Blog Archive - February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024 - EarthBound U.S.A.

I spent this evening finally watching the independant documentary EarthBound U.S.A. and... wow.

This was incredible. From start to finish, one of the best pieces of media to ever hit the EarthBound/Mother fandom. I first heard about it on the "MOTHER", She Wrote podcast, which while I'm at it I will recommend as well! If you're an EarthBound/Mother fan, or would like to get into the series, this show is specifically targeted at you! Definitely recommend giving it a listen! The hosts are lovely, the depth is unmatched, and really it's just a wonderful series!

In one of their more recent episodes, the hosts Cat and Jess interviewed Jazzy Benson, the director and visionary behind EarthBound U.S.A. Without stepping on their toes too much (please please please go listen to the show!!), this 10-year production chronicals the introduction of the Mother series to the United States, the dawn of the early Internet, the creation of, and the many campaigns the community held to support the Mother series outside of Japan. The production quality is unreal in an incredible way, and it's legitimately one of my favorite things that I've ever watched. It's so hard to describe in words the emotions that this film elicited, but also just how informative it was. It was very cool to be able to watch the events unfold, and see the modern layout of get introduced, and the Mother 3 fan translation hub get uploaded, etc etc.

There's so much folklore behind this franchise and this fandom, far more than can be expressed through simply telling someone about what happened to these games. It's one thing to know that EarthBound 64 got canceled, but it's a whole other thing to see the experience of the people who were impacted by that. It's one thing to know that Mother 3 never got released outside of Japan and got fan translated, but it's a whole other thing to see the fan petitions and campaigns and the mess that it took to actually fan translate the game and release that.

I think there's something so valuable to recreating this sort of era of the Internet, and this era of fandom. It really was the dawn of modern Internet communities, and there's so much value to showing that in something like EarthBound U.S.A. Watching this amazing group of people come together for the first time, creating their site and their community, hearing the story from all sides (the fans, the game industry, etc) and really reliving that story over the course of this film.

Anyways, I just wanted to highlight this fantastic film that's out right now. You can rent it digitally or buy a physical copy on Fangamer and experience this masterpiece for yourself.

~ Alex