Nintendo’s cult-RPG series Earthbound, or Mother as it is known in Japan, has seen the release of just three games, and it has a speckled history when it comes to localization. Earthbound, or Mother 2, has been with us since the Super Nintendo days, but the first NES game, Earthbound Beginnings, was only just recently released in the States through the Virtual Console.
And then there is the infamous Mother 3, one of the greatest JRPGs of all time, that has only been made available through a fantastic fan translation.
You would think any sequel in such a beloved franchise would be greenlit as quickly as possible, but the issue with Earthbound is that it is the work of a genuine artist. A renaissance-man who does everything from game development to copyrighting to voice acting to newspaper editing, critique, and commentary. Designer Shigesato Itoi has a whole lot more on his hands than game design, and he’s dropped the mic on the series, stating in an interview with Game Watch Press, translated by Kotaku, that Mother 4 is “totally impossible.”
“When I made 3, I thought I could do it, so I did it.
Among big-time popstars, if they, you know, put out ten albums, around the fourth album, they can’t make very good songs. The albums sell, but everyone at the concerts wants to hear songs from those first three albums. Everyone.”
Itoi goes on to say that if game development was his main profession, he might have already made Mother 4 and 5 by now, but alas, it’s just not meant to be. Still, you should play at least Earthbound and Mother 3 if you have not yet. Both are cult-hits that genuinely deserve the praise piled upon them by their small but vocal fanbase.
And don’t tell anyone, but I think we will be seeing Mother 4 through unofficial channels. Shhh….