MOTHERly: You Call This a Dystopia?!
A Conceptual and Societal Analysis of MOTHER 3's Masterful Deconstruction of "Utopia"
MOTHERly is an experimental bonus content category focusing on the MOTHER series (AKA “EarthBound” outside of Japan)
Like all bonus content, MOTHERly is only available to Game & Word’s paying subscribers. If this type of content interests you, and you’d like to read more of it, upgrade to a paid subscription today:
Everyone who really knows me (and quite a few who don’t, for that matter) knows how much I love the MOTHER series, particularly the second and third installments (MOTHER 2/EarthBound and MOTHER 3), which I consider to be the best video games ever made.
These games continue to surprise and delight me each time I replay them (on average, every 2-3 years since 1995). This is in large part due to their depth and nuance. They’re so deep, I could write an entire separate newsletter just about MOTHER and never run out of content. But that’d take a lot of time I don’t have. So instead, I created a whole new category for this newsletter!
This time around, we’ll examine MOTHER 3’s masterful deconstruction of the concept called “Utopia.” The perfect society. And since this constitutes one of the game’s central themes, we’ve got a lot to talk about! If you haven’t played, then don’t worry, as I’ll walk you through the relevant plot points first… though if I were you, I’d play it first, then read this piece.
…Ok, back now? Let’s get going!