Thank You Very Much, Gato Roboto
A “CatMechtroidvania” is what Indie developer Doinksoft is calling its upcoming game, Gato Roboto. This charming, monochromatic game stars a cat named Kiki in a mech-suit (or without it!) trying to make its way through an underground labyrinth to save its stranded captain. The gameplay has you balancing two modes of play (suit & suitless) in order to progress through the stages. Exiting your mech enhances your agility, giving you access to hard to reach areas, at the cost of enhanced vulnerability. The chibi take on Samus’ Power Armor, with its massive pauldrons & signature arm cannon, appears to be just one of various mechs that Kiki can take control of.
Gato Roboto looks like an admiring nod to 8-bit NES Classics, Metroid & Blaster Master, with a bit of Cave Story thrown in the mix. Gato Roboto will be available on Steam & Nintendo Switch on May 30, 2019!
The Misguided Metroid Cartoon That Never Was
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.
Watch the video below, courtesy of GameXplain:
How Metroid Changed Video Games Forever
…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.
Wait, Samus has another Evil Doppelganger?
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.
Do you know of any more Metroid influences/homages or cameos that we may have missed? Let us know!
Metroid (NES), Super Metroid (SNES) & Metroid Prime 2 (GC) Have New Speedrun World Records!
New speedrunning world records have been set, for the Metroid franchise, this February 2019.
Congratulations to MetroidMcFly, Zoast & LivingCircuitry for their awesome, world record-breaking runs!
Metroid Prime (PC Emulation) receives a full HD Texture Pack
Resetera forum user Collige has created an HD Texture pack, via A.I. neural network program ESRGAN, that retexturizes the entire GameCube (GameID GM8E01) version of Metroid Prime for the PC Dolphin emulator.
As you can see below, the results are amazing!
Before the HD Texture Pack:
HD Texture Pack Applied:
HD Texture Pack in action:
According to, HD Pack creator, Collige:
This is for the Gamecube version (GameID GM8E01), not Metroid Prime Trilogy. This retextures virtually the entire game. There’s about 7000 textures upscaled with ESRGAN (manga109 model) and an additional 2000 upscaled with waifu2x-caffe (UpRGB model).
Some useful links below, for the interested:
Dolphin Emulator FAQ:
Texture Pak download link (1.80GB):
How to install texture packs:
Remember, this is ONLY for the PC Gamecube/Wii emulator Dolphin. Also, this texture pack WILL NOT work on Metroid Prime Trilogy.
MDb 2018 Year in Review
Ryan (Webmaster, Site Designer/Artist, Social Media Editor)
Hey fam. We have done our best to carry the Metroid community through this lull. We’re used to it by now though – we’ve done it several times in the past. I think when it comes to Metroid fans, we’re quite hardened with the wait. We waited 8 years between Super and Prime/Fusion, and we waited 7 years between MOM and Samus Returns (Not counting Fed Force for obvious reasons). So yeah, at this point most of you should be like, “We’ll wait, it’s worth it.”
I am ecstatic that Ridley and Dark Samus were added to Smash Ultimate, however Dark Samus being a near-exact duplicate echo fighter has proven to be a huge disappointment. No cool Phazon-based moves beyond her charged shot? C’mon guys, you could’ve done a little better than that. You can watch a Let’s Play of any of the Dark Samus battles and imagine countless different ideas and ways to improve or spice up her moveset. For me, Samus in Smash has been going way downhill ever since Brawl. She just doesn’t seem to be able to knock people off the stage that well. And though they did give her a little more power this time around, she’s still slow and floaty and her smash attacks are still weak and easy to miss. At least her Screw Attack seems to be a little more improved. Maybe it’s time to main someone else, perhaps ZSS or Corrin? That Ridley, though.
In regards to other things, I was very impressed with the Prime 3 Samus Figma which I apologize for still not writing a review on. Don’t worry though – it’s gonna happen someday! Hopefully next year. Speaking of merch, we also seem to be getting a little bit harder than the usual trickle of Metroid merch, so someone at Nintendo must be listening. Still waiting on a Metroid series artbook, Nintendo. Ball’s in your court, guys.
Rue (Site Editor, Social Media Editor)
A bit of an uneventful year for Metroid fans. The most disappointing news being the lack of new (or any for that matter!) information on Metroid Prime 4. I was so sure that this years Gaming Awards would have a teaser of sorts to keep us satiated but that was not the case. Even the rumored Metroid Prime Trilogy, for the Nintendo Switch, was a no-show.
The most interesting development this year, for me, was Brie Larson’s desire to portray Samus in a Metroid film. Regardless of what said film would/could be, just having someone of influence expressing interest in the Metroid franchise is a positive in my eyes. Keeping a high-profile public interest in Metroid can hopefully get the message across to Nintendo that we need more Metroid games in our life!
Here’s hoping 2019 is filled to the brim with substantial Metroid goodness!
Lillith (Social Media Editor)
2018 was a bit of a lackluster year for Metroid. Although we got Ridley and Dark Samus in Smash Ultimate, there have been no real updates on the platform title Nintendo has previously announced. I have hopes for 2019 to be the Year Of The Metroid, but only time will tell if we’ll get anything. A trailer, some game footage, something, PLEASE! A Prime Trilogy remake might be enough to tide me over ’til the new game…. but I’ll have to wait and see. Onward to 2019!
On behalf of the Metroid Database, we want to wish you all a Happy New Year 2019!
Super Metroid Developer Interview reveals Romantic Easter Egg
A recently translated developer interview from 2007, courtesy of Shmuplations.com, has revealed that Super Metroid programmer Yasuhiko Fujii (in charge of boss and enemy sprites/hitboxes, etc.) hid a romantic message to his then girlfriend, “Keiko.”
Here’s a quick rundown on the discovery from GameXplain:
Yasuhiko Fujii explains the code he hid in the game:
—Were there any scenes in Super Metroid that were your idea(s)?
Fujii: Actually, before the fight with Draygon, the boss of Maridia, there’s a group of Evir enemies that do a little “dance”. Their movements actually trace out the letters of a phrase in English, “Keiko Love”! Keiko was the name of a girl I was dating at the time. I was busy with work all the time and couldn’t see her much, so at night while everyone at the office sleeping, I stole a moment and snuck that code in!
That little Evir dance wasn’t written in the planning documents anywhere, so I remember my heart beating fast as I coded it, with the worry of it being discovered… but in the end, no one ever found it out. Now isn’t that a romantic story? (laughs)
Read the rest of this interview at Shmuplations.com to find out the development codename for Super Metroid bosses and which prominent Nintendo figure liked to play the shakuhachi flute next to the Super Metroid programmers offices. A must read.
Artist BossLogic imagines Brie Larson as Samus.
A very cool, profile render of what Brie Larson would look like as Samus Aran, in a Metroid film, by artist BossLogic via Twitter. Let us know what you think of the news of Brie Larson wanting to play the role of our favorite bounty hunter by answering our poll or leaving a comment below.
You’re making my dreams come true!
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) November 4, 2018
Click on the images below to enlarge.