Unusual phenomena found in Metroid Prime.
It's quite unbelievable, really. The way gamers will get their hands on a videogame -- a piece of entertainment software, nothing more, nothing less -- and within a matter of a few weeks, just completely take it apart, push it beyond its limits, and dig up dirty little details that were never meant to be found. I have no doubt that Metroid freaks are, by nature, some of the most gifted (and, in severe cases, most OCD-afflicted) videogame archeologists of all. I can just hear Retro Studios' programmers: "Ah, we can let one or two little bugs slide, nobody is gonna find 'em..."
Metroid Prime seems to contain a fair number of glitches and bugs. Some of these can be exploited to achieve amusing -- albeit largely useless -- effects. In order for a trick to be included here, it must be something that can be duplicated every time the player tries; therefore, you should be able to reproduce these by following the instructions.
Please note: It's possible that some of these bugs may be fixed in later versions/pressings or non-American editions of Metroid Prime; these were found on first-run North American copies of the game.
Contributors to this list include Augustus, Brad Yamnitz, CapCom, Daniel Thau, Gonmon, nameless, TJ, and other various friends of the MDb who have posted notes about their glitch findings on the Message Board. Thanks to everyone for their involvement!
SECRET WORLD 1
They're back! By going to the area named "Transport Tunnel C" in the Tallon Overworld, via elevator from the Chozo Ruins (it's the elevator near the Crashed Frigate), you can access a glitch that allows you to exit the designed suroundings. To do this, you must climb onto the raised root in the center of the room. By walking all the way up to the tallest part of the root, you can then look up and see a crack in the celing somewhere above Samus. By using well-timed jumps, you can get through the crack and into an area of black space.
There are basically 3 sections of this area (possibly 4). The first is the part directly above the room, in which you cannot walk and only can move by bomb jumping or jumping.
The second is around the room, where you can walk, but jumping is limited to small portions in which you get an unexpected hop (you can do this at these locations: the hill closest to the entrance point, underneath the door leading to the elevator, and lastly, random points near the other door [jumping here will take you a level lower, disabling jumping altogether]).
In the third area, which is underneath the room, you cannot move at all. You get here by turning into a Morph Ball while in the second area. If you stay in Morph Ball mode, you will fall until you come out of it. To prove this point, drop bombs. You'll see them shoot skyward. While in this area, you can fire in any direction and watch your shot go on forever in the distance. If you let yourself fall for too long (continuously for 5 minutes), Samus will become glitchy and her arm will twitch uncontrollably.
The possible fourth area is through a door, which we have not reached yet. This glitch is still being researched, as are other methods of reaching "out-of-map" areas.
Trick discovered and photos below by Gonmon.
SECRET WORLD 2
Discovered/photos by Augustus:
- The entrance is in Ice Ruins East, right around here.
- The first step is to jump onto a small ledge that is on a pillar not to far from the door.
- Once on, turn to about 9 o'clock and look up at a 45 degree angle. You should see a small square ledge sticking out of the wall. You can jump to it by turning back to the pillar, holding the L button to lock your view and then making a double jump to it.
- After you make it on, turn to about 4 o'clock. You should see a small rectangular segment of the ruins eched into the side of the rock next to the door. There is a small surface on the top of it that works as a ledge. Double-jump to it.
- When you make it here, look up at an 80 degree angle and you will see a crack in the ceiling over your head that fans out behind you. It is too small to just jump up through. So you will have to actually jump backwards off the ledge and use your second jump in mid air to propel yourself forward over the crack.
- Now you will find yourself on a small mound at the top of the area.
- Take a moment to enjoy the view.
- Turn to 6 o'clock. You will notice that you can jump over the level there. That is the entrance to the secret world. Jump into it if you dare.
- Now you can just go about your usually exploration shenanigans.
STRANGE LIGHTING 1
(Note: Results may vary for this glitch.) By doing the above trick (Secret World 1), but not going fully into the outer world and dropping back inside the planned structure, Samus' gun will take on a purple light shine until you exit the game.
First, find a scan point and scan using the Scan Visor. Quickly let go of the L trigger slightly, press A to bring up your weapon, and at the same time press the targeting trigger quickly to lock on again. This should produce a 3D targeting reticle where the scan point was. (The Metroid Prime in-store demo allowed the player to lock onto a point and walk right up to the reticle, so it'll look familiar if you've played the demo. The final release of the game usually keeps it in the distance.) Your view will stay locked onto the reticle, and you can strafe around it. The object is movable by pushing it around, making it possible to put it in the floor or ceiling. If there's enough open space to play with it a bit, you'll find that trying to jump over it will put the reticle directly below Samus, and you may walk around with the camera pointed straight down; walking toward it will push it upward and you can then walk around with the camera pointed straight up. You can also hold R while continuing to hold L, bring the reticle back directly in front of you, and move it around with the free-look. The reticle dissapears after the lock-on is disengaged.
This trick can only be done at the first meeting of the Metroids in the Phendrana Drifts laboratories. When you first encounter the Metroid in the containment tube, you scan it, then as the Metroid breaks out, the doors lock and you must destroy the Metroid to open them. But if you scan the remains of the tube again after the Meroid is defeated, the doors lock again and the battle music starts as if you encountered it for the first time.
CRAZY BOOST BALL
In the Chozo Ruins, go to the Reflecting Pool room (preferably after draining the pool). There are Stone Toads along the edges of the room which suck up Samus when she's in Morph Ball form. Position Samus on the front end of the pool, to the left of the little statue with the scan point. Go into Morph Ball form and aim Samus toward the pool at an angle where she will pass just in front of, but not quite straight into, the nearby Stone Toad. Charge up the Boost Ball fully, and let go, shooting Samus off the edge and just past the Stone Toad. If done correctly, Samus will do a big haywire loop in midair before either ending up in the Stone Toad's belly or dropping to the bottom of the pool.
The images below show this in action. The first two show the position and direction to start at, and the rest display one of the crazier flights that can happen!
TAKING METROIDS ELSEWHERE
In the Phendrana Drifts laboratories, you can release Metroid hatchlings from their containment tubes to attack the surrounding Space Pirates. If you release a Metroid, you can actually get it into the adjoining room, where it will be stuck until you kill it. First, let the Metroid latch onto you as you are pushing up against a wall. After the Metroid has sucked energy from you, it will fly off in a random direction. Sometimes, the direction is through the wall.
NO MUSIC 1
(Note: Results may vary for this glitch.) After defeating the first phase of final boss, quickly skip the cutscene that ensues once Samus jumps down the ledge. Doing so will disable the music that is supposed to play during the final fight. Adjusting music controls will not turn on the music after this is done. (Music returns after the battle is finished).
NO MUSIC 2
(Note: Results may vary for this glitch.) Upon Saving and loading from Samus' gunship in the Tallon Overworld, quickly press start as soon as the cut-scene that shows the loading process starts. After the loading music finishes, the music for the Tallon Overworld will not begin until you open a door. (This may take a few tries and might not work for some players).
Unfortunately, this is not cool, but we feel it should be addressed somewhere on the site. Many players have experienced trouble with their copies of Metroid Prime freezing up on them either while Samus is on an elevator or moving into a new area. Contrary to popular belief, this is not due to scratched disks, dirty Gamecube drive lenses, blocked vents/overheating, or a bad batch of games. It is a bug in the programming.
While you are playing, take note of what your Gamecube is doing -- Metroid Prime is programmed to load new areas constantly as you move throughout the game (notice there are no "Now Loading, Please Wait"-type screens in the game). Sometimes, the player may attempt to move forward faster than the game can load information for the next area, and the game will freeze. If the game freezes on an elevator, it's pretty much unavoidable. However, the game also often freezes in long tunnels. Most of the long, S-shaped tunnels in the game are actually loading areas. The reason they are curved and often contain enemies to fight is to slow the player down and to give the game time to load the upcoming area. In fact, you can intentionally crash the game by rushing through some of these tunnels and trying to reach the next area before it loads.
The best way to prevent freezing is to listen to your Gamecube as it reads data. If you're approaching a door or passage and you hear your GC's drive working like crazy, let it finish before moving on. (Notice that oftentimes you may shoot a door, but it won't open for a few seconds while the area loads.) By doing so, you should avoid any crashes or freeze-ups. So be careful, don't rush, and save often! (It's quite possible that this is the reason why Metroid Prime's endings are not based on speed!)