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

Episode 05 – Elias Thompson

Episode 05 – Elias Thompson
Shinesparkers Podcast

00:00 / 42:42

Our fifth episode features Metroid Headquarters founder Elias Thompson, who you may have seen taking part in the Metroid Headquarters Metroid Marathons (MHQThon) over the years. Elias has been a constant support to Shinesparkers throughout our history, and its fantastic to have him on our podcast to share his memories of Metroid Headquarters, his charitable endeavous through MHQthon, his personal projects and his ideas on which planets and environemnts he would like to see Samus revisit in a future Metroid title. This episode also features our Host Amanda, and team members RoyboyX and Darren.

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Concept Artwork surfaces for rumoured Sheik and Boo titles by Retro Studios

Shinesparkers have received links to concept artwork which claim to be from two cancelled titles based on the characters Boo and Sheik from the Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda universes respectively. The links we received point to an online portfolio by Sammy Hall, a former Retro Studios pre-production artist who worked on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Donkey Kong Country Returns. The artwork claims to be pre-production art from a “Cancelled Zelda project” from 2005 to 2008 and a “Cancelled Boo project” from 2006 to 2007. It has long been rumoured that Retro Studios were developing a title based on the character of Sheik, and given that Hall was working for Retro Studios around this time, this discovery may add a little weight to these rumours.

Art from the “cancelled Zelda project” depicts a fun pre-production origin story of the Master Sword, set within the bad ending of Ocarina of Time, that never made it beyond pre-production. The title, described as an “action/JRPG”, would have explored the journey of the last Sheik while Dark Gerudo are giving their 100-year birth to Ganon. Art from the “cancelled Boo project” doesn’t offer very many details, but Hall has titled one of his sketches as “tiny stuff for tiny handheld resolutions” which could suggest that this was originally a Nintendo DS title. The Boo art also includes sketches titled “possession powers” and “Broomies”, alongside a sketch of a potential world map. Some of this artwork was published just two days ago, with others uploaded over the past two years.

Hall made a comment on one of his entries suggesting that he is pulling out of video games due to his issues with the games industry, as quoted below:

Have always worked full-time salary at developer studios. Sometimes random freelance for fun projects outside of games. But I’m completely pulling out of that game career until there can be some real solutions to the exploitation, criminality, and abuse that I see my peers put through… Things have been messy for WAY WAY too many decades.

Update: The artwork from the following links have now been removed from Sammy’s online portfolio.

The artwork was originally found at the following links:

Sheik & Deku

Dark Gerudo

Horntown & Roots

Tooth & Claw

Clocktown & Kids

Gerudo & Critters

Races & Roughs

Experiments & Doodles


Source: ArtStation

Community Spotlight: Phazon Pixie

We have another great Community Spotlight to highlight to our readers today! This month, we shine the spotlight on Phazon Pixie, a US based cosplayer whos work has featured at conventions, magazines, and online. Despite only starting Phazon Pixie Cosplay in 2017, she has become quite prolific in the last few years with her awesome Metroid focused projects, and she intends to work on a full Phazon Suit someday! We are proud to feature the work of Phazon Pixie, and encourage you to check out her work by following the links to her social media pages.

Click here to read the Spotlight

Feature: The Shortfalls of the Return

We are delighted to bring you a brand new feature this month from KomodoZero, who shares his thoughts on Metroid: Samus Returns, how he feels about the game’s shortcomings, and how ‘more’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better’. The article is available to read in the Features section, or by clicking the link below.

We are always keen to write new features about all kinds of topics relating to Metroid. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share them with us on our social media pages!

Click here to read the feature

Episode 04 – DoctorM64 (AM2R, Ori and the Will of the Wisps)

Episode 04 – DoctorM64 (AM2R, Ori and the Will of the Wisps)
Shinesparkers Podcast

00:00 / 38:40

Our fourth episode features special guest DoctorM64, who Metroid fans may recognise as the head of the AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) fan project released back in 2017. Since then, his talents have been recognised by Moon Studios, on the video game Ori and the Will of the Wisps. This episode also features our host Amanda, and team members RoyboyX and Torby Brand.

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