Hirokazu “Chip” Tanaka releases second album: “Domingo”

The composer of the original Metroid, Hirokazu Tanaka, has revealed that his second album “Domingo” will be available on July 15th 2020. His first album “Django” was released in October 2017, a collecton of music heard from his live shows, and simlar to the music you might hear from his Earthbound compositions. Domingo is a brand new album with eleven brand new pieces of music, described by him as a requiem to his past.

From Tanaka-san’s official YouTube channel:

Three years after delighting music lovers around the world with his debut solo album Django, CHIP TANAKA is back and ready to release his highly anticipated second album: Domingo.

Video game fans know him as Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka, the pioneer artist who began spinning chipsounds into video game music in 1980 while working as a sound engineer at Nintendo. In addition to composing music for legendary games like Metroid, Super Mario Land, and Earthbound, his storied career includes writing and arranging numerous theme songs for the Pokémon animated films and TV series. His contributions to music catapulted forward yet again in 2017 with Django, the first album released under his live performance name CHIP TANAKA.

With Domingo, Chip returns with an all-new album of 11 conceptual pieces that combine disparate imagery of the sea, the night, outer space, and the retro-computer age, while exploring themes of nostalgia for bygone people and places. With an unpredictable mélange of genres including reggae, dub, and techno, and a rich palette of chiptune sounds, listeners will be transported into new and unknown auspices.

In his own words: “This album is a requiem to my past- a new life form born from treasured memories.” Don’t miss this epochal release from an artist who still has plenty to say!


Here are the eleven tracks featured on the album:

01 Calm Sea

02 Hammerhead Shark Song

03 Tubeworm Dub

04 Moonchild

05 Oppama

06 A Song For Stars

07 Guiding Light Dub

08 Plasma

09 Momongah

10 Rad Bat

11 Night Flight

Back in 2018, we had the pleasure of interviewing Tanaka-san, where he revealed he was “thinking about a next album” and we are pleased to see this has finally come to fruition! The first track on the album “Calm Sea” is available right now from Tanaka’s Bandcamp page. Be sure to pick up Domingo when it launches on July 15th!


Links: Chip Tanaka on Bandcamp, Chip Tanaka on YouTube

Samus costume added to Jump Rope Challenge for Nintendo Switch

A number of costumes have been added to a free-to-play fitness app for Nintendo Switch called Jump Rope Challenge, one of which includes the famed bounty Hunter Samus Aran, who has decided to take a break from fighting alien threats, and picked up a skipping rope. The game was created by a group of Nintendo employees in Japan during lockdown due to Covid-19 to add some “quick and fun movement into their daily lives”. The game requires the use of both Nintendo Switch Joy-Con in order to play. How many jumps can you do?

The app is only available until until September 30th 2020, from the Nintendo Switch eShop, and will be removed after this date. If you download the app before then, it will be available to enjoy beyond this date.

Community Spotlight: Pamigu

This month’s Community Spotlight focuses on an excellent cosplayer called Pamigu, who has created a brilliant Varia Suit costume. Pamigu has come through a lot to get to where she is today, disregarding anyone who says she can’t achieve her dreams. Her story was very inspirational, and we thank her for taking the time to share it with us! Please check it out by clicking the link below.

On a side note, we are always keen to feature talented Metroid focused projects in the community. If you are a cosplayer, speedrunner, artist, musician or someone that has a really cool and unique Metroid focused project that could do with a bit more attention, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our Facebook and Twitter social media pages, we would love to hear from you!

Click here to read the Community Spotlight

Feature: The Beauty of Getting Lost

We are delighted to share a new feature by our most recent addition to the team, Dalagonash! In his debut written piece, he shares his memories of Metroid II: Return of Samus, and the beauty of getting lost within its alien world. It’s a facinating look into Dala’s Metroid origin story, and we hope you’ll check it out!

Special thanks to David Porvia from our graphics team, who sketched the awesome header for this feature.

Click here to read the feature

Episode 06 – Viking Guitar

Episode 06 – Viking Guitar
Shinesparkers Podcast

00:00 / 34:20

Our sixth episode invites Harmony of a Hunter musician Viking Guitar to chat with us about his contribution to the album, along with some of his work outside of the project, and how he got into music in the first place. This episode also features our host Amanda, and team members Darren and RoyboyX.

Feature: The Ing

Today we are taking a look at another civilisation in the Metroid universe in a series by our team member Quadraxis. The focus of this one is the Ing, which feature in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Ever wanted to learn more about them and their history? Be sure to discover them by clicking the link below! If you want to see more features focusing on the civilisations from Metroid, they can be found on our Features page.

Click here to read the feature

Metroid cameo in newly announced Paper Mario title

Nintendo have just announced a brand new Paper Mario game for Nintendo Switch titled Paper Mario: The Origami King. However, at the end of the trailer, we see Mario wearing Samus’ iconic helmet, running back and forth and making sound effects. Nothing more is known about this cameo at the current time, but we are certainly interested and eager to learn more!

Paper Mario: The Origami King releases on Nintendo Switch on July 17th 2020. Check out the trailer below!

Nicholas Wilson and Adad Morales join Retro Studios

Two new additions to the Retro Studios team have been recently confirmed, and presumably hard at work on the upcoming Metroid Prime 4 title. Nicholas Wilson has been given the role of Senior VFX Artist, and Adad Morales has been confirmed to be the Lead VFX Artist at Retro Studios. Nicholas and Adad have a wealth of experience in the video games industry, with some impressive credits to their names.

Nicholas has previously worked with Gearbox Software on several titles, which include multiple games in the Borderlands and Aliens franchises, and Duke Nukem Forever. Adad’s former work history includes Electronic Arts for his contribution to the Battlefield franchise, and some titles that were unfortunately cancelled from Blizzard and the now defunct EA studio, Visceral Games.

We want to wish both Nicholas and Adad the very best of luck in their new roles at Retro Studios, and can’t wait to see what they produce!

UPDATE: It was also recently discovered by Shinesparkers that Bryan Erck has joined team Retro as a Senior VGX Artist, hired in January 2020. His created work includes Shadow of the Tomb Raider at Crystal Dynamics, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare at Slederhammer Games, and Star Wars: The Old Republic while at Bioware. It’s clear that Retro Studios are hiring great talent from across the games industry, and it’s very exciting to see how their talents will affect their upcoming games.

Source: LinkedIN, LinkedIN, LinkedIN

Updated Job Openings at Retro Studios

Back in early February, we shared news of positions filled by Retro Studios, and provided a list of  job openings the company was currently recruiting for. We are updating our list again to share some of the roles the Austin Texas based company is currently looking for, as of May 10th 2020.

One of the latest roles is for a Boss / AI Designer position, which requires the suitable candidate to “Design, own, and champion Boss and AI encounters in a highly iterative environment” and requires the applicant to have a minimum of five years of experience in game design, including senior or lead design experience on a shipped 3D action adventure title.

Titles that have been removed and potentially filled, include Lead Engineer and Lead VFX Artist positions.

Our updated list is as follows:

Positions still available (since February 2nd, 2020)
Lead Graphics Engineer (April 26th, 2019)
Senior Designer (August 9th, 2019)
Lead Animator (November 6th, 2019)
CONTRACT – Concept Artist (November 26th, 2019)
Technical Animator (January 07th, 2020)
Environment Artist (Potentially updated from Environment Terrain Artist) (January 29th, 2020)

New roles available (Since February 2nd, 2020
CONTRACT – Lighting Artist (February 12th, 2020)
CONTRACT – Recruiting Coordinator (February 19th, 2020)
Boss / AI Designer (March 18th, 2020)
Engineering Department Coordinator (March 30th, 2020)
Art Department Coordinator (April 27th, 2020)

Relisted roles (Since February 2nd, 2020)
Environment Designer (February 14th, 2020)

Positions no longer listed (Since February 2nd, 2020)
Lead Engineer (August 20, 2019)
Lead, IT Engineer (August 29, 2019)
Lead VFX Artist (November 6th 2019)
CONTRACT – Product Tester (November 26th 2019)
CONTRACT – Environment Outsourcing Review Artist (December 16th 2019)

Source: Nintendo of America Careers

Community Spotlight: JRP (Speedrunner)

This month marks our 32nd Community Spotlight, and we are delighted to be featuring Metroid Speedrunner JRP in this one. In this feature, JRP discusses his history in speedrunning, his numerous records, his ambitions for the future and the hobbies he has in his spare time when he isn’t busy speeding through the games faster than a Dachora on fire! We encourage you to check it out, and to follow JRP on Twitch and the social media channels provided!

Click here to read the spotlight