Shinesparkers Feature:

Top Facts You Didn't Know About Metroid

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Over the years, the Shinesparkers team has become aware of multiple secrets and facts about the Metroid series. Many are well known, like the “Samus Geemer” in Super Metroid, the Secret Message in Metroid Fusion or the Mawkin ships that disappear during the escape in Metroid Dread. However, there are many that have slipped under the radar. In this feature, we wanted to investigate and uncover a few of these in the hopes of bringing them to a wider audience. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did investigating them!

The Real Name of the “IceBoss”

Many years ago, it was discovered that a mammalian boss was scrapped from Metroid Prime. Concept art from Greg Luzniak revealed it as a gigantic creature with multiple arms. Mike Sneath modelled and textured the creature. Derek Bonikowski had an animation of it on his website, with the video filename calling it “IceBoss”. According to a YouTube comment from Sneath, it was scrapped from Prime in the first year of development because Nintendo felt that it and other planned enemies were too RPG-like. He also denied that it was connected to the Sheegoth. We have confirmed with a former developer who wishes to remain anonymous that the real name of this creature was in fact, Sabergauth.

Larry, Curly and Moe’s Hidden Metroid Prime Cameo

In Metroid Prime, one of the rooms on the Frigate Orpheon, Deck Alpha Access Hall, features three Parasites running under the floor. Datamining of the room reveals that they are named “LARRY”, “CURLY” and “MOE” – the names of the Three Stooges. If anyone from the Metroid Prime team would like to confirm who added this reference, we would love to hear from you!

Image source: Wikitroid

Super Metroid’s Forgotten Slogan

During its development, Super Metroid may have had a slogan or possible subtitle, The Return of the Mother Brain. Whether it was planned all along or for a brief period of time is unknown. The only evidence of it is an advertising poster that was released, which collector VGMStudios owns and took a photo of for his Community Spotlight. Another one was later auctioned on eBay; the seller’s son had obtained it when he worked at Toys R Us, meaning this was given out at retail. If any readers have more information about this poster, we would love to hear from you!

Image source: eBay

Yoshio Sakamoto’s Hidden Talent

Back in 2018, Shinesparkers had correspondence with Mark Lentz, formerly of Q-Games, who informed us that his mutual friend Yoshio Sakamoto was a keen reggae/dub bass player. He was very complimentary, and gave us permission to share this picture, which was taken around February 2018.

“This photo was right after Sakamoto-san and I jammed for a few hours. The dude is an amazing reggae/dub bass player.”

“I have only met him the one time. He is a CRAZY good bass player though. I’m “pro” player myself but he is damn good. I asked him to join my band on the spot but sadly… no.”

Thardus’s Last Attack on Samus

After you defeat Thardus in Metroid Prime, it pelts Samus in the back of her head with a small rock. The internal name of this rock is “rockupyourass”. These kinds of internal naming of objects aren’t usually seen by the public, but it’s good to see the staff at Retro Studios back then had a good sense of humor.

Aurora Unit 242 watches Nickelodeon

There’s a hidden reference to two Nickelodeon shows on the G.F.S. Olympus. In the Aurora Unit’s chamber, if you squint at the terminal you use to interact with her, you can make out the names “What Would You Do?” and “You Can’t Do That On Television!” These are present on other Galactic Federation terminals on the Olympus as well. Clearly, whoever designed these interfaces was an 80’s kid.

The First Metroid Commercials had Famous Narrators

In July 2022, we reported on the unfortunate passing of David Warner, a legendary British actor. It was only upon his death that we learned he was the narrator of the infamous “be very afraid” Metroid II commercial, with a face formed out of SR388’s terrain.

Through our research, we have also identified the narrator of the Japanese live-action commercial for the very first Metroid game: Kenji Utsumi, an actor of equal stature whose roles included Alex Louis Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist, and dubbing for Hollywood actors like Jack Nicholson. Sadly, Utsumi-san is no longer with us either, having died on June 13, 2013. We identified him as the Metroid commercial’s narrator upon discovering an upscaled version of it on YouTube (watchable here), where the description names him. The role was also included in his obituary.

Samus’s Very First Voice Actress

Most Metroid fans know Metroid: Other M as the first game where Samus had an extensive, voiced speaking role. Before that, she only spoke in text, and short phrases in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and its sequels, and otherwise made screams of pain in Super Metroid and the Metroid Prime series. However, Jessica Martin and Ai Kobayashi weren’t the first actresses to voice Samus in a speaking capacity. That honor belongs to an actress who narrated multiple segments as Samus for a Super Metroid promotional video that was played in Japanese game stores when the game was released. The video was never released in the West, although the Metroid Database published a translated version in 2014.

In September 2022, we discovered an alternate upload of the video to YouTube. Five of the comments (in Japanese) identified the actress as Keiko Toda, best known for dubbing the voice of Thomas the Tank Engine for eight seasons, and that of multiple Hollywood actresses. Fittingly enough, said actresses include Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley in all four Alien films – the series that inspired the Metroid saga. We compared the voice of Samus in this video to a speech given by Keiko Toda, convincing us she was the narrator of the Super Metroid preview.

What did you think of these revelations? As we continue our efforts, we may discover more secrets pertaining to Metroid. If we do, rest assured that we will be sharing them with you!

Written by RoyboyX and Darren

Special thanks to Bearborg, Mark Lentz and VGMStudios