In a post on Twitter, Nintendo of Japan confirmed the release of the much-loved Mother 3 for the Wii U Virtual Console, solely in their home market. Mother 3 is the most recent title in the franchise known in the West as Earthbound, releasing exclusively in Japan back in 2006 for the Game Boy Advance.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, Earthbound was released on the SNES in 1995. It met a great deal of critical acclaim, but due to a wonky advertising approach and a unique tone, it struggled in the sales department. It quickly became a cult hit in the West, so when a successor was announced nearly a decade later, fans got excited. That excitement quickly gave way to disappointment, when Nintendo announced they had no plans to localize Mother 3.
Mother 3 remains a Japan-exclusive title, though whether that holds true for this Virtual Console release remains to be seen. A translation patch for the original Game Boy Advance release has been made available by long-term fan and recognized translator Tomato, who has reportedly approached Nintendo to offer his assistance. While this is in no way any indication that we’ll see Mother 3 finally come to the West, it’s a sign of life for an otherwise largely dormant franchise. If nothing else, we’ll always have the fantastic Earthbound, in all of its absurd glory.
Mother 3 will hit the Japanese e-Shop on December 17 this year.