A group of dedicated fans who released a translation patch for un-localised Game Boy Advance title Mother 3 have offered to hand their work over to Nintendo.
In a post on the project’s blog by lead translater Clyde Mandelin offered to provide – and even adapt – the group’s translation files for Nintendo’s use – all for free.
“I realize that localizing a game this size can cost a lot, so if it’ll help in even the slightest, I’ll gladly offer to let Nintendo use my text translation files for any use at all, completely for free. I’ll even edit the files to fit whatever new standards are necessary (content, formatting, memory size, etc.), completely for free. I’ll even retranslate everything from scratch if need be. Just whatever it takes to get an official release out,” he said.
“It might seem unlikely for a legitimate company to use a fan translation or work with fan translators, but it has happened before – Ys: The Oath in Felghana is one recent example. It’s more common among visual novel games at the moment, but I believe this sort of thing will only become more and more common over time. Only when the works in question are up to a certain standard of quality, of course.”
To prove his chops, Mandelin offered links to his professional experience as a translator; he seems quite serious about the offer.
Even assuming it has plans to localise the much-requested cult classic, it’s unlikely Nintendo will accept the offer for legal reasons – and even if it did, it will still have to pony up substantial cash for in-house editing and implementation. But it’s a lovely indication of just how devoted the Earthbound and Mother fanbase is; it’s interesting to note that throughout the team’s work to produce their translation patch for Mother 3 ROMs, it asked potential supports to purchase legitimate copies of the original game rather than donate.
New interest in the possible localisation of Mother 3 – not to mention Mother 1 – was sparked by the imminent virtual console re-release of Earthbound, otherwise known as Mother 2. It’s considered one of the best RPGs of the SNES era, and sold dreadfully on release in North America, probably for all the same reasons we love it – quirky humour, oddball plot, and gently delightful exploration of childhood themes.