Untitled EarthBound sequel (partially found production material of cancelled GameCube role-playing game; 2003)
Concept art of the game's overworld. It depicts the protagonist of EarthBound, Ness, standing outside a home.
Status: Partially Found
EarthBound (known in Japan as Mother 2: Gyiyg's Counterattack) is a cult classic role-playing game for the SNES developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo in 1994. A sequel titled EarthBound 64 (Mother 3 in Japan) was developed for the Nintendo 64 and its addon the 64DD for over 12 years before being canceled. Later, the game was revived on the Game Boy Advance and released exclusively in Japan as Mother 3 in 2006. In between the N64 version's cancellation and the revival of the game on GBA, a sequel to the game was pitched for the Nintendo GameCube by Monolith Soft.
In 2003, Nintendo and Namco were in talks for Namco's subsidiary Monolith Soft to develop an EarthBound sequel. So that summer, amid the development of Monolith's game Baten Kaitos, the then-Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and the creator of the EarthBound series Shigesato Itoi traveled to Namco's offices. They met with the game's director Yasuyuki Honne who pitched a sequel to EarthBound with a felt-like esthetic. At first, Itoi seemed uninterested, but it was because Iwata was trying to play matchmaker and set up the meeting without telling Itoi that he would be pitched an EarthBound sequel. Even though the game didn't get picked up, Itoi seemed interested in the game's depiction of 80s America. This story first came to light in mid-2019 when Honne shared the story to his Twitter in honor of the book Ask Iwata which collects the late Nintendo president's words of wisdom. Alongside one of the tweets, he included two pieces of concept art he made for the pitch. Judging by English translations of his tweets, it seems there's more concept art yet to be released, with the actual content of the pitch still unknown.
- EarthBound Beginnings (found English translation of "Mother" Famicom role-playing game; 1990)
- Mother 3/Earthbound 64 (lost build of unfinished Nintendo 64/64DD video game; 1999)
- Xenoblade Developer Once Pitched An EarthBound Sequel For GameCube by Ethan Gach for Kotaku. Retrieved 21 Jan '22
- Yasuyuki Honne's second tweet on the pitch. Retrieved 21 Jan '22
- Nintendo and Namco discussed a potential EarthBound game for the GameCube, concepts shown by Brian from Nintendo Everything. Retrieved 21 Jan '22