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The Article of Enlightenment - by Ninten1

The Article of Enlightenment

(written March 01, 2006)

Mother 1 and 2 are both satisfying games independent of each other despite their endings with villains swearing their revenge. Mother 2 even begins with a subtitle mentioning revenge, but the game is fully enjoyable without any knowledge of why the villain, whom the player may not even know, is swearing revenge. Questions arise, however, when players begin trying to connect the two games. Throughout the history of Starmen.net, several articles were written describing theories as to how the two Mother games are connected. The subject of these articles became known as the Mother Connection: the theory that Mother 2 is a direct sequel to Mother. The exact definitions of a direct and indirect sequel will be given later in this article. Starmen.net does not give the date its articles were written, but Ultimoo’s "The Mother Connection" appears to be one of the first dealing with the subject. In it, Ultimoo describes the dispute that arises when discussing the Mother Connection and then offers his own view on the matter. His view does not hold much weight, but it shows how the dispute evolved over time when compared to other articles. Tomato later authored his view on the subject in his aptly titled article "The Truth of it All" which finally offered some solid evidence in support of the Mother Connection. Its effect on the articles that followed is apparent, and the facts detailed within the article itself have become the staple defense to any and all that opposes the Mother Connection. It was not enough, however, as the Mother Connection is still disputed. The facts presented in Tomato’s article defend the Connection well but do not prove it. This article will search for and analyze facts as well as theories concerning the Mother Connection in the hopes that others will form their own opinions on the matter.

For the Mother Connection to be true, Mother 2 would have to be a direct sequel to Mother. There is much dispute as to what the difference is between a direct sequel and an indirect sequel, but a common ground can be agreed upon. A direct sequel references people, places, events, etc. of previous titles in a series. None of these things require a physical appearance in the sequel, but they do affect various elements of the sequel and are often referenced to. A direct sequel takes place in the same “universe” as another game in the series. A universe is the universal setting for all directly connected games in a series. An indirect sequel is independent of previous games in the series and does not include or reference people, places, events, etc. found in other games in the series. An indirect sequel may take place in the same universe as other games in the series, but because the game is not directly connected to those other games it cannot be determined for sure if the game does in fact take place within the same universe. Supporters of the Mother Connection believe that Mother 2 is a direct sequel of Mother while those who oppose the Connection believe Mother 2 is either an indirect sequel or a remake of Mother. A remake is a game that purposely retells the story of a previous game in the series with similar, but not always identical, elements.

Supporters of the Mother Connection believe that the main villain of both Mother games (referred to as “Geeg” throughout this article) is the same being. Some supporters also believe that other characters such as the party members in Mother are the same as characters in Mother 2. Those theories are often disproved by logic and facts, however, and will not be discussed in this article. Those opposed to the Mother Connection believe that Geeg in Mother is not the same as Geeg in Mother 2 and that no character crosses over between the games. Some even believe that Mother 2 is a remake of Mother in that it retells the same basic story. Despite which side a person defends, Geeg is the central element that is studied and debated over.

In Tomato’s article “The Truth of it All,” he reveals that in both games, the main villain has the same name: Geeg. This is an undisputable fact but is confusing to newer players of the Mother series because the English versions of the game give different names for the villains. Translators made changes to better suit an American audience, but in Mother and Mother 2, the main villain is Geeg. Whether or not the Geeg in Mother is the same being as the Geeg in Mother 2 is where the answer to the Mother Connection lies. Supporters of the Connection use Mother 2’s subtitle as evidence to prove that the two villains are the same. The subtitle of Mother 2 translates to “Geeg’s Counterattack” or “Geeg Strikes Back” implying that a being named Geeg is returning from a defeat to get its revenge. Some supporters stop here saying that no further evidence is required. The subtitle is the most concrete evidence either side has, but it does not prove the Connection like most supporters believe it does. Those opposed to the Connection claim that a lack of evidence is their evidence meaning the fact that there is no in-game references to Mother in Mother 2 casts a shadow of doubt over the Connection. It is true that aside from the subtitle there is not one mention of a character, location, event, or anything else that was found or took place in Mother.

In response to a supporter’s claim that the subtitle is their proof, a person opposed to the Connection will ask why Geeg in Mother 2 is so different in appearance to Geeg in Mother. The difference between the two is extreme. Geeg in Mother is a skinny, pale, solid alien while Geeg in Mother 2 is a large, red, gaseous creature. Supporters mention Pokey’s words before the final battle in Mother 2 as an explanation for the change in Geeg’s appearance:

"Master [Geeg]. No, [Geeg] is no longer the wielder of Evil. He has become the embodiment of Evil itself...
which he cannot control on his own. He is the Evil Power."

These words are quoted to explain Geeg’s new form, but they do not imply that Geeg has undergone a physical change. Pokey’s words should not be taken so literally. If it were true that Geeg has become a tangible, physical embodiment of evil would not all evil cease to exist after his demise? Obviously not considering that Pokey survives the battle and swears his revenge to Ness. Instead, Pokey’s words should be taken to mean that Geeg has reached his zenith in power. He cannot become more evil; he is evil. It is a figure of speech, not an abstract explanation for a physical change that never took place. Pokey’s speech before the final battle would be an excellent time to tie the two games together. Not only could it answer the question concerning the supposed change in Geeg’s appearance, but it could also explain why Geeg is not getting his revenge on Ninten to whom he swore at the end of Mother. This is where those opposed to the Connection derive their stance that a lack of evidence is their evidence. There are numerous occasions throughout Mother 2 that could have been used to reference Mother in one way or another, but no references were made aside from the subtitle, which is never referenced within the game itself. It is an upsetting thought, but those who oppose the Connection feel that if Mother 2 is indeed a direct sequel to Mother, that the game’s creator, Shigesato Itoi, did a terrible job connecting the two games. Wishing to believe that Itoi would not do such a thing, those opposed to the Connection stand strong in their belief.

Supporters always return to the subtitle as solid evidence in their defense. To make a counterattack or to strike back, as the subtitle reads, one must be attacked or defeated first. Geeg was defeated at the end of Mother and swore his revenge against Ninten. Mother 2 begins with a subtitle reading that the game is Geeg’s counterattack; Geeg is striking back just like he said he would. Supporters and those opposed argue back and forth over this because those opposed insist that if Geeg of Mother wants his revenge, he would attack Ninten to whom he swore at the end of Mother. Geeg, however, does not get his revenge against Ninten in Mother 2. An interesting, if not creative, interpretation of the Scarabian hieroglyphs in Mother 2 can be used to offer a possible explanation to what the subtitle means in defense of those opposed to the Connection:

"To fight against the invaders, we built this pyramid fortress. However, our efforts were futile, and we lost.
Nonetheless, our pyramid was protected by the gods of Scaraba. The invaders will be reborn every millennium and will attack again.
Even now, the invaders hide beyond space and time and build their evil stronghold. "

The hieroglyphs mention that the Scarabians built a pyramid fortress to fight against the invaders, which most people assume are Geeg and/or his race. Though they lost the battle, the Scarabians survived as the gods protected their temple. The alien attack was thwarted so they retreated and hid to prepare for their next invasion. Those opposed to the Connection believe that Geeg of Mother 2 is getting his revenge by leading the second invasion of not only Scaraba but also the entire planet. The Scarabians fought Geeg, and though they lost the battle, Geeg also failed to defeat them so he returned to Earth to get his revenge. Mother 2 is Geeg’s counterattack against the Scarabian effort that thwarted his original attack. Though this theory cannot be proven, it is logical and found within the context of the game itself, unlike the subtitle.

A name is all that supporters have in their defense. Despite the severe lack of references to Mother, supporters feel that the name Geeg is all they need. Why give the villains of Mother and Mother 2 the same name if they are not the same being? This is yet another question that cannot be answered through research. A theory could propose that Mother 2 is a remake, of sorts, of Mother. Similar characters journey across a bizarre, modern world collecting parts of a melody to defeat a powerful alien named Geeg. Why have Geeg as the only name that crosses over between the two games? Perhaps Itoi wanted Geeg to be one of the elements that cross over between games in a series with games that are indirectly connected. Like Chocobos or the Master Sword, Geeg could be a universal element, in this case an enemy, throughout the Mother games. Only two games in the series have been released so a pattern cannot yet be determined, but the lack of evidence weighs heavy on the Mother Connection.

Many supporters claim that a lack of evidence is just that, a lack of evidence for those opposed to the Connection. This is not true. For a game to be an indirect sequel it cannot reference or include people, places, events, etc. from other games in the series. When trying to determine whether or not a game is an indirect sequel to a previous game in the series, you are looking for a lack of references to those previous games. If you did find a reference to a past game, the games are directly connected. What is there to find aside from a lack of evidence that the games are connected to prove that the games are not connected? Nothing. No evidence of a connection is the evidence needed for those opposed to the Mother Connection. There is a severe lack of evidence of a connection between Mother and Mother 2. This lack of evidence defends the position of those opposed to the Connection.

One final argument brought up by supporters of the Connection is that Mother ended with Geeg swearing his revenge, and Mother 2 began with a subtitle of revenge in addition to ending with Pokey also swearing his revenge. Naturally, if a game ends with the words “To be continued…” one would assume that the game would be continued in a later addition to the series. That is not always the case, however. Yes, the story is to be continued, but all that means is that the conflict is not over yet. Geeg survived at the end of Mother and swore his revenge to Ninten. Perhaps one day a Mother game will be released where Geeg from Mother gets his revenge on Ninten. The ending of Mother in no way requires that Mother 2 finish up where Mother left off. A story can end without a definite resolution. The author leaves the rest up to the reader’s imagination or maybe plans to return to the story sometime in the future. The words “to be continued” should not be taken to mean, “this story will be continued in a readable, playable, or viewable form” or “the next installment in this series will continue where the last left off.”

It all boils down to faith; blind faith. Like in religions, you have no proof that a greater being exists, but no one has proof that one does not exist either. You have what is given to you: two video games connected by a name whose greatest strength is found in a subtitle that is never referenced within the context of the game itself. The Mother Connection is a theory, and your stance on the matter is an opinion that cannot be proven with only Mother and Mother 2. You can have faith in Itoi that he did not just slap on a subtitle to Mother 2 last minute in order to call it a direct sequel, or you can settle for very little and embrace the subtitle as all you need to connect the two games while ignoring the complete lack of a connection within the context of the game. Perhaps the Mother Connection will be proved someday soon with the release of Mother 3, but until then it is this writer’s opinion that the odds are against the supporters who blindly cling to a subtitle and never plan on letting go. Maybe one day they will open their eyes and see that something is missing; that there should be much more than a subtitle; that maybe, just maybe, they were settling for less for a bit too long. Then again, it is just a game…


Other Submissions by Ninten1

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Some EB-themed ornaments I made, waiting to go on the tree. They are:
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