A few years back, it was reported that Super Metroid almost made it into Metroid Prime but Nintendo decided against it because the emulator used was an unofficial third-party one.
In a conversation with Kiwi Talkz, Metroid Prime developer David Kirsch – AKA Zoid – has confirmed that this rumour is actually true. Kirsch reveals that he only actually played Super Metroid after being assigned to Metroid Prime, but loved it so much he completed it twice in 3 days.
Because he was such a fan of the game, he managed to get it loaded into Metroid Prime, as per the rumour. He also confirms that it was indeed the unofficial nature of the emulator he was using that caused Nintendo to ask for its removal – but Kirsch says that his efforts were what ultimately led to the original Metroid being included instead.
During the same chat, Kirsch – who was referred to by Shigeru Miyamoto as 'Zoid-O-San' – reveals a few more pieces of information relating to Metroid Prime's development. For example, when Miyamoto saw the first prototype of Metroid Prime, he immediately spotted something wasn't right with the camera, which was set lower than her actual height (he's got a real eye for detail, clearly).
The now-retired Kirsch admits he was working 100-hour weeks during the production of Metroid Prime, and that he would part company with Retro Studios part-way through the development of Metroid Prime 3 as he was suffering from burnout. During his 32-year career, he has worked on World Of Warcraft, Dota 2, Portal, and Quake.
I'm trying to think of any GameCube game that has a SNES ROM in it. .... For the moment, only Mega Man Anniversary Collection and Mega Man X Collection come to mind.
Burnout is real, game companies got to hire more people instead of expecting insane amounts of overtime. I accept this profession is more demanding than most, but they can afford to make it less bad.
@EarthboundBenjy Fight Night 2 by EA had Super Punch-Out in it
@EarthboundBenjy There was a Zelda retrospective collection that released around the time Wind Waker came out; it featured A Link To The Past, so that could have been such a case.
There is! Fight Night Round 2 features a playable version of Super-Punch Out!!
Nintendo Life had a recent article about this, and the emulator it ran.
Except it didn't? It only featured Zelda 1 and Zelda 2 from NES, and then Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask from N64.
@Vincent294 Throwing more people at a task won't speed up its completion much; you'd also need to throw more people/ hierarchies at its coordination.
What people really need is more time (better coord/ management is always a plus tho).
@Falien That collection only had the 2 NES games and the 2 N64 games. LttP and the handheld games weren't included.
100 hour work-week? No wonder the guy retired.
This is not surprising. The developer did the right thing by including the extra game free, but greedy Nintendo said no. They wanted to save it so they could sell it on a virtual console. How many times have tried to sell us Super Metroid?
That’s hilarious. Typical Nintendo, literally turning down a game remaster until the Wii days because it used an emulator.
Would have been nice at the time... oh well. Kind of surprised the game has never gotten much of a re-release beyond the Virtual Console.
Such a nonsense. If Nintendo had commercial interests, than it were the release of Metroid Fusion - another 16-bit 2D Metroid, which was released at the same time as Metroid Prime.
Also, they would have prevented the NES original, as they wanted to sell it on GBA around that time, too.
But, as the article says: It was all about unofficial emulators.
@PtM He didn't say throw them on. Or what you imply by that. Hiring additional staff over however much needed time needs to be on the table as an option. Devolopment time does correspond with the size of teams. Also side note, I love how Nintendo apparently allowed this dev to work 100 hours in a week or whatever number close to that he meant. Because 50 hours is the amount of maximum hours that then become dangerous for a human to work. I wish it was against the law for any buisness to expect or ask any employee to work that many hours. Since apparently these companies don't treat these employees as human beings.
@First_Amendment I'm implying that they shouldn't have speedrun the development, and that more time to finish the game would likely have scaled better than more people.
@Vincent294 Crunch in the games industry is at an all time low right now, mainly because companies realized that not any press is good press. There was a lot of pressure on higher ups to crack down on it. That said, I can tell you from experience that simply hiring more people doesn't really work for games, at least not in the general case. The goal is a coherent, consistent and high quality experience, and it's very difficult to adhere to that when there are too many cooks in the kitchen.
@RupeeClock @RudyC3 Well, I'll be! As a side note, I was actually dreaming about Punch-Out!! last night, pitching my idea for a movie adaptation of Punch-Out!! to none other than Sylvester Stallone... Rocky Balboa himself!
In fact, my idea includes Rocky Balboa as a fight commentator between Little Mac and Mr. Dream. Maybe I should pursue this in real life and not just in my dreams!
@Vincent294 Some people suffer from burnout more easily than others but 100 hour weeks will burn anyone out. Game development is definitely not a field for those who value leisure highly.
I want Super Metroid for Switch!!!
100 hours a week! I've worked 80 hours/week sometimes and it was enough to consider retiring too
@Troll_Decimator I wouldn't say that the company having bad press regarding crunch is bad for their sales (most people do not care, as seen in online discussions), however it does impair their ability to employ new staff, which ultimately leads to problems during development. Nobody wishes to work at a place where you won't be able to spend time with your family for weeks. In fairness to Nintendo, they appear to have changed Retro's work environment after Prime 1, and from investor reports it seems they have some of the healthiest work environments regarding work hours. (7-8 hrs per day average, I recall)
@Parkour_LMan If I remember correctly the work culture at Retro during the development of Prime 1 was what made Nintendo restructure their own internal policies as well. You almost never hear stories of crunch at Nintendo from the Wii-era forward.
Nintendo is a hypocrite company, they refuse him to used unofficial third party emulator for Metroid Prime for just one game (Metroid 3) but still used unofficial third party emulator (PocketNES) for their lousy NES Classic Series for GBA. It would make more sense to include Super Metroid on Metroid Prime since the original Metroid is going to be included for Zero Mission anyways which could also be play on GameCube.
@Falien It did not feature A Link to the Past. I still think this was due to the GBA version recently released.
@JakedaArbok Turned down because it used a FAN emulator. Nintendo surely did not want fan written code in the game.
Though I'd be surprised if TOSE or whoever Square-Enix hired to write the PS1 ports of their SNES RPGs didn't use at least the sound emulation from SNES9x. Chrono Trigger at least (surely the others, I haven't played as much) has some of the EXACT sound errors as 1999 fan emulators (SNES9x was prominently open source then which made it a likely target, while ZSNES was not).
@Parkour_LMan Exactly, most gamers don't really care, they just want a good game, but the programmers and artists that could easily work somewhere else do care and it makes the workplace less attractive for them. There have always been companies that are anti-crunch. Moreover, the gaming industry doesn't pay as well as companies like Facebook (Meta - lol) and Amazon, and those are companies that look for game programmers specifically.
@Paulo I think the Zelda Collection was released in 2004, which was still as recent as the GBA ports of the NES Zeldas.
GBA ALttP would've been a couple years and I don't think even still sold at that point.
That's the example I was going to give. It's a third party game, but Nintendo gave their blessing for EA to include a first-party ROM. I wonder what emulator EA used.
@RushDawg Nintendolife wrote a whole article about that last week.
Probably one of the reasons why they didn't seem to mind restarting Metroid Prime 4. They realized the potential in not just hiring the right developers, but also how less consequential it is to delay a game and face backlash than it is to rush a game and reduce its quality as well as the mental state of those developers.
@KingMike no. Wind Waker was released in December 2002 in Japan and March 2003 in América. And the Collection released around the same time. And ALTTP for GBA released in Japan in March 2003 and in América in December 2003. So, the conclusions: they didn't want to release both in the same month in the same territory, and they didn't include ALTTP on the Collection to not cannibalise sales of the GBA game (not having an emulator ready like Super Metroid is a possibility, but why give It for free when you are charging 30 on the GBA?)
@Vincent294 The problem is as soon as the development is done there isn't a need for those people.
As a person that has worked 100 hour weeks in a different industry. This is only possible if you don't have a day off. All you have to do is pass a law that would require companies to give a person a day. (It's impossible, to work 100 hours in just 6 days.) These programmers might not even be getting paid more because they are on salary most likely.
Here is the dark truth about the gaming world. Most of gamers have large backlogs of unplayed games. If something like Metroid Prime 4 takes an extra 6 months to a year to make so people can have a day off it won't effect gamers. There are actually too many great to good games being released. We can always go back to old games we beat to try and 100% them or spend more time in multiplayer games. One dev even said he was wondering why they add so much stuff to there games when they have stats that show the average gamer (about 80%) only experience 25% of the content. That is not finishing, not completing all challenges, or not taking on side quests or talking DLC content. Plus there are infinite games like Tetris, Splatoon, Pinball, Killer Queen Black, Among Us, and First Person Online Shooters, etc.
You see wonderful games that take 3 to 5 years to make like StarDew Valley and messed up releases like Cyber Punk and Grand Theft Auto Trilogy that were pushed out too quickly. Are issues is not that we have enough games to play, right now it's that we have too many and this industry isn't serving anyone's real world needs right now.
We have gamers that overwhelmed with content to play and programmers that overwhelmed creating content. We need stop this, and respect that the game and, perhaps more important, the programmer are full human beings that also like to spend time away from just gaming. We are losing touch with our humanity in order to push out and consume more products at a pace that is not benefiting anyone involved in the community.
@Falien Actually it did not feature A Link to the Past. It had both NES and both N64 games, a demo of Wind Waker, and a video of Zelda's history, but no playable SNES game.
Sorry, I see that you had already been informed You could play it on Gamecube with the GBA player. But the same goes for the NES titles, they got a GBA version as well, but that may not have been planned yet at the time the retrospective disc was released.
@Falien i thought it came with only zelda 1 and 2, then OOT and MM
I know the buttons can be mapped in-game, but did anyone play the Wii Virtual Console version of Super Metroid with a Gamecube controller? I haven't, but I remember the Gamecube controller being a little cumbersome for SNES games there.
Why would I care if Super Metroid was or wasn’t added to a game, when said game was Metroid Prime? I mean I bought Metroid Prime so I could play Metroid Prime.
@Minecraft_Master I think they’ve only tried to sell it 3 times. SNES, Wii U virtual console, and packaged in Switch online.
@iZen I am assuming this is a joke I don't understand, but on the off chance it's not, super metroid is playable on the SNES for Nintendo Switch Online base package, and man that game holds up perfectly.
PS great Fate of Atlantis background on your homepage. Such a fantastic game.
@thinkhector Except it is possible. There are 144 hours in 6 days. It's not healthy, for sure, but they obviously don't care much about the health of their employees if they're requiring 100 hour work weeks to begin with.
100 hour work weeks are like suicide. It's insane the mental toll it takes on a person.
@Zeropulse HA 😄 okay thank you. I don‘t have looked at this, but I will. And yes I love Fate of Atlantis so much. It‘s an Lifetime Adventure and I never stop playing ☺️
@First_Amendment In pretty sure I’ve seen on Nintendo life before that after metriod prime 1 Nintendo shut down the crunch at retro studios
@Paulo, your conclusion is correct, but your release dates are slightly off. The Zelda compilation you’re thinking of that released around the same time as The Wind Waker was Ocarina Time/The Master Quest. The Collector’s Edition compilation that had the NES and N64 titles was released about six months later, and A Link to the Past/Four Swords actually released in the Americas in December of 2002 not 2003, making it one of the few times a Zelda game released outside of Japan before being released on its home country.
Ignorance truly is bliss as far as Nintendo is concerned.
Those third-party emulators from the early 2000's can run circles around Nintendo's poorly engineered first-party ones in present year.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars is proof of that.
"For example, when Miyamoto saw the first prototype of Metroid Prime, he immediately spotted something wasn't right with the camera, which was set lower than her actual height..."
Reminds me of the anecdotes that one of Mr. Miyamoto's many hobbies is guessing the height / size of random objects, then measuring to see if he was correct:
Prime is a completely different take on Metroid so it makes sense not to include it.
@Specter_of-the_OLED To be fair, I think the management change to Iwata allowed Nintendo to accept some emulators after 2002.
@SeantheDon29 I don't think it's fair to compare the two. Third Party Emulators are more focused on playing as many games as possible, while Nintendo wants their games to work near 1:1 as their Original release. Thing is, this is Nintendo we're talking about, they try to re-invent the wheel more often than one might like. They've been using multiple different emulators from different parts of the company.
@iZen it's on the SNES part of the Nintendo online membership, I'm, pretty sure.
@BloodNinja It's also available on Wii and New 3DS/New 2DS SNES VC as well. You just can't download it for the regular 3DS/2DS and Wii Mini. Also SNES Classic Edition as well, so that's 6 times they try to sell you on the game. If you had the Wii version you get a discount on the Wii U port which doesn't really offer much but the ability to just use the GamePad.
@Specter_of-the_OLED That's not bad, considering it was always 5-7 bucks. Why people are complaining is beyond me, but I guess they need SOMETHING to whine about in their near-perfect bubbles.
@twztid13 yes you‘re right, too. Thank you ☺️
@JakedaArbok Where are you getting this info? The article states it was due to using 3rd party emulators, if what you're saying was true then the original Metroid would have never made it into Prime..
@Troll_Decimator I pretty sure the lead creator is on a performance based salary, the better the sales the more cash he makes and the better his CV looks. I'm not convinced all these crunch stories are the way they are made out to be, I think the devs choose to crunch or mismanage themselves therefor need to.
@Paulo I checked the dates and it seems the Collection was December 2003, though it's hard to say for sure since it was only released as a console bundle or some kind of mail-in offer, making dates less concrete than a standard game release (Wind Waker was released with a different bonus disc including only OoT and Master Quest), though it's still a year after the US release of ALttP GBA (December 2002) (which I remember being in the Metroid Prime issue of Nintendo Power (November 2002), since it was literally one of the only GameCube-era Nintendo Power issues I own/have read, kind of permanently borrowed from a friend). I cannot remember whether or not ALttP was even still on sale in late 2003, which is when I got my first GBA (SP).
@Nameless_Shame What's even weirder is that Nintendo updated the EU GBA version of ALttP to make the dungeons use UK floor numbering. Can't say I've heard of any other games going to that localization extent.
@KingMike that’s very cool, I didn’t know that. Do any other UK Zelda games do this?
I also just learned that the staff credits music after completing the Four Sword Dungeon that unlocks in the main ALttP game after completing Four Swords has an entirely unique composition for the European release. Pretty cool!
@sirmrguitardude That really isn't how it works at all. Not that it can't be that, but this is not why the average game developer crunches. Crunch happens because it's part of a studio's culture. Usually stemming from the days when the studio was smaller and people were
younger and just working as long as they felt like.
@iZen I can't tell if you're joking. It's already on Switch. Has been for a while. And it's free if you have online.
There is 168 hours in a 7 day week, I'm pretty sure that these guys count in all 7 days, so he have 68 hour's of sleep which equals for a 9 hours of sleep time every day, the rest it's in front of his desktop computer working on his passion that is making video games for a living, it doesn't sound as bad to me, all things considered (i mean, these guys can retire at a pretty young age so it's a fair deal to me) it is not for every body, that is for sure
@SoIDecidedTo yeahh big sorry. I don‘t knew this. But I‘ve already discovered it
@iZen awesome! Don't be sorry. I'm not good at understanding when people are sarcastic on here. Glad you found it. One of my favorite games of the SNES era. Hope you enjoy it!
Because GameCube controller have terrible d-pad.
@Vincent294 Burnout revenge is best.
@Falien No it didn't. It had Zelda 1, 2, OoT and MM. Presumably it skipped over aLttP because of the GBA port and LA because the DX version was fairly recent and ran natively on the GBA.
@Minecraft_Master The virtual console wasn't even a twinkle in Nintendo's eye when Metroid Prime was in development.
The article clearly states it was because of the third-party (probably open source) emulator. The version of Metroid 1 that was eventually included would have been using an in-house emulator (probably the same one used in the Zelda Collector's Edition disc for the NES games).
@JakedaArbok Not because it used an emulator but because it was a third-party emulator. Nintendo had already released games with emulators at that point so they didn't have a problem with emulation in general, just using emulators they didn't own.
@Specter_of-the_OLED I call BS unless you have some evidence. The Classic NES series uses Nintendo's own emulator, some third party publishers were caught using pocketNES though. I think Majesco were caught out IIRC so maybe you're confusing it with that.
@Paulo Wrong collection. The WW bonus disc only had OoT and Master Quest. The Collector's Edition (which one could reasonably expect to include aLttP) was a few years later - 2004 sounds about right.
The emulator being unofficial is one thing and probably the primary reason, but I assume they were using SNES9X since it was the only truly portable emulator of its time... which had a non commercial use clause in the license so that could have been an additional more legitimate reason for it.
@RupeeClock The collection included a video showcasing all games playable on GameCube though not in the collection specifically. Nintendo was pushing the Gameboy Player that same year.
That would explain it, the GBA version of A Link to the Past would be playable on TV using the Game Boy Player accessory, as well as titles like Minish Cap, and later on the Classic NES series versions of Zelda 1 and 2.
A means of playing GBA games on the GameCube doesn't mean these games were playable directly on the GameCube though. The Game Boy Player itself for all intents and purposes IS a Game Boy Advance that is operated using a GameCube.
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