Earthbound 64

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Name: Earthbound 64
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Systems: SNE, then 64DD, then N64
Due date: 1996, March 1997, then March 1998, then Q4 1999, then May 2000

Earthbound 64, known as Mother 3 in Japan, was a cancelled SNES, 64DD, and Nintendo 64 game by HAL Laboratory.
The game was developed for the SNES, then the doomed Nintendo 64DD, and then the Nintendo 64.

Plot

Earthbound 64 revolved around a family: Flint the father, Ryuka and Krause the sons, and Boney the dog.
You play as Flint, who must protect the family and the village from something in the forest.
The invasion of the Pigmask Army may have had something to do with it.

The thing in the forest that possibly caused the death of the matriarch of the family, Hinawa.
As you progress through the twelve chapters you take control of twelve different characters.

Earthbound 64 was to take place ten years after the original Earthbound.
The twelve chapters span the course of ten years in-game.
The majority of the game would take place in Tazmily Village, which changes appearance as you advance the story.

Gameplay

Earthbound 64 was a third-person game with random encounters.
If a party members were to faint in combat they would become ghosts once unconscious, like the previous games.

The 64DD version was going to have a real-time clock and disk storage.
The N64 was to use the Rumble Pak for the battle scenes but that was scrapped due to making the controller a vibrator.

Development

Mother 3 started off as a SNES title in 1994. Then the Nintendo 64 dawned in 1996.
When the Nintendo 64DD was launched, Shigeru Miyamoto shifted development to the 64DD.

When the 64DD proved not to be a success, Miyamoto scaled back production to a N64 32MB cartridge.
By then two years had passed.

Development was slow due to the development team being inexperienced with 3D games.
The Nintendo 64 was tricky to code for.
As a result the game suffered delay after delay.

Cancellation

Earthbound 64 was cancelled in mid-2000 for financial reasons.
The game had been in development for many years and needed another two years of work.
When the GameCube was announced, HAL Laboratory shifted focus to the new console.

On August 21st 2000, Shigesato Itoi, game director, confirmed the cancellation of Earthbound 64.
The project was revived in 2003 after the release of Mother 1+2 for the GBA.
In 2006 Mother 3 was released on the Game Boy Advance but only for Japan.

Timeline:

  • 1994: development begins for the SNES.
  • 1996: development shifts to the N64.
  • 1998: development shifts to the 64DD.
  • 1999: development shifts back to the N64.
  • 1999: a demo is shown at Nintendo Space World to positive reception.
  • 2000: cancellation confirmed by Shigesato Itoi, game director.
  • 2006: game is remade as Mother 3 for the GBA.

Prototype

Prototype copies of Earthbound 64 exists.
Brendan Sechter, playtester for Mother 3 for the GBA, confirmed that he has played it.
One prototype is currently in a vault in Nintendo, unlikely to ever see the light of day.

Videos

Beta64.

Spaceworld 1996 trailer.

E3 1998 trailer.

Spaceworld 1999 trailer.

Gameplay.

Gallery

External Links