Retro Studios’ GameCube Classic, Metroid Prime, gets a fan-made 2D remake called Prime 2D. The effort, which has been going on since 2004 and called Prime 2D, is led by a group called Team SCU. While screenshots of the game went up as part of an April Fool’s joke, the demo is actually real, according to a forum post by the creators.
The remake is the result of many years of love. In 2017, the team behind Metroid Prime 2D shared: “While public progress has seemed stagnant for the past 5 years, there has actually been a tremendous amount of basic work done privately.”
Metroid Prime is largely remembered by fans for how it translated a 2D franchise into a 3D persona shooter. Prime 2D will try the other way around and remake the GameCube shooter from scratch as a sidescroller, according to a developer post. Instead of recreating it completely, the team is “focused on taking the core concepts, translating them and then implementing them in a logical 2D solution.”
From what we have seen, the demo looks fantastic. It has meticulously detailed pixel art along with reimagined chiptune-esque musical themes based on the original score Metroid Prime. It also brings back features from the original game such as Scan Visor – which examines the environment and shows players all sorts of world-building details – in a new 2D interpretation.
Metroid fans have long called for a new release, official or otherwise, to no avail. In 2017, Nintendo announced Metroid Prime 4 for Nintendo Switch. But Nintendo delayed the game in early 2019, as the development of the game did not reach Nintendo’s standards for a Metroid sequel.
When it comes to fan-made releases like this, the future does not look so bright. Fans released AM2R: Another Metroid 2 Remake, a remake of Metroid 2: Return of Samus, in 2017. But just a day later, Nintendo’s lawyers filed a copyright claim and closed them effectively AM2R down.
So while many people are happy about it Prime 2D (over 14,000 people have already downloaded it), it may not be long before the project closes.