Japan is the birthplace of thousands of video games that we have enjoyed and can’t get enough of since we were kids, and probably even still now that we are all grown ups. One of the best role-playing video games that has made a big impact on 90’s kids is Nintendo game ‘The Legend of Zelda’ that most people will know, but have you already heard of ‘Mother’? Nintendo has just made this great role-playing game available for players all over the world.
For those who are not into playing video games yet but want to know more about this addictive game, you might find this article useful to get you into the game as its story is captivating!
The game ‘Mother’, which is also known as “Earthbound Beginnings” outside Japan, was the brainchild of Mr. Shigesato Itoi. Shigesato-san is a copywriter and essayist who is also deeply fascinated with movies, adventures, and games especially Dragon Quest III. His fascination with Dragon Quest III inspired him to create the unusual game ‘Mother’ in the 1980’s, which deals with various topics such as modernity, the consumer world, family ties, and the environment.
After its successful commercial release in Japan on July 20, 1989, the video game was followed by two sequels called ‘Earthbound’ and ‘Mother 3’ which were released in 1994 and 2006 respectively. According to Shigesato-san, the title of the role-playing game (RPG) ‘Mother’ can have several meanings, but the closest word that could be associated with the title is ‘bosen’, which means mother-ship.
Instead of a fast moving action video game, Shigesato-san breaks rules of conventional video games by introducing a dramatic theme that captures human follies. The protagonist of ‘Mother’ could represent any nationality, so any player could identify with it. The game follows the story of a young married couple who mysteriously disappear from their town. The husband then returns mysteriously, and he disappears again after two years and starts to study in isolation. The wife on the other hand, is still missing.
Years later, on a separate occasion, a young boy is attacked at home in a paranormal event. The father explains later to the young boy that his great-grandfather possesses psychic powers, and then asks the young boy to investigate the crisis brought upon them by invading aliens. This is where the adventure of the young boy begins.
As the story progresses, he will meet several characters which include the queen, another young boy from earth, a girl with psychic powers, and so on. The highlight of the story is the parting and reunion of the young boy with his friends and mother. The parting and reunion are a huge part of the drama, which packs an emotional punch for anyone who plays the game.
Since June 2015, the first two parts of the Mother series have been commercially available worldwide for the Wii U Virtual Console. Gamers are probably still rejoicing because ‘Mother 3’ has finally returned to Japan in December 2015, with a Virtual Console release for the Wii U. Considered as a classic favorite, fans have also requested Shigesato-san to write a sequel to ‘Mother 3’. However, the writer has said that the series ends at ‘Mother 3’, despite its popularity with both gamers and critics.
Unlike the first two Mother series (‘Earthbound Beginnings’ and ‘Earthbound’), ‘Mother 3’ was not set for international release. Thus, die-hard fans of the Mother series can only get a hold of ‘Mother 3’ in Japan, where it is available for download for around 5 dollars (you can check the details here, in Japanese only).