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Mother 3 is finally on Nintendo Switch … but only in Japan

Clause standing b y a bench in Mother 3.
Nintendo

Mother 3, the highly requested cult-classic RPG for the Game Boy Advance, is set to appear today on the Nintendo Switch Online service. But there’s a catch: It’s only available in Japan.

North Americans were first introduced to the Mother series under the name Earthbound on the SNES in 1995. As was common at the time, the game was renamed for the West in an attempt to avoid confusion. In 2006, a third entry was released in Japan for the GBA simply called Mother 3, but it has never had an official translation for Western audiences. Both Mother 2, aka Earthbound, and the original Mother, renamed Earthbound Beginnings, have been added to Nintendo Switch Online, but there has never been any indication that the third game would receive the same treatment.

A small, but dedicated fan base has been asking for official translations for Mother 3, but they have always been either ignored or denied in official statements. The general consensus as to why boils down to some dark and potentially problematic subject matter in the game that could not be easily taken out or altered for a Western release.

The Mother series was developed by HAL Laboratory and written by Shigesato Itoi. The latest game features Lucas, who has only officially appeared outside of Japan via Super Smash Bros., on a quest to save the world from a mysterious army. It features a unique RPG combat system in which players engage in battles using Super Mario RPG-esque timed hits for additional damage and a unique roulette-style UI for health and mana.

There has been no statement regarding Mother 3 coming to the Nintendo Switch Online service outside of Japan at this time.

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