So, last week Nintendo announced that it was finally planning to release one of the most requested Virtual Console titles we've known of here at Nintendo Life; Earthbound is coming to the Wii U Virtual Console. The fact that gamer reaction after its confirmation for the Japanese Famicom Anniversary promotion was cited as a reason is also a positive for fans of petitioning companies, and those that take to Miiverse to voice opinions for Nintendo to read.
The Super NES title will arrive later this year, but Nintendo still has a little way to go if it's going to fully satisfy eager fans. That's simply because we're now hearing new noises from those that would like to see Game Boy Advance title Mother 3 brought to the West; this is the sequel to Earthbound, which is called Mother 2 in Japan. Clyde Mandelin, who's a professional translator, has already localised the text of the GBA title into English, and has published an open letter to Nintendo to offer assistance and access to his work for free.
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.
It might seem unlikely for a legitimate company to use a fan translation or work with fan translators, but it has happened before – Ys: The Oath in Felghana is one recent example. It’s more common among visual novel games at the moment, but I believe this sort of thing will only become more and more common over time. Only when the works in question are up to a certain standard of quality, of course.
Of course, Mandelin is on slightly sticky ground based on the fact he has translated a distributed ROM of the Japan-only release, but perhaps there's hope. It's confirmed that Game Boy Advance games will come to the Wii U Virtual Console, so there's a chance — possibly only a small one — that this title will eventually make its way onto the service. If Nintendo wants to save money on the translation to English, the offer is clearly there.
Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.