- : Use the direction pad to move Ninten around the world (any accompanying party members will follow his footsteps). Also use the direction pad to move the cursor around in various menus.
- : Press the A button to bring up the in-game menu, to select a menu item, or to advance a conversation.
- : Press the B button to cancel or back out of any particular menu selection in progress. In the world, press and hold the B button to make your party run.
- : Press the Start button to pause the game and bring up the status screen when not in battle.
- : Press the Select button to pause the game and bring up the world map whenever you are outside.
Collect the Melodies
The goal of Mother is to collect eight forgotten melodies, located all over the world. The melodies that you seek are found all over the world. Some require you to complete some task, while other are simply somewhere in the world and need to be found. When you learn all eight melodies, you'll gain access to the final boss.
Explore the World
Mother is an RPG, so expect exploring to be a big aspect of the game. The game takes place on a large map called the field (or overworld) where all the towns and landmarks are located. The landscape is also littered enemies, as well as caves and dungeons where enemies reside. Unlike EarthBound, Mother's encounters are random, so you'll have to wait and see which enemies you face!
As you move from town to town, it should be important to note that each town has shops and hotels. They provide you with services that can help you on your adventure. However, like all good things in life, these things cost money. Unless you have a decent supply of cash, don't go overboard on the purchases.
- Department Stores — Not every town has one, but the ones that do have multiple floors that sell different items. You can also sell your items to the clerk on the first floor.
- Drugstores — Drugstores are found in towns with no department stores. They can also be found in department stores. They sell a small number of items, usually medicine.
- Burger Joints — Burger Joints sell burgers and fries; fast food essentially. They're not that expensive and can serve you well for the first half of the game.
- Hotels — Hotels are places where you can purchase rooms to sleep in. Every town has them, and when you purchase a room, your HP and PP is full recovered. Hotels are pretty costly, so only use them when you need them.
- Inns — Inns are the same as hotels but they don't cost you anything.
- Hospitals — Hospitals are where you go to pick up KO'd allies or visit the doctor to heal status ailments. The doctor can't heal everything, though!
- Healer — Healers can recover allies that have been petrified and your PP for some money. Have some cash on hand in the event you need to see him, because healers are found far away from towns.