Unofficial Mother 4 fangame announced to excitement and worry from fans

Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-11-29 18:29 (JST)
Translated by. Nick Mosier

Mother 4, a fan-made sequel to the popular Mother series, has been announced. The game is an “unofficial sequel” that has no affiliation with Nintendo. The team plans on launching the game on PC at a yet to be determined date and has Mother fans both interested and concerned about the project’s future.

Mother (EarthBound) is a popular RPG series from Nintendo. The series was helmed by Shigesato Itoi, a copywriter and essayist who acted as the game’s producer, scenario writer, and game designer. The first entry was released in 1989, and the series continued until the release of Mother 3 in 2006.

The series is known for its memorable stories and atmosphere that still influences games to this day. Undertale creator Toby Fox even listed the Mother series as an inspiration. Even now, the series has a deep-rooted fan creator community and players posting here and there about how they would like another entry. But Shigesato Itoi has stated numerous times that he won’t make a sequel (Famitsu). Mother 3 was born from a troubled development, and it looks like a 4th entry is nothing more than a far-off dream.

With that in mind, a fan-made unofficial sequel, Mother 4, was announced, and the art style and gameplay look like they’ve picked up right where the series left off. The game sees 4 children adventuring around the United States uncovering the secrets behind the powerful “Rift Shells.” The game also includes series staples like the rolling HP counter and Sound Battle system from Mother 3. You can see from the trailer that the unique vibe of the series has also been recreated in great detail.

But this isn’t actually the first time a fangame titled “Mother 4” has been announced. Oddity, an RPG currently in development, also started its life as a fangame called “Mother 4.” The team behind Oddity opted to change their game to an original title to avoid being in the crosshairs of Nintendo after they began cracking down on fangames (related article in Japanese).

Some of the YouTube comments under the trailer also express concern that Nintendo could take action against the game and mention Oddity and its situation. While fans are concerned about how Nintendo will respond, the developers behind Mother 4 appear to have a more optimistic view. The FAQ on the game’s website states they aren’t concerned about being shut down by Nintendo because, “Nintendo only seems to go after remakes of existing games, or controversial fan games.” The start of the trailer also mentions the project is unofficial and to support Nintendo and Hobonichi, Shigesato Itoi’s company, if possible. Maybe this countermeasure is also connected to the team’s positive outlook.

The development team insisting that’s the case doesn’t necessarily wipe away concerns, though. The Mother series is ultimately a Nintendo IP, and they have the last word on how the name can be used. Calling the game Mother 4 is teetering into dangerous territory, so it will be interesting to see if the game safely makes it to release.

The unofficial sequel Mother 4 is schedule to launch on PC. A release date has yet to be announced.