The Unofficial Mother 3 Fan Translation is a patch developed by Unified M3 Translation. Currently in version 1.2, the first patch was released on October 17, 2008. It was translated by Tomato, Jeffman, Chewy, sblur, byuu, Exophase, kevin, harmony7, Doctor Fedora, Klarth, Demi, and Gideon Zhi, based on the original design and direction by Shigesato Itoi, with music by Shogo Sakai. It is a patch for the third and allegedly final game in the Mother video game series, Mother 3. The game tells the story of Lucas, a young boy, and his family, who live on the Nowhere Islands and have to save the islands from an invading army and its leader who are trying to eliminate the last stand of mankind.
Throughout the progress made on the project, Tomato and Jeffman were firm in stating that if Nintendo announced an official localization of Mother 3, they would immediately cease their work, indicating that their sole goal was to ensure that the game was translated to English.
Upon the completion of The Unofficial Mother 3 Fan Translation, a translation patch was made available for download. When this patch is applied to a Japanese ROM of Mother 3, it will convert all of the Japanese text on the ROM to English. The patched ROM can then be played on any Game Boy Advance emulator or Game Boy Advance, the latter which will require a Game Boy Advance flash cartridge, however. Detailed instructions on how to use the patch are included as well.
DevelopmentThe Unofficial Mother 3 Fan Translation was started around July 2007, and entered its hacking phase roughly three months later, around October. An indefinite release date of some time before the North American release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl was considered, but this date was not met. The purpose for the goal to release the translation before Brawl was that the game's adventure mode, The Subspace Emissary, would present spoilers to fans eager to play the English version of Mother 3. Upon the game's release however, these spoiler elements proved not too prominent to harm the player's reception of Mother 3's story, which include Pokey Minch in the spider mech he uses in the game, New Pork City, the Ultimate Chimera and the main protagonist of Mother 3, Lucas. For this reason, a "menu patch" was released in advance, which only translates character and enemy names, names and descriptions of items and PSI abilities, menu text and naming screen text, and is meant to be used with a walkthrough, as the rest of the game in this patch remains untranslated.
By May 17, 2008, it was confirmed that there remained only three aspects of hacking left to accomplish, though the team announced that, "The hacking is the main thing holding everything up." Tomato later announced on July 22 that the second draft of the script had been completed.
While development of the patch is taking place at a steady rate, Tomato has issued a number of reminders that the patch could take longer than expected to release due to the remaining hacking. On July 31, Tomato said of the development's progress, "I hereby estimate the game will be done in the last 1/4 of the year," though he has previously admitted that development could take much longer than expected if hacking does not go smoothly. Tomato announced on September 27, that all hacking had been completed, and the testing process started on the following day, during which several bugs, significant and nearly unnoticeable, were rectified. Speaking of the progress of the translation, on October 3 Tomato stated, "It's still a couple weeks off, assuming no big bugs show up, but with each passing day such bugs seem less and less likely."
The testing stage was completed on October 14, and in a blog posted the same day, Tomato roughly set the release date for the patch was with the opening line, "The patch will be out at the end of this week." He went on to state that assuming any post-development progress is not impeded, the patch should see release no later than October 18, 2008. Ultimately, version 1.0 of The Unofficial Mother 3 Fan Translation was released on October 17, 2008, after roughly fifteen months of development.
On July 9, 2014, version 1.2 of the patch was released, correcting some minor bugs and issues.
Sellers and Physical Copies
Since then, several sellers on sites including Etsy and Amazon have sold bootleg cartridges containing the translated game that are playable on a Game Boy Advance system. The game paks sometimes are somewhat larger and don't fit perfectly as do legitimate Advance games, but they still function properly.