With a Nintendo Direct set to go live in just over two hours, a series of tweets from Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi has fans speculating on a potential announcement for the beloved series during the upcoming stream.

Earlier today, Itoi quote-tweeted the official Nintendo Direct tweet with a comment that roughly translates to, “7am, huh? Amazing. Maybe it’ll be snowing.”

朝7時って、すごいな。雪が降ってるかもしれない。 https://t.co/TQk985WDqp

— 糸井 重里 (@itoi_shigesato) February 9, 2022

Itoi’s cryptic tweet immediately sent Nintendo fan speculation into overdrive, with some sending shots of various Earthbound characters in the snow.

Apparently taking notice, Itoi followed by quipping that he was seeing a lot of foreign language responses to his tweet, and wondering if they were especially interested in the topic of snow. A little later, he posted a third tweet featuring a weather map.

いまの気温と、雲の様子と、雨の状況などを「アースボール」で眺めると、
あんまり雪が降るって感じじゃないんだよなー。それでも、降るのか。 pic.twitter.com/AEsqOxUEwS

— 糸井 重里 (@itoi_shigesato) February 9, 2022

The interest in Itoi’s comments is driven in part by the lack of new Earthbound games over the last few years. The last mainline release was Mother 3, which was released on Game Boy Advance in 2006. A localized release for Mother 3 is still a rallying cry among Nintendo fans to this day, to the point that former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé still jokes about it sometimes.

Despite its lack of releases, Earthbound is arguably more popular than ever thanks to a slew of indie games that unapologetically borrow its themes and aesthetic, the most notable of them being Undertale. In recent years, Earthbound fans have turned their attention to Nintendo Switch Online, which currently lacks both the NES and SNES release.

Itoi himself has largely moved on from the series. A writer, comedian, and general renaissance man, he has been adamant that he won’t be involved in the release of a fourth entry in the series. However, he does still do the occasional Earthbound interview with the Japanese media, so he hasn’t totally forgotten about it.

One way or another, we’ll know soon enough. The Nintendo Direct, which will last approximately 40 minutes, will kick off at 2pm PT. Keep an eye on IGN for all of the announcements, and make sure to vote in NVC’s tournament to determine the greatest Nintendo console of all time.

Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN

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