Nintendo's recent promise to re-release 'EarthBound' in the West prompts new hope for the localization of the sequel.
'Mother 3,' the quirky RPG and series sequel to 'EarthBound' is one of the many games to never make it to the West. Released in 2006, the game was released eleven years after its North American Super Nintendo predecessor, and it came to the GBA just as the Nintendo DS was taking hold. The best option until now for most Westerners to play 'Mother 3' was by applying a patch to the game's ROM that installed a fan translation from 2008.
As Nintendo has finally relented and promised to re-release 'EarhBound' for the Wii U's Virtual Console, it is clear that whatever obstacles such as the long rumored concerns over the game's soundtrack will be overcome. Ultimately though, Nintendo seems to have relented as a gesture of goodwill and recognition of the many requests that fans made in the Miiverse after the title had been revealed as a Japan-only Virtual Console title. That gesture has renewed the dormant hope that 'Mother 3' will finally be brought to the West officially.
The team behind the fan translation has offered to provide the translation for free to Nintendo to help facility an official release. Should the endeavor be successful, it would not be the first time that a fan translation made it into an official release. When Xseed published 'Ys: The Oath in Felghana,' a preexisting, free translation was optioned and used as the base for the localization of that game.
While the market for a port of a quirky GBA game might not be huge, those at Nintendo looking to derive goodwill from both current and potential Wii U owners may want to take notice.