EarthBound for Virtual Console Rated by ESRB

By Aaron Linde, May 02, 2008 2:00pm PDT A new listing on the Entertainment Software Rating Board's website indicates that Nintendo's cult classic SNES RPG EarthBound is heading for the Wii's Virtual Console.

Originally released in North America in 1995, EarthBound was met with critical acclaim but limited commercial success. EarthBound is the second in a series known in Japan as Mother, originating as a Japan-only release on the NES in 1989.

EarthBound is one of the most requested titles for the Wii's Virtual Console, but Nintendo of America has remained historically mum on the game's fate in North America. As of this writing, the company has issued no official announcement concerning EarthBound's Virtual Console release.

While ESRB listings have confirmed the existence of a number of later officially announced titles, it is yet unclear when EarthBound will be available on the downloadable gaming service.

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  • for some reason I feel like dispensing some trivia

    OK, so there were three RPG's in Japan,

    MOTHER - Famicom (NES)
    MOTHER 2 - Super Famicom (SNES)
    MOTHER 3 - Game Boy Advance

    MOTHER 2 was translated into English and released as Earthbound for the SNES.

    Years back one of those NES ROM hacking groups was going to start translating the first MOTHER game into English for the NES but then someone found out that Nintendo actually already did this in 1993 and just never released it. Someone got a hold of a 100% finished prototype and auctioned it off for hundreds of dollars. Actually they auctioned off a ROM dump for hundreds of dollars and then sold the cartridge for hundreds more. After a smidge of hacking (the image actually had some copy protection built in!) it was released to the Internet as Earthbound Zero.

    At some point in Japan, MOTHER 1 & 2 was released to the GBA.

    MOTHER 3 was originally going to be a Nintendo 64 game. It was going to run on the 64DD and employ the internal clock of the 64DD (the N64 didn't have one, the 64DD added it) to have some time lapsed stuff in the gameplay (think Animal Crossing type stuff - actually, that might be where that notion originated). As the 64DD got pushed further and further back so did development of MOTHER] 3/ until it was finally cancelled, only to be revived later as a 2D RPG on the GBA.

    I don't know why I wrote the above since Wikipedia can fill you in much better but in case you were wondering what in the hell Yahtzee was talking about wanting "MOTHER 3" outside of Japan, this is what that was in reference to - a wacky series of games in Japan. I can't help but wonder if Earthbound sells well on the virtual console if they'll release MOTHER translated into English as well. MOTHER 3 might be a trickier release as I don't think Nintendo releases GBA games anymore, a DS port would take a lot longer, and they don't release GBA titles on the Virtual Console.

    Anyway, although I dabbled with "EarthBound Zero" a bit, I plan on getting EarthBound on the Virtual Console for the hell of it.