Chapter 8: All Things… (Part 1)
The title of this chapter is malevolent, and evokes an immediate sense of dangerous foreboding. Not only does it differ from the other titles of the chapters, but the use of the ellipsis makes the player feel that even though this is the final section of the game, it does not mean that a definite end is in sight. The phrase that comes to mind is “All things must come to an end,” but there is no reason to believe that this phrase is the one chosen by Shigesato Itoi and his developers. The title does, however, fit the multi-faceted storyline, characters, and moral dilemmas which have been present throughout Mother 3 thus far.
Lucas and his friends emerge from the temple and are greeted with a man standing next to a great white stretch limousine. He announces that he has come to take them to New Pork City, and urges them to step inside. Amazingly, the limo ascends into the air and takes off like an aircraft! Once inside the limousine, they find that it is roomy; it almost seems as if the limo is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. Readers of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves may feel the urge to warn Lucas and his friends that danger follows them, for there is nothing good that comes of a place that is larger inside than outside. However, there is no way for them to escape, and instead they explore the entirety of the limo’s interior, marveling at the champagne tower, hot tub, and musical stage. Speaking to the chauffeur allows the game to progress, and they land in New Pork City.
The metropolis looks like an enormous carnival filled with attractions, expensive and gaudy foods, flashing lights, and Pigmask Soldiers. There is no sense of unity or organization in the city, and appears as if it was modeled after a spoiled child’s fantasies. Lucas and his friends explore and catch up with some of the former residents of Tazmily Village, who are impressed that they finally “got the hint” and made the move to the city, where Master Porky is planning a great celebration.
The group must go to the theater, where a familiar film is playing: Still shots from EarthBound flash across a large movie screen. The reminiscence is fun for lovers of the previous game, especially because the implications are that the actions taken by Ness and his friends are among the legends passed down to the residents of the Nowhere Islands. Shigesato Itoi’s characters are all connected, even though their worlds span multiple centuries and continents.
Examining the various seats in the theater reveals that a terrible odor is coming from somewhere. Boney is able to pinpoint the source, and gives chase to a stinkbug that dives through a broken speaker. He follows, and now Lucas, Duster, and Kumatora must find the unruly dog.
The nearby arcade features the sound of a dog barking beneath the floor. An employee asks if Lucas and his friends want to go find the dog, and an answer in the affirmative causes him to open up a path to the sewers below. They make the short trip through the sewers and eventually come upon an old, run-down hallway in an apartment complex. Boney’s barks lead the group up a set of stairs and down a hallway, but they eventually find him. However, the next room reveals an unexpected resident.
Leder, the extremely tall man who rang the bell when Tazmily Village was set on fire, stands in the apartment, and because he reaches up to the second floor, only his head is available to Lucas and his friends. It turns out that the stinkbug is one of Leder’s associates, and has the ability to memorize long stories. This comes in handy, as Leder has an extremely long story to tell the group. Bizarrely, nobody has ever heard Leder speak a word before, but he explains that he chose not to use his voice until the time came to tell his tale.
A world existed long before the Nowhere Islands, and the people who inhabited that world were vastly different from the current residents. There were more people who lived in the world than can be comprehended! But eventually, those people destroyed their own world.
Before the world was annihilated, a White Ship arrived, and upon the ship were the residents of Tazmily Village. These people kept their identities they had had from before the end of the world, and carried them into their new lives in the village. The residents chose the Nowhere Islands as their new home because it was the one special place that was to be protected in case the rest of the world came to an end. The Dark Dragon sleeping beneath the islands was the one who protected the residents from destruction.
The Dark Dragon once lived in harmony with its human neighbors, but at some point, that harmony was lost and the two species could no longer exist with one another. Their resolution was to seal the dragon away into a deep slumber using the Seven Needles, carried out by the current Magypsies’ ancestors. The Magypsies now guard the Needles, waiting for the day when the world needs the Dark Dragon’s power to save the world.
Those who had come to the Nowhere Islands aboard the White Ship had a long, grave conversation about how they would avoid another apocalypse. Eventually, they decided to wipe out their own memories of the world that had once existed, and continue to live in the Nowhere Islands in peace. Perhaps if they had no recollection of the annihilation, they would not repeat history. They wanted a new beginning. Each person would live the way he or she had always wanted to live their lives, but was never able to before. The people aboard the White Ship used the Hummingbird Egg as a vessel to contain their memories of the previous world.
Wess and Duster took on the roles of thieves, and were assigned the task of taking action to find the Hummingbird Egg in case danger appeared. The mission to Osohe Castle was their task to retrieve the memories of the White Ship. Leder was chosen as the one person who would remember what had happened to the previous world, and the bell he rang served to prevent the residents’ memories from returning. He was chosen because of his unusual height, because people would always be able to see him.
Tazmily Village was created to be part of a story.
Leder continues on, explaining that Osohe Castle existed long ago, and the king was the center of the community. By the time the people aboard the White Ship arrived, no people were left. It was thought that they ran away in fear of the Dark Dragon. Kumatora was placed aboard the ship because she had been orphaned, and was eventually raised by the Magypsies to play the role of the princess of Osohe Castle.
Leder points out the unusual phenomenon of the lack of history or legends that exist in Tazmily Village; nothing exists even one hundred years ago. Because the people aboard the White Ship had been in such a hurry to craft their story, they had no time to write down a fabricated history of the island. Still, their plan worked very well, and the people got along with one another.
One day, a stranger named Porky discovered the Nowhere Islands. His “Time Distorter” machine allowed him to travel through time and space at his very will. After he had been cast out from all of the other dimensions to which he had traveled, he arrived in the Nowhere Islands. He used his device to bring people from many other dimensions with him, including the Pigmask soldiers and the residents of New Pork City. Porky brainwashed his companions and saw the Nowhere Islands as his possessions, with which he could do what he pleased. He began making chimeras out of the animals that lived their lives in peace, created his own army, and constructed the Thunder Tower. But then, in an event far worse than any of the things Porky had done, a Magypsy traitor gave him the secrets of the White Ship people. Locria, the seventh Magypsy and the one who had gone missing, was that traitor.
With Locria’s information, Porky set out to pull the Seven Needles himself and use the power of the Dark Dragon to fulfill his childish desires. But because neither Porky nor the Magypsies can pull the Needles, there is someone under the control of the dictator who had been pulling them. Leder does not know it, but the Masked Man is the one under Porky’s control.
Leder speaks urgently, telling Lucas that they must be the ones who gain the Dark Dragon’s power, otherwise the world will come to a true end. The last Needle has been rumored to be hidden somewhere in New Pork City, which is why Porky has gathered everyone together in preparation for its extraction. Leder then says, “All things may come to an end…or new and bountiful things may begin.”
Leder’s long, complicated story sheds light on so many secrets of Mother 3 that it may take another read through to put everything in perspective. Shigesato Itoi has done a marvelous job of weaving a tale that transitions from EarthBound into Mother 3, because the connection is not immediately visible. Fans remember the conclusion of EarthBound, in which Pokey went missing after the world was saved from Giygas, but he left a note for his younger brother to find. We now see that Pokey had begun his journey among the many dimensions of the universe, and would eventually end up in the Nowhere Islands.
Porky has been the mastermind behind the chimeras that wander among land and sea, and they exist as a demonstration of his ability to do anything he wants, without boundaries. Porky sees the universe and all of its inhabitants as toys, to be pulled apart and reassembled at his childish will. And now, his ultimate wish is to gain the power of the Dark Dragon and destroy everything that exists.
However, there is still one final mystery which has not been uncovered by Leder’s tale. Players know that the Masked Man is the one pulling the Needles, but Leder is unaware of his identity or his intent. He is a puppet controlled by Porky, but how did he gain such a momentous power? What does he have to gain by obeying Porky, who is nothing but a sadist?
Now that the time has come to find the seventh Needle, Lucas and his friends will have to find this out on their own.
Itoi, Shigesato. Mother 3. Nintendo: Japan. 20 April 2006. Game Boy Advance.