Nintendo has a long history of not doing things that seem like really good ideas to everyone else, and that has never been more true than in the case of Mother 3. Despite repeated requests from fans around the world, the 2006 sequel to the beloved SNES RPG Earthbound (aka Mother 2 in Japan) was never released outside of Japan even though there’s a well-established global market for Nintendo’s most iconic titles.
Fortunately, it seems like Nintendo is finally ready to rectify that mistake. Multiple sources are reporting that Nintendo is planning to release a localized version of Mother 3 for the Wii U Virtual Console sometime later this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the title. The digital version would be the first official English translation of Mother 3, and if true it will be interesting to see how it differs from the unofficial fan translations that are currently available.
The news is still technically a rumor, though Eurogamer cites several people close to Nintendo and its own reporting while making the claim, so there’s an awful lot of smoke even if we’re yet to see the fire. It would also make a certain amount of sense considering that Nintendo has finally started to appreciate the value of the franchise in recent years. The Mother series has enjoyed increased visibility thanks to Super Smash Bros., where Earthbound protagonist Ness has been a fixture since the original Super Smash Bros. for the N64. Meanwhile, Earthbound was rereleased for the Virtual Console in 2013, while the original Mother was rereleased as Earthbound Beginnings in 2015. Like Mother 3, the latter had never been released outside of Japan, and the success of those two titles likely encouraged Nintendo to move forward with the conclusion of the trilogy.
It’s unusual to see a game get an official release after so much time on the shelves, but it would be the only fitting coda for Mother 3‘s long journey to North America.