Game Maker's Toolkit: The World Design of Metroid Prime | Boss Keys

Jan 2, 2018

Metroid was lost in space for eight long years... but suddenly, Samus was back. Metroid Prime turned the side-scrolling adventure series into a first-person shooter. But how does it stack up as a Metroidvania? Let's find out.
Mark Brown is back with another look at the world design of Metroid! This time: Metroid Prime!
Oct 25, 2017
Finished the video. All things considered I think the fact that Metroid Prime ended up as amazing as it did is quite remarkable considering how it's perhaps the most deadline crunched game in Nintendo history and also the first time they ever attempted to bring Metroid into 3D. Most of its flaws are very readily apparent, especially on repeat playthroughs, but it's easy to forget that when the first 10 hours of the game are so damn fantastic and impressionable. Magmoor really is the sore spot of the game, and I'm going to guess that the lack of a connecting pathway between Phendrana and Phazon/Tallon is purely down to dev time. With the way the transitions worked in the game my guess is that they had to designed every single area in isolation and then work out how they'd connect from that point on.

At a purely streamlined level, Prime 3 probably holds up the best of the three Primes, but overall, Prime 2 reigns supreme for me and manages to succeed better at doing what Prime 1 wanted to do (even if the endgame fetch quest is on some levels a bigger pace breaker). Interested to see what Mark has to say on that one.
Oct 28, 2017
One good point he's making is Metroid Prime managed to make its dead-ends memorable. It's one aspect I found missing in Hollow Knight for instance.


Oct 25, 2017
I didn't mind using the Magmoor Cavern as a thoroughfare as much as Mark did. He mentioned it in the video, but progressively getting more and more tools to help navigate through (including, say, the wave beam which trivialises some enemies, etc) was a neat little way of making the mastery you're feeling over the world feel more and more obvious on each new visit. It isn't, like, a two thumbs up area, but there's the core of a good idea there that I'd like to see more of in games like this.
Oct 28, 2017
I think the Artifact hunt at the end reinforces the focus in exploration of the game. Is like a big final challenge to see if the player got familiar with the map and understands how the world works. I understand the frustration and agree that the final objective could be more clear, but I also think that it being so hidden adds some mystery to it. IMO it makes the game feel more natural, with no big hints or someone telling you what you do, you really feel like you're alone in an unknown planet, learning everything about it by yourself like some sort of space archaeologist.