As it has been mentioned before, Nintendo and RPGs are no longer words that
people commonly associate with one another. And while this will hopefully
change with the upcoming Game Cube and Game Boy Advance, it seems that the
status quo will reign supreme over the N64.
Case in point: Mother 3, otherwise known as Earthbound 64,
has been cancelled. Shigesato Itoi, the game's designer, announced that due to
impending (and evidently more important) projects set for Nintendo's next-generation
system, he simply does not have the time to complete the game. According to Itoi,
the game's development cycle has been rife with problems and this fact contributed
in no small amount to the cancellation. Mother 3 has since disappeared from Nintendo's
Japanese products release list in Japan and Itoi has stated that it would be irresponsible
to promise that the game will appear on Nintendo's next-generation system. In other words,
don't hold your breath.
While this may come as a surprise to some, history did not predict a happy ending for Earthbound 64.
In development since the N64 was just a newcomer, Earthbound 64
was finally set to release in Japan in the fourth quarter of this year. Of course, this
comes after numerous delays dating back to 1997. A game put to a merciful end after three
years of incessant delays? The heck, you say! Reasons for the delay range from the jump
from 2D to 3D, to the switch from development on the 64DD to a cartridge.
Earthbound 64 is a difficult game to
accurately describe. The third in the Mother series, this would have been the
second in the series to make it to North America. Earthbound
debuted on the Super Nintendo in North America in 1995. The first game in the series, made
for the Famicom, never made it out of Japan. Earthbound 64
was to be a turn-based, fully 3D RPG. Set ten years after the first Mother, the game
follows the adventures of the cowboy Flint, the children Lucca and Klaus, and their dog
Boney. For more information on this quirky title, check out RPGamer's Earthbound 64 fans
aren't sitting still. Starmen.net,
an Earthbound fansite, has started a petition and they need your signatures. At the very
least, take a stand on Nintendo's treatment of RPGs and let your voice be heard.
C'mon...it's just your signature. It's not even required in blood. Unless, of course,
you feel that makes a bigger statement. However, bear in mind that blood may just cause
Nintendo to believe that they did the right thing by cancelling Mother 3 as the
bloodletting fans are obviously zealous psychos. Which isn't a bad thing, really. Remember,
kids: psychos captivate the media!
[Note: the views expressed in this article are in no way, shape, or form, the views of RPGamer.
Nor are they the views of someone with more than two hours of sleep or any sense of common decency.
The moral of this story is: don't listen to anything written in the above paragraph.]