If You Want Mother 3 In English, Hit Up Nintendo, Creator Says

If You Want Mother 3 In English, Hit Up Nintendo, Creator Says

Mother 3 is one of those games everyone talks about but hardly anyone has played—and for a bummer of a reason. The 2006 Game Boy Advance RPG was never officially released outside of Japan (it’s called Earthbound everywhere else), so unless you imported it and understood Japanese, you couldn’t experience the famously elusive title. Creator Shigesato Itoi has heard your pleas and has a humble request: Go bother Nintendo about localising Mother 3.

On February 21, Nintendo dropped a Partner Showcase revealing games coming to the Switch in the next few months. As is customary with these sorts of broadcasts, the Eastern and Western versions featured different unveilings, with Japan seeing the launch of Mother 3 on the Nintendo Switch Online service. The West didn’t get any such announcement, which led to frustrated fans memeing and venting on social media sites like Reddit and X/Twitter.

The noise was so loud that “Mother 3” was trending on the former Bird App for a handful of hours following the Partner Showcase. This prompted series creator Shigesato Itoi, who seemingly hasn’t been involved with the games industry since 2006, to post on X/Twitter on February 21, asking everyone blowing up his mentions to bother Nintendo instead.

In a translation Kotaku had corroborated via DMs with notable Japanese game news translator Genki on February 22, Itoi’s post reads very matter-of-factly: “Please tell that to Nintendo, not me.”

According to video game collector Stealth40k, Itoi was responding to the folks begging him for an English release of the famed game. However, that’s not up to him. In a 2023 documentary titled “Earthbound, USA,” Itoi spoke about the locked-in-Japan Mother 3, saying he’d “love for people in the U.S. to play Mother 3.”

“I’ve talked about it with Nintendo before,” Itoi said in the documentary IGN reported on in November 2023. He continued:

Apparently they were presented with the offer to use the translation, but they said it wasn’t quite as simple as that. I think it’d be really interesting if they took up the offer. It’d be hard to make something like, say, an automobile with fans. But doing it with software, I believe there’d be a chance to make something that would be better than what the company could have made on their own. Usually, when I’m done with something, I’m done with it for good. You can’t give up on projects you are in the middle of, but when you put an end to something, it’s best to just leave it alone. The older you get, the more stories there are for you.

It’s not impossible to play Mother 3 outside of Japan right now. There’s a fan translation of the game that seems to have done Itoi’s masterpiece justice. However, this is just a fan translation, and while Nintendo’s reportedly never attempted to shut it down, it’s certainly not an official release of Mother 3. Seriously, Nintendo, it’s time. Release the game in the West already. We’re literally begging you. And to everyone else, please give poor old Itoi a break.

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