The MOTHER 1+2 Fan Translation v1.01

Released April 30, 2011

This is a free, unofficial fan-made translation of MOTHER 1+2 for the Game Boy Advance. In this version, MOTHER 1 has been given a complete English retranslation intended to make the game more accessible to EarthBound fans (details here), while MOTHER 2 has basic menu and name translations.


Game Start-up:



Frequently Asked Questions

Tips and Suggestions When Playing MOTHER 1

It's usually hard for EarthBound fans to go back and play the first game, I understand that all too well. I was excited when the beta ROM was released, but was very quickly disappointed - it seemed bland, grindy, and hardly like EarthBound at all. It was frustrating. Over the years - and through this project - I've come to appreciate the game a lot more, so here are some personal tips and suggestions for trying to get into the game:

  1. First, DO NOT COMPARE THIS GAME TO EARTHBOUND. When you're playing this game, don't even think about EarthBound. This game was made BEFORE EarthBound, so it logically goes that EarthBound wasn't in mind when this game was made. Forget entirely about EarthBound and let this game stand as its own thing. This is one of the biggest hurdles people run into, but if you can see it as its own game of its own time, it's much easier to appreciate.

    If you really have to compare it to something, then think about the other NES games and RPGs that came out during the late 80s / early 90s as you're playing the game.
  2. Following that same thought, it's important to realize this game was released in 1989. Of course it's going to be tough to get into if you use a 2011 (or whatever year this is) mindset. So do this:

    Imagine you're a kid in 1989. You have an 8-bit NES with a couple games. On a Friday afternoon on the way home from school, you stop by a video store and rent a random game called "MOTHER". Usually when you rented games back then it was always a very hit-or-miss thing, so whatever game you got, you were stuck with it for the whole weekend. Try playing this game with that mindset - that you're a kid in the late 80s with a weekend ahead of you to play this game. Do that, and you might start to appreciate it in new ways!
  3. If you've played the EarthBound Zero beta NES ROM before - push it away from your thoughts. Pretend you're playing the game for the first time now. The beta ROM had a lot of localization changes, censorship changes, and just no-real-reason changes. This translation doesn't include those, so it's going to be different - that's the point of the project, after all.

    Basically, don't go in expecting the EarthBound Zero names and text to be used.
  4. Use the Easy Ring! It increases the experience and money you get from enemies by a ton, and it also reduces the number of random battles. I tested it out a lot and got a lot of feedback to make sure it all balances out.

    As long as you play right (instead of constantly running away) it'll make the game a lot easier. It won't make it SUPER easy, just less annoying and generally more enjoyable.
  5. Use the map! The Start Button opens up your world map. It's very easy to get lost in this game or not know where to go next. Basically, if you see a town nearby, head there. Or, if you see any black dots on the map nearby, go check them out! It's a crappy-looking map, but it really will take away all the random wandering!
  6. Use the R Button to run around more quickly than normal.
  7. When you're walking around outside, you can tell if there are random enemies where you are by pressing the L Button or using "Check". If there are enemies around, it'll say something about danger lurking nearby. Otherwise it'll say the default line of something like, "There's nothing here."
  8. Turn the battle text speed up all the way. You can do this during battles or from the file select screen. Having the battle text at maximum speed makes it less frustrating somehow.
  9. If you're using an emulator, try not to use things like cheats or save states. If you can, I recommend playing the game on actual hardware.
  10. If you're not sure where to go, talk to everyone and/or try to visit any nearby black dots on your map. If you go through the game normally, without consulting any guides or rushing through, you'll almost always be at a decent level for each new area.

    Still, if you really need help from a walkthrough or guide, you can check the online EarthBound Zero walkthrough here.

    That walkthrough uses all the EarthBound Zero names and such, but it'll still help you figure out where to go and what to do next.
  11. Unless you're an ultimate awesome gamer, you WILL find the big Duncan factory to be brutal. You can find a map to the factory here, but if you don't want to cheat, just know that you basically need to head as far up as possible. Leaving the factory might be a little more complicated, though, so try making a trail of bread crumbs (use Bread instead of eating it) if you can.
  12. Some of the other dungeons in the game are tough and confusing, but you can usually get through them just fine if you persevere and/or draw a map yourself.
  13. There are two Franklin Badges in the game. One you get from Pippi, and the other you can find in the big Duncan factory. Unlike in EarthBound, these block PK Beam instead of PK Thunder. Actually, they only block stronger versions of PK Beam that enemies in the last half of the game use. Strong PK Beams can instantly kill party members, so you definitely want to get both Franklin Badges!
  14. Don't rush through the game. Shigesato Itoi said this many times himself, even before the game was released. Completing a section of the game or discovering a new area in the game is supposed to feel like a big accomplishment. I can just see Japanese kids running to tell their friends whenever they finished a new part of the game. It's harder to feel that way now if you're an older gamer, but if you at least keep that in mind it should help.
  15. The game doesn't explain what each PSI technique does, and some of these are very different from what they do in EarthBound. Knowing what the PSI moves do WILL make battles a lot easier. Here's a quick list with info:
    Lifeup αRestores a little HP to one ally
    Lifeup βRestores more HP to one ally
    Lifeup γFully restores an ally's HP
    Lifeup πRestores some HP to all allies
    Lifeup ΩFully restores all allies' HP

    Healing αCures an ally who's been poisoned
    Healing βCures an ally who's been paralyzed
    Healing γCures an ally who's been petrified
    Healing πCures an ally who's been put to sleep
    Super HealRevives an ally who's been defeated

    PK Fire αFire damage to all enemies
    PK Fire βStronger fire damage to all enemies
    PK Fire γVery strong fire damage to all enemies
    PK Fire ΩDestroy all enemies in one hit (RECOMMENDED!)

    PK Freeze αIce damage to a single enemy
    PK Freeze βStronger ice damage to a single enemy
    PK Freeze γLowers a single enemy's HP to almost nothing (RECOMMENDED!)
    PK Freeze ΩStrong ice damage to all enemies

    PK Beam αDamages a single enemy with a beam of light
    PK Beam βDamages a single enemy with a strong beam of light
    PK Beam γDamages a single enemy, can even instant-kill
    PK Beam ΩDamages all enemies with a strong beam of light

    PK Thunder αLightning damage to an enemy
    PK Thunder βStrong lightning damage to an enemy
    PK Thunder γLightning damage to all enemies

    PSI BlockPrevents an enemy from using PSI
    PSI Shield αHalves damage from an enemy, for a single ally
    PSI Shield βHalves damage from an enemy, for all allies
    Power ShieldReflects damage from attacks back at the enemy

    BrainshockConfuses an enemy
    Brain CycloneConfuses all enemies
    HypnosisPuts an enemy to sleep
    ParalysisParalyizes an enemy
    DarknessBlinds an enemy, lowering their attack power

    Offense UpRaises a single ally's offense
    Defense Up αRaises a single ally's defense
    Defense Up βRaises all allies' defense (can be stacked!)
    Quick UpRaises a single ally's speed
    Shield OffDestroys an enemy's shield
    Defense Down αLowers an enemy's defense
    Defense Down βLowers all enemies' defense
    PSI MagnetSteals an enemy's PP

    TelepathyUse this to read the minds of various characters in the game
    Dimensional WarpUse this to escape a battle with 100% certainty
    TeleportationUse this to return to any town you've been to before. You need a good running start. You can also use the control pad to change your direction while running. If done well, you can teleport even when there isn't much open space around you.

How to Use the Translation Patch

  1. Unzip the contents of this zip file to a folder/directory. You should find the following files:
    • mother12.ips
    • mother12.txt
  2. Second, you will need to obtain a ROM of the Japanese version of MOTHER 1+2. This clearly steps into promoting piracy, so you will have to find this on your own. Search engines are useful for this sort of thing.

    Once you have the ROM, make sure it is unzipped/uncompressed. The file should be 16 MB in size. Put this file in the same folder as the files from above.
  3. Most modern emulators will automatically patch IPS patches when you load a ROM. This is known as "soft-patching". If your emulator can do this, then make sure the IPS file is called "mother12.ips" and that the ROM is called "mother12.gba". Then load the ROM in your emulator. If all goes well, the translation patch should work automatically!

    If it's not working and you're sure your emulator can soft-patch IPS files, then you might have to put the IPS file in a different folder, depending on your settings and what emulator you're using. Check your settings and read the documentation that came with your emulator.
  4. If you don't want to use soft-patching or if you can't get it to work, then you can always hard-patch it. Download Lunar IPS here. With it, you can permanently patch the ROM. Then just load your ROM in your emulator.

NOTE: If you're still having trouble getting either methods to work, then see here.



I often get e-mails from people asking how they can donate to my projects, but I don't like to accept donations for this particular kind of stuff. If you'd still really like to help out, though, if you buy any EarthBound/MOTHER merchandise through these links, I'll get a dollar or so. This will help keep EarthBound Central up and running, not to mention many of my other projects, like Game Swag!


Thanks to:

Buck FeverdreraserheadDemolitionizerKasumiNess and Sonic
SkyeTriverskeMother BoundBlair32PSIWolf674
Ice SagePK Mt. FujiThe Great MorgilNess-Ninten-LucasLordQuadros
AnonymousBroBuzzTrevorRathe coolguyEBrent
CravPriestess PaulaMy Name HereAangieplatinatina

And probably a hundred or more other helpful people! Forgive me if your name should have been here, there are so many to remember that my brain is failing me now. But know that your help was appreciated and led to this patch's creation!

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