Metroid: How They Managed Samus In Japan

So here’s a bit of trivia: remember “JUSTIN BAILEY” and managing passwords in general for the first Metroid? Well, in Japan they had none of that cuz they had save slots, a la Legend of Zelda. Both were originally for Famicom Disk System, and an add-on that (besides never making it out here) played games on floppies that allowed direct access to the content. In fact, it was a selling point that folks, instead of buying a new game each time, they could simply reuse the same diskette by constantly copying over an old game with a new title.

Though each Disk System release still had its own in store copy and packaging, and aside from not knowing if they were cheaper/the same price/actually more expensive than traditional carts, I have to wonder how many folks actually copied over their original Legend of Zelda for… say… Dragon Ball XYZ.

Anyhow, Zelda got a battery pack cuz it was such a major release, and I’m assuming it would have been difficult to generate codes for all the different variable states. Whereas Metroid wasn’t that busy, hence why simple letter and number combinations, did the trick. Which btw way were far from random, there is an exact science to it, and those who do the research and experiment will be rewarded thusly!

Anyway, via Tiny Cartridge comes a look at what the save data management screen looked like for Metroid 1. Note how, for all intents and purposes, Samus looks fairly detailed. Going by her original sprite, I had the feeling that the original designers had not pegged down what she would ultimately look like. To the point that I thought the following was fake!


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