Siliconera Speaks Up: The Mother 3 Fan-Translation

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Now that Siliconera has grown to include the voices of many talented writers, readers may want to know what these writers think about current issues in the game industry. Siliconera Speaks Up is a new weekly feature which highlights the different perspectives which make up the team of writers.

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This week’s hot question: The Mother 3 fan translation patch is finally out thanks to the hardworking folks at How do you feel about fan translation projects like this?


Jenni: I think fan translation project team members deserve a lot of respect and credit. These are people who decided to use their free time to create something for other people, not expecting any kind of compensation in return. Since this is a game which likely will never be released outside of Japan, it’s wonderful for fans to step up. Plus, the effort may show Nintendo that people do care about the Mother series, and perhaps inspire the company to step up and acknowledge the series and its fans. The upcoming Mother 3 Handbook created by the fans looks amazing as well.


Jeriaska: Visiting, some of whose members collaborated with Fangamer on the translation, I find I’m more drawn to the fan service for the Super Nintendo predecessor than the new title. Take, for instance, the wallpaper by Raul Villalobos (shown at the beginning of this post) depicting Ness smashing a Starman’s visor with his baseball bat—or the adorably creepy vocal Snowan cover by PKEdobean.


To me what is most significant about Mother 3 is that it reverses an assumption that I had in the past, that Tobal 2 was the last good console game not to cross the ocean. With Archaic Sealed Heat and Soma Bringer currently nowhere to be seen, it reminds me of the days when Seiken Densetsu 3 was passed over for reasons unknown.


Spencer: Mother 3 came out at the tail end of the GBA’s life cycle. If it came out earlier Nintendo of America may have picked it up, but by 2006 Nintendo’s focus was on growing the DS. Then again maybe not. Recently, Nintendo of America has been passing over text heavy games outside of core franchises like Pokemon and Fire Emblem. There haven’t been any signs that we’re going to see Bokura wa Kaseki Holder, Soma Bringer or the new Glory of Hercules game outside of Japan. It’s not like Nintendo’s first party holiday release schedule is busy either with only Pokemon Ranger and a localized version of Cooking Navi coming out. Unfortunately, these other games don’t have a passionate fanbase like the Mother series and unless Nintendo picks them up they’ll never get an international release. Maybe Nintendo will pull a Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon with Mother 3. It took around seven years for Nintendo to explore Marth’s origins after he made an international debut in Super Smash Brothers Melee. Brawl just came out this year so… Mother 3 in 2015? Nintendo should have a new handheld by then.


Louise: I’m grateful that hard-working super-fans took the time to translate the game for English-speaking fans. I hope that the buzz its generated online will reach the people who worked on the game so that they can see their work appreciated, even if not through monetary means. Like Jenni, I also hope that Nintendo notices this; it may be too late for Mother 3, but I hope Nintendo thinks twice the next time a Japanese game is brought to their attention for localization and distribution to the Western world.


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Louise Yang
Former Siliconera staff writer who loves JRPGs like Final Fantasy and other Square Enix titles.