Mother 3

Made by HAL Laboratory/Brownie Brown, released in 2006

Can't go back to yesterday



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2013! I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




Yo yo yo yo let's get this party GOING

This chapter is when things really start to pick up and pieces start to fall into place and the general... feel of the game becomes a bit clearer, I think. The first three chapters are more sort of set-up for what comes after this point, SO if you thought the first three were boring I HOPE YOU STILL PAID ATTENTION BECAUSE IT ALL BECOMES VERY RELEVANT NOW

Some of you mentioned that you liked my random meta-type thoughts on all this and in that case this chapter will be for you because I'm going to do that a lot, haha. MOTHER 3 IS REALLY GOOD FOR RANDOM THEORIZING

I also took a billion caps of this chapter for whatever reason so it'll probably end up a bit longer than the previous three.

But first, it occurred to me that I could break up the HQ tracks by chapter, so you guys wouldn't have to worry about spoilers but could still enjoy the music! When we finish a chapter I'll upload the next set, so up to now...

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

There's a music player in-game that goes roughly chronologically, so I basically just zipped up each song from the beginning of the chapter to the end song. Some of the chapters have fewer songs than others (Chapter 3 notably), BUT STILL, ENJOY! These are the fancy high-quality versions I talked about earlier, though if you're interested in the official game versions I can also put those up.

BUT ANYWAY in our last chapter there was some delicious revenge. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW?

Also this is kind of annoying but I took a break at one point in the middle of the chapter, came back and took maybe ten caps or so before I realized that it wasn't adding new ones but rewriting the old ones. FRICK.

Thankfully I overcap things so I didn't really lose too much but still, annoying. I'll have to keep that in mind in the future.

BUT ANYWAY let's open with a depressing little flashback with Lucas and Claus! Lucas takes a tumble and starts crying, as you do. Perhaps he heard how this scene has the Love Theme playing over it, the main theme of Mother 3 that's designed to rip your heart out and stomp on it.

Claus says BUCK UP LUCAS, CMON

IT'S NOT LIKE I'M GOING TO GET KILLED ON A MOUNTAIN OR ANYTHING

Lucas pulls it together and follows him. I love how their tiny kid sprites have this constant swagger going on.

LIKE A BOSS I'm sorry I'm ruining this aren't I

Remember this fun scene? Ha ha, good times!

THAT'S FOR TURNING MY MATE INTO A MURDEROUS CHIMERA

EAT IT

welp i'm off to look for your brother

uh

find your own dinner

kay bye

GASP

Club named by our nearby class of fourth graders.

A TIME SKIP??

I'M NOT PREPARED FOR A TIME SKIP

WHAT

WHAT'S HAPPENING

Into a Railway Town for the NEW TAZMILY

NO EVERYTHING'S DIFFERENT

WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE

morning lucas

JUST LIKE THE PROLOGUE OOOOHHH

AGH JESUS

MOTHER 3 I JUST STARTED

WHY ARE YOU KICKING ME IN THE CHEST THIS QUICKLY

OW

I'll just check the mirror, surely that'll be fine.

JESUS

This unbearably sad wordless little scene is accompanied by Vestige, I think. It was one of the images that really stuck with me when I was first playing it, I think in part because it's so sudden and it feels so real. It's just something totally mundane and normal that Lucas will never have again, and an immediate reminder that no, Lucas isn't over it.

Lucas looking at you like why did you make me do that

PHEW, I JUST NEEDED TO KNOW

Level 10 eh, I guess it could be worse.

A bat?

Oh might as well go through these, let's see.

JUST LOOK AT THAT SMILE

WHAT ARE YOU

Literally or figuratively? YOU DECIDE

Man I did not get that impression.

Lightning you say, why we talking about lightning

AGH

Glad you guys are taking it well, I guess.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT

This is so adorable and also kind of sad when you think about it. DIVERSION TIME

I've seen people say Boney is pointless and that seems to be missing the entire point if you ask me. Lucas lost pretty much his entire family - his mom and twin brother die and, this'll become clearer as we go along, his dad is so wrecked by the loss that he emotionally and probably physically abandons him as well. That's a lot for a little kid to deal with.

The only member of his family that he has left is Boney. Boney is the only one that hasn't left him or abandoned him in some way, something in his life that hasn't changed. And I probably don't have to tell you how important a dog can be for someone who's feeling utterly alone. I mean heck, when we saw Lucas at night back in Duster's chapter after Hinawa died, Lucas was outside with Boney and Flint was nowhere to be seen.

It really isn't hard to extrapolate how important Boney is to Lucas, and this little line here can also be read that Boney is the one who actually takes care of and watches out for Lucas while Flint is out consumed with grief in the mountains. Me and Moro even had this sad image of Boney wandering around town getting food from the villagers to bring back to Lucas. READING TOO MUCH INTO IT POSSIBLY BUT I THINK BONEY'S IMPORTANT TO LUCAS AT LEAST EMOTIONALLY

Also if you're good at comboing Boney is awesome (I always got my best combos with Boney and Duster) and he's super fast so he can use a lot of handy items and basically Boney is great how dare you

Haha and Boney still has all the items from way back in Chapter 1. MEMORIES.

BEEN WONDERING WHEN MONEY WAS GOING TO COME IN? WELL HERE WE GO

Basically frogs now also double as ATMs, so no fun phone calls from your dad. Although I guess both Ness and Lucas's dad are absent in their own ways.

DON'T JUDGE ME

GET A JOB

WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE

WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME LIKE WE'RE FRIENDS

YOU SET THE FOREST ON FIRE

WHAT IS HAPPENING

Haha hey, you're the guy from EarthBound with the heart on his shirt!

uh oh

NO LOOK AT ALL THESE STREETS

WHAT HAPPENED

Happy Town? plays while you're wandering around, it's not as ominous as it may sound at first, haha. It's mostly Duster's theme but with a sort of twist to it.

All the children are growing up!

NO I SHOULD HAVE APPRECIATED THINGS BEING FREE WHEN I HAD THE CHANCE

Thomas is your dad? Man I can't keep the people in here straight.

My Wonderful Room for when you're in houses I think.

unless it'd just make you MORE confused

Fun Shopping for store screens! Again, sort of similar to the old store themes in EarthBound in a way.

REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

A Happy Box! NO!

something like this?

Even Bronson's given in!

when EVERYTHING FELL APART NO

Bum-like you say

Hotel Yado for this new modernized version! You may hear some similarities to the old hotel theme from EarthBound. :o

I AGREE

WHY IS HE STILL IN TOWN

WHAT IS WRONG WITH EVERYONE

Usually this means Pigmasks, but I always forget to use it. :O It takes up an item slot after all and chances don't come up too often. I should try and remember to give this a shot in the future.

YOU SHOULDA SEEN IT BUDDY

Bringing in all his monkey abusing friends

Sick of work meetings getting out of control

What poster?

JUST TO CHAT

Enamoring?

our love was never meant to be

frick, hungry again

Was that the writers? HOW MYSTERIOUS

And you're the punk from EarthBound too! SO MANY EARTHBOUND CHARACTERS ALL OF A SUDDEN

how literary

Is Carlos gonna marry Maria, let me see

Noooooo

Even the Save Frog has a little car now, haha.

Grown up Fuel! :o

Argh still hungry

Good to know

What

Look at all the houses here, they all look like EarthBound houses now! WHICH NEATLY SEGUES INTO MY NEXT RAMBLE

I'm not sure if this is just me or what, but when I came into Mother 3, I appreciated most of the little nods to EB, but I didn't actually expect a direct sequel to it. Like the FF games, it was more that there were elements that stayed the same, but it was fairly clear early on that the aesthetic and feel and plot and point of Mother 3 were different. Tazmily is a totally different feeling town from Onett, you know? In spite of their similarities, Mother 3 was different from EB, and I'd made peace with that by the time this chapter came around. It's a mostly stand-alone sequel, that kind of thing.

So you have three chapters to get used to this world, these people, the town they live in, and how things work. You get used to it, this is normal, it's familiar. So when you see Fassad in the past chapter and you see he's got plans, you feel a sense of dread. The previous chapters warn you about changes coming, everything tells you that things are going to change, and the definite implementer of those changes are Fassad and the Pig Masks - clearly not forces working for Tazmily's best interests. Already, you sort of dread this change however you think it'll manifest.

And finally it does, and... it's EarthBound. The modernized buildings, the hotel music, all the old EarthBound sprites, it's all very evocative of EarthBound. And instead of this change being like HURRAY IT'S EARTHBOUND HURRAY, it just... weirded me out. You know there's malevolent forces behind it, but more than that, it doesn't feel right. Even though Tazmily had changed to feel more like a game I already loved, it feels wrong. I just think that's a really interesting decision on Itoi's part, considering. But maybe it's just me and other people thought Tazmily's modernization was great, I don't know. It's just interesting to callback to an older game in a sequel in a way that seems so ominous and offputting. Not a lot of people would do that, I think.

BUT POSSIBLY MORE ON THIS AS WE GET FURTHER INTO THE GAME because I also think this was intentional, but I won't say anymore than that for now. SO INSTEAD

Nikstlitslepmur: who are behind the pigmasks asks the player starting the game
Nikstlitslepmur: mother 3 slowly brings up a mirror
Nikstlitslepmur: the real pigmask is u
Me: haha
Me: DID MOTHER 3 JUST BLOW YOUR MIIIINDDDD

STOP PRESSURING ME

BLUE BLUE sorry

Abbot are you insecure

NO I WANT A HAMBURGER

WHY WON'T YOU GIVE ME A HAMBURGER

Weren't you the one in love with a table

Focus Mapson

PUSHER'S THE MAYOR NOW???

I wanted to put money in here but it wouldn't let me, boo.

man it's not like anything's even far away here, what's the point

THRILL OF A LIFETIME

The property values, mercy

WHAT?! NO!!

No one will suspect a thing.

or a salesman

Defining Mother 3 protagonist trait by frequency: Sad

NEVER

There we go, like I said earlier. Poor Flint just can't even handle what happened and just obsessively searches for dead Claus.

Part of what I like about Mother 3 is how it handles grief. Flint, for example, becomes obsessed with finding Claus to the extent of neglecting everyone else. His grief leads him, unintentionally or not, to hurt other people around him who need him. Not only is he never the same afterwards, but he deals with it in such an unhealthy way that it only makes things worse for both him and Lucas. Usually grief is sort of a noble, self-contained thing that makes characters stronger, something you experience but eventually move beyond. This is especially the case with dead wives - how many times have you seen a male character lose a wife so he has an obstacle to overcome, so he has character development to become stronger for the loss? How often are they killed off to motivate someone, and forgotten once they serve that purpose?

But that doesn't happen for Flint.

And it's interesting because you SAW Flint before this happened, you have an idea of what he was like. Relating to the issues of player control I brought up in Salsa and Duster's chapter, when you controlled Flint, he seemed kind of like the strong silent type and maybe you thought, well, sure this is bad, but maybe Flint can fix it. Or after his breakdown you thought, well, that was bad, but now maybe I can find the Drago and get revenge, and Flint will get over it.

But afterwards Flint is out of your control, and you can't stop him or save him. He self-destructs and there's nothing you as the player can do, just like there's nothing Lucas can do - about his father or about what happens to Tazmily (more on that in a sec). It's that theme of helplessness I mentioned before, and you can even tie it back into player control again if you want.

WOO TANGENT sorry

DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM

Just like Fassad said! Well that's probably a coincidence.

people who won't modernize I MEAN BAD GUYS

DON'T MAKE ME SET UP A ROADBLOCK

Noooooo

I learned something today.

haha STORING MUSIC IN PRESENTS

LIVING THE DREAM

CAPTAIN JACK??

Captain Strong would be proud

YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND

Oh yeah, the doorknob!

The world may never know

FINALLY GOT A ROOF OVER MY HEAD, YES

topnotch security

WE THROW THINGS REALLY HARD

LOVE CAN STILL BLOOM

Lucas knows what those pigmasks did

he's not buying it

YOU'RE NOT MY DAD, BOB

Haha there's a surfboard upstairs

what

I INHERITED MY CONTRARINESS FROM MY FATHER

YOU SOUND LIKE MY KIND OF LADY

Haha like that guy in Onett man I am backlinking EB posts like crazy in here.

Yogurt, I'm going with type of yogurt

I REGRET NOTHING

why are these signs hitting on me

Echoes.

BUZZ OFF KID

Tazmily's new motto!

Haha, you're that eyerolling guy from EarthBound! TAZMILY IS FILLED WITH EB CHARACTERS AAAA

HOW WILL THIS TOUCHING LOVESTORY END?

Weirdly, could not find a Pigmask around here.

YOU HEAR THAT, NESS

I went to go check on Wes and Duster and OH NO THEY TURNED HIS HOUSE INTO AN OLD FOLK'S HOME

NOOOOO

Though he still takes the time to refill the Thunder Bomb box outside, haha.

In a place like this, I can see why you'd be looking for it.

I think Something like an Elegy plays in here. APPROPRIATE

TAKE HER HOME

NO WHY IS ALEC HERE

WHY IS THIS WORLD

what

That's what I'd like to know.

Oh hey Mike, you still got a bunch of dirty cookies?

I HAD ULTERIOR MOTIVES FOR AGREEING shh

Woah you have grandkids Mike, really

(I went and looked in the guide and it turns out Mike is Thomas's dad. Haha I thought they were brothers)

Aww yeah

Hahahaha

That was the name of my Drowzee once! But that's probably unrelated.

WES NO WHY ARE YOU HERE

My guess - screw it up

What an odd little message WHY ARE THERE CHAINS ON THE WALL

WHAT KIND OF OLD FOLK'S HOME IS THIS

oh you

oh no an old save frog

i'm done for guys

go on without me

ALEC NO I'LL GET YOU OUT OF HERE

but you can't, just like you can't do so many other things. IT'S ALL CONNECTED SEEE

I DIDN'T SAY THAT, SHH

WHAT?!?!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Scamps' parrot still says the same thing though.

WHERE ARE ALL THE PIGS??

WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE

But I said I'd get to this so WHY NOT ANOTHER DIVERSION

This is another way Mother 3 messes with you, I think. You KNOW the Pigmasks are behind what's going on. You know they burned down the forest and made the chimeras and the Mecha-Drago that killed Hinawa. You KNOW it, and from Salsa's chapter, you know Fassad and the Happy Boxes are bad news. And Chapter 3 sets you up for NOW LUCAS IS GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, HE IS GOING TO STOP THEIR EVIL PLANS.

And then jumps you ahead three years, and... you didn't stop them. The Pigmasks have set up in your town, Fassad's got everyone fooled, everything is changing, and you, the player, couldn't stop any of it. In a way, you could think of it as the winds of change are just unstoppable sometimes. People in town began believing in it and getting things and the values kept changing, and how do you fight that in an RPG? That's not a boss, that's not an enemy you can hit with a stick. The attitude is what's changing, and how can one boy stand up against that?

There's the helplessness theme again, you see? Haha. It's another thing Mother 3 does that you don't expect, sort of dangling potential victory in front of you and then yanking it away.

But it's a huge exercise in frustration for the player, which I'm sure is meant to give you some idea of how Lucas himself might feel about all this. After all, we time-jumped, but Lucas has lived for three years in town watching the people he knows were harrassing Salsa and the others take it over. He hasn't given in to them, but is he used to their presence? Everyone else in town seems to have made complete peace with them... I can't imagine Lucas would do the same. I dunno, it just makes you wonder I guess.

At the same time, like I briefly mentioned back in Salsa's chapter, it's interesting that it lets you talk to the Pigmasks and treats them now like the other characters. To me, whether I liked it or not, that humanized them a little for me. They're lazy and dumb, but they're still people rather than faceless enemies, if that makes sense.

ALL GLORY TO THE HAPPY BOX

STRICT PHYSICAL REGIMEN

who me

That little boombox is playing that same Pigmask theme you've heard a bunch of times so far throughout the game.

:o

I'M STUMPED

get out of my town

Barbed wire :o

WHO YOU BEEN TALKING TO

Although I do picture Lucas as sort of a thin, sad-looking boy. Vague and desolate perhaps, haha.

DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO

can i hitch a ride

NOOOO NOT THE SASSY GHOSTS

BUY A TICKET NOW

Well who can argue with that.

ABBOT NO

You'll go far, kid.

STOP PRESSURING ME

Nana just on her back, distraught

WES

STOP SCARING PEOPLE OFF

WHERE IS HE

OH NOOOO

Phew, the ghosts are still around.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WE BARELY KNEW HIM

Of course it was Pusher's idea.

Who could such a brave person be? :o

ISAAC NO

WHAT ARE YOU DOING

I better not have to bail you out like some other bands I could name.

IT'S TRUE, HE'S GONE

WHO WILL SOUND THE ALARM NOW

Odd way to describe it.

THAT'S A RELIEF

Lies

NOOOOOOO WHY IS THIS HAPPENING

Thanks for being focused, Nippolyte.

BUT WHY

Up to Osohe and there's no plants in the gardens anymore.

EVEN THE GHOSTS well at least they're still around though.

WELL IF IT'S FATE

Beautiful.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS TALK TO EVERYONE

the more you know

hahahaha

Aww HI GHOST FRIEND

WHAT A FINE ADVENTURE IT WAS

I JUST WANT TO LIVEN ALL THE GHOSTS' DAY

GET A PAN

Oh hey you're still here, haha. But without Rope Snake I can't cross the gap, so.

How curious.

QUICK LOOK OVER THERE

how dare you

though at least the forest shrine's still the same

i see what you did there

I forget what song they had but it was an older one that was super easy to combo.

DEADLY CHICKEN SNAKE PRESERVE

ISAAC WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU

bzzzzz

Lighter! At least your house still looks the same.

Man even Flint's friends are losing track of him. :< They always ask you how he is. MORE EVIDENCE THAT FLINT IS SHUTTING HIMSELF OFF FROM EVERYONE

LIGHTER WON'T GIVE UP

bucawk

OOPS

ain't dealin with this, that yammonster is nasty

These guys look harmless but they packed a mean punch.

Their song was super easy to combo though so SO DO I, SUCKERS

Duster's staples are still here! Even after three years, wow.

really

EAT IT

More musical presentsss

Aren't you a Pokemon

WOOPS

Is this the happiest we ever see Lucas in the game?

ANYWAY I wanted to go to Alec's house but the enemies up there seemed pretty tough, so I decided to backtrack into town.

THERE you are

I'VE BEEN TELLING HER ABOUT HOW I'LL FIND CLAUS NO MATTER WHAT

IT'S GREAT

Flashback time!

Aaaaand Flint's gone again. FLINT

JUST TWO SECONDS

Anyway back into town

:O

Yeah that would be kind of a jerk move to tell an old guy HEY YOUR SON MIGHT ACTUALLY BE ALIVE

OH WAIT I GUESS NOT, OOPS

At least you're still reasonable, Bronson.

WAIT NO

Since he can't do it himself lately.

BUT THIS IS GETTING A BIT LONG so let's stop here. WHERE IS DUSTER? WHAT'S GOING ON? WHEN WILL I GO TO THIS AMUSINGLY NAMED CLUB? You'll have to find out next tiiiimeee.

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