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Weekly Famitsu – January 31, 1997

November 7, 2011

This is a dialogue showcased in a section featured once every few months in Weekly Famitsu. One of the editors, Yasuhiro Nagata, conducted several interviews with Itoi during his time with the magazine. Nagata later went into freelancing for a few years before eventually working for Itoi’s company, where he is now.

This dialogue is different from other interviews in that it has a very casual tone to it and is less focused on the nitty gritty. It feels more like you’re eavesdropping on three Japanese men at the bar who just happen to be talking about Nintendo 64 games. The bolding of the text is preserved from that in the magazine article.

Before the dialogue segment comes a plethora of screenshots and character showcases. The article was one of the first to feature so much visual information on the game, so click to enlarge the screenshots and feast your eyes on the glory that never-be!


Pero-kun’s Report: We still don’t know the details of MOTHER 3, but we did get some new pics! Series creator Itoi tells us that the new game will betray all expectations of the fans–in a good way! I’m so dog-gone excited!

We got a hold of brand-new screenshots for Nintendo 64’s highly-anticipated RPG masterpiece, MOTHER 3! First check out the picture above. This must be the characters that appear in MOTHER 3. A little to the right of the center is a boy that looks exactly like Ness from MOTHER 2. There are also a few people in the crowd that resemble actual celebrities. Either way, it looks like this game means business!

Troops march through the desert. There seem to be scenes with a level of danger we haven’t seen in previous MOTHER games. What on earth could be going on with that giant ice cream cone on the right?

A merchant wagon stops by in the middle of this crossroad. The mountain in the far distance that looks like a castle is a naturally-formed rock mountain called Great Rock. It was said to be a bustling quarry in the past.

A store in Tazmily. The white building in the back left is the village hotel.
Wonder what this store sells?

[click to enlarge]

In addition to new screenshots for MOTHER 3, we also got our hands on in-game characters! In the first picture we have three different types: supporting character, enemy, and main character. Some of the names are already decided, others are not. All the characters seem like strange personalities you’d have to keep an eye on. And right when we thought we’d see Ness as the main character again, looks like that’s not the case. On top of that, are the main characters all guys (and a monkey)?! The characters alone show us how distinct the new game is from the rest of the series.

Nagata  What, you think you can have some dog or kid handle the interview with Itoi?! No! Which is why I took the 7 AM bullet train to Kyoto, and here I am. Good moooorniiing!

Itoi, Iwata  Good morning~

Nagata  I guess we’ve only got 40 minutes for our interview so let’s get rolling. Starting with the usual question. Is the game really coming out this year?!

Itoi  (laughs) Here we go again. Today we have the on-site supervisor here with us, though. Tell him how it is!

Iwata  We would like to release it sometime this year.

Nagata  That again!?

Itoi  We truly hope for its release!

Nagata  I dunno, man.

Itoi  But we’ve got Iwata! Iwata! Once he joined MOTHER 2, the thing spontaneously finished, after all.

Nagata  Ah, that’s reassuring!

Itoi  Right? So now the readers are going to wonder. “What, so Iwata made that game?” (roaring laughter)

Nagata  So, the names of the characters have been announced.

Itoi  I named them.

Nagata  One would assume.

Itoi  They’re good, right? The person from this village is… huh? Who is this?!

Nagata  (roaring laughter) Hey, now!

Itoi  I’ve never seen this before!!

Iwata  Yes you have.  I showed you before, but it’s been a little more processed since then.

Itoi  Oh! I get it. But… hey! What kind of business are you running!?

(All laugh)

Nagata  Is it all right to assume this boy is the main character?

Iwata  This time around there are twice as many characters as previous games; that’s because MOTHER 3 is arranged into chapters. It’s not an omnibus, but it’s split into chapters and the main character changes depending on the chapter.

Itoi  Ahh you finally said it. Now I can relax. I’ve been holding that in this whole time. (laughs)

Nagata  So eight people?

Iwata  Over eight.

Itoi  But it’s more fun to be in the dark.

Nagata  Yeah, it really is!! In a way, it’s tough to cover games that I love.

Itoi  Right?

Nagata  To be honest, I just wanna ask when it’ll come out and then go home.

Iwata  Now that would make people angry.

Nagata  And the show goes on. How’s the 64DD been treating you?

Itoi  Damn. You’re good.

Iwata  It’s all about the ability to overwrite. I want to use the creation of MOTHER 3 to put an end to everyone making the same kind of adventures in all the same ways all over Japan.

Nagata  So you’re not simply making it a multi-scenario?

Itoi  Not a chance!! I hate that! Multi-scenarios are the worst. That’s just abandoning the rights and duties of the writer.

Iwata  Yeah. We’d rather make a game that leaves everything in the world exactly as you left it. We’re always throwing things out or leaving them around, right? We scratch things up. That all stays.

Itoi  If you go on a trip when your place is messy, it’s going to be just as messy when you get back.

Iwata  Yeah, that’s what I mean. So the writable hardware of the DD is perfect.

Nagata  I see. Moving on, what’s the deal with the battles that Itoi’s always raving about like a madman?

Itoi  How rude! (laughs) I’d like to talk about what it is, but I can’t yet.

Iwata  It’s still in the testing stages. For example, MOTHER 2 had the monsters visibly walking around the field map. And when you touched a monster, you entered the battle. So first and foremost we want to expand on that. In short, we’d like to allow strategies against the monsters right on the field. Not so battles become obligations, but so it becomes more fun.

Itoi  Something that makes you happily squeal, “Is there another battle for me?!” (laughs)

Iwata  We’re experimenting with all kinds of things.

Nagata  Like what? Like what??

Itoi  You’re a persistent one.

Nagata  It’s because I wake up at six in the morning.

Itoi  So do I. Well, today my alarm didn’t go off, so…

Nagata  Wait, um…

Iwata  So? What time did you wake up?

Itoi  By the time I took my pajamas off it was 7:15…

Nagata  Morning habits aside, let’s get back to the battles…

Itoi  And my Shinkansen seat was 17A.

Nagata  Uh-huh, uh-huh… But, look, we’ve only got 15 minutes left…

Itoi  And I was torn whether to buy a lunch box, but I ended up settling for  a sandwich.

Hongo (Nintendo PR employee)  Oh! You ate a sandwich?

Nagata  Hongo, don’t encourage him.

Hongo  No, it’s just that we’ve prepared lunch boxes already, so…

Itoi  Hey, have you heard Hongo sing Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi?

Nagata  Ohhhh dammit all!

Iwata  I will say this. We’re thinking of incorporating sound into the battles.

Nagata  Iwata-san, you’re too kind.

Itoi  Well, if I were to blurt it out it’s all quite simple.  So when you press a button on the controller, there’s a sound, right? A little blip or something.  And if you make it so you can create all kinds of sounds, the controller becomes a pretty solid instrument. So we’re going to include that instrument in MOTHER 3.

Nagata  Hoho!

Itoi  And if you get good at playing that instrument, you’ll fight battles more efficiently.

Nagata  That sounds really fun! Maybe I was wrong about you!

Itoi  Well, things might change. We’re still in testing, after all. I tend to play and putz with it at the very last minute.

Iwata  Oh, but, once it reaches a certain level of playability, Itoi really steps up to the plate.

Nagata  So in other words, before it’s where you can play it, he’s bumming around the bench. (laughs)

Iwata  Right. Even if you hand him specifications—nothing. (roaring laughter) Is that going too far?

Nagata  Dangit, we’re outta time. Alright, can we at least get a special Famitsu-exclusive scoop before we finish?

Itoi  Ahh, I see, so Famitsu uses the same tricks as Shonen-Jump?

Nagata  Ohhhh dammit all!!! (laughs)

Itoi  …Alright, I’ll tell you! When this alligator gets mad, he stands up!

Nagata  That’s written in the article already.

(All roaring laugh)

Nagata  Ok we’re seriously out of time! Uhh, uhh, closing statement!

Itoi  Hiiii everybody! Did you have a good new yeeears?

Nagata  That’s not closing anything!!!

The main screen uses the capabilities of the 64DD to show us a total about-face
since the last games. This is the playground of the MOTHER staff!

  1. Every little bit of information is interesting. It looks like the rhythm element was what Itoi was hinting at in that last interview. The instruments carried over to the GBA game. I wonder if the changing of enemies(the alligator standing up) was converted into the front/back system for battle encounters.

    If only there was more footage from those SpaceWorld events. There has to be amateur video from someone who attended the event.

    • Lindsay permalink

      Yeah, there has to be SOME kind of video out there! I wish so badly I could have gone but I was too busy not knowing any Japanese and being fourteen years old 😡

  2. lalalallala permalink

    Great stuff (laughs)

  3. Very well done! I don’t comment much on WordPress, but I hope that you will continue doing these EarthBound interviews – I check up on EBC every now and then.

    Would it not have been brilliant if they kept that ‘3D Stick’ concept? I would’ve liked to dress up like a rock star and act crazy while playing the game…

  4. I am happy with what we got for Mother 3 as it’s one of my favourite games but would’ve been so interesting to see this version. Anyway, nice little article. (laughs)

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