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3/10/2013

Let's Play Mother (Earthbound Beginnings), Part 1

Celebrating my favorite JRPG franchise of all time by playing through the whole trilogy.  We start off with the first game in the series, Mother.  Or as it would have been known in the US, Earthbound.



Despite being fully translated into English and even promoted in game magazines, the game was never released.  Partly due to low sales of similar RPGs on the system and partly due to being scheduled for launch after the debut of the SNES, Nintendo ultimately deemed the game "unprofitable" and scrapped it, deciding to focus on marketing the sequel instead.

However, many years later, the ROM hacking group Neo Demiforce dumped a copy of the unreleased prototype owned by a private collector, and thus for the first time an American audience got to experience this unreleased gem.  To avoid confusion with the SNES game of the same name, they made a slight modification to the title screen, giving it the unofficial name "Earthbound Zero".  To date, the game has still never been officially released outside of Japan, but at least now we can enjoy ROMs and reproduction carts of this classic.

Interestingly, the US prototype was later reused for the Japanese compilation cartridge "Mother 1 + 2" for the Game Boy Advance; they simply retranslated the text back into Japanese.  This is evidenced by the presence of the censored graphics, changed dungeon designs and extended ending seen in the US version.

The game has also been released on the Wii U Virtual Console under the title "Earthbound Beginnings".  Pick it up there!

Sources:

Spotlight: Earthbound
Japanese to English: Mother Differences