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The Morning After -- The Evening Of - by Anthadd

The Morning After -- The Evening Of

Morning after? Technically, it's more like the evening of. (I'm writing this November 3rd.) I'll add that to the title.

The EarthBound community - some might say the community, but not everyone in the community necessarily goes there ... there's a relatively thriving board on IGN, or at least there used to be one - has been anticipating this moment. Over the past few weeks, the past few months, Itoi and Brownie Brown have been leaking a series of mysterious information and Flash movies. We've been let down.

Throughout September, Marvelous Interactive had a Flash animation for a game called Contact that they were developing for the DS. The animation starred, so to speak, a professor who looked quite like our own Dr. Andonuts. Speculation ran wild! Then we found out, at the turn of October, that it was in fact Contact. Not a Mother game. And this continued on through October. Brownie Brown, now, not Marvelous, was back on the job, teasing us like a six-year-old teases her pet dog. Throughout September and October, Itoi continued posting strange messages involving events in Kichijoji.

And then, finally, it happened. You've seen the sticky topic in the Newsroom. You've read it. It'll be pages long by the time it gets unstickied and finally falls off the first page, not to return for the foreseeable future. The sticky topic for possible news on Mother 3 in the Mother 3 board is at seventeen pages in forty-post pagination.

Itoi has actually confirmed that Mother 3 is still being worked on, has confirmed that it will soon be released.

But what do we do now?


During the Dark Ages, those cold, lonely times following Cancellation Day there was still some hope that the Nintendo 64 Mother 3 might be revived, ported to the Game Cube. It was hope, but it was small. Most people would likely have rejoiced had that Mother 3 never seen the light of day.

Nobody liked Flint. He was a cowboy. (By the way, that's the stupidest reason to not like someone ever.)

There were no kid characters. (And this is ignorant. Lucas and Klaus, anyone?)

The graphics were too un-Motherlike. (Did you know that the graphics of Mother 2 weren't Motherlike? No? News to you, then.)

There was no Ness and friends. (There was no Ninten and friends in Mother 2. I don't want to argue relations here. Suffice to say that I doubt that Ness is Ninten, or Ninten his father.)

And so on, and so on. These arguments continued forever. I, once a Knight in the Army of Flint Sucks, eventually became Flint's staunchest defender. But that's irrelevant. These arguments continued on past Advance Day, the day when Mother 1+2 was announced, and it was confirmed that they were developing Mother 3 for the Advance, too.

There was hope. There was pessimism.

Eventually we ended up with a lot of pessimists. Two years went by, after Mother 1+2 was released, with no news on Mother 3. No news at all, aside from the minuscule tidbits Itoi would deign to throw to us every so often. It seemed as if it had been cancelled in secret.

By the time 2005 came around, a common thread of discussion on the Mother 3 board was whether or not Itoi had shifted development from the GBA to the DS, which had been out for a while by then. Or maybe it had been cancelled.

I suppose the optimists have carried the day. For now.


But again, what do we do now? Itoi has said that the game isn't due to be released for at least one more season. That'll put the release some time into 2006. Depending on how text-intensive the game is - and being an RPG, it's likely to be very text-intensive - it may well take another year for the game to be released. If it is.

EarthBound never was a popular game. It's a cult classic. But it isn't a plain classic, like the Final Fantasys, or Chrono Trigger, or Halo. Or the Zelda games. It was decried for not having cutting-edge graphics. Its music, they said, didn't stand up to its contemporaries: Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI(J). It was too kiddy. It was too modern. The ad campaign stank. You've heard it all before.

Yet still, we like it. We look beyond the graphics because there's more to game than it looks. There's an old saw, that beauty is only skin-deep. In other words, that hot girl you know could be a witch inside, and that frumpy girl with the bad acne could have the personality of your dreams. The same thing applies to games. That game which has the best graphics could be a total stinker, and a game with terrible graphics could - despite that albatross - be the most engaging game this side of virtual reality.

But I digress. Let me return to my point. We like the game despite its flaws. But those flaws are the things that will most determine whether or not the game gets released on this side of the Pacific. Mother 3 could be the next coming of Final Fantasy VI, sure, if Itoi wanted to take it that way. If he wanted to do that.

But if Itoi does do that, would it still be Mother? Or is it something else? Opportunist?

If he doesn't, if he keeps true to the corny nature of the series, if he retains his unwillingness to follow too closely to the mores of the role-playing game, will Nintendo want to take the risk on the game? They know that we'll in general buy the game, but will others? Will they want to take that risk, knowing how badly the last game bombed? Because of, or perhaps in spite of, their advertising campaign for it?

In fact, do we want to take the risk that Mother 3 ... a game we have patiently been waiting for a game we have awaited for nearly a decade, when we were being toilet-trained, heading off to school for the first time, heading into a new school, entering our teens ... isn't the Mother we know and love? Would it be worth it to have waited all this time, only to see that the newest Mother game is a Mother game in name only, and would be a better fit as Final Fantasy XIX: Paula's Tight Hot-Pants Adventure?

Me? I'd take that risk. I have faith in Itoi. I don't believe that he would throw away what makes a Mother game - and don't discuss Mother 3 (N64) with me, please - just for the sake of his ideal of keeping the series fesh by alienating fans of previous games. Japanese gamers obviously aren't as judgmental as North American gamers are. Mother 3 has remained in the top 20 of the Famitsu Top 40 for years now. From its days on the 64DD, through Cancellation Day, through Advance Day, even through today, it has remained popular.

If Itoi had meant to alienate fans, it would be the Japanese fans he directly intended to alienate. But they stayed in favour of Mother 3, even through the development of Mother 3 (N64) - which, I'll add, was still an oddball RPG. It just didn't seem to be set contemporarily. And that, remember, is viewed through the filter of what information we got about it. Mother 3 (N64) may well have been set in a contemporary area where cowboys were still around.

And again, I digress. Have faith in Itoi. He'll do justice to the series. To paraphrase Descartes:

Cogito, ergo Boundum.

Other Submissions by Anthadd

Author Sort Ascending Sort Descending Title Sort Ascending Sort Descending Description Sort Ascending Sort Descending Date Sort Ascending Sort Descending Rank Sort Ascending Sort Descending
Anthadd A Premonition?
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Anthadd An Advance? Not necessarily.
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Anthadd Anthadd, P.I.: Arcade
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Anthadd Anthadd, P.I.: Buzz Buzz
7/31/06 9.00
Anthadd Anthadd, P.I.: Casey Bat
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