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A Namco developer pitched an EarthBound game for the GameCube

My favorite chubby boy Ness, but made with felt

A house and boy made out of felt. Yasuyuki Honne
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Yasuyuki Honne, a developer and board member at Nintendo-owned studio Monolith Soft, revealed that Nintendo considered making an EarthBound game for GameCube with Namco. Honne shared the story on Twitter in advance of a forthcoming book on the life of the late Satoru Iwata will be published later this year.

Honne told a story about meeting Iwata, the former president of Nintendo, and Shigesato Itoi, the original designer of EarthBound, to discuss the game. According to a translation from Nintendo Everything, Honne wrote that, “Itoi-san didn’t seem very interested; he felt it was a little strange.”

Nintendo never picked up the game, but now we get to see the proposed concept for the game. The art resembles Yoshi’s Woolly World. The characters, and the environments, are made with felt. The image includes a felt-made Ness.

A lady made of felt holding a two shopping bags in each hand.
An enemy in the proposed EarthBound game.
Yasuyuki Honne

Mother — also known as EarthBound in North America — is a retro video game franchise that first came to the Famicom in 1989 with the game Mother. Nintendo released a sequel, Mother 2, for the Super Famicom in 1994, which came to North America as EarthBound. Nintendo later released the original Mother as EarthBound Beginnings in 2015 for the Wii U Virtual Console.

As far franchises are concerned, Mother has had a rough go with multiple projects. It was supposed to get an entry on Nintendo 64, but then Nintendo canceled the project mid-development. Years later, Nintendo published a third Mother game, titled, Mother 3, for the Game Boy Advance. Mother 3 ignites fervor to this day, because Nintendo never localized it for North America.

Nintendo, if you’re reading this, please localize Mother 3. We never got the GameCube game, but it’s not too late to give us the GBA game.

The next level of puzzles.

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