Explore the furthest reaches of Metroid!
For many years, Metroid fans have talked about the "secret worlds" found in the original NES Metroid. The secret worlds were first revealed in an issue of Nintendo's Fun Club newsletter, the precursor to Nintendo Power magazine, along with a trick known as the "Door Jump."
The Door Jump is a technique which exploits a glitch in the game: If the player can get Samus stuck in one of the game's many bubble doors, one can then use a combination of rolling into ball form and short jumps to make Samus work her way up and through walls and ceilings.
Players soon discovered that using the Door Jump in certain areas of the game led to strange areas that were not part of the normal game map. These areas were glitchy and didn't make much sense in terms of layout, but if one knew where to look, they were accessible. They became known as the "Secret Worlds."
For a long time, nobody knew why the secret worlds were there -- were they intentional? Was the game originally meant to be larger? Was the game released in an unfinished state? Or were the areas nothing more than graphical glitches?
Many theories flew about, but it wasn't until clever programmers started poking around the Metroid code that we found our answer. The fact that a glitch had to be exploited to access them was a tell-tale sign that the areas were not in fact intended to be a part of the game. The secret worlds turned out to be nothing more than extraneous map data left outside the normal "playing area."
In the late 1990s, the Metroid Database's message board served as a forum for the largest known expedition to these glitch areas. Known as "The Great Secret World Hunt," hardcore Metroid fans used Door Jumps, Game Genies, and emulators to access more hidden areas than had ever been revealed before.
Then, once SnowBro released the MetEdit software, we finally saw how Metroid's maps were put together and there were no more "secrets" behind the secret worlds. However, the infamous "Secret Worlds" of Metroid remain a part of videogame legend, and the Metroid Database proudly presents everything we know about them here.
Metroid Level Data Explained v1.01
By Kent Hansen. In this detailed document, SnowBro explains the inner workings of Metroid's graphics system.
Metroid Map Data Format v1.1
By Kent Hansen. Here, SnowBro explains how Metroid's map data works, and disproves the "Secret Worlds" myth.
The Great Secret World Hunt
By MDb Message Board visitors. Compilation of the original Great Secret World Hunt posts as they appeared on the MDb Message Board. NOTE: Included for text information only. May include outdated and dead links to images or defunct websites.