Everyone, what was your first experience working on the Metroid series?
Yamane: I was in charge of the graphics on Super Metroid.
Hamano: I also worked on Super Metroid's BGM with Metroid Prime's BGM Director [Kenji] Yamamoto.
Hosokawa: This time around, Sakamoto, who had worked throughout the Metroid series, is in charge as director, and it says in the credits that I am the system director, Yamano is the program director, and Yamane is the visual director. Parts of the old gameplay system remain in the beginning, and we decided to add new things with the GBA version. This time, the biggest thing changed was Samus' suit. The reason for this is an enemy called "X" has attacked her and made her lose all her abilities.
So from what you said, this is a sequel to Super Metroid.
Hosokawa: That's right. Maybe we should call it Metroid 4.
With the GBA, what was the biggest thing that changed?
Hosokawa: Until now, Metroid games had a high degree of freedom. However, in this case, the player is restricted. Accordingly, this time the story follows a single path, and moreover, we made it so users can navigate through a navigation room.
Regarding the programming, did you consult previous games in the series?
Yamano: No, we didn't do that. Instead, since we'd made Wario Land Advance [Wario Land 4] before Fusion, we referenced that program. Since this time there were major changes, we had to make it easy for players who were playing Metroid for the first time while maintaining what was good about the series. Rather than individual programs, to assemble the game, it was difficult working to check the degree of difficulty. In response to hopes of existing fans, it is difficult but easy to play.
It seems easier to draw graphics using the GBA.
Yamane: That's right. Nevertheless, some enemies are the same as older games, and are typical of the series I directed. From the time of Super Metroid, I made the images like the enemy characters that came from old anime by Tatsunoko. Rather than being stylish, the characters had an ugly taste. Although these popular characters have become outdated, I find this style of character is fresh.
And Yamane-san produced game development tools.
Yamane: So that we can automatically make what had to repeatedly drawn by hand multiple times, they are tools that allow us to automatically draw what can't be cleaned manually. So when I considered that, I went to make the program. The graphics alone used 20 to 30 tools.
Yamano: I'd made a tool for displaying boss characters easily when I started making the game about one year earlier. About the end of Wario , we were saying, "Next time, let's make a tool that will let us easily produce more works." Rather than making tools for a particular piece of software, I think we should prepare for the future by making something we'll need then.
Are there any new additions to Samus' abilities?
Hosokawa: Beyond Samus herself, missiles have changed. Although there has been an Ice Beam until now, since the suit has changed this time around, the ice ability has transferred to missiles. In addition, we've added powerful Diffusion Missiles. After that, this time we also added the ability to cling to walls and ceilings. With this, I think the ability is smooth. The point of this game is to whipe out the enemy called "X".
The ability to absorb the X is certainly interesting.
Hosokawa: Yes. In the beginning, there was a special way of taking them. However, because things became complicated, we made it so you can just touch them to replenish energy. In this fashion, making the game easy to play was something I kept in mind throughout.
Has the BGM changed from the previous version?
Hamano: Some of the enemies are from Super Metroid, and I borrowed some of the same jingles. However, I arranged them for Fusion.
Are there any new components?
Hamano: In terms of the Metroid series, since we wanted Super Metroid and Metroid Prime to have a similar ambience, I put in voice sampling by the sound director's instructions. NOA wanted us to look for Hollywood-style voice actors, so I put in an announcer. Although they had the idea of putting in voices from the beginning, the storage capacity was too limited to make it impressive, so that meant I just used the warning announcements.
Were you careful with the background music?
Hamano: Even if I didn't mind it ringing in the background, because I didn't want the exploration BGM to be annoying, I aimed for serious, ambient BGM rather than melody. Beyond that, I was told by Sakamoto, "I want you to make the sounds fit Adam's words," and so had to change the BGM in accordance with Adam's dialogue in the navigation room. The navigation room changes with each new scene, and the BGM flows from tense to suspicious.
Finally, please tell us the highlight of your work [on Metroid Fusion].
Hosokawa: Please take full enjoyment from this new story of Metroid.
Yamano: Although the best part is with the SA-X, I want it to be a surprise.
Yamane: You'll make the assumption that the enemy character "Nightmare" is quite pathetic. Please watch for it.
Hamano: I think I made the BGM when you are being chased by the SA-X the most hysteric. Please check it out.