Zoid Kirsch, one of the developers of Metroid Prime, shared some behind-the-scenes information on why morph ball doors exist in the game. This is the twelfth entry in Kirsch’s stories in regards to Metroid Prime and its development. All of them honor the game’s upcoming anniversary. According to Kirsch, the ball door exists to prevent the player from falling into the void. If players fell, they would have to restart the game.
On occasion in Metroid Prime, a player may move a bit too quickly through a morph ball puzzle or a boost sends them through the tunnel. When this happens, the player has traveled too fast for the game’s load. This means that if they enter the next room, the player would simply fall into the abyss.
As a solution, Kirsch manually went through the game and added little doors to tunnels between rooms. If the next room isn’t ready, Samus will bump into it and the door will keep her safe, opening up only when the next room has finished loading. Technically speaking, if you play Metroid Prime at a normal pace, you should never see the doors. This is because the game does its best to finish loading up a room before Samus enters it.
Metroid Prime came out in 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube as the first of the Metroid Prime saga of games. Like other Metroid games, the protagonist is Samus Aran, a bounty hunter who battles Space Pirates. The game won multiple awards and sold around 2.8 million units worldwide. Nintendo later released an updated version for the Nintendo Wii in 2009.
Kirsch will continue to tweet about behind-the-scenes stories in regards to Metroid Prime. He announced that he would tweet out a story every day until November 18, 2022, which is the 20th anniversary of the game’s initial release.