It seems the Metroid Prime series wasn't the only Metroid series being worked on at Retro Studios. Did You Know Gaming has been able to uncover one of the developer's other projects that never saw the light of day.
Metroid Tactics was a concept pitched internally by Paul Tozer - a member of the Metroid Prime team. This mysterious project was aimed at the Wii, with the pitch written up in "late" 2007 after the completion of the third Prime game. It would have been a "series prequel" - with events taking place "long before all other games in the Metroid series".
"It marks the very moment when Samus Aran first separates from the Chozo who raised her from childhood, encounters humanity and becomes a bounty hunter. The game also marks humankind's very first encounter with the Space Pirates and Metroids.
"Samus must cooperate with an elite team of highly trained Galactic Federation Troopers and colourful bounty hunters to stop the incursion on several Galactic Federation planets, at various locations on planets such as Norion and Earth and eventually take on the Space Pirates at their outpost on planet Zebes."
Tozer describes how the game would have been similar to the turn-based tactical series XCOM:
"It's basically XCOM, it was XCOM in the Metroid Universe except instead of fighting aliens, you're fighting Space Pirates - who are also aliens but different"
Samus would have been the main character in the game, but she was apparently just one of many soldiers the player would have commanded. Players would have controlled one commander, in particular, known as Justin Bailey (a throwback to the famous passcode in the original Metroid game on NES). Tozer adds:
"The player takes the role of a galactic federation commander...it even has a name for him, I'm not going to repeat. Pretty stupid name"
The project was going to utlised the Wii's unique controls, and for Retro it was going to be a "relatively cheap" project, as it could have reused much of the engine, art assets and animation from the Prime series.
So, what was the conclusion to Metroid Tactics? This project was only being worked on by Paul Tozer and it was rejected by Retro's "higher-ups", so Nintendo never ended up seeing the pitch. Did You Know Gaming's latest video goes into more detail. You can check it out on YouTube.
Would you have been up for a game like this? Comment below.