Nintendo is celebrating Mother’s 30th anniversary (EarthBound in the West) with a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate event. From July 26 through July 28, the Spirit Board will have fights based on characters from that series appear at a higher frequency than normal. As always, you’ll also receive more gold than usual for completing the battles.
O Mother, Where Art Thou?
In Japan, the Mother series is a well-loved, if not popular franchise created by writer Shigesato Itoi. The original entry was released on the Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System) on July 27, 1989. While the game was fully translated into English, it wasn’t until the summer of 2015 that the game released in the West as EarthBound Beginnings.
Meanwhile, we received Mother 2 as EarthBound at the end of the SNES’s lifetime. While it had disappointing sales, the game would become popular after its protagonist Ness appeared in Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. There is still no official release of Mother 3 outside of Japan, though there is an excellent fan translation. Itoi himself has stated no desire to work on a Mother 4, but he’d be happy to give his blessing if someone wanted to pick up the reins.
In short, Mother’s 30th anniversary is a bit of a bittersweet celebration in the West. Even in Japan, there will be a feature in Nintendo Dream magazine, this Smash Bros. event, and not much more.
Who still celebrates Mother’s Day?
Millions of words have been written about the Mother/EarthBound series. For a franchise that has never been pushed outside of Japan, it’s made an incredible impact in the Nintendo fandom. An active and vibrant community still thrives online in places like Starmen.net. One of the greatest video game translations to date is the aforementioned Mother 3 fan project, which Nintendo still hasn’t taken action against. Even Fangamer, one of the premium video game merch outlets, had its start as a bunch of EarthBound fans coming together and making things to celebrate their favorite series.
As such, while Nintendo may not be pulling out all the stops for Mother’s 30th birthday, I can’t wait to see what the community has in store. And it’s always good to have extra Spirits to feed to amiibo.
What do you think? Will you be playing in this event? What kind of fan creation are you working on? Is Ness’s Dad one of the best Spirits there is? Let us know!