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Happy Happyists No Longer Blue; The Mother 3 Fan Translation is Complete

Let’s be honest: all these ’shooters’ and ‘MMOs’ and hardcore whatchamadillies you throw money away on are really just filler, killing time until your true purpose in life is once again accessible and—most importantly—readable. Everyone knows it. How you keep the scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers beneath your pillow, inhaling deep the SHROOOM! scent to keep the nightmares at bay. You can’t enter a modern museum without shanking the abstract art that’s bound to attack you. You’re always on the lookout for Big Foot, but mostly because he’s got such great jerky. You get a chill of nostalgia when someone offers you fuzzy pickles. Or even, someone offers you fuzzy pickles more than never.

Really, you love Earthbound, Mother, and everything related. You’ve been waiting for a sequel, any kind of sequel, since accidentally trading your strategy guide for a copy of Stone Protectors. You thought you would have it only a year after, on the N64. How wrong we all were. Twelve years, thousands of fans’ protests, and twenty-three months of translation later: Mother 3 is available in English.

Upon its release in 1995, Earthbound was a strange experience packaged in an oversized, claymation-ified box promising aliens, roaming dinosaurs, and exploration of Saturn Valley, which the uninformed player had no idea could do all for him (B@iNg!). North American audiences, unprepared for a series as clever, thoughtful, and outright strange as Mother, due to lack of its NES predecessor here in the states, did not inhale copies as hoped. Though a sizable fan base was built at this time, the party didn’t really get started until Ness’s appearance in Super Smash Bros. in 1999; but by then, NA was cut off from the Mother fanfare that would later bring the GBA title Mother 1+2, as well as Mother 3, to Japan, but not beyond.

Yes, this was upsetting. English-speaking fans, upon hearing they would not be receiving their longed-for Mother 3, were devastated. Then angry. Then adamant. Starmen.Net, arguably the most popular Earthbound / Mother fansite on the web, began a coalition. Their Earthbound Siege took the trampled-on voices of the Mother fanbase and made them heard. The Siege recommended all fans call Nintendo, write to them, or draw them an Earthbound-related image. Their efforts drew attention. This attention garnered more fans.

But, with a semi-official statement confirming that their worst fears were indeed true, despite noble efforts, on November 8, 2006, Starmen.Net staff began their fan translation of Mother 3. And on October 19, almost two full years later, the fan translation is complete. Where does two years’ time go? Is translating a game really that difficult, you ask? Well, when you’re translating a game in a series known for cities where everyone says the opposite of what they mean (”If you stay here too long, you’ll end up frying your brain. Yes, you will. No, you will...not. Yesno, you will won’t.”); subtle jokes mocking the purported power of a quintet of moles, each of which is the third strongest of the five; and now, (thanks to Reidman, Tomato, demi, and Gideon Zhi of Starmen.Net), such delicacies as a sign whose sole purpose is to tell you “In order to read this sign you had to trample on the flowers at your feet,” yeah, it’s a wee bit challenging.

And these are all reasons I’m thrilled the fan translation is complete. Earthbound is one of the most engaging, rewarding, and sincerely entertaining experiences an RPG fan–or any gamer–can ask for. Mother 3 looks to offer even more of the same, with just as much heart, thanks to its dedicated fans. Even if it doesn’t quite live up to 12 years of mental hype and vicariously playing as Lucas in SSBB, (though I fully expect it to), it will still be what no other game can claim: the sequel to Earthbound.

To fully enjoy what’s been coming to us for over a decade, just find yourself a ROM of Mother 3 (after you technically import a copy of the game, for fun legal purposes), then head over to the Mother 3 Fan Translation site (yes, it does have “fobby” in the URL, squeal), and follow their simple instructions. Get your excitement-hurl out of the way, and you’re good to go. Excuse me.

“Barf! Vomit! Barf, barf! Chuck! Chuck! Drown to death in puke! Don’t you think that’s an incredibly masculine taunt to throw at you?”