Program Notes for Mother Orchestral Suite
Shigesato Itoi can best be described as a Renaissance man. His long and prolific career includes work as a copywriter, author, voice actor, lyricist, and game designer. In what little spare time he had, Itoi enjoyed playing RPGs, most notably the Dragon Quest series. Because his many jobs prevented him from spending as much time as he’d like with his daughter, Itoi was inspired to create his own RPG, which led him to found the company Ape,
Inc. Instead of fighting dragons and using magic in a fantasy setting, however, Itoi set his game, Mother, in a fictionalized version of North America. The game’s 12-year-old protagonist, Ninten, fights reanimated dolls, wild animals, zombies, and aliens, while on a quest to investigate a series of disappearances across the country. Mother was released for the Famicom in 1989, and the game was fully translated to be released in North America, along with an album of the game’s music, written by Keiichi Suzuki and Hirokazu Tanaka. However, anticipating poor
sales due to the upcoming release of the Super Nintendo, Mother’s North American release was cancelled. Mother would not be available to play outside Japan until its release to the Wii U Virtual Console as EarthBound Beginnings in 2015.
Mother’s sequel began development and was released for the Super Famicom as Mother 2 in Japan in 1994, localized as EarthBound for its North American release to the Super Nintendo in 1995. EarthBound’s protagonist, Ness, is tasked with visiting eight secret locations around the world to expand his psychic powers in order to prevent an alien invasion from taking place in the future. The game again featured a soundtrack written by Keiichi Suzuki and Hirokazu Tanaka. Despite being hugely successful in Japan, the game was a commercial failure in
North America, until it gained a cult following several years later. A second sequel, Mother 3, restarted development several times before the game was finally released in Japan for the Game Boy Advance in 2006. This installment follows the protagonist, Lucas, as he searches for his missing twin brother, Claus. As Hirokazu Tanaka was unavailable to compose the game’s soundtrack, Shogo Sakai stepped in. Mother 3 received critical acclaim in Japan for its highly compelling story, but has never been released internationally, outside of a fan-made
translation hack developed by tenured language localizer Clyde “Tomato” Mandelin.
Music takes a central role in the gameplay of all three installments. In Mother, Ninten must collect eight melodic fragments to complete a song written by his great-grandmother that allows him to defeat the game’s final boss. In EarthBound, Ness must also collect eight melodic fragments to allow him to connect to the world and fully realize his psychic powers. The combat system in Mother 3 features “sound battles,” where the player can hit the A button in time with the music to combo their attacks and deal more damage. As the game progresses, tougher enemies make combos more difficult by changing the tempo or adding or dropping beats to the battle music. 
Shigesato Itoi’s Mother series has gone on to inspire several RPGS and other media, including the Homestuck webcomic series, RPGs Undertale, Deltarune, the LISA series, Costume Quest, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Contact, and Omori. Please enjoy this orchestral setting of the series’s most iconic themes.
-Joseph Mullin
Mother Orchestral Suite
Love is a power,
Love is a glory,
Love is the beauty and the joy of spring.
Love is the magic,
Love is a story,
Love is a melody we all can sing.
I believe in the morning sun,
Always gonna shine again, and
I believe a pot of gold,
waits at every rainbow’s end, oh.
I believe in roses kissed with dew,
Why shouldn’t I believe the same in you?
You may say I’m a fool,
Feelin’ the way that I do.
You can call me Pollyanna,
say I’m crazy as a loon,
I believe in silver linings and that’s why I believe in you!
I used to think, I was so smart,
But I couldn’t hide the hole in my heart.
Sad as it seems, none of my dreams,
Ever came true.
I used to walk the avenue,
All by myself with nothin’ to do,
Kickin’ at cans, half of a man,
Til I met you, and I knew.
I’ve looked for you all of my life
Round every corner
Wishin’ on stars like some kind of fool, oh.
But now I see the stars in your eyes,
Those days are over,
I took one look
and I was hooked
I found heaven in you.
And though my dream was overdue,
My prayer was answered out of the blue,
And now I know, I know it’s true,
All that I needed was you.
Take a melody
Simple as can be
Give it some words and sweet harmony
Raise your voices.
All day long now, love grows strong now
Sing a melody of love.
Grown-ups have done so much more stuff than me,
There’s many things that I still want to see.
Now I take my backpack to the world,
And fill it with memories.
In a distant town,
As the dark grows deep,
Unfamiliar words come forth,
Whispered and weak,
“Let me heal the pain,
Drive away despair,
Lead this child who’s lost his way;
Help him prepare.”
While apart, understand,
I will live my life for you
Wherever I am.
Shine on one dear child,
One so very small,
One who carries on alone,
Strong after all.

The Won-Stoppable Wonderful 101

Danger’s comin’, loomin’ large, so who’s gonna make a stand?
The 101 are takin’ charge, the line is drawn in the sand
Knuckles crack
in two hundred and two different ways
But each and every one has got the same thing to say…

Wonder Red: Unite Morph!
Because their hearts beat as one
Wonder Red: Unite Hand!
And put the bad guys on the run

When the job’s too ominous
For an average Jill or Joe
They go anonymous
And watch their powers grow!

Got no fame, no fortune to claim
Fighting for the status quo
Don that mask and take ’em to task
Hurry, now it’s time to go!
They can do it, they can do it, ’cause they’re heroes second to none…
The won-stoppable Wonderful, Wonderful 101!

Evil’s coming
And you need a savior to appear
The 101 will take the lead
They gladly volunteer
Way up high
Can you spy them out in outer space?
Two-hundred and two eyes,
Are looking danger in the face…

Wonder Blue: Unite Morph!
A single heart like a blade
Wonder Blue: Unite Sword!
They dish out justice in spades

When the world is teetering
Hanging by a thread
They administer a beating
And stop the menace dead!

Go, go team!
Demolish those fiends!
Toss ’em in a garbage can!
Wipe the floor with aliens galore
‘Til the world is spick and span!
They can do it, they can do it, ’cause they’re bravest under the sun…
The won-destructible Wonderful, Wonderful 101!

Hope is coming to a crawl
And sadness fills the air
The 101 hide it all
Behind an iron stare
No one asks what they sacrifice, no
No one minds
But that won’t hold them back
From saving all of humankind…

Wonder Pink: Unite Morph!
They put their heartbreak aside
Wonder Pink: Unite Whip!
And let their powers collide

Even if they’re struggling
To lead a double life
They will keep on juggling
They’ll pay the final price

One more clash, one bad guy to thrash
Calamity is closing in
One more fray to finish the day
Before tomorrow can begin
They can do it, they can do it, ’cause they always stick to their guns…
The won-beatable Wonderful, Wonderful 101!

Got no fame, no fortune to claim
Fighting for the status quo
Don that mask and take ’em to task
Hurry, now it’s time to go!
They can do it, they can do it,
’cause they’re heroes second to none…
The won-stoppable Wonderful, Wonderful 101!


Des Moines Gamer Symphony Orchestra