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There is perhaps nothing in the history of the Big N quite as enduring as EarthBound fans begging Nintendo of America for Mother 3, the GBA masterpiece that is at once a heartrending conclusion to the Mother trilogy and a treatise on the goodness of humanity. The requests have been so prevalent and persistent that you sometimes wonder why the heck they haven’t gotten around to it already — but now a new rumor suggests that NoA, in fact, was attempting to localize the game, until they stopped.

“Why would they ever do that?!” yell the EarthBound fans (and me). Well, the rumor comes from a decently reputable source: Game Informer senior editor Imran Khan. On ResetEra, Khan stated that “[The localization] was full steam ahead for a while but upon re-evaluation there were aspects of the game that weren’t going to go without controversy.” However, he doesn’t expand on what that potential controversy might have been.

The uninitiated might wonder what kind of controversy this cutesy and quirky yet bleak RPG would produce. There are a few possibilities. Probably the most likely “culprits” are the Magypsies — an important group of characters in the game that are depicted as drag queens. There’s a couple other aspects of the game that would likely garner a bit of rabble, like an oxygen machine shaped like a merman that kisses you to dispense air, or some suggestive lines here and there. The Magypsies are probably the main element at play here, as the other bits could probably be easily edited and reworked if needed. But apparently NoA didn’t think it was worth the effort, so it was scrapped.

Of course, these are all just rumors, and Khan also doesn’t state which year all this happened — there’s a possibility it was shortly after the game’s original release in 2006, when elements like the above-mentioned would have been much more controversial in a seemingly kid-friendly game. But the news is unlikely to deter passionate Mother fans from pleading with the Nintendo gods for acknowledgement.


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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.