Just a few days ago, the documentary EarthBound USA was released via Fangamer, and contained within the documentary is an interview with Shigesato Itoi, the creator of the EarthBound/Mother series, where he touched on the localization – or lack thereof – of Mother 3.
Itoi mentions that he would “love for people in the US to play Mother 3,” showing some support for the localization of the game, something that western fans have been rabid for since its release in Japan in 2006. The game does have an excellent fan translation done by a team led by Clyde “Tomato” Mandelin, and it seems that Itoi, and Nintendo, are not only aware of this, but were actually offered the opportunity to use the fan translation for an official release. As Itio states in the documentary, “Apparently they were presented with the offer to use the translation, but they said it wasn’t quite as simple as that.” He goes on to say that it would be interesting if they did take up the offer, as it could offer a “chance to make something that would be better than what the company could have made on their own.”
Itoi also mentions in the interview that when he’s done working on something, his tendency is to be done with it for good. Perhaps this is, in part, why a Mother 3 localization hasn’t happened by now. If Itoi doesn’t want to return to something he sees as “completed” and Nintendo feels that working with the fan translation isn’t as simple as it seems, what’s left to do?
Mother 3 has plenty of fans the world over, and the aforementioned fan translation really is excellent and easy to come by, if you are so inclined. In the meantime, those of us who want an official release of Mother 3 in the West will keep on waiting and asking, as long as we’re doing it for the right reasons.
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