It took an incredibly long time, but Nintendo fans will finally be able to download the SNES cult classic, Earthbound, on their Wii U before the year is through. Gamers have been rallying for an official re-release for years, meanwhile it’s been readily available in Japan for a rather substantial amount of time — it was even on the Wii’s Virtual Console — so followers of the franchise are unquestionably hyped now that it’s finally making its way to other territories.
Now that Earthbound is set to make its triumphant return to the Western world, it was only a matter of time until fans began putting efforts into bringing the game’s sequel over as well. Mother 3 (as the follow up is known in Japan) originally launched on the Game Boy Advance in 2006, but was never shipped to markets that didn’t utilize yen as their primary form of currency. Since Nintendo was reluctant to release the game elsewhere, fans translated the title themselves and made it available for the masses to emulate in 2008 — with an update hitting in 2009.
Over the years, the Big N hasn’t been shy about informing hopeful fans that it has no intention of releasing Earthbound 2 (Mother 3) anywhere else. Presumably this is a result of the expenses regarding the localization of the game, and if that’s the case then Clyde ‘Tomato’ Mandelin may be just what they need to get going on the project.
As one of the people behind the unofficial, fan-translated released of Mother 3, Mandelin has made a career out of translating Japanese to English for several high profile animes and video games. His portfolio includes everything from One Piece and Dragon Ball to Kingdom Hearts 2, which means that he’s someone to be seriously considered to work on Earthbound 2 for his background alone. Especially if you take into account that he’s officially offered Nintendo the all ready completed text translation files for the game as gratis.
“I realize that localizing a game this size can cost a lot, so if it’ll help in even the slightest, I’ll gladly offer to let Nintendo use my text translation files for any use at all, completely for free. I’ll even edit the files to fit whatever new standards are necessary (content, formatting, memory size, etc.), completely for free. I’ll even retranslate everything from scratch if need be. Just whatever it takes to get an official release out.”
Clyde has acknowledged that his proposal “is a silly-sounding offer,” but pointed to an example where something similar happened with a video game called YS: The Oath of Felghana. XSEED used a fan translation as the base for that title’s localization, which likely saved them a few bucks when it became to bringing YS to a new global audience.
Clyde Mandelin’s offer is something that Nintendo should be more than willing to jump on, but their decision to bring Earthbound 2 stateside will depend on one major factor. This factor in question is, of course, how well Earthbound actually does when it makes its return on the Wii U Virtual Console later this year. Provided there’s profit in bringing back Ness and friends, there’s an elevated chance that Ninty will splurge on the localization of Mother 3.
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