Mother 2, known outside Japan as EarthBound, is the only entry in Nintendo’s surrealist Mother role-playing series to have made it overseas, but it alone was enough to cultivate a legion of fans whose passion and tenacity know no bounds (sorry). Those fans responsible for what might be the most famous amateur translation ever (of Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance) and are even developing a full-on sequel in Mother 4.
There’s something about this series that gets its adherents’ creative juices flowing. Take “Project PK Flash.” According to the about page on the project’s Tumblr, animator Sagan Yee began working on this EarthBound tribute in 2010 while she was still a student. She let it fall by the wayside after graduating, but she picked it back up last year and has finished in time for Mother 2’s 20-year anniversary.
Yee says she envisioned “Project PK Flash” answering the question, “If Earthbound was a Saturday morning cartoon, what would the opening theme look and sound like?” The finished product definitely has that feel. It’s an adorable musical tribute to the cult classic, following its young hero Ness as he marches through an abbreviated version of the game’s story.
The music is taken directly from a version of the original Mother soundtrack where the songs were rearranged and had vocal parts added. (You can find the whole thing on YouTube.) Yee chose “Polyanna,” performed on the vocal soundtrack by Catherine Warwick, as the main theme here, and it’s a perfect fit. Its upbeat lyrics about believing in yourself and in others are exactly the kind of schmaltz employed by cartoon theme songs of a certain era. The closing minutes’ combination of Ness’ homecoming and a children’s choir singing “Eight Melodies” (a rendition made famous by the awesome Japanese Mother commercial) was enough to make this writer a little misty.