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Proto:Metroid Prime Hunters

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Metroid Prime Hunters.

The demo version of Metroid Prime Hunters, with the subtitle First Hunt, was released by Nintendo in 2004 as a pack-in bonus with the original Nintendo DS. This demo has a massive amount of content that is not present in the retail version of the game.

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Unused text in the ARM9 binary.
  • The Multiplayer stages have different names than in the final, like "Combat Hall" (Final) being called "Ancient Vestige" here.
  • Document the differences of these multiplayer stages as well.
  • The test level can be accessed by replacing any of the used modes (Regulator) files, and there are some unused nodedata and entity files for "e3level" aka the Morph Ball level.

Game Icon

Proto Final
MetroidPrimeHunters-IconProto.png MetroidPrimeHunters-IconFinal.png

The icon is completely different. It's a picture of Samus with "Metroid" on top of it in the prototype, but it's a Screw Attack symbol in the final game.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Weapons

Power Beam

This weapon is Samus's primary and iconic weapon that you start with in the game. In the demo this beam uses rechargeable universal ammunition as a source in order to efficiently and consistently maintain a moderate fire rate, when the ammunition is depleted Samus will fire slower shots until she is able to gain more ammunition. This was a drastic change as the rest of the Metroid series allowed players to use the Power Beam freely without having to worry about ammunition. When firing the beam it acts like a charged shot due to how much damage it does on various enemies and how it impacts when shot on walls or objects.

Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Power Beam.png

Missiles

This is one of Samus's secondary and other iconic weapon in the game. Missiles help Samus take out enemies faster than her normal Power Beam can. Unlike the Power Beam , Missiles have an area of effect (AOE) blast radius that can take out multiple enemies at once, or damage ones near others, if they are close enough to each other. When using the Missiles, Samus's Arm Cannon splits into four panels making an "X" shape at the end of her cannon. In this demo, the Missiles use the universal ammunition pool whereas the retail version of Metroid Prime Hunters, the Missiles utilized its own ammunition pool. In order to enable Missiles, you have to find and obtain a Missile Expansion Pack in either Regulator Mode, Survivor Mode, or any of the multiplayer maps. Using cheat codes is also an option to enable/obtain the weapon.

Arm Cannon Open Missiles Being Fired
Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Arm Cannon Open.png Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Missiles Shot.png

Electro Lob

This weapon is a very unique weapon that didn't make it into the retail version of the game, nor any other future released title. The Electro Lob is a mix/hybrid between the Volt Driver and the Battlehammer sub-weapons that you see in the retail version of the game. When firing the Electro Lob you will be presented with a green arcing ball of electricity, similar to that of a grenade launcher. Just like the missiles, this weapon has an area of effect (AOE) blast radius that can take out multiple enemies at once, or damage ones near others, if they are close enough to each other. When switching to the Electro Lob, Samus's Arm Cannon doesn't change visually at all, not unless you switched from Missiles of course, which by then the four panels close back up and result in her default Arm Cannon state (visually speaking). The Electro Lob has the ability to scramble ones ability to see, allowing the opponent to take advantage of them while they visually struggle for a short period of time. This weapon can only be obtained in the Assault Cradle and Trooper Module multiplayer maps as Electro Lob Expansion Packs. Using cheat codes is also an option to enable/obtain the weapon.

Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Electro Lob.png

Charged Missiles

This is not considered a separate weapon but more of an upgrade to the Missiles. Grabbing two Missile Expansion Packs will enable the ability to use charged missiles. The damage of charged missiles is slightly greater than that of a normal missile shot. This allows the area of effect (AOE) blast radius to be slightly bigger on impact and increases the homing ability. This is very powerful in multiplayer against players, however it can be costly as well with ammunition. When firing a charged missile you lose 15 of your universal ammunition, thus making it easy to run out quickly if you rely on them too much. You can acquire two Missile Expansion Packs in Regulator Mode or any of the multiplayer maps. Using cheat codes is also an option to enable/obtain this extension.

Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Charged Missiles.png

Charged Electro Lob

This is not considered a separate weapon but more of an upgrade to the Electro Lob. Grabbing two Electro Lob Expansion Packs will enable the ability to use the charged Electro Lob, which looks similar to the Volt Driver when charging. The damage is not any different than that of a normal Electro Lob shot when charged, however this allows you to shoot a shot straight rather than the usual arc effect, this makes it easier to hit enemies from long distances. When firing a charged Electro Lob shot you lose 10 of your universal ammunition, thus making it easy to run out quickly if you rely on them too much. You can acquire two Electro Lob Expansion Packs in the Assault Cradle and/or Trooper Module multiplayer maps. Using cheat codes is also an option to enable/obtain this extension.

Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Charged Electro Lob.png

Bombs

This is one of many of Samus's abilities that is well known in the series. You automatically start with bombs acquired in every mode including multiplayer. In the demo you can only lay three bombs at a time and have to wait a short period of time before laying three more. These are very powerful against enemies, however they are very weak against players in multiplayer, this led to a buff to them in the retail version of the game. You can bomb jump with these bombs if you apply the Prime series concept of bomb jumping.

Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Bombs.png

Expansion Packs

There are two types of expansion packs in the demo. There is the Missile Expansion Pack and the Electro Lob Expansion Pack. Both work as you would expect them to, the Missile Expansion Pack works just like the retail version of the game, however the Electro Lob Expansion Pack was a pack that was never used in the retail version of the game nor any future titles of the Metroid series. They both not only enable but allow you to use the weapons provided by the packs respectively. Collecting two of each will allow you to use the charge ability for the respected weapons. Gaining two Missile Expansion Missiles will unlock charged Missiles, allowing the player to deal more damage and have increased homing on enemies. Gaining two Electro Lob Expansion Packs will unlock the charged Electro Lob, allowing the player to shoot straight, this is especially useful for long distance shots against other enemies.

Missile Expansion Pack Electro Lob Expansion Pack
Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Missile Expansion Pack.png Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Electro Lob Expansion Pack.png

Power-ups/Status Effects

Double Damage

This is the only power-up in the demo, fortunately this power-up also made an appearance in the retail version of the game as well. This power-up is rare and powerful as it allows the player to deal double the amount of damage dealt to enemies. Using this power-up makes an icon appear on the top right of the screen, indicating that the power-up is active. Double Damage is a timer based power-up meaning you can only use it for a certain amount of time, after the time is up the icon disappears from the top right of the screen. In the retail version of the game, you glow purple when this power-up is in use, however this effect is not present in the demo. You can find this power-up in Survivor Mode or any of the multiplayer maps. Using cheat codes is also an option to enable/obtain this power-up.

Double Damage Power-up Double Damage Active
Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Double Damage.png Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Double Damage Active.png

Scrambled Vision

This is not a power-up but an effect that the player can receive via self harm or from a player in multiplayer by the Electro Lob. When receiving this status condition you are unable to see clearly for a short period of time, allowing the opponent to take advantage of your blind state. This also scrambles the map as well making it somewhat harder to know if you moved from one spot to another at that point in time.

Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt - Electro Lob Scrambled Vision.png

Touch Shoot Mode

Touch Shoot Mode

A basic control type for Samus, with a Touch Shoot Mirror Mode for left-handed players. The Top Screen and Touch Screen show the map and gameplay, respectively.

Samus is moved with the D-Pad. L jumps, while X, Y, and A change between the Power Beam, Missiles, and Electro Lob. B toggles the Morph Ball.

Tapping the Touch Screen will shoot the equipped weapon at the location the player tapped, which makes it easier to shoot enemies. However, in order to move the camera, you have to touch the Touch Screen and move the stylus around on it; this, along with it being somewhat clumsy to use the stylus and A-B-X-Y, is probably why the control scheme was left out of the final.

Cutscene

After completing every mode in the demo, a cutscene plays with some possible early design silhouettes for the antagonists. The URL displayed at the end, "http://www.metroidhunters.com", has since become a redirect to Nintendo of America's website, though the actual website can still be accessed by way of the Internet Archive.

Unused Menus

Error Menu

There is an unused error menu screen that pops up when you manipulate with a certain byte in the RAM. After changing the byte and pausing the game, you are left with this error menu screen. The "Pause" banner that usually sits on the top screen when pausing the game is no longer there. Your only option is to choose "Okay" and get kicked to the title screen of the game. Just like the Pause Menu, there are font differences between the USA and European version. In the USA version the font of the words seem taller than that of the European version.

USA Europe
Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt (USA, Australia) - Error Menu.png Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt (Europe) - Error Menu.png

Unused Models

Filename Info Image
door2_Model.bin

door2_Anim.bin

An unused door model. FH door2.png
door2_holo_Model.bin

door2_holo_Anim.bin

Another unused door model. FH door2holo.png
genericMover_Model.bin

genericmover_Anim.bin

genericMover_Collision.bin

A generic platform. FH genericmover.png
jumpad_ray_Model.bin An alternate version of the jumppad_ray model. FH jumpadray.png
warWasp_Model.bin

warWasp_Anim.bin

An enemy which was later used in the final game. FH warWasp.png
jumppad_ray jumppad_ray
FH jumpadray.png FH jumppadray.png
warWasp
(First Hunt)
warwasp_lod0
(Hunters)
FH warWasp.png MPH warwasplod0.png

Unused Levels

Filename Info Image
mp5_model.bin A very early iteration of what would eventually become the Head Shot multiplayer map in the final game. The model appears to be upside-down. Trying to load it by replacing files makes the game stay in a black screen after the spawning FMV. MPH FH - mp5 Model.png

MPH FH - mp5 Mode2.png MPH FH - mp5 Model3.png

testLevel_Model.bin A large square room with a grid texture. It was probably used for testing purposes.

Can be accessed by replacing files, but it doesn't have a lot of draw distance for the square room itself in a emulator (and it's pretty much not there in real hardware unless you are near a wall or a corner, or if you look down). Contains all the weapons, the Double Damage pickup, health pickups, all the enemies in the game, and a nonfunctional door.

MPH FH - testLevel Model.png

MPH FH - testLevel Model2.png

Regional Differences

Title Screen

In the US version, the word "METROID" in front of an insignia is colored in red, whereas the outline for the word "HUNTERS" is colored white. The colors were swapped in the European version, with "METROID" in white and "HUNTERS" in a red outline. The copyright date was also amended.

North America Europe
MPH FH - US Version Title Screen.png MPH FH - EU Version Title Screen.png

Main Menu

The text strings "ARM CANNON" and "VISOR: sight-enhancing apparatus_" were removed from the European verison.

North America Europe
MPH FH - US Main Menu.png MPH FH - EU Main Menu.png

Multiplayer Menu

The text "Connecting to database..." was also removed from the European version.

North America Europe
MPH FH - US Multiplayer.png MPH FH - EU Multiplayer.png

Name Entry

Several changes were made for the European version: "Del" was changed to an arrow pointing left, while the three buttons marked as "Upper", "Lower" and "Char." were changed to "ABC", "abc", and "123".

North America Europe
MPH FH - US Name Entry.png MPH FH - EU Name Entry.png

Text Box

The text box was widened for the European version to allow for the somewhat wordier translations of this string used in non-English languages.

North America Europe (Spanish)
MPH FH - US Textbox.png MPH FH - EU Spanish Textbox.png

Pause Menu

There is a slight difference between the USA and European pause menu, most specifically the font of the words. In the USA version the font of the words seem taller than that of the European version.

USA Europe
Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt (USA, Australia) - Pause Menu.png Metroid Prime - Hunters - First Hunt (Europe) - Pause Menu.png