The Mother/EarthBound JRPG franchise has been sitting without an entry for quite a while, but did you know one was proposed for the GameCube?
Yasuyuki Honne, a developer and board member at the currently Nintendo-owned studio Monolith Soft (Namco used to own it), revealed that Nintendo considered making an EarthBound game for the GameCube with Namco. Honne shared the story on Twitter in advance of a forthcoming book on the life of the late Satoru Iwata, which will be published later this year.
Honne told a story about meeting Iwata, the former president of Nintendo, and Shigesato Itoi, the original designer of EarthBound, to discuss the game. Apparently, Itoi didn’t seem very interested, as he felt the pitch was a little strange (a considerably more strange thing for a key EarthBound creator to say!). He got more interested in it as it was shown off, but nothing came of it.
Nintendo never picked up the game, but now we get to see a couple pictures representing the proposed concept for it. The art resembles Yoshi’s Woolly World and Kirby’s Epic Yarn due to it’s felt-like nature. The characters and the environments are made with felt, though it’s not clear if this was for mock-up purposes or if they were really aiming for that aesthetic. Also of note is that Mother 2/EarthBound protagonist Ness is prominently shown as the main character; this could also be part of the mock-up, but had that game happened, we’d be left with a very different Mother 3.
Regardless, we haven’t seen anything from the cult classic Mother series in over a decade, and Mother 3 still hasn’t been officially localized (there’s a good fan translation, though). It would be nice to see Nintendo diversify their RPG lineup, or at least bring some of the old gems back into the limelight. Ness has been in Super Smash Bros. from the first game, for goodness sake! You can surely get something of worth from them!