Mother 3 released on the GBA all the way back in 2006, and it never received an official localization. Fans took the job on themselves to bring the game to other audiences, and surprisingly, Nintendo never stepped in to squash the fan translations. That certainly seemed to indicate that Nintendo never had plans to localize the game, but we’ve never gotten an answer as to why. While we’re still waiting for a full explanation from Nintendo, Mother 3 producer Shinichi Kameoka has shared his thoughts.
In the most recent issue of the Kit and Krysta Podcast, Kameoka was directly asked about why Mother 3 never received a localization. You can see his full response below.
Personally, I think the biggest selling point of Mother 3 is Shigesato Itoi’s unique writing style. Translating the charm and nuances of his writing into other languages is quite a challenge. Maybe that’s why it’s taken so long to consider international releases of Mother 3.
This sounds like a slightly roundabout way of saying what fans have speculated for years. Mother 3 has some elements to its story that might offend or upset audiences around the world, even if that wasn’t the intention. That’s only become more true in the 14+ years since Mother 3 released. Some story beats and dialog would have had to be heavily tweaked for a localization years ago, and in 2022, the edits and changes would have to be even more severe.
The issue lies within making all of those adjustments while still retaining the goals, spirit, and direction of Mother 3. Whatever team was tasked with that challenge would be taking on a Herculean task, and a logistical nightmare.