Enough is enough, proclaims long-running Earthbound fan site.
The Mother series has had a very loyal and dedicated fan base ever since the first—and only—American game in the series, Earthbound, was released on the SNES in 1995. The resurrection of the previously-canned Mother 3 and its eventual GBA release gave fans hope that Nintendo might finally come through after 11 years of waiting, and release a domestic version of their beloved game series.
That is, until, our recent interview with NOA Treehouse informed the Ness-heads to "not look forward to it in the immediate future." The Earthbound community turned all eyes to Starmen.net to see how they would react. Desperate times call for desperate measures, as they say.
Some of the Starmen folks have taken on the daunting task of translating every last bit of the game's Japanese text into English. This way, people who have imported the game and legally own the ROM can apply a language patch to understand what the heck is going on.
This is where things might start to get a bit sticky. Naturally, once people start talking about GBA ROMs, "piracy" is usually uttered in the same breath. The only way to use the patch is to obtain the game ROM, with no real way to guarantee that everyone who has it has imported the actual game cartridge.
Mother3.org stresses that they want to keep things as legal as possible, but Nintendo may decide at some point in the future that it's quite illegal. Previous fan projects like Ocarina of Time 2D and Chrono Trigger Resurrection got their plugs pulled for infringing on the original rights, but the Mother 3 project is a slightly different case. How will Nintendo react to people translating text files and using them to alter the original game ROM? It should be interesting to find out.
Correction: We previously stated that Starmen.net's efforts and the Mother 3 Fan Translation Project were jointly involved. As it turns out, the two are independent of one another. We apologize for the confusion.