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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.

During the game, on pause 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: Never used in game
  • 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
  • Press Select to save current progress without any indications. Just one condition: the character must not be in the air. 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.
  • Hold B and press Left / Right to adjust the number of energy tanks you have. Removing tanks doesn't produce a visible effect until the game is resumed.
  • Hold B and press Up / Down to adjust your missile counter by 10 per button press after you resume the game. There are three internal missile counters in this game: the maximim possible value, and two current values of actually posessed missiles (when you change the first one, the second one will be automatically adjusted to the same value, for "counting" effect). This option does not decrease the maximum value counter, the only value is decreased here is the current missile value counter. When increasing, the maximum value + 10 is reloaded into the current value counter, both counters will have the same value until you decrease, so we can see some kind of "weird" behaviour here because of that. All counters are 4-digit decimal counters, but game only displays lower 3 digits, however, you still can have as many as 9999 missiles, then warp to zero again.
  • Hold A + B and press Left / Right to adjust the number of remaining metroids.

During the game, in transitions between locations:

  • Hold Select + B to warp directly to the final boss.
(Source: BSFree (Kong K. Rool), nensondubois, Lordgenome)

Unused Screens

Metroid II - Return of Samus (Game Boy)-save.png Metroid II - Return of Samus (Game Boy)-cleared.png

There are two more system handlers with the same structure as the Game Over screen. One displays message "GAME SAVED", the other "GAME CLEARED". It is unknown, when they should be displayed, but most likely one is for saving during the game, the other is for clearing the state slot at the title screen. Both are unused in the final version.

To see any of them, use the Game Genie code ZEKAIZAE for the "saved" screen or AOKAIZAA for the "cleared" screen respectively.

The save screen, however uses wrong tile data loading offset and size, so text here is unreadable. But you can use two more codes AEVUNZEA+AONLXXAP to fix it.

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.