Mother (video game)

From Academic Kids

See also mother for the societal role.

The Mother series is a role-playing game series created by Shigesato Itoi for Nintendo. The two-game series started in 1989 with Mother for the Famicom/NES and was followed up by a sequel, Mother 2 for the Super Famicom/Super NES system.

Although most RPGs depict knights and wizards in pseudo-medieval settings (such as Final Fantasy), the Mother series is set in a suburban 1980s America. Enemies consisted of everything from aliens, to possessed cars, to evil hippies. Instead of swords and shields, weapons consisted of Yo-yos and frying pans. The series became very popular in Japan, and merchandise for the game was produced, including shirts, handbooks, and even a fully-orchestrated and performed soundtrack.


Mother/EarthBound 0

Mother told the story of a young boy who had to journey around the world to save the planet from an evil race of mind-controlling aliens. Along the way he was joined by several friends, and met many unusual characters and visited strange settings before ultimately confronting the leader of the aliens. The game was a smash hit in Japan, and gamers appriciated its unorthodox and refreshing take on the often formulaic role-playing game genre.

Nintendo of America planned to translate and release the first Mother game in the United States under the title EarthBound. The game was ultimately deemed unprofitable for a US release, however, and the project was cancelled after the game had already been translated and all packaging and advertising was ready. Some rumors have Nintendo refusing to release EarthBound 0 in America because the Super Nintendo had already been released in America and they thought that no one would notice a new NES game because large amount of gamers had already shelved their Nintendo Entertainment Systems for their new Super Nintendo.

In recent years, one of the auctioned beta cartridges of the game was made into a ROM and circulated for download on the Internet. To avoid confusion, the game was dubbed EarthBound 0 by fan translator "NeoDemiforce", as Nintendo had since released the Super Nintendo sequel to Mother in America under the title EarthBound.

Mother 2/EarthBound

Main article: EarthBound

Despite the name, Mother 2 was not a direct sequel to Mother. Instead, Mother 2 was largely a re-telling of the first game, with a very similar plot and cast of characters. Mother 2 did greatly expand the world of the first game however, with many new locations, quests, and enemies.

Though Mother never saw the American marketplace, its sequel for the Super Famicom/SNES, Mother 2, did. It went by the name of EarthBound in the US and starred a young psychic boy by the name of Ness. It too was very popular in Japan, but it didn't sell as well in the US, as RPGs were generally unpopular with the American market at the time. However, the game has since developed one of the strongest cult followings in North America, a community which is still thriving today.

Other games

A compilation for the Game Boy Advance, called Mother 1+2, was released in Japan Q3, 2003. The game was meant to promote the upcoming Mother 3 (also for Game Boy Advance) as the rebirth of the franchise. Mother 3 had been in development for the Nintendo 64, but it was cancelled due to production problems. The game's story had already been developed, along with the main characters, so what is being produced for the Game Boy Advance will be essentially a port of the intended Nintendo 64 game.

Neither Mother 1+2 nor Mother 3 is expected to be released in North America.

Notable characters

Both games feature four main characters who are largely the same:

  • Ninten / Ness - The main protagonist in both games is a boy in a red cap who never speaks. He is gifted with telepathy which gives him magical powers.
  • Loid / Jeff - The main character is later joined by a smart boy with glasses who is very skilled at building inventions.
  • Ana / Paula- both games likewise feature a female character in a pink dress who is also a skilled psychic.
  • Teddy - The last party member in both games is a skilled fighter. In Mother he is a street gang leader, while in Mother 2 he is an oriential martial arts master.

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