Video Game: Mother 4
Don't be nervous, you can do it!
— TaglineShortly after the release of MOTHER 3 in 2006, Shigesato Itoi revealed that there would not be a successor. Instead, he openly welcomed other people to contribute to the series, stating that he'd rather be the player this time. Cue the undying determination of the fanbase...MOTHER 4 is a fan-made game continuing the MOTHER saga, in development by Azure Studios. It started development in 2009 and has gained recognition as one of the most ambitious fan-game projects ever.The game will mainly take place in Pleiades, following a young boy named Travis, the leader of a biker gang named Leo, a fortune-telling girl named Meryl, and a charming boy named Floyd. An enigmatic group known as the Modern Men have shown up, and the mysteries surrounding them only continue to pile up...Overall, the gameplay so far seems to stay true to the Mother experience, with a few minor tweaks. Notably, while it is generally turn based, with you selecting the characters actions before the battle phase and having them play out accordingly, there's also an addition of a cool-down system. During the battle phase, the characters status bars will slowly fill up with each successful attack and combo attack they do, and if the status bar fills up completely during it, they will be able to preform an additional attack during it, allowing for more strategy than the past games.For more information, including character profiles, screenshots, and samples of the soundtrack, go here. A teaser trailer can be found here. A gameplay trailer can be viewed here. The game was slated for a late 2014 release, but was pushed back to sometime in 2015. The current hoped release time is this summer, with the Dev team aiming for a June release date.
This work contains examples of the following tropes:
- Ambiguous Time Period: Similar to MOTHER 1 and EarthBound, the game is said to take place in 197X. Though it's left to the player's imagination if this is set before or after the Dark Dragon recreates the world in MOTHER 3.
- Action Commands: The rhythm-based combo system for MOTHER 3 makes a comeback.
- Animate Inanimate Object: From an Autumn Leaf to mops with eyes and arms to the standard evil mushrooms known in nearly all MOTHER games.
- Art Evolution:
- Attack Reflector: When equipped with a bat, Travis has a random chance to hit enemies' projectiles back at them.
- Befriending the Enemy: One of the effects of Floyd's "Talk" command can lead to enemies wasting turns by chatting with him.
- The Bus Came Back: Mostly elements from MOTHER 1, such as PK Beam, the gamebreakingly sweet 4th-D slip remastered, and Telepathy. We also see the return of three PSI users like EarthBound with the Muggle getting their own special ability to use in combat.
- Celestial Body: The Modern Mind enemy has a sun for a head, and has stars dotted throughout its humanoid form.
- The City: The developers have stated that they have a Fourside equivalent.
- Cool Bike: Leo has motorcycle you can actually ride in-game, much like Ness could with a regular bicycle in EarthBound.
- Darker and Edgier:
- It's been stated that this game will be darker than MOTHER 3. And considering how dark that game was...
- It was later stated in a Q&A that the story will mainly have a tone similar to Mother 1 which was more subtlety dark than Mother 3.
- The teaser trailer has disturbing music. It starts calm and with people laughing in the background, and slowly gets louder and more ominous and the people in the background keep laughing, with the laughter turning into screaming laughs in the manner of a maniac, then ending off with a music tone that is creepy and foreboding.
- Delinquents: Fitting of the games 'idealized' America setting, Leo and his biker gang are based off of the '50s greasers, right down to the leather jackets and greaser style hair.
- Desperation Attack: A new element called the "Final Stand" feature will be used, causing a character's stats to dramatically increase while their health is rolling down toward zero. Similarly, when your psychic points are rolling down you can still use PSI for a cost as high as the number the meter indicates as it slowly decreases.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Possibly hinted as the Modern Men's goal, as the Earth (similar to the mechanized planet in MOTHER 3's logo) features a teardrop, as if being drained or leaking out of the Earth itself.
- Extra Turn: When it fills, the "GROOVY!" meter allows a character to immediately take an extra turn. Doing damage and eating food increases it, while suffering damage, status effects, and bad food lowers it.
- Fan Sequel: Quite possibly one of the most promising ones on the internet. Not only does the overall style stay faithful to the Mother series as a whole (the sprites taking cue from MOTHER 3, but being set more in EarthBound's and MOTHER 1's 'modern' urban setting), but even the music doesn't sound far off from something that would be made for an 'official' Mother game.
- Foreshadowing: During the game, there's a scene where Travis in his pajamas walks across a bridge, only to see an odd green object floating rather haphazardly through the starry sky... Only time will tell if it's anything significant.
- In-Universe Game Clock: Time passes between day and night (if you so choose it) when staying in a hotel, with a number of different tasks and events available only at certain times of the day, or with specific character combinations.
- Leitmotif: As in MOTHER 3, every one has their own battle sound effects. Unlike the 3rd game, they have their own level up jingles as well. See Variable Mix below.
- Musical Nod: They've remixed the MOTHER title theme, "Humoresque of a Little Dog" (and called it "Dog Humor"), the hotel theme from MOTHER 2, and the Yado Hotel's theme from MOTHER 3. They've also combined and remixed "Battle Against a Dangerous Foe" (from MOTHER 1) and "Sanctuary Guardian" (from EarthBound). "Dog Humor" also contains a tiny nod to "Because I Love You" (AKA Fourside's theme) from EarthBound (which is really a nod to the Super Smash Bros. Brawl version of "Humoresque of a Little Dog.") And it probably doesn't stop there.
- Non-Lethal K.O.: Unlike previous MOTHER games, characters who get KO'd in combat don't become ghosts. Rather, they're dragged along the ground while passed out behind the current conscious party members.
- Original Flavour: You'd swear it was an official MOTHER game if you didn't know it was made by fans. It's even apparent with the music. For example, "The Green Run" sounds just like the Onett theme, right down to the instrumentation, the beginning bass line, and the trumpet duets.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: A given, considering how the Mother series has odd enemies abound. The current crowner though seems to be this odd yellow vase shaped... things with green tongues and eye stalks. The trailer showing them off said you can 'run from these things', which seems to imply they may be a very powerful enemy.
- Poison Mushroom: Eating nasty food will decrease a character's "GROOVY!" meter, rather than increase it.
- Power-Up Food: The ultimate vitamin. Having a character take it in battle gives them guaranteed Critical Hits on their turn, including all the combos in their combo attack!
- Psychic Powers: But of course, seeing as it's an EarthBound/MOTHER fangame.
- Retraux: Shares the overall GBA design of MOTHER 3, with a few minor graphical updates. Averted with the music though, which uses a completely original sound font that sounds way more advanced than anything the GBA or SNES could do. (Outside of the below example, of course.)
- Sampling: One of the battle themes samples several sounds from EarthBound. Fittingly, the theme's name is "Battle Against a Familiar Foe".
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: One of the effects of Floyd's "Talk" command, he bribes the enemy to take some of the party's own cash and make them leave the battle.
- Shout-Out: The Modern Mind's design◊ seems to be directly based on the poster◊ for The Thing.
- Slice of Life: Emphasis is being placed on character relationships and interactivity with towns and cities beyond using them as a means to continue your adventure.
- Smoking Is Cool: Presumably Leo. Seen in the video link above, Leo is a smoker. And given the nature of most playable characters in the Mother series, if there will be smoking, then they'll look cool doing it.
- Talking Animal: Like past MOTHER games, the trailer shows you can talk to animals like dogs.
- Trauma Inn: Hotels return to serve this purpose. Stay in a low-quality hotel, however, and you might get bitten by a mosquito and not regain all of your HP.
- Variable Mix: Instead of a singular level up jingle like the other three Mother titles, every character will level up with their own leitmotif (Travis's is a retooled version of the original level up tune). These will seamlessly overlap with one another when two or more characters level simultaneously.
Another stray maybe? Let's be pals.