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Metroid Prime

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Title Screen

Metroid Prime

Developer: Retro Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: GameCube
Released in JP: February 28, 2003
Released in US: November 17, 2002
Released in EU: March 31, 2003
Released in AU: April 3, 2003
Released in KR: 2003


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ModelsIcon.png This game has unused models.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Metroid Prime was the return of the Metroid series, which had laid dormant since Super Metroid eight years earlier. (Samus and some series elements appeared in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, however). The game was met with plenty of nostalgia, but also a lot of suspicion; gone were the days of 2D side-scrolling platforming, in favor of 3D first-person adventuring.


Luckily, fears were soon quelled as fans and critics alike discovered that despite the different style and gameplay, the core feeling and essence of Metroid was intact.

Hmmm...
To do:
Lots of unused animations. Also, several important revisional and regional differences, most of which have an enormous impact on the speedrunning community. Metroid2002 is a good place for various oddities and unused tidbits.

Sub-Pages

Metroid logo.png
Version Differences
Including fixed bugs and broken sequence breaks.

Unused Layers

Many rooms have unused object layers that are never enabled for one reason or another.

Hmmm...
To do:
Get pictures/video of most of these.
World Room Layer Name Contents
Space Pirate Frigate Exterior Docking Hangar Crates A bunch of crates sitting around that don't drop anything.
Space Pirate Frigate Emergency Evacuation Area Music Test Empty.
Space Pirate Frigate Connection Elevator to Deck Alpha Don't Load Some particle effects and a couple objects that would have faded out the music when the item loss cutscene started.
Space Pirate Frigate Biotech Research Area 2 don't load A platform on the opposite end of the grapple pit that would have allowed you to cross the room without using Grapple Beam.
Space Pirate Frigate Biohazard Containment Music Test Empty.
Space Pirate Frigate Reactor Core Not Loaded Camera hints in the entrance hallway.
Space Pirate Frigate Cargo Freight Lift to Deck Gamma Not Loaded Camera hint that activates near the big door at the bottom of the room.
Space Pirate Frigate Reactor Core Entrance Not Loaded Empty.
Chozo Ruins Training Chamber 2nd Pass Enemy Empty.
Chozo Ruins Magma Pool poison An alternate style for the room, with poison water instead of lava. The water has fish swimming around in it. There's other effects present as well like gnat swarms.
Chozo Ruins Tower of Light 2nd Pass Two Puddle Spores in the water at the bottom of the tower.
Chozo Ruins Sun Tower Don't load An unused cinematic with the camera panning around behind Samus, who's standing at the bottom of the tower.
Chozo Ruins Hive Totem 2nd pass War Wasps spawning from the statue mouths on either side of Hive Mecha.
Chozo Ruins Sunchamber Easy Flaahgrah Killer Empty. Likely used to contain an insta-kill trigger for Flaahgra, used during debugging, similar to the Thardus and Omega Pirate ones.
Chozo Ruins Sunchamber Don't Load An extra "fake bomb slot" trigger that hurts Flaahgra near the entrance of the room. There's also a counter and a relay on this layer; unsure of their purpose.
Chozo Ruins Crossway Don't Load Empty.
Chozo Ruins Elder Hall Access 2nd Pass Empty. The scarabs are on a layer called "1st Pass", so they were probably intended to be swapped out with other enemies at one point.
Chozo Ruins Reflecting Pool 2nd Pass enemies Empty.
Phendrana Drifts Transport to Magmoor Caverns West REMOVE THE SPIKES!!!! Two breakable ice spikes blocking the door out that have a random chance of spawning.
Phendrana Drifts Shoreline Entrance HIDE THE SPIKES!! Lots of breakable ice spikes lining the hallway. Again, they all have a random chance of spawning.
Phendrana Drifts Phendrana Shorelines Don't Load Ice debris next to the missile expansion alcove. This seem to indicate the ice was originally going to break when you destroy it, rather than slowly melting like it does in the final game.
Phendrana Drifts Ruins Entryway DO NOT LOAD!!!! A fully-grown adult Sheegoth. Given the room is really small, it's pretty easy to guess why this was disabled.
Phendrana Drifts Plaza Walkway Don't load Some objects being held up by the pillars near the door to Ice Ruins East, forming a small structure with a ceiling. There's a trigger that makes the structure collapse when you walk in.
Phendrana Drifts Ice Ruins Access Atomics Empty. The contents were probably moved to the Default layer, since that layer has Atomics (Bombus) on it.
Phendrana Drifts Ice Ruins Access platformers Empty. The contents were probably moved to the "Don't load" layer.
Phendrana Drifts Ice Ruins Access Don't load Three Crystallites crawling up the walls, evenly spaced through the tunnel.
Phendrana Drifts Chozo Ice Temple Don't Load Empty.
Phendrana Drifts Canyon Entryway atomics Empty. Contents were probably moved to the Default layer.
Phendrana Drifts Canyon Entryway Crawlers Empty. Contents were probably moved to the "Don't load" layer.
Phendrana Drifts Canyon Entryway Don't load Two Crystallites crawling up the walls of the tunnel.
Phendrana Drifts Chapel of the Elders NOA Demo Empty.
Phendrana Drifts Ruined Courtyard Don't Load Water splash effects that would've activated while the lower half of the room was filling with water.
Phendrana Drifts Specimen Storage 2nd Pass Enemy Empty.
Phendrana Drifts Specimen Storage Dont Load Music change triggers.
Phendrana Drifts Research Entrance Core Mechanics Empty.
Phendrana Drifts Research Entrance 3rd Pass - Elite An Elite Pirate in the middle of the room, not in a stasis tube. There's a few unused Elites like this in several rooms in the labs; it seems they were probably originally intended to spawn here after you first encountered them in the Phazon Mines.
Phendrana Drifts Quarantine Cave Cine Test Empty. There's a trigger on Thardus's layer called "Trigger Thardus Death Cinema Test" that might've activated whatever used to be on this layer.
Phendrana Drifts Quarantine Cave Do Not Load Two damageable triggers. The first one kills Thardus instantly, while the second one enrages him.
Phendrana Drifts Research Lab Hydra 3rd pass Enemy - Elite Another Elite Pirate standing in the middle of the room, no stasis tube.
Phendrana Drifts Frost Cave Access Don't Load A few Ice Burrowers around the area that normally has Ice Beetles in it.
Phendrana Drifts Control Tower 3rd pass enemy - Elite Another Elite Pirate in the middle of the room.
Phendrana Drifts Control Tower Test Layer Empty.
Phendrana Drifts Control Tower Don't Load Empty.
Tallon Overworld Temple Hall 1st pass Empty. Interestingly, the Seedlings and the Tangle Weeds are on a layer called "2nd pass", even though they're there from the beginning of the game.
Tallon Overworld Frigate Crash Site Don't load Three Space Pirate corpses in the water.
Tallon Overworld Temple Lobby Don't Load Four Shriekbats on the ceiling.
Tallon Overworld Artifact Temple Temp- Death Trigger that instantly starts Ridley's death cutscene when you walk into it.
Tallon Overworld Artifact Temple Don't load Empty.
Tallon Overworld Main Ventilation Shaft Section B 2nd pass scripting Empty.
Tallon Overworld Main Ventilation Shaft Section B Don't Load Empty.
Tallon Overworld Main Reactor test Empty.
Tallon Overworld Reactor Access 1st pass enemies Strangely enough this layer doesn't actually have any enemies in it. It does have a bunch of refill pickups and a pickup generator, though.
Tallon Overworld Reactor Access 2nd pass enemies Empty.
Tallon Overworld Reactor Access Don't Load A Space Pirate corpse in the next room over that activates when the door opens.
Tallon Overworld Cargo Freight Lift to Deck Gamma Don't Load Empty.
Tallon Overworld Biohazard Containment Don't Load Features dead creatures in stasis in the tubes lining the walls, like they were in the original room. A lot of the tubes have little shards of glass that can be broken. There's also an extra Space Pirate corpse in the water.
Tallon Overworld Biotech Research Area 1 don't Load Two Aqua Drones.
Tallon Overworld Great Tree Hall Gate Solved Empty.
Tallon Overworld Life Grove 2nd Pass Enemies Eight Aqua Reapers surrounding the underwater spinner.
Phazon Mines Quarry Access 2nd Pass Turrets Empty.
Phazon Mines Main Quarry 3rd pass enemies Empty.
Phazon Mines Main Quarry METROIDS Empty.
Phazon Mines Main Quarry Don't Load An extra Space Pirate with a patrol path pacing up and down the ramp, and another one that seems like it would have spawned after lowering the gate. There's also some other objects scattered around for AI navigation.
Phazon Mines Waste Disposal Dont' Load Empty.
Phazon Mines Security Access A Don't Load A Drone patrolling the hallway.
Phazon Mines Ore Processing Don't Load Empty.
Phazon Mines Ore Processing Music OLD Two music objects that would've played pir_yoin (Space Pirate ambience) and pir_isogi (Space Pirate battle theme).
Phazon Mines Mine Security Station Metroids Empty. Contents were probably moved to the "Don't Load" layer.
Phazon Mines Mine Security Station Don't Load Contains some Metroids and a couple space pirates. There's also some shields blocking off every exit from the room, and some animation objects for moving them into place and back out.
Phazon Mines Mine Security Station Trooper cinematic Empty. Contents were probably moved to the "1st Pass Scripting" layer.
Phazon Mines Research Access Single Enemy Empty.
Phazon Mines Security Access B 2nd Pass Empty.
Phazon Mines Elite Research Don't load Four Metroids on the second level. There's also a light fader and music objects for pir_isogi and pir_yoin.
Phazon Mines Elite Control Access Don't Load Two Plated Puffers in the middle of the hallway.
Phazon Mines Elite Control 3rd metroid pass Two Hunter Metroids, one at the bottom of the room and one at the top. There's also a light fader.
Phazon Mines Elite Control load_memory_test Empty.
Phazon Mines Elite Control Don't load Some cameras for a small unused cinematic, with the camera focusing on something that doesn't exist in front of the computer consoles behind the force field on the bottom floor.
Phazon Mines Phazon Processing Center Don't Load Empty.
Phazon Mines Omega Research 3rd metroid pass Two Metroids on the bottom level of the room.
Phazon Mines Omega Research don't load Six regular Space Pirates; there's two by each door, with the two near the map station hanging from the ceiling.
Phazon Mines Processing Center Access 1st Pass Empty.
Phazon Mines Processing Center Access 2nd Pass Empty.
Phazon Mines Processing Center Access Don't load Three invisible Pulse Bombus in the Phazon-covered section of the hallway.
Phazon Mines Dynamo Access 1st Pass Enemies Empty.
Phazon Mines Dynamo Access Debris Empty.
Phazon Mines Elite Quarters Cull Empty.
Phazon Mines Elite Quarters Don't Load Empty.
Phazon Mines Elite Quarters Easy Omega Killer Has a damageable trigger that insta-kills Omega Pirate.
Phazon Mines Central Dynamo Irving Empty. The layer name likely refers to engineer Irving Mah.
Phazon Mines Central Dynamo Don't Load Two Hunter Metroids.
Phazon Mines Central Dynamo Amanda Empty. The layer name likely refers to designer Amanda Rubright.
Phazon Mines Elite Quarters Access 2nd Pass Enemy/Beta Drone Empty, but the layer name is a pretty good indicator of what probably used to be here.
Phazon Mines Metroid Quarantine B Don't load Contains two extra Metroids and a regular Space Pirate next to the Phazon pit; the pirate is attacked by the Metroids as you enter the room. There's also some camera objects for an unused cinematic behind the force field, with the camera focusing on the two glass tubes (one of which has a missile expansion).
Phazon Mines Metroid Quarantine A Don't load Interestingly, this layer has Phazon-themed Blastcaps on it, which aren't normally found anywhere in the game. There's also respawning Metroids in the Phazon pit.
Phazon Mines Fungal Hall B DON'T LOAD Two respawning Metroids and a second Glider.
Phazon Mines Fungal Hall Access Don't Load A Space Pirate on the upper ledge; it's activated by a trigger next to the lower door, so it probably would've appeared if you entered the room backwards.
Phazon Mines Fungal Hall A Don't Load Two respawning Metroids patrolling the lower half of the room.
Magmoor Caverns Lava Lake Don't load A couple of the platforms on the side of the room with the Artifact have Zoomers crawling on them.
Magmoor Caverns Lava Lake 2nd pass - Pirates Two Flying Pirates on the side of the room with the Artifact.
Magmoor Caverns Triclops Pit Don't Load A rock wall blocks the short path in the morph ball tunnel, which would've had to be destroyed with bombs. There's also a Grisby on one of the platforms leading to Monitor Station.
Magmoor Caverns Monitor Station Don't load Two Magmoors in the lava, and some flame jets on the center platform.
Magmoor Caverns Transport to Tallon Overworld West Hint Layer Empty.
Magmoor Caverns Geothermal Core Don't Load Three Puffers floating around the bottom of the room.
Magmoor Caverns Magmoor Workstation 2nd pass scripting A pickup generator and some health/ammo refills. Of note is that the triclops and Flying Pirates are on a layer called "1st pass scripting". Additionally, there's two unused SpecialFunctions on the default layer next to the energy tank that are set up to disable the 1st pass layer and enable the 2nd pass (which is labelled "Second Pass enemies"), but they aren't hooked up to anything so they never activate. It's probably a safe guess that originally getting the energy tank would trigger a swap-out of the enemies in the room.
Magmoor Caverns Magmoor Workstation Dont Load Two PlayerActors in the little scan alcoves for the energy tank puzzle; Samus was probably originally intended to appear in the cutscenes after you scan each panel.
Impact Crater Phazon Core Don't Load Empty.
Impact Crater Crater Tunnel B Don't load Contains a Phazon-themed Burrower, another enemy that doesn't appear anywhere in the game. There's also a Lumigek swarm.
Impact Crater Subchamber Two Provoke Metroid Prime Trigger at the entrance of the room that activates Metroid Prime. This seems to be activated by the end of the cinematic on the used layer.
Impact Crater Subchamber Two Not Loaded A couple camera hint triggers at either end of the room.
Ending Monoliths and Ridley Empty. Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 2 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 3 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 4 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 5 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 6 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 7 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 8 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 9 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 10 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 11 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Got Artifact 12 Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Totem Empty. Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Cinematics Empty. Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending temporary Empty. Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Music Decrement Thardus Empty. Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Music Increment Thardus Empty. Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.
Ending Temp- Death Empty. Leftover from the original Artifact Temple.

Unused Text

Chozo Lore

An unused variation of the Chozo lore "Binding" exists in the game's textual data in which the Cipher is broken and the Chozo Artifacts have been scattered across the planet by the Space Pirates. Instead of using the Chozo Artifacts to break the Cipher and enter the Impact Crater, it appears that at one point in development Samus would have been attempting to reactivate the Cipher and seal the Crater.

Unused Used (USA Version)
Binding
The Chozo Cipher, the congregation of Artifacts that held the Great Poison at bay, is broken now. Fearful of the potential within the small statues, the invaders known as Space Pirates tried to destroy them, only to fail in every attempt. Instead, they have scattered what they could not break across the planet, hiding the Artifacts far from one another, knowing that their reunion could spell disaster for their dark designs. They are right to fear them. Great power sleeps inside these tokens; we Chozo built our temple, the Cradle, to draw its strength from their communal energy. If they could be gathered together once again and replaced in the Cradle, then hope might bloom again in this suffocating land.
Binding
The congregation of Artifacts that hold the Great Poison at bay still hold strong. Fearful of the potential within the Artifact Temple, the invaders known as Space Pirates tried to destroy it, only to fail in every attempt. We scattered the Artifacts across the planet for their protection, and only a few have fallen into invader hands. Failing to understand them, they now seek to unmake them. Again, they fail. They are right to fear these things. Great power sleeps inside them. Prophecy calls for their union, come the day that the unholy Worm is met by the great Defender. We can only hope the Artifacts are not destroyed by the invader, for then all will be lost. So, we do what we can to preserve the Artifacts, and to guide the Newborn to them. Time wanes with our souls, yet hope remains.

Phazon Combo

It seems that the Phazon Beam originally functioned a lot differently. In 500ec6a0.STRG, the string table file for the inventory screen, in a list of Samus's inventory items, there's a string that simply reads "Phazon Combo". Other evidence pointing to the existence of a Phazon Beam combo includes the presence of a Charge Beam sound effect for the Phazon Beam (see below) and that weapon vulnerability data for enemies and objects includes a slot for a fifth beam combo. The generic placeholder name suggests it was cut before being properly named.

An updated version of the inventory STRG file on the Metroid Prime 2 demo disc has this string named "PhazonBeamCombo".

Placeholder Scans

Hmmm...
To do:
Get pictures/videos

For some reason, Elite Quarters has a couple placeholder scans that have nothing to do with the object they're attached to. The first one is used by Omega Pirate himself; it's the scan that shows up if you scan his projectile attacks, which you can actually see ingame:

This is an Elite Space Pirate
Elite Space Pirate description 2
Elite Space Pirate description 3
Elite Space Pirate description 4

The second one is present on all of the Phazon healing nodules that appear while Omega Pirate is in one of the Phazon pools:

This is a Spank Weed
Spank Weed description 2
Spank Weed description 3
Spank Weed description 4

A third placeholder scan is present in Tower of Light, on the unused layer with Puddle Spores on it:

This is a Puddle Spore
Alpha Puddle Spore description 2
Alpha Puddle Spore description 3
Alpha Puddle Spore description 4

Internal Enemy Names

A lot of enemies go by different names internally than what's actually shown ingame.

Alternate Final
NewIntroBoss Parasite Queen
PuddleToadGamma Stone Toad
FireFlea Plazmite
Metaree Shriekbat
SpankWeed Reaper Vine
Ripper Glider
JellyZap Jelzap
Babygoth Baby Sheegoth
Eyeball Eyon
Magdolite Magmoor
SnakeWeedSwarm Tangle Weed
ActorContraption Incinerator Drone
AtomicAlpha Pulse Bombu
AtomicBeta Scatter Bombu
ChubbWeed Blastcap
GarBeetle Plated Beetle

Some of them are the names of Super Metroid enemies; this is mostly explained by Shinesparkers' interview with senior artist Mike Sneath, who explains that the creature designs that were done in the first year of development were based on Super Metroid, before Nintendo decided to scrap everything and have Retro work on more original creatures. What seems likely is that some of the work that was done was kept, but the enemies were renamed. One of them even still has its original assets present on the disc.

Mike Sneath: The entire first years worth of characters I modelled for the game were cut. At first we were making all the enemies looking just like the old Metroid 2D enemies. Nintendo, later decided that they wanted the enemies to have a new look so we scrapped all of those creatures. These weren’t just models that were scrapped but these were enemies that had a full set of animations and some even had AI programmed. I’m actually very glad Nintendo made that call because I think the newer designs that Jones and Keller came up with was a big improvement over the original 2D designs.

Unused Scan Images

Shinespark.png
A scan image of what seems to be a Shinesparking Samus. According to an interview with Retro Studios, the Speed Booster (and by extension the Shinespark) were planned to appear in Prime, but due to difficulty implementing them they were scrapped.
MP-SpringballScan.png
Similarly, scan images exist for the Spring Ball (as can be seen in the scan image collage in the concept art gallery). Samus would later acquire this ability in the Trilogy/Wii de Asobu version of the game alongside the Bomb upgrade.
MP-RipperScan.png
A Ripper, an unused enemy.
MP-PhendranaFishScan.png
A small fish critter. Several of these creatures can be found throughout the Phendrana region, notably in Phendrana Canyon, where three of them, barely visible, can be scanned without image underneath the ice ramp; and in Research Lab Hydra, where an unfrozen specimen can be found sitting on a table next to some explosive crates.

Unused Audio

Samus monologue

Present in the ISO is this narration by Jennifer Hale, the voice actress of Samus in all three Metroid Prime games. It sounds like it was originally meant to be used in the opening sequences to provide backstory. One likely reason for its exclusion is that Nintendo didn't want to have Samus truly speak to the player, instead remaining the silent protagonist.

The narration at the beginning of the Metroid Prime track in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is based on this.

Phazon Charge Beam

A Charge Beam sound effect for the Phazon Beam exists in an AGSC file labeled PhazonGun (c2c1b6fe.AGSC). In the final game, the Phazon Beam can't be charged; holding A simply rapid-fires it.

Unused Textures/Models

Early Phazon Suit

An early, unused Phazon Suit design is present in Metroid1.pak, thanks to a couple PlayerActor objects in Exterior Docking Hangar using the wrong ANCS file. It's quite radically different from the final Phazon Suit design. According to Mike Sneath (Senior Artist), this is the reason why it was cut:

Yes you are right that is what was another version of the Phazon Suit which was done by another artist Gene Kohler. Gene made all the suits with the only exception being the black phazon suit. That suit you mentioned was cut because if I remember the Art Lead Todd Keller didn't feel the suit felt evil enough. That was the whole idea about liquid Phazon is that it transforms things into being aggressive and destructive and Todd wanted that to be reflected in how the suit look. That is all I can remember with regards to that suit you mentioned and I hope I got the story right on that as it was a long time ago but I believe that is why it got cut.

Unused Morph Ball Design

An unused Morph Ball design is also present in TestAnim.pak as an unused material set on the Spider Morph Ball model. While it's not 100% concrete, it's very likely that this was the morph ball that was meant to go with the unused Phazon Suit design.

Ripper

A fully-textured model present in Phendrana Drift's files as well as the Phazon Mines. The Ripper was an enemy in Metroid and Super Metroid that could be frozen and then used as a platform. It's likely a leftover from early in development, when Retro based most of the enemy designs based on Super Metroid creatures; most of these were changed into more original creatures at some point, although many are still referred to internally by Super Metroid enemy names (such as Shriekbats being referred to as Metarees, and Magmoors being referred to as Magdolites). In the case of the Ripper, it was eventually replaced with the Glider, with the hook on the bottom being used as a grapple point. However, it was never removed from the Glider's ANCS file, which meant it accidentally got included on-disc; it also means it can easily be swapped back in-game by changing an object property on the Gliders!

Super Metroid

The Super Metroid.

This texture can be found in every Metroid* pak. It's technically used by an FRME file, although it never seems to appear in normal gameplay. Unknown what its purpose is or why it was removed.