Over 20-years after it was first released, Super Metroid remains one of the best and most beloved games ever made. Often cited as the greatest 2D action game of all time, nearly every aspect of Super Metroid, from its gorgeous hand-drawn graphics to its labyrinth-like world and its haunting, wordless storytelling, is note perfect.
Of course, as is often the case with masterpieces, Super Metroid didn’t happen easily. The creation of Super Metroid was filled with turmoil, a lot of the influences are surprising, and the game contains secrets even long-time fans may not know about. Here’s a few facts about Samus Aran’s greatest adventure.
Nintendo’s higher ups weren’t fans of Super Metroid and almost canceled it three times.
While beloved by critics, the Metroid series has never been as popular as your Marios or Zeldas, particularly in Japan, where most Metroid titles were outright flops. As such, Metroid co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto had to pester his bosses for nearly six months before they finally relented and greenlit a SNES Metroid game in late-1991. Even then, the higher-ups, particularly Game Boy-creator and Metroid-producer Gunpei Yokoi, didn’t have much faith in the game. Here’s Sakamoto describing Yokoi’s less-than-warm reaction to the project…
“Yokoi-san was always angry when he saw us all completely absorbed and working crazy overtime on Super Metroid. He came in and said, ‘Are you lot trying to produce a work of art or something?’ Yokoi-san was becoming angrier with us day by day during that period.”
Yokoi became so grumpy about the frequently-delayed Super Metroid that he cut the game’s budget and threatened to cancel it three times. Thankfully, Yokoi never stuck to his threats, and he’d do a complete 180 once the game was finished.
“Yokoi-san was constantly playing Super Metroid once we’d finished it. He was hooked.”