Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Metroid 1 update

I should mention that the first Metroid uses a sort of familiarity system in place when it comes to discovering its many secrets. For example in the second room of the game(where you'll find the entrance to Brinstar & Kraid's Lair) you notice a couple of interesting things: Suspicious floors, an easily accessible door on both sides, enemies running around in the space below. Here it's obvious that you should come back here at a later time. 

But let's go a bit further to the first spot you can acquire the ice beam(which is the second "one-room" area before the first energy tank you can collect. Here you have: easily accessible doors on both sides, an enemy flying around below, but no suspicious floors. Couldn't the player still suspect something? Especially considering not far away they find the bombs? It isn't quite as obvious as the first area because that leads to a required portion of the game while this particular ice beam is entirely optional(though it is still required to complete the game). One could also point out that the flying creature in that area tends to spend a considerable amount of time under the acidic substance(and considering the area they have to go through to reach the bombs they have had more than enough opportunities to observe the pattens of these creatures). Obviously the first time around the player wouldn't know which block to bomb but it's reasonable to assume they'd simply try every block.

One thing to note about the original Metroid is that it plays on the extremes of constant encouragement and discouragement. While you die and see a game over screen you also get a password and while you start with only 30 energy you are still back in the area you died in. These extremes are used to facilitate a sort of understanding in the player. While they're discouraged to find a dead-end they have come to realize that through the game's use of death they're being told that it's never really the end. Thus they're more likely to bomb or roll into every bit of a dead-end in the hopes of stumbling upon a secret.

The later games don't rely on this philosophy as due to their savepoint-based system they simply force the player to continue from where they last saved, relying more on the level design and the player's familiarity with previous Metroids in order to discover all of the secrets. It is also not a guarantee that the player can find everything in the first Metroid...or so I think. Some of the more obscure & hidden energy tanks are located in places that commonly couldn't be referred to as dead-ends. Take for example the one located in the ceiling near the beginning of the game. If you didn't grab the morph-ball by that time you could certainly assume it's a dead-end yet still something seems off about it. There's also one in the room where you fight Kraid, which I guess is less of a stretch as it's great to have after a difficult battle with a tough boss, and you've certainly reached the end of his hide-out and he's dead. It also helps that this tank is located almost within the acid, further implying the 'courage philosophy. 

All that said I'll keep at this game and update whenever I feel I've discovered something noteworthy.

No comments:

Post a Comment