Get lost on Zebes!

Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 8:16 pm Comments (0)

I’m falling behind on reporting site updates here, especially when that’s all my Twitter is for these days. Do people still use RSS for that type of thing? Are my RSS feeds even visible in this terrible layout? Well, whatever. Old habits die hard.

Metal Slug: Missing in Action updated with more unused object documentation and other bits and bobs. This one, like all its updates in the past years, is possible thanks to reader submissions like yours. Please send less of them.

The Bomberman shrine updated with new coverage for GB 3, GREE and the Taisen * series, plus updates to World, Saturn and Neo. It’s practically all about cameos! Taisen *’s littered in cameos! Saturn Bomberman was going to have more cameos, judging by unused voices in the data…!

More Scans & Bits, because it requires no thinking on my part. Sonic, Sly Cooper, Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter and other guff. Also, do check out translations for Chou Soujuu Mecha MG and Sly Cooper!

For the past few months I’ve been posting gameplay videos on my YouTube channel every Friday, typically of fangames, mobile phone games, or stuff nobody otherwise wants to document. Some of them feature text commentary, where I get to bust out contextual titbits on the games’ development tools or fangame scene at the time, based purely on a few months of lurking in the early 2000s. This month I’ve been putting out two videos a week, mostly to burn through backlog, but also to free up time for a new project that’ll hopefully appear on the site in the new year. Get excited! Or don’t! Everything’s subjective! And you know what I’m like with premature announcements!


I’d gotten multiple requests (not they came from multiple people or anything) to document games from Metroid: Fan Mission, a now-expired fan game hub. Fan game projects have a terrible habit of going offline without anyone noticing, taking with them practically all evidence of their existence, and seeing a whole hub go down is a shame. I’m more miffed about the multiple Star Fox fangames that have completely disappeared without a trace, but that’s for me to fume about in my own time.

Mercifully, a good chunk of Metroid: Fan Mission is still preserved on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, including 21 of its 22 games. I wouldn’t quite call it accessible, though – the TalonCrossing database that it and Mario Fan Games Galaxy are built on often bakes session IDs into the URL, which makes browsing the site a less-than-smooth experience. You’ll have to use the file directory to see everything, and get acquainted with the various page IDs to even know what you’re looking for. The site’s not big, but it’s still a hassle.

Since the only documentation on the site is an article on the MFGG Wiki and a slow trickle of reuploads to its main site, I might as well make a list just to show what you’re missing, and point to download links for anyone who wants to play them. Forgive my bad attitude towards most of them. I’ve played a lot of fan games, and it can be hard to be positive towards them without developing Stockholm syndrome first.

Super Metroid Classic

An attempt at recreating Super Metroid in C++, with a fully-fledged world editor included and the ability to player other peoples’ levels. It appears to be incompatible with something – Windows 7, newer versions of DirectX, whatever – because I can get the game running, but not actually running. The screen only updates when I minimize the window. Perhaps a bit irrelevant given the extensive ROM hacks and Lua extensions for Super Metroid nowadays, but if there’s any level packs floating around I’d like to investigate it. A newer version was later posted to Allego.cc, though development’s clearly been canned.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM (v0.94)] [Allegro.cc (v0.99t)]

Metroid Online

An online 2D deathmatch game, apparently! Create and join a server using TCP/IP, serial or modem connections and run around an environment littered with weapons and power-ups. No enemies, this is purely a player-vs-player game… and with no communal services, it’d take an effort to get people even aware of it. Bit of a novelty, though.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Destranoid

An ambitious early effort with three large areas, three bosses, and oodles of upgrades, including a secret weapon. Also features some janky collision detection that’s prone to getting you stuck, which goes well with the game’s reliance on unmarked fake walls. Oh, and make sure to disable MIDIs before you ride the elevators, otherwise the game can softlock. It’s decent, just take precautions! You can watch my playthrough of it on YouTube.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Metroid Invaders

A Space Invaders clone. Shoot Metroids from Samus’ gunship. The Metroids don’t fire back or advance, the challenge lies in shooting all 21 targets with only 25 shots. If you run out of ammo, it’s game over. Cute, basic li’l distraction.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Metroid Egg Hunt

The proliferation of mini-games on Metroid: Fan Mission had me thinking this was a silly Easter-themed game. Nope, it’s a proper Metroid! Built on flip-screens, you look for all twenty of the Metroid eggs before fighting the mama herself. Combat is minimal but it’s short and sweet little romp, so long as you know where to go. You can watch my playthrough of it on YouTube.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM] [Anti-Ware (keyboard)] [Anti-Ware (gamepad)]

Metroid Super Egg Hunt

A demo for a remake of the previous game, by a totally different developer. Features nicer graphics and physics, but also no real gameplay – all it’s got is a few screens and an upgrade that ends the game.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Nakiti Generations

A demo from Sonic Amateur Games Expo 8 (SAGE8). Not a Metroid game, but clearly inspired by the aesthetic. Roam around a space station and shoot slimes. I walked out of world after unlocking a door. It looks slick, though it’s clearly a bit rough in places.
The game has since hit Kickstarter and been developed into an actual product you can purchase on Steam!
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM] [Steam]

Metroids and Missiles

GONE! Apparently a Tic-Tac-Toe clone, but I can’t find a working download on the Internet Archive.
DOWNLOAD: n/a

Metroid Maze

A tile-based puzzle game where you guide a Metroid through a maze, picking up items to help solve conundrums like power bombs and space jump boots. Only one level and its controls are a bit finicky.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM] [MFGG]

Infected Mini

A score-attack game where you run around four arenas, blasting apart the endless waves of zombies and monsters. It looks snazzy if you can see it past the blinding darkness, though it’s perhaps a bit brainless for some. Maybe I just didn’t play it properly.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Metroid Tetris

It’s Tetris, except the blocks have Metroid symbols on them. It… sure is Tetris! The visual effects are nice, though the movement’s a bit sluggish and the music loop is criminally short.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Unnamed Metroid Space Shooter

Also known as “Metroid WIP” or simply “Unnamed”. A lightgun game where you blast aliens from the cockpit of Samus’ gunship. I’ve yet to play a point-and-click shooter made in The Games Factory or Game Maker that felt good, and this does not change that impression. Killer aesthetic, though.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM] [MFGG]

no name metroid game

Alternately titled “my mertoid demo”. Features sparse graphics and a huge map. Maybe it picks up later on, but the first few minutes are deathly boring.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Metroid Boss Battles

A boss rush against Ridley, Kraid and Mother Brain. Not a looker, or particularly well-programmed, but the idea of a bite-sized boss rush is something that tickles my fancy. I can’t find any record of it on the original MFM website, but it’s been posted on MFGG as a reupload, so…
DOWNLOAD: [MFGG]

Pirate Metroid Demo

Also known as “ronny14’s Metroid”. A linear platform-shooter with all original graphics. Nothing incredble, but it’s fair enough.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM] [MFGG]

Metroid Labyrinth

Explore a tricky maze using only Samus’ cannon and her Friction Boots, basically a simplified wall-jump mechanic (while spin-jumping, press the opposite direction when touching a wall). Full of fake walls and power-ups that aren’t explained. Didn’t do much for me, but maybe there’s a niche for it.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Super Metroid Shooter

Like Asteroids crossed with a turret shooter. Aim the cannon from the centre of the screen, and shoot big Metroids to split them into smaller Metroids. Shoot items to get weapon upgrades, power-ups or full-screen bombs, too. Another score attack game, though it’s got more going for it than the others listed here.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Metroid Comical Demo 1

Also referred to as “Metroid Comcial”. A short demo with no upgrades, no exploration and two insufferable bosses… but I do like the cut of its jib for having totally original custom graphics, including an adorable SD Samus. Has since evolved into Metroid: The Father Hunt, with two more impressive demos to show for it. The development blog doesn’t end positively, but the dev’s seemingly still working on stuff according to their old YouTube videos. Hang in there, ronny14!
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM] [MFGG] [NFGC 2012 demo] [NFGC 2013 demo]

Metroid: Abortion

A mini-game designed almost like a Game & Watch title; aim Samus’ cannon in one of eight columns and blast incoming Metroids. It’s all about high score, so it lives or dies by your interest in that, but hats off for creativity.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Gentrieve

Not a fangame, but very inspired by the series. Generate a random map and explore, picking up a bevy of upgrades and even creating portals to make exploration easier. Its default controls are a nightmare to figure out, not helped by its finicky-but-optional mouse-aiming on top of using over a dozen keys. Looks nifty though, and I’m sure binding it to a gamepad with Xpadder will make it more manageable.
The version linked to on M:FM (v1.6.1) has since gone offline with no known backup, but the latest version (v.1.90) is available for free on itch.io. The original game didn’t see much buzz, but its sequel, Gentrieve 2, continues to pop up on YouTube and news feeds, an indie take on the 3D Metroid Prime games.
DOWNLOAD: [itch.io]

metroid: guardians

Made in Game Maker, using its floaty default platforming engine that I’m extremely not a fan of. Also: really unhelpful screen scrolling. It looks to have a big world to explore, so if you can tolerate that you might get something out of it.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

Metroid Zero

A throwback to the original Metroid on NES, supposedly with a bevy of additional features including a mini-map and even characters to talk to? I’ve yet to play for more than a couple of minutes, but it feels extremely swish and well put together! I’ll have to invest time into this one, it looks very promising.
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM] [MFGG]

Metroid: Secrets

An upgrade of Metroid Invaders, with enhanced graphics and apparently a richer gameplay loop with bosses, missiles and more. I didn’t play enough to see anything new, though. The NES aesthetic was more charming…!
DOWNLOAD: [M:FM]

It’s possible there were more; certain captures of the games page include titles that don’t show up in later updates, and I can only find record of Metroid Boss Battles from its MFGG upload. While I’m a sucker for completism, I won’t be losing sleep over it.

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