As we’ve already reported on Twitter & Facebook last week, concept art, for NES classics: Castlevania, Double Dragon, California Games, and a male-lead Metroid animation, were unearthed at a former DIC employees’ estate sale. The eBay auction, for the 8×10 photo prints, recently ended (5-13-19) and fetched $1,036.56 USD, for the lot. The found artwork appear to have been proposed concepts, to be companion cartoons to the Super Mario Super Show (1989) and be a part of a “Super Mario Bros. Power Hour.”
While, today, the thought of Samus Aran being portrayed as a man seems like an egregious mistake, back in 1989, it wasn’t a well-known fact that Samus was a female. Only gamers that had completed Metroid, with a quick enough runtime, knew Samus’ true identity. And even then, information didn’t travel as fast as it does nowadays. It wasn’t until the publication of issue 29 of Nintendo Power (October 1991) that Samus’ true identity became a mainstream fact, with the unveiling of the classic, “JUSTIN BAILEY” code. Before then, even Nintendo tried to hide the surprise in the instruction booklet of Metroid by referring to Samus as a “he” and “him” in the “Metroid Story” section of the booklet. The employees at DIC animation, most likely, used the story within the instruction manual as a template for the cartoon concept, without even bothering to play the game or consult the creators.
It’s safe to say Metroid fans were spared the horror of having the misguided concept art of a male Samus green lit. And lets not even get started on their concept art for Castlevania, which omits the legendary Belmont’s and instead looks like an animated take on the 1987 cult classic, The Monster Squad, which saw a couple of neighborhood kids fight against classic movie monsters. Considering how bad the Zelda cartoon turned out to be, it’s probably for the best that most (Double Dragon did get 2 seasons, 1993-1994) of these cartoons never came to fruition.
The most ambitious crossover event in history has just gotten a little more…ambitious. Once Upon a Tee has placed their “Smashvengers” design on sale this week, along with other Samus/Metroid-related designs for only $13 a shirt!
Or get all 4 for $44!
Don’t delay – this deal ends on Monday, May 13 at 11am, PST! And please remember to click-through our provided images so we can be credited for the sale. Your purchases directly help our website exist. Thank you so much!
If you follow our site closely, you may remember back in August of last year we covered a new type of ROMhack/mod for the original NEStroid – in the form of Metroid HD. This is a special mod that requires a certain emulator called Mesen, which allows you to do a whole slew of things to old NES games, such as re-skin all the graphics to make them “non-8-bit.”
Mod maker Aclectico has recently updated his mod. He’s even created a new trailer for it! As seen below:
Here’s a list of some of the things that have been updated in this version:
New pre-assembled zip files for custom graphics and sound
Overhauled running and jumping animations (5 frames are now used for running)
A small and secret room is now located in Brinstar
The “minimap” is now an “automap”
The download bundle now includes pre-assembled zip files for alternate templated graphics.
…Metroid is typically remembered as a title like no other for those that played it upon release, and rightfully so. This isn’t because Metroid forever changed the way we look at gaming from a technological standpoint, but rather because of the way it established atmosphere, one so dense in alien weirdness that players couldn’t help but feel lost in a world not their own.
Although the idea of atmosphere as it relates to entertainment wasn’t a new concept prior to the release of Metroid, those discussions were almost entirely limited to the world of film. Many filmmakers considered the label of “atmospheric” to be one of the highest compliments their work could receive. For a movie to be called atmospheric, it needed to be able to truly engulf the viewer into the world the director created. Not invest them in the story alone, necessarily, but rather use a combination of sensory techniques intended to make the viewer feel as if they truly are in the movie.
A special thank you to MDb Discord member Tsukiyomaru0 for bringing this cool character (with obvious nods to our favorite bounty hunter) to our attention. Franke is a character from the 2016 mobile tower defense game Metal Slug Attack. The Metal Slug Fandom Wiki describes Franke as:
“a former human scientist who admired the Invaders so much that she grafted half of an Invader onto herself. She’s somewhat mad and wants to create a new breed of human-invader hybrids like herself. She uses an advanced battle suit since she is not as good in hand-to-hand combat like the other prominent Invaders.”
Franke in-game sprite animations.
Franke was released just last year, in Metal Slug Attack, and (in a likely homage to her inspiration) her appearance coincided with Metroid’s anniverary 8/6/18. We here at the MDb just love the character design and her backstory is twistedly-cool.
As reported by SiliconEra, the original author of the Metroid: Samus & Joey manga has created a campaign on Japanese website Fukkan which accumulates votes on whether or not this manga should be volumized (aka “tankobon”). You may remember Samus & Joey was released in tankobon format for its first three volumes. The fourth, called Metroid EX, was only released in magazine format (“zasshi”), on the pages of Comic BomBom.
Fortunately for you fans, we have provided a scanlation of the entire series for years, after tracking down the original Comic BomBom magazines and meticulously cleaning up and scanning the pages. It’s highly unlikely the series will ever made it to the West, but it’s good news for collectors if EX actually becomes a physical volume. EX, a 12-chapter sci-fi epic, concludes the Samus & Joey saga, which by the end of volume 3 ends on quite a dramatic cliffhanger.
Feel free to peruse our old comics archive if you want to read the originals. It’s probably the only place you’ll ever be able to find these.
A somewhat bittersweet apology and explaination from Nintendo Co. Ltd’s CEO, Shinya Takahashi:
According to Mr. Takahashi, whoever was previously working on Metroid Prime 4 has provided Nintendo with unsatisfactory results. This has caused Nintendo do what they did with the first Metroid Prime and “Up end the tea table” which basically means they’re starting from scratch.
I know a lot of fans will also be both surprised and greatly satisfied to find out that Nintendo is giving development back to Retro Studios, the original studio that created the Metroid Prime Trilogy. It gives me great pleasure to know MP4 will be developed back in my town of Austin, TX. That being said, Retro Studios has literally none of the same leadership of the original games currently working at the studio. This includes people like former producer Bryan Walker, game director Mark Pacini, design directors Karl Deckard, Mike Wikan, Lead Artist Todd Keller, and engineering leads Jack Matthews and Andy O’Neil. One would hope the talent currently working at the studio is prepared to handle a next-gen Metroid Prime that will push the Switch’s hardware to its limit.
Big downside of course is an added wait to an already long wait. My realistic prediction is we won’t get anything until 2021 now, (maybe nothing more than a teaser trailer) which will be very close to the Switch’s twilight years. And 2022 may be when it’s released. Maybe longer, who knows? All we can do at this point is provide our support and hope for the best. Of course we will keep you up to date on all the latest and greatest Metroid news. Stay tuned.