2022 has quickly come to an end! To wrap up the year, the team at Shinesparkers wanted to recap what happened in the world of Metroid during 2022, and some of our favorite content that we published. This year also marked the 20th anniversary of both Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion, two significant games that moved both 2D and 3D Metroid forward. We wanted to celebrate this by seeking input from the community. We asked our readers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to share their memories of playing both games, and we chose ten of our favorites to share here.
We started the year off in January by interviewing Lenka Volfová, the actress who portrayed Samus in “Past is Prologue”, the live-action commercial for Metroid: Other M. It was wonderful to finally know who she was and hear her stories from production. (she got carried around on a chair like a princess!) For our first podcast episode of the year, we had Metroid Prime Technical Lead Engineer Jack Mathews on as a guest. He cleared up some mysteries about the first Metroid Prime game and paid tribute to two colleagues at Retro Studios who have sadly left us too soon, Mark Haigh-Hutchinson and Andy O’Neil. Additionally, we published a Spotlight for the musician Gario, and Samus and Joey had its first re-release in years as an eBook!
In February, we were treated to several cool announcements. First, Good Smile Company revealed they were making another Samus Figma based on her appearance in Metroid Dread. The February 9 Nintendo Direct announced two free updates to the Metroid Dread™ game: a pair of new difficulty modes, Dread and Rookie Mode, released on the same day, and Boss Rush, which would be released in the future. Later that month, Retro Studios changed their Twitter profile banner to an image of Samus in a blue hallway, our first potential scrap of information about Metroid Prime 4 since it restarted development in 2019! That really sent our hearts running. Team members Darren and Quadraxis (Quaddy) published a feature where they examined places around the world with Metroid-themed names (did you know there’s a province in Afghanistan named Ghor?), and Kynan Pearson joined us on the podcast to talk about ideas for where Metroid could go next after Dread.
In March, Shinesparkers published a Community Spotlight for the artist RyRyCosmos, and Metroid Dread won Best Action-Adventure Game in the Famitsu Dengeki Game Awards. The following month, Metroid Dread’s Boss Rush mode was released, marking the first time a Metroid game received DLC in some form. Secondly, we published Quaddy’s feature on The Space Pirates, with a follow-up about the Zebesians promised for the future.
May brought about the wonderful news that Metroid Dread had officially overtaken Metroid Prime as the best-selling Metroid game, having sold 2.9 million copies. We published an interview with former Retro Studios Development Director Bryan Walker, a Community Spotlight with the speedrunner Torvus Bolt, and we had Lawrence Schwedler, the composer of Metroid Prime Hunters, on the podcast. In June, we reported on the discovery of Sylux’s full model in Metroid Prime: Federation Force by Bearborg, giving us a never-before-seen perspective of him. We also published our next Community Spotlight for SpotArt Station, and had Deadweight, one of the creators of the Chozo Language Course, on the podcast to tell us how it came together. In July, we published a translation of tweets from the author of Samus and Joey, Izuki Kouji, and restored our legacy content after a yearlong effort to update and preserve it.
August is called the Month of Metroid for a reason. Unfortunately, we learned that the narrator of the infamous “be very afraid” commercial for Metroid II: Return of Samus, David Warner, had recently died. We were unaware he had done the narration until after his death and wanted to ensure he was honored for it. Good Smile fully unveiled the Samus Figma, as well as an E.M.M.I. one, and opened pre orders for both. Darren wrote and published a feature marking one year of Harmony of a Hunter Returns, the tribute album he organized for Metroid’s 35th anniversary in 2021. He also published the results of a poll asking the community for their favorite Metroid game, which Metroid Dread won. Later in August, the English electronic duo Autechre confirmed for the first time that they had been approached to compose Metroid Prime, and we published our next Community Spotlight for the incomparable Japanese artist Wata Ridley.
September and October were slower months, but we still had exciting things to share. We published interviews with Micky Coyne, the Creative Director on “Past is Prologue”, giving us additional insight into the commercial after our interview with Lenka, and Patrick English, an Environment Artist on Metroid Prime: Federation Force. It was the first interview about Federation Force, and Patrick had lots to say about the missions he designed, backlash toward the game, and that final boss battle! Our next Community Spotlight was published for the fantastic Japanese cosplayer Bonbon in October.
Our content really ramped up in November, where we published three features. The first was Cook Like a Bounty Hunter, a collection of seven Metroid-themed recipes developed by team member Roy over the past ten months. We also marked the 20th anniversaries of Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion with a feature where the Shinesparkers team came together to share their memories. Finally, team member Naner reviewed Prime: Metroid Reimagined, a newly-released visual album that marked the anniversary with six acoustic arrangements of Metroid Prime’s timeless music. In December, we published a feature on the top facts you didn’t know about Metroid, revealing, among other things, the name of a cut boss from Prime, a secret talent of Yoshio Sakamoto, and the very first actress who gave Samus a spoken voice, Keiko Toda. We also shared our last Community Spotlight of 2022 for the artist Skylar.
Now, we’d like to throw it over to the community to share their feelings on the 20th anniversary of Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime.
Metroid Prime is the reason I’m in the animation industry. If it weren’t for this game I don’t think I would have gotten into game development or wanting to understand the art side of how things are created.
I was 9 years old when this game came out.
Metroid Prime is so dear to me, that feel when you first arrive at Tallon IV, the music, the details such as water drops on your visor, truly amazing, it really felt like you’re exploring a new world. Retro Studios did an amazing job at immersing you into the world, not to mention the AMAZING soundtrack which has to be one of my all times favorites.
Metroid Prime was the first game i bought with my own money. i remember playing it for the first time and landing on Tallon IV. on this beautiful world and you could see the water droplets on her visor and i remember seeing that and thinking this is the best game ever!
Thats doesnt really say what it means to me. Metroid & Zelda are the two series that shaped me the most & inspired my creative side. i think a great deal of that comes from Prime & Fusion. Especially Prime being isolated in this strange wonderful world looking thru Samus’s eyes.
Metroid Prime showed me that a game world can be more than a backdrop through the logbook, it can tell a story that makes it feel like a place well lived in.
It inspired me to start writing my own made up stuff in the Metroid universe, and helped springboard me into writing.
We even received a response from Matt Manchester, an Environment Artist at Retro Studios who designed rooms for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption!
Metroid Prime came out when I was in college for game design and animation.
We used to drive out to the Wal-Mart and play the demo over and over.
The custom approach to their environment design was incredible. Retro Studios was a company I wanted to work for.
Then, I did!