Metroid: Adventure of Samus

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Metroid: Adventure of Samus is a small action adventure game with retro style and top down perspective similar to The Legend of Zelda where the famous bounty hunter Samus will have to explore the environment, obtain new abilities, shooting and to solve little environment based puzzles to find a group of Metroids and fight her arch enemy Ridley, whom she’s not only looking for him due to her mission, but also for revenge.

The idea of this little fan game came starting like a joke for the Innocents Day and that idea was to make a tribute and with also a bit of parody with all the respect to two of my most favourite game series such as Metroid and The Legend of Zelda, starting from the idea that part of the inspiration of Metroid came no other than by Zelda. In this case I wanted to bring just a little adventure game, but with the style of the first game featuring Link, so it tries to keep and aspects from both games like exploration, obtaining new abilities and power ups and also solving environment based puzzles, all of that while trying to emulate the features and limitations of the games from that time (around 1986), since part of the idea for the joke was to set this game as a game that never came out of Japan, and that recently it was ported to modern consoles. All of that without forgetting about humor sense and references to other game franchises. I’ts a joke, after all.

This time Samus Aran must explore the place and enter into a little dungeon, and obtain the needed upgrades to find and exterminate a group of Metroids that managed to escape with Ridley after the original Metroid game. To do that, instead of jumping in 2D levels with a lot of platforms and paths at different heights, she must focus in exploration with an 8 directions move since it has top down perspective, simulating a game for an 8 bits system.

Design objectives

  • To create an action adventure game based on Metroid and The Legend of Zelda, with the biggest respect to the franchises but also being a bit of a parody, being able to achieve the following requierements:
    • To combine the style and mechanics of the first games from both game series.
    • To keep an aesthetic and sound similar to the games of that time (end of the 80s), and as most similar as possible to the games where it’s based.
    • Simulate the limitations of that time.
    • To add some jokes and references.
    • The game must have a first playable version on December 28th.
  • To demonstrate skills developing a retro action adventure game where to explore to find new abilities and upgrades to be able to advance and to resolve small environment based puzzles.
  • To design a map divided in rooms with their respective enemiges, all of that based on the games mentioned before.
  • To include some references and easter eggs, keeping the humour.
  • To situate the game chronologically after the first Metroid and before the second one, respecting their story and lore.
  • Adding known characters and enemies known from the Metroid Series.
  • At the end it must be shown that everything has been a joke for the Innocents Day

Link to the game site:

The game can be downloaded for Windows.

Detailed Information

Metroid: Adventure of Samus was developed as a joke for the Innocents Day keeping in mind some details, from the technical and artistic aspect to the mechanics of the original games and limitations of that time. Therefore a map was created, not very extensive but big enough to grant semi-freedom and exploration, even if because of the short developement time and the duration of the game, it is a little more lineal than it should. Actually for the first version, even if there was an stablished path pretty much lineal with some variations, most of the walls at the edges of the rooms weren’t closed or not even included to similate that there were even more places to explore. After showing it and having the feedback of some people, I decided to do a “final” version way more polished and playable, so these fake paths were finally closed, and a new one completelly optional was created.

At both technical and artistic levels, it was tried to reuse the existing assets from the original gamese in order to save development time and to stay as much loyal as possible, however some sprites were created exclusively for this game, like Samus’s and her spaceship. For the sound modified 8 bit versions of existing themes have been used in addition to some sound assets from the original games like FX or even a modified version of the original OST. Always considering that the idea this time was to create a “What if” version where Metroid is even more based in Legend of Zelda than it is already, this time even to a level of mechanics, look & feel and movement. Even the gamepad mapping was made keeping in mind a NES gamepad.

Since it is basically a fan-game who’s main purpose is to do a tribute to both of these great sagas with huge respect for this moment, and it wasn’t intended to continue the development way more than it is right now, of course bugs and little improvements will be added until it’s considered finished as it was designed, being just a little demo with certain humour.

The rest of this page is dedicated to show lightly the tasks that I did and some images to ilustrate them with more detail.

Map of the level
Game & Level Design
  • To stablish the resolution to keep the ratio of that time (4:3), in this case 800×600.
  • Narrative elements: Scene elements related to old civilizations like chozo statues, elements of the scenario showing a nearby boss battle, dialog secuences…
  • Design of the map and the different rooms that belong to it.
  • Definition of different events all over the game, being both mandatory or secret.
  • Pace and level balance.
  • Design of the puzzles.
  • Definition of a main route and possible detours.
  • Definition and design of the power ups based on the existing ones from the series.
  • Design of the enemies based on the existing ones in the original Metroid and adding some variants (with better attributes).
  • Design of the battle with the final boss (Ridley).
  • Design of the mechanics based on the existing ones in Metroid, adapted to a top-view adventure game.
  • Definition and design of the Easter Eggs and references.
  • Final sequence and the reveal of the joke.
  • Design of the structure of menus and UI:
    • User interface in game based on the existing one at the original Metroid, adapted to the occasion.
    • Main Menu.
    • Pause Menu.
    • Game Over Menu.
  • Distribution of the keys and buttons for the Input.
  • Input Manager:
    • Keyboard and Gamepad mapping using Unity’s new Input System.
  • Events and sequences.
  • Interactions with menus:
    • Main Menu.
    • Pause Menu.
    • Credits.
  • Different managers (Game manager, UIManager, Sequence Manager…).
  • Creation of a system to manage the sequences in combination with the Timeline tool, able to manage the following types of tasks, that can be added and mixed between them:
    • Dialog sequences (not based in time).
    • Events.
    • Playable assets for the Timeline tool.
  • Interactive elements (doors, breackable blocks, power ups…).
  • Player Controller and character attributes and inventory (health, misiles, unlocked power ups…).
  • Different types of enemies, including the final boss.
  • Management of the user interface.
  • Adding sound and music.
  • Shader to switch color when activating misiles.
  • Testing and correction of bugs.
Sample of gameplay

Puzzle of the misile expansion tank between rocks

  1. To obtain the misile expansion tank between the rocks it’s needed to shoot at the breackable elements (rocks) that are blocking the way, however the first one will be disable only if it’s shot with a misile, but Samus starts without them.
  2. In case misiles have not been unlocked yet, Samus must find the other misiles expansion, but as soon as she leaves the ground partially surrounded by water, some enemies will appear.
  3. Once back at the original puzzle and with the misiles activated, it’s needed to fire a misile at the first breackable block and walk inside before it reapears. The others can be deactivated the same way but normal projectiles will affect them too.
  4. Repeat the process inversely to exit.

Obtaining the Morphball

  1. The Morphball can be easily seen and once obtained a dialog sequence will show up, making a reference to Legend of Zelda.
  2. Once obtained there’s a little earthquake and some rocks will fall, partially covering the exit.
  3. To leave the place once the exit is blocked it is needed to use the morhpball (Samus turns into a ball and can pass through narrow places).

Combate contra Ridley

  1. Once entering into Ridley’s room tje doors will be locked and a dialog sequence will start.
  2. Once the sequence is finished the battle begins and Ridley’s combat theme is played.
  3. Ridley has two possible actions that he will switch randombly:
    • Facing Samus and “fly” towards her. This is actually a little jump with a preset distance. This one has a little more priority, so the battle doesn’t becomes a bullet hell.
    • Facing Samus and fire a hail of projectiles in an arch shape from his mouth.
  4. To protect from Ridley’s projectiles, Samus can cover behind the red blocks. However her projectiles will be blocked the same way.
  5. Unlike in other Metroid games, Ridley can be damaged both with missiles and normal projectiles, but missiles will damage him more.
  6. Once the boss’s health is 0, another dialog sequence will show up and he will run away before the doors are activated again.
  7. Once the exit door is crossed, the credits will appear as well as the reveal of the joke.

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