Unofficial ‘Mother Direct’ Is All About EarthBound

Unofficial ‘Mother Direct’ Is All About EarthBound
Screenshot: Mother Forever

Hidden among the various E3 2021 presentations showing off wide swaths of games from developers and publishers, both major and independent, is a prominent fan site where folks have put together a show dedicated to one franchise and one franchise only: EarthBound.

What is Mother Direct?

Mother Direct, named after the series’ original Japanese moniker, is organised by the preservationists, historians, and mega fans over at Mother Forever as the ultimate showcase of the creativity in the Mother community. Airing later today, the broadcast promises to exhibit “50 minutes of Mother fan games, Mother-inspired indies, and Mother fan projects.”

Specifics are scarce, but Mother Forever’s social media activity indicates that the newly announced √MOTHER (or “Mother: Roots”), a “faithful remake” of the original game with new music and a fresh coat of paint, might make an appearance.

What is Mother?

Mother first debuted on the Famicom in 1989. The brainchild of copywriter Shigesato Itoi, at the time a video game industry outsider, Mother upended the role-playing genre by focusing not on a faraway fantasy land but on children adventuring through a world much like our own. The game’s critical success in Japan led to a Super Famicom sequel, 1994’s Mother 2, that would eventually be released in the west a year later as EarthBound.

Much like its predecessor, EarthBound was a fantastic reimagining of role-playing tropes and has since achieved cult classic status worldwide thanks to its Super Nintendo release. It remains one of the most cherished Nintendo games of all time. When Mother 3 was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2006, fans across the globe eagerly awaited the day when Nintendo would announce its plans to release the game outside Japan.

And they’ve been waiting for over 15 years. While Nintendo has winkingly acknowledged demands to release Mother 3 in the west, responsibility for localizing the handheld EarthBound sequel fell instead to a group of dedicated fans. That unofficial translation (which received a substantial update earlier this year) is still the only way to play Mother 3 in English. The passion of the Mother community even spawned a pseudo-sequel, Mother 4, which eventually changed its name to Oddity in 2020 to avoid legal issues but is still very much an homage to the classic series.

Mother Direct goes live on YouTube at 3:00 a.m. AEST.

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