15 years later, this Nintendo gem has STILL not been located

15 years after its release, Mother 3 is still a Japan exclusive game, despite appearances in Smash Bros. and long-running fan requests.

Perhaps no exclusive Japanese game has been requested more frequently for a location than Mommy 3. The sequel to the cult classic Land development began shortly after the release of its predecessor, and has since built a reputation of its own. However, this has not granted it an official release outside of its home country.

Although their characters and concepts appear in the Nintendo crossover series Super Smash Bros., Mother 3 it has yet to appear in western outlets. Fans have taken the opportunity to translate the game themselves, but Nintendo still seems pretty disinterested in the title. Here is the story of Landthe sequel, how it was received, and why fans outside of Japan still love it so much.

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Mother’s Story 3

The game that would become Mother 3 began its long production journey in 1994, not long after the Japanese release of Mother 2 (known as Land in the West). The game was initially planned for the Super Famicom like its predecessor, but production switched to the Nintendo 64 once the console became available. Nicknamed Terrestrial 64, images of the game were shown on Nintendo Space World. This included a look at future protagonists Lucas and Claus in a mine cart, their father Flint, and what appeared to be the ruins of notable places in Land.

A stifled production run made up of numerous delays caused the game to be unofficially canceled before its production was switched to the then-next GameCube. This was supposed to add two years to game development, but the release of Mother 1 + 2 as a compilation for GameBoy Advance it made the game change platforms once again. Mother 3 finally released in Japan on April 20, 2006, more than a decade after it technically entered development.

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The game was praised in its final release for building on what fans loved from the previous game while simultaneously making changes. Unlike the first two games, Mother 3 has a decidedly darker and more somber tone, accentuated by the death of a main character in the first chapter and an apocalyptic, Evangelion-esque conclusion. The plot and characters as a whole ran much deeper than the comparatively flat stories of the first two. Mommy games.

Turn-based first-person battles were also improved through a unique pacing system that allowed players to deal additional damage to enemies. As good as the soundtrack ever was, it added several incredibly catchy tunes to the franchise’s repertoire of hits. This made the game one of the best-selling titles in Japan in 2006, driving demand for the game to be released internationally. Unfortunately, these requests were constantly unanswered, ironically making the game better known for its loss in translation than its actual quality.

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Why fans still demand Mother 3

Lucas using a PSI kick

The game is not yet officially available to non-Japanese fans, although it was relaunched in Japan for the Wii U virtual console. Western fans of the franchise took it upon themselves to allow players outside of Japan to finally enjoy the game, with Land The Starmen.net fan site releases a patch for fans of the game. When applied to a Mommy 3 ROM, would translate its more than 1,000 pages of scripted text into English.

Despite the company’s typical heavy-handedness with such things, Nintendo knew about fan translation, but never issued a cease and desist order. This patch was downloaded more than 100,000 times in its first week, further bolstering the critical reception and positive reputation of the game. Ironically, this did not stop the request for an official release from Nintendo. It is possible that his silence regarding the fan translation came from not wanting to officially release Mother 3 in the West itself, although its continued unavailability remains suspect. This is especially true after the 2015 western release of the original. Mommy What Earthly beginnings, another game in the series that was initially skipped internationally.

In addition to this, the series itself has been dormant since the release of Mother 3. Creator Shigesato Itoi has said that he has without personal plans for a fourth entry. However, if Nintendo were to change its mind regarding the future of the franchise, perhaps another compilation, this time with all three entries, could be what it finally brings. Mother 3 to international audiences in an official capacity.

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