Fans of Earthbound (known as Mother 2 in Japan) have decided to pay tribute to the SNES RPG with a documentary called Earthbound USA.
Earthbound USA isn't a behind-the-scenes account about the game's development. Instead, it focuses on the fan community behind the game in the United States and how they've tried to popularize the entire Mother series.
"For a year now, Jeff Benson has been interviewing MOTHER fans, Starmen.Net users, and members of the EarthBound team in an attempt to document the space between a bunch of kids coming together on a message board and the reemergence of a cult classic—not to mention the formation of Fangamer, the business Starmen.Net played a major role in founding," says the teaser website for the movie.
The filmmakers even managed to get an interview with Shigesato Itoi, designer for the Mother series.
"Just finished an interview with some American MOTHER 2 fans who came to see me," he said on Twitter. "Some of them were in elementary school when they played it but are now married with children, and still have a love for the game to this day. I’ve had all sorts of projects in my time, but this game is definitely in a league of its own."
Earthbound was first released on SNES in 1995. The game starred Ness, a young boy who must stop the alien Giygas from taking over the world. The quirky adventure took players through suburbs overrun by stinky ghosts, evil piles of vomit, and cultists obsessed with the color blue. The humor and modern-day setting made the game a rarity among JRPG's, which were typically sober medieval fantasy adventures at the time.
In spite of the cult following for Earthbound, it was the only game in the Mother series released in the West. It took years of cajoling by fans before Nintendo re-released the game on Virtual Console. They haven't announced any plans to bring the other two Mother games to modern consoles.
Fans have been more proactive than Nintendo. They translated the entirety of Mother 3 so players could enjoy the ROM in English. Another group of fans is developing Mother 4. Centering the documentary around the game's passionate fanbase sounds like a great idea because they're the ones actually getting things done.
Earthbound USA's creators say that they're going to hold a Kickstarter campaign for the project later this year. They expect to release the documentary in 2015, "unless Mother 3 is released." In other words: yeah, it's being released in 2015.