Is Game Freak's 'Town' the Spiritual Successor to Itoi's Original Concept for Mother 3?

Is Game Freak's 'Town' the Spiritual Successor to Itoi's Original Concept for Mother 3?
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Lately, I’ve been reading interviews about the initial cancellation of Mother 3 (Earthbound 64) for our article series on Shigesato Itoi and I think I’ve made a connection with Itoi’s ideas and Game Freak’s new upcoming title Town (working title). Itoi originally wanted Mother 3 to take place in a single town, where the story doesn’t change by characters proceeding on to new areas, but rather new occurrences happening day-by-day progressing the story within a single location.
Town Mother 3 Earthbound 64
In the post-cancellation interview of Earthbound 64 with Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto, Itoi had this to say:

One more thing is the concept of a single place changing over time. We were still on the verge of death from producing MOTHER 2 when I first got the idea for MOTHER 3. I bothered one of the guys by calling him up to declare that I had an idea for MOTHER 3. I wanted to do a simple detective story where the city was the main character. Then there’d be a hack detective who makes a living on investigating affairs and stuff like that. He’s a womanizer who meddles into the business of the girl at the flower shop, takes a train to the next town over to work on a case, goes to the library to research materials, and lives off of the money he gets by solving petty little cases. So I thought of a project to have this worthless detective caught up in a huge murder case he starts to solve. The most important part of the plot was going to be how the story from the flower shop keeper would change from one day to the next. That would start to add up bit by bit. She wouldn’t say it the day before, but the next day, when a man really passes by and you question her again, she’d tell you that a man had passed by. It’d be a game about a city that continues to grow. I started making MOTHER 3 with that concept as its core. All the RPGs up until now have fundamentally been road movies. A wandering hero travels from town to town, and stuff happens. If you return to a previous town, the story there’s already done, so all you can do is go around saying, “Hey, long time no see.” I wanted to first make a structure that built things up in layers and had the character grow with intervals of time. Then it would proceed to the last chapter with characters that have continually rotated, and a world that has changed so much, you can’t remember what it was like to begin with.

– Shigesato Itoi (Translation by Yomuka)

Now watch the announcement trailer for Town…

Notice the similar philosophies? Nintendo and their subsidiary companies have a way of taking ideas from failed projects and revitalising them under different circumstances. Game Freak also have connection with the Earthbound series as Ape Inc. formed with Creatures Inc. to further see the development of Pokémon spin-off games, such as Pokémon Stadium, Pokkén Tournament and more recently, Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee.


What do you think; can you see the connection? Or are we looking a little too much into this? Let us know in the Comments section below.

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