Monolith Soft’s Yasuyuki Honne, who was the director of Baten Kaitos and designer for Baten Kaitos Origin, has shown off two pieces of concept art that was meant to be for a Gamecube Mother game. [Thanks, DenFamiNicoGamer!]
The reason why Honne suddenly brought this up is because he is looking forward to reading the upcoming biography for late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, and wanted to reminiscence about his meeting with both Iwata and Mother director Shigesato Itoi together when Namco and Nintendo contacted them [likely Monolith Soft] about creating a Mother game on Gamecube.
As he puts it,
“I gladly put together some visual artwork and went together with Iwata-san to Aoyama. Itoi didn’t really bite on the idea, and I thought, “That’s weird” while the talks went on, and then Itoi figured it out.”
“Itoi-san said, “I bet Iwata-kun put you up to this.” We were both flabbergasted. Iwata-san had a look that said “Aw man” on his face. In the end, the talks didn’t go through, but even Itoi-san was interested in the felt style recreation of 80’s America idea I had. These is the pictures, which I doubt will ever see light again. These are my memories of Summer 2003.”
Keep in mind that this cancelled game concept is different from the N64 version of Mother 3, meaning that there were two Mother projects or concepts after Earthbound on SNES that were cancelled or never took off. As Honne mentions this taking place in 2003, this means that likely shortly afterwards Itoi would be involved in the GBA version of Mother 3, which would release on Game Boy Advance in 2006.
The biography mentioned by Honne is an upcoming book edited and published by Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun, helmed by former Famitsu editor Yasuhiro Nagata and Shigesato Itoi himself. It’s titled Satoru Iwata Once Said Something Like This, and will be full of his sayings and history. It will also have exclusive interviews with Itoi and Shigeru Miyamoto.
Currently, the book is only set to be released in Japan. However, on the site, they mention that overseas publication is under consideration and consultation via their agent, and a decision on this has yet to be made.
Earthbound was released on SNES.