I’m playing through every single hack of Metroid 1. I don’t know what’s possessing me to do this, but whatever it is I suggest that you avoid getting it.
Anyhow, some context to the pictures I posted in the games-you-played thread:
The first three pictures were from Metroid Challenge. It’s an 87% complete hack from around 2002 (from the same group that made Zelda Outlands). Apparently, from what I can tell it was unpreserved, but somehow has been sitting on my computer for who knows how long. I only played it long enough to get some screenshots to upload it to metconst.
The second screenshot is the first door transition in the game, if you go left from the starting point. That also happens to be the required path to get to the morph ball, if you ever happen to get that far.
These are from Zebian Illusion (version 0.4). That third screenshot is pretty much what all of the vertical shafts in the game are like.
I remember back in the day the author of this hack talking about how he regretted making it. I can see why, but I can appreciate it as a grotesque aesthetic artifact.
I played it for 20 minutes before I decided I had had my fill.
Early Metroid 1 hacks were hamstrung by the fact that moving items around was not fully understood. Sure, you could move an item to a different screen no problem, but having that item not respawn upon death or password entry was a problem that wasn’t solved for several years. As a result, hacks either ignored (or were unaware of) this limitation and had things like respawning missile and e-tanks, or they kept items in the same places and tried to rearrange the map to make up the difference.
Metroid X, the first Metroid hack, probably best exemplifies that latter approach. The morph ball is still in its same place, on screen left of the start, but the game gates it behind the wave beam, making it mark the end of act one.
While Metroid X isn’t perfect — it takes the original game’s iceberg and flattens it into a thin sheet of ice — it is overall remarkably cognizant of the limitations both of the original game and of the hacking tools available back then. It succeeds at its own goals quite well, and chronologically speaking I don’t expect to find anything of the same caliber until at least 2006 at the earliest.
In conclusion, let us appreciate the stilted poetry of these ending screens:
(Wart’s Invasion, Metroid Remix, and Metroid X, respectively)
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