ＭＯＴＨＥＲ３ Mother 3
The original Mother 3 boxart
|System||Game Boy Advance|
Wii U (Virtual Console)
|Japan||April 20, 2006|
December 17, 2015 (Wii U Virtual Console)
|Fan translation||October 17, 2008|
Boxart of Mother 3 that was packaged with the Deluxe Box
Mother 3 (Japanese: マザースリー ＭＯＴＨＥＲ３) is a role playing video game developed by Brownie Brown and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance on April 20, 2006. It is the third and final video game in the Mother series, and revolves around the fictional Nowhere Islands, their invasion by the Pigmask Army, and the attempts of young Lucas to depose them.
Although initially conceived for release on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Mother 3 was the subject of multiple delays and several consoles. Initial efforts to develop an N64 sequel failed, and while the project was canceled for a short time, Mother 3 was re-announced in 2003. Its subsequent release on the Game Boy Advance was met with commercial success and positive reception.
Although the game has not been released outside of Japan due to its mature themes, Mother 3 has enjoyed a cult following similar to that of its predecessor, EarthBound. In October 2008, a fan translation of the game was released by Starmen.net, and Mother 3 has been represented by Lucas in the Super Smash Bros. series since Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
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Unlike the first two games, the focus is no longer on a group of children. Some chapters put completely different characters in the protagonist role. In one chapter the player controls a limping thief named Duster, in another chapter the main character is Salsa, a monkey who is constantly suffering abuse by a rich traveling merchant named Fassad. The only child character the player gets to control is Lucas, who is about nine to ten years old in the first three chapters and twelve to thirteen years for the remainder of the game. Further controllable characters include Kumatora, a tomboyish princess, Flint, a strange middle-aged cowboy and Lucas's father, and Lucas's dog, Boney.
Mother 3 is set in the Nowhere Islands, some unknown amount of years after EarthBound. Chaos ensues after an invasion by the Pigmask Army, named after the uniforms, which resemble pigs, and its leader, Porky Minch, the "Pig King". They slowly construct a police state, while experimenting on the land's flora and fauna, and introducing new technology and infrastructure to the islands. The various chapters record the life of a boy named Lucas and his family and friends, banding together to rid the Nowhere Islands of the Pigmask Army.
The game opens with Flint, who, after a fire in the forest, finds out that his wife Hinawa and his sons Lucas and Claus haven't come back to the village yet. He then sets out to look for them with the help of his dog, Boney and the town's residential thief, Duster. He soon finds out his wife has been killed by a drago, leaving him to raise their sons. After Claus goes missing to kill the Drago that killed his mother, Flint, with the help of Alec, Hinawa's father, goes looking for him. Claus ultimately lost the battle and, presumably, was killed. Flint could not find the body.
From here, Duster is drafted to go to the haunted Osohe Castle by his father Wess to find the Egg of Light. Duster purchases the Rope Snake to help him cross gaps in the castle. Along the way, Duster and Wess meet Kumatora. After they stop several Pigmasks, the trio is flushed out of the castle and Duster loses his memory. He joins the musical group DCMC as their bassist.
In Duster's absence, the Pigmask Army moves into Tazmily Village and, with the help of Fassad and his abused monkey Salsa, they help modernize the town with new infrastructure and "Happy Boxes," which are like TV's. They use the happiness boxes primarily to corrupt the residents of Tazmily and make their job of establishing authority easier. Salsa is ultimately rescued by Kumatora, Wess, and Lucas.
Wess eventually gets wind of Duster's whereabouts and asks Lucas to confirm the rumors that he has joined DCMC and to respond via homing pigeon. With the help of Kumatora (disguised as a waitress), Lucas and Boney find Duster and the four set off together to Thunder Tower.
After shutting down the tower, Fassad appears to try to stop them, but falls from the tower. Shortly after, an aircraft comes with the Masked Man inside. Duster grabs the craft with the Rope Snake and the party clings for dear life as the ship flies away. The Rope Snake cannot hold forever though, and the party falls from the aircraft.
Lucas awakes in a field full of sunflowers. After finding Boney, he sees figments of his mother, Hinawa. After chasing her off the edge of a cliff, he falls back down to Tazmily Village, where Wess and Alec bring him home and help him get well. After rescuing the Magypsy Ionia, Lucas and Boney find out about the Seven Needles. Pulling the Seven Needles will release a seal on the Dark Dragon, a being that rests below the islands, which inherently possesses massive power. In the wrong hands it could destroy the islands, while it could heal the world in good hands. The party races against the Pigmask Army to activate the needles. Lucas and Boney soon find themselves in a genetic-engineering laboratory where Dr. Andonuts and other scientists work. However, the most dangerous of their creations, the Ultimate Chimera, has been set loose. After fleeing from the beast, they discover Salsa and his girlfriend Samba trying to escape the lab. Salsa, remembering how Lucas helped save him from Fassad, deactivates the Ultimate Chimera, and helps him escape. The party heads to the home of one of the Magypsy and encounters Kumatora, who rejoins the party. With the help of Dr. Andonuts, Lucas drains the lake and pulls the needle. Upon leaving the area, Lucas and co. encounter Okera, the mole cricket from the prologue of the game. He challenges Lucas to another match, and leads the party down into the lair where the mole crickets live. After an easy battle, the party is allowed to travel through the maze-like caves that lead up into a tall mountain. After traveling up the mountain, the group meets the next Magypsy, who has allowed a captured Pork Colonel-turned-good to rest in the house. Before Lucas gets a chance to pull the needle behind the Magypsy's house, the Masked Man arrives and pulls the needle. After a battle with the Mecha-Gorilla, the party ramps off the mountains in a refrigerator and crashes in Tazmily Village's cemetery.
The party then finds a series of notes with strange handwriting that ask for help, and they are led through a new route on the Pork Highway atop a strange vehicle. They arrive at their destination, which is an occupied Saturn Valley where the Mr. Saturns, Duster, and Rope Snake are being interrogated by the Pigmask Army on the whereabouts of the nearby Needle. After freeing the village, Duster rejoins the party. The Mr. Saturns help the group enter the volcano, where another Needle is guarded by a rebuilt Fassad, now sporting trumpets as weaponry. After defeating him, Lucas pulls the needle and the reunited party returns to Saturn Valley. With the help of the Mr. Saturns, the party uses a flock of birds to return to Tazmily Village and enter the ocean.
After emerging, Lucas, Boney, Duster, and Kumatora are low on energy and decide to eat some strange-looking mushrooms. Boney opts out, leaving the human party members to experience a drug-induced hallucination in the jungle. − − Eventually the party makes its way to the next Magypsy, Mixolydia ("Missy" for short), and the 5th Needle, which was pulled by the Masked Man, and are ferried back to Tazmily Village on the back of an Ochu, Missy's octopus friend. Using the Jar of Yummy Pickles Missy left them, Lucas and friends get to Ionia's house where they acquire the Waters of Time so they can get into the temple nearby. At the temple, they meet the Masked Man. He is defeated and flies away, leaving Lucas to pull the next Needle as Ionia disappears. As they exit the temple, a limousine pulls up, inviting them to New Pork City.
In New Pork City, Lucas and friends go to the movie theater, which shows some of the Porky's past adversaries (including Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo from EarthBound). A stinkbug gets the attention of Boney, and the party chases him into the sewers. Once there, they follow Boney's barks to find Leder, the bell ringer from Tazmily Village. He tells them the long history of their world and Porky, including the fact that their islands are a post-apocalyptic utopia and that it exists on the back of a giant sleeping dragon, which is kept asleep by the Needles. The Magypsy were put in place to guard them. On the way out of the sewers, Fassad attacks again, now known as Miracle Fassad and is defeated by the party.
As the group climbs the Empire Porky Building, which is the tallest building in New Pork City, they discover a Magypsy house. Upon entering, they find items that prove that Fassad is the final Magypsy, which include a turban like Fassad's, a pair of trumpets like the ones Fassad has after being rebuilt, many crates filled with luxury bananas, which Fassad ate throughout the game, and banana peels lazily tossed on the floor like Fassad did.
When the party makes its way up the final floor, they discover a robot that resembles Porky. They compete with the robot in a few mini-games before moving on to Porky himself.
On top of the tower, they find the Hall of Memories, showcasing many items from EarthBound, which include the Runaway Five's tour bus, Tessie, the helicopter that Porky flew away from the Monotoli building in, the submarine which Ness and co. used to enter Deep Darkness swamp, the black and white sesames from the desert between Threed and Fourside, and Porky's original spider-mech from the battle with Giygas, before ending up in a long hallway leading to Porky. In Porky's room they are attacked by more complete Porky robots, which are soon destroyed by Duster's ex-bandmates of DCMC. After the townspeople of Tazmily Village enter the room with Dr. Andonuts and Flint, Porky descends from the vines on the roof to speak to the party. He reveals that the last Needle has been found and challenges Lucas and friend to beat him to it via the express elevator. Lucas, Boney, Kumatora, Duster, and Flint rapidly descend the elevator shaft to a mine-like environment.
Flint goes ahead and soon tells Lucas that the Masked Man is actually his brother Claus, who has been changed by the Pigmask Army. They have been using him because he is the only other one besides Lucas who is capable of pulling the Needles and awakening the dragon.
Porky soon confronts them in his spider-mech. When Porky seems to be defeated, he calls upon the Absolutely Safe Capsule and climbs inside. It seals Porky inside and being true to its name, it protects Porky from all harm. However, Porky finds that he cannot harm the heroes, either. When the battle ends, Dr. Andonuts reveals that he built the Absolutely Safe Capsule with the specifications that once someone is inside, the machine cannot be opened by anyone, including the person inside of it, and while Porky is "absolutely safe", he is trapped in the machine forever.
Before reaching the final Needle, the Masked Man attacks again in a one-on-one battle with Lucas, who stays safe from his lightning attack thanks to the Franklin Badge. Hinawa pleads with Claus from beyond the grave, trying to get him to stop attacking Lucas, while Flint blocks the effects of the PK Love attack. Eventually, the Masked Man removes his helmet revealing himself as Claus, and regaining his own will, he sends a final bolt of lightning at Lucas so that it would reflect back at him and end the fight. After Claus collapses, he regains his sense of self and utters a few parting words. Lucas pulls the final needle, and the player is shown a grim outlook of what appears to be the end of the Nowhere Islands. A secret on the final screen of the game, in which the word 'End?' appears, will actually reveal that everybody survives the attack and thank the player for all their help. As the residents of the Nowhere Islands give their thanks, the player finds a Doorknob, likely the doorknob that was pulled off Flint's door in Chapter 1.
Unlike the two games before it, having a set of four playable characters and rarely deviating from it, Mother 3's playable cast changes often before settling on a team of four in Chapter 7.
- Pigmasks and the Pigmask Army - The main threat in Tazmily Village, the Pigmask Army does various things such as reconstructing wild animals, hypnotizing people with Happy Boxes and set Sunshine Forest on fire, and other evil tasks.
- Porky - The leader of the Pigmask Army, his tasks are fueled by a simple desire to destroy everything.
- Masked Man - The commander of the Pigmask Army, a cyborg controlled by Porky as a fighting machine and to also pull the Seven Needles.
Mother 3 was released on April 20th, 2006 for the Game Boy Advance, however it was also playable on older Nintendo DS models released at the time. The game was only released in Japan and to this day has not had an official English release.
At the time of the release, a limited time Deluxe Box was also released only in Japan that sold for 18,000 yen. Packaged inside was the game itself in a white box (as opposed to the regular red box), a Franklin Badge pin, and a Mother 3 themed Game Boy Micro.
On December 17th 2015, the game was released on the Wii U's Virtual Console exclusively in Japan.
- Main article: Mother 3 fan translation
A team from the fansite Starmen.net created a fan translation of Mother 3 in 2008. It can be found at mother3.fobby.net
- Mother 3 was originally going to be released on the Nintendo 64DD add-on under the name EarthBound 64. However, the add-on flopped, and although some games originally planned for the N64DD were continued on the original N64, EarthBound 64 was scrapped and moved to the GBA.
- Near the end of the game, there is a room that shows off various objects from EarthBound. It also plays the song Pollyanna, from EarthBound Beginnings.
- In the games files there is an unused boss that seems to resemble Claus and Lucas.
- Article on StrategyWiki, the game guide encyclopedia.
- Information about Mother 3 at starmen.net.
- Walkthrough of the game by Starmen.net
by Shigesato Itoi
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