BEFORE WE BEGIN, HERE'S SOME HISTORY:
Metroid was a game for the Famicom Disk System/Nintendo Entertainment System that combined the Platforming of Mario with the Exploration of Zelda, however it really hasn't aged well, (relatively) Stiff Controls, boring backgrounds and levels, it was easy for you to get lost, but it was a classic amongst Generation NES. It got a sequel on the game boy, and a great sequel on the Super Nintendo. It took evrything that made the original good and made it better, and took several of the aspects that bogged down the original and fixed them... we would have to wait 8 years for new Metroid and the final result, didn't disappoint, but what about that 8 year gap with the N64?
Metroid Creator Yoshio Sakamoto said in an interview that the N64 controller was too weird to control Samus around. But what if he made something that could do it?
IDEA #1: A Tomb Raider Style Game:
Lara Croft was the premiere female video game action hero of the PS1/N64/Dreamcast/Saturn Era, and the style was constantly Imitated. But what if Metroid adopted that style, just change it up to make it fit with the Metroid Aesthetic, and it could've worked as a decent little 3D version of Metroid. What could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot of things. Tomb Raider (at least for the Core Design Era) was always meant to be played with a D-Pad, and ahving an analog stick control Lara Croft feels awkward at times, and one of the N64's key features was the Analog Stick, without that, most games were nothing, not to mention, it would get negatively compared to Tomb Raider...
IDEA #2: Ocarina of Time with a Blaster:
Think about it, the false screencap spread through out the net (seen above) looks kind of like Ocarina of Time, and collecting power-ups throughout the planet would feel like collecting items in Zelda and the boss fights would be similar. But the game would heavily abuse Z-Targeting and First Person mode, which would take away from exploration. and the insides which use up a lot of the game, would use up a lot of processing power, and so would traveling to other planets.
IDEA #3: 3rd Person Shooter:
A Jet Force Gemini game that had a heavy emphasis on exploration? Just change the Level Design, and reskin the characters, and what could possibly ruin it? Well Metroid Prime was supposed to be 3rd person, but it didn't quite work out, and JFG was kind up clunky compared to a lot of FPS games at the time. Besides, it would require loads of work and processing power, and the N64 just can't handle such work... JFG was a beast to run and make, so that Idea's out the window...
IDEA #4: 1st Person Shooter:
Think about it, Prime was an FPS, and a single player campaign in FPS games were still popular back then, look at Goldeneye, Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Quake, Unreal, and Jedi Knight, and Multiplayer is not a bad bonus either, just one problem, The N64 Couldn't handle such a game. The cartridge thing was a huge setback and so was the fact that the PC was just more powerful in handing such games than the 64.
Metroid on the N64 was not going to work because the franchise wasn't ready for 3D gaming yet. 3D gaming hasn't reached perfection at the time, and the cartridges of the system didn't help matters either. So in closing, The N64 just wasn't the right system for the Metroid games, and that had the aftermath of having Pokemon take it's place in Nintendo's Big 3 and made so many female video game protagonists more recognizeable than Samus...
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