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(Franchise history: Wonder if I should continue this on a user page like with mt itoi)
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The '''''EarthBound''''' series, also known as the '''''Mother''''' series in Japan ('''マザー''' ''MOTHER''), is a series of role-playing video games published by [[Nintendo]]. There are three games in the series. ''[[Mother (video game)|EarthBound Beginnings]]'', ''[[EarthBound]]'', and ''[[Mother 3]]'' have been released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Game Boy Advance respectively. Only Mother 3 has been released exclusively in Japan. ''Beginnings'' was released in Japan in 1989, and was re-released in the west on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2015. ''[[EarthBound]]'' was released in North America in 1994, and re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013. ''[[Mother 3]]'' was released in Japan in 2006, and has yet to gain a western release. Characters, music, weapons, and locations from the series also appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series, with Ness and Lucas being playable characters.
 
The '''''EarthBound''''' series, also known as the '''''Mother''''' series in Japan ('''マザー''' ''MOTHER''), is a series of role-playing video games published by [[Nintendo]]. There are three games in the series. ''[[Mother (video game)|EarthBound Beginnings]]'', ''[[EarthBound]]'', and ''[[Mother 3]]'' have been released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Game Boy Advance respectively. Only Mother 3 has been released exclusively in Japan. ''Beginnings'' was released in Japan in 1989, and was re-released in the west on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2015. ''[[EarthBound]]'' was released in North America in 1994, and re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013. ''[[Mother 3]]'' was released in Japan in 2006, and has yet to gain a western release. Characters, music, weapons, and locations from the series also appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series, with Ness and Lucas being playable characters.
  
{{construction}}
 
 
==Franchise history==
 
==Franchise history==
 
The series was created by an influential Japanese copywriter, actor, and minor television celebrity named [[Shigesato Itoi]], who took part in Nintendo's video game industry in the late 1980s. After forming his own subsidiary [[Ape Inc.]] with then-Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, he began working on the franchise starting with {{vg|Mother}}, later released internationally as [[EarthBound Beginnings]]. Released in July of 1989, the game took on a different theme opposed to the medieval sword-and-sorcery theme found in most RPG games at the time. Instead, the game was set in modern-day [[America]] with the cast consisting of average children with [[PSI|psychic powers]], using average everyday items such as [[baseball bat]]s and [[frying pan]]s as weapons. Mother was a commercial success in Japan, and so the game was then planned to be translated and released internationally with the title '''Earth Bound'''. It was scheduled to release in 1991, however it was cancelled because the upcoming [[Super Nintendo Entertainment System]] was thought to overshadow the English release of the game, thus the game was decided too costly to market and produce, and was shelved with no plans for a release in the future.
 
The series was created by an influential Japanese copywriter, actor, and minor television celebrity named [[Shigesato Itoi]], who took part in Nintendo's video game industry in the late 1980s. After forming his own subsidiary [[Ape Inc.]] with then-Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, he began working on the franchise starting with {{vg|Mother}}, later released internationally as [[EarthBound Beginnings]]. Released in July of 1989, the game took on a different theme opposed to the medieval sword-and-sorcery theme found in most RPG games at the time. Instead, the game was set in modern-day [[America]] with the cast consisting of average children with [[PSI|psychic powers]], using average everyday items such as [[baseball bat]]s and [[frying pan]]s as weapons. Mother was a commercial success in Japan, and so the game was then planned to be translated and released internationally with the title '''Earth Bound'''. It was scheduled to release in 1991, however it was cancelled because the upcoming [[Super Nintendo Entertainment System]] was thought to overshadow the English release of the game, thus the game was decided too costly to market and produce, and was shelved with no plans for a release in the future.
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Despite this, the game began to recieve recognition because of Ness, the protagonist of EarthBound, recieving representation in [[Super Smash Bros.]] and its successors. Because of this, the game began to recieve a large following on internet sites such as Starmen.Net. Retrospectively, the gane became a massive success with critics calling it not only one of the best RPGs of all time, but also the most original. The game recieved praise for its quirky humor, and its many parodies of American culture. The Wii U virtual console release of the game was the first time the game was released in PAL regions, it was one of Nintendo's most popular downloadable games of all time.
 
Despite this, the game began to recieve recognition because of Ness, the protagonist of EarthBound, recieving representation in [[Super Smash Bros.]] and its successors. Because of this, the game began to recieve a large following on internet sites such as Starmen.Net. Retrospectively, the gane became a massive success with critics calling it not only one of the best RPGs of all time, but also the most original. The game recieved praise for its quirky humor, and its many parodies of American culture. The Wii U virtual console release of the game was the first time the game was released in PAL regions, it was one of Nintendo's most popular downloadable games of all time.
 +
 +
After the release of Mother 2, Itoi began on a sequel to the game, Mother 3 (named [[EarthBound 64]] by western fans). The subtitle used in the Japanese game was changed several times during development, with one being "Forest of the Chimera" (森のキマイラ), but the most common one being "Fall of the Pig King". Initially planned for the Super Famicom, development actually began on the [[Nintendo 64]], where it was planned to be a launch title for the system in the west. Development then moved onto the Nintendo 64 disk drive expansion to use the expanded features. When the disk drive was seen as a commercial failure, the development moved back onto the N64. EarthBound 64 featured 3D graphics as opposed to the 2D art style from the previous 2 games. However, the development team faced many difficulties, forcing the game to have numerous delays across the years of the N64 lifespan. One of the biggest difficulties was how Itoi and his team were inexperienced with developing 3D video games. Development continued to struggle, with fears that the upcoming [[Nintendo GameCube]] would overshadow the release of the game. After more delays, the game was officially cancelled in August 2000, with Itoi citing that he did not want to make anything other than "something truly special" in addition to the project becoming too complex with its interest in 3D graphics.
 +
 +
However, after the success of the [[Super Smash Bros. series]], encouragement from fans eventually led to Shigesato Itoi returning to development on [[Mother 3]] for the [[Game Boy Advance]]. To promote the revival of Mother 3, Mother and Mother 2 were ported to the Game Boy Advance in June 2003, being the compilation cartridge [[Mother 1+2]], released only in Japan. The Mother portion featured [[Regional differences in EarthBound Beginnings|all the changes]] that were made in the then-unreleased English prototype of EarthBound Beginnings, while most of Mother 2 remained the same aside from the drop in audio quality due to hardware limitations. Each commercial of the game ended with the caption "''We're making Mother 3 too!''". On April 20th, 2006, Mother 3 had finally released in Japan on the Game Boy Advance. This version returned to the 2D pixelated art style that was used in the previous games. Mother 3 recieved strong critical acclaim in Japan with praise to the rythm-based RPG combat, but more so on the storyline and tragic events that were rarely seen in its predecessors.
 +
 +
Unfortunately, Mother 3 remained exclusive to Japan without an official localization, making it the only installment in the series without an official English release to this day. Despite this, the fansite Starmen.Net created a [[Mother 3 fan translation|fan translation]] led by Clyde "Tomato" Mandelin, which released on October 17th, 2008. The fan translation recieved strong positive reception from fans, recieving 100,000 downloads within the first week of the release.
 +
 +
With Mother 3 finally complete, Shigesato Itoi decided that Mother 3 was the official conclusion of the series, and has stated he has no plans in creating fourth Mother installment in the future.
  
 
==Gameplay==
 
==Gameplay==

Latest revision as of 13:47, 30 November 2019

EarthBound
マザー MOTHER
EarthBound logo.png
International logo of the EarthBound franchise
Mother series logo.png
Japanese logo
System Famicom
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Game Boy Advance
Genre Role Playing Game
Rating T (ESRB)
Publisher Nintendo
Developer Ape Inc.
HAL Laboratory
Brownie Brown
Release dates

The EarthBound series, also known as the Mother series in Japan (マザー MOTHER), is a series of role-playing video games published by Nintendo. There are three games in the series. EarthBound Beginnings, EarthBound, and Mother 3 have been released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Game Boy Advance respectively. Only Mother 3 has been released exclusively in Japan. Beginnings was released in Japan in 1989, and was re-released in the west on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2015. EarthBound was released in North America in 1994, and re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013. Mother 3 was released in Japan in 2006, and has yet to gain a western release. Characters, music, weapons, and locations from the series also appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series, with Ness and Lucas being playable characters.

Franchise history

The series was created by an influential Japanese copywriter, actor, and minor television celebrity named Shigesato Itoi, who took part in Nintendo's video game industry in the late 1980s. After forming his own subsidiary Ape Inc. with then-Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, he began working on the franchise starting with Mother, later released internationally as EarthBound Beginnings. Released in July of 1989, the game took on a different theme opposed to the medieval sword-and-sorcery theme found in most RPG games at the time. Instead, the game was set in modern-day America with the cast consisting of average children with psychic powers, using average everyday items such as baseball bats and frying pans as weapons. Mother was a commercial success in Japan, and so the game was then planned to be translated and released internationally with the title Earth Bound. It was scheduled to release in 1991, however it was cancelled because the upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System was thought to overshadow the English release of the game, thus the game was decided too costly to market and produce, and was shelved with no plans for a release in the future.

On June 15th, 2015, the game was released for the first time internationally to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series in North America, the game was given the official title 'EarthBound Beginnings. Similar to Japan, the game recieved positive reception, with critics praising its originality story, and its music. However, the game did recieve criticism for its difficulty and balance issues.

With the success of Mother, Shigesato Itoi began to work on a sequel for the Super Famicom, Mother 2. However the game featured numerous delays with development taking 5 years, with the game nearly facing cancellation.

However, the project was saved when veteran programmer Satoru Iwata joined the development team, making the Mother 2 project now a joint effort by Ape and HAL Laboratory (HALKEN at the time), separate studios based at separate locations (employees would regularly have to travel between studios to work). The game was then completed and released in Japan in August 1994. It was then released in North America on June 5th, 1995. While the game was a success in Japan, it recieved poor reception in America. During the time of EarthBound's release, the RPG genre was generally unpopular in the west (this eventually changed with the release of Final Fantasy VII, and the game was criticized for having simple, cartoonish graphics as opposed to advanced graphics that were more appealing at the time. EarthBound's unusual marketing campaign, "this game stinks", was also thought to be a cause for the games faliure in America. These poor sales prevented the game from being released in PAL regions.

Despite this, the game began to recieve recognition because of Ness, the protagonist of EarthBound, recieving representation in Super Smash Bros. and its successors. Because of this, the game began to recieve a large following on internet sites such as Starmen.Net. Retrospectively, the gane became a massive success with critics calling it not only one of the best RPGs of all time, but also the most original. The game recieved praise for its quirky humor, and its many parodies of American culture. The Wii U virtual console release of the game was the first time the game was released in PAL regions, it was one of Nintendo's most popular downloadable games of all time.

After the release of Mother 2, Itoi began on a sequel to the game, Mother 3 (named EarthBound 64 by western fans). The subtitle used in the Japanese game was changed several times during development, with one being "Forest of the Chimera" (森のキマイラ), but the most common one being "Fall of the Pig King". Initially planned for the Super Famicom, development actually began on the Nintendo 64, where it was planned to be a launch title for the system in the west. Development then moved onto the Nintendo 64 disk drive expansion to use the expanded features. When the disk drive was seen as a commercial failure, the development moved back onto the N64. EarthBound 64 featured 3D graphics as opposed to the 2D art style from the previous 2 games. However, the development team faced many difficulties, forcing the game to have numerous delays across the years of the N64 lifespan. One of the biggest difficulties was how Itoi and his team were inexperienced with developing 3D video games. Development continued to struggle, with fears that the upcoming Nintendo GameCube would overshadow the release of the game. After more delays, the game was officially cancelled in August 2000, with Itoi citing that he did not want to make anything other than "something truly special" in addition to the project becoming too complex with its interest in 3D graphics.

However, after the success of the Super Smash Bros. series, encouragement from fans eventually led to Shigesato Itoi returning to development on Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance. To promote the revival of Mother 3, Mother and Mother 2 were ported to the Game Boy Advance in June 2003, being the compilation cartridge Mother 1+2, released only in Japan. The Mother portion featured all the changes that were made in the then-unreleased English prototype of EarthBound Beginnings, while most of Mother 2 remained the same aside from the drop in audio quality due to hardware limitations. Each commercial of the game ended with the caption "We're making Mother 3 too!". On April 20th, 2006, Mother 3 had finally released in Japan on the Game Boy Advance. This version returned to the 2D pixelated art style that was used in the previous games. Mother 3 recieved strong critical acclaim in Japan with praise to the rythm-based RPG combat, but more so on the storyline and tragic events that were rarely seen in its predecessors.

Unfortunately, Mother 3 remained exclusive to Japan without an official localization, making it the only installment in the series without an official English release to this day. Despite this, the fansite Starmen.Net created a fan translation led by Clyde "Tomato" Mandelin, which released on October 17th, 2008. The fan translation recieved strong positive reception from fans, recieving 100,000 downloads within the first week of the release.

With Mother 3 finally complete, Shigesato Itoi decided that Mother 3 was the official conclusion of the series, and has stated he has no plans in creating fourth Mother installment in the future.

Gameplay

The gameplay of the series involves the player traveling through an overworld screen. They can travel in any direction, provided the path isn't blocked, and will be challenged by enemies, most of which will move toward the player. A new screen appears in fight, with there being many options. Also listed is the amount of HP the character has left. If they beat the enemy, the fight will end and the game will return to the overworld screen.

Games

Title
Cover, original release and system Description
EarthBound Beginnings
Mother boxart.png
July 2nd, 1989: Japan
June 14, 2015: International (Virtual Console)
Nintendo Entertainment System
Also known as Mother, EarthBound Beginnings is the first game to be released in the EarthBound series. It follows the adventures of Ninten, Lloyd, Ana, and Teddy trying to find the Eight Melodies. It was released in Japan on July 27, 1989. It was released via the Virtual Console on the Wii U on June 14, 2015.
EarthBound
EarthBoundBox.jpg
August 27, 1994: Japan
July 2, 1995: North America
July 18, 2013: Europe and Oceania (Virtual Console)
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Also known as Mother 2, EarthBound is the sequel to Mother in which Ness, Paula, Jeff and Poo team up to defeat Giygas and save the world. It was released on August 27th, 1994 in Japan, it is also the only game to be released outside of Japan, being released in North America on June 2nd, 1995. It was released on July 18, 2013 on the Virtual Console for the Wii U.
Mother 3
Mother 3 box.png
April 20th, 2006: Japan
October 17, 2008: Fan Translation
Game Boy Advance
The final game in the Mother series, Mother 3 follows the adventures of another group of heroes as they attempt to save the world from a strange pig-themed army. It was released on April 20, 2006 in Japan, however, it was never released anywhere else. Despite its Japan-only release, a fan translation was created. Since Mother 3's release, it has seen a very strong fan effort to try to get the game released outside of Japan. It was re-released on December 17, 2015 on the Virtual Console for the Wii U.

Ports and Remakes

Title
Cover, original release and system Description
Mother 1+2
Mother 1and2 box.png
June 20th, 2003 (Japan)
Game Boy Advance
Mother 1+2 is a port of Mother and EarthBound on the Game Boy Advance, containing various tweaks to audio and graphics to suit the Game Boy Advance's style. It was released in Japan on June 20th, 2003 to hype players for the release of Mother 3. It was never released outside of Japan, likely due to the original Mother being unrealeased outside of Japan at the time.

Common elements

All games feature protagonists wearing striped shirts, and all are about collecting pieces to a song, often heard at the end of each game. Giygas appears as an antagonist in the first two games, and Pokey appears as an antagonist in the last two games.


MOTHER by Shigesato Itoi
Ninten Ness Lucas
EarthBound Beginnings (Mother) EarthBound (Mother 2) Mother 3
Mr. Saturn Mr. Saturn
Mother 1+2 EarthBound 64
(unreleased)


Super Smash Bros.
Ness
Ness
Lucas
Lucas
Games
Super Smash Bros.Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii USuper Smash Bros. Ultimate
Stages
OnettFoursideNew Pork CityMagicant
Items
Mr. SaturnFranklin BadgeRamblin' Evil Mushroom
Assist Trophies
JeffStarman
Other
TrophiesStickersSpirits


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