Clyde Mandelin (known as Tomato in the community) made the offer to Nintendo this morning, explaining “I realize that localizing a game this size can cost a lot, so if it’ll help in even the slightest, I’ll gladly offer to let Nintendo use my text translation files for any use at all, completely for free. I’ll even edit the files to fit whatever new standards are necessary (content, formatting, memory size, etc.), completely for free. I’ll even retranslate everything from scratch if need be. Just whatever it takes to get an official release out.”
Mandelin has worked as a professional translator on games including Kingdom Hearts 2, One Piece: Unlimited Adventure and The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King, in addition to professional anime translation for Dragon Ball and Lupin the 3rd. “I definitely realize this is a silly-sounding offer and all, but I figure it’s better to make the offer and seem silly than possibly miss an opportunity entirely,” he wrote.
The EarthBound series is called Mother in Japan, with EarthBound known as Mother 2. In 2006, Mother 3 was released for Game Boy Advance in Japan but Nintendo made it clear that there were no plans to release it in the West. Later that year, fans rallied to put together a translation that was ultimately released in 2008 (and updated in 2009). Nintendo has never discussed plans to release Mother 3 outside of Japan, though main character Lucas was included in Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii in 2008.
“In the end, if localizing Mother 3 should ever come up in a Nintendo business meeting or whatever and someone brings up budget concerns or it costing too much, my hope is that someone will at least mention this offer too, even if it isn’t accepted,” Mandelin concluded.
Earlier this week, Nintendo announced plans to release EarthBound on Virtual Consolein the West.
We've reached out to Nintendo about the offer and will update this story with any comment we receive.