Nintendo announced this week that they're releasing Earthbound (aka Mother 2) through Wii U Virtual Console in North America and Europe later this year. Will Earthbound's follow-up, Mother 3, follow suit? A group of fans are trying to make the decision to greenlight a Western port as easy as possible.
Mother 3 is set hundreds of years after Earthbound. Players take on the role of a colorful cast of characters, including a farmer, thief and monkey. The team must travel across Nowhere Islands on a quest to stop the Pigmask Army.
Nintendo released Mother 3 on Game Boy Advance in Japan back in 2006. They made no plans to bring the game to the West. This led a group of fans to create their own translation. They released their free translation in 2008. In spite of that, Nintendo showed no interest in localizing the game.
The gamers behind the Mother 3 Fan Translation are hopeful for a Virtual Console release, though. They offered the translated script to Nintendo for no charge this weekend.
"I’ll even edit the files to fit whatever new standards are necessary (content, formatting, memory size, etc.), completely for free," wrote Clyde Mandelin, who also works as a translator for FUNimation Entertainment. "I’ll even retranslate everything from scratch if need be. Just whatever it takes to get an official release out."
I'm skeptical that Nintendo will bring Mother 3 to the West at this point. The window of opportunity has really passed. The fan translation has been out for years now so anyone who really wanted the game has probably already downloaded the ROM.