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Metroid Shrine


A classic that started one of the most incredible sagas in gaming.

In 1986 a new type of game was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System called Metroid featuring dark and warped worlds, alien creatures and an all new star, Samus Aran. The levels of exploration in the game were unmatched by any other of its time and Metroid became all the rage. The creature itself, a metroid, was a parasitic life form capable of draining the life force from any living creature and killing it in the process growing bigger and stronger at the same time. The storyline given along with the size of the world Zebes was all that was needed to launch this game into the archives of gaming history. Metroid has enjoyed unstoppable popularity ever since spawning games such as Metroid II: The Return of Samus (1991, Gameboy), Super Metroid (1994, Super Nintendo), Metroid Prime (2002, GameCube), Metroid Fusion (2002, Gameboy Advance), Metroid: Zero Mission (2004, Gambeboy Advance), Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2005, GameCube), Metroid Prime Hunters (2005, Nintendo DS) and soon a major motion picture.

Metroid puts you in the role of interstellar bounty hunter Samus Aran. Space pirates are threatening to unleash dangerous creatures called metroids on an unsuspecting universe, and it's up to you to stop them at the source--planet Zebes. You'll need to rely on Samus' weapons and acrobatic abilities to get through Zebes' dangerous environments. At the outset of the game, you're armed with little but a peashooter, but as you explore the surrounding area, you'll soon discover an array of power-ups, such as the maru-mari (which lets you roll up into a ball to get into tight spaces). Jump boots increase the height of your leaps, while weapons such as the ice beam and missiles increase your firepower so you can more effectively combat the game's respawning enemies and memorable bosses. By the time you reach the final battle with Mother Brain, Samus will be bristling with an impressive assortment of fearsome weapons, in addition to energy tanks that soak up damage.

A big part of the fun (or, to some, a big part of the frustration) is finding each power-up and then trying to figure out which parts of the map you can explore further as a result of your newfound abilities. All your backtracking and experimentation contributes greatly to the game's length on a player's first run through but today just about anyone interested in Metroid has probably played it before. As a result, you can run through the game in under an hour if you know exactly what you're doing.

Metroid shared its side-scrolling perspective with games like Super Mario Bros. but for the first time Mario fans were presented with one continuous world that fit together like a puzzle. Many of Zebes' corridors were vertical rather than horizontal, and the game had you revisiting old areas multiple times in order to move deeper into the labyrinth. The gameplay was in many ways closer to an adventure like The Legend of Zelda. Samus started with 99 health points, which were sort of a precursor to the hit points seen in RPGs in that they numerically represented your health. This amount of health could be increased in increments of 100 by finding energy tanks scattered throughout the mazes of Zebes.

Metroid's environments were nicely diversified, ranging from cold blue stone to a molten area and everything in between. Samus herself exhibits decent animation as she runs and jumps about the levels. Her arm cannon also changes color depending on whether you have the beam or missiles enabled for firing. Monsters have a decent amount of variation in appearance, and the bosses are also fairly large. Metroid's superb music evoked the proper feelings of solitude and loneliness one would expect while infiltrating a hostile alien planet alone.

The insane addictiveness of this game not to mention the pure nostalgic value of what was one of the best games of its time makes Metroid a definite must have.[BREAK=Story]In the year 2000 of the history of the cosmos, representatives from the hundreds of inhabited planets formed the Galactic Federation, and engineered a period of prosperity for the people of their planets. But as trade between planets increased, space pirate activity increased.
As a measure to keep the peace, the Galactic Federation organized the Federation Police Force and charged them with defending merchant ships from pirate raids. When the FPF became overworked and overstressed, the Federation sent out calls for brave sentients to track down and bring the pirates to justice. These bounty hunters became legendary figures, people to be admired, respected, and feared.
In the year 20X5 of the history of the cosmos, a research team returned from an expedition to an uninhabited planet designated SR-388 with heavy casualties and a very valuable prize: a life form they called "Metroid." Its species was apparently responsible for wiping out the civilization that once flourished on SR-388's surface. They brought it to their deep-space research vessel in suspended animation and studied it, finding that exposure to beta radiation would cause it to awaken and begin to multiply. Carefully locking it down, they prepared to return to Earth with their findings. En route, space pirates attacked the ship, killing the crew and taking their supplies, including the dormant Metroid.
When the Galactic Federation heard of this event, they sent probes to all corners of known space, tracing the pirates to a fortress world designated Zebes. They sent FPF personnel to Zebes to recapture the Metroid, but the space pirates had powerful weapons, and sent the FPF home with a bloody nose. Swallowing their pride, they called for the bravest hunters to assault Zebes and return the Metroid if possible - or destroy it if necessary.
One hunter topped their list: the mysterious Samus Aran. Samus's history was unknown to the Federation, and they didn't even know if Samus was male or female. Consulting Samus's impressive record, the Federation sanctioned his mission to Zebes. The name "Samus Aran" makes space pirates quiver with fear, as his powered armor is all but impervious to attack.
( Click to show/hide )

Samus entered Zebes and quickly neutralized all threats, defeating the Space Pirate head honchos, Kraid and Ridley, and learning of the pirates' leader, Mother Brain. She had plans to use the Metroid as a weapon, and had flooded her base of operations, Tourian, with beta radiation to force the Metroid to grow and multiply. Samus penetrated Tourian's defenses, facing the horror of the Metroids as he went down to Mother Brain's nerve center. With a constant stream of missiles, Samus destroyed Mother Brain, and escaped to the surface and his ship before Tourian self-destructed.
Samus returned victorious to the nearest FPF headquarters. When the reward money was presented, Samus decompressed and took off his helmet, revealing that "he" was a "she!" Nobody had expected a human female to have the stuff it takes to single-handedly take on the entire space pirate armada, Kraid, Ridley, Mother Brain, and a hive of Metroids.
The threat of the Metroids seemed to be over, but popularity in video games always has a way of bringing threats back to life, as we found out a few years later...

[BREAK=Manual]INTRODUCTION FROM NINTENDO
Thank you for selecting the Nintendo Entertainment System METROID Pak. Please read this instruction booklet to ensure proper handling of your new game, and then save the booklet for future reference.

THE METROID STORY
In the year 2000 of history of the cosmos, representatives from the many different planets in the galaxy established a congress called the Galactic Federation, and an age of prosperity began. A successful exchange of cultures and civilization results and thousands of interstellar spaceships ferried back and forth between planets. But space pirates also appeared to attack the spaceships.

The Federation Bureau created the Galactic Federation Police, but the pirates' attacks were powerful and it was not easy to catch them in the vastness of space. The Federation Bureau and the Federation Police called together warriors known for their great courage and sent them to do battle with the pirates. These great warriors were called "space hunters." They received large rewards when they captured pirates, and made their living as space bounty hunters.

It is now year 20X5 of the history of the cosmos, and something terrible has happened. Space pirates have attacked a deep-space research spaceship and seized a capsule containing an unknown life-form that had just been discovered on Planet SR388. This life-form is in a state of suspended animation, but can be reactivated and will multiply when exposed to beta rays for 24 hours. It is suspected that the entire civilization of Planet SR388 was destroyed by some unknown person or thing, and there is a strong possibility that the life-form just discovered was the cause of the planet's destruction. To carelessly let it multiply would be extremely dangerous. The Federation researchers had named it "Metroid" and were bringing it back to Earth - when it was stolen by space pirates!

If Metroid is multiplied by the space pirates and then used as a weapon, the entire galactic civilization will be destroyed. After a desperate search, the Federation Police have at last found the pirates' headquarters, the fortress planet Zebes, and launched a general attack. But the pirates' resistance is strong, and the Police have been unable to take the planet. Meanwhile, in a room hidden deep within the center of the fortress, the preparations for multiplying the Metroid are progressing steadily. As a last resort, the Federation Police have decided on this strategy: to send a space hunter to penetrate the center of the fortress and destroy the Mother Brain. The space hunter chosen for this mission is Samus Aran. He is the greatest of all the space hunters and has completed numerous missions that everybody thought were absolutely impossible. He is a cyborg: his entire body has been surgically strengthened with robotics, giving him superpowers. Even the space pirates fear his space suit, which can absorb any enemy's power. But his true form is shrouded in mystery.

The planet Zebes is a natural fortress. Its sides are covered with special kind of stone, and its interior is a complicated maze. On top of that, the pirates have planted devices and booby traps in the maze, and the pirates' eery followers lie in wait around every corner. Samus has now succeeded in penatrazing Zebes. But time is running out. Will he be able to destroy the Metroid and save the galaxy?


HOW TO START PLAYING METROID
1. Title
2. Start or Continue
- Use the Select button to choose either START or CONTINUE. You can enter either mode with the START button.
- If you choose START, the game begins.
- If you choose CONTINUE, the Password screen appears.
3. Password Screen
- Use the control pad to move the cursor and select letters and numbers.
- Press button A to register the letter or number.
- You can backspace the register position by pressing button B.
- When you finish the password, push the START button and the game will begin.
- If you make a mistake in selecting the password, when you press the START button, the warning "ERROR! TRY AGAIN!" will appear below the password.
4. When the Game Is Over
- "GAME OVER" will appear.
- The password will appear. At this point, if you press the START button, you can continue your last game.
- If you use the password when you start a new game, you can continue your old game using that password.

IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER TO ADVANCE THE GAME
Destroy The Giant Mechanical Organism - The Mother Brain
Samus' mission is to destroy the Mother Brain in the planet's central base. On the way, he continues to search endlessly, and to kill the Mini-Bosses that he meets.

How To Use The Controller
The Controller has several parts. The control pad lets you move Samus. Button A makes him jump. You can select weapons with the SELECT button. You can attack enemies with button B.


Remember on Every Video Game B is Z, A is X, SELECT is Space, START is Enter and the control pad is the arrow keys.

Reading The Screen Displays
During the game, data on Samus will appear on the screen display, as shown in the picture to the right. In the beginning, only the amount of energy will be displayed. But later on, when Samus captures an energy tank or a missile, those numbers will be displayed. Pay attention to this data!

When Samus Captures An Energy Ball...
When an enemy is destroyed, an energy ball is sometimes given off. If this energy ball is captured, Samus' energy is increased, but his energy cannot increase beyond 99 without extra energy tanks.

Hunt Out The Power Items And Boost Samus' Power
At the start of the game, Samus only carries a short beam. You have to boost Samus' power by finding the rooms that contain the Power Items and capture them. Boosting Samus' power gives him new ways to attack - such as wave beams, screw attacks, and bomb-setting. There are 10 Power Items in total. Collect as many as you can to fortify Samus.

The 3 Zones Of The Fortress Planet Zebes
The three zones inside the fortress are called, Brinstar (rocky zone), Norfair (fire zone), and Tourian (central base). You have to clear the first two zones before you can reach Tourian.

Search Out And Destroy The Mini-Bosses!
The Mini-Bosses have their hideouts in Brinstar and Norfair. Zap them to clear the area and move on. When they are both down, you can make a bridge that will take you to Tourian.

PITTING SAMUS AGAINST THE MOTHER BRAIN
Here's The Map Of Zebes!
First, Clear The Giant Maze. The interior of the planet Zebes is a winding, complicated maze. Samus must attack the walls with beams and bombs while searching for the secret passageway through which he can advance. Use the map on the next page to work out where Samus is. Or better still, make a map of your own to guide you.


This shows you what the inside of the fortress planet looks like. The Mini-Bosses have their hideouts in Brinstar and Norfair. Find and zap two Mini-Bosses to build the bridge from the corridor that leads into Tourian and get to the central base containing Mother Brain. Three kinds of gates will block your way. The blue ones open with one blast from your beam; it takes 5 Missile blasts to open the red ones and 10 Missile blasts to open the other ones.
All Paths Start At Brinstar.
None of the fierce enemies appear at the start of the game. Use this time wisely to get rid of all the minor enemies and boost Samus' power. Warning! Beware of the water! Fall in and Samus' energy is weakened.

Face The Treacherous Fire-Sea Of Norfair
If Samus falls into the fire-sea his energy seeps away. You haven't got much foot-room. The trick is to watch where you land.

Watch Out! Two Mini-Bosses Are Lying In Wait.
In Brinstar and Norfair, Samus has to search out the Mini-Bosses in their hideouts and zap them. Look for the corridors that lead to their hideouts. Renew your energy and zoom ahead.

At Last! You're Close To Tourian!
Once you've gotten rid of two of the Mini-Bosses, you have to hit the Mini-Boss statues at the entrance to Tourian in order to build the bridge. Now you're ready to enter Tourian. The only way you can kill the Metroid is to freeze it with your ice-beam and attack it with missiles. Will Samus discover at last the true nature of the Giant Mechanical Organism, the Mother Brain?

THE KEY TO WINNING: HUNT OUT THE POWER ITEMS
Samus' power of attack is weak at the beginning of the game. It is essential to hunt out the Power Items to strengthen him.

To Make The Power Items Appear...
Rooms containing Power Items are hidden somewhere in the fortress Zebes. Find the rooms and hit the crystal ball held by the statue, to make a Power Item appear.
Long Beam - It lengthens the attacking range of your bean. It can also boost the range of the ice beam and the wave beam. Useful for attacking enemies from a distance Ice Beam - This allows you to freeze are enemy temporarily. If you already have a long beam, then the ice beam becomes a long ice beam. This can't be used at the same time as the wave beam. When you freeze an enemy, you can climb over it. Wave Beam - The beams are wave-shaped and are stronger than normal beams. If you already have a long beam, the long beam becomes a long wave beam. Screw Attack - This super strong Power Item spins in flight to attack the enemy. Samus' armor flashes during a screw attack. High Jump - With these boots, Samus can jump one-and-a-half times higher than he normally can. Jumping high walls to get to new zones are no problem to him with these. Be sure to get ahold of them. Varia - This raises Samus' powers of resistance and cuts in half the amount of energy he uses up when attacked by an enemy. It is most useful when in combat with the deadliest enemies. Maru Mari - Samus grows small and round like a ball when he gets this Power Item. Useful when traveling along narrow passageways, it will help him until his energy runs out.
Bomb - Samus can use this bomb while he is still small and round. Use the B button to attack an enemy with the bomb. Use the blast to break down barriers. You will need bombs when escaping from the Metroid. Energy Tank - Energy is stored in these tanks. Normally, the amount of energy cannot go above 99, but with each tank it grows by 100. You can collect as many as 6. Keep your eye out for them and save as much energy as you can. Missile Rocket - This stores the missiles. IF you capture one, you get five more missiles. Collect missiles from defeated enemies. You can store a maximum of 255. Press the Select button to select the missile and press the B button to fire. HORDES OF ENEMY CHARACTERS ON THE FORTRESS PLANET ZEBES
Enemy characters have different personalities. You have to memorize the places each character is likely to appear and the best way to overcome them.

First, The Enemy Characters In Brinstar.
There are 7 types of enemy characters in Brinstar. Zap them as they appear, then move on!
Mellow - These creatures can pass through walls. They like to chase after you in groups. Zeb - These occasionally fly out of air holes. Remember! It takes one blast of the normal beam to destroy the yellow ones and two blasts to destroy the red ones.
Zoomer - These fierce little creatures spray sticky fluid from their feet so they can move along the floor or up and down walls. There are two kinds: red zoomers and less powerful yellow zoomers.

Skree - They stick to the ceiling and lie in wait for Samus. When he approaches, they spin downwards to attack him. Ripper -These strange creatures do not have brains. They simply fly around sluggishly in straight lines. Waver - These powerful enemies flutter around in irregular patterns. Shoot at them or they'll attack. Rio - These are also pretty strong. They zoom down to attack Samus from the upper walls. The red ones are stronger than the yellow ones.
Enemies In Mini-Boss Hideout I
Mini-Boss Hideout I is hidden somewhere in Brinstar and there are 7 types of enemies inside it.
Memu - They can pass through rocks and walls. Be careful as they fall on Samus in groups. They are the weakest enemy in the hideout, so it's up to you to destroy them. Geega - They come out through air holes and fly sideways. There are two types and the brown ones have twice the strength. Skree - They use their wings like drills to descend from the ceiling and attack Samus. Be careful of rock splinters when they are digging into the ground.

Zeela -These boneless animals creep along horizontal and vertical surfaces. They normally live underground. The blue ones are the strongest. Ripper - These slow creatures don't attack but fly aimlessly in straight lines. It is wiser to run away from them than to to try fighting them. Side Hopper - These powerful enemies attack Samus while hopping sideways. Be careful, the Side Hopper's strength is second only to the Mini-Boss. Destroy him with one missile blast. Kraid - This is the head of the Mini-Boss hideout. He hurls horns from his stomach and back. Be very careful of his fierce attacks. If Samus gets hit by him, his energy will be weakened a lot.
Next, The Norfair Enemies!
There are 9 kinds of enemy characters in Norfair. Make sure you know their deadly specialties.

Mella - These move in groups and can pass through walls and rocks. They are the weakest and a single blast of the normal beam will lay them flat. Squeept - They emerge from the lava and sink back into it. It takes more than one blast of the normal beam to destroy them. Polyp - These are poisonous lumps of lava that are blown out of the air holes. They are weak enemies and have no life force. Nova - Their entire bodies are covered in spiky, fireproof wool and they crawl around the floor. A missile blast will kill them. If using the normal beam, it takes two blasts to kill the blue ones and four blasts to kill the yellow ones. Gamet - Their bodies are covered by a super-hard shell. They fly out of the air holes and attack Samus. The red ones have twice the strength as the others. Ripper II - These Rippers are more advanced than the Rippers who appear in the rocky zone. They can spit fire and fly at a high speed. They look the same as the other Rippers but they fly a lot faster. Dragon - These ancient Dragons live in the lava and stick their heads out to blow fire at Samus. Beware! If Samus is hit by their fire blasts, his energy weakens. Multiviola- These simple-structure organisms are reflected off the walls and bounce around. They are pretty powerful but are difficult to attack with the normal beam as the walls reflect them and they are always moving. Use a Power Item to boost power first. One missile blast will then destroy them. Geruta - The skin on these powerful opponents can generate fire and radiate the energy inside their bodies. Be especially careful of the strong red ones. These creatures are the most powerful to appear in this scene. Enemies In Mini-Boss Hideout II
Mini-Boss Hideout II is hidden somewhere in Brinstar and there are 6 kinds of enemies inside it.
Zebbo - These fly out of the air holes. A single blast will lay the blue ones flat, but it takes two blasts to destroy the yellow ones. These are the weakest opponents in the hideout. Holtz - These creatures fly down from the ceiling, attack Samus and then fly back up. Armor-plated like the Geruta, they are also armed with two horns. It takes several blasts of the normal beam or a single missile blast to destroy them. Viola - These are Multiviola larvae and they crawl along the ground. It takes two blasts of the normal beam to destroy the blue ones and four blasts or one missile blast to destroy the yellow ones. Multiviola - These also appear in the fire region. You have to be extra careful of them as they move much faster. These are the products of the life force that Mother Brain breathes into the molten rock. They have the same attacking power as the Holtz and the Dessgeega from the same habitat. Dessgeega - They jump toward Samus to attack him and are the second strongest creature in the hideout after the Mini-Boss. It takes several blasts of the normal beam or one missile blast to destroy them. Ridley - It's the head of Mini-Boss Hideout II. It jumps up into the air and breathes fire. It's the original life form of the planet Zebes and is controlled by Mother Brain. Destroy it and you win 75 missile blasts!!! The Enemies In Tourian
Conquer the unknown organism, the Metroid and destroy the almighty Mother Brain.
Rinka - These fireball creatures suddenly appear in the last scene. Lots of them appear but they are not very strong. Metroid - This protoplasm in suspended animation was discovered on the planet SR388. It clings onto Samus' body and sucks his energy. It can't be destroyed directly with the normal beam. Freeze it with the ice beam, and then fire 5 missile blasts at it. Zeebetite - This energy source is vital for keeping Mother Brain alive. It is no more than a life-supporting system and therefore won't attack, but it must be destroyed and only missiles will do the job. One missile blast is not enough. Other weapons are harmless against it. You have to keep throwing missiles or it will simply come to life again. Mother Brain - Mother Brain lies in the central base of the fortress planet Zebes, the home of the space pirates. Its aim is to cultivate Metroid to multiply and conquer space. Zeebetite is its energy source. You have to discover Mother Brain's weak point before you can launch a missile attack. When hit, it makes a shrieking noise.
If You Destroy The Mother Brain...
If you manage to destroy the last enemy, Mother Brain, wait for a message to flash across the screen a second later. Something big is in store for you! We can't disclose it here, be we can tell you that the game is not over yet!
NOTE: The total time you take to complete your mission determines the final outcome.[BREAK=Maps]
Other Maps
Map 1
Map 2
Map 3
Map 4
Map 5 (2.7 meg Full-Size Screen Shot Map)[BREAK=Game Genie & Passwords]
Game Genie Codes
Press G to enter codes while playing at Retro Uprising in Full Mode.
ALLGKP: All items including the Ice Beam, Infinite energy and missiles.
SSAEAI: Go through walls while rolled in a ball
GAESGI: Start with the long beam
EENTPU: Fast speed
EENTAU: Slooooow speeeeeed
LLLVSV: bombs where ball should be
SUPEAI - descend through floor a little each time you shoot up
TTXTTT - walk left through walls
EEXTTY - jump through ceilings
KAPGEI - jump in mid-air
SSAEAI - travel freely through walls when you're a ball
SSXAEI - get stuck in walls (it CAN be useful)
KUSTIN - standby if you get stuck in a wall
SXSGNVSE: Minimum energy of 30
SZUILUVK: Infinite rockets on pick-up
ZENSXLIE: Gain 10 rockets on pick-up
YENSXLIE: Gain 15 rockets on pick-up
YAXGVPLA: Extra energy

Passwords
Spaces are represented as underscores _. Dashes are dashes -.
NARPAS SWORD0
000000 000000
Weapons: ALL
Energy Tanks = INFINITE / Missiles = INFINITE
Yes, this is the infamous, fairly recently-found "NAR" password which apparently gives us a "debug" mode with unlimited weapons and energy. Debate rages around the origin of this code; while thousands of unusual codes can be generated at random which actually spell out words and names, this appears to be one code which may have actually been programmed to work from the get-go. The meaning of "NAR" is also up for grabs, although one plausible theory says that it's short for T. Narahiro, the programmer credited for the NES conversion of the game -- since the original Japanese Famicom version had a save-game system rather than a password feature, chances are good that Narahiro is the one who programmed it, and may have put in this debug mode himself. Others claim that NAR could stand for "North American Release." Unless we can talk to one of the original team members, guess we'll never know -- but until then, you can enjoy this password which enables you to blaze through the game from start to finish in about 15 minutes -- all you need to do is go kill Kraid and Ridley and then head to Tourian, and it's hello bikini ending!

Tenser Hunter
GameSh rineS-
000000 000020
000000 000020
Start as suitless samus with no items
V----- -r-e69
t?A00e 00M04p
Start at Tourian, fully powered, ready for the 2nd ending
X----- --N?WO
dVue08 001GL2
Start at Tourian, fully powered, ready for the 3rd ending
OV---- --r-e6
9t?A08 000GTq
Start at Tourian, fully powered, ready for the 4th ending
5X---- ---N?W
OdVue0 0000iu
Start at Tourian, fully powered, ready for the best ending
JUSTIN BAILEY
------ ------
Weapons: Ball, Long Beam, Bomb, High Jump Boots, Varia, Wave Beam, Screw Attack.
Energy Tanks = 5 / Missiles = 205
This code puts you in Norfair with these items and the Armorless Samus.

JUSTIN BAILEY
------ 000000
Weapons: Ball, Long Beam, Bomb, High Jump Boots, Varia, special Ice Beam, Screw Attack.
Energy Tanks = 4 / Missiles = 255
This code puts you in Kraid's Hideout with Armorless Samus.
Your Ice Beam projectile looks (but does not behave) like the Wave Beam!

JUSTIN BAILEY
______ ______
Weapons: Ball, Long Beam, Bomb, High Jump Boots, Varia, Wave Beam, Screw Attack.
Energy Tanks = 5 / Missiles = 205
Puts you in Norfair with Armorless Samus.

some-1 set-up
us-the B0MB11
Weapons: ?
Energy Tanks =? / Missiles = ?
?????? NOTE: Use a ZERO in the word B0MB, not an 'O.'

ZETROI DNINTE
NDOc19 87????
Weapons: Ball, Bomb, High Jump Boots, Varia, Ice Beam, Screw Attack.
Energy Tanks = 4 / Missiles = 176 (starting)
This code puts you in Norfair with the Armorless Samus.

999999 999999
KKKKKK KKKKKK
Weapons: Bomb, Wave Beam, Screw Attack.
Energy Tanks = 1 / Missiles = ???
In the game that this code throws you into, you start in Hideout II and there is the following strange stuff:
You have bombs but you have to get the Ball!!
The Varia does not exist, so you better be good!!
Kraid is dead
The Mother Brain is not there when you get there!! Just the message telling you that you must escape...but there is no time limit!!

BOMBS_ MISSLE
SCREW_ ATACK_
111 missles, the Ice Beam, Bombs, and 4 energy tanks, maru mari. You don't have the Long Jump boots, but they aren't around to pick up. Kraid and Ridley's statues have been activated (as well as the door to them opened), and you can get into Tourian. However, they aren't dead yet and can still be killed if it tickles your fancy. Mother Brain can also fail to show up at all, however, if she is there you can scroll back and forth to make chunks of her sprites disappear until the way is cleared. The text about getting the heck out will be there, but will be brown in the space that is usually occupied by MB. At any rate, you'll be able to leave at your convenience, without a timer. All but a couple Zebetites will have flown the coop, too. Other misc. missle doors throughout the planet will be opened.
000000 000000
03-200 000089
255 missiles, but no missile tanks
222222 222222
UUUUUU UUUUUU
Another strange code, no Morph ball
000000 000000
080h00 0000gu
Begin with missiles but no missiles in Kraid's lair
000000 000001
00F300 00008X
Begin with missiles, but no missile tanks in Ridley's lair
X----- --N?WO
dV-Gm9 W01GMI
Best Ending
00U--- -u0000
0AFw9Y 1800sb
Fight Ridley
y54I04 0G9040
0B--00 0000YE
Gather energy until all the tanks are full, then go straight up to Mother Brain. Gives you everything you need to beat the game.[BREAK=Tips & Tricks]
THE BOMB-ASSIST JUMP
Not to be confused with the Bomb Jump technique which propels Samus up while she's in ball form through the timed placement of bombs, this is a move that's useful when you need to make a jump that's a bit higher than you can jump on your own...
  1. Roll into a ball and set a bomb
  2. Stand up before the bomb detonates. DO NOT MOVE after you stand!
  3. Let the explosion propel you up.
  4. As long as Samus is in the standing position, she can jump.
THE MID-AIR JUMP
It works on the same principle as the Bomb Jump -- i.e., as long as the Samus sprite is in the "stand" position, you can make her jump, even if it's in mid-air.
  1. Roll into a ball
  2. Roll off the edge of a platform
  3. While falling, tap UP
  4. Samus will be in a standing position as she falls. You can now jump once from here.
END THE GAME
Did you just get stuck in a wall? Or in the floor? Or in a monster's orifice? You fool. Well, luckily you can abruptly end the game AND get the password for your position and all your stuff with this little trick.
[BREAK=Walk Through]
  1. Pause the game
  2. On controller 2, press UP and the A button at the same time
  3. The game will stop and it'll show you your password.
  4. Go left and get the Maru Mari.
  5. Go right through three doors.
  6. Go up and go into the first door on the right.
  7. Go through the next door.
  8. Go down the shaft and go into the door on the right.
  9. Go right and get the MISSILES.
  10. Go left and go through the door.
  11. Go up and go through the first door on the left.
  12. Go through the next door.
  13. Go up and go into the door on the left.
  14. Go left and shoot the red door with 5 missiles.
  15. Shoot the ball in the hand and grab the LONG BEAM.
  16. Go right and go through the two doors.
  17. Go down and go through the right door.
  18. Go right and go through the door.
  19. Go right and go through 5 doors.
  20. Go right and get the ENERGY BOX.
  21. Go right and go through the door.
  22. Go up and go through the door on the left.
  23. Go left and go through the red door.
  24. Shoot the ball and grab the BOMBS.
  25. Go right and go through the 2 doors.
  26. Go down and go left into the door.
  27. Go left and go through the door.
  28. Bomb the floor and go through.
  29. Go down and go into the door on the left.
  30. Go left and go through the door.
  31. Shoot the ball and grab the ICE BEAM.
  32. Go right through the 2 doors.
  33. Go up and go into the door on the left.
  34. Go left through 3 doors.
  35. Go up and go through the door on the right.
  36. Go right, go through the walls (bomb them), and go through the 2 doors.
  37. Go right and grab the MISSILES.
  38. Bomb through the wall and get the ENERGY BOX.
  39. Go left through the walls and the 3 doors.
  40. Go down all the way and go through the door on the right.
  41. Go right and go through the door at the end of the room.
  42. Go down the elevator into Norfair.
  43. Go right and go into the door.
  44. Go right and go into the next door.
  45. Go down to the bottom and bomb the floor.
  46. Go down and go into the first door on the left.
  47. Go left and go through the red door.
  48. Shoot the ball and grab the HIGH JUMP BOOTS.
  49. Go right and go through 2 doors.
  50. Go up all the way and go through the floor.
  51. Go into the door at the left.
  52. Go left and grab the 2 MISSILES.
  53. Go right and go through the door.
  54. Go down through the floor and go into the first door on the left.
  55. Go left and grab the 3 MISSILES.
  56. Go right and go into the door.
  57. Go down and go into the second door on the left.
  58. Go left and go into the door.
  59. Go up and use the elevator.
  60. Go left and go through 2 doors.
  61. Go all the way up and go into the last door on the right.
  62. Go right, go through the walls, and go through the door.
  63. Go through the ceiling and go left into the door.
  64. Go left and go through the red door.
  65. Shoot the ball and grab the VARIA.
  66. Go right and go through 2 doors.
  67. Go through the floor and go left into the door.
  68. Go left and go through the wall and the door.
  69. Go down all the way and go into the door on the right.
  70. Go right and go through the door.
  71. Go down into Norfair.
  72. Go left through the door and grab the MISSILES.
  73. Go left, go through the wall and go through the door on the left.
  74. Go down and go into the door on the right.
  75. Go right and grab the MISSILES.
  76. Go right, through the wall, and grab the 2 MISSILES.
  77. Go right, go through the wall, and go through the door.
  78. Go through the floor and go into the first door on the left.
  79. Go left and go through the red door.
  80. Go through the wall, and go through 3 doors.
  81. Go through the ceiling and go into the door on the left.
  82. Go left and go through the red door.
  83. Shoot the ball and grab the SCREW ATTACK.
  84. Go right and go through 2 doors.
  85. Go through the floor and go left through 2 doors.
  86. Go down and go through the floor.
  87. Go through the first door on the right.
  88. Go through the next door on the right.
  89. Go through the floor and go into the door on the right.
  90. Go right and grab the 2 MISSILES. *This next item is not necessary for the game. I wonít use it for the guide but if you want to get it. Go left through the door and go up and through the ceiling. Go right through 2 doors and then go through the floor. Go left through 2 doors. Shoot the ball and grab the WAVE BEAM*
  91. Go left and then go through the ceiling.
  92. Go left through 2 doors.
  93. Go up and through the ceiling and go into the first door on the right.
  94. Go right and go through 2 doors.
  95. Go right, through the wall, and through the door.
  96. Go through the floor and then go left through the door.
  97. Go left and grab the ENERGY BOX.
  98. Go right, through the door, and go up through the ceiling.
  99. Go left, through the door and the wall and then through 3 doors.
  100. Go through the second door on the right and go through 4 doors.
  101. Go right an go through the wall and through 2 doors.
  102. Go all the way down and go into the door on the left.
  103. Go left, go through the door, go down, go through the door on the right.
  104. Use the elevator to go into Ridleyís Hideout.
  105. Go left through 2 doors.
  106. Go up through the ceiling and then go left through the door.
  107. Go left and grab the MISSILES.
  108. Go right, go through the door and then go through the floor.
  109. Go left through 2 doors and grab the ENERGY BOX.
  110. Go down and go right through 3 doors.
  111. Go right and grab the MISSILES.
  112. Go left through the door and go down.
  113. Go right through 2 doors.
  114. Go down and go through the door on the left.
  115. Go left and grab the MISSILES.
  116. Go right and go through the door.
  117. Go up and go into the first door on the left.
  118. Go left through 3 doors.
  119. Ridley is the easiest boss in the game. Itís easy to beat him with the Ice Beam and a few missiles. When he shoots fireballs, freeze them with your Ice Beam and then get in the middle of the platform and shoot him with missiles. Repeat until heís dead. See, told you he was easy. Now we have to go to the hardest boss in the game.
  120. Go left and go through the door.
  121. Grab the ENERGY BOX.
  122. Go right through 5 doors.
  123. Go down and go through the door on the left.
  124. Go left and go through the door.
  125. Go up and go into the second door on the right.
  126. Go right through 5 doors.
  127. Use the elevator.
  128. Go left through the door.
  129. Go up and go right through the door.
  130. Go right and go through the door.
  131. Go up and go through the ceiling.
  132. Go up and go through the second door on the left.
  133. Go left and go through the door.
  134. Use the elevator.
  135. Go left through 2 doors.
  136. Go up and go through the door on the left.
  137. Go left through the door.
  138. Go down and go left through the door.
  139. Go under the wall and shoot the second brick left off the wall.
  140. Grab the ENERGY TANK.
  141. Go left and go through the door.
  142. Go through the floor.
  143. Go down and go through the door on the right.
  144. Use the elevator to get into Kraidís Hideout.
  145. Go through the first door on the right and grab the MISSILES.
  146. Go left through the door.
  147. Go down and go through the next door on the right.
  148. Go right and grab the ENERGY TANK.
  149. Go left and go through the door.
  150. Go up and go through the door on the left.
  151. Go left and grab the MISSILES.
  152. Go left and go through the door.
  153. Go down and go into the last door on the right.
  154. Go right through 2 doors.
  155. Go right and grab the MISSILES.
  156. Go right and go through the door.
  157. Go up and go through the door on the left.
  158. Go left and go through the door.
  159. Go up and go into the first door on the right.
  160. Go right and go through the door.
  161. Go down and go through the first door on the left.
  162. Go left and grab the MISSILES.
  163. Go right and go through the door.
  164. Go down and go into the door on the left.
  165. Go left and go through 2 doors.
  166. Kraid is the hardest boss in the game. But there is a way to beat him that isn't that hard. Have the Ice Beam and a couple missiles. When Kraid turns his back and shoots the spikes, freeze the spikes with your Ice Beam. Then, shoot him with a couple of missiles. Remember, the spikes will thaw so hurry up. Time to go to Tourian.
  167. Go into the lava and grab the ENERGY TANK.
  168. Go right and go through the door.
  169. Go right through 2 doors.
  170. Go up and go into the last door on the left.
  171. Go left and go through the door.
  172. Go up and use the elevator.
  173. Go left and go through the door.
  174. Go up and go through the ceiling.
  175. Go right through 2 doors.
  176. Go up and go through the last door on the left.
  177. Go left and go through the door.
  178. Shoot the statues.
  179. Go left and go through the door.
  180. Use the elevator to go into Tourian. *This area is full of Metroids (Yeah, itís not just a clever name). To kill Metroids, freeze them with your Ice Beam and then shoot it with 5 missiles. If you donít have the Ice Beam then get it!*
  181. Go down and shoot the door on the right with 10 missiles.
  182. Go through the door.
  183. Go right and go through the door.
  184. Go down and go through the door on the left.
  185. Go left and go through the door.
  186. Go left and destroy the 5 barriers.
  187. Mother Brain - When your on the pipe, start shooting the Mother Brain with missiles. The only thing that makes this difficult are the fire rings. Either freeze them with your Ice Beam or destroy them with your screw attack. Now you have to escape!
  188. Go left and go through the door.
  189. Go up and escape.
Congratulations! You have beaten Metroid!
[BREAK=Endings]




The time it takes you to complete Metroid determines the ending you'll get. There are five endings in the original Metroid. All of them begin with the screen shown to the left. From there, Samus begins flashing rapidly, and one of five transformations occurs.




1. More than 10 hours - Samus turns her back toward you with her arm thrown over her face in shame.












2. Between 5 and 10 hours - with armored Samus - Samus raises her arm in victory but the armor stays put.



3. Between 3 and 5 hours - Samusí helmet disappears, revealing her identity by showing her with long brown hair, though still wearing her armor.











4. Between 1 and 3 hours - Samus' armor disappears, revealing the hunter to be a woman. She's wearing a purple leotard and has brown hair. Pressing Start at the end of the credits allows you to start a new game as Armorless Samus.



5. Less than 1 hour - After the flashing, Samus is wearing only a purple bikini. Getting through the game in under an hour is tough, but it can be done.







STAFF
SCENARIO WRITTEN BY
KANOH
CHARACTER DESIGNED BY
KIYOTAKE
NEW MATSUOKA
SHIKAMOTO
MUSIC BY
HIP TANAKA
MAIN PROGRAMMERS
HAI YUKAMI
ZARU SOBAJIMA
GPZ SENGOKU
N. SHIOTANI
M. HOUDAI
SPECIAL THANKS TO
KEN ZURI
SUMI
INUSAWA
KACHO
HYAKKAN
GOYAKE
HARADA
PENPEN
CONVERTED BY
T. NARIHIRO
ASSISTED BY
MAKOTO KANOH
DIRECTED BY
YAMAMOTO
CHIEF DIRECTOR
SATORU OKADA
PRODUCED BY
GUNPEI YOKOI
COPYRIGHT
1986

NINTENDO[BREAK=Hidden Worlds]
Less adventurous and inquisitive players of Nintendo's popular game "Metroid" usually race headlong through the Metroid planet, Zebes, in their quest to destroy the evil Mother Brain. In so doing they often overlook what may very well be the game's most intriguing and difficult challenge: not the destruction of the Mother Brain, but the exploration of the daunting "hidden zones" of planet Zebes. Several sizable portions of this mysterious planet are cleverly and completely concealed from view. Unless a player already knows something of these zones and of the peculiar method which must be employed to enter them, it is unlikely that he or she would ever discover them. Within the game itself, there is a total lack of any clues or hints which might lead one to infer the existence of these hidden zones and of the specialized technique for accessing them. This is rather unusual for a Nintendo cartridge game. What is also remarkable is the fact that Metroid contains a truly vast amount of such "undocumented" territory. In fact, it contains more of such "unofficial areas" than any other Nintendo game: as much as 35% of the playing area in Metroid may be undocumented.
If you want to find out more about these mysterious regions, you'll get no help at all from the literature which came bundled with your game pack--it contains no mention of the hidden zones. Nor are they at all described in the illustrated section devoted to Metroid in "The Official Nintendo Game Players Guide." One or two brief items have appeared in another Nintendo publication--"Nintendo Power" magazine--but these did little more than call readers' attention to the existence of an uncharted world in Hideout #2 and indicate a single point of entry. To the best of my knowledge, no further description of this particular area nor of the several other hidden areas has appeared in any issue of any other game-players' magazine (at least not in the United States). Nor, for that matter, has a complete diagram or map of Metroid ever been published.
In order to enter any one of the hidden zones of Metroid, the more hardy and intrepid player (that is YOU, of course) must employ the so-called "wall-door" controller technique. This special technique enables you to climb right through a seemingly "hard" ceiling or descend through an apparently solid floor. It does require a bit of practice and patience to master. In order to perform the "wall-door" technique, follow these directions:
  1. Fire your gun at a door so that it opens. Do not go through the open door, but do enter the doorway just far enough so that your gun and a small portion of your arm go through. When the door closes it will close around you; let it do so.
  2. Now here's the tricky part. Using the controller pad, alternately press the "up" and "down" buttons in a continuous, rapid sequence. If done correctly, your on-screen character, Samus, will literally climb upwards while he is encased in solid wall. Be very, VERY careful, however, when pressing the "down" button or using the joystick in the "down" position: if you maintain pressure too long on the controller in the "down" position, Samus will roll up into a ball. If he does so while encased in a wall, he cannot again stand up or recover and may become hopelessly trapped. You may then have to reset or restart the game.
  3. When Samus reaches the top of the screen (don't let him climb entirely off the screen), let go of the controller pad or joystick. Now, repeatedly press the "A" button (the button that makes him jump). Result: as you press, the scene will--if you are in the right place--scroll progressively downwards and Samus will, bit by bit, be carried downwards on the screen along with the ceiling. (If you have a "turbo" feature on your controller, turn it on.) At the same time, a portion of an entirely new--perhaps hidden--room may begin to appear at the top of the screen.
  4. You can continue to scroll the scene downwards only until Samus reaches the middle of the screen; in order to scroll more of the scene downwards you must repeat Steps 2 and 3. When you have scrolled enough of the new scene onto your screen, you can have Samus enter the scene by stepping out of the wall which encases him. Samus can do this in either of two ways: A) He may continue to climb higher and higher into the new scene until he ultimately reaches a door in the wall, or B) He may walk out of the wall anywhere. You can have Samus do the latter only if he is not completely encased by the wall--that is, some portion of Samus' body must be free of the wall. (You can adjust the degree to which Samus is encased in the wall in Step 1 by ensuring that as little as possible of Samus' body disappears into the doorway of the door that is to enclose him.) Please note also that in some scenes, Samus' enemies can attack him even though he is encased in the wall. In such situations, he is entirely defenseless unless he can use his gun against them--which he can do if it is free of the encasing wall.

You can also, in the right places, use the "wall-door" technique to descend through a floor. The procedure is exactly the same as that described in Steps 1 through 4 above, with one significant difference: in Step 3, when Samus climbs to the top of the screen, continue climbing until he entirely disappears from the screen. Then (as before) repeatedly press the "A" button. This time the scene will scroll not downwards, but upwards for a distance of about half a screen's length. By the time it stops, Samus may or may not have reappeared at the bottom of the screen. If he has not reappeared at the bottom of your screen, don't panic--just repeat the "up-down" controller technique to have him climb a bit more. It takes patience and practice, and you will probably "lose" Samus more than once. If this happens, the usual reason is that you have allowed Samus to roll into a ball and he is trapped, or you are in a place where up-down scrolling of the screen is not permitted by the program.
Now that you know how to perform the "wall-door" technique, when and where should you employ it? The "wall-door" technique cannot be used just anywhere; its use is permitted only in certain scenes. But the only way to know with certainty whether a given door will permit climbing or not is to try it. Since each side of a door is contained in a different scene of the game, you must try both sides of a door. Most doors do not permit the use of the "wall-door" technique, but some do. And your use of the technique on certain of these doors will lead you to one of the hidden areas of the game.
But before you go off to explore one or more of the hidden areas, there is another important thing you should know: THE DOORS IN THE HIDDEN AREAS ARE VERY DANGEROUS! They are not dangerous in the sense that some terrible enemy may happen to lurk behind them. The principal peril of the hidden areas derives from the fact that some of the doors lead off into nowhere. Having gone through such a door, Samus may disappear from the screen, but--surprisingly, and much to your dismay--the scene does not change nor show you where he has gone, although if you are lucky you may still be able to hear the sound of his footsteps. In such cases it is sometimes possible to rescue and restore Samus to the screen, by walking and jumping him around off-screen in just the right manner while listening carefully to the sound of his footsteps. Again, there are other apparently normal doors which become "one-way" once you have gone through them, so that you will be permitted to enter a new room or scene only to be trapped there forever (or until you reset the game).
None of the doors in the normal, "documented" game areas ever behave in this unpredictable manner. Unlike the normal zones, navigation through the mysterious hidden areas of Planet Zebes is usually difficult, sometimes frustrating--and it is always quite dangerous to Samus' health. Needless to say, these added hazards make exploration and mapping of the hidden areas more challenging. But consider: the possibility of falling off into the void did not deter Sir Edmund Hillary from climbing Mt. Everest (and unlike your astronaut-friend, Samus, he had no reset button to push in case of emergency). If you are easily deterred and easily frustrated by such difficulties then you really have no business in exploring the hidden areas of Planet Zebes, have you? (Nor, for that matter, should you be reading this.)
Now that you have some idea of the navigational perils that await you-- and assuming that you are made of the "right stuff"--you are ready to head out into the hinterlands of Planet Zebes to investigate the hidden areas. There are three large hidden zones that I know of. As far as I have been able to determine, each hidden area is entirely separate from the others. Here are directions to them:
HIDDEN AREA - HIDEOUT #1:
From the elevator landing in Hideout #1: Enter the very first door on your right; proceed right as far as you can, go through another door: you will then be at the bottom of a long vertical shaft. You can use the "wall-door" technique on the door that you just passed through (it will now be on your left), or you can attempt to climb up to the top of the long shaft by jumping from one free-standing block to the next. Either way, make your way to the top of this vertical shaft. (I haven't mapped this area out for you, but there are at least ten additional floors hidden above the ceiling at this point!)
HIDDEN AREA--BRINSTAR:
First, a word of warning: Exploring this hidden area is devilishly difficult--more difficult, perhaps, than anything you've ever encountered in any Nintendo game. But if you are truly a person who doesn't give up easily, then give it a try.
  1. From the "start" area: Proceed to the right as far as you can, going through three doors. You will be at the bottom of a very long vertical blue shaft. Ascend half way up the shaft: enter the door which appears on the right hand side of the shaft. Proceed to the right, through a sort of tube (its the only way you can go), through another door: you will be in the middle of a long vertical yellow shaft. Go down to the bottom of this shaft. There will be a door on the right side. Do NOT go through this door, but use your "wall-door" technique on it to go downwards, so that you DESCEND through the floor of the shaft.
  2. As you continue to descend, you will pass, in succession, several "dead- end" shaft chambers. Do NOT enter any of these chambers, for they have no doors nor exits and you will become hopelessly trapped within them! Continue with your descent until you come to a platform-type room with a red door on the left (requires missiles to open) and a blue door on the right. Enter this room--you've arrived!
As I said earlier, of all the hidden areas in Metroid this one is the most challenging. Though possible it is extremely difficult to enter this platform room; perfect mastery of the "wall-door" technique is required, or else you'll wind up trapped below the platform or off the screen. I haven't gotten very far in my exploration of this hidden area--perhaps you will do better. If you do succeed (which is doubtful) be sure to make a careful map of the area; then bestow a favor upon your other, less fortunate or intrepid colleagues by uploading it along with an account of your exploits. Good luck (you'll need plenty of it)!
HIDDEN AREA--HIDEOUT #2:
There are three different entry points in this Hideout through which you may enter the vast, hidden area which lies above it.
A) To get to the leftmost entry point: From the elevator landing (room #1), proceed along the route of rooms as indicated by the following sequence: 1-D-2-L-3-3-4-5-5-5-6-3-U-14-20
This simple code means: From room #1, go down to room #2, then left through rooms #3,3,4,5,5,5,6,3, then up through room #14 to get to room #20. To go from the last room #3 to room #14 you'll need to use the "wall-door" technique.
B) To get to the rightmost entry point: From the elevator landing (room #1), proceed along the route of rooms as indicated by the following sequence: 1-D-2-R-10-11-11-12-13-U-14-21 Use the "wall-door" technique to go from room #13 through room #14 to reach room #21.
C) To get to the central entry point: From the elevator landing (room #1), proceed along the route of rooms as indicated by the following sequence: 1-D-2-L-3-3-4-5-5-5-6-3-D-36-2-R-7-30-30-8-20-U-14-4-R-3-3-U-14-20 You'll need to use the "wall-door" technique twice here: first, to go up from room #20 through room #14 and above, and second, to go up from room #3 through rooms #14,20. When going up from room #20 to room #14, it is very important to first jump over to the right-hand side of the screen: then use the "wall-door" technique on the door on the right, NOT the door on the left.
If you are not successful in your attempts to enter a hidden area by one means, try approaching it from a different route or direction. And always, keep a record not only of the rooms you discover but of the route you used in approaching them.
There are many more rooms waiting to be discovered. This represents a great amount of "undocumented area" indeed. Which brings us to ponder what is doubtless the greatest Metroid mystery of all: Why do these hidden areas exist? Where do they lead? Do they conceal some great secret? I have not yet reached the end of any one of these areas, but their exploration is so diabolically difficult a task that one must, at least occasionally, suspect some impish or wicked purpose on the part of the programmers--or perhaps they had no purpose at all. But the creation of these areas is evidently not some mere fluke, not some aberration of the program, but a deliberate act of design. For deep within the hidden areas, one may occasionally see specially-drawn scenes which appear nowhere else in Metroid. Just what ultimate goal or end is behind it all? To date, the game counselors at Nintendo of America know virtually nothing about Metroid's hidden areas--they evidently haven't been briefed by the folks in Japan who wrote the program. [BREAK=Level Editing]
This document attempts to explain the inner workings of the graphics system used in "Metroid". I've spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how everything works, and a lot of time writing this document, because I know that many people want to know more about this topic. In case you haven't already downloaded my Metroid level editor, which is the ultimate result of my research, you can do so by clicking here.
Throughout this document, I will assume that you're not a complete newbie to ROM hacking. A basic understanding of how NES graphics work is recommended, but certainly not required, as I will explain it later on. I've tried not to make too many assumptions, and hopefully most of it is understandable.
Just for the record, all my discoveries covered in this document are the result of observation, experimentation and use of logical sense. No ASM hacking was required. I believe that mostly everything which has to do with the visual appearance of a game does not require changing the data processor (i.e. the game code), only the data that it processes. Knowledge of the console's hardware can get you very far, there's no denying that being able to think like a programmer helps when dealing with this kind of stuff though. I couldn't have done this without that ability.
Viewed as a whole, the format of the Metroid level data is pretty complex. But the programmers wisely broke it into several "sub-formats" to make it easier to handle. Also, this allows us to study the formats separately. I'll start by explaining the most basic of the formats, and then delve further into the complexity as I move along.
Part 1: LEVEL MAP
As you've experienced from playing Metroid, the game is in essence a myriad of long and short horizontal and vertical shafts. Internally, things work a bit different. At game code level, the areas of Metroid are just a series of different "rooms" which are pieced together to create a larger environment. One room as seen in the game is 256x240 pixels (one NES screen) in size. It's very similar to how The Legend of Zelda works: The difference is that in Metroid, the screen scrolls according to the position of the main character (Samus), not when you touch a screen boundary like in Zelda. Therefore, you don't get the impression that you're travelling from one location on a map to another, but that's what's going on internally. Here are some rooms you've surely seen:
These were just a couple of examples; there are many rooms defined for each area. Now, it is important to understand that the rooms are independent of eachother. When Samus is exploring the intricate areas of the planet SR388, she is continuously moving from one "room" to another, and changing her position on the internal level map. Which room she moves to is determined by this map. The level map is what chains the rooms together so that they form corridors and shafts; the way you see the game when you're playing it. Each room has a specific number associated with it. The level map holds these numbers for each location on the map. The map itself is 32x32 bytes (1K) in size, one byte for each room, and is located at offset 0254E-0294D in the Metroid ROM. Altering the area design is as easy as changing the numbers at the appropriate position in the level map. Note that each area has a finite number of rooms defined though, and if an entry in the level map exceeds this number, the game will crash. Below is the complete level map for Metroid. It is taken directly from the ROM. Notice that it's almost like looking at a standard map of the game. The FF bytes are locations in the map which aren't used, and can't be accessed. They are there to prevent Samus from moving any further in that direction. They can be changed to different values though, so in theory all 1024 slots of the map can be used.
Thanks to Charles DuMarr for sending me this image! It was what inspired me to include a Metroid map viewer within MetEdit. (Interesting note: The map positions coloured red are rooms which shouldn't really be there: they are not accessible in the game, and might be "left-overs" from an early stage of the level design.) As you can see, the same room can be used multiple times on the map. You've probably noticed that many of the places in Metroid look very similar. Well, now you know the reason: technically, they are the same place! Another important fact is that it's impossible to have two horizontal shafts or two vertical shafts directly next to eachother. Each time Samus goes through a door, the game switches to the opposite scrolling type. The only times that this does not hold true is when you enter or exit a special item room. In such cases the game continues to scroll horizontally. OK, are you still with me? Good, because now it's time to get started on the juicy stuff: the actual room data.
Part 2: ROOM DATA FORMATS
As you've just learned, the internal level map defines the structure of the areas in the game. But knowing that isn't enough of course. At a lower level, there is the actual room data; the data that defines the visible objects in the rooms that the level map references. The format of the room data is different from anything I've seen in a NES game (except for Kid Icarus, which has the exact same format). The programmers divided it into three separate formats
  1. Tile definitions
  2. Structure definitions
  3. Object definitions (room data)
I'll explain each of these formats in detail, starting with the cornerstone of the level data: the tile definitions.
TILE DEFINITIONS
The NES screen is represented in NES PPU memory by a table of tile index values, 32x30 bytes in size. This table is called a Name Table. Each byte holds a value which references a tile in the Pattern Table; tiles themselves are 8x8 pixels each. A graphical way of representing NES video memory is this:
Each square represents a byte in the Name Table, and each byte holds a tile value ranging from 00 to FF. This value determines what tile will be displayed in that particular area of the screen. If you study the screen grid above, you will see that the tiles together form larger patterns; rocks, vents, columns and so on. Here are some examples:
Notice that each pattern consists of four tiles, forming a 2x2 tile grid. Since these and many other specific patterns are used many times, and their tile values always stay the same, specifying the four tile values for a certain pattern every time that pattern is to appear on the screen would be wasteful. Instead, the tile values are defined only once, and then each 2x2 tile pattern is referenced by a byte value, exactly the same way as rooms are referenced in the level map. This also means that if you change the tile definitions for a certain pattern, every occurance of that pattern will change in the game. Clever eh? Well, it's the way almost all (if not absolutely all) games which have much level data do it. Apart from saving a lot of space in the ROM, it also saves the level designers a lot of time. But just defining tile patterns like this wasn't enough for the Metroid programmers. They had to expand on this concept because of the space constraints and high cost of early NES carts. Which brings us to the next format.
STRUCTURE DEFINITIONS
If you look beyond the 2x2 tile patterns in the many rooms of Metroid, you will see that they form even larger patterns, structures as I call them, which are of variable height and width. Examples of common structures which are repeated many times are:
These structures are also defined only once and then referred to by a byte value in the object definitions (explained in the next section). The tile definitions described in the previous section are used to define them. The format of a structure is as follows:
The first byte holds the horizontal "length" of the structure. It says how many 2x2 tile patterns to draw horizontally on the screen. The remaining bytes each hold a tile definition value. The exact number of bytes depends on the length byte. For example, the structure data 04 20 22 21 3F would draw the four 2x2 tile patterns 20, 22, 21 and 3F, in that order. As explained earlier, the actual tile values are defined elsewhere in the ROM
If the next byte is FF, it means the structure is finished. Otherwise, the X position is reset and the Y position is incremented by two tiles, and a new horizontal tile pattern sequence is specified, the format being the same as above.
Just like the tile definitions, each structure definition has a unique byte value, regardless of its individual size. These values are used by the next and final format.
OBJECT DEFINITIONS (ROOM DATA)
The object definitions are what one might call the real room data. To save even more space, the Metroid programmers decided to create a data format which only stores data for the sections of each room that are actually used. Initially, when a room is drawn, the whole Name Table is "cleared" (set to a totally transparent tile), in other words it's black. Then, the room objects are laid on top of eachother according to the room data (object definitions). The room data consists of a number of 3-byte chunks, each chunk defining a screen object, which are of the following format (values represented in binary):
Byte 0: %yyyyxxxx
yyyy = Y coordinate of graphical structure
xxxx = X coordinate of graphical structure
The coordinates of the upper left corner of
the structure. Multiply by 16 to get the
real screen coordinates.
Byte 1: %ssssssss
This byte holds the value of the graphical
structure to display. See explanations in
previous section.
Byte 2: %------cc
cc = Palette number used when the tiles are
displayed. Only the lower two bits of
this byte are used, the upper six are
ignored. The palette bits are written
to the NES Attribute Table
These objects are drawn in the order they appear in the room data. When the value FD is reached, it means the entire room has been set up.
Part 3: ROM MAP
The final section of this document is a listing of the parts of the Metroid ROM that have to do with the graphics. If you're planning on doing a level editor, or just want to mess around with the ROM, this listing can be pretty useful. :-)
Area: Brinstar
ROM offset Description 06284-062A3 Palette 06324-06381 Room pointer table 06382-063E5 Structure pointer table 06451-06C93 Room data 06C94-06EFF Structure definitions 06F00-????? Tile definitions
Area: Norfair
ROM offset Description 0A18B-0A1AA Palette 0A22B-0A286 Room pointer table 0A287-0A2E8 Structure pointer table 0A3BB-0ACC8 Room data 0ACC9-0AEFB Structure definitions 0AEFC-????? Tile definitions
Area: Tourian
ROM offset Description 0E72B-0E74A Palette 0E7E1-0E80A Room pointer table 0E80B-0E84A Structure pointer table 0E8BF-0EC25 Room data 0EC26-0EE58 Structure definitions 0EE59-????? Tile definitions
Area: Kraid
ROM offset Description 12168-12187 Palette 121E5-1222E Room pointer table 1222F-1227C Structure pointer table 122C7-12A7A Room data 12A7B-12C41 Structure definitions 12C42-????? Tile definitions
Area: Ridley
ROM offset Description 160FE-1611D Palette 1618F-161E2 Room pointer table 161E3-1621C Structure pointer table 1624F-169CE Room data 169CF-16B32 Structure definitions 16B33-????? Tile definitions For you programmers out there, the room values and structure definition values (which both have been discussed earlier) are just indexes into their respective pointer tables. For example, value 00 fetches the 1st 16-bit pointer from the table, value 01 fetches the 2nd 16-bit pointer, and so on. As for the tile definition values: since each tile definition is four bytes long (2x2 tiles), simply multiply the value by four to get the offset into the tile definition table. Also, note that the very first byte of each room's data has unknown meaning to me. It's a 2-bit value, so my guess is that it specifies which Name Table the room should be drawn to, but if you're writing a level editor, you can just skip it. Well, that should just about cover everything. What's that? "Enemy data information", you say? Nah, better save that for my next document. [BREAK=Sound Track]
Midi Sound Track
Theme

Intro

Brinstar

Item Room

Item Collect

Norfair

Kraid

Ridley

Tourian

Mother Brain

Escape

Ending
MP3s
Bluebase Incidental

Kraid Performance

Space Orchestra
[BREAK=Files]Metroid Level Editor
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Metroid Redemption (PC Game)
Metroid Speed Run Any% - 29:10 - 125MB (Video)
Metroid Speed Run 100% - 56:40 - 233MB (Video)
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Metroid Ľ Nintendo
Metroid Zebian Illusion Ľ Nintendo
Metroid Hack Ľ Nintendo

Metroid 2 Return Of Samus
Ľ Game Boy

Super Metroid Ľ Super Nintendo

Last edited by Kong; 04-02-2009 at 05:49 AM..
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