Nintendo decided to kick E3 week off a little early this morning with the announcement of Ryu and Roy being added as DLC characters in Super Smash Bros. Joining Ryu and Roy is the previously announced Lucas of EarthBound fame, a fan favorite character that was cut in the jump from Brawl to the Wii U and 3DS versions of Smash. Considering Nintendo’s general disinterest towards EarthBound over the years, no one could be blamed if they thought that Lucas in Smash was all that Nintendo had to offer fans of the cult classic series this year.
However, during the 2015 Nintendo World Championships, the Big N made a surprise announcement ahead of their upcoming Nintendo E3 2015 Digital Event. The original Mother (the Japanese name for the EarthBound series), a game that has never been released outside of Japan in an official capacity, is finally getting a proper worldwide release over 20 years later, as EarthBound Beginnings.
To make the news even more exciting, fans won’t have to wait years or months or even days to get their hands on the game. In fact, EarthBound Beginnings will be available to download tonight at 6pm PDT from the Wii U Virtual Console service.
Fans have been awaiting EarthBound Beginnings for many years. There have been unofficial fan translations, sure, but it’s not just not the same as playing an official release. Fans of the EarthBound series in general should be very excited about this news as well, even if they’ve already played through the fan translations, as it shows that Nintendo is finally giving the series the recognition it deserves.
The release of EarthBound Beginnings leaves just one entry in the series that has never managed to make it out of Japan. The game in question is Mother 3, a Game Boy Advance title that was created to bring closure to the franchise. However, with Nintendo finally giving the original Mother a proper release as EarthBound Beginnings, this leaves the door wide open for an actual localization of Mother 3, one of the most requested games of all time by Nintendo fans. In fact, one fan even offered to translate the game for free, in an attempt to convince Nintendo to localize it.
With the announcement and impending release of EarthBound Beginnings couple with the Wii U release of the SNES EarthBound last year, Nintendo is introducing the franchise to a larger audience than ever before. Mother 3 could very well be the next EarthBound game that has a localization announced, or maybe Nintendo’s plans for the franchise are even more ambitious than that.
The 2015 Nintendo World Championships are still ongoing at the time of this writing, but Nintendo’s E3 presence isn’t even close to over. Be sure to tune in to the Nintendo E3 2015 Digital Event on Tuesday, June 16th at 9am PDT. EarthBound Beginnings will be available to download from the Wii U Virtual Console service at 6pm PDT starting tonight.