I mentioned in a recent article that I’ve been playing a lot of fan-made ROM hack games lately. I’ve also been playing a lot of Metroid games lately: Metroid, Metroid II, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid: Fusion, Super Metroid, and the fan-made Metroid Deluxe. Metroid is one of those franchises I remember playing a lot of at friends’ houses, but I never owned any of the games. I like them, but there were only so many games my dad would buy me as a kid, and in a world of Mario, Zelda, Mega Man, and Sonic, Metroid just didn’t make that cut. But it’s been a blast to dive into this franchise now with the disposable income of an adult at my disposal.
When I was looking into the world of fan-made Metroid ROM hacks, one thing that really shocked me was the lack of the most obvious ROM hack in the world: Samus vs. Aliens and Predators.
This is more than just two space-themed franchises (or three depending on how separate you consider the Aliens and Predator franchises, they’re damn near inseparable in my head): this is one franchise that takes most of its inspiration from the other. I’m sure most gamers realize, but Metroid is heavily influenced by the Alien franchise. Samus’ long time foe Ridley is even named after Alien director Ridley Scott. Not only is the art direction in Metroid heavily influenced by H.R. Giger, the man who designed the Xenomorphs from the Alien movies, but Metroid’s feel of isolation and overall atmosphere mimics Alien as well.
Given that connection, as well as the fact that pretty much every single Metroid fan knows it, the fact that no one has made this ROM hack yet downright shocks me.
How I Would Do It (If I Could)
I fully admit to having no programing skill, so I’m about as likely to make a ROM hack myself as I am to figure out how to turn lead into gold, but if I was to make it, this is what I think I would do. Anyone with skill in this area reading this, feel free to take notes.
The overall story would be Samus responding to a distress call in a space station. The station has been overrun by Xenomorphs. The game play would pretty much just revolve around you having to fight Xenomorphs and rescue trapped civilians. No Metroid game would be complete without a timed mission or two, but rather than the standard “outrun a self-destruct timer,” I would put some time-sensitive rescue missions in it.
Throughout the game, we see cutscenes of a Predator running around causing problems for Samus, similar to the Dark Samus in Metroid: Fusion. The Predator, with an arsenal as full as yours, would be the final boss. A big Xenomorph Queen could be the penultimate boss.
Gameplay-wise, I’m thinking your standard Metroid side-scroller, with either 8-bit NES or 16-bit SNES graphics. Both Alien and Predator have been on the NES and the SNES, so you wouldn’t even need to make sprites from the ground up for them. Although if you went 8-bit you would need to heavily redesign the Predator sprite, since they looked like ass in the NES Predator game.
16-bit might be the way to go. You could just use sprites from the Aliens vs. Predator SNES game. That game was a pretty good arcade style beat em’ up if you never played it.
So there you have it folks: my idea for the best Metroid ROM hack you could ever hope to play. I don’t know if any programers or amateur game developers will run with my idea, but I had to write about something fun to get the taste of Bella and the Bulldogs out of my mouth.
Read More: 5 Fan-Made ROM Hack Games You Should Play