Many people suspected that something might be afoot when Nintendo announced, ahead of its Direct today, that the NES and SNES emulation services of Nintendo Switch Online would be going offline for “maintenance.” The general consensus was that some new games would be coming to the services, and the company seemed happy to confirm that towards the end of the Nintendo Direct.
SNES cult hit Earthbound, the origin of Super Smash Bros. psychic fighter Ness, is set to come to Nintendo Switch Online later today, alongside its predecessor from the NES age, Earthbound Beginnings (known as Mother in Japan). Both games see players taking control of a team of psychically-powered kids as they travel a world filled with surreal encounters and strange happenings, in order to stop a powerful alien force known as Giygas.
Though both games sold well in Japan, only Earthbound was ever released in the United States, where it sold only 140,000 copies. Though the game and its larger series gained a cult following across the world, the games largely stuck to their Japanese audience, and the West wouldn’t see the original Mother until its worldwide release on the Wii U store in 2015. Still, should these additions to the Nintendo Switch Online service prove popular, it could renew hopes of a Western release for Mother 3, the elusive GBA title that released in Japan in 2006.