Metroid Prime: Uncovered Mother Brain and Crocomire concept art

Apr 11, 2008
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#1
Another productive night, well, if you are a Metroid fan.

Firstly, from the opendir archive of Andrew "Android" Jones, major conceptual artist for the Metroid Prime trilogy, we have this remarkable image. It was seperated from the concept art of creatures that made it into the game.

Its filenamed motherBxyflat.jpg.





The brain and eye(s), and the comparison image of Samus on the right for scale, suggests they may have toyed with idea of including Mother Brain in the game at some point. The blue and orange remind me of the Phazon crater, and certainly echo what happens at the end of Metroid Prime 3. The filename mother and the Zero-Mission like eyeball suggest its not an Aurora Unit but Mother Brain itself.

Now, this next one is a bit of an oddity, it was buried in a very old portfolio website of Sammy Hall - who is still working at Retro and was credited in DKC:R.



I'm not sure what game he was concieved to appear in, if any.

Bonus image from the same artist: What appears to be an early concept for a federation trooper:



Note how the armour is based on Samus's design, but bulkier and probably less advanced.

I know with the Metroid 1.5 thread I could be seen as spamming the forum, I felt that these two Metroid characters were so iconic that they were worth a thread of their own.
 
Jun 8, 2005
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#3
Mama Robotnik said:


Note how the armour is based on Samus's design, but bulkier and probably less advanced.

I know with the Metroid 1.5 thread I could be seen as spamming the forum, I felt that these two Metroid characters were so iconic that they were worth a thread of their own.
That's pretty awesome.

I don't like the coloring aping Samus' suit, because it seems too... literal. But I love the idea of them effectively trying to reverse-engineer it and coming up with some bulky, less-effective version.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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"Lila Lost Obviously a difficult memory for Andrew: “This was painted for one that got away, far, far, away and never came back.” "

Found this on another website. Same Andrew Jones right? Apparently he played Metroid for the first time after undergoing massive brain surgery at the age of 11:

“I discovered that game after undergoing cataclysmic brain surgery as a child,” he explains. “The world of Metroid was a safe haven for me in comparison to the real world, which I had a hard time trusting and adapting to.” The recovering youngster built up a series of associations around the character. “The cold space of Norfair was something I could count on to be there for me. As a child recovering from a major trauma, little things like that make all the difference in the world.”
 
Apr 12, 2010
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#9
apana said:
http://www.imaginefx.com/02287754333034724251/6.jpg

"Lila Lost Obviously a difficult memory for Andrew: “This was painted for one that got away, far, far, away and never came back.” "

Found this on another website. Same Andrew Jones right? Apparently he played Metroid for the first time after undergoing massive brain surgery at the age of 11:

“I discovered that game after undergoing cataclysmic brain surgery as a child,” he explains. “The world of Metroid was a safe haven for me in comparison to the real world, which I had a hard time trusting and adapting to.” The recovering youngster built up a series of associations around the character. “The cold space of Norfair was something I could count on to be there for me. As a child recovering from a major trauma, little things like that make all the difference in the world.”
Wow... I'd love to have a print of that. You can really tell that there's a great depth of thought and emotion. It should totally be at a game art gallery.
 
Oct 18, 2007
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woo new finds.

what i'd really want to know is why this stuff wasn't included as "new" extras in the trilogy art gallery. the trilogy having no new content at all was really a bummer but it was understandable why the games themselves wouldn't have new stuff. not including new art was really a missed opportunity.
 
#19
beelzebozo said:
they should've moved him in and then made him stay.

seriously, the fact that he doesn't work with retro anymore is really sad to me.
Well, it wouldn't really make sense to use him on projects like Donkey Kong, since the art style for that is extremely different from the type of stuff he does.

Perhaps Armature will contract him though if they're making something more like Retro's Prime series.
 

boiled goose

good with gravy
Oct 30, 2007
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#23
Ellis Kim said:
Other M isn't a bad game... its just not a Metroid game, is all.
Did u play it?
It is most definitely a metroid game.
If it isnt, fusion isnt a metroid game either. Other M was just slightly more more linear.

The biggest flaws were not the core gameplay, but rather the writing, the story, and some bizarre design decisions.

And this is not coming from a big Other M fan
 

Jive Turkey

Unconfirmed Member
Mar 10, 2005
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#24
That reverse engineered Chozo suit is outstanding. I would have loved to see this in action not only because I like the idea of the Federation clumsily trying to make a suit like the one Samus wears but because in the first Prime there were Zebesian pirate logs that takled about how they were trying to produce a suit as well. A suit where the Morph Ball tests had some unfortunate and messy results.
 
Nov 4, 2010
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#26
Damn Retro Studios has to have some of the best concept artists in the business. It'd be neat to have a similar look at concept art for Donkey Kong Country Returns just to compare how their creative process has changed over the years. The small snippets you got to see in the gallery were neat, but I bet there's a ton of art left out like this stuff we have yet to see.
 
Jul 30, 2005
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#27
Isn't sammy a user here? I think I saw him in the art thread a couple of times. Good stuff...but considering that we got an almost perfect game anyway I'm not sad these monsters didn't make it.
 
Apr 11, 2008
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#28
The guys over at Metroid Wikia have used my find as a starting point to delve more into Sammy Hall's Metroid Work. Really impressive work.

What appears to be deleted content from Metroid Prime: Hunters - a ship to ship mode?



Possibly a deleted planet landing from Metroid Prime 3? I don't recognise the world



Another variant on the Galactic Federation trooper?



And some breathtaking concept pieces for the trilogy:







apana said:
http://www.imaginefx.com/02287754333034724251/6.jpg

"Lila Lost Obviously a difficult memory for Andrew: “This was painted for one that got away, far, far, away and never came back.” "

Found this on another website. Same Andrew Jones right? Apparently he played Metroid for the first time after undergoing massive brain surgery at the age of 11:

“I discovered that game after undergoing cataclysmic brain surgery as a child,” he explains. “The world of Metroid was a safe haven for me in comparison to the real world, which I had a hard time trusting and adapting to.” The recovering youngster built up a series of associations around the character. “The cold space of Norfair was something I could count on to be there for me. As a child recovering from a major trauma, little things like that make all the difference in the world.”
My god, that's fascinating. It goes some way to explaining his immense talent in expressing the beauty of the Metroid universe.


apana said:
Is there any Andrew Jones Zelda art?
There is a lot of awesome stuff in that opendir, including some fantasy work. Some nudity though (including Penismonster, the monster that looks like something you won't see in Zelda). Its well worth a look.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
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#29
apana said:
http://www.imaginefx.com/02287754333034724251/6.jpg

"Lila Lost Obviously a difficult memory for Andrew: “This was painted for one that got away, far, far, away and never came back.” "

Found this on another website. Same Andrew Jones right? Apparently he played Metroid for the first time after undergoing massive brain surgery at the age of 11:

“I discovered that game after undergoing cataclysmic brain surgery as a child,” he explains. “The world of Metroid was a safe haven for me in comparison to the real world, which I had a hard time trusting and adapting to.” The recovering youngster built up a series of associations around the character. “The cold space of Norfair was something I could count on to be there for me. As a child recovering from a major trauma, little things like that make all the difference in the world.”
This is really amazing, and explains all the love and attention he put into creating Prime's art.

I wonder what Massive Black are doing these days.
 
Apr 12, 2010
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#32
amtentori said:
Did u play it?
It is most definitely a metroid game.
If it isnt, fusion isnt a metroid game either. Other M was just slightly more more linear.

The biggest flaws were not the core gameplay, but rather the writing, the story, and some bizarre design decisions.

And this is not coming from a big Other M fan
Other M's design is within Team Ninja's wheelhouse, resulting in game design that doesn't scream Metroid, at least to me.

I admit that I haven't played more than 10 minutes of Fusion, though, so I can't comment on past precedent.

Have you played Hayashi's last game, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2?
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
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#33
FunkyPajamas said:
Hopefully Nintendo will allow Retro to revisit a Prime-style Metroid once the next generation of consoles rolls out. I want that so badly.
I do wonder how feasible that would be, from a time/money perspective. One of Prime's greatest pros in the art and graphics (and even DKC:R's to an extent) was how compartmentalised the game was. Retro poured an insane amount of work into meticulously building each and every room with tons of unique little details and touches.

Having to add even more detail to those rooms due to added horse power would be quite a feat to undertake.
 
#34
EatChildren said:
I do wonder how feasible that would be, from a time/money perspective. One of Prime's greatest pros in the art and graphics (and even DKC:R's to an extent) was how compartmentalised the game was. Retro poured an insane amount of work into meticulously building each and every room with tons of unique little details and touches.

Having to add even more detail to those rooms due to added horse power would be quite a feat to undertake.
I think the even bigger issue is the opportunity cost.

Donkey Kong sells waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than Prime.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
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#35
Nirolak said:
I think the even bigger issue is the opportunity cost.

Donkey Kong sells waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than Prime.
Yeah, that too. To make a game the size of Prime with the kind of asset detail feasible on high end hardware would be a very expensive undertaking, and Metroid isn't exactly a big money maker, at least not like Donkey Kong.

However, I wouldn't complain if Retro were to make a DKC with the same attention detail on higher end hardware :p.
 
Apr 11, 2008
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#36
FunkyPajamas said:
Hopefully Nintendo will allow Retro to revisit a Prime-style Metroid once the next generation of consoles rolls out. I want that so badly.
I wish. I really do. I hold Metroid Prime up there with Half-Life 2 and Portal, its approach deserves to be revisited. That Retro created (IMO) the best Metroid game of them all on their first attempt is still amazing.

EatChildren said:
I do wonder how feasible that would be, from a time/money perspective. One of Prime's greatest pros in the art and graphics (and even DKC:R's to an extent) was how compartmentalised the game was. Retro poured an insane amount of work into meticulously building each and every room with tons of unique little details and touches.

Having to add even more detail to those rooms due to added horse power would be quite a feat to undertake.
This is a concern. The attention to detail in MP, and resolve to reuse assets as minimally as possible, is a shining feature of the game. To do the same with graphical expectations these days would be very expensive I imagine.

Still, they're proven miracle workers. Metroid Prime still looks better than Other M in every measurable way, it still wins a decade later against Team Ninja's pitiable effort on a more powerful console.

Nirolak said:
I think the even bigger issue is the opportunity cost.

Donkey Kong sells waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than Prime.
I wish you wouldn't say such things. Facts like this crush hope more effectively than a bombardment of Phazon Lethiathan asteroids ever could.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
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#39
Jokeropia said:
So? There's room for both, provided Retro wants to work on Metroid again.
Sure, but we know development cost arn't exactly decreasing, especially on high end hardware. A Metroid Prime with the kind of detail and attention as Prime had, on powerful hardware that demands more time and attention, is potentially a very costly endeavour.

That's not to say it's impossible, just something to think about.
 
Nov 18, 2006
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#40
EatChildren said:
Sure, but we know development cost arn't exactly decreasing, especially on high end hardware. A Metroid Prime with the kind of detail and attention as Prime had, on powerful hardware that demands more time and attention, is potentially a very costly endeavour.

That's not to say it's impossible, just something to think about.
wii and high end ?
 
Jul 27, 2010
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#42
I wonder if their tune has changed since the Trilogy. I know that they were tired of it by the end, but maybe they're interested in the prospect of a new Metroid game again...?

The experience they have with Donkey Kong could lead them to making a fresh sidescroller Metroid that I know the old fans would die to have.
 
Jan 4, 2006
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#43
apana said:
http://www.imaginefx.com/02287754333034724251/6.jpg

"Lila Lost Obviously a difficult memory for Andrew: “This was painted for one that got away, far, far, away and never came back.” "

Found this on another website. Same Andrew Jones right? Apparently he played Metroid for the first time after undergoing massive brain surgery at the age of 11:

“I discovered that game after undergoing cataclysmic brain surgery as a child,” he explains. “The world of Metroid was a safe haven for me in comparison to the real world, which I had a hard time trusting and adapting to.” The recovering youngster built up a series of associations around the character. “The cold space of Norfair was something I could count on to be there for me. As a child recovering from a major trauma, little things like that make all the difference in the world.”
Oh wow, that's some really incredible work right there.

Coincidentally I finally got around to playing through Metroid Trilogy and it's been so long since I saw MP1 that I could hardly believe how well the graphics have held up. I'm sure that the artsyle has a big part to play in how little the game has seemed to age graphically.
 

Red

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Feb 16, 2008
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#45
Saint Gregory said:
Oh wow, that's some really incredible work right there.

Coincidentally I finally got around to playing through Metroid Trilogy and it's been so long since I saw MP1 that I could hardly believe how well the graphics have held up. I'm sure that the artsyle has a big part to play in how little the game has seemed to age graphically.
Combination of art, tech, and sheer attention to detail. Retro has some of the best visual wizards in the business. Metroid Prime even today can look stunning.
 
Dec 12, 2008
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#46
Mama Robotnik said:
I wish. I really do. I hold Metroid Prime up there with Half-Life 2 and Portal, its approach deserves to be revisited. That Retro created (IMO) the best Metroid game of them all on their first attempt is still amazing.



This is a concern. The attention to detail in MP, and resolve to reuse assets as minimally as possible, is a shining feature of the game. To do the same with graphical expectations these days would be very expensive I imagine.

Still, they're proven miracle workers. Metroid Prime still looks better than Other M in every measurable way, it still wins a decade later against Team Ninja's pitiable effort on a more powerful console.



I wish you wouldn't say such things. Facts like this crush hope more effectively than a bombardment of Phazon Lethiathan asteroids ever could.
Mama, I sometimes try too hard not to fall in love with you. But you make it so fucking difficult.
EatChildren said:
Having to add even more detail to those rooms due to added horse power would be quite a feat to undertake.
Oh, yeah. The only consolation I get is that if/when Nintendo decides to allow Retro to go back to the Metroid Universe it's because they know the type of game Retro can (and more than likely will) make. Basically what I'm trying to say is that I wish Nintendo would allow Retro to build a labor of love and not care about time/resources.

Retro has (had?) some of the most talented artists in the industry in my opinion. Love their art. I'd kill for a Crystal Dynamics/Retro collaboration.

[edit] Not trying to start anything, but the recent Killzone 3 screenshots with the orange jungle and the alien-looking plants made me want a Metroid Prime HD even more. Few game artists in my opinion have captured and transmitted the feeling of being in an alien world like Retro's did with the Prime series.
 
Jan 4, 2006
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#47
Crunched said:
Combination of art, tech, and sheer attention to detail. Retro has some of the best visual wizards in the business. Metroid Prime even today can look stunning.
Not can, it does look stunning. I've never had an issue replaying older generation games that I loved but at no point does MP1 feel like an old game. The new control scheme adds a layer of freshness to it but there's something really timeless in the way the original package was put together. I just hope that Other M hasn't made Nintendo give up on the Metroid series so maybe someday Retro can take the helm again :'(
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
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#48
FunkyPajamas said:
Oh, yeah. The only consolation I get is that if/when Nintendo decides to allow Retro to go back to the Metroid Universe it's because they know the type of game Retro can (and more than likely will) make. Basically what I'm trying to say is that I wish Nintendo would allow Retro to build a labor of love and not care about time/resources.

Retro has (had?) some of the most talented artists in the industry in my opinion. Love their art. I'd kill for a Crystal Dynamics/Retro collaboration.

[edit] Not trying to start anything, but the recent Killzone 3 screenshots with the orange jungle and the alien-looking plants made me want a Metroid Prime HD even more. Few game artists in my opinion have captured and transmitted the feeling of being in an alien world like Retro's did with the Prime series.
Retro still have good artists there, and if they were to go back to Metroid hopefully they'd contract Jones again to add his touch. Some of the DKCR art is absolutely amazing though, so Retro still have great skills. I'm pretty sure one of the artists posts here.

And yeah, I agree with Retro being able to capture alien worlds. They make them seem so genuine and 'real', but also really strange and abnormal. Previously inhabited worlds always feel like they've been lived in for millenia by a long extinct species, so there's a great mix of alien archecture with overgrown flora.
 
Dec 12, 2008
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#50
Awesome. So, so awesome, Mama. Thank you!

I still prefer the Space Pirate models shown in Metroid Prime above the ones shown in Echoes and Corruption. They looked somewhat... I don't know how to put it. Feline? I don't know why but their heads made me think of Pumas or Panthers. The ones in Echoes (albeit exceptionally detailed and magnificent in their own right) were a bit too insect-like for my tastes. Though they still felt pretty menacing.

Space Pirate Omega <3