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Metroid II: Return of Samus

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Title Screen

Metroid II: Return of Samus

Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy
Released in JP: January 21, 1992
Released in US: November 1991
Released in EU: May 21, 1992


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.


Metroid II: Return of Samus is best known as "that game between the first one and Super Metroid".

Debug Mode

You need a replacement Game Boy screen now. Just a heads up

GameShark code 0101A0D0 or Game Genie code A02-52B-193 will enable some debugging features, all accessed from the pause screen.

Here you can adjust what items you have. Select a bit with Left / Right and press A to toggle the highlighted flag:

  • flag 0: Bombs
  • flag 1: High Jump Boots
  • flag 2: Screw Attack
  • flag 3: Space Jump
  • flag 4: Spring Ball
  • flag 5: Spider Ball
  • flag 6: Varia Suit
  • flag 7: Unknown

You can also change what weapon you're using by pressing Up / Down:

  • 00: Standard
  • 01: Ice Beam
  • 02: Wave Beam
  • 03: Spazer Beam
  • 04: Plasma Beam
  • 08: Missiles

With debug mode enabled, you can save anywhere! From the pause screen, press Select. As long as you're not in the air, your game will be saved. This causes the save text to be loaded over the enemy graphics when you start again, which can be fixed by moving to another area.

You can also adjust the number of energy tanks you have by holding B and pressing Left or Right. (Removing tanks doesn't produce a visible effect until the game is resumed.) Holding B and pressing Up or Down will adjust your maximum missile counter by 10 per button press after you resume the game. (However if you remove missiles, resume the game, then pause again and try to add 10, for some reason it adds the number of missiles you removed plus 10 instead.) It does not seem to have a finite number of missiles you can have, if you go past 990 missiles you will end up with "000" however after firing one it goes to "999".

There is also an unused routine that would have saved the debug flag to the save file.

(Source: BSFree (Kong K. Rool), nensondubois, Lordgenome)

Unused Tiles

UnusedMetroid2Tiles.png UnusedMetroid2Tiles2.png

Two unused tiles exist in the ROM: a small alien statue (appears three times in the ROM) and an alternate save point sprite.

MetroidII38.png
The numbers 3 and 8 are part of the font set used in the game's credits. The Metroid home planet (and the planet this game takes place on) is SR388, so those tiles might have been meant for an unused intro or epilogue text like the ones in the first game.

Virtual Console Changes

The 3DS version has a very subtle change on the title screen. Every 1,024 frames, the screen rapidly blinks 3 times in the 3DS version (as opposed to 4 times in the Game Boy version), though the blinking rate stayed the same. This change may have been made to reduce the risk of seizures, though it is dubious as to how much this helps.

Inaccessible Content

In the second room of the game, if the player stands partway down the hill at the start of the room, a rhythmic percussive sound can be heard.

If the ROM is edited to allow us to pass through the floor, we can see that there are several "Rock Icicle" enemies (with incorrect graphics) placed offscreen (in fact, completely outside of the bounds of the room, if the room boundary is not disabled as it was in this video).

It's unclear why these enemies would be placed outside of the room's extents; possibly the room was originally much larger, and used a different graphics set that would have allowed the Rock Icicles to appear with their correct graphics.