The Nintendo Switch has proved itself as a home for indie games and, more importantly, a haven for RPGs. The system now hosts multiple Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy ports, versions of the Tales series, a Trials of Mana remake, and countless other RPGs from other platforms.
The time has come for Nintendo to finally localize Mother 3.
The Mother series has an interesting history. It began with the self-titled first entry in the series as a unique take on American life. The franchise gained traction in Japan and released Mother 2 in the United States as Earthbound to mixed reviews. Later Nintendo released Mother in the United States as Earthbound: Beginnings. But the West never saw a release of Mother 3.
In fact, Mother 3 almost didn’t happen at all. The game was in intermittent development for twelve years, having been canceled and restarted again and again. It was originally supposed to be released in 1998, but was delayed after falling behind schedule. In 2002, after a cancellation and rumors of a revival, the online community Starmen.net began a petition for the game which gained over 31,000 signatures. Finally, the game was released in 2006 in Japan.
Once it was clear that Nintendo had no intention of localizing the game, several fans began their own translation project. The fan translation launched in 2008. The developers have made clear that their intention is solely to provide an English version of the game and encourage people to purchase the official Japanese version as well as downloading their translation. The last decade has heard many calls to localize the game, often coinciding with the release of new consoles.
As older games continue to make their way onto the Switch, the case grows for a Mother 3 localization. Most recently, Nintendo released a localization of the original Fire Emblem, which fanned the flames for Mother fans. If Nintendo can localize Fire Emblem, so the argument goes, they can localize Mother 3.
Nintendo continues to see success with rereleases on the system. The recent Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury sold incredibly well for a game that was originally released for the Wii U. Even Pikmin 3 Deluxe, a game which many thought people would pass on, outsold the original release on the Gamecube. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that the Switch itself has outsold past systems. More people own the Switch, which means naturally that Switch games are prone to a higher performance.
If the past is any predictor of the future, Switch owners are more than willing to try past games they may have missed out on previously. Nintendo has a perfect opportunity to do what they should have done in 2006 and release a localization of Mother 3. The sales would be enormous, especially if released in tandem with an Earthbound remake. But, for that, one can only hope.
How do you feel about the Mother series? Have you played any of the games? Would you like to see Mother 3 localized and brought to the Switch? What other retro games do you want to see on the system?