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For the longest time, a group of dedicated Mother fans has been making a fanmade entry in the series, dubbed Mother 4. After several years of work and restarting the project multiple times, however, the team has apparently come to a consensus to turn the work into a spiritual successor, dropping the title of “Mother 4” and all icons of the series with it.

In an AMA on Reddit, team members offered explanations and justifications for the action. While they hadn’t been hit by a DMCA claim, they’re rebranding as a preemptive measure after the action Nintendo has taken against other fangames like AM2R last year. The team members also feel that while they love the project and clearly take great inspiration from EarthBound, it would never be the Mother 4 that series creator Shigesato Itoi spoke of when talking about wanting to play a fan-made version. Some known changes done already are altering PSI/PK to VOX (Voice Operated Switch), and removing series NPCs (like Mr. Saturns) and music (such as Snowman).

The team also reaffirms that the game will be completely free, and clearly very inspired by the Mother series. No new name for the title has been announced yet, nor a release date or window — given its development struggles, it may be quite some time before it sees the light of day. But hopefully this labor of love, when released, will manage to stand on its own while proudly showing its inspiration.

To stay updated with the latest news about this project, check out the team’s Mother 4 site.

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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.