metroid prime

Metroid Prime [Beta – GameCube]

Metroid Prime [Beta – GameCube]

Metroid Prime was developed as a collaboration between Retro Studios and Nintendo EAD and R&D1 members. Retro Studios was created in 1998, by an alliance between Nintendo and former Iguana Entertainment founder Jeff Spangenberg. After establishing its offices in Austin, Texas in 1999, Retro received five cancelled game ideas for the future GameCube, despite not even having development kits. It seems that one of these project, Retro Studio’s Action Adventure game set in a SciFi settings, was used as a base to create the first prototype of Metroid for the Gamecube.

The game was originally envisioned as having third-person perspective gameplay, but this was changed to a first-person perspective after Miyamoto intervened, causing almost everything already developed to be scrapped. Among the reasons for leaving the third-person perspective were Rare’s trouble with the camera in Jet Force Gemini, shooting in third-person “not being very intuitive” and exploration being easier using first-person.

Kraid was originally intended to make an appearance in Metroid Prime as a boss, and was modeled and skinned by Gene Kohler for that purpose. However, time constraints prevented it from being included in the final version of the game. Though the beta model displays him inside Phazon Mines, contrary to popular belief, he was not, in fact, replaced by the Omega Pirate. The Area he was supposed to appear in was never put into the final release, suggesting that the Phazon Mines were originally going to be bigger. Of note in the Prime Kraid’s appearance is his head. It appears to be covered by a metal dome in the picture. It is possible Kraid was meant to be Meta Kraid, as Meta Ridley is in Prime. – [info from Wikipedia]

Also, in the third video you can notice an early menu brackground, in which the game was subtitled “First Person Adventure“. A beta model of the Phazon suit, a beta Gravity Suit and an unused speech audio file (check the 4th video) were found in the game’s code. The inside of Samus’ ship is also textured a bit.

Thanks to a model viewer created by Interdpth and Revel8n it’s possible to find various unused models hidden in the game’s code. You can download the Metroid Prime model viewer (mpxviewer) in here. If you are able to find more unused models, please let us know!

Thanks to Robert Seddon, GF_Kennon (from Metroid Construction) and Interdpth for the contributions!

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Action Adventure (Retro Studios) [GameCube – Cancelled]

When Retro Studios started to work on their GameCube projects (as NFL Football, Raven Blade and Car Combat), one of the first concepts created  in 1999 / 2000 was the one for this game, at that time simply know as “Action Adventure”. The player would have impersonate 3 females protagonists in an action game set in a alien / sci-fi world. When Nintendo came to Retro Studios to check for their progresses, most of their games were in a development hell, with few things done and lot of disorganization. Nintendo decided to cut most of Retro Studios’s projects to have them to concentrate on the development of Metroid Prime: Action Adventure was then cancelled and never seen again.

Probably there was not even a playable beta for Action Adventure (it was still unclear if it would have a third-person or a first-person view) and it seems that only few concept arts and some early tech demos (that you can see below) were made before it’s cancellation. Even if assets from Action Adventure were never re-used for Metroid Prime, the experience to design a similar concept was probably of some help for the successive work on Samu’s first-person adventure.

An interesting article on this project can be find at IGN

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Retro Studios Football [GC – Tech Demo / Cancelled]

Retro Studios struggled in its early years, dealing with several cancelled projects and lay-offs. In 2000, Nintendo offered the company the license to the long-dormant Metroid franchise which proved to be a turning point for the company. [Infos from Wikipedia]

One of the GameCube games that were cancelled to concentrate  the team on the development of Metroid Prime, was this NFL Retro Football, that was basically a traditional football game with impressive graphic and animations for its time (and a rumored create-a-player mode).

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Raven Blade [GC – Cancelled]

Raven Blade was a game in development by Retro Studios for the Nintendo GameCube. It was due to be released world-wide but was later cancelled during development to free up resources for Metroid Prime. Slow development and the offer of developing the next Metroid game were the main reasons of cancellation. The models of Raven Blade backgrounds and creatures were good, but the textures were incomplete. Nintendo noticed their (tentative title) “Action-Adventure” project with a female main character and took the opportunity to ask Retro Studios to make Metroid Prime. Raven Blade, Action-Adventure, NFL Retro Football and Car Combat were all cancelled to work on the new game. – [info from Wikipedia]

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Some screenshots & artwork are from www.n-sider.com

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