Why Wasn’t There a “Metroid 64”?
When talking about the most popular, and most important, Nintendo franchises out in the world, Metroid is one that definitely appears in the Top 5 at least. Samus Aran is one of the most iconic video game characters, and between her original game, some of the handhelds, and of course, the Metroid Prime series, there’s a lot of epic and legendary games under that banner. But there’s one omission that fans are still wondering to this day…why wasn’t there a Metroid 64?
The reason this is asked is while the Nintendo 64 wasn’t the best-selling console of the generation, it’s one that is attributed with having some of the best video games of the generation. Including Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Super Smash Bros, Paper Mario, and more. So where was Metroid 64 in all of this?
The Director of Super Metroid for SNES, Yoshio Sakamoto, actually did answer this in a very old interview that was dug up recently, and here is what he said:
“I was actually thinking about the possibility of making a Metroid game for N64 but I felt that I shouldn’t be the one making the game. When I held the N64 controller in my hands I just couldn’t imagine how it could be used to move Samus around. So for me it was just too early to personally make a 3D Metroid…
That’s a very ironic statement, as many either loved or hated the Nintendo 64’s controller design. But, that didn’t stop them from reaching out about having someone else make the game:
“Nintendo at that time approached another company and asked them if they would make an N64 version of Metroid and their response was that no, they could not. They turned it down, saying that unfortunately they didn’t have the confidence to create an N64 Metroid game that could compare favorably with Super Metroid. That’s something I take as a compliment to what we achieved with Super Metroid.”
True enough, and of course, when the Gamecube came around (with its more solid controller), Retro Studios made the Metroid Prime title and changed the franchise forever. And now, they’re working on bringing Metroid Prime 4 to the Nintendo Switch.