Part 1: Prologue - Welcome the World of Mother 3
The logo itself symbolizes one of the major themes of this game, what with nature and modern technology clashing together awkwardly and all.
Also, there's 250 songs in the Sound Player. Expect lots and lots of Tindeck links, as this game's got a great soundtrack.
Like the other two games of the series, we'll start off naming a bunch of stuff. I'll use default names for this run, though this is one of those games where it's more encouraged you use names personal to you to help get more involved in the story.
If you select "Don't care" you'll get the default name for a character. Unlike Earthbound, there's only one such name per character.
The blonde boy is Lucas, who most will likely recognize from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He's pretty timid for a protagonist, something the game likes to constantly remind you of.
When you name a character and move to the next one, you get this little sound clip that I'm sure Earthbound fans will recognize.
The other boy is Claus, who's the more adventurous and outspoken of the two. The twins' names are anagrams of each other, which is neat.
The cowboy-looking guy is Flint, which is a pretty cowboy name.
According to the Earthbound Wiki, Hinawa's name refers to a matchlock gun, with Flint's referring to a flintlock rifle.
And of course it wouldn't be a Mother game without a faithful canine companion.
Mother 3's default food and thing are a bit more intimate and personal than Earthbound's. Earthbound's favorite thing is more of a battle cry, something that fits Ness pretty well (if you ignore the whole "silent protagonist" thing), while Love better fits the timid, introverted Lucas. Omelets also seem more intimate a food than steaks, being something you're more likely to eat everyday with family to start the day. Or at least that's how I interpret it, you're perfectly welcome to tell me I'm full of shit on my analyses.
Unlike character names, there's various options for "Don't Care" for favorite food and things. Other food options include Pasta, Gratin, Donuts, Stew, Gelatin, and Rice, all simple staple foods. For favorite thing, there's Home Run, Mach, Top Spec, Mt. Fuji, Camera, and Watering.
Then you get to choose text speed and window color.
The color of your window can significantly affect how you react to this game's story and gameplay. Probably not, though.
And with that, let's begin!
Beyond the Sunshine Forest
Home of Alec, Hinawa's Father
Get up so we can play! Get up, already!
And now we get control of Lucas.
Due to the smaller screen size of the GBA, the menu is more streamlined from previous games. The menu has Goods, Equipment, Status, and Sleep (use the GBA's Sleep mode to put the game on standby).
We have no gear or skills yet, though that of course will change later on.
The A button will check things. No more menus/L button for that kinda stuff. I'll hold off from showing off every mundane thing at this point, though I'm sure there's lots of neat stuff to look at in our future.
Downstairs, we meet our mother.
Claus has been up for a while, playing with the Dragos.
Mother 3 may be a more serious title than Earthbound, but it still has that same offbeat humor that makes the series so charming.
Anyway, we have to change our clothes to progress in the story.
Alright, time for some fun!
Welcome to Grandpa's farm! Enjoy the nice music here.
It also wouldn't be a Mother game if we couldn't telepathically talk to animals.
These chickens will run away from you until you corner them into a wall, so it takes a bit of effort to talk to them.
And of course we've got sinister pigs because why not.
(All cows, no matter what they're thinking, go, "Moo." It'd be handy to remember that.)
And a helpful cow, to boot!
Memories are remembered with other memories, and in turn become memories themselves. If you don't take care to preserve your memories, you'll forget them. So, please tell us frogs your memories of everything so far... That is what people refer to as "saving". Now, then...
Since our dad isn't some rich executive guy that's always at work and never at home, instead we have to settle with talking to frogs to save our game. We'll manage.
Give my regards to the next frog you meet.
If we try to move south...
Gotta say, that's one of the better ways I've seen a game roadblock you from going somewhere, and that include Earthbound's literal roadblocks.
Well, today's the day you head back home. I'm gonna miss you guys.
This is Hinawa's father and the boys' grandfather, Alec.
Time to see what Claus is up to!
I've been play-fighting with the Dragos all morning.
Pretty sure our choice here doesn't actually change any dialogue.
Lucas still doesn't know how to ram into things yet.
And then hold that B Button for a second, then let go. Doing this will let you "dash". And by using this "dash" ability, you can ram into that Drago there! Claus! Show him an example!
Now it's your turn, Lucas! Give it a try!
That holds true for anything. Just relax!
So our first gameplay challenge of this game is to ram ourselves into a dinosaur.
Gotta say, it's kinda cool how these giant scary-looking creatures are actually very peaceful and docile and actually enjoy kids ramming into them.
We did it!
I'm gonna wipe the floor with all of you! Get in my way and you're in for a world of pain!
Our first battle!
Options are Bash (regular attack), Goods, Guard, and Run Away. Can't run from this fight, so
This game's battle system is pretty much the same as Earthbound's. The main difference is that damage pops up on the battle screen Final Fantasy-style rather than be communicated in text boxes.
The number meter is back, and works the same way as Earthbound's. If you take mortal damage, you've got time until the meter rolls to 0 to heal or end the battle, which will then stop that person from dying. A nice little system that encourages a bit of speed to fix a bad situation.
The one big difference in this game is that by timing A Button presses to the beat of the music, you can do extra damage to enemies. There's plenty of different battle themes to learn the beats to, and it can be tricky to pick up, especially on certain emulators where it doesn't work that well. But it's not a necessary trick needed to beat the game or anything, just a nice little bonus feature that gives you more damage if you learn to master it.
The Mole Cricket's nothing but a tutorial, so you pretty much have to try to lose.
So let's do so!
There's a bit of new dialogue after doing this. Since I did this in an alternate video, this is where I also found out you could ram into people.
Your ram attacks don't work on me, Lucas!
Is that all you got? You whippersnappers still have a long ways to go until you can get the best of me!
I didn't find this out until right before posting this update, but apparently you can also dash into Hinawa at the beginning.
And if we try to leave...
Alright, let's beat this bug up.
But you can challenge me to 100 fights and I'll still kick your butt each and every time!
Note: I didn't bother trying to lose 100 times to see if it actually affects anything.
So let's go back to the part where I kick the cricket's butt.
If you'd like, I could train you personally sometime.
I look forward to seein' you there! ...Bro.
Lunch is ready, everyone. I made you your favorite, boys. Omelets!
Ooh! Lunch, lunch! Omelets!!
It's not too tedious or troublesome, so you should talk to frogs as often as you can. Plus, saving is absolutely free.
You saved me some Omelets too, I hope?!
Then your favorite is the same as ours? We make a good match!
We have to go through the forest to get back, so we'll need to leave early.
Don't be silly. I bet the kids could make it here on their own, it's that safe.
Just like you said they would, the children have been running around the mountains and fields tirelessly since the moment we arrived.
Claus is as daring and full of energy as ever, while Lucas is still a bit coddled. But neither one seems tired of playing at all.
My father seems sad to say goodbye to his grandchildren after seeing them for the first time in so long, but we should be home by this evening. I had forgotten how nice and refreshing the mountain air is. You're always covered in the smell of sheep back in Tazmily Village, so I really wish you could have been here to take in this air.
The next time we visit, let's ask one of our neighbors to tend the sheep so we can all come up here as a family.
Claus, Lucas, and I were always thinking about you. When we get home this evening, I'll start cooking some of your favorite Omelets right away.
With love, your dearest Hinawa