Mother 3 is making its way to Nintendo Switch Online but only in Japan, and fans are heartbroken

Mother 3 protagonist Lucas in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo’s cult classic Game Boy Advance (GBA) role-playing game Mother 3 is being released via the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription service exclusively in Japan, and those still hoping for an English release are heartbroken. 

For the uninitiated, Mother 3 first launched back in 2006 on the GBA, and is the third Mother game after the Super Nintendo Entertainment System title, Earthbound. While Earthbound received a North American launch in 1995, around a year after its Japanese release (where it’s called Mother 2), the series’ next installment was never localized. Despite this, 1989’s Mother 1 got an official English release in the form of Earthbound Beginnings in 2015. 

However, Nintendo is well aware of the overwhelming fan demand for the series’ third game. In fact, a skit included in the company’s E3 2014 presentation saw an animated member of the audience asking former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé to “give us Mother 3,” but, all this time on and it’s still yet to happen outside of Japan. Needless to say, today’s news, which came as part of the Japanese version of the Nintendo Direct: Partner Presents video today (February 21) is rather bittersweet for those praying that an official localization could still happen.

“That one hurts,” one Twitter / X user wrote, responding to the news.

“Man, I’m so disappointed,” another posted

“THE PAIN NEVER ENDS,” added a further commenter. 

It remains to be seen if an official English translation for Mother 3 might ever arrive in the future. As some hopeful fans pointed out, the first Fire Emblem game, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, was released exclusively on the Japanese Nintendo Switch Online library before it was later localized and released worldwide via the Nintendo Switch eShop. However, this by no means confirms that the same will happen with Mother 3. For now, English-speaking players will have to stick to playing as protagonist Lucas in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

For more games like Mother 3, be sure to check out our roundup of the best RPGs, as well as the best story games

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.