Fans Offer to Translate Mother 3 for Nintendo at No Charge

Fans want a new Earthbound game so badly in North America that some have even offered to translate Mother 3 into English for Nintendo for free. The team of fans, which includes a professional translator, has offered to localize the game in English for Nintendo free of charge in a post on its development blog.

Mother 3 has never released outside of Japan, much to the chagrin of just about every gamer in North America and Europe.

Written under the handle "Mato", the blog post said, "I realize that localizing a game this size can cost a lot, so if it’ll help in even the slightest, I’ll gladly offer to let Nintendo use my text translation files for any use at all, completely for free."

The post also mentions that previous fan translations have been used by the game publishers, pointing out that the U.S. release of Ys: The Oath in Felghana used fan-based localization.

Mother 3 is the third game in the Earthbound series. The first and second games in the franchise were released outside of Japan as Mother and Earthbound, respectively. The third game was announced in 2006 for the Game Boy Advance but was not released anywhere but Japan. Nintendo announced last week that it would re-release the SNES version of Earthbound in North America later this year.

Source: GameSpot

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  1. 0
    Infophile says:

    Ah yes, you're right, I missed that part. My bad. We'll see what happens though. I suspect at this point they're waiting to see how well Earthbound sells on Wiiware.

  2. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I'm sure Mandelin and his crew would provide the patch.  He seems pretty accommodating.

    "I’ll even edit the files to fit whatever new standards are necessary (content, formatting, memory size, etc.), completely for free. I’ll even retranslate everything from scratch if need be."

    Still, who knows if the patch would even work with the Wii U VC's SNES emulator?  So, yeah, it's not like having the translation files means Nintendo can just hit the "go" button and be done with it but really, the translation itself is the bulk of the work.  If Nintendo doesn't have to do that part, maybe that would be enough of a leg up for a Mother 3 release to be worth its while.


    Andrew Eisen

  3. 0
    Infophile says:

    My point was the translation involved a lot more work than just translating all the text, work which Nintendo would have to recreate if they aren't supplied with the patch itself, even if they do have the translations.

  4. 0
    Infophile says:

    He offered his text translation files, not the actual ROM patch. Now, he could probably be convinced to give Nintendo the patch, but I really don't predict them asking for it. It might be opening a legal can worms they'd prefer to leave closed.

  5. 0
    Left4Dead says:

    Nintendo is missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars annually.  All they have to do is take an existing game franchise (e.g. Super Mario Bros), yoink out the ROM, grab one of the zillion emulators out there, and put the whole mess onto Steam.  Instant money.  Repeat the process every quarter.

    Then, for games like Mother 3, let fans do the bulk of the translation but then pay a professional translator to do cleanup work.  Almost no cost to Nintendo but translates into millions of dollars in revenue.

    These are no-brainer business decisions.  However, I can pretty much guarantee that Nintendo will somehow continue to be clueless and will fail their fan base once again.

    -- Left4Dead --

  6. 0
    RedMage says:

    What startled me was that Nintendo didn't use Smash Bros. Brawl and the inclusion of Lucas as a ton of free publicity for a Mother 3 localization. Okay, the audiences don't entirely overlap but the opportunity was an easy target and Nintendo couldn't have missed it harder.

  7. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "Plus, there's the fact that this game is apparently hard to translate – the fan translation required a lot of work, which Nintendo will have to duplicate."

    Not if it takes Mandelin up on his offer to use his translation free-of-charge.


    Andrew Eisen

  8. 0
    Infophile says:

    Worth noting here: Mother 3 was made for the GBA, so it's now two generations out of date. There's no chance of it getting a non-digital release as a GBA game. Now, a Wiiware or DSware release is possible, but that depends on how hard it is to port, which only Nintendo knows. Plus, there's the fact that this game is apparently hard to translate – the fan translation required a lot of work, which Nintendo will have to duplicate. And honestly, as much of a cult hit as Earthbound is, it was a flop when it was released (thanks in part to a horrible ad campaign). Nintendo of America doesn't see dollar signs when they look at this franchise.

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