January 26, 2023

Metroid Prime developer Retro Studio once had an idea for an XCOM-style game starring Samus Aran.

The concept, called Metroid Tactics, was the brainchild of Metroid Prime developer Paul Tozer. The idea was one of many that emerged after the conclusion of Retro’s Metroid Prime trilogy – and another that was eventually rejected.

Tozer discussed the pitch publicly for the first time this week in a new Did You Know Gaming video describing the game’s planned setting and storyline as a prequel to the entire Metroid series.

Nintendo announced Metroid Prime at E3 2017. Its development has since restarted, with Retro Studios at the helm.

“It marks the moment when Samus Aran first separates from the Chozo who raised her from childhood, meets humanity and becomes a bounty hunter,” said Tozer (thanks, Nintedno Life). The game also marks humanity’s first-ever encounter with the Space Pirates and Metroids.

Samus must team up with an elite team of highly trained Galactic Federation Troopers and colorful bounty hunters to stop the raid on several Galactic Federation planets, in various locations on planets such as Norion and Earth, and ultimately defeat the Space Pirates at their outpost on planet Zebes .”

Players would have controlled Samus and a group of other Galactic Federation soldiers using the Wii’s motion controls.

Unfortunately, despite Tozer describing it as a “relatively cheap” project that would have reused work from the Prime trilogy, “higher-ups” at Retro ultimately rejected his idea.

“It’s basically XCOM, it was XCOM in the Metroid Universe, except instead of fighting aliens you’re fighting Space Pirates – who are also aliens but different,” Tozer concluded.

Retro Studios is now working on the Metroid Prime series again, while work continues on the highly anticipated and long-delayed fourth entry in that series.

The secretive studio hasn’t been seen as leading game development since 2014’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (ported to Switch in 2018).

Meanwhile, several other canceled pitches for Retro Studios projects have also surfaced, including a Final Fantasy Tactics-style Legend of Zelda game and another Zelda spin-off starring Sheik.

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