How Nintendo 3DS Shooter Moon Chronicles Looked To Metroid For Inspiration

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In 2009, Renegade Kid released a first-person shooter for the Nintendo DS, titled Moon. The game put players in the boots of a member of a special task force sent to research a mysterious hatch on the moon, leading underneath its surface. Renegade Kid are now remaking the game for Nintendo 3DS and releasing it via the Nintendo eShop.


While this is a little known fact, parts of Moon (and the 3DS remake, Moon Chronicles) are actually inspired by Metroid—but not the Metroid Prime games, as you might suspect. Speaking with Siliconera, Renegade Kid co-founder Jools Watsham said that the inspiration for certain design elements in Moon were picked up from Super Metroid.


“My inspiration for the gameplay of Moon Chronicles—specifically in terms to the game flow and level design—was more from Super Metroid than the FPS Metroid games,” Watsham shared. “However, the stylus control method was absolutely inspired by Metroid Prime Hunters on the DS.”


He explained, “One of the main ‘Metroid’ aspects that we incorporated into Moon Chronicles is the ‘gates’ or progression blockers that must be returned to once the solution has been acquired. In Super Metroid this is usually accomplished by collecting a new power-up, whereas with Moon Chronicles it is largely story-driven or involves accomplishing a task or collecting a special item to gain access to the new area and progress through the game.”


“Another key element that I love about the Metroid series is the sense of many secret hidden pick-ups scattered all about, requiring the player explore beyond the main path of the game, which improve the player’s attributes in some way,” Watsham continued.


“This is where we utilize the Remote Access Droid (RAD) in Moon Chronicles, enabling the player to navigate the RAD unit into small ducts that Major Kane cannot enter in order to disable force-fields to allow Major Kane access and collect special items or progress into new areas. The RAD also provides a great sense of puzzle solving, which is another key aspect of the Metroid series.”


Another design element picked up from Metroid is how health and ammo drops work.


“There is a chance that each enemy destroyed will drop a pick-up that helps your current situation,” Watsham says. “You’ll find that you will typically get what you need at that moment, whether that is ammo for your Muon Pistol or a health pick-up. This serves as a great way for the player to feel the need and satisfaction from destroying enemies.”


Moon Chronicles will be released in four separate chapters, with chapter 1 planned for release in March. Further details of its release can be found here.

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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.