Here's One Possible Reason Mother 3 Still Hasn't Received an Official Release in America

Here's One Possible Reason Mother 3 Still Hasn't Received an Official Release in America

Word to your Mother.

Mother 3, the Game Boy Advance follow-up to Mother 2 (Earthbound) on the SNES, might not ever come to the Switch—or to any other Nintendo platform, for that matter. Nintendo reportedly had solid plans to officially bring the RPG westward in 2016 but scrapped those plans after it realized localizing the game's controversial content would be difficult.

Earlier this week, Game Informer senior editor Imran Khan declared Mother 3 "a dead end" in a Resetera thread discussing the latest Nintendo Direct (thanks, Eurogamer). "It was full steam ahead for a while," Imran posts, "but upon re-evaluation there were aspects of the game that weren't going to go without controversy."

If you've already played Clyde "Tomato" Mandelin's excellent fan translation of Mother 3, then you can already pick out a controversy or two. For starters, Mother 3 is a dark game where terrible things happen to innocent children. The game's young protagonist, Lucas, also undergoes a nightmarish hallucination sequence after he eats some bad mushrooms (turns out damp patches of poisoned ground aren't reliable dealers). But Nintendo's probably most stuck on how to localize the Magypsies, ancient beings with complicated gender expressions. Most of the Magypsies blend male and female characteristics, and there's a good chance Nintendo would rather bow out of translating Mother 3 than court controversy.

Strong rumors about an official localization for Mother 3 entered the atmosphere in 2016, but then they seemingly broke up and vanished without a trace. The buzz, followed by dead silence, gives credence to Khan's report. Nintendo's adoption of the Bayonetta games demonstrates it's getting more comfortable marketing games with extremely violent and sexual themes, but it might feel it's out of its league with the Magypsies, which is a big shame. Maybe something will change in the future. I hope it does. Mother 3 is a powerful game that's unlike any other RPG on the Game Boy Advance—or any other system.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Several Big Google Stadia Features Won't Go Live Until 2020

Family sharing, Android compatibility, and more are missing the launch window.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Director Has a Pretty Simple Explanation for Why Exp. Share is Always On

The new game's director explains why one feature is locked in the On position.

Rockstar is Promising Imminent Patch for Red Dead Redemption 2's Stuttering Woes

PC players with Nvidia gear have been hootin' and hollerin' for a fix.

AOC Reveals Her League of Legends Ranking, Which is Actually Higher Than Rick Fox's

Let's get an exhibition match in Summoner's Rift going.

A Massive Stardew Valley Update is Dropping Very Soon

The free 1.4 update is just around the corner for PC players.

Xbox XO19 Could be Where All of Microsoft's Shiny New Studios Start to Bear Fruit

It looks like the many, many studios of Xbox will have some news to share.

More News

Several Big Google Stadia Features Won't Go Live Until 2020

Family sharing, Android compatibility, and more are missing the launch window.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Director Has a Pretty Simple Explanation for Why Exp. Share is Always On

The new game's director explains why one feature is locked in the On position.

Rockstar is Promising Imminent Patch for Red Dead Redemption 2's Stuttering Woes

PC players with Nvidia gear have been hootin' and hollerin' for a fix.

AOC Reveals Her League of Legends Ranking, Which is Actually Higher Than Rick Fox's

Let's get an exhibition match in Summoner's Rift going.

More on Game Boy Advance

The Analogue Pocket is Bringing Retro Handheld Gaming Back to Life

Analogue's new device looks like a Game Boy Pocket but supports a lot more than Game Boy classics.

Mario & Luigi Series Developer AlphaDream Files for Bankruptcy

The Superstar Saga creator is reportedly in severe debt.

What's Your Favorite Console Revision?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | The Switch Lite is out today, so let's look back on the history of console revisions.

Downhill Jam: The Game Industry Reflects on 20 Years of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater turns 20 in September, so we spoke to people across the industry who remember the series fondly.

In Memorium: Fire Emblem's Juicy, Chunky GBA Sprites

A little bit of sprite art could convey a lot of emotion on the GBA.

A Reminder for Fans Raging About Pokemon Sword and Shield: Every New Entry is Somebody's First

In this exciting issue: I recall dismissing Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire as "lazy" back in 2002.

More Role Playing Games Games

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Director Has a Pretty Simple Explanation for Why Exp. Share is Always On

The new game's director explains why one feature is locked in the On position.

Bethesda Starts a New Studio Around the Original Prey Development Team

Human Head also worked on Prey 2 for Bethesda prior to its cancellation in 2014.

You Should Look Closely at the Switch in Pokemon Sword and Shield’s First Room

Game Freak gives the Switch a unique salute in Sword and Shield.

Pokemon's Level Limits Won't Stop You From Collecting Shiny Pokemon

You'll encounter Pokemon you can't catch in the Wild Area, but don't fret about missing out on a shiny.