Metroid: Other M Was Originally "On-Rails"


samus Yoshio Sakamoto once said that he got in touch with Team Ninja because he felt his own team, SPD1, weren’t experienced enough with developing 3D games. Well, he wasn’t kidding. We’ve had the "Does Sakamoto still get Metroid?" debate on Siliconera more times than I care to count by now. Turns out, there was a point when he very clearly didn’t "get it," despite being a director or supervisor on nearly every game in the franchise before Other M.


During his GDC keynote on game design, Sakamoto revealed that, originally, Metroid: Other M was being conceived with invisible walls, essentially making it an on-rails game, in a sense. The reason for this was that he was adamant on using just the Wii remote to control Samus. If he’d gone ahead with it, we’d be playing a very un-Metroid-esque game, come this June.


Team Ninja enter the scene and conceive the point-to-switch-to-first-person control setup, the single coolest feature in Other M right now. They dubbed it "Famicom Plus," since it still only uses the Wii remote. Thank you, Team Ninja.


Don’t you love irony? (Yes, I’m scared. Someone hold me.)


During Sakamoto’s presentation he also showed alternate concept art for Samus where she had black hair instead of her usual blonde look. See? Look above.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.