Nintendo‘s relationship to its 1995 cult classic Earthbound has been rocky, at best. NOA specifically has been wary of directly supporting the IP, only hinting at its existence through games like Super Smash Bros. However, recently and with little fanfare the gaming giant re-released the beloved 16-bit RPG on the Wii U Virtual Console, much to the appreciation of countless fans who have been waiting patiently for over a decade. Hope is in sight for further franchise releases, as a Miiverse update has added an announcement board specifically for Earthbound.
The board is named “Onett Times,” after the game’s starting location, and will act as a hub for franchise news. Its debut post informed players of a digital game guide, a complete replica of the guide book that was bundled with the original game. The fact that Earthbound has already seen its re-release, however, leads fans to believe that more information could be coming. Its spiritual prequel and sequel games Mother and Mother 3 have never been seen outside of Japan, so it’s possible they could see an American release in due time.
Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi also wrote an open letter to fans recently, detailing a more personal experience and connection to the game.
“It was like a group of children taking dolls from a toy chest. Old dishes no longer used in the kitchen. Nuts and bolts found inside a toolbox. Little flowers and leaves from the backyard. And they were all laid down on the carpet with everybody singing made-up songs. Ready to talk all day about that world they just made. That, I think was how Earthbound was made.”
At the end of his open letter, he thanks fans for their support and expresses his excitement for the American re-release of his game. Though Itoi has previously dismissed any notion of a fourth Mother game, chances are good that US releases of Mother and Mother 3 could reach the Wii U before too long, helping justify the Earthbound Miiverse community board’s existence.
Any Ranters out there already playing Earthbound on Wii U, or have the original for Super Nintendo? What do you think the chances are we’ll see Mother and Mother 3 officially released in North America? Let us know in the comments!
Hardcore Earthbound fans, let’s chat! Follow me on Twitter @superkyol.