The Mother Series 30th Anniversary Spirit Event In Smash Bros. Ultimate Is Too Cruel

By Ethan Gach on at

July 27 will mark 30 years since the original Mother on NES came out in Japan and to celebrate, Nintendo is running a Mother-themed Spirit Board event in Smash Bros. Ultimate, torturing fans who have been desperate to see the rest of series localised in the West.

Smash Ultimate’s Spirit Board is a single-player affair where people can grind for rewards and to grow their collection of spirits, each representing some artefact from Nintendo’s video game history. One dedicated to the Mother games is hopelessly bittersweet affair, however, because of how it reminds fans that Mother 3 still hasn’t been localised and falsely (maybe?) raises their hopes that that might finally change.

It took fans no time at all, in fact, to hone in on a strange anamoly in the art Nintendo is using to promote the event, first through it’s Japanese Twitter account and now through Nintendo Europe. Specifically, they’ve focused on a small portion in the bottom-middle of the image that shows sunflowers in front of a blue sky and clouds. Whatever that part of the image is taken from, it appears to be completely new. Maybe a remaster? Or at the very least some new Mother 3-related content coming to Smash Ultimate?

Screenshot: Chafenhimer (Twitter)

While the sunflowers are a reference to a famous scene from Mother 3, they’ve never been rendered like how they appear in the promotional art before. Meanwhile, the sky and clouds appear to come from Smash’s Tortimer Island stage inspired by Animal Crossing. None of this probably means anything, but wild speculation like this is partly Nintendo’s fault.

When Earthbound, known as Mother 2 in Japan, released in North America in 1995 for the SNES, many fans had no idea it was part of a series. The first game was never published outside of Japan, and decades later, neither was the third. Even the most oblivious Earthbound fans realised something was up when Lucas, the protagonist of Mother 3, appeared in 2008's Smash Bros. Brawl.

Mother 3 had only come out two years earlier on the Game Boy Advance. If Nintendo was going to feature him in its major cross-over fighting game series, surely it would bring the actual source material over at some point as well, either via a port or remaster. And yet, nothing.

Screenshot: Datajoy (ResetEra)

“Localise Mother 3" has become such a common refrain among fans, appearing on random signs at wrestling events and on the wishlists for every new Nintendo Direct, that it’s become almost something of a joke, uttered ironically so as to mask the sincere desperation deep inside players’ hearts.

That’s the only way to read the latest Mother 3 conspiracy theory, as partly born of desperation and partly the result of fan brains broken by the absurdity that the game has still never been re-released. Others have already poked fun at the attempts to read into the series’ future based on Spirit Board tea leaves.

Most of the responses to the speculation on Twitter have all been the same. “Don’t do that,” wrote one person. “Don’t give me hope.”

Image: Nintendo (Twitter)