Earlier this month a Mother fan pounced on a Japanese auction listing that was selling a Nintendo corporate CD-ROM from 1998, solely because that disc included footage of the cancelled EarthBound 64 for the Nintendo 64.
With bids beginning at just $US18 ($24), the CD-ROM was eventually sold for $US357 ($486), all just so Zen could do the world a favour and get their hands on a copy of the EarthBound 64 trailer from Nintendo’s fabled Spaceworld 1997 exhibit.
earthbound 64 fans we eat tonight, you're welcome pic.twitter.com/HiUuwEec18— Zen (@realZen64) July 11, 2021
Previously, the main way people had been able to see footage of the game in action had been via this ancient IGN footage:
Or this quick glimpse from the showroom of Spaceworld 1996:
Here, meanwhile, is the footage that was included on Nintendo’s CD-ROM, and which Zen has been able to upload. It’s not our first look at gameplay from the cancelled sequel, but a lot of it is new footage!
Sure, it’s only 25 seconds, and there isn’t any sound, but this game was cancelled over 20 years ago, it’s amazing we’re getting to see anything new at all.
And what we do get to see, like all the other footage, looks incredible, especially when you remember this was an N64 game. But then, maybe that was the problem; EarthBound 64’s scale and ambition proved one of the key reasons the game was never released in the first place.
While there’s some new footage to agonise over, one unreleased holy grail remains for Mother fans: getting their hands on the playable build of EarthBound 64, which made it to a few trade shows (like the 1996 Spaceworld video above) but which has never been seen by the public since.
Earthbound 64 was originally supposed to be Mother 3, a sequel to the weird and beloved RPG series from Nintendo. While it was cancelled in 2000, Mother 3 would eventually be developed for the Game Boy instead, which is the Mother 3 we all know today, and are still asking Nintendo to please officially bring to the West.
In the meantime, Zen was also kind enough to upload the rest of the contents of the CD-ROM, which also include trailers for games like Ocarina of Time and some lovely hi-res Pikachu art, which you can check out here.