Mother 3

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WELCOME TO MOTHER 3 WORLD! And what a welcome it is.
"The more you think about it, the greater MOTHER 3 will become."

MOTHER 3 is a Japanese RPG starring an adolescent Heroic Mime Farm Boy from a Doomed Hometown and his dog, who join forces with a Lovable Rogue and a Tomboy Princess Black Magician Girl to fight a World-Conquering Evil Overlord and his Army of Brainwashed soldiers in a race to trigger the Seven Cosmic Keystones and Seal Away an Ultimate Evil which will bring about The End of the World as We Know It.

Wait -- strike that.

MOTHER 3 is a game about humankind's corruption of the natural world, the alienating effects of modern life on communities and families, the ethical treatment of animals, the folly of living vicariously in one's past, and brotherly love and rivalry.

MOTHER 3 is also the third (and apparently final) entry in Shigesato Itoi's MOTHER / EarthBound franchise; it continues the tradition of weird and quirky writing and gameplay which features deft employment of Mood Whiplash. Like prior games, MOTHER 3 centers on a young boy with psychic powers and his friends—but in this game, the time and setting are vastly different, and the threat to humanity is much more earthly than it was long ago.

Unlike its two predecessors, MOTHER 3 shifts focus several times between the main protagonist, his family, and the people (and sometimes animals!) who will become his allies—and true to its slogan, its story is regarded as the darkest (and most emotional) of the three games while retaining all of the silly charm which endeared its fans to begin with.

MOTHER 3 is notable for having begun life as a Nintendo64 game first—as part of the now-failed Nintendo 64DD add-on—before falling into Vaporware territory (its earliest development predated Duke Nukem Forever's, which didn't surpass its time in Development Hell until 2007). It resurfaced on the Game Boy Advance in 2006—but Nintendo has yet to (and likely never will) release the game outside of Japan, despite vocal campaigns of support for an international release. (Lucas eventually saw international recognition due to his inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.)

Nintendo's stubbornness in refusing to release MOTHER 3 outside of Japan led to drastic measures—which, in this case, means an English-language Fan Translation which took years to complete. As it stands, said translation will likely be the only way to ever play MOTHER in a language that is not Japanese. The translation can be found at its dedicated homepage.

Itoi has stated on a number of occasions that he doesn't want to make another MOTHER game—these days, he'd "rather be the player". Cue the fangame sequel...

Tropes used in Mother 3 include:
  • Accidental Kiss: Mentioned in relation to a pair of recurring NPCs; they're a young couple who panics that they accidentally kissed during a blackout.
  • Action Commands: If you keep pressing A in time with the beat of the background music, you score extra hits. There's even a drum enemy which can change the beat to throw you off.
  • Addressing the Player
  • Adult Fear: The whole idea of Claus running away and never being found.
  • Aerith and Bob: Lucas, Claus, Duster, Wess... Kumatora?
  • After the End
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: At the very beginning, if you run into Hinawa's chair, she will give you a recovery item.
    • Also, there is a Magic Butterfly under the Pigmask's hat on Snowcap Mountain.
      • There's a box behind Wess's house that contains a Thunder Bomb. The best part is, Wess refills it from time to time.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You play through the prologue as young Lucas, then the next three chapters are played by three completely different characters before going through the rest of the game as Lucas again.
  • Anti-Poopsocking: Mostly done as reminder to save your game. If you play continuously without saving Leder's bell will be heard and tell you to save and take a break. It takes quite a while to trigger however, and if you save often it is most likely you wouldn't ever get this message.
  • Apocalypse Wow
  • Anyone Can Die: Hinawa and Claus.
  • Apologetic Attacker: One of Salsa's skills is to "apologize profusely" to the enemy. This is a Continuity Nod to one of Porky's totally useless actions when he's your party member in EarthBound.
    • Other enemies sometimes waste their turns apologizing, such as Pigmasks. Incidentally, this is one of the first huge instances of foreshadowing to the fact that Porky is the main villain, besides the whole "pig" motif.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Only 3 enemies can be onscreen at a time; if there are any more in the battle, they come onscreen when one of the current enemies is defeated.
  • Arcadia: Tazmily Village.
  • Arc Words: "I leave the rest to you now." It first appears on a gravestone in the Tazmily cemetary but is later mimicked a notable number of times throughout the game.
  • Ascended Extra: The Rope Snake.
  • Ascended Glitch: After you get the Franklin Badge from a stealthily dressed Mr. Saturn, he gets stuck in a wall. Itoi liked this glitch so much that he gave Saturn some dialogue.
  • Awful Truth: Leder's final role is to tell Lucas how his beloved home of Tazmily was always a fabrication; a fringe village on the edge of nothing, whose people had been willingly brainwashed to prevent a second armageddon. This is why the villagers act so cruelly when Lucas mourns for any length of time; they have a very strong reaction to "bad" feelings. Look at how they first tell Flint the bad news. And look at how Flint completely breaks down afterward.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: The Honey Shower. It doesn't do too much damage, but it's still fun.
  • Beef Gate: Not the usual "you'd better be leveled up" variety; instead it's there to make sure you eat the funky 'shrooms. Enforced further by the loss of everything in your inventory that isn't attached to you, thus preventing you from healing by an alternative method.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Lucas gets one at the end of Chapter 3, when he quits being a crybaby and becomes the main character. He rides onscreen on top of the baby Drago's mother to take out a squad of Pigmasks and a tank.
    • Then the D.C.M.C. show up during the Porkybot fight to save the day, just like the Runaway Five in EarthBound.
    • A Clayman gets one of these after the Almost-Mecha Lion fight in the Chimera Lab.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The stretch limo. The NPC driving said limo actually lampshades this.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Oh so very much.
  • Biological Mashup: The chimeras, which include such wonders as the Batangutan, Horsantula, and Kangashark.
  • Blinding Bangs: Porky's and Bateau's.
  • Body Horror: The Chimeras, as well as Fassad.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Either played straight or subverted, depending on how you see it..
  • Book Ends: The last shot of the credits is Hinawa releasing a bird, but the end screen plays with this even more by echoing the title screen, which would be the first thing the player saw.
    • One that's even more meta: one of the final areas of the Empire Porky Building has the music from the title screen of the first Mother game.
  • Boom Town: New Pork City. The entire populace of Tazmily moves there by the end of the game. Too bad it's all cardboard.
  • Bonus Boss: Lord Passion, Lil' Miss Marshmallow, and the Pig King statue. Fish Roe Man as well, though he's more of a miniboss.
  • Brainwashed: Everyone in Tazmily Village (expect for Leder) was willingly brainwashed to prevent another Armageddon.
    • Also Claus/the Masked Man.
  • Bread and Circuses: Most people seem relatively pleased with the way society changes thanks to the Pigmasks. One guy is unsettled by the fact that Lucas's family doesn't have a Happy Box.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sparrows explain the gameplay mechanics in what they call "game speak," and early on in the game, a character addresses you directly, asking you to enter your name. There is also a character who is induced to be sick because you (the player) just won't let up on hitting A to advance the dialogue. And let's not forget that imagining "something called a B button" is how you learn to dash.
    • The player gets directly asked their name, and then told to forget that they were ever asked. You're asked again in a later chapter, having the asker being very nervous about breaking the Fourth Wall, and telling Lucas to be careful or he might inconvenience the player.
  • Brick Joke: Flint's traveling doorknob. Also Mike's "slightly unclean and not very tasty" cookies are mentioned again in Chapter Eight. He even asks if you forgot about them.
  • Broken Bridge: "There are ants under your feet. You might accidentally step on them, so please don't continue in that direction."
  • But Thou Must!: It doesn't really matter what option you pick in any choice; all that'll happen is you'll get a slight change in the dialogue, and sometimes be forced to answer again.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Lucas and Flint primary use sticks as weapons. Lighter carries 2x4 of wood everywhere.
  • Catch Phrase: "Tonda Gossa!", DCMC's trademark greeting.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: The commercials advertising the game consisted of a post-gameplay interview with Japanese singer and actress Kou Shibasaki.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: This game is this to the MOTHER series.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Leder. Also Hinawa, who indirectly saves Lucas and Kumatora in Chapter Seven.
  • Chekhov's Gift: The Courage Badge Flint gives to Lucas (through Nippolyte) turns out to be the Franklin Badge.
  • Continuity Nod: Many to EarthBound, most notably on the boat ride in New Pork City. Also, of course, the fact that the theater in New Pork City plays a film consisting of the important moments from EarthBound. There are also three residents of Tazmily who look like Jeff, Paula and Picky.
    • The Mischievous Mouse will sometimes waste its turn feeling homesick, which was a status effect exclusive to Ness.
    • In the Chimera Lab, you can find the book "Overcoming Shyness", and, of course, the hilarious magazine excerpt from the $7,500 hovel in Onett.
    • Porky's room in Thunder Tower has a few too. The Teddy Bears that were party members in EarthBound ("You almost feel like it could take your place for you"), and a jukebox that plays the shop theme from EarthBound.
  • Cool Shades: The Rock Lobster enemy has a pair that sorta resemble Kamina's shades.
  • Crap Saccharine World: Quite possibly the most outstanding example of this trope, and definitely one of the most subtle.
  • Crapsack World: New Pork City, and the Nowhere Islands when you leave them. Highways, concrete, steel and technology have dominated the island, practically all of the local animals have been changed into robots or hideous chimeras, Tazmily has been abandoned after it was formed into a modern suburban-style town, and the familiar townsfolk of Tazmily have become distant from each other. Some are now jerks to Lucas and his party when they once were kind to them. In New Pork City, Porky rules with an iron fist. Lights, noise, junk food, media propaganda and other artificial distractions are the way of life, and nature does not exist outside of a polluted trash dump.
  • Crosshair Aware: The Natural Killer Cyborg's End of the Century Beam sets a crosshair over each characters' life meter. They're just for intimidation, though.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: On more than one occasion, Lucas and his friends will find a Needle before the Masked Man and the Pigmasks - only for them to show up seconds later and spend elaborate several-minute-long sequences landing and setting things up, which is more than enough time for Lucas to pull the damn Needle.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Almost all[1] of the "reconstructed" animals are made violent and murderous by their "enhancements". (Then again, so are the purely biological chimera.) In addition, this isn't an unexpected side effect. The corker? After the experiments, knowing full goddamn well what the effects would be, Porky ordered Andonuts to Reconstruct to a nearly-dead Claus, resulting in his transformation into a virtually soulless killing machine who Porky can use to pull the Needles.
  • Darker and Edgier: Considerably so compared to the first two games.
  • Dark Reprise: The best songs from the first two games, and light reprises later.
  • Deflector Shields: The Franklin Badge reflects all lighting based psi back from Lucas which seems great until the last battle.
  • Dead Character Walking: Literally, since the characters walk one after another, they are still able to walk around, but their sprite looks excessively tired.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: This game is full of it if you know where to look.
    • The flowers at Hinawa's grave change with every chapter.
    • The first time you meet Kumatora she attacks you with PK Freeze. After she joins your party the exact amount of PP used from the attack has been deducted (also can be explained by the pendant she dropped also adding on the same amount of PP).
    • An amnesic Duster is nicknamed Lucky at a point in the game. If you named him Lucky, the nickname will be changed to Gorgeous.
      • Likewise Kumatora goes uncover and briefly takes up the name Violet. If you named her Violet the name will be changed to Kumatora.
    • After someone joins your party if you go and try to talk to Leder they will have something to comment about the old beanpole.
    • In Chapter 2, if you talk to Pusher on you way back to the castle with Wess, he mentions plans on building an old folks home.
    • There's a newspaper in a nursing home that the player will likely never check more than once, but its contents change with each new chapter, sometimes more often.
    • Prior to Chapter 4, one of the gravestones in the cemetery says it's reserved. If you check it again after the 3 year skip, you’ll find that Scamp is buried there. Checking the scenery in his house will refer to Scamp in the past tense.
    • Talking to NPC's after adding someone new to the party will often give you new dialog.
    • Early in Chapter 2, Wess tells you to check behind the house to find a Thunder Bomb. If you check behind the house in later chapters, even after the timeskip and Wess's house was torn down and a senior citizen's home was built where his house stood, you can still find Thunder Bombs. They re-appear every time you go to the crossroads and back.
      • When you return to Tazmily Village with Duster in the party after he's been gone for three years several of the villagers will express surprise at his return.
    • Early in the game, the characters get covered with black ash, which normally gets washed off by a rainstorm. If one pays a visit to an optional hot spring on the way, however, the bottom halves of the characters (the part that gets submerged) become clean.
    • The Anti-Poopsocking dialog changes slightly depending where in proxy you are to Tazmily Village or if you're playing after the time skip happened.
      • Pre-time skip if you are in or close to Tazmily the dialog appears as Ol' "Beanstalk" Leder's bell is ringing. If you're farther away, it appears as Ol' "Beanstalk" Leder's bell can be heard off in the distance.
        • After the time skip Leder and the bell disappear from the village and the dialog comes up as You got the feeling that you heard ol' "Beanstalk" Leder's bell.
      • If you have a Fresh Egg in your inventory and go into a hot spring for a few minutes, step out and check your stuff: you will have a Boiled Egg. (In fact, it's a good idea to do this a lot, they're a very good healing item and you can get them for free.)
    • Remember the locked rooms in the Toilet Dungeon? It is the one with water leaking outside. Using a walk through wall code when you are in a room next to it, you can enter and see the flooded room, entirely programmed!
  • Disc One Nuke: The Squawking Sticks outside the factory in Chapter 4 have a 5% chance of dropping a Very Good Stick. Getting it will make the Titiboo Attic substantially easier.
    • At the beginning of Chapter 5, you can backtrack to Osohe Castle and get Duster's Mystical Shoes, which will last him all the way through chapter 7.
  • Doomed Hometown: Sort of. It's not destroyed, but corrupted, turned into a modern city and eventually completely abandoned. And it ends up being destroyed in the ending.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Near the end, you have to do a couple of minigames where this is the goal.
  • Downer Ending: Sort of. This game has such a purposefully Gainax Ending that it could really go either way depending on how you look at it.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Lucas and company go undercover as Pigmasks at least twice.
  • Drill Mole: Reconstructed Moles.
  • Fan Translation Name Change: Yokuba to Fassad, "Yoshikoshi" to "Violet", "Tamekichi"/"Umemaro" to "Lucky"/"Gorgeous". Hinawa was almost changed to Amber to retain the Theme Naming with Flint, but was ultimately left as Hinawa.
  • Duel Boss: The final battle with the Masked Man, though it's quite one-sided.
  • Dug Too Deep: Just before Lucas and the others reach the dark and incomprehensible final area, they have to trek though a mine deep underneath New Pork City.
  • Dummied Out: There are ungodly amounts of unused content in the game:
    • In terms of enemies, we have a giant bear, a tree monster, and the Alkaline Man, along with lots of unused entries that don't have any data to them.
    • There's also a ton of unused music!
    • There are lots of unused lines of text in the game. Notable examples include an exchange with the producer of something called "Mr. Pirkle and Ms. Lardna's Love Nest", mentions of a New Pork Island, a conversation with the seventh Magypsy, Locria, and some end-game conversations with Kumatora and Duster (asking Lucas how having a mother felt like, and discovering all of their memries were fake).
    • Unused sprites, unused (and sometimes very terrifying-looking) battle backgrounds, a picture of a gas station, and a giant pig balloon of some sort are just a fraction of the unused graphics in the game.
    • The most recent discovery? Unused cutscenes! Three of them seem to be flashbacks meant to play during the final battle (Lucas childhood memories), while two of them appear to be from the ending (dealing with {{Bowdlerise the ultimate fate of Salsa and Alec, who were the only ones left behind when everyone moved to New Pork City, surrounded with burnt animal corpses and faling meteorites.}}).
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The exhausted Barrier Trio did one final Barrier Pose!
  • Dying Town / Ghost Town: At the end of Chapter Seven. It's Tazmily Village.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Fassad makes an appearance at the beginning of Chapter Two, and more obscurely, halfway through Chapter One.
  • Easing Into the Adventure
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Everyone agrees, the bosses are probably the hardest part of the game.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: PK Love Omega for Lucas and PK Starstorm for Kumatora, both of which are learned at the end of Chapter Seven. Also, chances are that, if you learn them at all, Lucas's Refresh and Kumatora's PK Ground won't be learned until near the very end unless you grind a lot.
  • The End - or Is It?
  • Elite Mooks: The Pigmasks.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Salsa and Samba, as well as some enemy Chimeras.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Zombies pop up in Tazmily Village's graveyard at night.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Two, actually: Thunder Tower (A.K.A. The Tower of Love and Peace) and the Empire Pork Building.
  • Face Heel Turn: Though the actual turn isn't seen in-game, Fassad was once one of the seven Magypsies and betrayed them to work with the Pig Army. Later, it's revealed that Claus has one of these, although this was against his will. And then there's Dr. Andonuts from the previous game, though that was also against his will and he gets his revenge in the end.
    • Isaac becomes a pigmask in Chapter Eight. Although he doesn't do anything evil, he say he'd have to be your enemy if you did anything to oppose Porky.
  • Faceless Goons: The Pigmasks. Slightly deconstructed in Chapter Seven, when the injured Pigmask on Lydia's bed is seen without his mask after Lydia's Needle is pulled, and turns out to be a fairly nice regular guy who even volunteers to look after Lydia's rabbits, and urges that Lucas and his party get a move on. Also in Chapter Eight, when a Pigmask in full uniform and face-concealing helmet, if spoken to, identifies himself as Isaac, having just recently joined the Pigmask army.
  • Fairy Battle: The Walking Bushie.
  • Fake Band: D.C.M.C.
  • Fake Difficulty: Mildly. For almost every random battle music (and even some boss battle music) with regular beats (for the purpose of combos), there's a remix where the beginning sound the same, but partway through the music there is sped up/slowed down/skipped in almost random places just to trip you up.
  • Fan Service: In a Hot Spring, you can find Kumatora bathing nude. (Psych! It was actually the back of Ionia's head.)
  • Fan Translation: These awesome guys!
    • Beyond the Impossible: The online readme, about halfway down the page, starts a very, very long list of every hack that had to made in order to make the translation work. Buried in there is this gem:

The game only had enough memory for 40 letters of battle text on the screen at once. Fixing this was assumed impossible, but a fix was figured out anyway, allowing for infinite text per line.

  • Final First Hug: Claus, fatally wounded by his own lightning, stumbles towards Lucas and hugs him for the last time.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Hinawa's death, which signals the first big turn in the plot, as well as the first big Mood Whiplash.
  • Fission Mailed: Let's just say that The End is not the end.
  • Flower Motifs: Sunflowers.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: "Lil' Miss Marshmallow".
  • Foreshadowing: Tons of it, if you know where to look.
  • Forced Level Grinding: The Barrier Trio and the Masked Man can easily be That One Boss for any player... unless you learn PSI Shield Omega (for the former) and Lifeup Omega and PK Ground (for the latter), after which their difficulty is immediately slashed.
    • If you don't grind on Dung Beetles at the beginning of Chapter Three, Salsa will get decimated later on.
  • For the Lulz: Ultimately, Porky's motive was that he was bored.
    • Also the ghosts in Osohe Castle. Not very scary at first, the former residence of Osohe Castle. But then when you talk to Leder, you realize that they are the ghosts of the people that once lived on island but seemed to have died out long before the white ship appeared. They could possibly the ancestors of the Magypsies as well
  • Gaia's Lament: Due to war and pollution, nature died and civilization collapsed. A large group of survivors then constructed a ship to the last part of the world that had not been corrupted, the Nowhere Islands, and brainwashed themselves to not know what modern technology was so they could preserve nature and themselves, starting Tazmily Village. When the Pigmasks took full charge, though, their efforts were ruined, and the islands were twisted into a mess of machinery and modern infrastructure. Either way, Lucas changes it in the ending when he pulls the last Needle.
  • Gainax Ending: So much.
  • Game Breaking Bug : Chapter 5, Thunder Tower. There is a save frog who is suspectible to trap you in the scenery, rendering the save file useless. Thankfully averted with a Walk Through Walls cheat code (0200C492:FFFF, you're welcome).
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Pigmasks. Despite their helmets, they are susceptible to crying, which is only caused from light flashes or eye contamination.
  • Genre Deconstruction: It's MOTHER, it deconstructs the Japanese RPG genre, no surprise there. However, this game goes even further than its predecessors. Look no further than how the concept of currency is introduced.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Several bosses.
  • Good Morning, Crono
  • Good News, Bad News: The first big Mood Whiplash of the game.
  • Gossipy Hens: The three women that can be found in the town center.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Getting all of the enemies' front and back sprites.
  • Grappling Hook Pistol: Rope Snake is a living example. He has a weight limit, and ends up losing his grip several times through the story.
  • Grand Finale: And how!
  • Gratuitous English: "Welcome to Mother 3 world" in the original Japanese.
  • Grave Humor: The Sunset Cemetery provides a lot of groaners if you check the headstones.
  • Guest Star Party Member: During the first three chapters, there are various "guest" party members that can (sometimes) help out in battle. Most of them aren't very useful, but Wess certainly fits this trope, and Fassad in Chapter Three is far more powerful than the main character at that point (which isn't saying a lot, so he's essential to have in battle).
  • Guide Dang It: Done to great effect with the Magypsy mementos. The game gives no indication that they will automatically revive you if you die, and realizing it by yourself can be a Tear Jerker and/or a Heartwarming Moment.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Master Eddy, and the Almost-Mecha Lion. Defeating the latter is extremely difficult, considering you've only got two party members. If you do, all that happens is it gets back up in the cutscene afterwards. You do get a nice pile of experience, though, so it's not totally pointless to try to win.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here
  • Helpful Mook: The Walking Bushie heals you if you don't attack it, and if you attack it too, as long as you don't KO it.
  • Heroic Mime: Played with even more than in EarthBound: the role of protagonist is shuffled around between characters before the Time Skip, and whoever holds it at the moment is silent, but these characters are perfectly talkative when someone else is in the lead. (The exception is Salsa, who never talks at all. Granted, he's a monkey.)
    • One scene, at the start of Duster's chapter, is a repeat of the same scene in Flint's chapter, except Flint talks at the end, symbolizing the role of Player Character moving to Duster, who doesn't talk for the rest of the chapter.
    • Lucas actually gets a single line of dialogue when you play as him: "Strictly in a friend sense!" while visiting the Clayman Factory in disguise. However, most players overlook that it's actually Lucas speaking, as Lucas is mimicking what the Pigmask he's addressing had said to him five seconds ago, and assume it's merely the Pigmask repeating his dialogue.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bronson speculates that Hinawa risked her life to protect Lucas and Claus from the Mecha-Drago. Also, during the last battle, Flint jumps out to protect Lucas from a PK Love Ω.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Saturn Valley, zoom!
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Sort of. The villain turns out to be Porky from EarthBound.
  • HP to One: The New Year's Eve Bomb (which is required to defeat a certain Bonus Boss [2]) has this effect.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: In interviews, scriptwriter Shigesato Itoi has said that Porky Minch is a representation of mankind. Ouch.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: The final battle. Did we mention "Tear Jerker" yet?
  • I Miss Mom
  • Improbable Weapon User: Yo-yos, lumber, banana peels—Duster uses giant staples, a loud insect, a feather, and other "thief tools" to supplement kicking with a crippled leg.
    • Since Boney only gets one relatively weak weapon at the very end of the game, one could argue that his collars are his weapons, since some of them increase offense.
    • Duster's weapons are SHOES and he attacks by kicking. His disability is a club foot, yet he is not hindered by his crippled leg because that is how god-tier Badass he is.
  • Info Dump: Leder's final purpose.
  • Informed Equipment: Somewhat justified, as most of the armor and equipment you'll find are badges, charms, rings, bracelets, and other kinds of accessories which would be too small to be visible on the over-world sprites. Played straight with the much less common shirt and hat accessories.
  • Interface Spoiler: Anyone who's played through Mother 3 can tell you that Hinawa dies about halfway through chapter 1. Did we mention that Chapter 1 is titled "Night of the Funeral"?
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Lucas forges this with Kumatora and Duster. (Especially Duster, who appears to be in his thirties.)
  • In the Style Of: Oddly enough, this game is sort of One Hundred Years of Solitude in the style of EarthBound.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the Empire Porky Building. Then you fall down a shaft/elevator for what seems like forever and descend a long staircase to get to Porky, The Masked Man, and the final Needle.
  • Jail Bake: Flint is locked up in prison at one point, so his son Claus sneaks him a nail file disguised in... an apple.
  • Jerkass: Fassad. Additionally, quite a few people from Tazmily become rude to Lucas and his friends as the town becomes more and more modernized and corrupted.
  • Just a Machine: Porky believes that the Masked Man is nothing more then his robot slave and has no humanity left in him.
  • King Mook: The Fierce Pork Trooper.
  • Lady Swears-a-Lot: Although what profanity there is in the fan translation isn't very strong, most of it comes courtesy of Kumatora. Lighter qualifies too to some extent.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: Super Smash Bros. Brawl contains many spoilers for the game, including no less than five major plot points.
  • Leitmotif: Many, but most notably the militaristic-yet-juvenile Pig Mask anthem.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Men's Room Sign tried PK Starstorm!
  • Let's Meet the Meat: In the Good People Spa, you can find a cow in a tube. He says he will make a wonderful steak for Master Porky.
  • Let's Play: There are a couple of entertaining ones.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Not done intentionally, but forces conspire to separate Lucas and Boney from Duster and Kumatora in Chapter Seven. They find Kumatora safe with a Magypsy, and Duster ends up with the Mr. Saturns. Which would be fine and dandy if they weren't being attacked by the Pigmasks.
    • This also happens on a small scale when the group need to search for a jar of pickles. They go their separate ways in the immediate area, rather than sticking to the usual All in a Row setup.
  • Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition: The Deluxe Box, which contains the game, a special edition red Game Boy Micro, and a replica of the Franklin Badge. Naturally, these go for ridiculous prices on auction websites.
  • Look What I Can Do Now!
  • Lost Forever: If you don't go all the way back to Tazmily and fight Lord Passion during Chapter Five, say goodbye to Duster's Disc One Nuke weapon forever.
  • Lost in Translation: The fan translation, though quite thorough and professional, loses two Punny Names that don't translate well into English; Salsa ("saru", Japanese for monkey, and "salsa") and the Oh-So-Snake ("Osohe" and "hebi", meaning snake).
  • MacGuffin: The Seven Needles.
    • Egg MacGuffin: The Egg of Light.
    • To a rather lesser extent, there's also the Courage Badge. It turns out to be the Franklin Badge. And if you take the appearances of the Franklin Badge in previous games to heart, this could be a series-wide Chekhov's Gun.
  • Mama Bear: The scene at the end of Chapter Three when the baby Drago calls his momma to flatten Fassad and his men.
  • Metal Slime / Disc One Nuke: Beanlings, Black Beanlings, Soot Dumplings, Bright Smiles, Top Dogfishes and more... and it's perhaps the only game to subvert it with the Mystery Metal Monkey, which gives you good experience when you beat it... just not in the Character Level sense.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The aforementioned Biological Mash Ups.
  • Mock Guffin: The Noble Spittoon.
  • Monster Compendium
  • Mood Whiplash: Done well.
  • Mook Chivalry: Near the end, you fight ten Mecha-Porkies, but only three of them are onscreen at any one time, in part due to the game engine's limitations. This is also done a couple other times, such as the fight against the four zombies. If you get enough enemies in the same spot, you'll only fight three at a time as well (this is easiest in the room in Thunder Tower with the five or six Whatevers).
  • More Teeth Than the Osmond Family: The Ultimate Chimera. To the point where it's basically a giant scowling maw with legs.
  • Mr. Exposition: This is Leder's entire purpose. He was the only one not mindwiped on the "white ship", in case of a crisis.
  • Mushroom Samba: Mixed in with some Nightmare Fuel: After washing ashore on an island, your starving party is forced to eat some mushrooms. This results in a very bad trip. On the way to sobriety, you can look inside some mailboxes, which are not really there, and find things like "expanding darkness", "an image of yourself, crying", a rotten plate of your most cherished meal made by your mother, and you see images of your friends and family who insult and threaten you. Designer and MOTHER series mastermind Shigesato Itoi described this as his worst fear, and had to tone down the original script for this area because he was scared to read it.
  • Musical Gameplay
  • Musical Pastiche: The music when fighting the bat enemies in the first chapter starts with something that sounds very like the "nananananananana Batman" theme.
  • Musical Spoiler: The Masked Man's attacks in Chapter Seven use the same "attack riff" as Claus's attacks from the prologue. There are many things foreshadowing that particular revelation, but only that one counts as a Musical Spoiler. Another one that's a bit less obscure is when Fassad returns with his new "horns" and they're squeaking out the sax part of the Magypsy theme.
    • Similarly, if there's any doubt that Lucky, DCMC's bassist is actually Duster, you may recall that his attack riff is a bassline.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Fassad, and the Ultimate Chimera.
  • Narm: In-Universe example. "The Frightbot told a story so scary you couldn't help but laugh."
    • From the fan translation, "Lucas...remembered Claus's smell."
  • New Game+: A bug allows you to do this.
  • New Media Are Evil: One interpretation.
  • New Neo City / Punny Name: New Pork City.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: You have to leave the Osohe Castle gate open when you leave it. This allows the Pigmask Army to go right on in.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The fight against Porky would be a hopeless fight if he didn't decide to switch on the Absolutely Safe Capsule.
  • Ninja Maid: Lil' Miss Marshmallow, the robot maid who works for "King P.", will get very, very angry indeed if you try to take her master's precious "Friend's Yoyo".
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: One of the few works to Deconstructed Trope this trope. One of the music tracks is called "Tragic Reconstruction" for a reason.
  • Nobody Poops: Like in EarthBound, averted, and how! Toilets (and people using them) are everywhere. There's even a dungeon made of them in the Empire Pork Building, and you can find many Pigmasks doing their "business" there. Beware the PK Starstorm-using Men's Room Signs, though!
    • One small cutscene features Pigmasks having a conversation that revolves entirely around what to use the hooks in the bathroom for.
  • No Immortal Inertia: The protective vines around Chupichupoyoi Temple.
  • Nominal Importance: Averted. Minor characters are given names, many of them shout outs to famous people, such as Bronson, Paul and Linda.
    • Don't forget Nichol and Richie.
  • Non Sequitur Thud: Lil' Miss Marshmallow, after receiving one too many hits (and maybe PK Thunders) to the head:

YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW SO SEW SO-SO / GREETINGS CHEESE POPSICLE / THE NUMBER YOU HAVE DIALED / IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PORK CHOPS / FROM EAST TO WEST IT GOES GOES / BROKEN BROKEN / OH SO SOW SEW BROKEN / *whir* *clank* *clunk*

  • Nothing Is Scarier: There was absolutely nothing inside the mailbox.
    • Nothing after nothing came bursting out.
    • When Lucas is on the Chimera Laboratory and the Ultimate Chimera is on the loose, all that can be heard is its roaring and the screaming of pigmasks. However, if you enter another room and the BGM starts again, that's... not good, either.
  • Now You Tell Me: The treasure room in Osohe Castle.
  • One-Time Dungeon: Most dungeons and areas in the game can be revisited in at least one later chapter (although the enemy types and layout will change with the plot). The major exceptions are the Attic Dungeon in Chapter 4, which becomes inaccessible once the Chapter ends with its completion, and the Thunder Tower, which is only accessible in Chapter 5 because the story at that point involves infiltrating and destroying it.
  • One True Sequence: Somewhat subverted: the Pigmask army retrieve three of the seven MacGuffins before you do, and there are many you get to before they do.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The Magypsies - and how!
  • Outside the Box Tactic: See Sheathe Your Sword below. Lucas will not strike down the Masked Man after he learns that it is his own brother, Claus, turned into a chimera and enslaved to Porky's will.
  • Palette Swap: The Pigmask Captain and Pigmask Major's front sprites are this.
  • Papa Wolf: Deconstructed Trope by Flint.
  • Peace and Love Incorporated: Tower of Peace and Love: STAY AWAY!
  • People Jars: The "Good Person Bath."
  • The Player Is the Most Important Resource: If you stick around after the ending credits.
  • The Power of Love: PK Love, for starters.
  • Point of No Return: The start of Chapter 8 you enter New Pork City after which you are unable to leave. As by this point Tazmily has been abandoned fully.
    • Once you reach the basement of the Empire Porky Building, there's no turning back.
  • Previous Player Character Cameo: There's a film in New Pork City depicting actual scenes from EarthBound at one point, obviously prominently featuring Ness and company.
  • Psychic Powers
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Family Matters: 2nd Movement contains bits of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, the original piece Etude for Ghosts (which sounds a bit like Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto No. 2), Mozart's Symphony No. 40, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 6; Ode to Ancestors: 8th Movement is a mashup of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Handel's Messiah, and Vivaldi's Spring; Leder's Gymnopedie is Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1. Contrast with the second game's notorious use of Sampling.
  • Punch Clock Villain: The Pigmask Army. They attend rock concerts, stay at diners, and generally do trivial things when they're off-duty. Many of them are friendly to Lucas and his party, and some are even neighbors of Lucas who have been recruited.
  • Punny Name: There are lots and lots of these in the English fan-translation.
  • Putting on the Reich: The Pig Army's uniforms are reminiscent of German uniforms during WWII. Even their salutes are vaguely Nazi-ish.
  • Puzzle Boss: The final boss cannot be attacked. You have to constantly heal until the battle wins itself. After Hinawa talks to you a few times, you can attack him. But it won't make any difference because he will not die.
  • Randomly Drops: Mystical Stick and Mystical Gloves, the latter of which being a solid contender for Kumatora's best weapon, are dropped at a 3% rate by a specific monster each. Most of the ultimate armors are also 3% drops from various mobs in the final dungeon.
  • The Rashomon: Chapters 2 and 3 occur simultaneously.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: At one point you find a frog in a desert, which seems kind of odd. A nearby sign invokes this trope though, by telling the player that there are frogs that do live in the desert. Later there is a similar situation with an underground dungeon built by moles.
  • Regional Bonus: The fan translation has a few features added to the game, such as a Hard Mode after beating the game. Also, Hold L and R while going to the Status Screen to get a Dummied Out "Memo" menu, which builds as you go through the game. Keep in mind some of the features listed didn't make it into the final.
  • Engineer Exploited For Evil: Dr. Andonuts. Still, he somewhat enjoys doing what he does For Science!.
  • Recurring Riff: Several of them, especially the MOTHER 3 Love theme.
  • Replacement Goldfish: In the WMG vein, there's Lil' Miss Marshmallow for Electra, Porky's human maid in EarthBound, as revealed by the enemy notes.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Averted. The Rope Snake is a helpful and benign character, and nearly all the major and most dangerous bosses and enemies (save the Drago and Oh-So-Snake) are mammals.
  • Retraux: The battle with the Porky Bots, whose theme "Porky's Porkies" has the NES Chiptune-sounding music up until the last three remaining Porky Bots, in which the DCMC suddenly arrive to save the day.
  • Rhythm Game: The combo system, which allows you to hit buttons in time with the beat of the fight music to score extra damage.
  • A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside An Enigma:

Wess: The Hummingbird Egg is a ball of secrets inside secrets that are inside even more secrets... Or something like that, supposedly, apparently.

  • Robot Maid: Lil' Miss Marshmallow.
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors: "Stone-Sheet-Clippers".
  • Sad Battle Music: In the battle against Claus.
  • Save Point: In the form of various frogs, who also inexplicably take the place of the ATM machines from EarthBound once money comes into play.
  • Saving the World
  • Science Is Bad: The chimeras, and the armies of robots and cyborgs. Also one potential interpretation of the game.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can / Good in a Can: The Dark Dragon, though which he is depends on who pulls the Seven Needles.
  • Sequel Gap: It came out a good twelve years after EarthBound's Japanese release.
  • Sequence Breaking: Subverted; You can go after the Needles after Aeolia's has been pulled and before Ionia's has been pulled in any order, which may make things a hell of a lot easier since you will have a full party by the time you get the needles other than the Chimera Lab, you need to clear that to get Kumatora back on your team though. Only real problem is trekking back to Saturn Valley because the Coffee Table that you use to ride will be gone when you go there the first time if you plan on getting Duster right after Aeolia's needle.
  • Shall I Repeat That?: When Leder gives the surprisingly long explanation of the history of Nowhere Islands; he'll confirm that you understand each part before continuing to the next.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: The final battle.
  • Shout-Out: The Unwelcome Gust enemy is clearly based off the Cyclown enemy from Dragon Quest, which the first two games are an Affectionate Parody of.
  • The Silent Bob: Leder for most of the game. When he does speak, though, good God...
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Chapters 2 and 3 take place at the exact same time, only you're controlling different characters. Duster in the second, and Salsa in the third. It becomes most evident when the two characters bump into each at the same area in both chapters.
  • Sophisticated As Hell: One Pigmask, when talked to, enters a polite and proper soliloquy about how he isn't quite sure what to say to you before eventually deciding that the phrase he would use, were he allowed to say it and still come across as polite, is "get out of the damn way".
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Both battle and overworld themes can go from rousing, to light and delicate, to sad, to rousing again and there are tons of in game remixes and rearrangements.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The fan translation follows the lead of Super Smash Bros Brawl and uses the proper translation of Porky's name, instead of using the erroneous "Pokey" spelling used in EarthBound's official translation.
    • Also, the debacle about the number of possible translations of Tazmily Village's name, including Tazumili and Tatsumairi. Tazumili was used in the NTSC version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Tatsumairi was the most common interpretation before then. The fan translation went with Tazmily, which comes from both the PAL version of Brawl and a wide variety of English sources from 1997-2000 about EarthBound 64.
  • Spoonerism: "The Funshine Sorest is on fire!"
  • Stepford Suburbia: Tazmily Village, though it doesn't seem that way at first..
  • Stepping Stone Sword: Wall staples.
  • Stone Wall: Deconstructed with the "Absolutely Safe Capsule;" nothing can hurt the person inside, yet the one inside can't hurt anything outside. Porky encasing himself in it results in the battle ending prematurely, as he's unable to hold back the heroes any longer while trapped in the capsule.
  • Story-Boarding the Apocalypse
  • Super Fun Happy Thing of Doom: The "Tower of Peace and Love". To a lesser extent, the Happy Box, that beloved opiate of the masses.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The Ultimate Chimera.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: ... But it gets better.
  • Surprise Creepy: The simple graphics belie quite the at-times terrifying tale. The game's at least nice enough to put the first swerve at the end of the prologue, at least.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Played with. Late in the game, the player has to get to the 100th floor of a building, and you find an Instant Revitalizing Machine and a Save Frog in the same room... but it turns out, this isn't the real 100th floor, and with each new 100th floor, there are the same two objects, again and again, until the true 100th floor is reached.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "N-n-n-no! He didn't take Dad's homemade knife and go into the mountains to kill the Drago!"
  • Sympathy for the Devil: At the end, when the players defeat Porky, Dr. Andonuts decides that maybe he deserves some pity, stating that perhaps deep down he was the same lonely boy that no one liked.
    • Then he forgets all about that and nonchalantly begins rolling Porky's new prison around.
      • Porky doesn't care, he's happier this way anyway.
      • That's because he doesn't know. Or even if he does, he won't be happy after a few millenia.
  • Thanking the Player: You are mentioned, by name, at the end of the credits. Not only that, but at The End of the game, everyone in the game thanks you, personally, for all that you did for them, assures you that their world is going to be okay, and hopes that your world is as good to you as you've been to them.
  • That Man Is Dead: The Rope Snake has this to say after failing the party a second time:

...The heroic and cool Rope Snake you once knew is dead. In a tiny, quiet voice, I say... So long.

    • In fact, it affects him so much that in the epilogue, he changes his name to Snake Rope to try and forget his old name's association to his failure.
  • Time Abyss: Porky is this, due to his abuse of time travel. He honestly doesn't know how old he is himself, although he suggests he may be 1,000 or 10,000. He's also immortal, and then there's the matter of the Absolutely Safe Capsule, meaning he has double protection he'll remain this.
  • Theme and Variations Soundtrack: A lot of the music in the game is composed of rearrangements of other tracks, most commonly the Love Theme, and the Pigmask Army theme.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The band DCMC plays "King P.'s Theme", and the song "The DCMC Theme" is Duster's theme song.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: This game is the only one in the series that doesn't avert this trope. It is Justified Trope, however, as only a certain amount of people were able to escape the dying world, and at the rate things were going, the people of Tazmily Village would probably die out in several centuries. Porky Minch defies this trope by filling Nowhere Islands with people from different times.
  • Time Skip: Three years between Chapters 3 and 4.
  • To Create a Playground For Evil: The Big Bad's goal.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Tazmily Village, unlike most examples of this trope no one outside of Leder and later Lucas and co. know about the secret
  • Turns Red: Near the end of the second fight with Fassad, his extra musical horns are destroyed, which angers him and causes him to start throwing out Omega-level PSI attacks.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: This game has more Continuity Nods to EarthBound than EarthBound Zero had in the latter two games.
  • Uncommon Time: Due to the Rhythm Game elements, the game likes to throw in songs that are not in 4/4 or 3/4 to throw you off. The most notorious examples of this would be "Strong One" and its Masked Man counterpart, which play in 15/8 and 29/16, respectively.
  • Unique Enemy: There are usually at least two examples of enemies with single spawn points in each chapter, and a few normal enemies like the Fish Roe Man and Negative Man show up in exactly one spot.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: The animals that are turned into chimeras.
  • Utsuge: Yes.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Empire Pork Building, a 100-story-tall tower with SPIKES coming out of its sides. Not to mention a couple of mean-looking fire-breathing dragon statues at the entrance.
  • Wasted Song: How could they only have "The Attic's A Dungeon!?" for a single level? And such a short one, too...
    • Five songs that had been planned to be played in the canceled EarthBound 64. They're sadly only heard from a jukebox that plays in a run down cafe in chapter four that usually ends up being sped by in the Pork Bean.
  • Welcome to Corneria: This being a Mother game, thoroughly averted.
  • Western Zodiac: Zodiac-themed rings are useful defensive accessories.
  • Wham! Episode: Hinawa's death. Claus' apparent death. The Time Skip, and the rise of the Pigmasks. The seven needles and the Dark Dragon. The Big Bad is Porky Minch. Coming back to Tazmily Village To find it almost completely deserted. The Dragon and Final Boss is Claus. This game has a lot of them.
  • Wham! Line: "It was pierced through your wife's heart..."
  • Whatever: This is an actual enemy in the game, and a normal reaction when you see things like this.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Egg of Light, which you spend several chapters chasing and is set up as an incredibly powerful artifact that could stop the Pigmasks. You get it back...and it's never mentioned again.
  • Wheel-O-Feet: Thomas's running animation invokes this.
    • The Love Walker enemy which can be found in the Empire Pork Building is a somewhat literal example.
  • When Trees Attack: The Tree and Tender Loving Tree. True to the grandest of EarthBound traditions, they catch fire and explode when defeated.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: A particularly humorous exchange in Chapter 4.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: Oddly enough, not the only one to use it. The Hippo Launchers were created for Porky's birthday. Hippo Birthday to Porky...
  • You Bastard: If you attack Claus during the final battle enough, Hinawa will tell Lucas to stop, and then a message will appear saying "sobbing sounds can be heard".
    • Killing Negative Man may also qualify. It is one of the least dangerous enemies in the game, actively avoids attacking you, and does not have to be beaten in order to progress. Beating him will only give you 3 experience points... you bastard.
      • Well, he does beg for you to "just end it all" in battle. Which is actually pretty depressing. But, eh, quirky enemy with humor through Schadenfreude.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The Pigmask army manages to claim three of the seven Needles—although on one of them, the party had firm grasp of the Idiot Ball (Tanetane Island -- dammit, Lucas, the needle was right next to you, and the bad guys took almost five minutes to arrive, fanfare, red carpet and all!).
  1. If one heads left after entering New Pork City, there's a person there who says some of the reconstructed are still tame.
  2. you can use PK Flash, but it will be harder unless you get lucky