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->No crying until the end.[[labelnote:(Japanese)]]エンディングまで泣くんじゃない。 (Endingu made nakun ja nai.)[[/labelnote]]
-->--'''''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}''''', {{tag line}}

''For the first game in the trilogy, which shares the name, [[VideoGame/{{MOTHER 1}} go here]].''

''MOTHER'' is an EasternRPG trilogy by Creator/{{Nintendo}}, the brainchild of Japanese writer and media personality ShigesatoItoi as a personal experiment in the ability of the video game medium to tell a story. Yep, it's an auteur-directed game series, and one of the first of its kind, too. It was named for the Music/JohnLennon song "Mother", of whom Itoi is a large fan, and is subject to quite a lot of {{Title Drop}}s.

The games are known for their [[WidgetSeries strange sense of humor]], simple yet subtly detailed cartoonish style, [[GenreDeconstruction deconstructive approach]] to its genre and medium, [[{{Eagleland}} bizarre near-parodical interpretation of America]] from the perspective of a foreigner exposed to it only through American TV and cinema, and for their [[TearJerker sad]] and even [[NightmareFuel terrifying]] moments. The series as a whole is a chronic victim of NoExportForYou, and while it is rather famous now, that may be more related to, or at least instigated by, its continued presence in the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series.

[[SimilarlyNamedWorks Completely unrelated to]] the comedy starring Albert Brooks and Debbie Reynolds.

! The series consists of the following titles:
[[index]]
* '''''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}''''' (1989, {{Famicom}}): The series' debut, telling the story of Ninten as he works to uncover his family's connections to an impending alien invasion. [[NoExportForYou Wasn't released outside Japan]], but a prototypical English version, widely called ''"[=EarthBound=] [[SequelNumberSnarl Zero]]"'', was discovered in the late 1990s.
* '''''VideoGame/EarthBound'''''[[note]]aka '''''MOTHER 2: [[RevengeOfTheSequel Gyiyg Strikes Back]][[/note]]''''' (1994/1995, SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem): The series' only official international release and thus the one everyone knows. The star is Ness, one of the four chosen heroes to combat Giygas and his impending destruction of the universe.
* '''''MOTHER 1+2''''' (2003, GameBoyAdvance): A CompilationRerelease of ''MOTHER'' and ''[=EarthBound=]'', [[NoExportForYou released exclusively in Japan]] to promote the release of ''VideoGame/MOTHER3'', and notably incorporating all the modifications of the ''[=EarthBound Zero=]'' prototype. Also has a FanTranslation by the same translator who translated ''MOTHER 3''; however, only ''VideoGame/MOTHER1'' was translated, as the translator found that translating ''[[VideoGame/EarthBound MOTHER 2]]'' beyond a basic menu translation was too time-consuming, and, because of its [[PortingDisaster lesser quality (mainly the sound)]], was not worth the effort. [[index]]
* '''''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}''''' (2006, GameBoyAdvance): The series' apparent GrandFinale, featuring a wide EnsembleCast headed by Lucas, a timid child promoted to investigate the slow corruption of his home island. Again, [[NoExportForYou only released in Japan]], but is the subject of a particularly famous and polished FanTranslation.
[[/index]]

!!The ''MOTHER'' trilogy as a whole contains examples of:
* ActionBomb: The [[WhenTreesAttack Territorial Oak]] burst into flames!
** All three games feature an exploding robot enemy that can fully heal itself or its allies. In two variants. With one type appearing in TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon.
* AffectionateParody: Of ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'', which is natural seeing as that is the game that inspired Itoi to dabble in game-writing. However, ''VideoGame/{{EarthBound}}'''s battle system drifts away from the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' clone that is the original.
* AlienInvasion: The galactic conqueror, Giygas.
* TheAllAmericanBoy: Ninten and Ness.
* ArcWords: Even though it is stated only in ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 1}}'', it can relate to all three:
--> [[TearJerker ''No crying until the end.'']]
* ArtStyleDissonance: The ''MOTHER'' trilogy is a prime example of this.
* BetterThanABareBulb: Considering how many RPG cliches it pokes fun at, are you surprised?
* BigBad: Giygas and [[spoiler:Porky]] for the whole series. In fact, these two are what connect each game to each other: Giygas's defeat in the first game drove him insane and turned him into the monster who we see in the second, and [[spoiler:Porky's manipulations and time travel abuse both make him a recurring antagonist in the second game and the main villain of the third.]]
* BookEnds: A quite brilliant one in fact. The major one you find is ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'''s title logo, which starts off with a half-wooden and half-chrome design. When the game finally ends, the logo is back to all wooden, with a Earth instead of the chrome O. This is the logo to ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 1}}''.
** ''Mother'' and ''[=EarthBound=]'' are opposite numbers in terms of their endings. In the original, Magicant is a figurative representation of Ninten's mother, restoring his HP and providing a safe haven at the cost of halting the game's progression; indeed, it gets easier to visit Magicant (via a WarpWhistle item), while getting back "on-track" becomes increasingly harder since Magicant's exit spits you back out at the game's starting point, [[BeingJohnMalkovich like John Cusak flopping into a ditch on the New Jersey Turnpike]]. Eventually, Ninten accepts his destiny and Magicant vanishes for good. However, in ''[=EarthBound=]'', the PlayableEpilogue is a one-way track leading back home; Giygas' minions are all gone, you can guide Ness around the world for as long as you please -- but it'll get gets boring. There are no new places to explore and nothing left to do but return to Ness' house in Onett.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: The fourth wall is [[SlidingScaleOfFourthWallHardness a bit soft]] in this series.
* CircleOfFriendship[=/=]ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: In each game, the FinalBoss (PostFinalBoss in the third game) cannot be defeated by conventional means.
* CombinedEnergyAttack: The way to defeat Giygas.
* ComingOfAgeStory[=/=]InnocenceLost: Unquestionably so when it comes to the whole trilogy.
* CoolPeopleRebelAgainstAuthority
* CrapsackWorld: Holy cow is it ever! It can even be considered the epitome of this trope, along with...
** CrapsaccharineWorld
* DefeatMeansFriendship: So, so many bosses. Teddy, Frank, Everdred, Carpainter, Monotoli, etc. Justified with a couple of them in that they were BrainwashedAndCrazy, and defeat snapped them out of it.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: A singing monkey gives you a part of a MacGuffin in ''MOTHER''. Later, you get to go in a cave full of monkeys. A majority of them lie to you.
** Salsa, a chimpanzee, is a prominent character and GuestStarPartyMember in ''MOTHER 3''.
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: Zombie mooks pop up time to time. In ''MOTHER'', you see them the early graveyard section of the game and Rosemary Manor. ''VideoGame/{{EarthBound}}'''s Threed has been completely overwhelmed by zombies, trapping them in a perpetual George Romero movie. In ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'', the cemetery north of Tazmily Village when you take control of Duster in Chapter 2 comes up with some as well.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Your first two enemies in ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 1}}'' are a desk lamp and a doll. [[UpToEleven It just gets more off-the-wall from there]].
* FantasyCounterpartCulture
** {{Eagleland}}: Rural America in ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 1}}'', and Eagleland in ''VideoGame/{{EarthBound}}''.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In ''VideoGame/MOTHER1'', visit a certain denizen of Magicant and take his philosophy about happiness into account:
-->''"Happiness won't just walk into your life on its own, but neither will unhappiness. So if you don't want trouble in your life, then you'd best stay still and never move a muscle."''
** [[spoiler: This eventually becomes Porky's [[FateWorseThanDeath ultimate fate]] in ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'', [[AndIMustScream doomed to be isolated from the world in an indestructible capsule for millennia until the end of mankind]]]].
* FreeRangeChildren
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Two examples, both roughly of the same age when they begin their descent: Giygas, originally an infant alien who expressed curiosity about his human co-passengers, to the literal embodiment of all evil; and [[spoiler:Porky]], a comic relief character who is chosen to be Giygas' representative on Earth. [[spoiler:Porky]] turns out to be the most sadistic character in the series.
* GenreDeconstruction: ''MOTHER'' is Itoi's meditation on what games are, why they are fun, and the logistics of applying JRPG logic to the real world. For example: Who designs dungeons? And why do people instinctively know to loot them? (Admittedly, the series' mythos got a little deeper with each game.)
* GirlNextDoor: Ana, Tracy, and Paula.
* GottaCatchEmAll: The Eight Melodies in ''MOTHER'' and ''[=EarthBound=]''. In ''MOTHER 3'', Lucas is in a race to stop all Seven Needles from being uprooted [[spoiler:(or, when failure there becomes inevitable, make sure that he's the one that pulls them)]].
* HelloInsertNameHere: A prominent example, as this feature is used to name the game's most powerful attack ''and'' the food your mother gives you to eat every time you see her.
** Not to mention the name of your dog, the friends that you will make along the path of your journey, and the um... "flavor" of the text boxes.
** And you are able to give your own name as well as that of the main group. This can easily put the insanity of [[spoiler:Giygas]] into perspective should you name yourself or Ness after him.
* KidsAreCruel/[[ChildrenAreInnocent Kids Are Innocent]]: A major theme explored in the games.
* KidsVersusAdults: Some recurring enemies are adults who have been corrupted by evil forces.
* MagicByAnyOtherName: [[PsychicPowers PSI]] is pretty much the game's magic.
* MayorPain: Podunk's [[AllThereInTheManual A. Goodman]] is a Wilkins. Fourside's Gelegarde Monotoli is a malevolent Quimby. [[spoiler:Or so it seems at first]].
** Onett's B.H Pirkle and Tazmily's Pusher are both Quimbys.
* NoExportForYou: Only ''MOTHER 2'' was released in America, under the name ''[=EarthBound=]''. Europe got it even worse, as ''none of the three games'' were ever released there.
** The rerelease of ''[=EarthBound=]'' on the Wii U finally averts this for Europe.
* NowWhereWasIGoingAgain: In the instruction manual, Itoi personally implored gamers to play though ''MOTHER'' at "a leisurely pace." This ended up being [[http://starmen.net/mother1/miscinfo/maps/eb0map_small.png pretty redundant]].
* OurTimeTravelIsDifferent: Ness' party travels to Giygas' lair, a cavern at the center of the Earth teeming with plant life, but it's otherwise empty. They deduce that Giygas is attacking from the distant past, and use Dr. Andonuts' [[TimeTravel phase distorter]] to send them there.
** [[spoiler:After disappearing at ''[=EarthBound=]'''s climax, Porky got lost in extensive time travel abuse, to the point where by the time of ''MOTHER 3'', it's warped him to be an immortal old man with the mind of a child.]]
* ThePinIsMightierThanTheSword: The Franklin Badge, which reflects electrical attacks back at the opponent. PlayedForDrama in ''Mother 3'', when [[spoiler:Claus intentionally commits suicide]] by shooting lightning at Lucas.
* PoliceAreUseless
** PoliceBrutality: In ''[=EarthBound=]'', the cops attack Ness just because he refused to read the "DO NOT ENTER" sign at the traveller's shack leading to Giant Step, despite the fact that he clearly received the shack's keys from the equally incompetent MayorPain B.H. Pirkle.
* PowerpuffGirlHands: Nearly to all characters in the trilogy have this, even if they are sprites.
* ThePowerOfRock: Ninten's mission to reassemble the song of Queen Mary, the only weapon against Giygas. A similar quest awaits his successor, Ness.
* PsychicPowers: As part of the shifting of the traditional setting of the eastern RPG to the modern era, psychic powers -- or PSI -- act as the analogue of the traditional RPG magic.
* [[SameStoryDifferentNames Same Story, Different Games]]: ''[=EarthBound=]'' shares many plot similarities and musical cues from ''MOTHER'', to the point that some theorize it to be a [[VideogameRemake graphical upgrade]] of the Famicom title.
* SerialEscalation: One of the largest plot points in the second and third games? [[spoiler:How many times can Porky Minch ruin everyone's lives.]] And boy, does it escalate.
* SheatheYourSword: A full-on assault on Giygas/[[spoiler:The Masked Man]] is pointless. To win, you have to eschew violence (the antithesis of every JRPG at the time) and instead appeal to the humanity inside them.
** ScriptedBattle
* StockRPGSpells: PSI covers quite a wide range of these:
** FireIceLightning: PK Fire, PK Thunder, and PK Freeze, the three core offensive PSI always available to TheChick.
** LightEmUp / ConfusionFu: PK Flash, exclusive to Ness and Lucas.
** TeleportersAndTransporters: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Teleport]].
** ManaDrain: PSI-Magnet, exclusive to TheChick. (And Poo).
** WhiteMage: Lifeup, Healing, and Refresh, generally limited to TheHero.
** StandardStatusEffects: Hypnosis, Brainshock, Paralysis.
** StatusBuff: Offence Up, Defence Up, Quick Up, and later Offence Down and Defence Down.
** StatusBuffDispel: Shield-Off, exclusive to Ana.
** BarrierWarrior: [=PSI Shield=], [=Power Shield=], Counter, PSI Counter.
** ThePowerOfRock / {{Kiai}} / ThePowerOfLove: PSI Rockin'[=/=]Kiai or PK Love, Ness or Lucas's [[spoiler:and Claus's]] MacGuffin spells, respectively.
** DishingOutDirt: PK Ground, exclusive to Kumatora.
** StarPower: PK Starstorm, exclusive to Poo and Kumatora.
* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: It's a common theme in the series for the FinalBoss to be defeated in a non-violent way.
* TankGoodness: A rental. In ''MOTHER'', Lloyd shows up in another tank to defeat the second R-series robot.
** Kumatora, Wess, and Salsa face a Pork Tank in ''MOTHER 3''.
* ThemeNaming: Pretty much every location in ''MOTHER'' is named after a holiday. {{Woolseyism}} changed these names because the translator thought they were silly.
** Eagleland's towns are named Onett, Twoson, Threed, and Fourside. The seasonal theme continues in Winters and Summers.
* TragicVillain: Giegue/Giygas.
** [[spoiler:Porky]] too, believe it or not.
* TrueCompanions: Every single game's party consists of four friends, and all of them are fine examples of this.
* TwoPartTrilogy: 21 year gap notwithstanding, Itoi intentionally went in a new direction with ''MOTHER 3'', shrewdly realizing that fans would [[UnpleasableFanbase complain either way]].
** Most international fans of the series see the second and third games as their own TwoPartTrilogy because of the use of PreExistingEncounters, DamageOverTime, and [[spoiler:Porky Minch]]. It certainly helps that the first game isn't as popular internationally and the SequelHook added in its {{Updated Rerelease}}s doesn't actually lead into either of its sequels.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: Mt. Itoi in the first game, the Cave of the Past in the second, and the [[spoiler:Empire Porky Building, specifically its basement]], in the third.
* VileVillainSaccharineShow: Giygas and [[spoiler:Porky]] are the core reasons the series is so dark. When they aren't involved, the games are much, ''much'' lighter.
* WhatTheHellHero: Accepting a drink from a woman in a Rock and Roll club in the game will cause a cop to show up, chastise Ninten for drinking under age, and arrest him.
* WidgetSeries
* WorldOfWeirdness: The entire premise.
* XMeetsY: [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]] calls it "''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' crossed with CthulhuMythos". Itoi conceived the series as a whole as "''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' in the modern era, except done better".
* YinYangClash: Just as Ninten and Ness are all about the melody, the main antagonists of ''MOTHER'' accordingly have dissonant theme music. (Incidentally, this is the first hint that [[spoiler:Porky]] is going to be trouble.) Giygas has no melody at all, only an [[HellIsThatNoise incessant, high-pitched ring]].
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