The RPG series known as Earthbound and Mother was intended to invoke memories of childhood games played with the most basic, scavenged toys, says creator Shigesato Itoi.
“I wanted to make a playground where people can appreciate the most insignificant things found within,” Itoi wrote as part of a guest post for Nintendo Japan’s website, as translated in full by Siliconera.
“Prior to making the game, it wasn’t actually my goal to come up with such a thing. It was discovered by my many friends who’ve enjoyed their time in the playground.”
Elsewhere in the post, Itoi explained what he means more clearly.
“Children can get dolls, no longer needed tableware, leftover bolts and nuts found in toolboxes, flowers and leaves found in gardens; and come up with random songs about the said objects, while playing with them on the carpet,” he said.
“They can go on forever and create a world based on that. With those feelings, Earthbound was made.”
Itoi said, as an adult, he changed perspectives, hid secrets, and upped the difficulty, and then invited his frieds to come play.
“Each with their own unique ways of playing. Starting with a simple story of roots and stems, followed by the the exciting addition of branches, leaves and flowers. With all the people that came to play, before we knew it, Earthbound was created,” he said.
Itoi said throughout his career he’s met fans who shared their fond memories of tiny Earthbound details, and he’d comment on how good their memories are.
“And they’d say ‘I loved every facet of that game,’ with bright eyes,” he added. “I’d then reply with ‘Me too.’”
Itoi recently teased an Earthbound revival of some kind. It may well be the Japan-only Wii U eShop release of the original Earthbound, as reported by Siliconera. Western territories get F-Zero instead.