When Nintendo released Super Metroid for the Super Nintendo back in 1994, the game was hailed as a breath of fresh air from the Japanese gaming powerhouse. Super Metroid built on the gameplay of the NES classic Metroid, but offered unparalleled depth and exploration. Commonly considered one of the greatest games of all time, fans assumed Nintendo would follow Samus’s SNES adventure with a sequel to quickly capitalize on the game’s success.
Then came an 8-year hiatus for the franchise. Samus and Ridley were nowhere to be seen, and fans began to lose hope of ever seeing the Metroid series again. But Nintendo finally broke the silence and announced that a new Metroid game was set to be released for the GameCube in 2002. Entitled Metroid Prime, the series would go on to bring back the exploration and discovery the series was known for, but this time around the game would be a first-person shooter.
Outrage was quick and heavy, with many fans deriding the Big N for taking the beloved franchise in such a direction. But developer Retro Studios was a big fan of the series, and promised upset fans that Metroid Prime would have more in common with Super Metroid then Medal of Honor. As it turns out, Retro Studios were such big fans of Super Metroid that they even tried to slip the entirety of the SNES classic into Metroid Prime.
A user going by the name Mama Robotnik has posted a detailed thread on the popular video game forum NeoGAF showing that Retro Studios had Super Metroid up and running in the Beta version of Metroid Prime. According to the source, Retro Studios utilized a third-party emulator to run the game within Metroid Prime, which lead to Nintendo requesting the SNES platformer be scrubbed from the game due to the company not owning the emulator that was utilized.
While such a rumor had made the rounds for years, the tipster was able to back up his claim with an image found in the portfolio of former Retro Studios developer Danny Richardson. The image showed a menu from Metroid Prime that reads “Download- Super Metroid.”
Many were quick to argue that the menu could have been a simple mock-up, but Unseen64 – a website dedicated to archiving information concerning canceled and unreleased games – was able to confirm with an ex-Retro Studios developer that Super Metroid was in Metroid Prime at one point.
Despite lacking Super Metroid, Metroid Prime managed to be a fantastic game that satisfied even it’s most vocal of detractors. While the Metroid franchise has once again gone quiet after the critically derided Metroid: Other M, fans still have the Metroid Prime trilogy, which only just recently arrived on Wii U’s eShop, to enjoy until Nintendo releases another Metroid game.