Sometimes the big blockbuster games are not the ones that catch my attention. The past year the game that I’ve been looking forward to the most is a small fanmade sequel to a legendary RPG series. It’s time to talk about Earthbound.
Back in the early 1990s, Earthbound change a lot of what was, and still is, usually associated with role playing games. In stead of dragons and mighty heroes, this game explored the story of a little boy and his friends somewhere in modern day America.
Today, Earthbound is regarded as a true classic and has sparked many speculations about hidden messages and what this absurd games is really all about. One such theory can be seen here.
A successor to Earthbound was in development for the Nintendo 64, and a world of die hard fans were in agony when Nintendo decided to cancel the game.
I was overjoyed when Shigesato Itoi, the creator of Mother 1 and Mother 2 (which became known as Earthbound Zero and Earthbound in the west), finally released a reworked sequel on the Game Boy Advance. Sadly only in Japan, but that never stopped a true army of western fans from translating the game and spreading it for PC Game Boy Advance emulators.
Mother 3 was a great experience, and had most of the great things about Earthbound that made it so special.
Unfortunatly, this is where the story was supposed to end. Shigesato Itoi stated that he was finished with the Mother universe and was not going to make any more Mother games. Hearts were heavy that day.
That was until a small team of indie developers decided to take matters into their own hands and continue Itoi’s legacy. The result has been postponed and rewritten several times, but Mother 4 is due for release in 2015.
The graphical style seems to be very close to the one we know from Mother 3. The Mother 4 Team, which they creators call themselves, seems to have done an ecellent job at capturing the feel and charm of the Mother universe. If the story and writing is up to the quality of the previous Mother games, we’re definitively up for quite a ride.
If you have any interest at all in old school JRPGs, you should check this one out. The team deserves all the support they can get to have their great work realized. They’re even doing it all for free!
Previous attemts at making new versions of classic Nintendo games have resulted in tradegies. Some time ago a 3D remake of Chrono Trigger was shut down by Nintendo, despite the fact that the team never planned on making any profit from their hard work. Nintendo has always been very protective about their intellectual properties.
Let’s hope Mother 4 doesn’t face an equally cruel and premature end. Check out the website and add your email to their invite list to be notified once the game is finished and ready for download.