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So I Talked to ChatGPT About EarthBound/Mother

If You're An EarthBound Fan, This Article Will Keep You From Being Blue Blue Blue

By Aubrey KatePublished 3 months ago 17 min read
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So I Talked to ChatGPT About EarthBound/Mother
Photo by Patrick on Unsplash

Growing up, I couldn’t get enough EarthBound. As an adult, I have the same passion, but just not nearly the time. BUT, if you share this article on your social media and tell every single person you know to read it, maybe one day I will have the money/time to do so. Help a girl out yo.

Is this my worst introduction to an article? Probably.

Me: Have you heard of the video game Mother2 (Earthbound in the west)?

ChatGPT: Yes, I am familiar with the video game Mother 2, which is also known as EarthBound in the West. It was developed by Ape Inc. and HAL Laboratory, and was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in Japan in 1994, and later in North America in 1995. The game was highly praised for its quirky humor, unique storyline, and memorable characters, and has since gained a large cult following.

Do you know about the whole Mother series of games?

Yes, I am familiar with the Mother series of video games. The series was created by Japanese video game designer Shigesato Itoi and developed by HAL Laboratory. The series is known for its unique blend of role-playing and real-life elements, as well as its quirky humor and storyline. The series includes three main games: Mother (1989), Mother 2 (1994, released as EarthBound in the West), and Mother 3 (2006), as well as a few spin-offs and remakes.

Could you tell me about the spin-offs and remakes?

Sure, here’s a quick rundown of the Mother series spin-offs and remakes:

“Mother 1+2” — A Game Boy Advance port of both Mother and Mother 2 (EarthBound) released in 2003 in Japan only.

“Mother 3” — The long-awaited sequel to EarthBound, released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2006. It has not been officially localized in English.

“Mother 3+” — A fan-made mod of Mother 3 that enhances the game with new features and improvements.

“EarthBound Beginnings” — A remake of the original Mother game for the Wii U Virtual Console, released in North America in 2015.

“EarthBound” — A re-release of the SNES game for the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013.

“EarthBound HD” — An unofficial fan-made remake of EarthBound using the Unreal Engine 4.

“Undertale” — A game heavily influenced by the Mother series, with similar gameplay and themes.

“Oddity” — A game in development by the creator of Undertale, Toby Fox, that is said to be heavily inspired by the Mother series.

By Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

So EarthBound Beginnings is the first Mother game but in English?

No, EarthBound Beginnings is actually the English-language version of the first game in the Mother series, which was originally released in Japan for the Famicom console in 1989. It was later released for the Wii U Virtual Console in North America and Europe in 2015. The game follows the story of a boy named Ninten who must travel across the world to collect eight melodies in order to stop an alien invasion. It features turn-based battles, a unique setting and storyline, and a quirky sense of humor that would become a hallmark of the series.

That’s cool. Are Wii-U games available on the Nintendo Switch? I haven’t owned a Nintendo system since the GameCube.

Wii U games are not directly compatible with the Nintendo Switch, as the two systems have different architectures and use different media formats. However, some Wii U games have been re-released on the Switch, either as remastered editions or as part of the Nintendo Switch Online service, which includes a selection of classic games from various Nintendo platforms. Additionally, some Wii U games can be played on the Switch through cloud streaming services in select regions.

Are the EarthBound games you mentioned for the WiiU available on the Switch?

Unfortunately, the EarthBound games that were released on the Wii U Virtual Console are not currently available on the Nintendo Switch. However, the original EarthBound game is available to play on the Nintendo Switch Online service, which allows players to access a selection of classic NES and SNES games as part of their subscription. Additionally, there are rumors and speculation about potential future releases or remakes of the EarthBound games on the Nintendo Switch, but nothing has been officially announced at this time.

Mother 3+, is that in English?

“Mother 3+” is not an official release of the game. However, there are fan-made translations of the game available online, which allow English-speaking players to enjoy the game. These fan translations are not officially endorsed by Nintendo and can be downloaded and played on various devices. It’s worth noting that downloading and playing unofficial versions of games can sometimes be illegal and may also carry the risk of viruses or other security issues.

Is there a reason why Nintendo hasn’t released Mother 3 in the west? I assume sales for EarthBound on the SNES were decent enough, or is that an incorrect assumption?

There has been much speculation as to why Nintendo has not released Mother 3 in the West, despite the game being highly anticipated by fans of the series. Some have suggested that it may be due to the game’s more mature themes, while others have pointed to possible localization issues or a lack of interest from Nintendo’s management. However, Nintendo has never provided an official explanation for their decision not to release the game outside of Japan.

What are some of the themes of the series?

The Mother series explores various themes throughout its games. Some common themes include the importance of family and friendship, the dangers of consumerism and conformity, the power of music, and the impact of technology on society. The games also often tackle heavier themes such as mental illness, grief, and the meaning of life. Additionally, the series is known for its unique blend of humor and darkness, with quirky characters and settings mixed with more serious and emotional moments.

How aware of the story/dialogue of EarthBound? I know you can’t play video games as an AI language model, but do you have access to textual information detailing the inner workings of the game?

Yes, I have access to textual information about EarthBound’s story and dialogue. As a language model, I can read and analyze text, including the text from video games like EarthBound. However, I do not have direct experience with playing the game or viewing its graphics and animations.

What are some of the enemies one would fight in EarthBound?

In EarthBound, the player battles a variety of enemies, ranging from the mundane to the bizarre. Some common enemies include:

Spiteful Crows: Angry birds that peck and attack with their sharp beaks.

Sharks: A group of gangster sharks that attack with knives and guns.

Zombies: The walking dead that attack with bites and scratches.

UFOs: Flying saucers that attack with beams and other technological weapons.

Starmen: Powerful alien warriors that attack with psychic powers and high-tech weaponry.

These are just a few examples, and the game features many more unique and quirky enemies to battle.

By Devin Berko on Unsplash

My favorite enemy was always the “Unassuming Local Guy”. I always found that amusing.

Yes, the “Unassuming Local Guy” is a memorable and unique enemy in EarthBound. In the game, he appears to be just an ordinary person, but can quickly turn into a formidable opponent in battle. It’s a humorous and unexpected twist that adds to the game’s charm and quirkiness.

Why was there a character named Poo? Is that a poor translation?

The character named Poo in EarthBound is not a result of a poor translation, but rather a deliberate choice by the game’s creators. The character is actually a prince from a far-off land called Dalaam, and “Poo” is a nickname given to him by his teacher, Master Barf. It is believed that the name “Poo” was chosen as a play on words, as the Japanese word for “prince” is “ouji,” which is pronounced similarly to the English word “oh-gee.”

What games outside of the Mother series have characters from the Mother series appeared in?

While characters from the Mother series have not appeared in many games outside of their own series, there have been a few appearances. For example, Ness, the main protagonist of EarthBound, appears in the Super Smash Bros. series, starting with Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. In addition to Ness, Lucas, the main protagonist of Mother 3, also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Additionally, various items and references to the Mother series can be found in other Nintendo games, such as Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

That’s crazy they put Lucas in Smash Bros games but won’t localize the game. What are the Mother references in Breath of the Wild?

In “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” there are a few references to the “Mother” series. One of the most notable is the appearance of a certain type of enemy known as a Starmen, which are common enemies in the “Mother” games. Another reference is a side quest where Link must help a character named Kilton, who bears a striking resemblance to the character of the same name from “EarthBound Beginnings”. Additionally, there is an NPC in the game named Dr. Andonuts, who shares a name with a character from “EarthBound.”

Has there ever been talk of making a EarthBound/Mother show or movie?

There have been occasional discussions and rumors over the years about a possible EarthBound/Mother show or movie, but nothing has come to fruition. Shigesato Itoi, the creator of the series, has been approached about the idea in the past, but he has expressed hesitation about allowing his creation to be adapted in that way. In a 2013 interview with Kotaku, he stated that he would prefer to leave the series as it is rather than have it turned into something else.

Shigesato Itoi, what other games is he known for?

Shigesato Itoi is primarily known for his work on the Mother series, but he has also worked on a number of other projects throughout his career. He got his start as a copywriter and has worked on numerous advertising campaigns, including those for some major Japanese companies such as Nintendo and Coca-Cola. In addition to his work in advertising, he has also written a number of essays and books, including several travel books and a collection of short stories. He has also served as a voice actor in some Japanese films and television shows.

How commercially successful was EarthBound compared to other RPG titles on the SNES?

EarthBound was not commercially successful on its initial release on the SNES in North America. The game sold poorly due to a combination of factors, including a lack of effective advertising, its unique and unconventional marketing campaign, and its unusual and quirky gameplay style, which may have been off-putting to some players at the time. However, over the years, the game has developed a cult following and has become widely regarded as a classic and influential RPG. It has been re-released multiple times, including on the Wii U Virtual Console, and has continued to attract new fans.

Do Mother, Mother 2 and Mother 3 take place in the same world? Or is the series more similar to Final Fantasy, where each game takes place in a different reality with similar themes?

Yes, the Mother series takes place in the same world, but each game has its own distinct story and characters. The games are also connected by recurring themes and elements, such as the use of psychic powers and the appearance of certain enemies and locations. The events of each game also have an impact on the world of the next game, creating an overarching narrative that ties the series together.

Oh, that’s cool. So playing Mother, then 2, then 3 in order would likely reveal some cool easter eggs. What locations have appeared in more than one game?

There are several locations that have appeared in more than one game in the Mother series, including:

Onett: This is the starting town in EarthBound and it also appears in Mother 3, where it is referred to as Tazmily Village.

Twoson: This is a town in EarthBound and it also appears in Mother 3 under the name Sunshine Forest.

Fourside: This is a city in EarthBound and it appears in Mother 3 under the name New Pork City.

Saturn Valley: This is a location in EarthBound where the player meets the Mr. Saturn race. It also appears in Mother 3, but it has been abandoned.

Magicant: This is a location in both the first and second game, though it is different in each. In Mother, it is a dream world that the player can enter. In EarthBound, it is revealed to be a manifestation of the main character’s subconscious.

Winters: This is a town in EarthBound that appears briefly in Mother 3, where it is destroyed by the Pigmask Army.

These recurring locations help to create a sense of continuity throughout the series.

By Enrique Guzmán Egas on Unsplash

Why were the names of the towns of Onett, Twoson and Fourside changed in Mother 3?

The names of the towns were changed in Mother 3 because the game was never officially released outside of Japan, so the names were translated by fans rather than by Nintendo. The translators chose to use different names for the towns to differentiate them from the previous games and to make them more culturally relevant to English-speaking players. Additionally, the names of the towns in Mother 3 are puns on the numbers 1, 2, and 3, which would not make sense in English, so the translators had to come up with new puns that would be understandable to English speakers.

Ahh, okay. In the Japanese versions of Mother 2 and Mother 3, does Onett have the same name?

No, in the Japanese versions of Mother 2 and Mother 3, Onett is called “Onett” (オネット) and its name is not changed. The name changes were made specifically for the English localizations of the games.

Ah, neat. Thank you. Have there been any controversies related to the Mother games?

There have been a few controversies related to the Mother games over the years. One of the most notable was the controversy over the religious references in EarthBound. In the game, there is a cult called Happy Happyism that is portrayed in a negative light, and some players and religious groups took offense to the way the game handled religious themes. Another controversy was related to the character Mr. Saturn in EarthBound. Some players saw his design as resembling a derogatory racial caricature, although the creator of the series, Shigesato Itoi, has stated that Mr. Saturn was inspired by a combination of a boiled egg and a squid. Additionally, there have been controversies over the lack of official localization for Mother 3 in the West, with many fans feeling frustrated and disappointed by the lack of an official release.

What race was Mr. Saturn supposed to be by people who were offended? I never heard of that before. The character looks so different from a human I can’t believe people were offended. I’m pretty sure there’s a nice Aristotle quote describing people who get offended by everything, that may be relevant.

There have been some claims that Mr. Saturn was a caricature of Jewish people, due to some similarities in appearance. This caused some controversy, although it was never officially confirmed or acknowledged by the game’s creators. It’s worth noting, however, that this interpretation is not universally accepted and that Mr. Saturn’s design is widely regarded as simply being quirky and unique. As for the Aristotle quote, he did indeed have a famous quote about those who are easily offended: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

That’s a great quote. They should teach that in grade schools. As a Jewish person, I can’t believe anybody thought Mr. Saturn was supposed to be anything but a silly looking character, much less a harmful Jewish caricature. Some people make me laugh. Any other controversies?

Another controversy surrounding the Mother series occurred when the game was being developed for the Nintendo 64. The game, which was going to be called “EarthBound 64,” was ultimately cancelled due to development issues and the high cost of producing cartridges for the Nintendo 64. This decision was met with disappointment from fans who were eagerly anticipating the release of the game. In response, a group of fans launched a campaign called “Starmen.net” to show support for the game and to convince Nintendo to release it. However, despite the efforts of fans, the game was never released and remains one of the most highly anticipated and sought-after unreleased games.

Oh yea, I remember when that happened. Child me was heartbroken.

Yes, it was a disappointing moment for many fans of the series. However, there have been ongoing efforts by fans to try and convince Nintendo to release Mother 3 outside of Japan, with some fans even translating the game themselves. Despite this, Nintendo has yet to officially announce any plans for an official Western release.

I wish. What’s that they say about hoping in one hand and doing something in the other? Don’t answer that, I’m being facetious. Who are the main characters in Mother 2?

The main characters in Mother 2, also known as EarthBound in the West, are Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo. Ness is the main protagonist of the game and is joined by his three friends on his journey to defeat an alien invader named Giygas. Each of the characters has their own unique abilities and personalities that play a significant role in the game’s story and gameplay.

By Pat Moin on Unsplash

Was Giygas in either of the other Mother games?

Giygas does not appear as a character in either the first or third Mother game, although his influence is felt throughout the series. In Mother, Giygas is alluded to as the “Embodiment of Evil” and is the primary antagonist of the game. In Mother 3, Giygas is mentioned in passing as the “dark lord” of the game’s backstory, but does not play an active role in the game.

Who are the characters in Mother 3?

The main characters of Mother 3 are:

Lucas: The main protagonist of the game, who has psychic powers that allow him to use PK Love and various other PSI abilities. He is on a quest to save his homeland from a terrible threat.

Claus: Lucas’s twin brother who disappears early in the game. He is a talented fighter and becomes a major character later in the story.

Flint: The father of Lucas and Claus, who is devastated by the disappearance of his son Claus and sets out on a journey to find him.

Boney: Flint’s loyal dog who joins him on his journey.

Duster: A thief who is searching for the mystical artifacts known as the “Needles.”

Kumatora: A young woman who possesses PSI abilities and joins the party.

Salsa: A monkey who is captured by the Pigmask army and subjected to various experiments.

Masked Man: A mysterious figure who serves as the game’s primary antagonist and has a personal connection to the game’s heroes.

How accurate is the fan translation of the game?

The fan translation of Mother 3 has generally been praised for its accuracy and attention to detail. The translation was done by a group of fans known as the “MOTHER 3 Fan Translation Team” over the course of several years, and they went to great lengths to ensure that the English version of the game stayed true to the original Japanese text.

However, as with any fan translation, there may be some minor discrepancies or errors that were not caught during the translation process. Additionally, there is always a risk of legal repercussions for using fan translations of games that have not been officially released in certain regions, so it is important to be aware of the potential risks before downloading or using fan translations.

Thanks for the warning GPT. And thank you for answering my questions about EarthBound/Mother.

You’re welcome! It was a pleasure helping you with your questions. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more in the future!

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About the Creator

Aubrey Kate

I do stuff but we're just getting to know each other so why don't you slow down a bit?

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