Mother (known in some regions as EarthBound Beginnings) is a 1989 RPG developed by Ape and Pax Softnica, and published by Nintendo. The game was released exclusively in Japan for the NES, but eventually came to the Game Boy Advance in 2003.
Mother was met with a strong critical reception. As a light parody of the RPG genre, it was a breath of fresh air for reviewers, although its difficulty and balance were often singled out for criticism. In terms of sales, Mother was a hit, selling 400,000 copies in Japan, the only region in which it was released.
Unlike many similar RPGs, Mother is set in the United States, as opposed to a fantasy land. The game uses modern equipment such as baseball bats and toy guns for combat, and replaces traditional dungeons with warehouses and similar settings.
Like most RPGs, Mother abides by a random encounter combat system, where you’ll enter turn-based combat. With different choices to make on each turn, combat resembles something you’d expect to find in a Pokemon game, just with a modern twist.
Despite being a parody of the RPG genre in its humor, it remains an RPG through and through in its mechanics. You can talk and trade with other characters and you’ve even got party members following you through the game.
Mother Main Characters
As an RPG, Mother has you meet a bunch of different characters over the course of its story. However, some are more prominent than others.
Here are the main characters you’ll meet throughout Mother:
- Ninten: Ninten is the main protagonist of the game. After being teleported to the world of Magicant, he must head out on an adventure for Queen Mary, which slowly grows in scope over the course of Mother.
- Queen Mary: Queen Mary is the ruler of Magicant. She sends Ninten on his grand adventure, and is a recurring character throughout the game.
- Ana: Ana is a girl who has psychic gifts, and travels alongside Ninten throughout his adventure.
- Giygas: Giygas is the main antagonist of Mother. Giygas is an alien who appears later in the story, who has a hidden relation to Queen Mary that proves to be a key plot point.
Mother Titles in the Series
The Mother series, while adhering to several tropes of RPGs itself, is intended to be a parody of the genre. One thing is for sure – it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The games have several years between each release, with the longest gap being twelve years between Mother 2 and 3.
It has been almost two decades since the last game in the Mother series was released. Creator of the series, Shigesato Itoi, has repeatedly denied plans for a fourth title during this period. Although things could change in the future, it seems as though Mother is on ice for right now.
- Mother (1989)
- Mother 2 (1994)
- Mother 3 (2006)
Mother Cheat Codes
Compared to a lot of NES games, Mother has a strong selection of cheats for you to use. All of the cheat codes are extremely helpful, and can be found below:
|Cheat Code Effects
|Allows you to start a new game with $100 cash.
|Allows you to start a new game with $250 cash.
|Allows you to start a new game with $1,000 cash.
|Allows you to start a new game with $10,000 cash.
|Your main character starts with 99 HP instead of 30.
|Your main character starts with 250 HP instead of 30.
|Your main character starts with 50 PP instead of eight.
|Your main character starts with 99 PP instead of eight.
|You no longer lose any HP.
|Get more experience points after a battle.
|Gives you infinite PP.
|Gives you infinite money.
There’s an alternative to the base game cheat codes above. If you play Mother on an NES emulator, you can use Game Genie codes by entering them into the Cheats section of your chosen emulator.
The full list of these Game Genie cheats for Mother can be found below:
Mother Game Genie Cheats
|Cheat Code Effects
|Enemy 1 in a battle can be killed in one hit.
|Enemy 2 in a battle can be killed in one hit.
|Enemy 3 in a battle can be killed in one hit.
|Enemy 4 in a battle can be killed in one hit.
|Lets you start a new game with 255 Defense.
|Lets you start a new game with 255 Fight.
|Lets you start a new game with 255 Force.
|Lets you start a new game with 255 HP.
|Lets you start a new game with 255 Offense.
|Lets you start a new game with 255 Speed.
|Lets you start a new game with 255 Strength.
|Lets you start a new game with 255 Wisdom.
|Lets you start a new game with 1054 HP.
|Lets you start a new game with 255 PP.
|Lets you start a new game with $1,024.
|Lets you start a new game with $16,384.
Mother Cheat Code FAQ
Are There Any Achievements for Mother?
No. Neither the NES or Game Boy Advance versions of the game have achievements. However, Retro Achievements have a selection of fan-made achievements for the game that you can tick off yourself as you complete them.
Obviously, it’s not official, but it’s better than nothing at all and a cool way to engage with the game’s community.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Screenshot from Mother.