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XzenoGear
02-14-2003, 06:46 AM
The US developer and Nintendo top brass - including Shigeru Miyamoto - discuss Samus's breathtaking 3D adventure

18:51 Metroid Prime was today dissected and explained in a conference call boasting attendees from developer Retro Studios, Nintendo of Japan and journalists from across Europe. With the incredible first-person action title gearing up for release in Europe next month, staff members from East and West took the time to discuss the massive title in great depth.
The conference was preceded by a brief address from gaming legend Shigeru Miyamoto, who said of the project: "Like any other game by Nintendo, Metroid took a long time to create. But I can tell you the development process was very smooth." Both Retro and NCL then fielded questions from journalists, the full, must-read transcript of which we've provided below. Enjoy.

Answering the questions were:
(NCL)


Mr. Miyamoto

Mr. Tanabe

Ms. Tabata

Mr. Otani (co-producer) from EAD

Mr Minagawa (translator)

(Retro Studios)

Steve Barcia, Executive Producer

Mark Pacini, Lead Designer

Michael Mann, Producer

Karl Deckard, Senior Designer
Metroid has traditionally been more popular in the West than in Japan, why do you think this is, and do you think Metroid Prime will change this?

Barcia: When we were creating Metroid Prime, we were thinking about the worldwide market, and what would appeal to both the Western and Japanese markets. We took some of the best parts from the old game that we thought were important and upon that built a quality product.

What has NCL learned from its development partnership with Retro Studios, and has it made NCL more aware of what excites Western gamers?

NCL:How to make games that are cool and appeal to the West is something we've learned through working with Retro. But we know that there must be a difference in expression, as different things are cool in the US and Japan.

Those who developed the original Metroid game were very enthusiastic. But having worked with Retro people, their enthusiasm exceeds the original team - that's something else we've learned.

Did you ever envisage a multiplayer option for Metroid Prime?

Barcia: When we first came up with the game, we considered all possibilities, but we decided to focus on creating the best single-player game possible.

How difficult was it to turn a classic 2D title into a 3D adventure while retaining the feel of the original?

Pacini: When we first discuseed things with the core design team and were trying to decide what made Metroid Metroid, everyone came with something different that they felt was "Metroid." For example: exploration, a cool character and the mood of the game - things that Metroid were.

There are some things that are fun no matter if it's 2D or 3D. Those are the things we tried to bring from the original.

Then we tried to bring this to life in the first-person environment - and a lot of that had to do with the visors. Much of how the visor works came from the exploration part of the original.

Is a sequel to Metroid Prime your sole focus or do you have other projects in development at present? Can you tell us anything about the sequel?

Barcia:We are still working on the Japanese conversion of Metroid Prime and don't have the time to talk about the next game now.

Metroid Prime is an FPS that has received incredible praise across the board. How do you feel you've evolved the genre?

Deckard: We were trying to break away from the mould of FPSs actually. We felt that a lot of FPSs on console were similar and difficult to control and that the genre didn't translate from PC too well. Therefore we had a different set of goals for what we wanted to do. We were concentrating more on exploration and making it feel like previous games in the series.

If it was just a typical first-person shooter I don't think it would have felt the same as the rest of the Metroid franchise. So we had different goals in creating a first-person adventure

We have heard stories about the troubled development of Metroid Prime. How did you manage to turn the tides and finish the game this way?

Barcia: We focused the entire studio's efforts on Metroid Prime. Originally we'd had other projects in development, but didn't have the focus we needed to complete any of them, so making the studio's focus just on Metroid Prime is how we turned it around.

Did the GameCube controller have any influence on the innovative first person game controls in Metroid Prime? Or did you design the new control scheme first and try to fit it to the controller later?

Pacini: We had the unique privilege to design Metroid Prime for one console, therefore we started to develop for the new controller before GameCube was out. Our attitude was that Metroid Prime might be the first GC game people play, so we wanted to realise the uniqueness of the GC controller.

Did we design the game around the controller? To a large degree yes, but at the same time we wanted to breakaway a little from some of the other problems faced by FPSs on other formats. Dual analogue is a good control scheme, but we felt we'd try something a little more approachable for people who play this as their first first-person shooter. This steered many of our ideas.

NCL: When we designed the controller we were thinking in terms of games like Metroid Prime. When we started working with Retro on Metroid, we discussed which features could make use of the controller's unique features. And now you are going to see other games like Wind Waker, which were in our minds when making the controller. Nintendo titles always make best use of the controller.

By actually holding it it's not strange, very natural. The controller has been developed by Nintendo, therefore, for those who have had access to original Zelda and Metroid titles. We have made sure that by using the controller, the new games will still feel the same.

Did you work together with the creators of previous Metroid-games, or have you created Metroid Prime all on your own?

Barcia: We worked with both EAD and the original team. It was originally their game - we knew what we liked about it but it was a very collaborative effort in designing the direction of Metroid Prime.

Why was it not possible to release Metroid Prime simultaneously worldwide?

Barcia: This was simply not achievable at the same time. We've had to make the best effort to tailor certain aspects of the game for each territory and do the best job with each one.

What was the most frustrating aspect of developing Metroid Prime?

Pacini: I don't know about frustrating - we enjoyed the whole experience and were proud of how it turned out.

The level design is excellent. How much time did you spend conceiving the Tallon IV world?

Pacini: As far as the world is concerned, it pretty much took the entire project to make it as high quality as it is. The original idea was more of an overview of what we wanted the game to be, how large.

But as far as each individual level is concerned, it took quite a while to work out what to do in each room and so on. As far as coming up with the ideas for the worlds, that was the part of the initial development stage.

The 3D map is really useful. When did you decide to make it in full 3D?

Deckard: From the very beginning, we knew that was something we wanted to do. It fits the future-tech nature of Metroid Prime and makes sense as something Samsus's suit would feature.

During the Metroid development it is true that Retro cancelled all its other projects to focus on Metroid Prime? If so, what happened to all your other projects?

Deckard:We still have all of the material involved with the other projects, but our focus went on to completing this game to the highest quality.

How did you feel when Nintendo asked you to develop such an important game as Metroid Prime?

Barcia:Very enthusiastic - everyone had a tremendous sense of excitement.

Deckard: Most of us are huge fans of the original anyway. As soon as we found out we could get involved we started coming up with ideas.

Pacini: When it was announced we had the opportunity to have the project at Retro, it was around the same time as Star Wars: Episode I, so I was equating it with that. It seemed to me that it had that much anticipation. The excitement and possibilities it compassed were enormous.

Do you think it would be possible to introduce some type of multiplayer mechanics, or is that just impossible for the type of game Metroid is?

Barcia: It's possible, but it's something we have to investigate thoroughly.

Did you have any movies or games that inspired you?

Pacini: People see things in movies and games that are fun to do. Super Metroid itself is great fun - we're big fans so what better game to draw ideas from than this? As far as movies go, we're really big into looking at scenes in different movies and seeing how they can translate into a game. In particular, we were looking at any sci-fi with a powerful female lead - the Alien movies were obviously important here.

What feature of Metroid Prime makes you particularly proud?

Pacini: I think I'm most proud of the morph ball. It was by far the most challenging aspect of development. It's a staple of the original series and to have a fluid transition and fluid gameplay experience between first- and morph ball mode was extremely challenging, but which worked really well and defined many of the elements of the game. I'm extremely proud of that part in particular.

NCL: Of the initial experiments we carried out, a large portion of them were to do with the morph ball. It's not overstating the matter to say that if we could not have had success with the morph ball, the whole project might have been cancelled.

The morph ball experiments were that important, specifically the move between first- and third-person. What Retro showed us at the beginning was very smooth, much smoother than we expected. That was the time we realized this was a project which was going to work well.

There are nearly no loading times in the game - how did you do that?

Barcia:The engineers did a really good job, and we always wanted practically no load times. It's something we recognised early on and we worked towards that end.

NCL: Metroid moves very fast, whereas software from other developers on other platforms often suffers from long loading times.

There have been rumours about a Metroid film - do you know anything about it and which actress would you like to see in the role of Samus?

Barcia: Jennifer Garner! If you're listening... [laughs]

NCL:Mr. Miyamoto is going to be the hero! [long pause] It's a joke! [laughs] The fact of the matter is that with almost each title we developer someone offers a film opportunity or other. There are a lot of possibilities and rumours.

Metroid Prime received overwhelming positive feedback, achieving an average review score of around 97%. At which point during the development did you truly believe that Metroid Prime could be a hit?

Pacini: We could tell very early on in the level that is a pirate ship that this was gonna be a solid game.

NCL:We agree. Even before we started making the game we knew about the technology and the team at Retro, so knew the game would be successful.

What were the biggest difficulties during development of the game?

NCL:I wouldn't say we had difficulties, but what I should say is that at a very early stage we had to emphasise exactly what the game would be - a first-person exploration title. When we started working on it, didn't people say it would become just another FPS? We say it is a combination of various things like FPS, morph ball and exploration.

CVG (http://www.computerandvideogames.com/r/?page=http://www.computerandvideogames.com/news/news_story.php(que)id=87251)

Black Ace
02-14-2003, 09:26 AM
I already read this. So Retro other 3 games is still around?

Xenogears
02-14-2003, 12:47 PM
blah-blah-blah...I've been playing the game since last saturday and it's an ok game but the finger of my left hand I use to lock on the enemies is kinda swollen and it hurts:crazy: the controller configuration sucks!! when you want to used super missile holding A locking on with your left hand and then Y...extreme fluidity yeah right!!I just want to finish up this game to trade it right away for some other game...:sing:

Mutter
02-14-2003, 02:13 PM
Someone saying something bad about Metroid Prime? Gasp!

Hemmorrhoid
02-14-2003, 02:24 PM
behead the bastard
thou shalt not speak badly of Metroid prime
;)

baratus
02-14-2003, 03:36 PM
I think the controller configuration is great. :o

Reality
02-14-2003, 07:43 PM
I thought it was just fine also. I don't see what the big fuss was all about. Wasn't as near as bad as some people say it to be. :sing:

Ura Zebulahn
02-15-2003, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by Xenogears
blah-blah-blah...I've been playing the game since last saturday and it's an ok game but the finger of my left hand I use to lock on the enemies is kinda swollen and it hurts:crazy: the controller configuration sucks!! when you want to used super missile holding A locking on with your left hand and then Y...extreme fluidity yeah right!!I just want to finish up this game to trade it right away for some other game...:sing:

LOL. I never realized pressing the L button was so difficult for some people. :spinface:

XzenoGear
02-15-2003, 06:45 PM
Forget that! i have not even played this game yet! You lucky shits!:angry:

Xenogears
02-15-2003, 08:24 PM
Originally posted by Ura Zebulahn
LOL. I never realized pressing the L button was so difficult for some people. :spinface:

well maybe for your six feet long fingers,not but for human beings it's really hard:angry:

Xenogears
02-15-2003, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by Xenogear
Forget that! i have not even played this game yet! You lucky shits!:angry:

don't worry about it mate!! you are not losing much I guarantee you that:irked"

XzenoGear
02-16-2003, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Xenogears
don't worry about it mate!! you are not losing much I guarantee you that:irked"

Come on man! All of the God dam world has given this game over 97%

The Steved!
02-16-2003, 03:54 PM
I agree the game is well made... what can make u say such things about metroid prime! And I never heard anyone complaine about the control.

Black Sugar
02-16-2003, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by Xenogears
well maybe for your six feet long fingers,not but for human beings it's really hard:angry:
This would be the first time I heard this kind of complain about Metroid Prime control......:sing:

gearhound1
02-16-2003, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by Xenogears
don't worry about it mate!! you are not losing much I guarantee you that:irked"



IF YOU DO NOT PLAY METROID PRIME YOU ARE DEPRIVING YOURSELF OF ONE OF THE GREATEST GAMES EVER MADE!! I LIKE THE CONTROLS!!

Xenogears
02-17-2003, 12:06 AM
well, let's see right now I'm on the Phazon Mines and I still think that the controller configuration just sucks!! I'm in the part when you have to rotate a big pilar and climb it with the spider-ball . I have 9 energy tanks and 100 missiles but I still prefer Metroid Fusion,though. the Thermal Visor is kinda cool though and I'm still looking for the X-ray Visor let's hope that it makes the game more entertaining....:wink: just one question for you all: please tell me that I have to fight agains that space pirate alpha that was FROZen on a tube:yikes: !!

Black Ace
02-17-2003, 12:16 AM
Yes you have to fight them at some point, several times. The X-Ray is your next objective when you escape the mine.... of course I wont tell you what you will need to get to escaped the place. However I do have an advice to give, once you escape, remember there is a crane outside the mine? Activate it so it position the place you exit because you wont need to hogged through the beginning part of the mine.

baratus
02-17-2003, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by Xenogears
well, let's see right now I'm on the Phazon Mines and I still think that the controller configuration just sucks!! I'm in the part when you have to rotate a big pilar and climb it with the spider-ball . I have 9 energy tanks and 100 missiles but I still prefer Metroid Fusion,though. the Thermal Visor is kinda cool though and I'm still looking for the X-ray Visor let's hope that it makes the game more entertaining....:wink: just one question for you all: please tell me that I have to fight agains that space pirate alpha that was FROZen on a tube:yikes: !!

That's funny, I thought you said you didn't liked the game. :rolleyes: Why are you playing it?

Mohtools
02-17-2003, 05:39 AM
Originally posted by Xenogears
don't worry about it mate!! you are not losing much I guarantee you that:irked"


Tell you what, do not continue playing the game and trade it with another.
Also I believe you should continue your saving in GTA vice city.

XzenoGear
02-17-2003, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by baratus
That's funny, I thought you said you didn't liked the game. :rolleyes: Why are you playing it?

:haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

Xenogears
02-17-2003, 12:00 PM
and what is so great about it? I still cannot see why you praise this game so much, it's an OK game,period.:sing:

XzenoGear
02-17-2003, 07:23 PM
I think you are the 1st guy who thinks its an average game! :yikes:

Xenogears
02-17-2003, 11:08 PM
first of all: I'm playing it since I spent some money in the trade so I want to make my money worthy:angry: Two: since I already finished both residents, there is nothing else worth playing on this console...so that's why I keep on playing it,ok? number three: I don't have GTA VICE CITY,ok? and I don't like it either:angry: maybe I'm the only one who sees the game beyond all the hype and praise you all ramble about!! and number four: I've already activated the crane before getting inside the mines in order to get some extra missile":sing:

baratus
02-18-2003, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by Xenogears
maybe I'm the only one who sees the game beyond all the hype and praise you all ramble about!!

That's your opinion, you're entitled to it. But I think this game really deserves all the hype and praise it has, which BTW, it isn't as much as some PS2 or XBox game has gotten, in some cases those games don't even deserve it. :irked"

baratus
02-18-2003, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by baratus
That's your opinion, you're entitled to it. But I think this game really deserves all the hype and praise it has, which BTW, it isn't as much as some PS2 or XBox game has ever had, in some cases those games don't even deserve it. :irked"

Xenogears
02-18-2003, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by baratus
That's your opinion, you're entitled to it. But I think this game really deserves all the hype and praise it has, which BTW, it isn't as much as some PS2 or XBox game has gotten, in some cases those games don't even deserve it. :irked"

well..I think the same way about this game...touch?!!

Kid0_oIcarus
02-18-2003, 11:08 AM
Um.. I like MP.

----SPOILER ALERTSTHING----

WARNING!!

WARNING!!

WARNING!!

TURN BACK NOW!

I'm fighting that stupid Elite Pirate Omega whatsit and it's KICKING MY A$$!!

Well.. IT's not.. but it's stupid little thugs are.. anybody got any good strategies? I've got all but one energy tank left to find, and I still drop in health faster than (insert witty comment here)

Once the fight starts I give it a quick 1-2 super missle hits and get it down to about 3/4 health while it's cloaked.. without getting hit more than two or three times.. no problem.. but by then the stupid pirate guys with their annoying different immuno-suits-things come out... and begin assra- er.. peppering me with with blaster fire.. which hurts... a lot.

Going into second round, I'm all out of focus, trying to dodge everybody.. my super missles are missing, I can't hit the little guys, the big guy is killing me... Finally I kill the little guys and bring the big guy down to 1/2 his health and then it starts all over again.. I'm done for.

Help!

---SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM SHUTDOWN--

Black Ace
02-18-2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Kid0_oIcarus
Um.. I like MP.

----SPOILER ALERTSTHING----

WARNING!!

WARNING!!

WARNING!!

TURN BACK NOW!

I'm fighting that stupid Elite Pirate Omega whatsit and it's KICKING MY A$$!!

Well.. IT's not.. but it's stupid little thugs are.. anybody got any good strategies? I've got all but one energy tank left to find, and I still drop in health faster than (insert witty comment here)

Once the fight starts I give it a quick 1-2 super missle hits and get it down to about 3/4 health while it's cloaked.. without getting hit more than two or three times.. no problem.. but by then the stupid pirate guys with their annoying different immuno-suits-things come out... and begin assra- er.. peppering me with with blaster fire.. which hurts... a lot.

Going into second round, I'm all out of focus, trying to dodge everybody.. my super missles are missing, I can't hit the little guys, the big guy is killing me... Finally I kill the little guys and bring the big guy down to 1/2 his health and then it starts all over again.. I'm done for.

Help!

---SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM SHUTDOWN--

Omega's a bad ass. Took me a few times to learned his tricks. Just keep blasting his armers, once they are destroyed. Use the X-Ray visor to locate the son a of bitch. At this time, charge the power beam to do a combo missile, once you find him, let him have it. If you're quick, you can blast him with another super missiles follow by a few shots with the standard cannon. While doing this, jump a lot to avoid his annoying troops. If you though the little pesky thing are rude, wait til you meet a Fission Metroid. And yes, once you beat Omega, it'll lead you to your final energy tank. Hopefully you find the plasma beam upgrade after the showdown with him. Remember the entrance with the orange door, around the room, there is a computer terminal. Scan it to deactivate the shields, go in the door and claimed it, make sure you scanned it first to logged the data. Good luck beating Meta Ridly, but first you need to hunt down for the Artifacts.

XzenoGear
02-18-2003, 01:29 PM
please dont talk about the levels! I have PREORDERED RE0 & MP!