Mother 3: Japan-exclusive debut on Nintendo Switch Online

Mother 3, the long-awaited RPG adored globally but officially playable only in Japan, finally lands on Nintendo Switch Online for Japanese fans.

The recent Japanese Nintendo Direct announced the addition of Mother 3 to their Switch Online service. This highly anticipated RPG, revered for its captivating narrative and unique gameplay, has held a cherished position in the hearts of players worldwide. However, the announcement was notably absent in Western presentations, leaving fans outside Japan yearning for further updates.

Mother 3 holds a unique position within the gaming landscape. Despite the widespread acclaim for its predecessor, EarthBound, Mother 3 never received an official North American release. This lack of localization added to the game’s mystique, further fueling its desirability among enthusiasts. For years, rumors swirled regarding a potential Western release, with fans eagerly awaiting any news. Even former president of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, acknowledged the speculation, humorously addressing inquiries about the game’s status in a parody video.


Series creator Shigesato Itoi recently shed light on the complexities surrounding Mother 3’s localization. He revealed discussions with Nintendo about utilizing existing translations, demonstrating a desire to share the game with Western audiences. However, logistical challenges and corporate considerations have continued to prevent its official release outside of Japan. Despite the restricted release, the news of Mother 3’s arrival on Japanese Nintendo Switch Online is undoubtedly a cause for celebration for fans in the region. It marks a significant step forward for the game’s accessibility and preservation.

The availability of the first two Mother games, localized as EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound respectively, on Nintendo Switch Online in the West offers a glimmer of hope for Mother 3’s eventual global release. This precedent suggests that Nintendo is not entirely averse to bringing the franchise to Western audiences.

While international fans may need to wait a little longer, the recent announcement in Japan rekindles the hope that they too will eventually be able to experience this cherished RPG.