Mother 1

Made by Ape Inc., released in 1989

Simple as can be



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2016! I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




I don't know why I'm so surprised Mother 1 was so short, considering it IS an NES RPG and all. I know it's because of EB and Mother 3, but it's such a weirdly backwards approach in a way.

At any rate, the game is at an end! What's the deal with everything that's been going on? WILL THERE BE ANSWERS??

Level 38, that seems pretty good. I have no idea what would constitute a normal level range at this point, haha.

Ooo, sounds intriguing

I forget if I talked to this camel before BUT WHATEVER HERE WE GO

like where a cactus with a face is for example

AND BY THEN, I HAD BECOME A BONEFACE

WHERE IS THIS CACTUS

even nice guys need water

I have a new appreciation for games that auto-retarget your attacks when the enemy you're attacking dies.

I GOT IT

STOP PRESSURING ME

AAAAA

not dealing with this, bye

FINALLY

the silent treatment, eh

FINE, DON'T TELL ME WHAT IT IS THEN

This is a neat mechanic but it's used so weirdly.

OH THERE'S A HOLE IN MY BUCKET DEAR LIZA DEAR LIZA

with what shall i fix it

Five down! Now we're getting somewhere.

AAAAA

uh, you can't tell where this is from the screenshots right

I think this was our next stop, this dragon looks intense though I HOPE I'M READY

THE ARPEGGIOS IN THIS ARE NOT FOR WEAK HUMAN HANDS

This is not what I thought it would look like somehow.

After the intense battles of Mother 3 my strategy is to UP STATS, BUFF AND DEBUFF, GO GO GO

Sucker, I'll just raise it again

WHAT

WHAT A RIPOFF

WHAT

ONLY TEN DAMAGE???

And boss battles in EarthBound taught me status effects are key, so STATUS EFFECTS AWAY!!!

Turns out neither of those strategies were necessary, it was just a hit it hard until it dies boss. BACK IN YE OLDEN DAYS THAT WAS ALL YOU NEEDED

while its eyes were swirly circles, presumably

Good thing Ninten can read sheet music!

GONNA TAKE A NAP, LEAVE ME ALONE

(you could probably tie this dragon to mother 3 if you wanted to but I'm too tired to spin a good theory at the moment)

That was easy! Only two left, how hard could it be?

Woop, almost forgot

You'll never know how I get my pasta so fresh

Check in with this guy and see where I'm supposed to go next.

Eve and an XX Stone and a mountain, alright.

THIS DESERT IS THE WORST

Okay so I wandered around the map for way too long trying to figure out where it wanted me to go with no avail, so I finally looked up a world map to see what I was missing. Turns out there's this bridge in Youngtown that I just TOTALLY MISSED SOMEHOW

GDIT

Sounds promising

You poor kids

DIDN'T GET AWAY FROM ME THAT TIME, DIDJA

Anyway the swamp is a long convoluted place with a lot of branching paths leading different directions. It wasn't too hard to get through though? Or at least it could have been worse, haha.

What have we here

:O

I said yes, you can't see it haha.

Darn it why didn't I go back and see what saying no did, way to not be thorough self.

YOU KEEP TELLING HIM THAT AND HE'S GONNA START BELIEVING IT

checking again. WHAT, WHAT DO YOU WANT

:O Oh hey!

I thought maybe Pippi would join up but nope, haha.

nyeah, see

Hey, you guys came back in EarthBound!

raaaa

All these ladybots have such normal names.

THESE GUYS STEAL YOUR ITEMS

Anyway

Is that a threat

Holy Loly Mountain was Mt. Itoi in the original EB0 translation, which is where Mt. Ebott comes from in Undertale I assume, haha.

Gonna finish that thought or

WELL AT LEAST I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK, PROBABLY

That and the BB guns

pyew pyew

aaa!

Gasp!

The gang members are all pretty easy, but mostly this makes me think of the Sharks back in EarthBound. SO MUCH OF EB COMES FROM MOTHER 1

I talked to him again to see if he'd say something else but apparently you can just fight the gang members over and over again as many times as you want. :o

Psht, pocket change.

NO IDEA WHAT IT IS BUT IT SOUNDS IMPORTANT

Now I just gotta find one of these

Is this kid dressed like a policeman

WHERE ARE YOU GUYS

the garbage can out back has the best deals

Hmm, a jail.

THAT MOUNTAIN SEEMS IMPORTANT

DON'T LOOK IN MY SOUL

whatever makes you happy buddy

yuk yuk yuk

I wonder what this was in EB0?

what

These gang members seem pretty self-aware.

Well, mostly.

Hey, I have a ticket for this!

I'd say that's a ripoff but my dad just gave me 11k for no reason so

SHOOT I SHOULDA GONE BACK AND SEEN WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU BUY THEM FROM HIM

SELF

Oh hey! :OOO I can't believe they followed up on this, I really wasn't expecting it, haha.

Man back in the day when tank maintenance was so cheap

SELF YOU DIDN'T CHECK WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU SAY NO

AAAAA

Good luck to you, strange tank man.

That's right, step aside!

The music here is Live House, just kind of a lowkey jazzy club sound. This similiar sound came back in EarthBound and Mother 3 whenever the Runaway Five/DCMC showed up.

Sure, why not

WAIT

NO WAIT

THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING

I'd do it again if I had the chance

(time passes)

SHE'S THE ONE AT FAULT, SHE GAVE IT TO ME

(time passes)

I DIDN'T EVEN TECHNICALLY DRINK ANY YOU BUSTED ME TOO FAST

(time passes)

You win this time, policeman.

WAIT NO

AAAAAA MY BAT

why didn't SHE go to jail

WHY CAN'T I READ HER THOUGHTS ABOUT UNDERAGE DRINKING

Through the magic of loading games I have learned my lesson.

Is it that hard to tell?

This whole little sequence is so Mother, I love it. THIS IS WHAT MAKES THESE GAMES SO MEMORABLE I THINK just these strange little vignettes that don't have much to do with the plot or anything, they're just odd silly things that can happen.

That's my private name, how dare you

do i know you

WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME

Beth IS... Batman

what

DIALOGUE GOLD LIKE THIS IS WHY THESE GAMES ARE SO AMAZING

SURE, LET'S SEE WHAT HAPPENS

uh i wasn't really prepared uh

JAZZ HANDS!!

Okay I can't convey the next sequence in screencaps, you need the music and motion to fully appreciate it SO

If this doesn't make you smile at least a little you're dead inside, sorry. Look at the little sprites dance!

Again this is something that's just so Mother to me. This song, All That I Needed Was You, only plays during this sequence. A whole song was written just for these little sprites to do a little sprite dance to. Imagine the time spent on this little sequence, syncing it up right, just imagine the smile on Itoi's face as the little sprites danced around. It's just such a cute, simple little thing that you could've easily cut or edited down or given just the bare minimum of attention, but no! IT'S IMPORTANT!! Itoi made this a whole elaborate scene with its own song and that song ALSO HAS LYRICS! Really, really sweet and adorable lyrics, no less (though they can be hard to make out).

This kind of attention and detail given to something like this, silly but heartfelt and sincere, is the hallmark of this series for me. There's something so innately charming and weird about it, it just sticks with me. When I think about these games, these kind of little moments are the ones that always come to mind.

Wheeeee

woah where'd you come from

i've never seen them before in my life

UH, THAT GUY OVER THERE!!

NOW I'm being thorough, thanks self.

BRING IT, BUDDY

Is that a :| tattoo

This battle was kind of weird but I can't remember exactly how at the moment. I think only Ninten could attack? That sounds right.

A bit anticlimatic BUT

I was winning

just sort of free associating here

You just tried to shank me, no thanks

I JUST BEAT YOU IN A FIGHT, I AIN'T SCARED OF NOTHIN

weeeeelll... no

hahahahahaha THIS IS WHY YOU ALWAYS CHECK ALL THE OPTIONS

you can't MAKE me

If you say no again you get teleported all the way back home! The game is not having your sass, hahaha

Alright, alright

Pippip, toodleo

THIS WASN'T PART OF THE DEAL

OH GOD HE ATE HIM

LV 18 isn't... bad but you're laggin a bit behind, Teddy.

GOT ALL THIS EQUIPMENT FOR YOU

The best part is that you can do All That I Needed again with Teddy so you can see the Teddy sprite dance too. |D

HE'S RIGHT HERE

No more gang fights while he's around

Me and Teddy only just started dating

Don't look into it, trust me completely

You there, gang leader, I hope you're not with a gang

BETTER GET OVER THERE

Feels strongly about ocean safety

BUDDY, LET ME TELL YOU

holding some dog poop behind his back

Less green buffalos

Our logo is a splat

But I was just so busy

Don't stare at my hips!

Gained 12 experience

Ooo, a magic pendant?

wait what

WAIT WHAT

WHAT

For such an old old game Mother 1 has genuinely surprised me quite a few times.

Trout yogurt, yes

GOT ME A FETCH QUEST

Those are our maiden names.

Better go load up on this stuff

Nothin fancy

CALL IN AND VOTE

I love how this reprises through the whole series, haha.

My thoughts exactly

DON'T CUSS ME OUT I JUST GAVE YOU SOME TOFU

#$@%

I proceeded to instantly forget this bit of information.

LET'S SEE WHAT THEY DO

That's all they do, they don't affect stats or anything like that, you just get to shout I LOVE YOU or I HATE YOU at your enemies

THE MOTHER SERIES IN A NUTSHELL

(this sort of came back in mother 3 as the encouraging words, now that i think about it)

BEEN CARRYING THIS AROUND THIS WHOLE TIME AND ONLY NOW JUST USED IT

its kinda handy actually but you don't really need it

both at the same time

OR WHAT, YOU'LL TELEPORT ME BACK HOME AGAIN??

hey a cave

cave brain

Anyway I poked briefly around in here then thought oh wait, I was supposed to talk to that fishing guy.

TOTALLY WORTH MY TIME

I love weird random diversions like this. No point, no benefit, just an experience for the sake of having one.

YOU CAN HEAR MY STORY AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE

Anyway back into the cave, this bat came back in EarthBound if I recall!

Signed by Wayne Gretzky

HAD IT UP TO HERE WITH YOU, TEDDY

Continuing along, oh hey, the scenery's changed! This mountain is super big.

OH RIGHT let's see, the music... I can't exactly remember what played where, but

Approaching Mt. Itoi came back in EarthBound for Peaceful Rest Valley if I recall, haha.

Mt. Itoi is more ominous and intense.

Climby vines

AUGH

And the Titanys came back in Mother 3, haha. THIS IS SO BACKWARDS

Arrrgh status effeeects

Oh, right, Teddy's actually pretty great in battle, he's fast AND he hits very hard, even at low levels, which is super handy.

Big bad beetle borg

NOT DEALING WITH THIS, BYE

Hey, a house :o

Wait who are you

THANKS THOUGH I REALLY DID NEED THAT this mountain is GRUELING you guys

WAIT NO I JUST WANTED TO CHECK THE ROOM BEFORE SAVING I DIDNT THINK IT'D TRIGGER SOMETHING WAIT

NO WAIT

this is sudden

I'M AFRAID OF INTIMACY

just sort of fell into a cutscene without warning here

SURE I'M ALWAYS UP FOR SPRITE DANCES

I think the music for this little dance was called Fallin Love, it's a sweet little song.

Not as charming as All That I Needed I think but it's still cute.

Considering your powerful PSI is like what singlehandedly got me up to the mountain this far the answer is yes

self why didn't i go back and see what happened if I said no

SUDDEN INTERLUDE, OVER

WHAT

NO

NOT YOU AGAIN

I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD

NOOOOOO

NO

NOOOO

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

i take back anything i said this is the best item in the game

SOMEDAY, CAN ROBOT

what

:O

Did that tank guy lend me his tank AGAIN despite what I did to it??

welp that sure was a thing

Oh no, looks like Teddy's hurt!

hi random doctor bystander

you're a complicated guy, teddy

WAIT NO

I DIDN'T TALK TO LOID FIRST

WAIT NO AAAA

Loid you need to do something about your poor self esteem

darn it self WHY DIDN'T YOU GO BACK TO CHECK ALL THE DIALOGUE

lost opportunities

Loid is really pretty useless on the mountain, particularly compared to Teddy, but at least I can check some of these things again.

oh gdit OF COURSE I'D FIND THIS NOW

WHEN I CAN'T USE IT

ARRRRRGH

teflon coated

that'll teach em to come home late

the PSI in this game is so weirdly named

As a note Mt. Itoi is where the difficulty level ramps up WAY high without any real warning. If I remember right, I think Itoi did like, no playtesting of this part in the game which is why it's so stupidly hard, haha. With the Easy Ring, it's not SUPER tough, but most of these battles all ride on Ana. Basically just spam PSI Freeze γ and have Ninten and Loid clean up, or PSI Fire Ω and wipe everyone out, hopefully. Any other battle methods are pretty dangerous. Basically KEEP ANA ALIVE. SHE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SAVE YOU.

Not only that but the encounter rate up here is very annoying to go with these super strong enemies, and I can't IMAGINE how awful it'd be without the Easy Ring.

WON'T SAVE YOU FROM ME

OH FRICK THEY HAVE IT TOO

THIS WAS A BAD CHOICE

i gotta get out of here

LIKE I SAID your fortunes can reverse VERY fast on this mountain. DON'T MESS AROUND. I got overconfident, haha.

yawn

gonna donate it to charity

AUGH NO

SINCE WHEN DO BEARS DO THIS

well that was close

Anyway slowly inching up the mountain, there appears to be a lake here. Might as well go along the LEFT side of it.

BUNCHA MOOKS CAUSIN ME TROUBLE

Status effects are no fun

Further and further up the mountain. The scenery is changing again!

LIKE THE FIRST ONE WASN'T BAD ENOUGH

Hey, this item came back in EarthBound and Mother 3 I think!

These don't get across how difficult this climb was, honestly. I was running from a lot of battles where I couldn't reliably spam PSI Freeze, and I was taking a lot of damage and losing a lot of PSI.

Huh, a stone with two Xs on it, where have I heard about that before

I think The Tombstone plays here but I'm not sure. Just a sort of sadder version of Pollyanna.

:o

couldn't have just, put them all in one box

was someone after them or something

Hurray!

But... wait, aren't I missing something?

EXPLODING ENEMIES, UGH

Another ladybot!

dang that was close. EVEN TAKING A TURN TO CHECK THESE ENEMIES IS HAZARDOUS

Or just straight up punch you

ANOTHER one of you guys!!

Everything on Mt. Itoi wants to kill you, news at 11.

These guys appear in groups, it's the woooorsttt

ABSOLUTELY NOT, BYE

Finally coming in handy! At least it became a plot point in the sequels.

Okay I'm obviously missing something here, can't believe I have to backtrack this awful mountain

UGH

SO after wandering around and checking again with the balladeer in Magicant, I remained puzzled about where this Eve was. Frustrated, I finally looked up a map of Mt. Itoi and LO AND BEHOLD, IF I'D GONE RIGHT AT THE LAKE I WOULD'VE FOUND THIS

GDIT

So no coming up here with Teddy

Vrrrroooom

BETTER RUN RIGHT INTO THAT

Boat torn to pieces by the whirlpool

or... what?

...hmmmmm

Fishies!!

I kept expecting to get attacked here but nope

a robot :o

SO PICKY

Aha!

I feel like your story's incomplete, Eve.

uh oh

WELP, THAT TURNED OUT FINE

COOL I GOT A GIANT ROBOT FRIEND

man this would've been useful BEFORE I ALREADY CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN

:o

Though Eve is strong, big battles like this are still a huge pain.

WHAT NO

NOT YOU AGAIN

AAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHH

because I did this out of order, it was kind of weird to go all the way up to the XX stone, then back down, then back UP with Eve and THEN get jumped by can robot at a certain juncture. Where was can robot before I got Eve, just hanging out somewhere?

That's not promising Eve

CAN'T I DO SOMETHING

GDYOU, CAN ROBOT

HANG IN THERE, EVE

this is very satisfying

I'LL PROTECT YOU

man NOTHING EVER WORKS

I'm glad Bottle Rockets got a big boost in EB.

NO!!!

In her final moments :<

BUT AT WHAT COST

YOU DID YOUR BEST, EVE

Can I hide my song in your robot honey

That would've been more useful before I got to the XX stone but hey

YEAH GOT ALL THE MELODIES YEAH

LET'S GO VISIT QUEEN MARY

That beautiful theme

:O

THAT WAS A LOT TO TAKE IN IN A VERY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME

Well surely the rest of the game will explain it more clearly.

At a bit of a loss, I went back to the XX stone. Maybe that cave behind it would be open now!

Nothing new from the XX stone anyway

Just a plain old onyx hook now

It is open! Alright, score

Woah! :O

Hey, this kind of scene came back in EarthBound and Mother 3 as well! And to think, this is where it all started, haha. I think Alien Investigation plays here, mostly high screechy noises.

She's still alive!

Just trust me on this

The only two dudes who'd say anything, I checked the others

Another long windy path to destiny

This plateau feels oddly familiar

BUT YOUR SHIP WASN'T ALL THE WAY UP YET

Giygas sure looks like Mewtwo, doesn't he? A lot's been made of that through the years. I don't think it's a coincidence, haha.

Versus Giygas plays here, more screechy high pitched sounds as before, very tense.

I REMEMBER FIGHTING GIYGAS BEFORE, I'M NOT TAKING CHANCES

(I remember fighting him in a future sequel that doesn't exist at this point! It's all backwards, haha)

Giygas seems pretty coherent.

"You can't grasp the form of Giygas's attack!" always gives me chills, haha. This of course reprised in EarthBound, though it was much more horrifying there. I love these little consistent details though.

GET IT mother 1 shouts at you

WE CAN TALK ABOUT THIS GIYGAS

Might as well tell you my backstory while we're here

I expected this to hit a lot harder than it did, maybe I'm at a good level for it or something

Giygas just ignores you

What kind of vital information, turn Earth against the aliens, I'd like more details

LOOK I SORT OF FELL INTO THIS

YOU MESSED UP THIS WORLD FIRST

I DON'T EVEN LIKE YOU GUYS ANYMORE

I dunno, we're holding up pretty good right now

That's a bit sudden, Giygas, why me? Do you see Maria in me or something? :<

There's no option to say yes, Ninten doesn't even consider it, haha.

HOW DARE YOU REJECT ME

AND NOW, THE MOMENT FINALLY COMES

A tiny fragment of the eight melodies

I keep expecting the damage to ramp up but it never does.

STOP INTERRUPTING ME

REMEMBER YOUR MOTHER

REMEMBER WHAT LOVE FEELS LIKE

REMEMBER

Giygas just loses all will to fight.

Sequel hook!

well bye

What a weird looking space ship.

Apparently I THINK EB0 just ends right here, which I can see being super frustrating. Just THAT'S IT??

But Mother 1 isn't done yet!

ANA'S JOURNEY COMES TO AN END

I forget exactly when it plays, but The End kicks in a round here, the Eight Melodies to play with your heart.

TEDDY GETTING DOWN

Apparently in EB0 I think Teddy dies. DD: That's rather bleak.

YOU KIDS HUNG IN THERE, GOOD FOR YOU

I feel like an exchange similar to this happened in one of the sequels but I can't remember exactly.

DON'T THROW ME IN THE AIR I'M GOING TO BE SICK

I SAVED THE WORLD MOM MOM I SAVED THE WORLD MOM

hahahahaha :]

Time for a well deserved break.

And then a parade of characters goes across the screen! Memories of all these random NPCs.

You're very strange, tank guy.

That poor penguin, so lost.

THE FLYING MEN, SO BRAVE

Sup Queen Mary

WE NEVER WERE A FULL TEAM

Itoiiiiii

I really want Itoi to play Undertale. Really really badly.

AW YEAH, THERE I AM

Gasp! :O

And with that, Mother 1 comes to a close! It's a strange, short little game, but I liked it actually. It has that same weird charm to it that the other games had, although more subdued and admittedly with some weird game design choices. MT. ITOI WAS TERRIBLE FOR EXAMPLE. But most interestingly you can see so many seeds for things in this game. So much of it came back in EB, and it's so strange to go from EB back to this. Can you imagine what it must have been like for Japanese players to go from Mother 1 to EB? All these familiar things expanded and explored and so many new things that are at the same time so familiar? That must have been such a cool feeling, haha. The background on Giygas here must have given the battle with Giygas in EB such a different feel.

And again, considering its time period and when it came out, Mother 1 is such a unique game and its impact is still felt in RPGs to this day. Undertale owes no small debt to this and the others in the series. There's a human heart to this game I think, and that's part of why it sticks so firmly in people's minds. Not the weird battle systems or anything like that, but just the quirky NPCs and weird little experiences and touches here and there.

Anyway I said I was going to do all the remixes at the end of it and boy I regret that, I should've spaced these out, jeez. JEEZ. Well anyway, I've been linking to the vocal CD here and there but you should check the whole thing out if you haven't, it's a lot of fun. Many, many songs reprised from Mother 1 into EB, so you've probably heard a lot of the mixes before, if they were originally based on a Mother 1 song. Pollyanna for example. There are obviously more mixes on the Japanese side of things than the English one, given Mother 1's weird history and the lack of an English release for so long.

If You Believe is a mix of Magicant and the Eight Melodies, it's a beautiful orchestral rendition, and Melody of Love is a nice piano version of Fallin Love and Magicant. On the totally different side of things, Oto no Ishi 1 and 2 are very happy hardcore aggressive techno versions of a lot of songs from the Mother series, with I think most Mother 1 songs appearing on the first album. Starmen.net of course has a RIDICULOUS amount of mixes and arrangements for the series, and it even nicely sorted out the ones for Mother 1, haha. The Rock Candy albums also have Mother 1 tracks interspersed here and there. And going to look at it, Dwelling of Duels JUST had a Mother themed month! It's tough to find individual DoD Mother related tracks though.

I remember picking up a bunch of Mother doujin CDs at one point, but it's tough to remember which ones had Mother tracks and which ones didn't, or what their names were, haha. Many of these will include EB or Mother 3 tracks as well as Mother ones. Let's see...

Protractor ~Saturnian Go Home~

Ruler ~ The Light in the Sky is Saturn~

Mother Notes

Mother +Love and Mother +Love2

THE Invadance!!!

Eight Melodies

Mother Sounds

Sea-Cat Walkway

Go! Go! Starman Part I

Anyway, I'm glad I finally finished the series. Mother 1 was a strange little game but I enjoyed it, and I can see why it left such a strong impression on people.

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