the mother series are my favorite RPGs ever. the stories, locations, characters and weirdness are what make me love it so much! the characters are some of my favorite characters in gaming, behind link from the legend of zelda and possibly klonoa or sonic the hedgehog! the first two games can be hard sometimes (they are late 80s-90s RPGs after all) but the stories make grinding and beating your head against a wall until you finally beat a boss or get through an area all worth it! below i will show screenshots, some random pictures and give some interesting information about all 3 mother games!
MOTHER, also called earthbound beginnings and earthbound 0 is the first game in the mother series. it came out on the famicom (japanese NES) in 1989 but wasn't released in america until 2015 when it came out on the wiiu virtual console as earthbound beginnings. before then the only way you could play it in english was with a fan translation or from an extremely rare and expensive beta cartridge, nintendo was originally going to localize MOTHER but it never ended up happening. some people still prefer playing fan translations, or the 25th anniversary rom hack, over the official release on wiiu. i have an english fan translation cartridge of MOTHER1+2 so you could say i belong to that category! i plan on buying it on my wiiu though so im not doing anything illegal, as well as to support the mother series and hopefully get MOTHER3 localized some day!
in MOTHER, you play as a boy officially named ninten . he gets attacked by a poultergheist in his house and goes on an adventure to figure out why! along the way you meet ana who is better than ninten in every way (no seriously. ana learns more PSI than him, has better health than him and i believe she also does more regular damage than him with bash attacks. ana is best girl), lloyd a boy you find hiding in a trash can on the school roof who will only come out if you give him a bottle rocket, where then he proceeds to blow up a classroom with you and become your best friend, and teddy a literal gangster that you beat in a fist fight and he decides to join you for 2 seconds before he gets badly hurt on mt. itoi during a story moment and you have to leave him behind (though there are glitches to keep him in your party all the way to the final boss)
i haven't actually fully completed MOTHER yet, so i can't really say much story wise. along with figuring out the reason behind the poultergheist that attacked your house you also collect eight melodies throughout your journey, all tied to a specific object. as you can see on the side the first melody you get is from a baby doll your sister has that attacks you just before this part. MOTHER is a direct prequel to everything in the mother series after it, from afar they kind of seem like games that are similar in some ways but have different stories that don't connect but they do. MOTHER directly influences the events of mother2 and mother2 directly influences the events in mother3. it's not like final fantasy or something where theres different characters and stories but similar themes across the games, its all connected!
this is probably the game most people remember from the mother series, seeing as it actually got localized and released in america on the SNES in 1995. it also got a GBA re release in 2003 as a part of MOTHER1+2, a collection of, if you couldn't guess, the first two mother games! it also got another re release in 2013 in both japan and america on the wiiu virtual console, as well as one more re release as part of the SNES classic's library of games! as i said before, i own a fan translated copy of MOTHER1+2. i also own the wiiu version, as well as the version that was released on the SNES classic! people might also know of this game through super smash brothers, as the main character has appeared in every smash bros game to date!
since mother2, the name screen has added a "don't care" option to naming the characters, automatically naming each character their official names. the four characters in earthbound are ness , who is very similar to ninten though they do have some differences, one being their special moves in each game. ninten's ability 4D-slip allows him and the party to run from any escapable encounter with 100% success, while ness's ability is PK rockin', a damage dealing PSI move. paula who is almost the exact same as ana, even down to her having a crush on ness. jeff , who is the lloyd of the group, mainly using bottle rockets and his ability to fix up broken weapons to be useful to the party since he cant use PSI like everybody else. the last character you get is poo , he is the prince of dalaam and swears to fight by ness's side until giygas is defeated. this is honestly the only think i find cool about poo...
in the year 199X, a meteorite crashes on the top of a hill near ness's house in the small town of onett. along with his neighbors pokey and picky minch, he goes up to the meteorite where a fly named buzz-buzz tells him he is destined to defeat giygas! this is the same giygas/giegue from the original MOTHER, he's just gone insane and in buzz-buzz's time, finds something called the apple of enlightenment that tells giygas ness is destined to defeat him so buzz-buzz goes to warn ness that giygas is going after him! him and his friends puala, jeff and poo need to go to eight "my santuary" locations to learn 8 melodies (sound farmiliar?) and also along the way fight the animals and people and even robots that are being controlled by giygas before finally going back in time to when he was an infant and destroying him in his weak state by praying! paula prays to everybody theyve met and affected and even the whole world and those prayers hurt giygas and eventually kill him! eagleland is safe.
mother3 is my favorite game in the series! its one of the only games i can give a 10/10 because thats just how amazing it really is. mother3 was released in 2006 for the gameboy advance and in 2015 on the wiiu, both of these releases are japan only. mother3 was never brought to america though a team of fans translated it fully so that is how many people play it. it was also bundled along with the limited edition mother3 gameboy advance micro system, along with a franklin badge! i am lucky enough to own a mother3 GBA micro, but i only got the box with the micro itself, the charger and the cloth sleeve for it as it was the cheapest available on ebay. i bought my copy of mother3 that included a franklin badge seperately! i'm still surprised by how micro it actually is, the screen itself is barely bigger than a GBA cartridge!
the protags of mother3 are actually pretty different from both games before it character-wise, but not so much gameplay-wise. there's still a dedicated damage dealer, a bulky healer, one who cant use PSI (also called P.K. in mother3!) and a sort of all around/support character, that hasn't changed. you play as many different characters aside from the main four in mother3, but this section will be dedicated to those four! the main character is lucas a young boy whos world gets torn apart by the end of chapter 1, and he has to go off and not only find his missing brother, but pull 7 mysterious needles before the main antagonists, the pigmasks can pull all (or most) of them. in chapter 2 we play as duster , a theif with a handicap who's father wants him to sneak into ohsoe castle to steal the noble spitoon. along the way he meets kumatora the princess of ohsoe castle! the last character is boney lucas's dog who stays with him even during sections where you lose both duster and kumatora.
i don't even really want to talk more about mother3 because if you want to play this game you need to go in blind. you should play mother3 knowing as little as possible, playing it that way is much better since i believe mother3 is more story-driven than either game before it. you don't even play half of the game as the main four characters!! in the prologue you play as a young lucas, in chapter 1 you play as lucas's father flint , in chapter 2 you play as duster, in chapter 3 you play as a freakin' monkey named salsa , and in chapters 4-8 you play as a combination of the main four, but you are always in control of lucas. its either all four, lucas and boney, lucas and kumatora, or just lucas.
not much at all is known about earthbound 64 because it was cancelled during development. most of its ideas got used in mother3, like the town name tazmily, the main characters japanese name (ryuka) and probably the basic plot along with some other characters. their designs changed from EB64 to mother3 though and i feel like thats a good thing... the earthbound 64 designs for lucas, claus, flint and boney were kind of ugly and terrifying, even for a N64 era graphics. at spaceworld 2000 (a japan only nintendo event) there was a demo of earthbound 64 and after the pokemon gold demo got leaked recently it gave me a lot of hope that the earthbound 64 demo wil get leaked!!! i really want to see what this game would have been and how different it is from mother3! since i don't know much i'm just going to put my collection of screenshots from the only trailer we ever got of EB64, also here is an ad for it from a gaming magazine!