The folks behind the wonderful English translation of Mother 3 are still working on the project over a decade later. Earlier today—which also happens to be the 15th anniversary of Nintendo’s milestone RPG in Japan—they dropped a new patch that irons out some lingering bugs in the unofficial translation and provides an improvement to performance.
This update, courtesy of Italian translator and hacker Lorenzooone, has reportedly been in the works for three years and is said to touch up a few leftover bugs, both with the translation and Mother 3 itself. The extensive patch notes also mention several adjustments that should reduce the load on the Game Boy Advance and make for a smoother gameplay experience overall.
Mother 3, first released for the GBA in 2006, is the long-awaited follow-up to the 1995 Super Nintendo classic EarthBound (known as Mother 2 in Japan). Despite this pedigree, Nintendo showed no interest in releasing Mother 3 outside of Japan early on, leading a group of fan translators and programmers to produce an English patch in 2008. Emulators at the time were unable to handle the game’s rhythm-based combat, but recent strides in GBA emulation have largely perfected the experience.
This dual existence has put Mother 3 in a strange sort of limbo over the last 15 years. Nintendo has often acknowledged demand for the game, but still shows no signs of bringing it westward. That said, the notoriously litigious company has also made no overtures toward removing the fan translation from the internet, in effect allowing folks to play the game unofficially through emulation and reproduction carts.
Mother 3 is arguably one of the finest Japanese role-playing games of all time, and it’s great to see the group behind its unofficial English translation continue to improve upon their work, especially when the game’s own developer has been so hands-off since its original release.
(Updated 3/3/22 with new details)