Retro Let's Play: "Super Metroid" (1994)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Retro Let's Play for late April 2018: Super Metroid

    Developed by Nintendo R&D1 and Intelligent Systems, and originally published by Nintendo for the Super Famicom in Japan, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the west in 1994. The game's development was overseen by long time Nintendo employee and inventor of the Gameboy, Gunpei Yokoi.

    "Super Metroid" is currently ranked 14th on Hardcore Gaming 101's top 47,858 games of all time. It's the third game in the Metroid series, with the previous titles appearing on the 8 bit Famicom/NES and Gameboy consoles. With the power boost of the 16 bit platform, "Super Metroid" saw numerous upgrades and expansions over the original titles.

    The series follows the once-human bounty hunter Samus Aran who, after her childhood, the destruction of her mining colony planet and murder of her parents by space pirates, was adopted by an ancient bird-like race called the Chozo, infused with their DNA, given a special power suit, and is now a superhuman bounty hunter. She hunts the leader of the space pirates, Ridley (named after Alien director Ridley Scott) who is a large dragon type creature. The space pirates are attempting to harness the bioweapon creatures known as metroids - creatures capable of draining the very lifeforce energy from any other living plant or animal.

    Samus attempted to destroy all of the metroids in the first two games, but at the finale of the second game finds a baby metroid who follows her as if she was its mother. She takes it to planet SR388 to deliver to galactic federation scientists to study. The game begins with Samus getting a distress call from the planet, landing and finding Ridley has murdered the scientists, and stolen the baby metroid. Ridley then sets off a self-destruct sequence and destroys the base entirely. Samus escapes, following Ridley to planet Zebes, where the game finally begins as she hunts him and the metroid down.

    Super Metroid is a 2D, side-scrolling action platformer, and focuses heavily on exploration, often forcing the player to backtrack through large portions of the game after having found newly unlocked skills, weapons or suit upgrades. This style of gameplay is often compared to the Castlevania series, leading to the combined description of "Metroidvania" gameplay. The game is packed full of secrets, and even with special tools given to the player later in the game to make hunting for secrets easier, it's still quite difficult to get through the game with a 100% item score.

    Super Metroid brings with it an amazing sense of isolation, as Samus is forced to explore the deep and dark areas of underground Zebes. The music lends superbly to the atmosphere, ranging from energetic tunes of busier areas to extremely sparse and melancholic sounds that emphasis the isolation, loneliness and eeriness of some of the planet's areas.

    Playing the game:

    Nintendo have made Super Metroid available through several of their Virtual Console services. It was available on the Wii (with excellent quality emulation, and 240p output if you connected your TV correctly). It later was made available on the WiiU and the New Nintendo 3DS for AUD$10.40 at time of writing (not the first generation hardware, but the "New" one that was more powerful and added SNES emulation).

    Additionally, the title is available on Nintendo's "SNES Mini".

    If you're looking for an emulator to play this, Byuu's Higan is highly recommended. SNES emulation is quite tricky, especially when it comes to replicating the SNES's music accurately. Super Metroid's music is an important part of the atmosphere, and some of the other emulators that cut corners really don't get that right (bad news for Raspberry Pi owners - sadly it's not powerful enough to get this one right).

    More information:

    * HG101: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/super-metroid/
    * Top47k podcast 41 (starts at 32:40): https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/hardcore-gaming-101/e/49463570
    * Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Metroid
    * Metroid Wikia: http://metroid.wikia.com/wiki/Super_Metroid

    Box Art:

    [​IMG]

    HG101 playthrough:

     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
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  2. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    This is my number one favourite game of all time. I hope folks at least get a chance to fire this up and play the first 30 minutes or so to experience it.

    If anyone needs assistance getting it running, please PM me.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  3. Grant

    Grant Member

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    I've never played any of the 2D Metroid games, but loved the Metroid Prime trilogy. I remember nominating the original NES Metroid when this Let's Play thing started, so I'm not sure if I'll be spoiling some of the magic if I jump to the SNES version.

    Either way, I'll set some time aside to have a good crack at these :)
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Despite the linear story of Metoid 1-3, the Metroid games are more about the experience of the gameplay than the story itself. Most folks happily play the game with little understanding or care for the story. I don't think playing them "out of order" does any great harm. Technically speaking, the three Metroid Prime games are set between the events of Metroid 1 and 2.

    We're at #14 in HG101's list, and the first Metroid (which I lump with the "Metroid: Zero Mission" re-release) is at #34. So we'll get a chance to play that at some point.

    There's also AM2R ("Another Metroid 2 Remake") which is still easy enough to track down and play (make sure you get the 1.1 version, which fixes a critical bug. 1.2 and above are fan hacks with item randomisers, which are only worth playing if you plan on many replays).

    But I digress. For this thread, yes, absolutely play Super Metroid at any time. I try to play it at least once a year.
     
  5. power

    power Member

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    been on my list for years to play but just never seem to have time to dedicate to it.

    one day......
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Call in sick Friday, binge it for three days. :)
     
  7. power

    power Member

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    would it take that long to finish!?
     
  8. samus

    samus Member

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    Yay! Again. I have the original BIG BIG box cart for this, with the included strategy guide. I'll snap a pic of it tonight if I can fish it out of the garage. I actually bought it in London in 1995.

    I'm playing this on SNES mini this time, but like last time, I have the cart, and have played it on the Wii, emulated using zsnes (windows) and under Linux using Higan.

    elvis has this one spot on. I think I am horribly biased, as the early 90's for me anyway, was a golden age of video games, and we were far less cynical about these things. literally a game that spawned a genre. And i liked it so much i use it for my internet handle.

    I have a confession though, even though I've played this for 20 years, I've never "100%'ed" it.

    EDIT power, no, but you will want to play it for days looking for all the items. You don't need them all to finish the game, I think you can speed run it in less than an hour if you need to.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    If you were on a mission to 100% it for the first time, maybe. If you just want to play through the thing, it's less than 4 hours easy.
     
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  10. power

    power Member

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    i have it on mini maybe I will at least try and have a go, snes was not my jam "back in the day" I went from Amiga to Saturn so catching up on all these classics is pretty cool.
     
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  11. Grant

    Grant Member

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    Well part of the charm of these games is the sequence breaking and speed runs, so it shouldn't really take more than 45 mins: https://www.speedrun.com/supermetroid
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    The SNES was right up there with Nintendo's manifesto of making cheap hardware do amazing things.

    Gunpei Yokoi, Super Metroid game director and inventor of the Gameboy, had the personal motto roughly translated as "Lateral Thinking of Withered Technology". The NES and SNES shared that design philosophy (indeed, all Nintendo hardware still does), and it was absolutely amazing what the SNES managed to achieve with such low spec hardware. Consider that its main CPU was half the speed of the Sega Megadrive/Genesis, and yet with some very clever hardware choices it still managed to look and sound better than Sega's flagship for most titles.

    Super Metroid is Japanese design to its core. It's the Bonsai tree of action games - pruned and pared back until only the absolutely necessary core bits are there to define it for what it is. I'm sure I sound completely hyperbolic here, but IMHO it's such an important study in game design from head to toe. I think anyone who makes games for a living today who hasn't played Super Metroid is missing a fundamental piece of their education.
     
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  13. Boneman

    Boneman Member

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    Pay close attention to the Etecoons. Etecoon.gif
     
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  14. Supplanter

    Supplanter Member

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    And the Dachora. [​IMG]
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    It always catches me how the game records time. I put over an hour in to it tonight, and my save reports 34 minutes.

    Will be interesting to see what my final time is, as I'm moving through it a bit quicker than normal. Of course, that'll probably howb out when I get suchs in the water area like always.
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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  17. samus

    samus Member

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    As promised gents:

    20180417_190809.jpg 20180417_190812.jpg 20180417_190839.jpg 20180417_190823.jpg 20180417_190855.jpg

    50 squid back in the day. As you can see it was well loved by me. Almost wish I had the receipt still. I think we picked it up from some big department store in London, it was packed up the same way Peters or Victoria's basement is here.

    That's $171.56 AUD in today's money. bloody hell.

    Anyway, only had 30 min to play last night, I do enjoy save states on the SNES mini.
     
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  18. Grant

    Grant Member

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    I was interested in picking this up second hand to play on a real SNES, but the carts go for not much cheaper than this even today :Paranoid:

    Need to get a flash cart I think...
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Oh man, I'm making so many dumb mistakes this play through. Very rusty!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
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