Shinesparkers Poll: Your favorite Metroid game (2021)

Earlier this year, we reached out to Shinesparkers readers to discover what their favorite Metroid title was. After 705 votes, we now have the results of that poll. We have put together a special feature to share exactly where each game placed, and how many votes they have. A huge thanks to everyone who took part, if this poll proves to be popular we may run similar features in the future.

You can check out the results right here

Feature: Harmony of a Hunter Returns

Today marks not only the 35th anniversary of the Metroid series, but the tenth anniversary of the original Harmony of a Hunter album’s release! To mark the occasion, Darren has written a feature sharing the history of the Harmony album series, from the very first Harmony of a Hunter to Harmony of a Hunter Returns, which we released today. The albums have been a labor of love from Darren, the musicians who made them and the artists who designed the beautiful cover. We hope you enjoy reading about the making of the Harmony albums, and then use the link at the bottom to download Harmony of a Hunter Returns!

A massive thank you to everyone who has supported the Harmony albums over the past decade, we hope that you will enjoy Harmony of a Hunter Returns just as much!

Click here to read the feature

Metroid Dread Report Vol. 4 released

The latest Metroid Dread Report is now available! The fourth installment is titled “Unravelling a saga 35 years in the making” detailing the history of Samus’ adventures so far. It also contains a special video called “A glimpse of Dread…” which shows some exciting scenes from the upcoming title. The video contains some really exciting and interesting content, but does contain some spoilers relating to Samus’ suit that some readers may wish to avoid, so please be informed before watching the latest trailer.

You can check out the latest Metroid Dread Report by clicking this link!

Previous reports can be found here:
Metroid Dread Report Volume 3
Metroid Dread Report Volume 2
Metroid Dread Report Volume 1

Episode 15 – Harmony of a Hunter Returns

Shinesparkers Podcast
Shinesparkers Podcast
Episode 15 - Harmony of a Hunter Returns

Our fifteenth episode of the Shinesparkers Podcast is now available! This episode celebrates the release of Harmony of a Hunter Returns, the sixth fan-arrangement album by Shinesparkers. We discuss the project, the history of our albums and share what it’s like to put a project like Harmony of a Hunter Returns, as well as highlighting some of our favourite tracks from over the years. This episode features a selection of tracks from the new album. Podcast hosted by Amanda, who is joined by Darren and Sebastian.

01:54 – Main Topic: Harmony of a Hunter Returns
44:10 – Mailbag: Readers thoughts on the announcement of Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread Report Vol. 3 released

Nintendo have released a brand new Metroid Dread Report, a series of articles in the run-up to the upcoming Metroid title. In this third volume, the report focuses on seven points that define the 2D saga, such as the character of Samus Aran and her abilities, characters such as the Metroids, Chozo and X-Parasites, and recapping the series thirty-five-year history. It’s a great article that should help newcomers to the series get up to speed with the adventure so far!

Check out the Metroid Dread Report Volume 3 by clicking this link!

Previous reports can be found here:

Metroid Dread Report Volume 2
Metroid Dread Report Volume 1

Ridley amiibo available for preorder at Gamestop

Earlier this month we reported that Best Buy would be restocking the Dark Samus amiibo on October 8th 2021, the same day Metroid Dread releases in North America. Now, video game retailer Gamestop have shared that the Ridley amiibo will also be restocked on the same day. This seems unlikely to be a coincidence, and its great to see that these amiibo will be available once again. It may also imply that the upcoming Metroid title may include some functionality with the new title. At the time of writing, there has been no update from Nintendo on their CPSIA Certificates of Compliance page, which lists all of the manufacturing dates for amiibo released so far.

North American fans can preorder the Ridley amiibo here

We will continue to watch closely to see if any of this is officially confirmed by Nintendo.

Source: Gamestop

Scrapped voice sample from Super Metroid discovered

Longtime Metroid fans might be aware that Super Metroid originally had a different Game Over sequence. This fact was unearthed in a Japanese developer interview translated by the Metroid Database many years ago. The interview revealed that Samus was intended to be naked under her Power Suit, and to scream when she died. The scream was recorded by one of the game’s composers Minako Hamano, but due to the voice sounding inappropriate and American objections to nudity, the voice was removed and clothes were added to Samus. Yoshio Sakamoto claimed in the same interview to have a special version of the ROM with the original death sequence.

Recently, a member of The Cutting Room Floor, a wiki devoted to archiving unused video game content, may have unearthed this cut content. In late June, a user called ValjeanLafitte uploaded a voice sample they found in the Super Metroid ROM (all regions) that sounds like a female moan. Valjean speculated that this represents Hamano-san’s unused cry, and further noted that the sound appears to be of a lower quality than intended, perhaps due to hardware limitations. They edited the sound to improve its pitch and speed. You can listen to the original and edited sounds on TCRF at the link below, as well as Wikitroid.

Source: TCRF/Wikitroid

Metroid Prime senior engineer Zoid is retiring

On Thursday, software engineer David Kirsch, aka “Zoid”, announced on Twitter that he was retiring from the video game industry. Zoid previously worked for Retro Studios as an engineer on the original Metroid Prime, later working for Valve, and then on World of Warcraft at Blizzard at the time of his retirement.

In a thread on Twitter, Zoid reflected on his three decade long career and shared anecdotes from his time at various developers, including Retro Studios. While on a conference call with Nintendo, Zoid shared his miniboss designs with several of their designers, including Shigeru Miyamoto, who called him “Zoid-o-san”.

Zoid’s last tweet in this thread says he is retiring “For now,” which may suggest he could return to game development in the future. On behalf of us at Shinesparkers, we wish to thank Zoid for his huge contribution to Metroid Prime and gaming in general, and wish him a happy retirement, however long it may be.

Source: Zoid

Retailer Best Buy to Restock Dark Samus amiibo

According to a listing on US retailer Best Buy, the Dark Samus amiibo will be restocked and available on October 8th 2021, the same day of release as Metroid Dread. While there’s no evidence to suggest that previous Metroid amiibo will be compatible with the upcoming game, such a specific release date is sure to spark some speculation. Its also worth noting that the CPSIA Certificates of Compliance page on Nintendo’s Support website (which lists manufacturing dates for amiibo) has not listed Dark Samus or any other amiibo as being manufactured recently at the time of writing.

Regardless, if you are a fan from North America, this is an excellent opportunity to pre-order the amiibo if you missed out the first time.

Source: Best Buy

Metroid Dread Report Vol. 2 released

Earlier this month, Nintendo confirmed that a series of Metroid Dread Reports would be released to promote the upcoming game, which began with Volume 1, which gave a closer look at the reveal trailer. The second installment has now been shared in English, after releasing in Japanese earlier today. The second report focuses on researching the E.M.M.I. robots, the threat that stalks Samus through her adventure on planet ZDR. The report details information about the E.M.M.I, the zones they patrol, and more information on Samus’ abilities and weapons, such as the Phantom Cloak and the Omega Cannon, a weapon that has the ability to destroy an E.M.M.I. robot.

Volume 3 will share Seven key words that define “Metroid.” which we presume will come at some point in July.

You can check out the Metroid Dread Report Vol. 2 right here!