Rumor: Retro Studios Pitched Puzzle-Heavy Metroid Game After Prime

Rumor: Retro Studios Pitched Puzzle-Heavy Metroid Game After Prime

Fights against killer robots and crazed AIs apparently could have been on the cards for Samus Aran.

A poster on the NeoGAF forums has uncovered what appears to be a rejected pitch document from Metroid Prime creator Retro Studios. The document was apparently written by Tony Giovannini, one of the level designers on the original Metroid Prime, and describes a quite different kind of Metroid game.

Set immediately after the events of the first Metroid Prime, Samus Aran goes into hibernation while her ship travels on autopilot. Not everything goes as planned however, as unbeknownst to the sleeping Samus, her ship responds to a distress call from an enormous alien vessel. The massive craft pulls in Samus' ship as it approaches, stranding Samus in the huge, seemingly abandoned vessel with no obvious means of escape.

Naturally, the ship isn't as deserted as it first seems and is actually full to the brim with robots, overseen by an insane AI. The ship's mission is to travel to a distant planet and smash into it, delivering its payload of troops and do some pretty significant damage in the process. As well as the robots, the ship also houses a number of biological beings, which it is developing and refining through genetic engineering. These creatures would manifest as new enemies, like the human/metroid hybrid Humetroids, and the Shock Beasts and Thrash Hunters, both made from Space Pirate DNA, mixed with genetic material from other species. The document also includes several pieces of concept art, showing what the AI and the biologicals might have looked like.

The ship's AI is the game's main antagonist, and has four distinct personalities: the Killer, the Child, the Mother and the Martyr. Of the four, only the Mother is particularly friendly to Samus, knowing that something has gone wrong with the vessel. Each personality affects the gameplay and the environment around it differently, such as more combat-orientated gameplay for the Killer personality, and a warm, "womb-like" lighting system when the Mother personality is in control.

Retro's vision for the game was of a more puzzle-solving game than Metroid Prime. The idea was that the ship wasn't entirely in our dimension, so while Samus had all her abilities, which ones actually worked changed from room to room. Players would have to work out how to get around, rather than just walking, running, or space jumping as normal. There was also a suggestion for co-op gameplay, possibly involving an android copy of Samus, or maybe even other bounty hunters with different abilities. The idea of co-op did prompt some concerns, however, about moving too far away from a proper Metroid experience.

There's plenty more to read, including a sneaky trick built into the upgrade system. Assuming the document is genuine, there seems to be a lot of potential in the ideas, and while it might not be right for a Metroid title, it still sounds like it would have been a fun game to play. Unfortunately, Giovannini's site seems to have been locked down - which could suggest that the document is genuine - but the entire thing can still be found at the Metroid Wikia. We've got in touch with Retro about the document, and will update if we hear anything back.

Source: NeoGAF, via VG247


this sounds like a cool game, nintendo should of taken a risk on it

So, we could have had this instead of Other M? From the developers of the excellent Prime series no less. Find me the Nintendo exec who hired Team Ninja and buy me a ticket to Japan.

Someone's going to get a slap.

Do the Child sketches remind anyone else of the Human Reaper by the way? I know this predates Mass Effect 2 by some time, but it's an interesting little bit of synchronicity (in my brain at aleast).

I don't think I would play this game, with it's creepy "Child" character.

Whaaat? Why isn't this made or being made? Just reading the bit on here makes it sound tons more interesting than Other M so why isn't this being made?

My head hurts.

What with rogue AI, personality cores, and strange dimension travel this reminds me of Portal... Kinda.

I would play this game to death. This sounds better than corruption, not to mention other M. I thought the puzzle/exploration was the good bit. Having only certain powers work in certain rooms sounds like a great way to twist things a bit.

Oh, and then rooms will change depending on which AI personality is manifest, so you may have to do something, trigger a personality change, do another thing, etc...

So... we could have had a Metroid that pretty much has Samus vs. GLaDOS? With awesome puzzles and interdimensional stuff?
Excuse me while I go weep for what could have been.

So it'll be like Myst...only with aliens and futuristic space stations? Sign me up.

soooo, they wanted to make an unofficial System Shock 3. I love Retro, but no thanks. Plus I don't see what co-op could DO for the experience other than just add a load of BS to it.

As much as I'd like the series back in Retro's hands I wish they could just scrap the mother/child theme. Yes, Sakamoto IS creepy. Don't encourage him, Retro :(

The idea sounds a heck of a lot better than Other M.
I suppose Nintendo wanted to give at least one of their big characters a background story and personality (no matter how awful), so I guess that's why Other M stuck?

When reading this, I got the impression that this was something along the lines of Braid or other indie puzzle games with a touch of Metroid......That sounds awesome! I wish that this game is made, and even if it isnt commerically made a flash-based variant online would be cool to play.

this sounds like a cool game, nintendo should of taken a risk on it

Instead of taking a bigger risk with other m.

This certainly sounds like a great concept. If it doesn't get made as a Metroid game, perhaps Retro can make a new IP out of it?

Retro's track record is really good, and they did an excellent job of making Metroid 3D - this coming from a staunch fan of Super Metroid.

Normally, I would cry "NO!" at this but I'm skeptical. Retro may be able to pull it off, maybe, but I'm still not sure. I think Metroid has so far been one of those things that needs to stick to its formula - but that might be the staunch fanboy in me.

I'm on the fence, Retro - go ahead and try, but please, please don't fuck this up. Corruption was good-not-great, and we need something to brush the bad taste out of our mouths that Other M left. Just make this good.

Also, Samus should never lose control over one of her powers except in isolated incidents, like the end of Super Metroid, or something like the beginning of Prime. Once I've gotten something, don't take it from me. That's crazy as hell.

More puzzles sounds like a fantastic idea. Metroid's best was when it was reminiscent of zelda. Combat is nice to break up the action, but I thought it was easily the weakest part of the series (in every game.)

Why didn't we get this? :(

3ds game anyone?

But seriously, this concept sounds so incredibly Metroid that I can't help but wonder how anybody could think it doesn't fit the series. The 4 different AI's would've been original had the game been released 5 years ago, (Portal) but that doesn't mean they shouldn't try it now. This seems like a great concept for an original Metroid title, and Retro hasn't failed to provide excellence yet.

And, you know, MP2 wasn't exactly light on the puzzle solving. There were plenty of mechanical puzzles, crazy morph/spider ball mazes, and the light/dark world mechanic provided some interesting tricks as well. Even the bosses were cleverly constructed.


This sounds like it could have been my favorite Metroid game! This is fantastic! And I love all the references to other games/movies the document made. Good to know that's acceptable :P

Sounds incredibly fun.
I can only imagine that it wasn't the marketable "epic" that Nintendo was looking for when they were handing out the Metroid business cards again.

It certainly sounds similar to Other M in a few ways ("Mother/child" with creepy overtones), though without the brain-rending stupidity of Samus's character.

That sounds fun actually, I would have tried it.


This sounds like it could have been my favorite Metroid game! This is fantastic! And I love all the references to other games/movies the document made. Good to know that's acceptable :P

Because God likes to watch gamers suffer.

Dr. Paine:


This sounds like it could have been my favorite Metroid game! This is fantastic! And I love all the references to other games/movies the document made. Good to know that's acceptable :P

Because God likes to watch gamers suffer.

But... if this game was made, it would be God.
But the game doesn't exist.
So God doesn't exist.
So there's nothing spiteful to make sure the game never gets made.
So it gets made.
And the game is God.
So God exists, and is spiteful, so the game never gets made.
So God doesn't exist.

Typical for any media development cycle.
Creativiy + intellegence + Engineering + Genius = Cash!!
So therefore:
Immediate invasion of worthless capitalist 'Money Men' claiming success as their own.

Cue several sequels of inane iteration and collapsing quality as 'Money Men' abandon IP while while still proclaiming said IP.

Why is there a piece of Metroid Prime 2 Space Pirate concept art attached to the article? :P

That sounds amazing. Nintendo, make it now. I WILL BUY IT (once I have a Wii).

Why oh why wasn't this game green lit? Instead we got the damn folks at Team Ninja who have no idea what Metroid is all about giving us a whiny Samus.

I love the Metroid Series and out of pure protest I have not purchased 'Other M'. I saw a few minutes of it at a store and said Hell No.

Hopefully Nintendo will go back to Retro and say "Hey, you know that idea you had for a Metroid game, let's do that, because this last one didn't perform as well."


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