These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Accidental Innuendo: Lucas in the hot spring with Ionia, the Magypsy. Because it cuts to black, and Ionia says things like "Don't struggle" and "Just endure it for a little bit", it can be interpreted the wrong way. Although given the game's darker and more mature themes, the symbolism of a fever awakening inside you might very well be intentional.
The near-constant references to "pulling [the Magypsies] needles" in the third act can come off this way to a sufficiently dirty mind.
Anvilicious/Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Mother 3 is many things, but one thing it is not is subtle. Fans will assert however, that the messages are valid and important, and without them the game would lose a lot of its charm and impact.
Captain Obvious Reveal: Many players catch on to the foreshadowing regarding the fact that the Masked Man is Claus. Yet the final battle still impacts many players, regardless if they caught on to The Reveal. Same goes for Porky, especially if you've played EarthBound beforehand. To be fair, the creator mentioned he would be in the game way before it actually got published.
This may have affected the game's stance in future material. Lucas ended up being Demoted to Extra as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U, alongside the other Mother 3 trophies that managed to return from Brawl. Most of the rest of the series' representation in that game is only focused on the first two games.
Draco in Leather Pants: Porky Minch is this all over, along with his chimeras. Good lord, the fangirls. Some people make New Pork City look like a real utopia!
Players may also say that Porky is a Love to Hate villain on the side.
Lil' Miss Marshmallow also fits this to a T. Had it not been for the existence of her Berserk Button over her Master's Friend's Yo-Yo (Ness' that is), she would have come across as a good-natured or at least sympathetic character! It also helps that a good number of fanfiction depicts her as a Type-II Anti Villain or even a Minion with an F in Evil thanks to her abusive master!
Ensemble Darkhorse: There's a pretty large fanbase for Kumatora. That's not to say Paula is unpopular either, but Kumatora tends to be the most beloved of the girls. The feisty attitude and frequent use of mild swearing help to set her apart.
In hindsight, some fans believe she would have made a better representative in Brawl, considering that most of Lucas's attacks including the Final Smash of PK Starstorm weren't even his, but directly lifted from her moveset and given to him. Some even hoped she'd replace him for the fourth game.
Game Breaker: Kumatora's PK Ground, which dishes out several hits of 2-13% of an enemy's HP and can cause them to trip and a lose a couple turns. This attack works on bosses. She doesn't learn it until level 60, but once she does the rest of the game becomes pathetically easy.
It's easy to beat the game before Kumatora reaches level 60. It breaks the game, but it's still difficult to acquire. Even intentionally trying to get it, the player is unlikely to have much use for it in the final few dungeons, which are more lengthy than challenging.
There's a reason Salsa never returns to the party after his brief reappearance in Chapter 7: his Monkey Mimic ability becomes a little too effective the closer you get to the end.
Eggs, which you can buy from the start of Chapter 4 for only 40 DP, are this on two levels:
You can take them to the local Hot Spring and turn them into a Hot Spring Egg, which heals 100 HP and will never spoil. Repeat this enough, and you'll have more high-end healing items than you'll know what to do with.
You can keep them until they hatch into chicks and grow into chickens, then sell them for 200 DP (five times what an egg costs). Repeat this enough, and you can have more than enough money to last you through the entire game!
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Funnily enough, this game is far more universally praised internationally than in Japan. See the Contested Sequel entry above. Also, the international fanbase of the series in general is constantly growing with younger fans who weren't even alive when the first two games came out, in no small part due to Ness's and Lucas's inclusion in Super Smash Bros. games. By contrast, Japanese fans of the series aren't really united into a fanbase and mostly consists of people who remember the games from when they were originally released. International fans often assume that the series has a fanbase in Japan comparable to theirs, but this is not the case.
Goddamned Bats: The Cleocatras at the beginning of Chapter 7, especially when they attack in groups. They have an annoying tendency to use Lifeup both on themselves and each other to heal of any damage done to them at all, and they have the ability to cast Hypnosis.
Ho Yay: While underwater, you must fill up on oxygen by kissing robot O2 tanks who look like middle aged mermen wearing bright red lipstick. It makes Lucas, Kumatora, and Boney blush. Duster blushes too, but it's difficult to see due to his sprite's cheek marks being only a single pixel big. In the last level there's a similar looking centaur that offers oxygen above water for no reason.
One of the Pigmasks comments that he kind of likes them, disturbing his comrade.
There's something fishy about how exactly Ionia showed Lucas how to use PSI, also.
There's also a Pigmask who nervously offers you an item when you're dressed as "the Commander" and insists it's just a friendly gift.
I Knew It: Fans were able to guess the basic plot of this game years before it was released. On the one hand, this is impressive, as they had nothing but a few screenshots to work with, but on the other, they did have over five years to work it out.
Iron Woobie: Lucas's entire journey is about growing into one of these. It says a lot somebody when, even after losing half their family in some of the most tragic ways imaginable, they still have it in them to make a decision that determines the fate of the world.
Les Yay: One village girl early in the game mistakes Kumatora for an attractive boy. Granted, it only happens once.
Magnum Opus: This game is considered to be Shigesato Itoi's greatest work... outside of Japan. In Japan however, it's simply another thing he's done.
Flash forward to the E3 2014 digital event, and we have the gem of Reggie Fils-Aime roasting a fan complaining about this game's No Export for You with a Fire Flower.
Mis-blamed: Nintendo often gets railed at by fans for not releasing this game in America and the rest of the world. Except the game is a landmine of licensing issues, from the direct AC-DC parody to riffs from popular shows. Additionally, it was released near the end of the Advance's lifespan, and sales in Japan were somewhat lackluster.note This game was released in 2006. The Nintendo DS was released in 2004, and by 2006 had already established itself on the international markets, with stores beginning to phase out Game Boy Advance titles as early as late 2005. Not to mention the fact that EarthBound itself was a commercial failure at the time, which likely soured any attempt made. This doesn't stop the fans though, including one memorable instance where Yahtzee himself claimed it would sell better than Mario Kart.
In Chapter 1, In a series built around the protagonist usually having a close relationship with their mother during their adventure, it goes against the series expectations that Hinawa, Lucas's mother, is killed very violently.
You then play the first chapter as Hinawa's husband, Flint. Upon finding out about her death, he goes into a terrifyingHeroic BSOD, lashing out at other people in the village until he has to be knocked unconscious in order to be subdued. You then get the lovely experience of becoming Tazmily Jail's first prisoner.
Claus, Lucas's twin brother, then goes out into the mountains to try and avenge Hinawa. He fails.
As it turns out, the animal responsible for killing Hinawa was a Drago, a perfectly harmless creature Lucas used to be friends with. It's been "reconstructed" by a strange group of men wearing pig masks, making it aggressive and mindless.
Oh, and who's in charge of all these Pigmasks? Why, Porky Minch, naturally.
In Chapter 2, you play as a thief named Duster. And, let's just say, his father is not very satisfied by his thieving abilities.
In Chapter 3, you play as a monkey named Salsa. He's getting routinely abused by a member of the Pigmask army named Fassad. He spends the chapter being forced to help them with their evil deeds, since his girlfriend is being held captive for leverage.
Then, at the end of the chapter, when the DCMC sing their goodbyes to "Lucky". It's for the greater good, but you'll feel really terrible for finally getting your last party member.
Chapter 6. Lucas chases Hinawa's ghost through a field of sunflowers, which are associated with her. It ends with you essentially making Lucas attempt suicide.
In Chapter 7, you find out about these Plot Coupons called the Seven Needles. Only Lucas and the commander of the Pigmask army, The Masked Man, are capable of pulling them. If Lucas pulls them, the world will be reborn anew and everything will be good and pure. If the Masked Man pulls them, the world will cease to exist.
And, in that chapter, you manage to only pull three. The enemy ends up getting the rest of them.
Hey, remember that Masked Man guy? The one whose been pulling all the other needles and striking you down at any given opportunity, hellbent on bringing the world to an end? It's Claus. Lucas's brother.
The Barrier Trio/Miracle Fassad/Men's Room Sign used PK Starstorm!
The Masked Man used PK Love Omega!
The Pig King Statue is quite possibly the very embodiment of this trope, with all of its attacks being capable of one hit killing your entire party. The fight is basically finding a way to kill it in one or two turns before it kills you, and there are only two ways to do this.
The Pork Tank, a nasty Wake-Up Call Boss fought when you have two characters under your control.
The Jealous Bass, a Flunky Boss that gets a massive attack buff when you take out its flunkies.
New/Miracle Fassad, for being fond of status effects and being able to heal 500+ HP seemingly at random. Then Miracle Fassad goes One Winged Angel and uses high level PSI attacks...
The Barrier Trio, a group of PSI-immune golems.
The Steel Mechorilla, who Turns Red and becomes nigh-unstoppable if you hit him with electric attacks.
The Masked Man, who hits incredibly hard and has a ton of HP.
The Natural Killer Cyborg, who is huge and extremely tough.
Porky, who hits hard (surprised?) and has an attack that hits your entire party for massive attack and defense debuffs.
That One Sidequest: Feel like completing the Battle Memory? Well, if you're not right at the start of the game, you're screwed. If you are, remember that you need to get back sprites as well. Yes, that means trying to back attack every enemy until you get Duster. If you haven't been turned off the idea yet, let's run down the chapters.
Now, let's start with Chapter 1. A staggering amount of enemies are Lost Forever after you talk to the Magypsies, and one randomly disappears after you get Alec. The section on the GameFAQs guide is full of strange overworld behaviours and rare enemies.
Now for Chapter 2; as well as losing the Gravedigger's Tunnel, many enemies are Lost Forever after certain points in the narrative, but some come back later on, bizarrely. This is especially frustrating because you'll need to come back here later for another boss. Oh yeah, and the Strawberry Slime doesn't have a backsprite, and the Pseudoor can't be turned around, you have to wait for it to Defend to gets its other sprite. The Pseudoor thing also returns for the Clayman and Oh-So-Snake.
Now for Chapter 3, in which almost everything is Lost Forever once you're done. Fortunately, the Big Bro is slow and erratic, making a back attack easy, and there's quite a few mandatory fights.
Chapter 4 lets up a bit, but there's still some Lost Forever in the attic, and you have to fight the other instruments separately to get their back poses. Speaking of back poses, make sure you get some Made-You-Looks, or you're screwed because some enemies can't be back attacked.
Now for Chapter 5, return to Osohe Castle, making sure you get the Squawking Boomstick. Did you miss it? Too bad, because it's going to be replaced by an Underground Monkey soon, even though none of the other enemies are. Now get Lord Passion, also Lost Forever, and look for two hard-to-find enemies on the way. If you haven't given up yet, that's good, because it's going to get easier. None of the enemies on the way to Thunder Tower disappear until the Point of No Return in Chapter 8, but the Bright Smile is hard to find and two enemies look very similar, so don't get them confused. Now get three enemies before fighting the Fierce Pork Trooper, because they're going to be Lost Forever as well. The Mr. Genetor fight ends the chapter, so get everything else, even the hidden Surprise Box. Also, in the Mr. Genetor fight, you have to wait for him to use an attack, so if you did too much level grinding, you have to just defend.
OK, this is where it gets harder (Oh, Crap). Sequence Breaking is available for Chapter 7, but don't do the Mole Cricket Hole before pulling Doria's needle, otherwise you'll miss The Squeekz. Don't worry, you can go back and get the enemies you miss for a while, although backtracking through the Mole Cricket Hole is a pain in the ass. Make sure you get the incredibly well-hidden Frosted Bun, which doesn't always appear and looks like a background object. Keep using Made-You-Looks on mandatory battles, otherwise you're screwed. (Yes, it's very easy to be completely screwed). Now do some backtracking; some enemies are hard to find, while others actively avoid battles. When you get under the sea, you have to find the obscure Fish Roe Man, a Unique Enemy. Now for the biggest dick move of all; Zombieshroom (a Beef Gate) disappears after the mushrooms wear off, and he becomes an Eerie Smile after you eat them, and can even be outright ignored. This is standard fare for Mother 3, but here comes the kicker: you can only get the Eerie Smile by fighting Zombieshroom, not any other enemy (even though they're all Eerie Smiles), meaning that you need to fight Zombieshroom, lose, eat the mushrooms, then fight him again to log the Eerie Smile. Mercifully, neither of them have back sprites.
Still going? OK, good. Now that Zombieshroom is gone, you have to backtrack and get more enemies, which is pretty counter-intuitive; you only saw the enemies as Eerie Smiles, meaning that you have no reason to think that they become separate enemies without the mushrooms. Get the Negative Man (another Unique Enemy) and find the Mystery Metal Monkey (which is one room), and then fight the Masked Man. This is the Point of No Return. If you don't have 150 enemies and are only missing backsprites for two certain enemies (which have only been encountered in event battles up until now), then you're screwed.
Now you need to get 20 before you end the game (oh yeah, and those other two backsprites). This chapter doesn't have much to piss you off, although the Putrid Moldyman can be Lost Forever. Go to the Hippo Pool and get the Hippo Launcher (don't forget) and then get everything. Oh yeah, and when you see the Pigmask Major and Pigmask Colonel, make sure you get the back sprites. If you ran away because you already had their front sprites, you've failed the challenge. The N.K. Cyborg is also a dick, not turning around unless it uses its signature move. There's a battle with PORKY 01 here, and one of the Porky bots summons other enemies (but only one of them). However, it's an event battle, so this is useless for back sprites... unless you get lucky and find an enemy that assumes its back sprite by itself. You should have 166 enemies going into the basement, with two of the remaining enemies being regular enemies Minerali and Fenomeno (so get the back sprites) and the other two simply being Porky himself, the first outside the Absolutely Safe Capsule and the second inside it. After you get both of the Minerali and Fenomeno's sprites and beat Porky, all you have left is to continue through the game and beat the Post Final Boss to get the Bragging Rights Reward.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A large amount of the story from Chapter 4 onwards involves Lucas in some fashion. Unfortunately, due to him assuming the role of a Silent Protagonist after the Time Skip, we're only able to make educated guesses about his side of things. The last two chapters are especially jarring; from Lucas' role in destiny for awakening the Dragon, to him quite clearly having the worst of the Mushroom Samba, and ultimately his thoughts on learning Claus was the Masked Man... we don't see his thoughts on any of it. To see Lucas' character woven much tighter into the game's events than previous MOTHER protagonists but still not have it followed through on... it's a little disappointing.
Tier-Induced Scrappy: Possibly deconstructed with Salsa. Yeah, he's almost totally useless and needs a lot of Level Grinding to stand up to the weakest of enemies without a Crutch Character, but he's so adorable and Fassad puts him through so much that you can't help but want to hug him. Then, he manages to save Lucas and Boney from the Ultimate Chimera, so...
Boney and Duster are virtually superfluous and most players will end up using them simply for bashing the enemy. Duster's status moves are useful on occasion but not overly so.
Duster does have a useful trick or two up his sleeve, but the player can't control them. Sometimes, right at the start of a battle, Duster will react with lightning reflexes to get a free attack in or leap behind the enemy to start the battle to the player's advantage. He even has a chance to reverse situations where enemies sneak up on the party. As mentioned, however, these are not consistent enough to bump Duster from out of this trope.
The Woobie: Lucas. At the start of the game, he's pretty shy and quiet, already making him a bit of a woobie. But then, his mother is killed by a half-mechanical Drago that was acting against its own will, and then his brother Claus goes missing trying to avenge her. His father goes nearly insane with grief, trying to find Claus every single day for three years. But that's not it. After three years, the hometown he loved has now been developed into a modern city, and eventually is completely abandoned. Then, after learning that everything he knew about his beloved hometown is a lie, he learns that the mysterious Pigmask commander is Claus, who is now a Brainwashed and Crazy cyborg. Then comes a tragic "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, which ends with Claus dying in Lucas' arms, after returning to his senses.
Poor little Salsa. First, his girlfriend gets kidnapped by the Pigmasks, and they threaten to kill her if he doesn't go along with their plan. Then, he gets stuck with Fassad, an unrepentant Jerkass who insults, starves, and shocks him at every opportunity, even when Salsa does what Fassad told him to, all throughout Chapter 3. Thankfully, Salsa eventually takes a level in badass, while nearly all of Fassad's future appearances end with him getting maimed.
The Negative Man enemy. It's just absolutely pathetic, rattling off nihilistic quotes, and it barely makes an effort to attack you. It truly makes you feel sorry beating it up in its little cave.
Woolseyism: In the Fan Translation, Yokuba's name was changed to Fassad, possibly in reference to the facade he puts up around the public. Get it? It also happens to be Arabic for "corruption". Also, Kumatora's waitress alter-ego gets named Violet and Duster's name when he's with the DCMC isLucky. The latter, however, was purely due to the fact that in the original, they have different aliases when they are named their aliases, and to keep this in, their aliases were changed, because "Yoshikoshi" and "Tamekichi" were too long to enter into the naming screens.
Averted in the case of Hinawa's name. Tomato almost gave her the name "Amber," which would have fit very well considering she's married to Flint (in Japanese, their names reference "Hinawa-juu" and "Furinto-juu," meaning matchlock and flint guns) but decided to leave that one alone due to Super Smash Bros. Brawl's use of the name.
Similarly, other names like Kumatora are kept, avoiding this trope as well.
The mice in Club Titiboo's attic spoke in an incredibly difficult-to-understand dialect of Japanese in the original game. In the fan translation, it was changed to a similarly-impenetrable Cockney accent.