If you've been wanting Nintendo to release a new entry in the Mother series, here's potentially the next best thing...if it ever sees the light of day. It's a fan-made sequel to the acclaimed RPG series, titled 'Mother 4'.
There's a four-minute reveal trailer - introducing fans to a new character named Aaron and a number of other party members. Here's a bit more information from the game's website:
"Three young men discover an unwelcome guest deep in the woods, and America is turned on its head! It's up to a small town teenager named Aaron to tour the United States in order to deal with the aftermath of that fateful meeting and uncover the story behind the "Rift Shells" - ancient artifacts of awesome PSI power and dubious origin. On his journey across podunk suburbia and impossible dungeons, he'll meet the overconfident mechanic Maggie, the reserved yet proficient Troy, the dense but kind hearted magician Trisme, along with many other loyal allies and oddball foes. They'll lift the veil of the untouchable entity pulling the earth's strings, capable of bending the rules and stacking the odds against our heroes, just to harness the power of the Rift Shells for an absolute yet unknown purpose... But there's nothing to worry about with your friends behind your back, right?"
Obviously, concerns have already been raised about Nintendo shutting 'Mother 4' down, and at the start of the video there's a message noting how the project and developers have no affiliation with Nintendo or Shigesato Itoi:
"Mother 4 is an unofficial fan project and its developers have no relation to Nintendo, HAL Labs, Shigesato Itoi, or any affiliated parties. We are independent developers working on the game in our free time. Please support Nintendo and Hobonichi if you can."
This title is not to be confused with Oddity - another fan-made effort that also started out as 'Mother 4' and was rebranded.
Still, Nintendo has quite a history of ending fan projects - with the company earlier this year taking action against the fan-made 2D Metroid Prime game. Some though believe there's nothing to worry about, and Itoi seems open to others handling the series.
The developer behind this unofficial 'Mother 4' game has also addressed the same concerns over on the game's website:
Aren't you guys concerned about Nintendo shutting you down?
Not at all! Tldr: Nintendo only seems to go after remakes of existing games, or controversial fan games.
So, what are your initial impressions? Do you think Mother 4 can live up to the name if it is released? Leave a comment below.
[source twitter.com, via nintendoenthusiast.com]
This has been in the works for literally YEARS. I won’t hold my breath they’ll complete it any time soon
*not talking about oddity *
This looks really great so far, but yeah I’m worried Nintendo is just going to bring down the axe when it nears completion. Fingers crossed!
@Strictlystyles As noted in the article:
"This title is not to be confused with Oddity - another fan-made effort that also started out as 'Mother 4' and was rebranded."
@Phostachio The article notes a story from Reddit that Nintendo only owns the game code, but they don't own the Mother IP. Assuming that's true, Nintendo can't do anything about it unless there's stolen code in the fan game. Itoi is generally supportive of fan made projects.
I personally think Mother 3 ended in a way that completes the series beautifully and there's no need for any more games. It's finished. But Itoi said he personally doesn't mind fan games and wouldn't get in the way. Still, why not just go for the inspired by route, be upfront about it, but make your own thing? Especially if it's good enough you can profit of it and get it to more people. As a fan game that bills itself as an unofficial sequel it's really got nowhere to go.
@Liam_Doolan definitely not talking about oddity they were talking about this project since at least late 2018.
The link to the mother 4 website doesn't work.
Not really a new entry if it's just some homemade version then now is it?
Tomorrows headline: Nintendo's unofficial mother 4 fan project cease and desist order revealed
mother 4 has always been a concept i found tired for basically the reasons tsuchinoko said, they keep having next to no connection with mother outside of PSI and the occasional mr saturn, otherwise it's just "here's our indie rpg in the mother style"
@Tsuchinoko I think it's personally fine. Some people do these things not for fame or money, but simply out of passion and nostalgia. Maybe the team behind this isn't looking for anything more than to expand upon an old series. Not everyone is looking for a profit.
Why do people even try this sort of thing? Nintendo will quickly shut this down for sure.
I would love to play this, as a Mother game, before the end of the decade.
@mario-64 "Nintendo doesn't own the rights to Mother. They own the rights to the games, which is different. The only way this could get a DMCA takedown is if they ripped code directly from one of the existing games. Itoi owns the actual rights to the Mother franchise and is the only one with the power to issue a takedown, and it seems unlikely that he would."
@GoshJosh i get that its fine. The Mother series isn't even cancelled or ignored like i hear some people say, its concluded to the satisfaction of its creator. But if these guys just feel nostalgic and want to do all this work for something that COULD stand on its own but they're adamant about keeping that title, thats fine, wish them the best.
Let me know when they retool it to a original IP.
Definitely nailed the Mother vibe
Quirky and slightly melancholy.
I’m honestly more excited for Oddventure. It looks to actually evolve the series rather than reuse it. Now, I’m not saying this doesn’t look good, I’m just saying I think Oddventure is doing what Nintendo would do with the Mother series if they worked on it alongside a third-party developer.
I always love seeing fan games, and this one looks pretty neat! I'm already interested in getting to know this cast. Got a good feeling this may become my favorite Mother series party.
@Styrophoamicus I agree. i don't get the pessimism with some of these comments. This fan game's existence in no minimizes, erases, or devalues the original trilogy. It's completely optional.
I swear people hold something they love so dear that something as harmless as a fan game is seen like a threat.
I too have always wanted to get a cease and desist letter from Nintendo!
"Nintendo only seems to go after remakes of existing games, or controversial fan games"
I like how they crack that off at the end as if that couldn't easily describe their project, too.
I have no problem with fangames but think it's bit of an pretentious thing to do to call it Mother "4" as if its part of the main series and on equal footing with the official entries, even if it's unlikely that Nintendo themselves would ever do it.
Just call it Mother: (add subtitle here) or something.
@Expa0 Fans have proven themselves capable of sometimes creating things that could absolutely stand on equal footing to Nintendo's own projects. Look at AM2R for one, there's people around who preferred that one over Nintendo's official Metroid 2 remake. It doesn't happen often, but never say never.
Audacious, aren't we? It still feels like playing with fire to announce such a project on every corner (and end up with sites like NL bringing even MORE attention to it), but who knows - after all, "Mother" isn't even the original games' trademark in the west. This fact and the stated absence of asset reuse may well spare them a C&D (and a Pikachu face about it) in the end. Best of luck.
@Expa0 Have you played it yet come to the conclusion is not on equal footing? Here's a bit of good news for ya! You can ignore it completely and pretend it doesn't exist. You sound like a gatekeeping snob with that "how dare you name it Mother 4" attitude.
Not impressed at all. Seems Mother 4 has no new ideas. Just walking around a map.and the exact same turn battle mechanics of Mother 3.
@Yosher Seriously if the games could stand on equal footing against Nintendo's own they wouldn't need to use Nintendo's IP.
Sorry but games like AM2R or this "Mother 4" are way, way, way down on the totem pole compared to inspired games like OFF, Axium Verge, Lisa or Undertale.
Games that had their own ideas and mechanics didn't need to leech off someone else's popular IP to be liked.
@Dr_Lugae Well, Christian Whitehead started life making fan games and he went on to make a Sonic Game not only on equal footing to the originals, but better than any Sonic game Sega had produced in past 2 decades.
@Frailbay30 Wasn't he the one who made his own engine to successfully create Sonics physics in a way Sega couldn't? As they kept screwing up in many of their ports to various systems.
Also I don't recall an unofficial Sonic 5 by him as if he was claiming ownership of continuing the series, regardless of whether he was better placed to.
I recall he made a Sonic CD proof of concept and then went to directly to Sega to pitch it for official release. Then had things released through official channels.
@Dr_Lugae Yeesh, why are some people hung on this title? What exactly is calling it "Mother 4" going to do that's so harmful?
If you are that bothered by it, contact the dev team and express that you are upset by it. it's such a nitpick.
Or they could put their effort into their own game? Maybe?
@WaffleRaptor01 it's audacious and seen as either a crutch (i.e.: a tool to make it seem better) or disrespectful to the name/creator/story continue a complete story, like if someone published The Trial 2: Trial Harder as a fan-sequel to kafka's book
personally i just feel it's a misnomer if it's only carrying over the bare minimum to make it fit as a mother game and not a mother-inspired game (see: why Oddity was able to rebrand so easily), it just feels like...why even call it Mother 4 then?
@somebread How exaclty is it disrespectful? Unless I'm missing something here, has the team stated that the game is a parody and a middle finger to fans? The creator is fine with fan games, the people behind this game are doing it for fun.
It's not being forced upon anyone to accept it. So many are already judging this thing based on nothing but a trailer. This game isn't going to harm the sacred Mother series anymore than the thousands of fan games out there in the wild.
Hey Doug, where’s Mother 3?
I do not care about the game's quality, that is not what I'm referring to when I'm talking about the game being on equal footing, I'm referring to its status as a fangame vs. an official product. It's a fangame and I think that should be something that came across in the title. AM2R is better than most official Metroid games yet that one didn't need to pretend to be an official thing.
Like if they're really ballsy enough to call it Mother 4 as if its the definitive sequel then at least add the "a fangame" moniker to it.
Nintendo will have Toby Fox make Mother 4 after he's done with Delta Rune.
You've read this here first.
The art is really nice, looks great so far
Shigesato Itoi would allow anyone who is interested in making a new Mother 4 to do so but only if it was a legit project whether they want to work with Nintendo or not. Not some cheap fan made mobile or Unity crap. If they want to work with Nintendo on this then they need to get permission, if they want to make Mother 4 by themselves without Nintendo then they had to buy the Mother/EarthBound IP or rights from Nintendo themselves then put the project on Kickstarter and move up from there. There's no free way to do this unless they decided to turn it into an original work like Oddity which would had been more interesting if they did.
Doesnt part of the feel of these games come from a Japanese interpretation of the west? Gonna lose something I think
If Nintendo gets to axe this too, at least they'll understand the series has some actual demand overseas.
I don't believe Nintendo don't have the power to issue a takedown of this. They own the trademark of the Mother logo in Japan at least. And just because Nintendo might not go after them doesn't mean Shigesato Itoi won't. Also, if there are any elements of this that are directly taken or copied from Mother / Earthbound, including characters, music, any graphics, story elements, Nintendo are likely to go after them.
But what they should do is employ them because WOW this is is STUNNING.
@Meteoroid Morally and creatively bankrupt? You can say the same about actual IP's and their uninspired sequels. You know the ones where they just now exist as a money maker by some of these big studios. Nintendo included.
Sometimes fans put more care in a fan project than actual corporations.
Here we go. Another bait to give themselves visibility (and a job) once the inevitable C&D lands.
I definitely do understand the appeal of making fangames, sometimes the dream is to be able to make a "real" Pokemon game using the actual Pokemon and do your own spin with the pre-made assets and mechanics instead of coming up with your own phony fakemons, at that point you're not really making a Pokemon game any longer. Of course whether or not such things should stay as dreams or not is another thing entirely but when someone is given the tools to do what they want and they have the passion for it, it is hard to resist.
And I personally would think that's just fine as long as there is absolutely no monetary gain involved.
All I know is alot of people here tripping. I think it looks neat and I'll wait to see what the final product is. The trailer even states to support Nintendo and the original creator.
Personally I do not see how this is disrespectful when they are giving all credit to it's original creator and asking for nothing in return but your enjoyment.
This WILL be confused with Oddity
Never been one for fan fiction
Well yes, I do agree that calling it Mother 4 is more than a bit iffy.
And I do agree that if you're planning on making a real career for yourself you probably should chase other avenues than fangames.
@Meteoroid But, I mean it's a trailer. We have no idea what the final product is like. Also I think you are exaggerating a bit a there. Mother is a niche series and I highly and I mean highly doubt once this fan project is released, it's going to make a huge splash. I don't foresee this glamorous life of fame you are throwing out there.
As a person with creative pursuits, I understand fanart/fanfic, because it makes sense to create imitations in order to see how a particular “thing” works.
Some of these projects lose me, though, and like other posters, I wonder why the folks creating these games don’t funnel their energies into a more full-fledged project of their own. Or is this kind of project a good learning experience? But then why announce it?
@Tsuchinoko cause they don't have to and they would prefer this. Passion projects don't require or need a profit motive. It's not that hard to figure out and peeps like you act like it's some great mystery of the universe.
@Meteoroid wow, you nailed it. And yeah, stuff like "LISA" has the same flavour, but it is its own thing and it's great! People need to stop trying to remake earthbound/Mother, it's not gonna happen again
@Twilite9 a sequel to Earthbound Halloween?
I quite liked Toby’s approach. Make a small fan game that people enjoy, and go on to make your own original game using what you learned.
@MegaVel91 All i'm getting from these comments are people complaining over nothing. No one has offered anything legit other than they don't want someone to make a fangame of their precious earthbound series out of some stupid fear.
It’s the second anniversary of development for “Mother 4”, but I don’t like what I see so far. There’s a few elements missing at the moment that I closely associate with the Mother series and that battle rhythm demonstration shows something that needs a lot more work. Hopefully they prove me wrong after another two years.
@GoshJosh i mean, what do you quantify as "legit?" this is entirely an argument derived from percieved value of the "MOTHER" title, i think going into this comment section expecting anything else is like diving underwater with a miner's helmet instead of goggles
@WaffleRaptor01 as I said in my comment, because the title implies it's continuing a story that is already complete and/or it is tenuously connected to what it's supposedly continuing, people find it disrespectful (or, put in simpler terms, ballsy)
@somebread Welp I don't know what tell ya except get over it? I promise you the sacred Mother series will be safe after this game is released. That's what makes sequels so great! You don't have to accept them (In this case a fan game). Enjoy!
@somebread Maybe because it's entirely ridiculous and their handwringing over it isn't founded in anything other than an apparent, complete inability to understand the idea that people have been making fangame projects under the names of their fave series for years and do it because that is what they want. And instead act like it's some brain-teaser when the solution is Plain Jane as hell.
@MegaVel91 the thing is all the game maker Mario Bros. 4s and whatnot didn't get articles and publicity etc. so nobody really cared about their "impact" so to speak; this exact same debate only came to a head when Oddity was getting huge articles in Kotaku and whatnot back in the day
believe me, i have no issue with making fangames, even mother fangames (I've heard Cognitive Dissonance is good but the plot summary doesn't really grab me), but naming it as another main entry in the series just feels like poking a sleeping dog left to let lie if you're not going to really lean into continuing the series/connecting it to the Whole outside of the aesthetic/gameplay. considering how many people have brought up AM2R as the One True Metroid 2 Remake, i'm sure there's some worry from people this will go from "my ideal Mother 4" to "the one true Mother 4" as well
@Dr_Lugae I can't say for myself because I rarely too never really play fan games. But I do see some being really well received among other fans, and considering the lengths some fans go to sometimes to deliver incredible projects (not necessarily video games), I wouldn't be surprised if they could make games that could stand on equal footing with official products.
I don't think them using existing IPs necessarily means they don't think it couldn't stand on its own, they could just love that series so much that they want to make a new entry in that specific world.
Whether or not Mother 4 will, or AM2R does, stand on equal footing with official Nintendo products, I don't really know, but at least for the latter I've heard nothing but good things about it, not counting the DMCA from Nintendo. Make of that what you will, I suppose.
They should change the name, or at least put a “fan made” subtitle or something.
@Yosher Fair enough. But my perspective is.
If someone's great idea for a game just takes someone else's gameplay and mechanics, world and setting, character design and art style. Then the original IP and the ideas of the original creators are doing the heavy lifting for these indie developers.
When I played AM2R Samus' sprite randomly disappeared for me part way through the game. Not so great original bosses. The fun mostly came from the replication of Zero Missions' controls, it's fun because of Nintendo and Sakamoto's original design but it really doesn't have the Nintendo polish.
When I see this trailer and it's just Mother 3 rhythm battle system, a character near identical to Lucas and the same old PSI abilities, same contemporary modern setting. It's not those developers ideas that have excited people, it's Itoi's and HAL Laboratories'.
If these developers ideas could stand up with the originals, then where are the new ideas? and if their ideas can stand on their own much like the originals, why would they need to use someone else's IP in the first place?
I understand my opinion on it probably seems pretty ruthless. But I'm not talking about ANY fangames. Kids can do a fangames making a Mario or Sonic game or something in RPGMaker, etc. share it online with their friends whatever. I'm not calling for the end of fun little projects.
But with this level of production, media connection (a website for a "piece of fan art"...REALLY?) that it's being reported on by games news sites. Just doesn't sit well with me, that's why I'm very sceptical of the people behind them.
@Dr_Lugae That's a point of view I can get behind. But on the other hand, I think a lot of people, particularly fans of dead franchises, just want more of the same. And these fan projects can give just that. You don't need a ton of new ideas then. But I do agree that Nintendo stands on top when it comes to introducing new ideas; but that's not always a good thing. Just because something new can be introduced doesn't mean it should be. Going the old familiar route can work wonders!
Shoulda called it "Father" lmao
Here we go again, time for another C&D
Annnnndddddd DMCA'd 2 minutes later.
Anyone can mimic the mechanics of the Mother games. What made them stand out is how they challenged the normal jrpg conventions of their times. What made them special was how Itoi maximized the medium. There's countless games who don't have the audacity adopt the Mother moniker and tried to be a spiritual successor, and they don't even come close. Everyone seems to think a bunch of quirk, pop culture references, and some gimmick battle system is what it takes. Maybe this will be great, but it's not looking all that promising.
A Pokemon/Mother Mashup would be a really cool idea.
Yeah I’m not gonna gatekeep Mother but I will say if it isn’t Nintendo official then I don’t care. You can love something all your life without knowing it’s true essence. In this case it will be felt in the dialogue which will hit hardest.
Lets face it, they only call it Mother 4 so it gets noticed.
If it was called anything else, no one would even care about the game
Stuff like this bothers me. Mother 3 was the end of the Mother and Itoi has been very clear over the years he does not want to make another game as the story is done! If he gave his blessing to another studio to make a sequel then I'm all cool with that! This to me reeks of a team using an IP without the rights holders' blessings and are using it to get noticed.
This is very different from something like Skywind and Skyblivion who have always come off as humble and while hoping to see their project to completion is honest that if Bethesda shuts down the project they will accept it. And they are not making any profit from it and want players to own Oblivion/Morrowind and Skyrim SE to play which directly supports Bethesda.
The fact that the devs are acting so smug in the fact Nintendo cannot C&D the project just puts a bad taste in my mouth. They do not sound humble in the slightest and acting like this is a sequel to Mother 3 one of the greatest games ever made just sits wrong with me.
@somebread I'm inclined to agree. This fan project just seems so arrogant that they can continue the legacy of Mother 3 which was just such an amazing conclusion to Itoi's story. If they just called it anything, but Mother 4 maybe it would not rub this way. I tend to not get so fussy over fangames, but Mother 3 really is such a treasured game to me that this just seems so frustrating for me.
How about oddity?
Tap here to load 73 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...