One of the reasons I was so careful about avoiding spoilers for Mother 3 before I played it was because I remembered how incredibly powerful the battle with Giygas was for me when I first played EarthBound, and how that experience could have been ruined for me had I known about it ahead of time. I trusted Mother 3 to have a similarly intense final battle.
And it does, although it's in a different way.
Hesitating? You fool!
Hey what's up
Weird sepia flash again. I wonder what that means, are they sharing broken memories, is he just remembering Claus, is Claus remembering him, is it something psychic going on. WHAT DOES IT MEAN
can we just scoot past you real quick
NO MY PARTY MEMBERS
How dare you.
Noooo they came with me all this way, why can't they help me
Battle with the Masked Man has a very heavy heartbeat to it, some wind effects, it's sort of... a bit discordant I guess, except for a steady bassline... and faintly at points, a distorted, weak version of the Love Theme.
Lucas just staring at him with tears rolling down his face.
Claus usually tends to hit twice and he does a good chunk of damage. You can TRY to up your defense, but really it's not going to do you any good.
Lucas curls up in a sobbing ball on the ground.
Claus, undeterred, just keeps beating him to death.
Haha this was actually an accident, run away and defend are right next to each other.
NO MY CLEVER PLAN
Can you imagine, Lucas just weeping and begging for Claus to stop, trying to shield himself while Claus just keeps beating on him without hesitation?
I've pointed out over the course of the game a running theme of powerlessness. This ranges from powerlessness of the characters themselves to powerlessness of the player to help those characters. Once you see it, this theme sort of ties together the whole game, and here it is again. Lucas refuses to attack - he won't hurt his brother. He's powerless against him, in spite of how Claus is more than willing to kill him. As the player, you're powerless to stop Claus as well - all you can do is try to keep Lucas alive, but you can't make Claus stop either. All you can do is hope that something else will intervene.
Claus will just keep nailing you with hard-hitting attacks, dealing mortal damage almost every turn. All you can do is defend and, when your HP falls too low, heal yourself.
And then, the heavy bassline fades out, and a different song begins to come in...
Claus cares not. Defend, defend!
This really is a family reunion after all. :o
OW although actually this seems like less damage, I don't think I hit him with any stat things here cause what's the point really?
The background getting a bit crazier here. Keep an eye on it as the battle goes along.
MAYBE DUSTER CAN ATTACK
Darn. Pretty much anyone you try to revive ends up the same way. ONLY LUCAS NOW.
Claus getting a little unfocused.
But not entirely.
Or "couldn't get back up". FLINT NO
After everything that's happened, everyone he's lost, Lucas watches his brother kill the only family member he has left.
And finally, Lucas can strike back.
Man so many emotions for Lucas right now, can you even imagine how much of a mess he is
I'LL SEND IT RIGHT BACK
Still refusing to listen. Lucas gives up and again reverts to curling up in a ball.
Still he hangs on.
And as if this wasn't bad enough already, A Name for These Children begins to play, the Claus to your emotional Lucas.
Dang that's not the easiest to read, woop. But it's right beneath the little cribs if you can't see it.
READY FOR MORE EMOTIONAL TURMOIL
Truly alone now.
It's Over starts here, the Love Theme slowly growing in strength and power over the original distorted audio of the battle.
Just barely lifting his stick
A fraction of his earlier damage.
DON'T LISTEN TO ME EAT THIS om nom nom
Back to the unending sorrow.
jesus, mother 3
I think I might have missed a few messages in here, let's see...
"Lucas didn't know what to do."
"Lucas's heart ached with pain."
Or "You must be so tired" which I admit I like just a tiny bit more.
Background getting clearer.
YES YOU REMEMBERED YOURSELF NOW EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY AND I CAN PULL THE NEEDLE AND FIX EVERYTHING HURRAY
WAIT NO NOOOOOOOOOO
Even this is taken out of your control. Claus commits suicide and there's nothing you can do to stop him, Lucas or the player alike. Although wow Flint is still alive, I really didn't see that coming at all.
Hasty, reckless, either way. Glad to see your priorities are still in order, Flint.
DO I LOOK READY
MY BROTHER JUST USED ME TO COMMIT SUICIDE AND DIED IN MY ARMS
Flint how do you know about all this anyway
Did you talk to Leder or something
But let's try it the other way.
I wonder if Flint heard Hinawaghost as well, or if he just keeps thinking of her in the present tense.
And Lucas automatically walks to the needle.
Take a second here to think about Lucas's current emotional state.
He was just nearly beaten to death, multiple times, by his twin brother. He heard his dead mother's voice trying to tell them to stop fighting, as well as a whole flashback about how he and Claus would help each other and accomplish things they couldn't alone. He watched his father nearly die at his brother's hand. He was completely helpless to stop Claus or bring him back to himself, and then, when Hinawa managed to get through to him, he was completely helpless to stop Claus from using him to kill himself. His twin brother just died in his arms.
He couldn't save his brother. He couldn't save his mother. He couldn't even save his father, although Flint still made it on his own.
And now, he has to pull the needle. He doesn't have a choice, he has to do this to save the world. And the needle will reflect what's in his heart. Everybody's lives, his friends, his remaining family, everyone depends on his heart being light. If he pulls it and his heart is dark, the world could be torn apart and everyone could die. It could all be for nothing if his heart isn't light enough. Everything rests on him, everything depends on him, and his twin brother he hadn't seen in three years committed suicide right in front of him, and he didn't do anything to stop him.
Can you imagine how terrified he must feel? How much pressure on him to do this right? How much doubt and fear and guilt? He could kill everyone. His heart will decide the fate of the entire world.
But he has to.
WAIT I SAID NO
There originally was some cut dialogue for saying no. It went,
"No one can stop Lucas from pulling the needle.
And the theme of powerlessness shifts from Lucas to the player. No matter what you decide, the needle will be pulled. You have no choice.
So, what was in Lucas's heart?
Phantasmagoric begins to play.
CLAYMAN NO THE WORLD IS ENDING
YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK ANYMORE
NO NOT OSOHE CASTLE
Kill some pigmasks for the road
AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW AND LOVE IS DEAD AND THE ISLANDS ARE DESTROYED
THANK YOU FOR PLAYING MOTHER 3!! IT'S BEEN FUN! THANKS FOR READING!
OR IS IT
You can press all the buttons you want on this screen and it won't do anything. A, B, L, R, Select, Start, nothin. In fact, it would be really easy to just assume this is where the game ends and just turn it off.
Unless you try moving around using the D-Pad.
Turns out you can walk the credits around!
are you sure
Maybe? Does that mean the Pigmasks are still around?
People keep saying that and yet
IF YOU HADN'T PLAYED THE GAME, WHERE WOULD WE BE? I love how the Mother series breaks the fourth wall. It does it in a way where you really feel like a part of the world while simultaeneously existing outside of it, if that makes sense.
I'm not really sure who this is, Flint maybe?
IT'S SO HARD TO TELL
Haha well this is Kumatora.
Interestingly, both the old translations I used made Duster speak sort of indirectly, let's see...
"I've never seen Kumatora cry before. She's reaaal cute, now that I look at her." and "It's my first time to see Kumatora cry. She looks so cute." which sort of shifted it around a little in my mind. It's one thing if Duster's quietly going "hey I think Kumatora's cute" to the player, and another if he's actually telling her himself, haha. PRESUMABLY ONE ENDS WITH PUNCHES and hugs
Though it's possible that it could be someone other than Duster, but if so, then who?
Not gonna sell me something, are you?
HEEHEE i mean cough cough I'm Wes cough I dunno what you're talking about
Nice to see you two are still weird old man friends, haha.
SO THE OXYGEN MACHINES SURVIVE
What's with you and the New Year, Rope Snake
And here a monkey noise, haha. SALSA LIVES
As the Pigmask theme faintly plays. POKEYYYYYY
Yess, I'll add it to my... inventory?
IT ALL WENT BY SO QUICKLY
JUST START A NEW GAME! if you can handle the heartbreak
I like imagining this as Magic from the DCMC since he likes exclamation points and because I want them to be here as well, haha. Some theorize that when the world is reborn, everyone that was kidnapped from their old world returns there. So all the kidnapped EB people would go back to EB... and if the DCMC were originally kidnapped from somewhere else (thus the amnesia?), maybe they'd end up disappearing when the world's reborn too. THIS MAKES ME SAD THOUGH BECAUSE I WANT THEM TO HANG AROUND AND PLAY MUSIC WITH DUSTER and it's really sad to think that they'd make it through all that to get to the new world just for Duster to lose his band friends forever. :<
So maybe they're island natives or maybe all the kidnapped people get to stay (thus solving that other problem about how few people there are! bam!).
Slowly watching your utopia dissolve into chaos and ultimately get destroyed, sure
And I think this last one is Lucas.
I may have talked about this somewhere before, but whenever I watch the Neverending Story (hey, that even ties this into EB sort of!), the ending never quite feels real to me. We SEE Fantasia get destroyed, and then in the last couple minutes we see it restored, but it never felt real to me as a kid. Like I could never quite believe it after seeing everything destroyed.
And that's sort of the same feeling I get from this ending. After watching everything fall apart so slowly, seeing everything get destroyed, it's hard to believe that everyone's okay after all. You don't even see the new world at all, you just hear about it. Presumably a place free from player interference, haha. Could get really meta with that and say without the player playing the game, Pokey never would have shown up, yada yada whatever.
But this ending never really put me at ease or reassured me after watching everything get destroyed. It just felt sort of... melancholy. And I mean, it's all so vague... for all we know, they could just all be dead and in the afterlife and that's why you can't see them. I DUNNO. This is probably just me though. But as a result, I always feel a little sad coming to the end of this game, and not in the same way as with EarthBound.
I think, from what Itoi said in places, originally the game WAS going to end when the dragon woke up, and you'd just have to guess about what happened. But in the end he decided to lighten things up a little, haha.
HI THOMAS as a siren goes by
YES TIME FOR THE CREDIT ROLL
I'm a huge music dork and the music is REALLY important to the credits I think. Unfortunately, when you record off an emulator, the sound usually gets off-sync, which is a huge shame because it's really important to this part (at least for me). SO ages ago (wow, five years), I went back and used my old Mother 3 cart and the Gameboy Player to record this sequence. It's a bit blurry but you should get everything in sync.
TOTALLY RECOMMEND WATCHING THIS AND THEN COMING BACK TO THE CAPS
The theme for the cast is Curtain Call, a huge medley of all sorts of themes throughout the game. :D
Bronson and his pet chicken.
Haha and there's that bag of money that caused so many problems.
SCAMP CAME BACK TO LIFE YAAAY
Nippolyte not even bothered by these zombies.
Mapson what is your relationship to Pusher's family anyway, you're usually hanging around or in their house.
ONLY ONE WAY TO INTRODUCE WES
Duster's out of here. FRIENDLY GHOOOSTSSS
Not so friendly ghosts :o
Salsa and Samba! Haha. Originally his girlfriend's name was Saruko, but you never find out until this moment.
OFF TO CAUSE MISCHIEF
Even Dryguy gets a credit!
LOOK OUT THE CHIMERA'S ON THE LOOSE
This is one part where the music being in sync really matters because right when you see that balloon there's the familiar drum heavy intro of
THE MR. SATURN THEME i swear every single time this part just inspires so much glee in me, you have no idea. THE MUSIC AND THE BALLOON AND THE SLOW REVEAL AAAAAAAA
LADDER GAME WITH LEDER!
Haha there's Leoleo
The cockney mice! And the whole Drago family before they were torn apart. ;_;
And a familiar sax riff comes in and MAGYPSIESSSSSS
Aeolia's sort of laughing, let's see
Like this but with a chair.
DORIA YOU WERE SO WONDERFUL
Lydia's pigmask friend and the horizontiboulders, haha.
Ioniaaaa come bacckk
So many save frogs.
Fassad what was your deal.
And the Pigmask theme comes in.
And here it is, the major reason I wanted you to watch the video. At this point, the music shifts from the Pigmask theme...
To the Mother 3 Love Theme and UGH THIS TRANSITION
EVERY SINGLE TIME THIS MUSICAL TRANSITION JUST BREAKS MY HEART
CLAUS COMES BACK TO HIS FAMILY
Lucas just watching
And they walk together
Then run together
And finally, the doorknob. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT'D BE SO SIGNIFICANT
And so now the real credits begin. And if the cast roll wasn't hard enough on your heart, the theme here is...
16 Melodies (Beginning).
It's the Eight Melodies from Mother, the Eight Melodies from EarthBound, and the Mother 3 Theme of Love, all blended together.
For the absolute last gut punch before you go, at least for me, this song was murder. I was so ;__________; at this you don't even know. just OH GOD THE EIGHT MELODIES
OH GOD BOTH OF THEM
OH GOD THE LOVE THEME
I CAN'T HANDLE THIS
Haha remember this fun scene, good times
And this fun scene!
DON'T TOUCH THAT too late
Slideshow of sadness
NO WAIT WE'LL RESCUE YOU
WOOO FUN TIMES WOOOO
That brief moment when Duster got struck by lightning.
The shortest chapter.
THE GREATEST TRANSPORT
PULL THE NEEDLE, QUICK
And that tragic letter to Flint.
The real ending. Look, the logo's gone back to being made out of wood! You may recall from the beginning that it was a mix of wood and mechanical things NOT UNLIKE THE CHIMERAS TO COME
but now it is back to wood again, the world is at peace
SO MOTHER 3 COMES TO AN END
Although we're not quite done with it just yet, there'll probably be one more post with a bunch of extra/cut stuff that I think is really interesting for this game SO THERE IS STILL MORE TO COME
but man i love this game so muuuuchhh
For those interested, I actually wrote up my feelings the first time I played this ages ago back in 2007 if you're curious about my first impressions. I WAS JUST AS FASCINATED WITH DUSTER AND TANEHINERI ISLAND BACK THEN AS I AM NOW hahaha