Earthbound has been a series that’s been loved by just about everybody over the past years. Earthbound (known as Mother 2 over in Japan.) was a game that brought the classic RPG formula to a suburban modern setting, introducing a western audience to something just familiar enough to relate to, and odd enough to still feel like an entirely new world. Since Earthbound’s release, and the accumulation of its cult following, the fanbase in the west has been asking to get their hands on Mother 1 and Mother 3 from Nintendo.
Well, Earthbound fans, after quite some time waiting, you can finally rest easy. In its Nintendo Direct today, right before the Nintendo World Championships, it quickly announced that Earthbound’s predecessor – Mother 1 – will finally be making its way to the western world in the form of Earthbound Beginnings. We don’t have too much information, as it was just teased to us in a quick trailer at the end of the Nintendo Direct, but we can assume that it’s going to be a remaster, or at the very least a flat re-release of Mother 1, localized for English speakers.
Whatever Mother 1 ends up really being, I don’t think that anyone’s going to be disappointed. In all my years being a part of the gaming community, I’ve never seen anybody so fervently passionate about a franchise than the fans of Earthbound, and the Mother series. It’s not only spawned the creation of Mother 4, a fan-made Earthbound game being made by some of the most hard-working fans I’ve ever seen, but a fan translation of the unreleased Mother titles. Apart from the Earthbound series, we’ve also seen indie games with much darker themes take heavy inspiration from the style and gameplay mechanics of Earthbound, in the way of LISA.
This is something to be celebrated not only by the folks who love Earthbound, but by anybody in the gaming industry. This marks a turnabout in one of Nintendo’s staunchest refusals to the community, and may signify that the company is starting to better understand what the western audience wants – or more specifically, it may signify that they’re starting to care. Earthbound Beginnings is out today at 6pm pacific.