RUMOR - Nintendo considered releasing Mother 3 in NA/EU, decided against it after re-evaluating the game's content

One of the longest-standing rumors in the world of Nintendo comes from the supposed plans for Mother 3 localization. There was a time there when it seemed like localization was a sure thing, but as we know now all too well, that release never happened. Wondering why that rumored release never came to be? Game Informer Senior Editor Imran Khan shared the supposed inside scoop.

According to Khan, Nintendo was indeed considering localization of Mother 3. It seems Nintendo was quite gung-ho about the idea, until they took a closer look at the game. Nintendo, fearing controversy pertaining to certain elements in the game, decided against localizing the title. Instead of editing/censoring content, Nintendo opted to just leave the game in Japan and move forward.

This rumor certainly raises an interesting question. Would you rather Nintendo release a changed/edited/censored version of Mother 3, or just leave it in Japan?

Thanks to TheDreamingHawk for the heads up!


Top Rated Comment
Mon Feb 11 19 06:41am
Rating: 11 (Updated 3 times)

Well that's just bullsh*t and cowardly: Mother 3 is on of the greatest games ever made, and it deserves to be released in English so all the western world gets to experience this profound masterpiece, that's even more relevant today than ever.

But since Nintendo doesn't have the guts to release an official English version: https://inceptionalnews.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/mother-3-is-brilliant/

And No, I don't want a changed/edited/censored. I want Nintendo to have the balls to release the game in its original form, and actually realise that nothing in it is particularly "controversial"--if you actually look at it properly and in the correct context.

Sun Feb 10 19 11:59pm
Rating: 1

They have the money for the licensing, they really should bring it over so the meme will die.

Mon Feb 11 19 12:04am
Rating: 6

They should just give it a higher esrb rating and release it here.

Mon Feb 11 19 12:33am
Rating: 4 (Updated 1 time)

I wouldn't care about minor text or localization edits, I just want to play the game. I've patiently waited for an official version for many years now, i can wait a bit more if needed. Mother 1 still remains my favorite anyhow so I doubt M3 would change it but I'd still like to give it a go. Sadly, considering how vile and nasty some people got when Nintendo did minor changes to XCX and other games (to the point a hate group got after NOA treehouse employees and threw fits all over a boob slider along with making big fits out of minor non issues despite localizations having changes all the time to the point that even Advance Wars had a bunch of visual edits due to regional differences) I'm honestly more concerned about the backlash from the toxic crowd who'd be mad if they released it with changes, over those who may be upset if they release it without.

I still think it needs to happen someday, one way or another, and I hope they go through and make the changes to push it out anyhow. Maybe as part of a trilogy collection.

Mon Feb 11 19 03:11am
Rating: 6 (Updated 1 time)

I remembered the Mother 3 fan translation fondly, but after watching one of my favorite youtubers play it recently. I realized things I overlooked when I was younger that would be problematic at any point in time it would have been made.

You have: a blackface character named reggie, pig nazis who attack people who do not give into thier propaganda, child abuse & toxic parenting(Duster & Wess), domestic abuse (Flint when he lashes out against the people who helped him), and animal cruelty that goes beyond the normal stuff you usually see with taxidermy, scientific experimentation, and salsa shock collar treatment.

the magyspies arent necessarily bad, because while they are funny, they arent really disrespectful depictions or the butt of jokes or any kind of scathing commentary, which is nice for depictions of agender characters. (They are agender, they are NOT trans characters, as Alec refers to them as being neither Male nor female) They're never made fun of and they are treated respectfully, but that one scene where lucas unlocks PK Love as an implied innuendo joke was really out of place for someone famously traumatized by a rape film to include in his games 3rd installment and leads me to question why that decision was ok or even considered in the first place.

It's an amazing game despite it's short comings, and it has a very beautiful story, but it's a problematic game at best and that was not going to sell well amongst the GBA owning american crowd regardless of what any fans may think a higher age rating would do for it.

Theres quite a few things nintendo could get away with in the game had Itoi provided more context for certain decisions in the narrative (Lusamine got away with her Cryogenic taxidermy and Guzma's implied child abuse was considered ok too, after all) but some decisions made just leave me with questions. But because of that I have a better understanding why the game qont be localized.

Wow, these are some dark themes, I didn't know Mother 3 had them.
I don't think I would want to play a Nintendo game dealing with these topics...

Mon Feb 11 19 04:18am
Rating: 3

Thank you for pointing out that the Magypsies are fine. Everyone acts like they're offensive when the game only treats them with respect.

Really, the only thing potentially problematic about them is the use of the outdated word 'Gypsy' in their name.

Not to mention Fassad (Fassad = Facade) who is basically a Middle Eastern terrorist stereotype who abuses animals, gets increasingly ridiculous forms as the game goes on, and then ultimately drowns in literal sewage. He's like a 1930's Looney Tunes ethnic stereotype and definitely "Oof" inducing when I go back and look at it.

Mon Feb 11 19 01:37pm
Rating: 1

Oh definitely, i'd probably go a bit further and say fassad does have some interesting commentary about him jumbled up in there, which is unfortunate considering the stereotyping. As one of the Magypsies he's born with agender traits like the others, but chooses to rescind those and adopts toxic masculine traits, showing aggression and greed, and enforcing his will on the inhabitants of Tazmilly by pushing them towards capitalism as a sort of soothsayer celebrity, all so he could consume his favorite Luxury Bananas for as long as possible, knowing in the end that he would inevitably disappear like the others.

Kinda brings a few people to mind.

Meanwhile his greatest foes are a depressed motherless child who chooses to express love & compassion as his ultimate attack, a psychic tomboy, a disabled thief who studies music, an abused monkey, and a good boy.

The game makes fun of racism, nazism, child abuse, etc.

Don't release it! We must protect the nazis and the wife beaters!

Mon Feb 11 19 02:15pm
Rating: 1

The game doesnt make fun of anything per say, it just kind uses them as a framwork for the characters, but nothing is ever explicitly stated or decried, unlike say Pokekon sun & moon. The series points out child abuse but justifies wess's actions. It makes vague allusions to nazis in the form of Pigmasks, but doesnt move forward to make any sort of any real commentary. The game does have anti-capitalist tones and makes an effort to decry toxic masculinity tho.

Racism is never really touched upon however, nut racist caricatures are used in a few places, so I'm forced to believe you're just posting words on the internet without having really looked at or played the game.

I like how you passed the game through the woke-o-meter, so you decided it doesn't condemn nazism, racism and child abuse enough, but it does get points for "decrying toxic masculinity" and having anti-capitalist tones.

You're so representative of the problem with the gaming scene at the moment it's funny. People like you are exactly the reason why Nintendo won't localize this game.

You're acting very childish. All you see are words you dont agree with. You lack the empathy to understand why those are problems. It's fine if you think that my ability to understand things you decide to gloss over isnt to your liking. Hopefully you'll understand someday, but someone with psychology and literary education is going to be looking at the game a little differently than some rando fan with a bad attitude. Please do keep at least that in mind.

You couldn't be more pretentious if you tried. Like, legitimately you could not. To the point that it almost reads like a parody: you're morally superior because you're so empathetic, you're enlightened, you're at a higher level of education. There's no way people have valid reasons to disagree with you -- no, it must be that I'm an immature devilish brute who doesn't care about humans and can't understand what he reads. Unlike you, who has so much empathy and knowledge.

I'd laugh, but it's just sad. Keep doing you, man. It'll get better someday.

Mon Feb 11 19 04:51am
(Updated 1 time)

Everyone who wants to play it has played it at this point. There's no point in continuing to whine about it now. Nintendo knows that Mother fans have all already played it, so I'm sure this is one of the last things on their agenda.

Mon Feb 11 19 06:41am
Rating: 11 (Updated 3 times)

Well that's just bullsh*t and cowardly: Mother 3 is on of the greatest games ever made, and it deserves to be released in English so all the western world gets to experience this profound masterpiece, that's even more relevant today than ever.

But since Nintendo doesn't have the guts to release an official English version: https://inceptionalnews.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/mother-3-is-brilliant/

And No, I don't want a changed/edited/censored. I want Nintendo to have the balls to release the game in its original form, and actually realise that nothing in it is particularly "controversial"--if you actually look at it properly and in the correct context.

Mon Feb 11 19 08:33am
Rating: 1

I wouldn’t care if Lucas were the Clockwork Orange guy going around murdering the shovel outta people, I’d still want this game released

Mon Feb 11 19 09:43am
Rating: 1

Don't worry, Nintendo. You can just release a re-imagining of Earthbound 64 on the switch to make up for it!

They're right not to release it. They don't need to deal with the empty controversies, and they know that the amount of censorship that would be required would piss off fans. So they could (A) release the game as is and face the wrath of half of Reddit and the entirety of Tumblr (NONE of whom were going to buy the game), with Polygon and Kotaku holding the megaphone; or (B) release the game with HEAVY censorship (pissing off the people who WERE going to buy the game) and end up pleasing no one. There is no win scenario.

Modern audiences can't handle their games having anything but the same 10 safe and PC themes that every game is based off of. And we've all forgotten what context means. And how important it is. And if that weren't enough, games "journalists" are more than happy to maximize these "problems" in favor of clicks, views and clout.

So yeah, NoA and NoE won't release the game. Because the western gaming audience, in its current state, doesn't fucking deserve it.

Mon Feb 11 19 03:44pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

Reddit, Tumblr, and all the sites you mention literally have fanbases that want this game badly as well despite the edits that would be needed. And those two gaming website don't hate the game as much as you think (heck, I don't think any of the writers hate it at all) since I know several peers that write for those sites (Destructoid too) who want it and understand that it hasn't aged the best in everything. It's not like Time Twist which is so f'ed up that nobody even wants it translated or rereleased (not even Japan wants to pretend it existed), but rather something that could just have a standard localization akin to Mother 1 and 2. The problem is, GBA games can't be edited as much as people would like unless they hire M2 or someone else to work on it, or just remake it from the ground up., since editing a ROM that much would be a big undertaking. It's why they don't even bother to make basic menu translations for simple games like Joy Mech Fight.

Translating text in the game is hard enough, editing the rom more to have to repaint characters or change a few story scenes here and there would be a big effort that would not likely be worth it. Though granted, I still think it would be considering how people have been wanting this for years and doing the edits that are needed (redoing text to make the questionable characters not that bad of a stereotype, and maybe repainting that one guy with the big red lips)

And to be frank, nobody would be that outraged if they had to make changes for the game to come out here. As long as Itoi is OK with them and it's not removing things like the stories behind Masked Man or Hiwana, then people would and should take what's needed to make everyone experience the game. The only people who would be mad are the same outraged crowd who threw a fit over the boob slider in XCX being removed or get upset whenever a skirt is lengthened despite having no impact on the story or game whatsoever. (and I hated how vile they were to the localization staff as well over something so minor)

So many people want to play Mother 3 that I think Nintendo could make the risk of translating, localizing and porting it for the Switch. Then again, the rumor started back when Wii U VC was a thing, and since that along with GBA rereleases are dead, I don't think it'll happen unless they do a compilation or GBA online, even if nothing was wrong with it. I have faith though!

Remember, Earthbound was close to launching on Wii VC, but didn't due to questionable music issues and some fans thinking Giygas would be too much for kids, only to resurface on Wii U VC years later and then being ported to both 3DS and the SNES Classic. In 10-20 years I wouldn't be surprised if Mother 3 is on several platforms in some way or another.

I don't really trust Game Informer with any Nintendo News.

Man you have to be so dumb to fall for a rumor like this.

First off censoring Content is out of the question because this game is on Gba meaning that if they do port it, censoring the game is difficult since Nintendo would have to emulate the game.

Secondly, this is a rumor. Don't fall for it even if it is reliable because there is always a chance that it can be false.

And lastly.. can't we just move on? You still get the chance to play it so how does it matter?

Tue Feb 12 19 03:42am
Rating: 1

I'd imagine fans of this franchise don't have much else to do besides be outraged, considering it's deader than disco (and not even just silent like F-Zero, like actually truly dead).

Tue Feb 12 19 07:12am
Rating: 2

Not to mention. That the author himself stated that he is done with the series.


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