News 72

[Metroid Prime 3: Corruption]The Fascinating History Behind ‘Metroid Dread’

Update time:2021-07-08 14:35Tag:

  Share to Facebook

  Share to Twitter

  Share to Linkedin

  ’Metroid Dread’ has had a rather bumpy ride to get to this point.


  One of the biggest surprises from Nintendo at this year’s E3 was the announcement of Metroid Dread. The first mainline 2D game in the series in 19 years, its development history is also surprisingly involved.

  Back in 2002, Metroid Fusion was released for the Game Boy Advance. This directly followed on from the events in Super Metroid and dealt with the re-emergence of the X Parasites.

  The reason for this was down to the fact that Samus had wiped out the main predator of the X Parasites, the Metroids.

  However, when Samus first encountered the X Parasites, her suit was corrupted and required a Metroid vaccine of sorts to fight off the X Parasite-based infection. This is where the “fusion” in the game’s title came from and effectively meant Samus had become the last Metroid-type being in existence.

  Around this time Metroid Prime was also about and you could play with the Fusion Suit in the game if you linked up your Game Boy Advance to your Game Cube. This connection to Metroid Prime is an important one though, especially when it comes to Metroid Dread.


  Following the release of Metroid: Zero Mission on the Game Boy Advance in 2004, a remake of the original Metroid, rumors started of a follow-on game that would be a direct continuation of the Metroid Fusion narrative.

  The first confirmation of this was in 2005 that a new game, called Metroid Dread, was being developed for the Nintendo DS. However, the game slipped into development hell and wasn’t properly heard of again until 2007.

  Cue Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and its now infamous mention of “dread”, which resulted in Retro Studios having to clear up the confusion and explain that this wasn’t about a new game at all.

  Then at E3 back in 2009, press were shown another version of Metroid Dread, that was closer to Metroid Fusion and also dropped the “Dread” moniker, but again this game was put on hold and disappeared from view shortly thereafter.

  It seems that Metroid Dread was a tricky needle to thread and Yoshio Sakamoto wasn’t happy with the limitations of the hardware relative to what the game was meant to offer. This is something Sakamoto references in the announcement video of the new Switch version (shown below).

  However, with the release of Metroid: Samus Returns in 2017 on the 3DS it appears that Sakamoto was happy to work with the same developer, that of Mercury Steam, on Metroid Dread.

  The result is something that looks genuinely special and while I was somewhat underwhelmed with Samus Returns, as that was a bizarre ersatz remake, this looks like a proper Metroid game that will push the series functionally forward.

  As for the new robotic enemies known as the E.M.M.I., my guess is that these have been overrun by the X Parasites and are chasing Samus, as she has the last remaining vestiges of Metroid DNA in a her system. With this being the only threat to the ascendance of the X Parasites.

  Anyway, Metroid Dread is definitely something I will be delving into once it is released this October on the Switch.

  Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. I also manage Mecha Damashii and do toy reviews over at

  Read my Forbes blog here.