Earthbound Creator, Shigesato Itoi, Says Something Is In The Works

By Ishaan . December 20, 2012 . 9:25am

Shigesato Itoi, creator of the Earthbound (known as Mother in Japan) series of games and editor-in-chief of the popular Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun website, says that some sort of Earthbound return is underway.


Before you get excited, it’s not Earthbound 4.


Over Twitter, Itoi shared: “Since I’m allowed to drop it on you all now, I’ll just go ahead and say it. The “Mother re-release” I’d mentioned a bit before, we’re making progress on that.”


He added later: “It’s not 4! We’re trying to get Mother working again right now. I still can’t mention any details, but I have to make clear that this isn’t ‘4’!”


Judging by the way it’s worded, it sounds like Itoi could be saying that the involved parties are trying to get Earthbound prepped and working on current systems or for current audiences. A Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console release, perhaps?


Earthbound, for those that aren’t familiar, is a series of role-playing games published by Nintendo. The second game in the series, Mother 2 was released in North America, and was the first and only Mother game to be officially released outside Japan.

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  • riceisnice

    Maybe it’s Mother’s spinoff series. Brother.

    • Raze

      Why Brother?
      We need Father series…

      • Morricane

        I’ll take the daughter then.

        • CirnoLakes

          “I’ll take the daughter then.”
          THAT doesn’t sound creepy.

          • WFoong

            Then it would be”Rise of PedoBear” XD

    • ShawnOtakuSomething


    • Junko Enoshima

      Niece, or maybe Nephew.

  • Alex Morales

    good memories playing on an emulator

  • SirRichard

    Most likely, it’s a Mother 1 re-release for the 3DS Virtual Console, and it’d be neat if it left Japan this time. That is, unless he specified Earthbound, in which case we probably still won’t see it outside Japan.

    • No, he called it “Mother”. Even if they did have plans for an overseas release, though, he wouldn’t be careless enough to let it slip like that. :P

      • SirRichard

        That’s true, and now I’m wondering what he means by “trying to get Mother working again”. Wouldn’t be too hard to get it running on the 3DS, surely?

        (Really trying not to get my hopes up here!)

        • I think Virtual Console is a pretty safe assumption to make at this point, personally, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high for an overseas release.

          • Kevin Tan

            Now I wonder if they’re prepping Mother to be rid of the music licensing issues that prevented its release on the VC at home and overseas.

          • Well, we do know that both NOA and NCL are aware of the small but vocal niche that keeps asking for Mother games in the west. Who knows if they think it’s worth catering to that niche.

        • Suicunesol

          By “running” I think he means turning Mother back into a relevant game series in Japan after such a long time. Getting back into the groove. Generating/gauging interest for the series, so that they know a Mother 4 will actually sell.

          • Actually, in this context, it could just mean making it accessible to people again.

    • $36598391

      Maybe it’s a remake the first Mother on 3DS

  • Omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomg

    That’s about all I can say. Excuse me as I go freeze myself until this develops further.

  • Re-release? It better be a collection of the three games and Nintendo to localize it.

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      *whisper* BETTER

  • Guest

    Earthbound Card Game for GREE

    • Julien_N

      I wouldn’t be surprised by such a thing, I had the same thought at first. XD

      However, Itoi mentionned something about the original MOTHER and its re-release. That makes me swing more towards a Virtual Console release, as others here expect.

    • Ferofax

      Smite down this blasphemy!

  • monkey

    My prediction

    3ds collection of mother 1,2,3 released on retail and eshop ( similar to the inazuma collection)

    And it will be localized

    fans would mobilze harder than project rainfall

    • PreyMantis

      As much as I want Mother 4, I think any Mother game at this moment will do.

      • There’s a serious fan game being made MOTHER 4, looks GREAT. They probably could have gotten more creative with the playables but still it looks amazing.

        • PreyMantis

          Yeah, I knew about that and I agree with you. If this fan-made game ever gets ceased and desist from Nintendo, I’m pretty sure that we have an official Mother 4 coming.

  • pressUPfororanges

    From the way he speaks about it, I sense a remake.
    I also sense my money flying towards Nintendo in the future.

  • Settsuo

    I can’t stop smiling.

  • PreyMantis

    Let’s just hope that this Mother game will be localized outside of Japan this time.

  • Ayaka

    Having a Motherly-feeling of ecstasy right now.

  • I can’t wait to not get this!

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    SUPER Hype 64

  • benhofb

    Even though it isn’t official, mother 3’s English translation was very, very good. It was a deep and moving game. I only wish more people had the chance to play it overseas. If the big N does have some sort of mother compilation in the works they would be fools not to bring it over.

  • $39420547

    maybe it’s a remake or something like that and they are trying to make earthbound relevant again

  • Heidenroslein

    Woah. WOAH WOAH.

    I honestly don’t care if this is a full blown remake or if they’re just re-releasing the games on the 3DS or whatever, but I AM SUPER SUPER EXCITED just to see Itoi working on a Mother related project again. :D

  • JackySpades

    If the mother series is coming over to the 3DS in some form, and overseas then I’m buying 10 of whatever this is

  • Aaron Brasher

    What really would be great is a complete overhaul of Mother 3 for the 3DS. I can see this happening and just renaming the series something like “Mother 3-D.” This idea also would most likely see its release in the states, officially this time at least, since just about ALL first party games are coming to the states and I guess Europe at the moment.

    • PABLO Rapetti Perez

      HAHA, I could actually see that happening. Its a great chance and the 3D always sells.

  • TruSpindash

    Enjoyed Mother, loved Earthbound and Mother 3 is one of my all time favorite games, so I would be more then happy to play a remake of any of them. What ever the project is I assume the chances for a stateside release are much better since the reasoning behind Mother 3 never being released was due to the GBA being very late in its lifespan.

  • AkuLord3

    i don’t mind a re-release of the games…i would love to play/buy 1 and 3 (and play 2 again)

  • Junko Enoshima

    Mother. 3.


  • Ninten

    Well, can I say it’s about DAMN time?

  • Sam Park

    Please tell me its a MOTHER 3 as a BOOK

  • Sam Park

    And i mean MOTHER 3 as a Novel that details the whole event

  • Elemiel

    I don’t know what it is, but I’ll take 5 copies.

  • brian

    I really want to be excited about this, but probably shouldn’t yet.

  • Lord Highawesomeparty

    Judging by Itoi’s comments here and Iwata’s comments in this Kotaku interview, I’d say we’re getting very very close.

  • Margaret Chan

    If Nintendo localizes a collection for 3DS I will buy a 3DS.

  • Benny Tormoes

    Mother 3DS (3ds port of 3) with the Earthbound 64 graphics plz

    • Testsubject909

      Earthbound 64 was a scrapped project though and was meant to be Mother 3.

  • WingsOfEternity

    Mother 2+3 w/ 3d graphics for 3DS

  • Tom_Phoenix

    “A Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console release, perhaps?”

    I don’t know…Neither Mother nor Mother 2/Earthbound were released on the Wii Virtual Console. Then again, this could be a rerelease of Mother 3.

    Anyway, for anyone asking for a localisation, keep in mind that it’s not just about whether or not Nintendo wants to do it. Among other things, the Mother series is preety infamous for music that “borrows” quite a few elements from commercial songs. Releasing the Mother titles “as is” would potentially result in Nintendo facing a ton of lawsuits. Considering how often Nintendo gets sued as it is, it is in their best interest to avoid lawsuits.

    That said, I suppose localisation would be possible if Nintendo hit Itoi over the head and told him to adapt Mother titles to be suitable for a worldwide release.

  • Maia Kasoya

    Good lord, look at the prices of Earthbound on Amazon.
    Anyways, if it’s not 4, then is it… Mother 3 localized? (I guess not.)

    • Testsubject909

      If I had the money. I’d buy one.

  • Testsubject909

    Mkay. You know those DOA5 news and costumes and that extra plus version are nice and all, sexy girls and stuff and whatnot but this? This news?


    Sorry… sorry… It’s just… Hard… To contain… let’s call it excitement. Yes. Excitement… What sort of excitement?

    ALL OF EM!

  • Nyandroid

    Already full of sugar. Can. NOT. Contain. HYPE!!!!! *bounces off walls*

    • Testsubject909

      *sets up a bunch of Starmen like platforms all the way up to the Mother(ship)*

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    A 3D remake of the first 3 games on the 3DS would be amazing.

    • Testsubject909

      Personally. I’d rather just a simple 2D game.

      • Juan Andrés Valencia

        I want it in 2D on the 3DS. Many 2D games look amazing on the 3DS like Mutant Mudds.

  • Ferofax

    Mother of all trilogies. That or apocalypse please.

  • Pichi

    Would be a dream come true if they can get 1-3 for virtual console.

  • Elvick

    Would be nice if they made a trilogy/collection for 3DS.

  • san_francisco_slim

    10 bucks says it’s an iOS/android release.

  • CirnoLakes

    What? I thought he said he was done with video games?

    Wow, this is a very, very welcome development. Whatever he’s working on, I’m looking forward to it.

  • Alexis Crockett

    I’m hoping for all 3 on virtual console, or maybe even physical release somehow. Either way, as long as it get released overseas, it’s a good enough miracle for me! No matter what it is! If it’s Mother, I’m happy…

  • Mike Yanke

    as long as it has the same kind of kookiness and amazingess as the snes earthbound!

  • Robert Halenda

    3D Classics: Earthbound. That’s my prediction.

    • Testsubject909

      No! No 3D!

      Just plain good old Earthbound or Mother. We do NOT need a gimmick installed on it.

      Look. I love Earthbound, I think the Mother series stopping at 3 is sad but fair. It’s a classic knowing when to stop on a good final note. It’s not digging itself a hole or exploiting itself to the point where it becomes mundane or just bad.

      I’m excited, as all HNNNGGG about this news… But I swear, if I hear there’s some 3D gimmick to it. I will punch people.

      • You know, you can always turn off the 3D slider.

        While I expect something diferent I’d totally dig a 3D version of the game.
        Trippy battles with 3D effects? Count me in!

        • Testsubject909

          I know, but from my perspective on it all, the stereoscopic 3D gimmick seems like additional resource and time that could be better spent. Really there’s only been one game in 3D that I’ve played that I find works well in 3D and that’s Shadow of the Colossus (a friend of mine owns a 3D TV. And he bought it for the sole purpose of playing Shadow of the Colossus on it).

          But aside from that, it doesn’t really add that much to the experience. It’s a nice extra but it’s never something I would think of asking first and foremost. I think that’s my main gripe.

          I don’t want to see people pleading for a nice gimmick. I want to see people excited first and foremost about a great core experience. It’s what ticks me off whenever I see someone begging for the use of sterescopic 3D and doing so in places where the addition of it would often seem like it would just be needless.

          That gripe means I will react emotionally at the sight of it of course, which I did. This here though? It’s mainly so I can explain why.

          Stereoscopic 3D doesn’t add anything. It’s at most a nice little passing singular experience that you’ll check out but it’s nothing game changing or whatnot. It’s why I dislike seeing people ask for it first and foremost. You don’t place the focus on begging for a game to incorporate a gimmick. You beg for the game to be good. A gimmick does not a good game make. That extra is not needed. It can be an extra, but it should never be the first request. It’s that connection that I see that ticks me in the wrong way.

          • But asking for stereoscopic 3D is basically the same as asking for a game to be released in HD. There’s virtually no difference. They’re both visual upgrades that make it easier to visually perceive the game you’re playing in different ways.

            HD makes it easier to make out smaller details. 3D makes it easier to sense depth, which a lot of 3DS games do make use of.

            (And both also take up precious resources. They are virtually identical in every aspect aside from what the end result looks like.)

            Also, I don’t know where you get this idea that games are somehow suffering because of the 3D? Most games are developed with both 2D and 3D in mind, since the 3DS gives you the option of turning the feature off. Again, I just don’t see the point of complaining about 3D as it has never been the cause for a game being low in quality. If a game sucks, it’s because it’s a bad game. Not because it’s 3D.

          • Testsubject909

            Perhaps overexposure to the gimmick being uselessly slapped on a variety of movies and just not experiencing any games where I cannot picture the game working without the use of 3D. I’ve actually played a few games on a friend’s 3DS but I don’t make use of the 3D. I don’t see a substantial enough change in the core experience that I see much worth in it.

            HD is a bit of a different matter to tackle, it’s a general upgrade of the image’s quality, it’s not the first time in the history of gaming that this has happened and it’s going to keep happening with every bump up in resolution and all those other variables that makes a clearer, more colorful image on your screen.

            edit: Ack, accidentally pressed Post.

            It’s because of that basis. HD to me is just a bump up in the quality of an image. Stereoscopic 3D though is something that, for the most part, is really more of a gimmick. It can be useful but it’s nothing crucial. You can argue the same for HD and I’d agree, but HD is now the norm of visual quality whereas I can never really picture stereoscopic 3D becoming so common that everyone would come to take it in. There are, for example, a large group of people both regular consumers and critics who complain about the use of 3D in popular media, both movies and gaming and my mentality tends to lean towards agreeing with them.

            It’s a fad, it’s a cute experiment but it’s nothing that is truly game changing. Due to certain complications behind the technology, such as limiting the people who can make use of it pending people’s eyesight and other troubles like the headache inducing effect it has on some people, paired with it’s optional non-crucial nature, I, repeating myself here, truly cannot see stereoscopic 3D becoming a maintained norm and being nothing more then a public financially lucrative experiment that will work in small bubbles every now and again.

            Considering other more natural effects that can be created such as motion based 3D effects like headtracking or the likes, those feel like they’d have a much stronger chance of creating a longer lasting impact once it goes mainstream due to the natural flowing feel of it and the complete lack of limitation of field of vision for the 3D effect, it also permits a greater expansion of the exploration of the field you can look at rather then limit the user to gain the effect of a 3D illusion.

            In short: Because stereoscopic 3D is not and doesn’t seem to be on it’s way to becoming a visual norm while equally being generally considered optional, whereas HD is a more natural flowing evolution of the general quality of image, I cannot see the two compare appropriately and thus doesn’t really change my overall opinion about it.

            That and rivaling techniques to create a 3D illusion makes me feel that stereoscopic 3D is not the way to go, ultimately. As it stands, it’s a fad that’ll eventually die out at some point in the future unless somehow someone evolves that technology past just glassless stereoscopic 3D.

            Now… Unto that last matter.

            How do I think that stereoscopic 3D being implemented might cause a game to suffer in terms of it’s creation. Because of the resources taken from it is the first thought. I argue that the addition of this gimmick, similarly to certain games that make fair use of touch control where they could’ve optimized for an easier manual control through… well… buttons. The same applies to the use of that gimmick.

            More time is spent for the 3D conversion and in turn more processing power is also taken in to create the 3D illusion, it limits down the resources that becomes available for the game and also causes more time to be placed to program in the use of an optional 3D effect. A game can be extremely good while still having a cute stereoscopic 3D effect that ends up being completely useless to the grand scheme of things where the core gameplay is solid. In that aspect, I see the option as being rather superficial. Other games could also end up suffering from the focus on the use of the gimmick in ways similar to the use of touch control… It’s actually sort of a fear I have with the Wii U, that developers might misuse the tablet control…

            … You know I think I’ll end it here. The way my brain works, I’m going to end up going off unto a dozen other subjects.

          • And again, nothing you’ve said points to any evidence whatsoever that 3DS games are somehow worse for supporting the optional 3D output, which was my whole point in the first place.

            You can call 3D any number of things you like, whether it’s fad or gimmick or useless or whatever other words you can think of, but the fact of the matter is that it’s still optional. It doesn’t take add significant time or cost to the development process, as it makes use of assets that already exist.

            In fact, ironically, I would argue that there’s far more evidence of HD games having an adverse effect on quality than 3D has had. Developing HD assets is one of the most expensive aspects of game development. It requires additional time, budgets, manpower and processing resources.

            Unlike 3D, we’ve seen multiple concrete examples of how a focus on HD graphics has led to a drop in quality in several games all throughout this generation. You don’t see people cribbing about that en masse, do you?

            Ultimately, my point was that you had no reason to open your mouth in the first place. Someone said they like something—an optional feature, that has no bearing whatsoever on other people’s enjoyment of the game in question. You could have just accepted the fact that someone likes what they like and kept quiet.

            But no. You just had to get into it, and start announcing to everyone how much 3D just MAKES YOU SO ANGRY and how it’s useless and blah blah blah. Do you really have nothing better to do? This is what I dislike about so many of our commenters on here. They have nothing productive or useful to say, and use negativity as a substitute.

          • Testsubject909

            I’d argue that, in the grand scheme of things, HD is just a general identification of the current boost in resolution and quality of the image in general. We’ve always had that normal increase in terms of the visual quality of games across a variety of consoles. The next generations will do nothing but increase the cost, resources and time spent to make a game visually fit with the ever increasing norm.

            That said, I do not deny that this increased expectation is indeed causing trouble for game development. Also I’m not denying that my first post was definitely negatively emotionally led, which is why I asked if you’d rather I remove or alter it properly. This line here though was mainly just contemplating the general nature of 3D and now of HD, at least for me emotionally and mentally.

      • Good grief, this kind of shit posting got old two years ago. How in god’s name would it make a difference even if it were a 3D Classics title? Are you really that petty that just the idea of people enjoying optional 3D is somehow offensive to you? Knock it off, you know our rules regarding this kind of bullshit.

        • Testsubject909

          That was an immediate emotional reaction and I’m sorry for it. I did detail out a bit more the reason behind it as a reply to Gambit.

          If you’d like me to remove or alter my post, then I’ll do so, though I’m also partial to letting it as it is so that people have context to the order of events…

  • Robert Halenda

    At this point, the level of commitment that American fans have for the Mother series is certainly noticed on all parts of Nintendo. It would be profitable at this stage to release the games over here.

  • Julien_N

    Everyone at must be boiling hot right now, am I right? %D

    • Testsubject909

      Maybe in another year we’ll get another video from the HVGN too.

      • Julien_N

        That’s possible. I remember his MOTHER2 video and he was really fond of this game, almost as much as Startropics.
        It has been a few months/years since the last time I checked both the HVGN videos and by the way…

        • Testsubject909

          Go, check em out. He’s got quite a few new ones.

          For example, his IllBleed one is fun, there’s also a few LPs of that game you could find that are very entertaining.

          And his video on the Parasite Eve “Trilogy” is pretty good too.

          Oh and to note, He did remake his video of Earthbound, an updated one. Not sure if that’s the one you saw or not.

  • Why not Mother All-Stars.

  • Levin_Scorpius

    Why do you refer to Earthbound 4 in the article? I thought the general consensus was that the series under the Earthbound title went Earthbound Zero (Mother), Earthbound (Mother 2), Earthbound 2 (Mother 3), and then the elusive queen herself, Earthbound 3 (Mother 4), making Earthbound 4 to be Mother 5. Or has this presumed order changed since last I checked?

  • Alex Nava

    maybe, just MAYBE, it is a port of mother 3 in 3d as it was originally intended for n64 but for 3ds!??! keepin my fingers crossed for this one!

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