Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of the original Metroid launch in Japan. This wasn't the only Metroid anniversary, either. The fan-made overhaul of Metroid II: Return of Samus – better known as Project AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) turned five years old.
To celebrate, the developer Milton "DoctorM64" Guasti - who now works at Moon Studios on games like Ori and the Will of the Wisps has released a small web browser game 'Skippy the Robot' - one of the many "untold stories" within the AM2R universe.
If you're wondering what the connection to Metroid is here - this was essentially a mini-game in AM2R that's now been turned into its own title. In the original version, Samus took remote control of the robot.
Here's a bit from the developer about it:
"Skippy the Bot is a physics platformer, set in a dangerous abandoned factory. Learn how to hop like a real robot, escape the deadly factory and discover your true destiny. Made for the 5th anniversary of AM2R being released, and Metroid's 35th."
"Skippy was built in a couple weeks for this anniversary, using a framework I'm developing for another, bigger project. Hopefully, if everything goes well, I might be ready to share more details about it in the not so distant future. It's going to be pretty unique."
"If you like Skippy, let me know and I’ll do my best to add more content."
Guasti has also summed up the past five years since AM2R was released. It's been one heck of a ride:
"AM2R is 5 years old as of right now. Seeing people recommend AM2R as a way to experience Metroid 2 in anticipation for Dread is really humbling. I'm very grateful for all of this."
"The legal situation hasn't changed, I'm not developing, updating or distributing the game. Nevertheless, the community has managed to add new content via patches, mods have been developed, and the speedrun community is still very active. The game is still alive and relevant."
"What happened during these last 5 years?
- AM2R received a DMCA takedown notice, development and distribution ceased
- AM2R was nominated for Fan Game of the Year at the Game Awards, for a couple hours
- AM2R was featured at Pixel Museum in France
- Awesome youtubers that I admire played the game
- People created lots of AM2R fanart
- Several Metroid themed marathons featured AM2R
- Very talented fans reverse engineered the game, and have added insane features like widescreen and multiplayer
- I got a job at Moon Studios as a Game Designer
How have you been celebrating Metroid's 35th? Tell us down below.
This guy is great at designing games by himself. AM2R was great and I’m glad he got a job at Moon Studios because of it
Metroid Dread looks great, but honestly I might be more hyped for Skippy the Robot?? I love a good underdog story 🥺
This is the kind of game they should start focusing on as this is their own creation not related to Nintendo.
reminds me of getting over it with bennett foddy
@rushiosan well, anything is valid to show off your talents. If you want to recreate the Mona Lisa with Cheerios or Inception in stop motion… go for it.
I was playing this mini game last night, it's pretty fun! There isn't much content but it has a bit of replayability.
AM2R was a goddamn masterpiece. Honestly I still think it's slightly better than the official Metroid 2 remake we got
At work yesterday, my boss introduced me to a new employee, who also happens to be a long-time friend of his. After introductions, he said, “we call him Skippy.”
Uh, foreshadowing, I guess?
Way more than just "slightly" AM2R is in solid competion with some of the series' best.
This guy had a way better idea what the Metroid series should be than the guys who are officially rensponsible for the series these days.
@rushiosan Do I smell jealousy? Because the guy obviously has the talent to stand where he is now.
The last level was a little bit frustrating, but that may be due me being hungry and wanting to finish it before getting dinner. Sadly, Skippy likely died at the end of Metroid Fusion.
If he's at Moon Studios why doesn't he make this an Ori Game?
Kind of lame too keep leeching off Nintendo IP.
@Dr_Lugae I don’t remember Skippy being Nintendo’s IP. It was a “character” created by himself in AM2R
Am2r is better than Samus returns (not to diss Samus returns it's great but am2r is just that great) and I can't wait to play with my favorite robot again.
Good to see him make his own IP. I gave it a go and it is decent. I would have loved it on the Gameboy.
Looks like the framework for a pinball-esque game…
They said by popular demand.....from one tweet 💀💀💀 I'm weak 😂😂😂😂
This dude is a prime example of what happens when you have enough talent to make a whole game on your own, but waste it by making fan games instead of original stuff. Dude should have made AM2R an original IP and had it be heavily inspired by Metroid 2. Seriously, if you are capable of making a game on your own, what's so hard in doing that?
If only Nintendo would, but Nintendon't.
People make fangames for the same reason people make fan art.
Stop sheltering your precious Nintendo, you will just cry "Waagh! Another metroidvania indie title" or it rips off Metroid if it scratched off the Metroid IP in AM2R anyway.
@Ardisan Nope, people might notice the similarities but they wouldn't cry about it. Axiom Verge is a prime example of a game heavily influenced by Metroid and nobody complained about it ripping off Metroid.
I will never understand how "fans" of the series will side with an unofficial game over the official ones, like AM2R. It's not official, it is not canon, and it's never going to be acknowledged by Nintendo. Why defend it when it doesn't officially exist?
When you stand on the shoulders of giants, it can make you feel tall.
@MagnaRoader Because it's a good game made by a fellow fan who clearly has a passion for the series? What kind of logic is this?
We don't have to bootlick every thing done officially by the franchise's creators. Especially given where Metroid was in terms of the state of the series when AM2R came out, it deserved all the attention it got
Hell, in cases like this and Sonic Mania, it literally broke fans into the games industry proper and gave them the funding to do what they wanted full time. Sonic Mania is literally a game made by fans who were previously doing things like rom hacks, hardware conversions and unofficial fangames, who were poached by SEGA and basically got to work on the franchise they were celebrating as a hobby, but as an actual job.
@Chamver The best reason would probably be to get their work noticed by people. The creator put a good amount of work into essentially what was a passion project, and got hired partly thanks to the exposure he got making a 'Metroid' game. His reasoning probably wasn't that cynical, but with how many indie games ape off of the Metroidvania genre, a wholly original title would have likely gotten lost in the flood.
Of course the downside is that he's got what I assume to be a quality product he spent a decent chunk of his life on that he couldn't monetize in any way until recently. Owning your stuff is the best option, but this guy made it work as a sort of springboard to his career.
@MagnaRoader It's better in every way than nintendo's official remake, people who played through both almost unanimously agree. Unless you have played through both of them from start to finish you can't really say anything unfortunately, so either go play both with no bias or stop worrying anout it.
@Jokerwolf bold of you to assume I haven't played Am2r, along with other fan hacks of Super and the original Metroid. In any case, my point still stands. Defend it as much as you can, Still doesn't make it official or canon.
@MagnaRoader Nintendo's remake isn't really cannon either since they took way more liberties. AM2R is more faithful to the the original in esthetic and even sound design.
Nintendo missed a huge opportunity for not recognizing the man's talent and not bringing him on board when they had the chance, but I expect no less from present 'business first' Nintendo.
Maybe once they get a president that's less of a business man and more of a game designer like Iwata, things will get better; both for us and the company.
Not my cup of tea.
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