I want to play the Mother games for the first time.
What's the best way for me to do this?
I've read about Earthbound Zero, Beginnings, and I also found this patched rom of Mother 1+2 for GBA. What's the best? Anything else I should know about?
Play them in order if you want to have the complete experience. Mother 1 is good but likely most people will tell you it's "dated" or "grindy" because very few people still like 8 bit RPGs.
The official "Earth Bound Zero" ROM that you can find online is the exact same as EB Beginning on the virtual console, so whether you want to give Nintendo your money for it or not is up to you.
The GBA version has a translation patch made by Tomato (guy who did Mother 3 fan translation) and has the easy ring item that makes encounter rates and grinding less time consuming, I personally don't think it's really necessary but again, up to you.
Play Mother 1/EarthBound Beginnings on the GBA, it's the best translation and has a few enhancements above other versions. It's fairly old school, so be aware of that.
Mother 2/EarthBound on the SNES is the only one that's translated and the best version, so play that.
Same with Mother 3, only on the GBA.
There are no gaides or any shenanigans like that unless you count the characters showing up on Smash Brothers, so enjoy. It's best to play them in order, both for gameplay and story purposes. If you can't handle how archaic Mother 1 may feel, just skip ahead to 2.
For the record, if you're playing MOTHER 1 with an emulator, if the title screen says the word 'ZERO' underneath the logo you are playing a modified, gimped version that lowers the difficulty and is a total cop-out. The unmodified prototype only says 'EARTH BOUND', and is the same as what Nintendo released on the Wii U. The GBA version has a fan translation done by Tomato who did MOTHER 3, but the engine and music are really poor compared to the NES version. Use your discretion on what version to play. Playing all three in order is a really awesome experience though, just avoid the EarthBound fanbase like the plague.
the fact that Claus is the Masked Man is very obvious to the player from the moment everyone thinks Lucas is "the general"
Also Claus was already dead, Masked Man was a cyborg who only got his soul back at the end thanks to Lucas and Hinawa.
MOTHER sets up the history of the antagonist of both games and the overall roots/lore of PK power in the series. I personally think M1 has a stronger actual story than M2, but it's obfuscated by the oft-referenced 'clunkiness' of the game. The graphics and sound in M2 certainly help its situation too. I just hate all the shit people give M1, it's a really good game and easily in my top-5.
I love the story of M1, there's just so damn little of it between the very beginning and the very end. Some of it's pretty damn unclear too. I think M1 could seriously benefit from a fully updated remake.
If you can deal with grindy, archaic older jrpgs, then play them in order. If not, just play Earthbound and Mother 3 in that order. Mother 1 is essentially a prototype for Earthbound anyway. They're both very similar games but Earthbound does everything better. Some people will try to argue that point but it's almost entirely out of a biased "older is better" sentiment. You can always go back and play the original if you really grow to love 2 and 3, but I'd say just start with 2.
>Some people will try to argue that point
I don't think so, I think anyone can agree that being ablee to see your enemies on the map and the added rolling HP meter were good gameplay improvements, however I don't agree about M1 being an "EB prototype", they're distinctly differently designed games. Outside of the whole setting being modern day America and how all the characters are very similar to their EB counterparts (except for Teddy/Poo), the game design is a whole different experience, Mother 1 is less about traveling around the world and more about getting lost while traveling one side of a country on a giant map. Then the whole story is different, there's no "choosen 4 kids", you're just out on an adventure to try to find out about your great-grandparents' mysterious fate and also Magicant is used in a completely different way than it was used on EB, it's the same thing in name and concept only, and only a bit.
Some people even take EB as a Mother remake, but it's really not the case and I think this becomes obvious if you play through the whole game and then play EB.
>For the record, if you're playing MOTHER 1 with an emulator, if the title screen says the word 'ZERO' underneath the logo you are playing a modified, gimped version that lowers the difficulty and is a total cop-out.
The only difference to the game is that 'ZERO' was added to the title, and antipiracy measures were removed.
The title change was simply because the dumping group was fucking retarded and wanted to differentiate the game from the SNES version.
Ok so after reading through this thread I thought I had things figured out but apparently not.
What do I look for if I want to play a version that's exactly like the original Japanese version except in English?
I found a good rom for the "prototype" official english translation but apparently that has censored graphics of some kind. I'm sure it barely matters but I have autism.
I was gonna just play the Mother 1+2 translation, but like someone mentioned earlier, the sounds/music are gonna be different. I might just play it anyway.
Holy shit why did Nintendo make this so difficult?
The "EB Zero" ROM is the exact same thing as what you'd get on the virtual console Earthbound Beginnings. It even has a debug feature that isn't on the original Famicom game, a run button. However, this run button makes not only your characters to move faster across the screen, but also all the others NPCs you might see, it's like it fast forwards the game. This also happens on the VC release because as I said it's the same unreleased NOA-made ROM without any changes.
The GBA remake included the run button, but fixed the NPC speed so that they will maintain their normal speed. It's not really a big deal though.
As for the censorship, also not a big deal but some enemies are bloody, or smoking cigarettes, that was removed from the NES/GBA version, also church crosses.
However, the NES game has an extended ending sequence that's not found on the original Famicom version. The GBA port includes both the censorship and the extended ending.
Other minor changes include slightly different dungeon maps, they were made a bit less confusing on NES/GBA version.
To answer to your question shortly: there is no way you can play the exact original Japanese version in english, the only way is to play Mother on the Famicom in japanaese.
The prototype/NOA version has better sound and bigger screen resolution than the GBA port, but GBA has a fan translation that's arguably better than what NOA did in the 80s (I didn't play Tomato's translation but I would bet it's better) AND more importantly has the uncensored graphics, that means smoking crows, bloody gangsters, etc. (this is only featured thanks to the fan translation patch, original GBA version is censored as I said before).
So if you can cope with inferior sound quality and a smaller resolution, your best option is GBA.
Agreed about the retardedness, but I'm fairly certain the EB0 ROM gives you double experience for everything. At any rate there's no reason to play it over the 'unmodified' prototype that's been available for years at this point. I think Tomato included the 'Easy Ring' in his translation to match the experience boost in the EB0 version.
I actually liked Mother 3 more than EB the story was very well done, dark, and epic for a GBA RPG. EB is overrated but its enjoyable. I still never got far in mother but i need to play that one day to finish the trilogy. I'm one of those in the minority who are probably happy with the series ending with 3. But Mother fans are some of the worst t b h f a m
I initially took that position but the art was shit anyway, it's not important.
But find a rom with the original title screen, a better translated script, uncensored enemy sprites, and "giygas" instead of "giygue" and yeah, that'd be the preferable version. But for now the link I posted is, to my knowledge.
I haven't seen any earthbound fans that aren't on par with the regular retro game crowd save for edgy hipsters who saw gameplay online. Its just got a cult following is all, and by far the worst thing about the fan base is undertale memesters who have never played the games.
That's not true it's just not explicitly stated. The secret laboratories built Eve which is really important before the final boss. Your first trip to Magicant is early on in the game and you start to get hints of Mary well before the ending. The very first battle is foreshadowing to the psychic shit going down in the game.
Between the first trip to Magicant and picking up EVE, you have to go through both factories, the desert, the swamp, and most of the final mountain. And the only real story advancement going on during all that is Lloyd's character arc.
That's not true. The scarf (and sometimes white stripes on the shirt that aren't in OP's image) are from the live-action Mother commercial in Japan.
The kid playing Ninten was dressed up with a scarf, and said shirt. Fan artists started drawing Ninten the same way.
Yes, but that's just from a commercial, it's marketing. He looks nothing like that in the actual game, or in any of its official artwork.
I mean I'm fine with fan art of that commercial, but when it's made chibi and put next to the other characters it just looks over-designed and out of place.
When is Clyde going to get off his fucking ass and fix the text overflows left in his patch, I wonder? Typical: they'll create half a dozen patches to add MOAR BULSHITZ to the game, but won't fix the remaining goddamned bugs.