varying completion - some have MOTHER 1 fully translated using EarthBound Zero's script, while others are more focused on the MOTHER 2 side of things. You can see a list of the currently available patches here.

A Few Ending Words

Honestly, there's a LOT more cool MOTHER / EarthBound Zero stuff out there than what is shown on this page. Seek it out and become one with it! And if you're one of the many MOTHER / EarthBound fans who've had a hard time getting into the first game, what better time to try again than now? Sure, we might not have any official versions where we live, but that's nothing new to EarthBound fans. So give it a shot. It'd be great to see people take even greater interest in the first game in the series.

Also, of course, many thanks to everyone who's made MOTHER / EarthBound Zero stuff over the years and those who made stuff that was showcased here as well.

As a side note, next year happens to be EarthBound's 15th annivesary. If EarthBound Central is around for it, you can be sure we'll celebrate it too :D

Well, PK Goodbye for now!

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