Eris
Release date: Jul 05, 2012
Author: Digital_Mantra
Download: 2012 Edition [UH] (1119 downloads)
Download: 2012 Edition [H] (465 downloads)
Genre: Exploration [?]
Game: SM
Difficulty: Veteran [?]
Average runtime: 4:24
Average collection: 93%
[None]
Forum thread: Forum Thread
Rating: Star Star Star Star Star
Other Links: Website
Trailer
Description
Galactic bounty hunter Samus Aran is sent to investigate planet Eris. The Federation research team's outpost has ceased transmissions. Upon receiving mission details, Samus is reminded of the recurring dreams she'd been having the past weeks.

Dreams of a cold planet and, in the distance, the faint cries of a child.

Could these dreams have something to do with the mysterious disappearance of Eris Stations' research team? The answer lays buried deep within the lethal depths of Eris. Let the mission begin!

Die-hard fans of sci-fi will be pleasantly surprised with how the Metroid canon merges with other beloved sci-fi franchises.
Screenshots
Screenshot
Ratings and Reviews
By thedopefish on Mar 31, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
A great all-around hack. It all fits on one submap, but it really maximizes the use of that area. It's full of really cool environments with lots of classic DMan visual touches. The 2012 update makes it somewhat more difficult by reducing early super ammo and delaying access to the evasion item.
By FullOfFail on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Still one of my favorite hacks. Every tile is placed so methodically that you can actually believe they have a purpose ingame. This hack truly captures the alien atmosphere, which can be hard to accomplish from a design stand-point (we're humans, we always want to create things that look and feel familiar). I'd definitely recommend playing it. As a hacker, I find it inspiring.
By Bloodsonic on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Eris is the culmination of DMantra's hacking works, featuring awe-inspiring levels that treat super metroid's tilesets like paint for a canvas. It's beautiful.

... But, of course, ball-grinding difficulty (thanks to overpowered enemies) that makes the hack not nearly as accessible as it could/should be.

Eris offers worlds that no other hack could. If you're cool with rewinding/savestating, then this hack isn't worth missing. Play it.
By MetroidMst on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 3:15
Eris is DMan's very of sydneysauce. It is full of secrets sure to keep players looking for the last few items for a while. It offers a great world to explore, full of interesting visuals and weird structures. And DMan knows how to make a hack hard the right way. And yes, there is difficulty. But if you aren't stupid and try to tank enemies, and you will not have much of an issue with that. In fact, the greater difficulty will probably come just from exploration.

This is one of the hacks you should play. If you're an aspiring hacker, this is a great hack to look at and study to see how you can make something relatively small, but still offers a great experience. Also, Dachora hamburgers.
By squishy_ichigo on Apr 11, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
2009 Edition:
This is my favorite hack ever made, it does everything right in my opinion. Here is my original review (edited by Zhs2) from Top Hacks 2009:

Ahh, Eris. The very definition of epic. With Eris, Digital Mantra created a diverse alien world, filled with unique color schemes, bountiful wild life, and riddled with ruins of a civilization long past. It's easy to get lost in the aesthetics of this world, but that is not all that this game brought to the table. Nay, this hack brought us back to the roots of what Metroid is really all about: exploration. From the very beginning, you are giving a large canvas to paint your progress on, with multiple paths to explore, but only one that takes you forward. This allowed you to get a grip of the landscape before you jumped headfirst into the adventures that awaited you. From that point on, you were sent on a roller coaster of possibilities. "Where do I go next?" "I haven't looked over there yet!" "I'm lost!" "This path wasn't opened to me before!" Exploration became a very large chunk of challenge for many that explored the depths of this world, but it certainly wasn't the only challenge that awaited them. The obstacles that faced you were much more formidable! Samus did little to resist these beings with her mere power beam, and she would need to rely on collecting more devastating gear to even hold a chance of survival. Getting injured was no laughing matter this time around, and players are forced to rely on more evasive maneuvers to explore further within the depths of the mighty Planet Eris. As you fought your way through this alien world, you learned the secrets of its lost generations, and became one with the powers of the Chozo warriors. Between the grand tapestries that were woven, the caverns to explore, and the challenges that awaited you in them, this hack had everything that a true Metroid fan could ever want or desire.

2012 edition:
DMan made several changes that I didn't like, and as such I will abstain from writing a review for that version at this time.
By Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack has an amazing atmosphere, with a backstory and remnants of the Chozo civilization that leave you wondering just what happened, enticing you to reach the depths of the planet and find out. I loved how sacred and dangerous the final area felt. Definitely worth a play. The enemies are no joke, so beware.
By Vismund Cygnus on Apr 20, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Possibly the greatest atmosphere and exploration in any hack. The hack provides a challenge but it never feels unfair. That said, probably best for newbies to avoid it and for veterans to use save states. I will always regard Eris as one of the greatest hacks ever released.
By retroknuckles on Feb 13, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By Kazuto on May 12, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
84% in 7:04
This review is for the 2009 version of the game.

Like many Super Metroid hacks from this era, Eris is full of ambition and clever ideas... but like most other hacks from its day, these ideas often come at the cost of great player frustration. But let's start with the good.

Despite Digital Mantra not being an ASM hacker at the time, Eris contains a handful of modified assembly which brings some interesting changes to the game. The most clever is the Evasion power-up, which allows you to somersault through enemies without taking damage. Jumping and falling have also been modified to allow you to maintain running speed, which comes into play in a few cases where you can use Speed Booster in a way you couldn't in the original game. There's also the addition of four Artifacts, which are used to unlock the final area in the game. They're comparable to the Chozo Statue unlocks in Super Metroid: Redesign, but Eris' Artifacts aren't nearly as bad as Redesign.

The further I got into the game, the more I found pickups that are obtainable early on in the game. Super Missiles are hidden behind Super Missile blockades, and Power Bombs are hidden behind Power Bomb blockades, but once you get these items initially, they open up numerous collection possibilities of each throughout the world. There are also numerous Missile and Energy Tank pickups that are obtainable from early on in the game, though it often requires pressing on into areas that you know you're meant to tackle, later. In-general, pickups are usually hidden in ways that lend themselves to being found by keen-eyed players. That is, they're not completely obvious, but they're also not ridiculously unnoticeable.

The addition of the Evasion item would make you expect it to come in handy during boss fights, right? Well this would be the case, if it weren't for the fact that nearly every boss room has been modified to make it incredibly annoying to fight in. Spore Spawn has literally 4 safe floor blocks in the whole room, with the entire rest of the floor being lava. Botwoon immediately follows Spore Spawn with no Save Station in-between. Tons of blocks have been added to his room, making him hard to evade, and his damage has NOT been modified, so most everything about him takes a full Energy Tank away from you. At this point in the game, it's easy to have only one Energy Tank, if you haven't started pushing your exploratory bounds to try and collect more. Golden Torizo has the same problem as Spore Spawn: again, the floor is covered in lava and there's not much for you to stand on. Note that these are the first three bosses of the game.

Like many hacks of its day, the color palettes and tile layouts of the majority of the rooms in the game are mostly hideous. It's pretty common to be lost as to whether or not you can traverse certain tiles, and the only thing that prompts you to start checking for non-solid or breakable blocks is the feeling that all of these dead-ends should be leading to item pickups. There's a few instances of blue doors out in the middle of a screen, which I always consider kind of an amateurish design choice. A minor annoyance is that Ceres is used in the normal layout, but pausing is still disabled in Ceres rooms. I'm not sure why he didn't change this in SMILE.

Eris really hits its stride shortly after you acquire Power Bombs. Up until this point, most enemy and boss encounters feel frustrating, stemming from a pure lack of disposable equipment (namely, Energy). Power Bombs really open up a lot of possibilities all over the map, which could be considered "bad" if you don't like backtracking, but there's a lot of ways to get around, so it wasn't detrimental, to me.

...And then you encounter Draygon.

This is the turning point for Eris, because from here on out, most of the rest of the hack is annoying. Draygon is going to be impossible if you aren't skilled at wall jumping immediately out of water (without Gravity), because if you aren't, he's going to hit you for over an Energy Tank worth of damage. The acid-filling hallway from Lower Norfair has been modified to include Speed Booster blocks, so it's easy to have to trudge through damaging acid multiple times before you get through this room. And the ultimate kick-in-the-pants: right near the final boss is a sand room which requires multiple, very specific Bomb jumps chained together one-after-another. I wouldn't blame a player for choosing to quit Eris right at this point, because I was tempted to, myself.

Without spoiling anything, there's also a change to the rescue during the escape sequence... though it can easily become a negative change if you aren't careful.



Since this review has become up a lot longer than I planned, I'll give a TL:DR summary.

This is NOT a hack for moderate Super Metroid players.
Wall Jumping is 100% required.
Short Charge is absolutely necessary.
Bomb Jumps are highly beneficial.
Save Stations are functional, but save states might help with your sanity.
The beginning and end sections of the game are both trudges, and room tiling and color palette choices make the game rough on the eyes.

I played Eris through to completion because of the middle section, but I would not play through it for a second time.
By Steel Sparkle on Oct 24, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
94% in 4:01
2012 edition.
Excellent Hack. It's hard but i highly recommend playing this.
By Aran;Jaeger on Dec 07, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
101% in 4:39
No animals to be saved.
Child saved.
By advancedpillow on Nov 28, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
My personal favorite hack of all time, and, my first. The world feels entirely new, which is a tricky thing for most hacks to accomplish. Feels like it could have been a Super Metroid 2. The level of detail is astonishing. Wait until you see the final areas! Amazing experience.
By sanojes on May 09, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
83% in 7:30
9/10
It's a bit difficult for me, but it's a masterpiece that must be played.
By Iscariath on May 22, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I couldn't get into it. The graphics are ambitious, but it's not doing it for me. The tiles are confusing and hunting for a single bloc to destroy on entire map isn't the kind of exploration i'm looking for. Maybe it's fine if you're in the 1% of veteran SM players and are looking for something to bang your head on for hours, but definitely not suited for casual.
By Ri2nOneRok on May 31, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
95% in 0:00
This hack amplfies the sense of loneliness. darkness of dealing with other worlds. This is one mission Samus, has to overcome psychologically dealing with she encounters in this realm. This is one station she will not forget. It will forever haunt her. (My favorite thoroughly made hack)
By cazort on Jun 10, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Played the 2012 edition, did not complete it. If I had to pick one word to describe it, it would be tedious. It's challenging, but offers all the types of challenge that I don't like (to a degree that seems ABSURD to me) and doesn't offer the type that I do. Clearly it is the product of a tremendous amount of effort and skill, but in my opinion all that effort and skill has been wasted producing something that isn't fun to play. Maybe I'm just not a good enough player, and this hack is only really appropriate to players at a high skill level, but it seems wasteful to put so much effort into a hack that would be inaccessible to most players.

So while I recognize (and generally agree with) the qualities that other players like in this hack, like the aesthetic, with the incredible detail and artistry placed into the tiles, and the fact that it is an EPIC, extensive, complete hack that effectively creates a whole new (and radically different) game...I found that this hack was not very fun to play. I'm by no means an expert player, but I'm also not averse to a ramp-up in difficulty: the base game felt too easy overall, and hyper metroid (which I completed recently) also felt easier than I'd ideally like. I took on this hack specifically when I felt ready for something a little more advanced.

But this hack was WAAAAY too hard for me...and perhaps the biggest issue was not just that it was too hard, but that it was hard in ways I didn't like, thing that seemed "hard for the sake of being hard" rather than having a deeper purpose behind them:

- Stupid, time-consuming steps necessary to navigate through basic areas. The original game (and most hacks I like) makes you do some fun tricks to get through an area the first time, but then doesn't waste your time making you repeat those techniques while backtracking (usually b/c of items that allow you to bypass the obstacles.) This hack makes you repeat the time-consuming things...traversing the world felt like a chore. Maybe if you want to drill yourself to improve your skills, this hack would be good, but I wanted to play a game for fun and exploration, not to drill myself to become an expert. Contrast with hyper metroid that has a HUGE world, sometimes requiring significant acrobatics to get through particular puzzle rooms, but compartmentalizes the challenge, making the world mostly manageable to explore.
- Countless things that require fine-tuned technique. Jumps with next-to-no margin of error? Platforms that plunge almost instantly and are slow to return? A block placed JUST in the right place to make a particular jump possible, but extremely difficult to execute? Tricky wall-jump? Excessive requirements of mid-air-morph in tight spaces, often where Samus is hidden behind tiles at BOTH top and bottom of the jump so you can't clearly see what is going on (right from the start of the game, I might add)? All of the above, and these types of things are used heavily; they're routine in the game, required for the intended path. Maybe fun if your technique is so fine-tuned that this stuff is second nature, not fun if you're like me and you just want to play an open-ended exploration game casually. I like these little challenges but only when they're used sparingly, such as in a one-time challenge to fetch an item, or in later-game areas. I do not like their excessive use in basic game areas most players will traverse multiple times.
- Other annoyances...blocks you can shoot that don't respawn, that you need to stand on to jump up to something up above, making you waste time leaving the room and coming back if you shot too many of them. Crumble blocks that aren't actually hard to avoid, but just make you waste time. Long, time-consuming (and sometimes dangerous, b/c of overpowered enemies) recoveries if you miss a jump (including in some areas VERY early on). These things don't provide genuine challenge, they're just annoying. It felt like the author of this hack was just trying to screw with me and waste my time.
- Extremely sparse ammo (2 missles per pack!), combined with very early contact with enemies that require ammo to kill in areas not populated by other enemies. I actually like the idea of sparse ammo (many hacks give too much ammo in my opinion.) but it was the combination of this with the overall design that was frustrating. This hack's setup gives you no margin of error: if your energy is full, you can (usually) kill each one and pick up a missile to restock, but if you take a single hit, the enemies start giving you energy some of the time, and you quickly run out of ammo. There are large areas full of enemies you can't kill without missiles, so this forces you to (a) farm energy and ammo to get full before entering these areas and (b) backtrack and repeat if you take a single hit. Again, wasting my time. In some cases taking a single hit can be an un-recoverable setback and spell death. Again, surprisigly early on in the game.
- Enemies do STUPID amounts of damage right from the start. I do not expect to die in 2-3 hits in the first few areas.
- Unnecessarily confusing tileset. You can't tell what a lot of tiles are from looking at them. Looks like water you'll fall into? Oh, you can walk on it...EXCEPT in this one spot (why?). Is that a hole I can pass through? This one is, that one isn't. This area at the edge of the screen looks open...oh, I can't walk through it. Oh, these are spikes!?! Oops. Is that an item? No, it's a background tile. Sometimes a room has a totally dark border, part of it is wall, part of it opens into the next room and the only way to figure out is to push up against it. Some rooms are so dark you can't really make out much without turning up the screen brightness. The issue isn't that this hack DOES these things, it's that it makes them routine. The original game (and the hacks I like) play around with occasional things that aren't what they look like...but it starts out by establishing clear ideas of what things look like and how they behave. To me, it's the establishment of patterns that makes it exciting when you find something that breaks the pattern, and this hack just felt chaotic to me, like the graphics were disjoint from the reality. Given how polished the aesthetic of this hack was, this aspect of it seemed like it was either amateurish (if unintentional) or just plain mean (if intentional.) I see this as a missed opportunity -- the authors of this hack created a whole new look-and-feel for a world; they could have built up expectations and then selectively broken them for dramatic effect, but instead they just created a chaotic jumble that looked like what I'd imagine a bad acid trip being like. (The planty / organic-looking area with spore spawn and botswoon is the worst; it's just chaotic to the point of requiring blanketing it with trial-and-error "go everywhere and shoot every block".) Either that or I'm just not at the level to pick up what subtle hints existed.
- Like the original and just about every major metroid hack, there are dead-ends. What I didn't like about this one was that the dead-ends felt very time-consuming, and as I progressed not-very-far into the game, sometimes dangerous. I felt like I needed to use savestates at every branching path, which is not a good sign. Getting stuck and not knowing where to go next meant I needed to painstakingly traverse the world using advanced techniques and savestates, often searching for a small detail somewhere or another that I missed.
- In spite of all of this I felt like the hack was not challenging in the ways I most like. There was no "wow factor" when I found stuff. The item order was surprisingly uncreative. There were no enemies that I had to experiment with to develop a new strategy on how to handle. There were no enemies where their AI or placement in the room threw me for a loop. (Contrast with SMConflict, which I recently played and reviewed...it did an EXCELLENT job of this.) The enemies would kill me just because they were overpowered and I was underpowered, not because they were placed in clever places or configured to act in new ways. Lots of hidden items, but they're all hidden in straightforward, if tedious ways (LOTS of mazes of crawling around in small, poorly-marked passages, shoot a wall, shoot an object in the room, and often the item is hidden behind something that requires an item like power bombs or super missiles). Maybe I would have encountered something satisfying if I went farther in the hack, but there were no genuinely clever things, like a puzzle room that had me do something genuinely new and creative, or a hidden passage with a subtle hint that I didn't see the first time but made me say "Whoa!" and find the clue as obvious in hindsight. To point to a hack that does this excellently, I think Hyper Metroid nails this again and again. This game just felt like a chaotic jumble and finding items was a tedious process of trial-and-error.
- I don't like the aesthetic. I recognize that the author of this hack is a talented artist and must have put incredible amounts of effort into this, and that it's well-executed. It's a beautiful rendition of a scifi-horror aesthetic. I'm just not really into that aesthetic...it's too much for me. I like metroid's original aesthetic because it goes a little bit in this direction, but combines it with all sorts of other aesthetics. This game felt too dark and "horror" oriented for me, and it got tiresome. There are other hacks that I felt were more basic or even sloppily-executed aesthetics-wise, yet where I liked the aesthetic much more (Phazon or So Little Garden being two great examples.)
- Bosses are made harder mainly by placing obstacles (spikes, lava, blocks) in the room, not by changing the boss dynamic. Contrast with SMConflict and So Little Garden...those are two hacks where the boss fights were FUN, like they made me smile and made me happy to lose a few times to figure out how to get through the fight. Again, like everything in this hack, the bosses were tedious, frustrating, and prompted excessive savestating.

I didn't play very far into this game. I found myself relying on savestates both for exploring and to prevent time-consuming recoveries from a misstep like getting hit by an enemy or missing a jump. I'm not averse to using savestates but I usually just use them to save the game and come back -- I don't like using them to replay my every move, and don't like using them in boss fights, because that stops being fun. And that's exactly what happened with this hack.

I don't recommend this hack unless you're an expert player and a lot of the advanced techniques are second nature to you, or you're someone who is able to enjoy a hack even when using savestates every few seconds.

Basically, it came down to the hack being technique-focused and me feeling like it was continually wasting my time.

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