Author Topic: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread  (Read 22325 times)

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Offline Yoshidious

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Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« on: July 11, 2010, 02:16:19 PM »
Please use this thread to discuss our next RetroActive game, Mother 3 for Game Boy Advance. Note that we'll be pulling quotes out of this thread to be read on an upcoming episode of Radio Free Nintendo during our discussion of the game. Comments made here are to be limited solely to the game's contents, and will help to direct the podcast coversation.
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Offline vudu

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2010, 03:04:03 PM »
Comments made here are to be limited solely to the game's contents

*cough cough*  ;)

Mother 3 teeters between heartbreaking and ridiculous--a feat I didn't know was possible until recently.  The end of chapter 1, when Flint attacks his friends in a fit of rage after learning of his wife's death, is probably the saddest thing I've ever seen rendered in 16-bit technology.  On the other end of the spectrum, in chapter 2, Wess' dance to open the secret passage had me laughing out loud several minutes after it was done.  Some scenes--such as at the beginning of chapter 3 when the pig-men torture the monkey and threaten the life of his primate girlfriend somehow manage to combine the two extremes in a way that surprisingly doesn't come off as forced but seems completely natural.

The production values are superb.  The sprite work is among the best I've ever seen--rivaling that of Mario & Luigi 3.  In particular, the previously-mentioned dance & the ghost party in chapter 2--which contained multiple specters consuming food & drink that immediately passed through there "bodies"--is absolutely wonderful.  Brownie Brown did an amazing job on this game and it's a shame that more people in America & Europe won't get to play it.  The fan-made English translation is also outstanding, although I suspect that a good portion of that can be attributed to the original script.

Gameplay is a mixed bag.  I'm not a huge fan of the battle mechanics in EarthBound, and they haven't changed much in Mother 3.  They're serviceable, but they're the most uninteresting aspect of the game.  The first couple hours in particular suffer from extremely slow-paced and rudimentary battles.  Luckily, they seem to be getting a bit more complex later in the game and can no longer be won simply by spamming regular attacks.

The good news is that fighting doesn't have a huge role in the game.  Exploration and simple-puzzle solving plays a key part.  Again, the English translation is top-notch--I'd say it rivals the work of Treehouse--so I never dread talking to villagers or exploring every square inch of the "dungeons" because there's always humerus secrets to discover.

In short, I love this game.  More people need to play it.  If you're on the fence about it because of the grayish nature of legally playing it in English all I can say is if you skip this game you're doing yourself a disservice.  You can buy a copy of the Japanese cartridge on eBay for around $50 if it eases your conscience.

Aside:  Has anyone been able to figure out the combo system?  I know it has to do with the battle music--particularly, how it lines up with enemies' heartbeats--but I can't get it to work.  I've had multiple two-hit combos by pure accident but I've heard you can get up to a 16-hit combo.
Why must all things be so bright? Why can things not appear only in hues of brown! I am so serious about this! Dull colors are the future! The next generation! I will never accept a world with such bright colors! It is far too childish! I will rage against your cheery palette with my last breath!

Offline Jonnyboy117

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2010, 03:14:59 PM »
Yes, if you have comments regarding the game's release, or lack thereof, or the legitimacy of playing it one way or another, please feel free to create your own thread elsewhere in the forums. I would like this one to stay on-topic with the game itself, because it could easily be derailed and overwhelmed by meta-controversies.

I just started playing Mother 3 myself, and it may be a few more days before I've seen enough to organize my thoughts. First impressions are very good, though!
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Offline NWR_Neal

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2010, 06:33:29 PM »
I haven't started my second playthrough yet, but I really loved this game when I first played it. I was honestly surprised at how good it is. If we're just focusing on the first section, I can say that the first chapter features some of the saddest moments I've ever seen in a video game. It's just totally unexpected for that to happen. It makes me think of the quote associated with the game: "funny, strange, and heart-wrenching."
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2010, 08:03:55 AM »
I haven't played the game before but I was a big fan of Earthbound back in the day, so I'm looking forward to starting up a playthrough now that I'm all setup and ready to go.  Horrible timing, though, for an RPG of this caliber.  I just started really getting into Mass Effect, and I can feel Tales of Vesperia's icey glare over from my bookcase (since I already put that down to play Mass Effect)!   :'(
 
Just out of curiosity, roughly how long would you guys who have played this game before say this is?
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Offline NWR_Neal

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 11:09:01 AM »
Umm...I don't remember exactly. I wanna say 15-20 hours, but I could be way off. It might be more than that...or a little less.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 07:02:47 PM »
If it's similar in length to Earthbound, then I'd say around 20 hours. Though I tend to be a bit overleveled since I fight everything that moves, so perhaps it's less if you're brave...

Offline Armak88

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2010, 09:36:59 PM »
I am a big Earthbound fan, but have never played Mother 3 before. I decided to use this retroactive as motivation to play through it now. I just finished the first chapter and I am really enjoying it so far. I miss the whimsical nature of Earthbound though. I always wondered if the whole adventure in Earthbound was just something that was just imagined by the children. Obviously it wasn't really presented that way, but it just had this feel to it that was innocent. I feel like mother has stripped this innocence. Not necessarily in a bad way, but in the same way that it is sad to think of how children eventually grow up.

Just thought I would say I am enjoying it so far, and intend to play it all the way through, hopefully before the podcast airs. I'll drop my comments as I go along. Do we really need spoiler tags btw?
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Offline Sundoulos

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 06:54:29 AM »
Okay, I started playing this in small chunks the other night.  I finally got to the part where Flint is reunited with Claus and Lucas, and he discovers that Hinawa died defending her children. 

Part of me was surprised that they showed Flint losing control due to   his grief...and then one of the characters talked about how Lucas had not left his mother's grave.  This is going to sound completely ridiculous, but this part of the game   actually moved me to tears.   To my recollection, that's the first time a   game has managed to elicit that response from me.  (Thankfully, no one   was watching me play.) :D

I'm sure it's because I'm sensitive towards story conceits such as this one; I have a young son (and another coming soon), and I can imagine how traumatized and lost he'd feel without his mother.  I can imagine how lost I'd feel.  I was also sympathetic towards Flint; I know how I'd feel if I lost my wife and felt powerless to stop it.  So it's sort of difficult not to project those characters' feelings onto myself, and that speaks well of the game.  Instead of smirking at the melodrama (as I usually do when playing games), I was moved. 


I had only briefly played the first few hours Earthbound in the past.  I can only based this in the first hour or so, but so far, this game seems little less off-the-wall, though it maintains some of the quirky charm. 

There is one thing I really noticed and appreciate about it, though.  Each character, including the NPCs, have unique names and character designs.  That is extremely rare for an RPG; and it gives me the impression that this game was lovingly and carefully crafted.   That's something I really appreciate about it, because it makes you feel as if you are in a truly realized world. 
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 07:05:07 AM by Sundoulos »
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Offline vudu

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 11:40:20 AM »
Do we really need spoiler tags btw?

I think it works best this way.  It encourages people to participate throughout the playthough rather than just at the end.  The story and quirky side stuff is the best part of the game--you don't want it ruined for you.  Just say (Chapter 2 spoilers) and then the spoiler out the text.

I finished chapter 3 last night.  I felt like this chapter moved a lot slower the ones before it.  Mainly because the character you're controlling is physically weak so you have to rely on special skills and your helper partner to do most of the damage.

But the end of chapter 3 was completely awesome.  Lucas shows up with a Drago and kicks some serious Pigmask ass!  It's nice to see the character grow throughout the course of the game.  I really look forward to playing as him later.

Has anyone been able to figure out the combo system?  I know it has to do with the battle music--particularly, how it lines up with enemies' heartbeats--but I can't get it to work.  I've had multiple two-hit combos by pure accident but I've heard you can get up to a 16-hit combo.

I still haven't gotten the combo system to work yet.  Any else?
Why must all things be so bright? Why can things not appear only in hues of brown! I am so serious about this! Dull colors are the future! The next generation! I will never accept a world with such bright colors! It is far too childish! I will rage against your cheery palette with my last breath!

Offline MegaByte

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2010, 11:54:03 AM »
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Offline vudu

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2010, 05:00:33 PM »
HOLY CRAP I JUST STARTED CHAPTER FOUR

What have those monsters done to my small village!?
Why must all things be so bright? Why can things not appear only in hues of brown! I am so serious about this! Dull colors are the future! The next generation! I will never accept a world with such bright colors! It is far too childish! I will rage against your cheery palette with my last breath!

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2010, 05:23:21 PM »
I've never really been a fan of RPGs, though there have been exceptions when they do something special, like Earthbound, Super Mario RPG, and Chrono Trigger. Though as time has gone by, the interest I did have has shrunken even further. I think that the time has passed where I would have been able to enjoy this game. It's okay, but I can't really get into it. I first played Earthbound in 2002, and if I had played this shortly thereafter, I would have loved it.

This game doesn't have the same whimsy, and has a more serious tone to it. It isn't about a kid who sets out to battle an evil, annoying neighbor, which may or may not have been just his imagination. I loved that. It's been segmented between several characters who don't really seem to show a connection (yet, I would suppose), and because there's no real "main" character, it is difficult to get into. I find myself wanting to get through certain parts as soon as I can, until I get to the point with Lucas, because I think that once there, he's used for the rest of the game. The battle system is a bit more fast-paced than Earthbound, though it is still the least interesting aspect. Even the quirky monsters and trippy backgrounds don't save it.

I think there may be a message in Itoi's games. No matter what happens in life, it's important to enjoy yourself any way you can, and never lose a sense of humour.

Maybe this will help: http://cruiseelroy.net/2009/01/mother-3-battle-music/
I still don't get it, but at least I now know it has something to do with pressing a button (the in-game explanation doesn't say that). I'll have to study that later and see if I can figure it out. And turn up the game's volume.

Offline NWR_Neal

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2010, 09:07:46 PM »
There is a main character. It's Lucas. You just don't start off as playing as him. Personally, I think this is a far better game than Earthbound. I'll admit, it's got a higher barrier of entry because of the story focus (and the whole "it only came out in Japan" thing), but the gameplay is much better than its predecessor and the story is entertaining and gripping. There's also a parallel to a certain sci-fi series that amused me greatly once it hit me, but I won't spell it out for anyone.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2010, 09:18:11 PM »
I know, that's why I put "main" in quotes, since you don't use that character the entire game like in most RPGs. You don't get there until almost halfway through the game, if what little I've read is correct.

Offline Sundoulos

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2010, 10:10:02 PM »
Sounds a lot like Dragon Quest IV.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2010, 10:16:10 PM »
It's funny you say that, because to me Earthbound has always felt as a sort of parody of Dragon Warrior. Or maybe "homage" would be a better word. Mother 3 feels less so and more of its own game, but there's still a touch of that in it.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 03:38:38 PM by Mop it up »

Offline vudu

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2010, 05:16:54 AM »
This game doesn't have the same whimsy, and has a more serious tone to it.

The whimsy and humor are still a big part of Mother 3.  But there's also this layer of emotion that wasn't present in EarthBound.  The game does a wonderful job of weaving the two together (see my prior examples) and they both take turns sharing the spotlight.
Why must all things be so bright? Why can things not appear only in hues of brown! I am so serious about this! Dull colors are the future! The next generation! I will never accept a world with such bright colors! It is far too childish! I will rage against your cheery palette with my last breath!

Offline NWR_Neal

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2010, 12:02:19 PM »
Sounds a lot like Dragon Quest IV.

It definitely is, at least from what I've heard of DQIV.
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Offline NWR_Neal

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2010, 12:02:42 PM »
It's funny you say that, because to me Earthbound has also felt as a sort of parody of Dragon Warrior. Or maybe "homage" would be a better word. Mother 3 feels less so and more of its own game, but there's still a touch of that in it.

Have you played it?
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2010, 03:43:24 PM »
Which one? I mentioned three games.
I bought Earthbound back in 2002 not long after the whole craze started due to Super Smash Brothers Melee.
I have Dragon Warrior I, II, and III, though I beat only I. I found them tedious and lost interest in them quickly.
I'm playing Mother 3 now, I just finished the 4th chapter.

Offline NWR_Neal

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2010, 06:09:23 PM »
I meant Mother 3. I couldn't tell if you were reading about the game or playing it. Good to hear you're playing it. Sad to hear that you don't seem to be taken by it yet.
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Offline vudu

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2010, 08:56:22 AM »
Wow.  Just wow.

Was anyone else completely weirded out by the scene in chapter 4 when Lucas is walking down the train tracks and stops to rest at the hot water spring?  I'm left wondering how much of this was in the original script and how much was tweaked by the fan-translation team.

In the scene, Lucas runs into Ionia, who we met briefly earlier in the game with a different character.  Ionia is a Magypsie, a type of fairy that appear to be very effeminate men dressed in women's clothing.  Here's the script:

Ionia:

  Aiiieee!  :heart;
  You caught me stark naked!
  ...
  I'm Ionia, one of the Magypsies.  :heart;
  This is a Magic Butterfly colony.
  I often come here to be revitalized after I've worn myself out by overusing my PSI.  :heart;
  Are you here because you overused your PSI, too?  :heart;
  ...Oh?
  You've never heard of PSI?
  ...That's odd.
  I sense loads of magical power coming from you.  :heart;

(Ionia approaches Lucas.  Lucas turns around to face away from him.)

Ionia:
  ...Wait.
  Just endure it for a little bit.

(The screen fades to black.)

Ionia:
  Don't struggle!
  Just endure it for a little bit!
  Yeesh!
  Just a little more!
  OK!!

(Screen fades in.  Lucas is underwater.  He jumps up and splashes.)

Something awoke inside Lucas!
...
Lastly, power welled up from deep within his heart!
Lucas learned the power of PK Love!
Lucas learned how to use PSI!

Ionia:
  Oh!  My goodness!  :heart;
  I can't believe it!
  You can use PK Love!
  Not even we Magypsies are able to use it!
  You sly devil, you!  :heart;
  I don't know where you come from or where you're going,
  but we might meet again.  :heart;
  So at least tell me your name.
  ......Lucas.
  Thanks.  I'll remember that.  :heart;
  Now go.
  I want to boil up, too.  :heart;


I feel dirty.
Why must all things be so bright? Why can things not appear only in hues of brown! I am so serious about this! Dull colors are the future! The next generation! I will never accept a world with such bright colors! It is far too childish! I will rage against your cheery palette with my last breath!

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2010, 12:44:50 PM »
Yeah, that was disturbing. I don't think the translation crew would've altered that scene in any way, but the original text for it may not have been suggestive. I guess there's no way to know.

I'm starting to wonder if there is more of a reason this game wasn't released in North America than simply it being unpopular...

Offline Sundoulos

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Re: Mother 3 - RetroActive #13 Discussion Thread
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2010, 05:28:17 PM »
I had my first run-in with Magypsies today.  Yes...creeeeeeepy in that Tingle sort of way.

Eww. I haven't reached the part that vudu is describing yet, but that seems very disturbing.  Again, since I have a young kid, even the thought ohttp://www.nintendoworldreport.com/forums/index.php?action=post;msg=625012;topic=31911.0f something that inappropriate involving a child (in real life) is enough to make me feel murderously angry; I don't really have any sort of sense of humor about it at all even if it's presented as an innocuous joke within a game. 

I know that you could chalk it up to cultural differences; you don't have to watch that much anime to find something that wouldn't go over well in other countries. 

With regard to this scene, I could imagine that the translation dialogue is probably very similar to the source material, as are a number of the word choices (e.g. swearing); I can't imagine a scenario that the people responsible for the translation would have intentionally made it more icky...considering that they probably would have wanted to leave the translation as close to it's original state as possible.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 04:42:50 AM by Sundoulos »
"A creature revolting against a creator is revolting against the source of his own powers--including even his power to revolt...It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower." - C.S. Lewis, in a preface to Milton's Paradise Lost