The Mother series of RPGs has always had a fervent fan-base. In fact, these Mother lovers went so far as to make a fan translation patch for the Japan-only GBA adventure Mother 3. Now, a different group of fans have dedicated themselves to making an entirely new Mother game.
Mother 4, as it's blandly named, is a labour of love from these hardcore fans. The developer is quite clear that it's "not affiliated, associated, authorised, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Nintendo of America Inc., Shigesato Itoi, HAL Laboratory, Inc., or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates."
As such, the folks behind it are well aware that they can't make any money from it. "We're a rag-tag bunch from around the world that volunteers their time. We do not take any form of compensation from any entity," the developer stated on its FAQ. "However, we love getting fan-mail!"
Set in an "idealised vintage America," Mother 4 follows the story of a young boy and the leader of a bike gang who get wrapped up in a mysterious group who call themselves the Modern Men.
Given the legal grey area behind the game, the Mother 4 team noted that it has no plans to port it to any other platforms.
It will however have connections to the previous game in the series, though it's not been revealed what these will be. In terms of scope, the developer said that "it will follow a typical play-time like that of other games of the series."
This isn't the first free fan-made Nintendo spin-off to make the rounds. Super Mario Crossover was quite popular for a while, while Nintendo never made a fuss about its existence.
Mother 4 is aiming for a Q4 release this year on PC, Mac and Linux.
We've reached out to both Nintendo and the Mother 4 team to see if either party can verify that there won't be a copyright or trademark issue barring its release.