Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Itoi's N64 Mother 3 Blog

Nintendo originally made Mother 3 for the N64. It was never released, although a video of the game being played circulates online today. No rom exists, and perhaps it never will. Gamers can play the GBA remake of the game, but the N64 Disk Drive Demo remains missing.

Despite this, Itoi still has a blog online with tons of screenshots from the game that might have happened. And you can check it out here. Itoi created the Mother series, as well as inspire the most genius DS game of all time, Contact.


Unknown said...

I'm exceedingly glad that they decided to make this for the GBA instead. Look at those chunky graphics... ugh.

8bitcity said...

Same here. Killer N64DD graphics for sure xD

Benjamin Fennell said...

Actually, I don't think Shigesato Itoi had anything to do with Contact itself - I haven't been able to find any direct connections, anyway - being obviously inspiring it with the Mother series, just as he obviously inspired Kikiyama's cult indie game, Yume Nikki. And I'd say he definitely had a role in inspiring Opoona too - that and Contact are pretty much the most obviously Mother inspired Japanese titles to see global release, anyway. Doublefine's Costume Quest may have at least taken some visual inspiration, though, as did Gevo Entertainment's Escapee Go! on DSiWare. G-Mode also released a blatantly Mother-esque RPG on DSiWare in Japan called Sepas Channel too - it also hit cell phones there - but there's been no sign of it seeing western release, sadly. I even mentioned it to Gamebridge on Twitter the other year, as they've localized G-Mode DSiWare games before, but they said they weren't able to get the game. I've pretty much lost hope of it seeing English release at this point, but there might be some miniscule chance yet, given that niche Japanese DSiWare games are still being localized at this point, at least.

At any rate, on topic, it's hard not to prefer the retro aesthetics of the Mother trilogy as they turned out in the end. Wish more games affected that kind of look these days.

Benjamin Fennell said...

Oh, right - also wanted to mention that it was Akira Ueda who was largely responsible for Contact. He and his tiny developer, Audio, Inc., developed the game with Grasshopper as the producer, then Marvelous published it. The tiny studio went on to make Sakura Note on the DS, which sadly narrowly missed localization - Ignition, back when they were still viable and before Disney purchased them, evaluated the game for localization before sadly passing and calling the DS RPG library too saturated for it to be viable for release.

Since then, Ueda's largely gone silent and we haven't seen a single title announced from the team yet, but he's pitched the concept for a 3DS RPG using the same style as Contact and Sakura Note called Space Agency. Essentially more gameplay in their vein with huge stylized planets to explore. There's a very Engrishy concept trailer, but we haven't heard anything from them since, sadly. Hopefully we'll see them resurface with magic on the 3DS in the future, and ideally a localization deal. The relevant Space Agency concept trailer.

Likewise for ArtePiazza, which may have a Dragon Quest VII remake in the works for the 3DS at the moment, but they've gone silent on new announcements (Though I've followed Shintaro Majima and Sachiko Sugimura's Twitter accounts and it looks like there are things in development there now, likely for the 3DS.) for about a year and a half since their last DSiWare release, and they are still regularly talking and showcasing Opoona over four years since its western release and even longer since its Japanese release, so they're keeping that character and universe as alive as they can - hopefully a sign that we'll see more Mother-inspired RPGs, perhaps even a direct Opoona sequel and 3DS port of the original in the future. Hopefully all released globally and marketed better.

Worth noting, though, at least, is that word is that Genius Sonority's Mother and Dragon Quest inspired Denpa Ningen no RPG on '3DSWare' is apparently now bound for the west, so it should be worth following when it releases. Hitoshi Sakimoto and Basiscape, who scored Opoona, composed a similar score for Denpa Ningen as well. And though this is just based on what I've seen of the game's aesthetics and overall sense of whimsy, Renegade Kid's Planet Crashers western RPG, which just hit the 3DS eShop in North America and Europe today, seems to have some Mother inspiration as well in its sheer strangeness.

Benjamin Fennell said...

One last relevant link while I'm thinking about it too - Audio, Inc.'s website. Doesn't seem to have been updated - at least the main site - since 2009, but one of the places to check for relevant Audio, Inc. and Akira Ueda news, anyway.