When it comes to Metroid Prime, the eyes of the gaming world are firmly fixed on the mysterious new installment. Way back in June last year, it was confirmed that a fourth installment was in the works. Over a year later, that scant teaser is still all we really have to go on, besides the fact that Bandai Namco are taking the reigns for the new game. In the interim, though, something interesting was recently discovered in the original Metroid Prime.
In the age of the internet, there are very few secrets that remain secrets for long. TV shows, movies and video games alike are spoiled within nanoseconds, just for sport. Couple this with the fact that gamers, being gamers, will dedicate themselves to combing every single inch of a title, and even the most obscure of easter eggs are going to be outed very quickly. Just occasionally, though, something will slip through the net.
In 2016, an intrepid player discovered a quick and bizarre exploit to instantly defeat the boss of the Forbidden Woods in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker… almost fifteen years after the game was released. While this discovery from 2002’s Metroid Prime isn’t an easter egg or exploit, it’s intriguing nonetheless.
As fans will know, Samus’s weaponry in the Metroid franchise mostly centres around different ‘attachments’ for her arm cannon, dubbed beams. They’re kind of like Mega Man’s different weapons, and on the HUD in Prime, they’re represented by curious icons: hands in particular positions.
What did this mean? Well, not very much, until a resourceful player noticed something about them. These icons correspond to the hand gesture that Samus performs in game to activate each different beam.
As this post by Redditor Ganrokh demonstrates, you can actually see this in-game. If you activate the X-ray visor and then switch beam modes, you can see Samus’s arm through her suit, and you can distinctly make out the subtle action being performed. Granted, this has no practical purpose, but it’s just another example of the loving care and attention that was lavished on this title.
When it was first released, Metroid Prime was a super-impressive technical achievement. It was the little details that made it shine. Samus’s face being reflected in her visor by bright flashes of light, or her vision (and the player’s) briefly becoming obscured as steam fogs it up. These are the things that players remember so fondly, and there’s no doubt that the team are cooking up something very special indeed for Metroid Prime 4 on Switch.