Earthbound Creator Says New Sequel is "Impossible"

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Earthbound Creator Says New Sequel is "Impossible"

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Replying to a fan on Twitter, Earthbound/Mother-creator Shigesato Itoi said a new game would be "impossible."

Known as Mother 2 in Japan, Earthbound hit American shores in 1995 and since then has managed to establish one of the most dedicated fanbases in gaming. Despite this, the game's predecessor and sequel, Mother 1 and 3, have never seen an official localization and release for English speaking audiences. Despite being privy to the rest of the series, Japanese gamers haven't had it much better. Mother 3 had a notoriously long development cycle, starting in the mid-90s and finally releasing in 2006. Since then, Japanese fans have continued to petition for new sequels, with little luck.

While Nintendo has vaguely suggested that future titles could someday be possible, the pleas of fans have generally been rebuffed by the series' creator, Shigesato Itoi. When questioned about the franchise in 2011, Itoi said "Mother is over now." He echoed this sentiment recently when a fan contacted him via Twitter asking if he could "please think about a way to make Mother 4." Itoi's response was both succinct and blunt: "Impossible."

While many will likely be discouraged by Itoi's reluctance to continue the Mother games, some may find solace in the efforts of the game's fanbase to expand the series' presence beyond the shores of Japan. A fan-made Mother 4 has been in development for several years now, and earlier this month a team of amateur translators offered to give Nintendo a completed localization of Mother 3 free of charge, hoping it might convince the company to release an official English version of the game. If none of that serves to comfort, Earthbound devotees will at least have a new opportunity to play the game when it's re-released on the Wii U's Virtual Console later this year.

Source: Kotaku

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Not surprising, even for a huge Mother fan like myself. Itoi feels the story is complete, and I don't think he ever really liked making games to begin with.

What I really hope we see are plenty more RPGs inspired by Earthbound/Mother in the future. That there are so few like it is really disappointing.

I've heard him say this many times before.

Though with Moviebobs vids the past 2 weeks I think a reboot could be done.

Scribblesense:
Not surprising, even for a huge Mother fan like myself. Itoi feels the story is complete, and I don't think he ever really liked making games to begin with.

True, but I still don't get the reluctance by Japanese developers to release English versions of their games when there is clearly a demand for it. Not just in regards to this, but there are many cases of games that get fan-translated versions put on the net, purely because they won't be available otherwise.

It just seems idiotic when you consider how many games fail due to a lack of support, and yet developers are quite happy to ignore making a profit from ones that do.

Legion:

Scribblesense:
Not surprising, even for a huge Mother fan like myself. Itoi feels the story is complete, and I don't think he ever really liked making games to begin with.

True, but I still don't get the reluctance by Japanese developers to release English versions of their games when there is clearly a demand for it. Not just in regards to this, but there are many cases of games that get fan-translated versions put on the net, purely because they won't be available otherwise.

It just seems idiotic when you consider how many games fail due to a lack of support, and yet developers are quite happy to ignore making a profit from ones that do.

Remember, if it dosen't look like whatever is popular then it won't sell.

The creed of every big name developer.

Let me put it this way - If you know that a great series is finished, and the creators of said series says that it's finished, then you are a being a real fan of the series by leaving it and them alone. Desiring more from a series that's done really means that you should move on and find something that's just as great, instead of wasting so much time hoping that something new will come. I mean, think about it as food - You may like pizza, but would you still like pizza if you always and only had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of your life?

Move on, people. There are other games and series out there that desire your attention. I don't care how much you love it; it's become that stuffed teddy or ragged blanket you carried around as a toddler. It'll be a harsh first few days without it, but you'll survive.

I would be content with an official release of Mother and Mother 3 personally. Either way, IF a fourth game would be made, it would probably have a tenuous connection to the previous games, much like Earthbound had a tenuous connection to Mother and 3 to Earthbound. It been so many years since a real release in North America that this isn't much of a loss.

*Oh no! We don't get a sequel to a game that was released 17 years ago!!* Big surprise.

huh...

Japan want Mother 4
America wants Mother 3
the EU is just happy it's getting Mother 2

I wonder if this says anything about how the regions are seen by nintendo?

I love and respect how blunt he was with that response "Impossible". He should of also added "Deal with it".

Shigesato Itoi feels that a good thing has come to an end. And I respect that.

It still burns as a person who wants more of the same. Earthbound/Mother was unique in the best of ways. It is a loss not to have more of that magic in the gaming industry.

Eh, no complaints here, the story is pretty self-contained. A reboot might not be out of the question, though...

CAPCHA: time lord - no reason, I'm just surprised I got that one...

If not a sequel why not just a "Earthbound: Complete Edition" and have all three of the games in there, translate them and shove them on the eShop for Wii U / 3DS.

If Shigesato Itoi doesn't care to continue the Mother series, that's fine, but he should hand it off to someone who does instead of just letting it languish in the back of fans' minds. Same with any other series for that matter.

Nothing's impossible. I would guess it's more like he just doesn't feel like he has the creative juices left for a new game to do the previous ones justice. I can respect a developer trying to avoid sequel stagnation despite a near guarantee of huge profits, but he could at least try making a spiritual successor series under a different name.

It's not like the story is a confinement either- the previous games were only connected by a handful of plot threads, and I bet most people didn't even know that Giygas was supposed to be the warped insane version of the 'Geigue' alien from the first game.

I respect his decision and can see/understand why.
It's a shame that something so unique, emotive and zany has to come to an official end.
But at the very least, I would really like for Itoi and Nintendo to collaborate and release Mother/Mother 3 with English translation on the E-shop or otherwise. They are great titles that deserve to be experienced and appreciated by more people.

Mother 3 was in many ways his Magnum Opus and way of tackling a deeper story and tying up some loose ends. Were I in Itoi's shoes, I wouldn't know what more to say either without it seeming shoe-horned and meaningless in comparison.

With all that said, the fan-made Mother 4 looks really cool.
I hope to enjoy that when it gets released, and hope that they don't get a C&D order in the near future.
Aspiring designers should definitely take some notes on Itoi.

Dr.Awkward:
Let me put it this way - If you know that a great series is finished, and the creators of said series says that it's finished, then you are a being a real fan of the series by leaving it and them alone. Desiring more from a series that's done really means that you should move on and find something that's just as great, instead of wasting so much time hoping that something new will come. I mean, think about it as food - You may like pizza, but would you still like pizza if you always and only had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of your life?

Move on, people. There are other games and series out there that desire your attention. I don't care how much you love it; it's become that stuffed teddy or ragged blanket you carried around as a toddler. It'll be a harsh first few days without it, but you'll survive.

I could have pizza once every decade or so though, which would be a far more appropriate comparison. The last Mother game was released only in the Island of Fantasy in 2006. The Mother games are so loosely connected that a new game wouldn't need to continue the story. It only needs to bring the same feel or themes back. It could be the Bioshock 3 of Mother.

As a fan of the Mother series, I'm pretty against a sequel. Mother 3 just feels like too good a conclusion for the series to end it with anything else. There is no new premise to explore that wouldn't decimate some of the points and meaningful events of the original story.

Honestly, Mother 3 is a very difficult act to follow without damaging the original. It'd be like making a sequel for Inception. You could do it, but it would remove all of the character development of the original film, or just not surpass the masterpiece that was the original.

Also, no one wants another Hideo Kojima style incident, where the writer wants to stop before the publishers do.

Sir Christopher McFarlane:

I could have pizza once every decade or so though, which would be a far more appropriate comparison. The last Mother game was released only in the Island of Fantasy in 2006. The Mother games are so loosely connected that a new game wouldn't need to continue the story. It only needs to bring the same feel or themes back. It could be the Bioshock 3 of Mother.

What do you mean, loosely connected? Earthbound and Mother 3 are pretty heavily tied together, though saying why or how is pretty spoilery, to be honest.

You know what? I'm okay with that. The whole Giygas thing was a bit silly (He goes from confused alien to omnipotent evil death baby? What?), but Pokey's plot is done, and he was always the real villain. It's done and it's done, and that's fine.

Dr.Awkward:
Let me put it this way - If you know that a great series is finished, and the creators of said series says that it's finished, then you are a being a real fan of the series by leaving it and them alone. Desiring more from a series that's done really means that you should move on and find something that's just as great, instead of wasting so much time hoping that something new will come. I mean, think about it as food - You may like pizza, but would you still like pizza if you always and only had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of your life?

Move on, people. There are other games and series out there that desire your attention. I don't care how much you love it; it's become that stuffed teddy or ragged blanket you carried around as a toddler. It'll be a harsh first few days without it, but you'll survive.

My thoughts exactly. I have the same mentality when people bring up continuing the Legacy of Kain series. The story was concluded with quite a bit of finality.

SirPlindington:
You know what? I'm okay with that. The whole Giygas thing was a bit silly (He goes from confused alien to omnipotent evil death baby? What?), but Pokey's plot is done, and he was always the real villain. It's done and it's done, and that's fine.

Agreed. I also think the entire cave of the past is a weird place that needs explaining. As well as more on the underworld in general. Why is Giygas there, of all places? Why does the cave to the past have nice welcoming green grass but look surrounded by a bottomless pit? Is the world in Earthbound hollow?

I feel like I want another Mother game, because, if anything, these questions torment me. Torment me.

image
Look at this place, look at it. Something is wrong with this place.

If someone wants to make an Earthbound like RPG then more power to them. But this creator has finished his creation and feels it is complete. That is his decision.
All too often today great games are turned into franchise money machines and the qualities that made the original game so engaging get watered down and washed away until you are left with something with no soul. I'm glad at least one game series is allowed to end.

What's the matter, Itoi, run out of ways to traumatize us? Because otherwise, that's quitter talk. Nut up and brutalize our collective subconscious like you know we love it.

I loved the crap out of Earthbound. Recently though I sold all my SNES games (having a two new babies on the way is expensive) and Earthbound yielded me more than everything else combined. So other people must miss it too.

Oh come on... Okay, in my daily rigors, I have to put up with guys who constantly tell me to do things with little to no explanation. I don't always like it, but I usually learn why I do these things. Usually.
This... This just irritates me. If you're going to tell someone that something is straight up "impossible" then you'd best have some kind of reason why. Mother 3 would make bank if it were localized, and it would make even more if Nintendo took up those amateur translators on their offer.
"Impossible", eh? I don't buy it for a second. Improbable, difficult, inefficient, maybe. Impossible? Never. In my line of work, "impossible" doesn't exist until you've given up, and even then, someone else can probably make it work. Like the fan-created Mother 4 in progress. It's going to take a long time, but I don't hear anything even close to "impossible" coming from them.

... Impossible. That word offends me, and I never even knew it.

Why are people against series ending instead of going till they're out of ideas, garbage repeating the same steps?
One RPG series I really enjoyed actually ended, as in there's no reason for any further games because well the main villain has been killed and there's nothing that can really go back into it, and honestly I think it's a good thing there's actually an end and you feel like you've accomplished something instead of constantly being mocked by "see you next game"

Said series is Phantasy Star, no, not Online, Universe, whatever subtitle, Phantasy Star was a series of inter-connected games and it ended at 4. No matter how Online may have tried to tie the series together it's over and it's awesome because over the course of the games you've DONE what you set out to with different generations of characters through out different eras that were DRASTICALLY different.

PFCboom:
Oh come on... Okay, in my daily rigors, I have to put up with guys who constantly tell me to do things with little to no explanation. I don't always like it, but I usually learn why I do these things. Usually.
This... This just irritates me. If you're going to tell someone that something is straight up "impossible" then you'd best have some kind of reason why. Mother 3 would make bank if it were localized, and it would make even more if Nintendo took up those amateur translators on their offer.
"Impossible", eh? I don't buy it for a second. Improbable, difficult, inefficient, maybe. Impossible? Never. In my line of work, "impossible" doesn't exist until you've given up, and even then, someone else can probably make it work. Like the fan-created Mother 4 in progress. It's going to take a long time, but I don't hear anything even close to "impossible" coming from them.

... Impossible. That word offends me, and I never even knew it.

The question is, if mother 4 would really be mother 4 in HIS eyes. Therefor, for him it's impossible. He knows he won't do it and he wouldn't consider it mother 4 if it was made by someone else.

That's why it's impossible. It would be possible to make mother-4-as-imagined-by-fans. It could be subjectively, maybe even objectively a spiritual successor and maybe even the best of the series. Do you think he would consider it mother 4, though?

basically he's saying "stop asking for it, dammit." I can get behind that

Madmonk12345:
As a fan of the Mother series, I'm pretty against a sequel. Mother 3 just feels like too good a conclusion for the series to end it with anything else. There is no new premise to explore that wouldn't decimate some of the points and meaningful events of the original story.

Honestly, Mother 3 is a very difficult act to follow without damaging the original. It'd be like making a sequel for Inception. You could do it, but it would remove all of the character development of the original film, or just not surpass the masterpiece that was the original.

Also, no one wants another Hideo Kojima style incident, where the writer wants to stop before the publishers do.

Sir Christopher McFarlane:

I could have pizza once every decade or so though, which would be a far more appropriate comparison. The last Mother game was released only in the Island of Fantasy in 2006. The Mother games are so loosely connected that a new game wouldn't need to continue the story. It only needs to bring the same feel or themes back. It could be the Bioshock 3 of Mother.

What do you mean, loosely connected? Earthbound and Mother 3 are pretty heavily tied together, though saying why or how is pretty spoilery, to be honest.

What I'm saying is you could have a Mother game without any link to the previous 3. In Mother 3, you could of have an alien invasion without without it being led by that person. The main characters aren't the same from game to game, neither are most of the NPCs. You don't need to continue the story to make a new Mother sequel.

JamesBr:
I would be content with an official release of Mother and Mother 3 personally. Either way, IF a fourth game would be made, it would probably have a tenuous connection to the previous games, much like Earthbound had a tenuous connection to Mother and 3 to Earthbound. It been so many years since a real release in North America that this isn't much of a loss.

*Oh no! We don't get a sequel to a game that was released 17 years ago!!* Big surprise.

I'd be grateful if I could get the games on a handheld device!

Isn't this the same site that constantly harps on Nintendo for not coming up with new IPs? They told the story they want with the series, and they called it a day. I see no problem there, though releasing a modern version with all 3 in 1 would be pretty cool.

Sean951:
Isn't this the same site that constantly harps on Nintendo for not coming up with new IPs? They told the story they want with the series, and they called it a day. I see no problem there, though releasing a modern version with all 3 in 1 would be pretty cool.

This is the site that harps in Nintendo for not making new IPs. And the posts in this forum are saying to leave this IP alone because the creator says its over.

In my opinion, Japanese publishers need to grow a pair and localize some of their Japanese only titles. They'd be surprised how many would sell.

Legion:

Scribblesense:
Not surprising, even for a huge Mother fan like myself. Itoi feels the story is complete, and I don't think he ever really liked making games to begin with.

True, but I still don't get the reluctance by Japanese developers to release English versions of their games when there is clearly a demand for it. Not just in regards to this, but there are many cases of games that get fan-translated versions put on the net, purely because they won't be available otherwise.

It just seems idiotic when you consider how many games fail due to a lack of support, and yet developers are quite happy to ignore making a profit from ones that do.

The worst part of the reluctance is when companies like Square-Enix have put out a lot of awful games lately, and the two games from their Japanese divisions that appeared to be pretty damn good and could help save their name were ignored. (FF: Type 0 and Bravely Default) It took Nintendo to get Bravely Default localization to start, knowing it was good enough to help sell 3DS's.

Your Gaffer:
If someone wants to make an Earthbound like RPG then more power to them. But this creator has finished his creation and feels it is complete. That is his decision.
All too often today great games are turned into franchise money machines and the qualities that made the original game so engaging get watered down and washed away until you are left with something with no soul. I'm glad at least one game series is allowed to end.

It's better for a francise to get turned into "money machines" and watered down until it's crap than for a great series to just die out. Why? It's because that the fans can still get a few more great games and after it's been watered down the fans will no longer want it to continue. It's a win-win all around.

Speaking of fan made enties, Earthbound MMO anyone?

http://www.skyon.be/

AzrealMaximillion:

Sean951:
Isn't this the same site that constantly harps on Nintendo for not coming up with new IPs? They told the story they want with the series, and they called it a day. I see no problem there, though releasing a modern version with all 3 in 1 would be pretty cool.

This is the site that harps in Nintendo for not making new IPs. And the posts in this forum are saying to leave this IP alone because the creator says its over.

In my opinion, Japanese publishers need to grow a pair and localize some of their Japanese only titles. They'd be surprised how many would sell.

It seems like half the posts are sad that there won't be a Mother 4...

immortalfrieza:
If Shigesato Itoi doesn't care to continue the Mother series, that's fine, but he should hand it off to someone who does instead of just letting it languish in the back of fans' minds. Same with any other series for that matter.

WhiteFangofWar:
Nothing's impossible. I would guess it's more like he just doesn't feel like he has the creative juices left for a new game to do the previous ones justice. I can respect a developer trying to avoid sequel stagnation despite a near guarantee of huge profits, but he could at least try making a spiritual successor series under a different name.

It's not like the story is a confinement either- the previous games were only connected by a handful of plot threads, and I bet most people didn't even know that Giygas was supposed to be the warped insane version of the 'Geigue' alien from the first game.

Sir Christopher McFarlane:

Dr.Awkward:
snip

I could have pizza once every decade or so though, which would be a far more appropriate comparison. The last Mother game was released only in the Island of Fantasy in 2006. The Mother games are so loosely connected that a new game wouldn't need to continue the story. It only needs to bring the same feel or themes back. It could be the Bioshock 3 of Mother.

The Great JT:
What's the matter, Itoi, run out of ways to traumatize us? Because otherwise, that's quitter talk. Nut up and brutalize our collective subconscious like you know we love it.

PFCboom:
Oh come on... Okay, in my daily rigors, I have to put up with guys who constantly tell me to do things with little to no explanation. I don't always like it, but I usually learn why I do these things. Usually.
This... This just irritates me. If you're going to tell someone that something is straight up "impossible" then you'd best have some kind of reason why. Mother 3 would make bank if it were localized, and it would make even more if Nintendo took up those amateur translators on their offer.
"Impossible", eh? I don't buy it for a second. Improbable, difficult, inefficient, maybe. Impossible? Never. In my line of work, "impossible" doesn't exist until you've given up, and even then, someone else can probably make it work. Like the fan-created Mother 4 in progress. It's going to take a long time, but I don't hear anything even close to "impossible" coming from them.

... Impossible. That word offends me, and I never even knew it.

Yup. Clearly everyone says it should be over.

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