Super Metroid could’ve been an unlockable game within Metroid Prime on the GameCube, but a developer for the game said Nintendo prevented it from happening.
In a recent episode of the Kiwi Talkz podcast at 45:04, David “Zoid” Kirsch said he got the idea of putting the classic SNES game into Metroid Prime when he played it for the first time after being assigned to work on the game at the turn of the millennium. He said he was so hooked on Super Metroid, he beat it twice in three days.
The three-day Super Metroid marathon gave Zoid the idea to put the game into Prime as an unlockable item via an unofficial SNES emulator. Nintendo ultimately declined to go through with it because the emulator wasn’t approved, even though Prime is a direct sequel to Super Metroid.
The rejection from Nintendo gave Zoid a detour to place the original Metroid from the NES into Prime since an NES emulator was already installed in the GameCube. “That started the idea churning, and Nintendo did have the NES emulation library that they had built for the GameCube, and so that turned into bringing the original Metroid to the game.”
Super Metroid is often lauded as one of the greatest video games because of its music, atmosphere, gameplay, and graphics. It’s also credited for establishing the “Metroidvania” genre named after the game, along with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
Super Metroid sold 1.43 million copies by 2003, and to this day, it is the most popular game for speedrunners, even after it has been re-released on Nintendo Switch Online.