Earlier today Nintendo caught us all off guard with the surprise return of a classic. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Fire Emblem, Nintendo announced that the first game will finally be localized! Many Switch owners don’t realize just how old this franchise is, but you can’t blame them. The debut game, Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, was never released outside of Japan. That’s finally changing this December, and it’s a great moment for gaming history. Still, Nintendo fans are never satisfied, and almost instantly another game lacking localization began to trend. The masses are calling out for Mother 3.
Mother 3 deserves localization
Nintendo revealed the Fire Emblem localization news with a short video riffing on the fact that most Super Smash Bros. Melee players had no idea who Marth and Roy were. Without a doubt, Super Smash Bros. helped pave the way for Fire Emblem‘s massive success in the West. And that’s the beauty of a crossover game like Smash! You might pick it up to play as your favorite character, but you’ll likely fall in love with others that you never knew before. And just like Marth and Roy before him, Lucas is a mystery to most Smash fans outside of Japan. And that’s a real shame because Mother 3 is a damn good game.
If you’ve never played any of these games, you’re missing out. The EarthBound franchise blends the classic RPG formula with American pop culture and a bizarre sense of humor. Sure, it’s fun bashing aliens and sentient stop signs with yo-yos and frying pans, but there’s so much more than that. Each game tells a meaningful story that’s just as comfortable making you shed tears of sadness as it is tears of laughter. They’re the kind of memorable adventures that fill you with a sense of child-like wonder, excited for whatever’s just around the corner. Mother 3 is arguably the most gripping and emotional of the three, and it’s about time players finally got to experience the series’ climactic ending. So.. why hasn’t Nintendo pulled the trigger?
Countless rumors have blamed music licensing issues, the game’s occasional sexual themes, and just about anything else you can think of. Whatever the true reason, it’s time for Nintendo to get it done. But why stop at Mother 3?
New life for the trilogy
It’s not just the third game that has gotten a raw deal in the West. The first Mother was Japan-exclusive and EarthBound/Mother 2 had a short, unsuccessful stint in the US before disappearing into obscurity. If it wasn’t for Smash, gamers today might not even remember the series. Although Mother 3 was never localized, Nintendo finally gave the series a second shot at life last generation. The first game was re-released as EarthBound Beginnings on Wii U, and EarthBound returned on Wii U and New Nintendo 3DS. Unfortunately, neither one of these platforms sold very well, so the franchise once again saw its reach greatly limited.
That’s why I would love to see the entire series Switch. Having the complete collection on one console would be a dream come true and a perfect anniversary celebration. Nintendo already missed the 30th anniversary of the franchise (it was last year), but 2021 marks the 15th anniversary of Mother 3. It’s the perfect time to make the entire trilogy available to the massive audience offered by Nintendo Switch eShop. If Fire Emblem fans can be rewarded after three decades of holding out hope, anything is possible.