Shortly after the release of Mother 3 in 2006, Shigesato Itoi revealed that there would not be a successor. Instead, he encouraged future creators to develop games in the same spirit he had when creating Mother.
Oddity is a game continuing the spirit of the Mother saga, in development by Azure Studios. Initially planned as a full-blown Fan Sequel to Mother 3 under the title of Mother 4, the game has since become a Spiritual Successor.
The game takes place in Pleiades in the year 197X, 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 additions from other popular RPGs. In addition to keeping Mother's famous scrolling HP mechanics, Oddity also includes an Action Command system a-la Paper Mario, ranging from standard button timing prompts to charge meter mechanics for VOX. Additionally, there appears to be something akin to a Team Attack system like that of the Persona franchise.
Development for Oddity had been pretty bumpy. Under the name Mother 4, the game gained recognition as one of the most ambitious fangame projects. It was slated for a late 2014 release but was pushed back to 2016. The team had aimed for release in June of 2015, but stated then that, due to needing help, they will not be announcing any more prospective release dates until the game is finished to be fair to people waiting. On March 1, 2017, the dev team announced that the game would rebrand itself into an original IP, as to not encounter the legal issues faced by other Nintendo fan games. This was done via an AMA on Reddit which can be found here. Notable changes included removing the series mascot Mr. Saturn, changing the user interface to less directly resemble the Mother games, and replacing the series staple Psychic Powers with an original power called VOX.
On January 2nd, 2020, the dev team released a trailer for the game under its new title, with a release date of "when it's ready."
For more information, including character profiles, screenshots, and samples of the soundtrack, go here (still carrying the Mother 4 name).
This work contains examples of the following tropes:
- Art Evolution:
- Compare the early screenshot of Travis (formerly named Chase) on his porch◊ to this newer one◊.
- A timeline of sprites as the project went on.◊ note
- They've also been taking in fan feedback from the trailers released for the game in regards to certain areas. An example is the hotels, which look far plusher than they did in the trailers. They've also given the caves a more natural coloring to them.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: The Modern Mind wears a suit that's dotted with stars, similar to a cosmic body. In a gameplay trailer, he's shown to be still going strong, while the main party have severely depleted HP and PP. He's only defeated by one of his own attacks, which Travis hits back at him.
- Bears Are Bad News: In the Attract Mode trailer, the party encounters a grizzly bear atop of some railroad tracks, which no doubt leads into a battle.
- Delinquent Hair: In keeping with the Greasers tradition, Leo and possibly his biker gang have pompadours. In the Attract Mode trailer, at least one other biker was shown with a pompadour. Two enemies, the Punk Assassin and Punk Enforcer, wear mohawks.
- Derivative Differentiation:
- When it started life as Mother 4, the combat mostly remained the same right down to the UI, with the only major addition being the Groovey system. Come the rebranding trailer, there's already a host of new features not seen in the Mother series. While battles are still the same first person with trippy backgrounds and the famous scrolling HP has been kept, the UI has been reworked and now features back sprites of the characters when preforming actions in battle, there is an Action Command system similar to Paper Mario for attacks and there appears to be a Persona-esque team attack system.
- Fungus Humongous: In one of the teaser gifs they posted, they showed off an area with mushrooms that are almost as big as Travis himself.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Zack's pre-2012 sprites used to depict him with dirty blond hair. Floyd is another example, being previously depicted with dirty blond hair before it's changed to a bright golden-yellow.
- Meaningful Name: Leo's name is latin for "lion", which indicates a noble and heroic character (despite him being a biker and gang leader).
- Mundane Utility: In the video showing the WIP attract mode, at 0:56 Leo can be seen using PK Fire to light a cigarette, apparently as an Idle Animation.
- Red Is Heroic: Leo, one of the main characters, was featured on the official Mother 4 website with a red background, though his shady background as a criminal and gang leader makes him an Anti-Hero. The rebrand trailer also features him with a red background.
- Don't be nervous, you can do it!