With Metroid Prime 4 now officially announced for Nintendo Switch - please let there be another reveal at E3 this year! - fans of the series finally have something to be excited about after what will be a 12-year gap between entries. To whet your appetite before any further announcements, though, indulge yourself in some behind-the-scenes info from the first two games.
Speaking with the folks at Shinesparkers, Clark Wen, who worked as the audio lead on Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, has discussed some of the processes involved in the games' creation and what life was like at Retro Studios. When asked about his decision to join Retro, and the aspects of the Metroid project that appealed to him, Wen said the following:
"Well, I’ve always been a huge Metroid fan so the day that Nintendo announced Prime at SpaceWorld, I remember jumping out of my seat I was so excited! My co-workers must have thought I was on drugs or something. When I heard that Retro Studios was hiring, it seemed like an incredible opportunity although to be honest, I did have my doubts as there was a lot of negative press surrounding Retro at the time."
"What sealed the deal for me though was meeting the team there. Retro did a fantastic job of putting together a group of incredibly talented artists, designers, and programmers. Even though I’ve worked since then on big IPs like Call of Duty and Guitar Hero, to this day I still consider the Prime team to be one of the best teams that I’ve ever worked with. I think it also goes without saying that being able to work with a luminary like Miyamoto-san was a huge draw in itself!"
Working on a series like Metroid must feel like an amazing achievement for anyone involved, and likely presents some great times and fond memories along the way. Naturally, though, projects such as this can also cause a huge amount of stress, and it seems that Metroid Prime was no different. Wen remembers his relationship with Prime's composer Kenji Yamamoto fondly, but also remembers a very panicky final day at the office.
"Yamamoto-san could be demanding at times and he really pushed me to do my best work! I remember one time it was the night that we were going gold. It was the last day to make any more changes to Prime before the disc went off to manufacturing. My work was done at this point so I wasn’t expecting much other than to play the game looking for bugs when I got a phone call around 9pm from Yamamoto-san. ‘Could you make some last-minute changes for me?’ his translator asked me. I couldn’t say no of course as I wanted him to be happy so I spent all night making those changes for him. I didn’t get done until 1am! It was worth it though. His attention to detail was pretty extraordinary and really pushed me to make the best game possible."
If you want to read more about Clark Wen's work on the Metroid Prime games, make sure to check out the full interview. It's a lengthy read with some interesting nuggets of information, so we're sure you'll enjoy it.
Can you imagine working on top games like this? Fancy pulling an all-nighter to get all those last minute tweaks sorted? We guess the stress is worth it in the end!