Long lost details on Nintendo 64’s cancelled Earthbound 64 (aka Mother 3) have appeared online, via an unearthed Japanese magazine.
Source Gaming has managed to obtain and translate a series of undocumented magazine columns from a 1999 issue of Dengeki 64, which reveal new details on the infamous RPG which never released in its original form.
The full 3D sequel to Earthbound – the only series instalment to be released in the West – was reportedly in development for more than nine years, with the game’s target platform shifting from Super Nintendo, to Nintendo 64 and 64DD.
Mother 3 was first announced at Nintendo Japan’s Space World event in 1996 and also appeared as a fully playable demo at Space World’s 1999 event.
Despite being more than half finished, Earthbound 64 was cancelled in 2000.
Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto said following the game’s cancellation in 2000 that continuing the project, which had already been in development for nine years, would have had far too much an impact on other projects such as Nintendo’s impending GameCube launch.
“The reason we’re quitting is not because it’s not going well, or because the end’s not in sight,” he said. “It might be easier for people to accept this if Nintendo were a small company that got stuck because project money had dried up.”
A Game Boy Advance version of Mother 3 was eventually released in 2003, keeping the N64 version’s original story but with a new 2D design. It was never released outside of Japan.