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See Reggie's full answer to the Mother 3 question during his Cornell lecture

Not my problem

We ran a summary recently of Reggie's lecture that he gave at Cornell, which included a number of questions from the audience. One person in attendance hit Reggie with the infamous Mother 3 question yet again. While we posted on what Reggie said, seeing his response in the video above adds a lot more flavor to the reaction.

Thanks to Dondom95 for the heads up!

Shigesato Itoi recalls his initial pitch for Mother/Earthbound Beginnings to Nintendo, and how it left him depressed and in tears

A fantastic story from the man himself

An absolutely fascinating interview with Shigesato Itoi, the creator of Mother/Earthbound has surfaced, and it includes a very detailed look at how the original Mother/Earthbound Beginnings game was pitched to Nintendo. Check out a summary straight from Itoi himself below, which is just a small snippet of the full interview.

“I owe a lot to Mario. I have asthma, and I start coughing when I lay down. I’ve always had a hard time sleeping, and for a while I had to sit up at all times or else I just couldn’t stop coughing. The only things I could really do while sitting up at night were read a book or play a game. So I’d wake up and grab a controller, and Mario would see me through my asthma at night. ...It’s more like I felt indebted to Nintendo.

...one day I finally started playing a copy of Dragon Quest that someone had given me. It’d been sitting around for a while, but it was raining and I had nothing better to do. ...I started it with pretty low expectations, and before I knew it, I was having a great time.

...It was fun. At first I was simply enjoying the game, but then it occurred to me that there’s someone out there who’s entertaining me through this game.

Yeah, it’s like laughing at a comedian’s joke and realizing, “Hey, that person on stage is the one making me laugh!” After a while I found myself thinking about what kind of things I’d do if I made the same sort of game. I wondered why all the role-playing games that were popular at the time had swords and magic.

Games were more unpopular back then. I was defending them on TV, saying something like, “Manga used to be taboo — you’d be scorned for having manga as a college student. Video games are in the same position today, and although it sounds a little extreme, I think games will eventually be an even bigger part of our culture than manga.”

People at Nintendo wondered who I was after that, and Yamauchi said he wanted to meet me. They invited me to their office to ask me what I thought of a game, and after that, we chatted for a while. That’s when (Shigeru) Miyamoto came in. We ended up becoming really close — we got along quite well from the start. I told him I actually had an idea of my own, and pulled out some copies of the notes I’d taken, asking him if he thought it would work as a game.

I pictured them jumping up from their chairs, saying, “Wow, what an idea! We must try it!” It was a dream of mine that they’d make a game using that idea, but instead the conversation just kind of stopped at Miyamoto asking me how serious I was about it. Itoi, how involved do you plan on being in it? Being totally involved in a project can be very demanding.” He sounded very solemn.

He probably assumed I wasn’t interested in being involved. Plus the extent to which he warned me ended up being on a totally different level than the extent to which I assumed it would be demanding. ...From Miyamoto’s perspective, it’s easy for someone to say they want to make a game. It’s the ‘making’ part that’s incredibly difficult. Just like it’s easy to say, “Some old guy in overalls is gonna jump around and save the princess.”

...I knew I wanted to make a game, but when my resolve was questioned, I was very sad about it. ...I went back to Tokyo totally crushed. I thought Miyamoto and I had hit it off well at first, but then I was like, “What a taskmaster.” (Laughs)

He did say to me, “Give me some time to figure this out and see how we can get a team together.” So he was earnest in making it happen. But from my perspective, since he didn’t say how interesting it looked, I’d assumed that meant he didn’t like it. ...I’d never made a game before, so I interpreted his response as, “Well, it’s not great, but if you’re going to keep insisting on it, I guess I’ll think about whether we should bother putting a team together. As someone without any experience, it was easy to get paranoid.

He was kind enough to take it seriously. I didn’t know anything, so I just mumbled a thank you and quickly headed home. They gave me a ride in a black car and treated me well, but I just got more and more depressed. I’d been expecting a torrent of praise, but by the time I got on the bullet train back to Tokyo, I was actually in tears.

...It turned out that it was all in my head. He put together a team for me. Their internal teams had their hands full, so he went to the trouble of reaching out to a company that would help me make the game. ...I met up with the development team at a tiny Japanese restaurant so that they could gauge how involved I’d actually be in all the hard work Miyamoto had warned me about, and so we could get to know each other.

This interview, conducted by Game Center CX, gives an extremely personal and interesting look at Itoi's work with Nintendo, as well as Itoi himself. Make sure to take some time and read the full thing.

Famitsu reader survey shows Mother 2 as the series' most popular, players reveal the order in which they played the games

Ness does it best

As was covered a few weeks back, Famitsu held a survey about the Earthbound/Mother series. All in all, Famitsu got 2,528 responses to the survey, with 1,679 males and 690 females, with the split being 1,314 Japanese, and 1,176 from overseas. Check out the results of the survey below.

- 562 played 2→1→3
- 472 played 2→3→1
- 402 played 1→2→3
- 271 played 2→3
- 239 have only played 2
- 136 played 3→2→1
- favorite game in the series is MOTHER2 with 1,361, followed by MOTHER3 with 827, and MOTHER with 273
- 67 people were undecided on their favorite installment

Hobonichi reveals their 2020 notebook design

Mr. Saturn front and center

While we might not be getting a new Earthbound game, Shigesato Itoi's Hobonichi company continues to pump out designs based on the franchise. The stationary business has revealed the design of their 2020 notebook, which is a blown-up version of Mr. Saturn's sprite. When this item goes up for sale, we'll be sure to let you know.

Famitsu wants to hear what Earthbound fans want from the franchise

Probably more games

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Earthbound franchise, Famitsu is running a special anniversary survey. They're looking to hear about your favorite characters, memories, music, and more. There's also a question about what fans want to see from the Earthbound series. It's not clear as to whether Famitsu plans to simply publish the survey results, or present it to Earthbound's creator Shigesato Itoi for comment.

With Google Translate, you can make sense of most of the questions. Feel free to check out the survey here.

Earthbound-inspired "Batter's Almanac" 2020 Calendar hits Kickstarter

A date with destiny

Join us again this year to celebrate MOTHER, the Nintendo cult classic video game series, for a full 366 (it's a leap year) days with Batter’s Almanac, a beautifully illustrated 2020 wall calendar. Front, back, inside, and out! This calendar follows last year's successful edition of Batter's Almanac, only with new dates, and art, and stuff! This calendar was created through a collaboration of small, independent artists and fans from all around the globe, inspired by one little game series that came out over 30 years ago.

The gang behind last year's Earthbound-inspired calendar is back yet again, and this time they're looking to fund a 2020 calendar that continues the love for all things Earthbound. The team is looking for just $7,000 to make this calendar a reality, and they're already well on their way. Check out the Kickstarter here.

Shigesato Itoi co-worker says it would be impossible for Itoi to create Mother 4, but they'd be glad if someone else did it

A Mother without Itoi?

Earlier in the week, we mentioned that the most recent issue of Nintendo Dream had a feature on the 30th anniversary of the Mother series. In that feature was an interview with Yasuhiro Nagata, the editor in chief for “Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun,” a website hosted by Shigesato Itoi. In a portion of the interview, a discussion of the potential for Mother 4 comes up. You can see the full discussion below, translated by JapaneseNintendo.

ND: Later after that, the information magazine BRUTUS published a dialogue between Itoi-san and Iwata-san about “MOTHER 4 is not being made”. That was also Nagata-san[‘s doing], right?

Nagata: I was in charge of the interview and its composition. The fact that “MOTHER 4 is not being released” itself has been told here and there, and we’ve always said it

ND: So after that feature came out, you’re not getting asked about it anymore?

Nagata: We get asked. It’s already shaped like a staple; even now we still keep getting asked about MOTHER 4 and the “buried treasure” (laughs)

ND: What is the current answer regarding that?

Nagata: Our stance is that it’s already impossible for Itoi to create it, and we’d be glad if someone else creates it. This has never changed either.

___________________

If Mother 4 were to ever happen, and Itoi wasn't involved, what team would you want to take it up? Is there anyone out there you'd consider worthy?

Nintendo Dream magazine celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Mother franchise

Happy Mother Day!

Fans in the states may not have learned about the Mother franchise until Earthbound launched here, but Famicom owners in Japan had already bee long familiar with the series. Believe it or not, its been 30 years since the Mother franchise first debuted. The latest issue of Nintendo Dream pays tribute to the series with a special feature, which is 6 pages long, and takes a look back at the three titles that have been released.

Namco and Nintendo were considering an Earthbound game for the GameCube

This could have been amazing!

Yasuyuki Honne may work at Monolith Soft now, but back in the day he was part of Namco. News of the Iwata-san book coming from Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi gave Honne reason to take to Twitter and share a story involving both Itoi and Iwata from back in the day. According to Honne, the two companies had a pitch session about potentially creating an Earthbound game for the GameCube.

“Looking forward to the Iwata-san book. I met both Iwata-san and Itoi-san in 2003 when Namco and Nintendo were considering to make a GameCube version for Mother (Earthbound). I created a mockup which was showed to Iwata-san. I felt Ito-san wasn’t interested, and suspected so as the conversation continued…

Then Itoi-san said, ‘In any case, perhaps Iwata-kun should come up with the story?’ Everyone in the room gasped. Iwata looked shocked. In the end the conversation drifted, but Itoi-san amused himself with the idea of the ‘felt taste’ that resembled America in the 80s. So this is the picture that I thought would never see the day of light again. My memories of Summer 2003.”

Honne shared the images you see in this post, which were apparently part of the mock-up he put together for the pitch session. Man, what an amazing bit of history to see surface after all these years!

Earthbound creator's company releasing book looking back on Satoru Iwata

R.I.P. Iwata

Japanese journal brand Hobonichi, founded by Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi, is releasing a book all about Nintendo's late president, Satoru Iwata. The book will include a collection of old writings from Satoru Iwata, and will be 7 chapters long. The chapter breakdown is as follows.

- Iwata-san until the time he became the President (of Nintendo)
- Iwata-san’s leadership
- Iwata-san’s personality
- Iwata-san is a person you can trust
- The games Iwata-san aimed (to make)
- Talking about Iwata-san
- Iwata-san is this kind of person

The book, entitled 'Iwata-san,' is due out in Japan on July 1st, 2019. There's no word on a localization at this time.

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