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The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

The Video Game Connoisseur

Once in a lifetime a game comes along that is the trifecta of brilliant, imaginative, and engaging without rehashing the same themes or ideas you’ve seen before. A game that breaks all conventions but is enjoyable by anyone who picks it up. A game with so much detail it’s like reading a comic book written by Alan Moore or watching a film by Orson Welles (seriously, Citizen Kane is loaded with imagery that you need to watch the film multiple times to see), a game that demands multiple replays to pick up all the little details. A game like this only comes along once. Well it’s come twice now.

A key detail to keep in mind is that Mother 3 has not been released outside of Japan yet. Infact according to Nintendo there are no plans to bring it to America much to the outcry of the series dedicated fans. What I have been playing is the now complete fan translation (which one can find online if they wish). From my experience with this games predecessor, known as Earthbound in America, you would not know that this was not an official translation if you weren’t told otherwise, stylistically this translation matches perfectly. There is no doubt in my mind that the official translation would not differ much from this one, and most likely it would only be in the names of characters and objects. I trust that the fans who put all the time and effort into this translation would do nothing to corrupt it any way, and therefore until Nintendo does their own translation from Japanese to English I am taking this one as gospel.

The Mother series (better known as Earthbound in the U.S.) started off conceived as a Dragon Quest clone and then story wise, writing wise, and style wise ran screaming in the opposite direction like a madman. The games are RPGs with a modern day setting using food like pizza and hamburgers instead of herbs and potions and baseball bats and bottle rockets instead of swords and arrows. The previous game, and to my knowledge the only one of the series released in the U.S., Earthbound focused on four friends, all children, with psychic powers (instead of magic) trying to prevent an evil aline entity called Giygas from conquering the world in the future. While Eartbound was very lighthearted and quirky in tone Mother 3 is more like a Greek Tradgedy.

Mother 3 is best described by its slogan: “Strange, Funny and Heartrending”. The game is divided in eight chapters with the first acting as a sort of prologue. At the beginning of each chapter the focus may switch between different characters or points in time, for example the start of the second chapter takes place during the first time and plot wise. The main story focuses on a family in the small town of Tazmilly consisting of the father Flint, a middle aged cowboy, the mother Hinawa, and the older and younger twin brothers Claus and Lucas (Lucas is ultimately the main character and a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii). The game’s story is far darker and more emotional than the previous game with by the end of the prologue Hinawa is dead, Claus is missing and presumed dead, and Flint is inconsolable.

The controls for the game are relatively simple and the story is engaging and makes you want to know what’s going to happened next, even if you go online and read a synopsis to find out it doesn’t do it justice. One interesting addition from the previous game is the addition of sound battles. If you can time your button hits to the music during a battle you can hit multiple times and do more damage. And then there’s the Magypsies. They are a race of immortals who dress in women’s clothing, talk very flamboyantly, and have dark 5 o’clock shadow. Image Dr. Frankenfurter from Rocky Horror Picture Show as a redhead, only a whole room full of him. I highly recommend finding a copy of the game, I wont tell you how just go online and search for Mother 3 translation, and play it, also get your hands on a copy of Earthbound, compare and contrast, make a weekend out of it! Whatever you do just make sure you play this game and send Nintendo a letter asking them to bring it to America.