Mother 3 Fan Translator Is Offering His Work To Nintendo At No Cost

The dream of Earthbound 2 making it out here in US is still alive and well.

by on 22nd Apr, 2013

With the recent revelation that Earthbound is finally coming (back) to America, in the form of a Wii U Virtual Console release, there is now renewed interest (and optimism) that Mother 3 might make it out to America at long last.

For those not in the know, Earthbound is actually Mother 2, a sequel to an RPG that was released on the Famicom and which never made it out onto the Nintendo Entertainment System, even though there were plans (one can find an official localized rom floating around the internet, under the name Earthbound Zero).

Mother 3 was originally released for the Game Boy Advance, but there were never any plans for an international release. No reasons were ever specified, but it is assumed that the timing of the release was a major factor. By the time it came out in Japan, in 2006, Nintendo of America was mostly concerned with the brand new Nintendo DS system.

As a result, a number of number of diehard Eartbound fans decided to translate the game themselves. The effort was lead by Clyde Mandelin, who helped to produce a patch that changed the text from Japanese to English in the game's ROM image. And, which Mandelin is offering to Nintendo, free of charge. According to the translator himself:

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.

He even goes on to clarify his qualifications (in terms of his professional credentials, he's been a translator of FUNimation Entertainment for almost 11 years now). Though the very idea of major company utilizing a fan effort in such a manner seems pretty far-fetched, doesn't it? Yes, but not:

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. 

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