Super Metroid: Subversion
Release date: Aug 31, 2022
Download: IPS Patch File (unheadered) [Version1.2] (268 downloads)
Download: IPS Patch File (unheadered) [Version1.1] (1251 downloads)
Download: BPS Patch File [Version1.2] (45 downloads)
Download: BPS Patch File [Version1.1] (386 downloads)
(184 downloads of previous versions)
Genre: Exploration [?]
Game: SM
Difficulty: Vanilla [?]
Average runtime: 8:30
Average collection: 90%
Forum Thread: Super Metroid Subversion
Rating: Star Star Star Star Star
Other Links: Website
Following the events of Super Metroid, Samus must destroy another Metroid research facility built by the Space Pirates on Planet TN578. This time however, the Pirates are more prepared to deal with Samus with the development of new weapons and armor based on Verdite technologies. It is time once again to protect the galaxy!


- Complete map and room overhaul
- New items
- New enemies
- Custom music
- Custom graphics
- Logbook and Hint System
- Challenge modes
- Difficulty modes
-- Easy Mode: Receive less damage, no cold damage, no escape timers, map hints
-- Normal Mode: The mode that's not Easy or Hard Mode and needed to be stated
-- Hard Mode: Receive extra damage, reduced i-frames, enemies more faster


- This hack is intended to be played on actual hardware. If you use an emulator that is not sufficiently accurate, you may notice some minor flickering in the HUD. There should not be any gameplay issues. For the best experience, play on console or use the mensen-s emulator.
- There are downloads for both a BPS and IPS patch (unheadered). Use whichever you prefer.
- The hack is roughly twice the size of vanilla (460 rooms), so expect a casual first play to be about 8-15 hours in game time, depending if you 100% or not.
- Difficulty is harder than Vanilla, but new players should still be able to complete the game.
- Only requires tech that is required to 100% complete Super Metroid. (eg. Wall jumping and mid-air morphs are never required, but shine sparking is.) More advanced tech—such as mockball and short charge—are still possible (but never needed).


SMART is a full editor for making Super Metroid romhacks. It is a powerful tool that includes many features such as automatically repoints data so you never need to mess with pointers. The tool was originally made to make this hack, be we wanted to share it with the community in the hopes that new creators will be inspired to to make more amazing works.

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Ratings and Reviews
By KPF on Sep 02, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This is ok.
By Syphon on Sep 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 9:09
Absolutely amazing hack. 5/5 orbs easily.

This hack is loaded with custom stuff while still retaining the Super Metroid feel. I'm a big fan of the implemented logbook and hint system.

Every area feels unique and there are even sub-areas to them. Level design is very good. Plenty of paths to take and it never feels like a chore to traverse.

I loved the custom music. It fits the different areas very well.

Exploration is great. There is a good amount of secrets to find including a completely optional area.

This is now my favorite Super Metroid hack. Big thanks to the authors!

It's a must play. Recommended.
By Tundain on Sep 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 9:27
Simply a-ma-zing! no other way to put it
This hack is non-stop insane, there are a bunch (and a lot) of new and cool features that get good usage. The log book is really nice, and a good way to implement the lore.
The world was really nice, and you can keep and keep exploring and it will always be fun, as you will keep finding more and more secrets and shortcuts that make it easy to traverse
I can say so much more (i want to) but i won't give spoilers.

I cannot even begin to imagine how much hours of code and work went into this, testrunner and amoebaofdoom are some insane chads for making this, really!

This is definitely my new favourite hack, and it needs to become yours too!
play this.

also, animals saved.
By Meinos Belfort on Sep 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 6:25
[WIP Starting with 1.0 , switched to 1.1 right now]

This rom hack is by far the most advanced and ambitious i ever saw on super metroid till this day
the new ost is just incredible , a lot of stuff got added and the game has a good prime feeling by backtracking a lot in the game with i love searching (just don't play the rom hack if you are tired , you won't go this far)

[After Finishing the Game in hard more low % and 100%]

I'm not agree with Zhs2 even if everyone have their point of view about any rom hack
Even if the game is harder and way more longer than super , mostly in 100% run
it make a feeling of exploration like the 3D games with backtracking (Aka metroid prime) , mostly on the first play , the game have proper example / hint of how to use samus arsenal to going further into the game , even if sometime it wasn't said truly explicitely , mostly for a 100% run

Again if you aren't familliar with the metroid saga , Subversion is a great way to start , even on easy mode (Or project ZM / Project Base if you wanna try just the vanilla of ZM / Super Metroid) , since that room hack just break the limit what super metroid vanilla had , in the best way possible , even if the closing door after sometime is a bit annoying , it was the case since Nestroid , and way more logical in some way.

The biggest issue i could relate is the HARD MODE spike pit , if by mistake you fall on one , it's insta death if samus don't wanna quit the pit , making it insanely broken / Unfair and can ruin a run just because an emmenie push you on it , mostly in the beginning of the game , same for the spike at the top of some room who are less worse if you know how to get out.

That small little thing could disgust casual and even speedrunner in hard mode of the said game ig you could at least add a few more frame of invincibility for that it will be way more fair , so it lost 1 orb , for make me losing my sanity in the beginning of hard mode.
By RT-55J on Sep 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 9:05
this hack whips

It had a bit of a slow start, but once it hit stride it was excellent. Several moments had me grinning ear-to-ear. Lots of neat custom stuff.

There are a couple moments later on that feel catered towards metroid hacking sickos, but otherwise this feels surprisingly approachable for a hack of its size. Easy mode probably fixes them.

Easily the best Super Metroid hack named after a piece of version control software.
By Exister on Sep 04, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
75% in 6:32
This was an amazing hack! The general design philosophy of a ton of smallish areas meant there was a ton of visual and music variety throughout, and the gameplay remained stellar aside from a few hiccups with some frustrating temporary blockades near the end it was good through and through! If you haven't played it, play it now, it's hands down the hack of the year. And if you ever feel like you're absolutely stuck/softlocked, read the log! Don't be dumb like me! (Though I swear those enemies should have been colored differently, despite my glaring skill issue) Enjoy!
Animals not saved, >:) I have no idea where they are
By Sapphron on Sep 04, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 7:39
Absolutely incredible. No complaints.
Also if I said anything then that would spoil stuff and I can't let that happen
By MetroidNerd#9001 on Sep 05, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
75% in 5:26
NOTE: If you are playing this hack on an emulator, use Mesen-S to minimize graphical glitches, and up the audio latency to avoid audio popping.

I have some gripes with this hack, but there's too much awesome stuff in it to give it anything but 5 orbs. The sheer amount of new and interesting features this hack has to offer is mind-blowing. You will be pleasantly surprised many times.

My biggest overall issue with the hack is that sometimes progression can be obtuse, and the world is rocky to navigate at times. A few extra shortcuts and some permanence to terrain clearing would help a lot with the latter issue, and some slightly stronger hinting could help with the former. Most of my other gripes are nitpicks that mostly apply to me anyway, so they're not worth mentioning here.

Any gripe I have is overshadowed by how amazing this hack is. I highly recommend you play this yesterday.
By Onnyks on Sep 05, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 11:26
So much praise should be given to Subversion for so many things. Very in depth additions to the hack make this a great joy to play. I can't call it my favorite hack, but I can definitely say it has been the most impressive.

First of all the music is top notch. Classics and remixes and originals blend together to give the many various environments a great feel. Whether they be tranquil, mysterious, energetic, or dangerous, all the moods you want in a Metroid world are here.

Tiling is textbook Metroid, in the best way possible. Highly detailed yet easy to read (mostly), whether using the classic SM sets or imported new varieties. Along with the music these sold each area as new and intriguing, making me want to explore.

And explore you will! The world is vast, every time I thought I had filled the map, another hidden connection led me somewhere new. The amount of content is staggering.

Samus felt very well scaled in this hack, power-wise, each combat upgrade felt appreciated and useful in fighting through increasingly dangerous baddies.

Above and beyond all of that however, what I'm sure will be most remembered about this hack is the amount of innovation in mechanics. I won't mention anything specific, but the execution of each of the many item reworks and new toys was just about perfect. Solving puzzles and navigating the world really went to the next level because of this, and that's always my favorite part.

Some criticisms, none of which could make this any less than a 5 orb hack, in no particular order

- There are many rooms that lag, often as a tradeoff for being very cool, but it is jarring
- The connections between areas can be clunky, especially with the choice of some gating
- Some backtracking was very "there and back again" as opposed to the really great sections that used a looping design

Bravo! This really is an exceptional, must play hack!
By Law on Sep 05, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
72% in 6:51
Played 1.1. I liked it. Lots to explore and see, with many areas with different biomes within.

Some enemies do a lot of damage.

The logbook gave some direction when I got lost but without rubbing it in your face.
By benox50 on Sep 05, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 6:00
The most ambitious hack Iv played yet, its as if vanilla SM received quite a lot of new content, with less but some new visuals and mood. Every aspects of SM have been edited from custom music to engine changes and some are lovely small details. It also respect the Metroid lore which some may adore. My favorite additions were the cinematic ones and the world changes, some of the world changes are phenomenal. Lot of new items were added to fill-up the big hack size and also replace what they did with the vanilla ammo. Many many new ways to trigger gates, some really Dread like mechanics, not so much gameplay additions to samus. Some minor bugs but generally really polished and great.

Though I was close to give lower score, because of the progression design and level design, however the amount of amazing stuff that are actually well made is so staggering that X-Fusion can pull up his pants.
Said issues I had with the hack and my path, similar to older hacks a bit. There was lot of missing the progression path. The worst was when planing a path in advance to get blocked by a random gate, far dead ends, one of them traversing 3 areas linearly back n forth, the minor items were either accessible or blocked by the power being off. For the flow, many rooms are small n crampy with many single solid blocks. The map, while being amazing (omg that mini-map !!!), also wont tell sometimes some info like its a one way or a wall or gates and the general entrance to the ice area is weirdly accessible from the side instead of the map it is in. You can use the logbook and read text that will help you, this time being ingame instead of on the web, but I wanted to check how the level design stands on its own, How it tells you that ice can break the fusion thingies. The logbook itself is really well made and crazy for being on snes.
Some of the progression path was near the new item which was good, missable but well placed.
I didn't like the croc fight either, because you either need to read text or you are forced to shinespark without tutorial which is the only dent in accessibility, I like the idea but not the execution, also croc going through the floor I though it was glitched.
I also didn't like the complicated laser puzzle, it wasn't fully trial and error but the rooms back n forth was unnecessary, also the way the room was made you needed the item from that puzzle to make the back n forth faster, wait what? @-@
Rest are minor issues, a hack with such highs made me saw the lows more.

Globally this hack is not only good but also accessible to newcomers, and it stands on its own
as something complete. All the lore, the info you need to finish and also to even replay the hack are all inside the game.
By Digital_Mantra on Sep 05, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 2:13
[Watch Video]  
Halfway into Subversion it became a top 3, by the end it was my favorite hack.

The amount of unique sequences in Subversion's progression really made it feel like a 3 act movie.
The sub-areas per region helped aid navigating a planet this massive with clear themes and landmarks.
The replayability and post-game content kept me hooked to the very last challenge.

Subversion delivered on all fronts for me, this is a special kind of hack that rarely comes along.
I can't recommend it enough.
By Dynarec on Sep 05, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This goes so far above and beyond the engine's original limits. Implements completely new items, abilities from previous games, custom music, and world-shaping mechanics that would be fit in a modern PC game.

Very hard to judge the intended order - which is evidence of good design in a game like this.

Easily top-three of all hacks on this site, up there with Ascent and Hyper Metroid.

The only minor issue I saw was a few long backtracks, which is somewhat of a consequence of the larger world size.
By neen on Sep 06, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 14:13
My original completion was 68% in 9:55.

This is an incredible hack with new mechanics, a huge world to explore, and tons of secrets to find that will keep you occupied and having fun for a long time. I don't want to spoil anything. Just play it yourself!
By metalridley6 on Sep 06, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 9:26
Man, what a phenomenal work. Could rate twice orbs if i could.

This is pretty much what a super metroid hack should be, everything about it is legendary, use of original AND custom graphs, custom ost, etc. but the highlight i'm gonna give are the mechanic improvements, in specific the log system. Not only clearly took a lot of time and hard work, it is surprisingly useful. Seriously, i'm a 5 years 'troid veteran, and this hack made me look like a toddler, both in enemy quantity and power, but also in backtracking and route choosing, and without the hints from the log, i couldn't barely reach half the game! This is not the only fresh stuff, though, there are completely new items, (like i said) new ost and graphics, new mechanics, new systems, etc. Thing i hate about most metroid hacks is the lack of new mechanics (reason hacks like temple of the winds, hyper, ascent, etc. are my favorites) but this one is just plain revolutionary

Now, if i had a problem with this game is the difficult, i mean, the enemies are kinda of rough (and that considering i collected most powerups lol), but the main obstacle here is the twice-as-large world and choosing which route to take, you WILL be confused and backtrack the entire game if needed. But the shine this hack gives completely obfuscates the bad things.

Super Metroid: Subversion is the kind of hack you should play before dying.

Absolutely recommend.
By Euph on Sep 06, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 12:36
Okay this romhack is the reason I signed up just to post a review. I have to say that it's very fun and feels very fresh, like experiencing Super Metroid for the first time all over again. It has custom music, a clean flow of progression, new items, large area to explore and well thought out map design. Overall this is highly polished and executed amazingly well.
Any minor frustrations had while searching for the next area were short lived as the map is very well laid out to lead the player into the next step. This is a prime example of top-quality romhacking and I can't wait to go back for hard mode later.

This one easily gets 5 juicy chozo orbs from me.
By ptoil on Sep 07, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 9:00
Amazing hack. So many areas to explore, and each area is fully fleshed out with its own look, music, and lore. The custom mechanics really show the extent of whats possible with this game, and there are so many nice little details that make this an excellently polished masterpiece.
Absolutely no reason this would get anything less than 5 orbs.
By SuperSquad33 on Sep 07, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 7:35
THis is one of the best hacks that I've played so far, and that this was done completely with SMART makes this more impressive, this even competes with Ascent for me, the extra items that were added made it so that puzzles were very ingenius and they aren't too hard to solve as well, 10/10 hack for me.
By djcdubz on Sep 08, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
98% in 9:55
Echoing what has already been said. The hack is unquestionably top 5, in my personal top 3 (and I've played 20+ of the best hacks), and an argument can be made for #1. The hack pushes hacking forward with its plethora of custom items, locations, events, bosses, music, etc. To say any more would spoil things. It's an absolute must play.

My only real criticism is that the hack, IMO, suffers a little bit in a few departments: 1) Flow - meaning that the ease of travel and the clarity of progression - is not the best (it's not bad though, just sometimes a little rougher around the edges than it should be for a hack of this caliber); 2) Difficulty is a little uneven in that it's very vanilla (there is a hard mode you can unlock so maybe this is moot) and could frankly stand to be a little tougher/more verteran but then some of the puzzles are far more difficult to solve than you'd expect; 3) Endgame doesn't quite stick the landing and is not as strong as the 90% leading up to it (to sum it up, it's a bit rushed in terms of both time and sequencing); 4) The "optional" area (absolutely brilliant boss included) should be mandatory because it's so good. Players missing this will miss one of the strongest segments of the game; 5) This is personal preference, but it felt like the speed booster and shine sparking were underutilized; 6) Custom music occasionally didn't fit the area as well as it could have.

None of these criticisms detracted from my enjoyment of the hack nor will it with you due to how good so much of it is. 5/5 A+.

Edit: There is a secret in this hack that elevates this hack even beyond what I've written to new heights and it's something everyone playing this needs to find.
By JaceTheBodySculptor on Sep 09, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 6:52
(Although I didn't 100% items, I did reach 100% of the logbook.)

I said before Subversion was released, Metconst will need to add an extra orb to its maximum scores to accommodate this hack. At that point I had only seen a handful of rooms and the log system on Amoeba’s stream, but I knew something special was being created. After playing, I stand by my assessment. Not only is this better than any SM hack that has been made, it’s significantly better.

I don’t want to exhaustively list everything good about this hack; you should play it for yourself. What you can expect is high amounts of polish, immersion, novelty, and content to explore. I think my favorite thing was the spacey / astronaut vibe that is established at the beginning and reinforced later, augmented by the wonderful music.

I’m sure this hack, deservedly, will receive a lot of praise, but I still want to mention things I did not like or potential weaknesses depending on players’ preferences.

There was some time I was stuck for like an hour looking for where I needed to go. This was sort of my fault because I had already discovered the path but turned around and forgot about it. But those closed shutters that block off so many paths are evil and not fun. They are cool and clever in regards to immersion, but they aggravated a bad experience when I didn’t know where to go. The logs also could have done a better job at guiding (but not totally handholding) the player at that point in the game.

When it comes to items, this is actually a pretty low novelty hack, at least when you consider this is the best hack made to date. Paired with this is the low novelty of breaking blocks with different items - which is a fine thing in moderation. If you go by the items one by one, very few are changed in an interesting way. This is contrasted within the hack with the masterful design of those green beams and how you end up interacting with them. This hack being a masterpiece in many ways, it’s surprising that there’s not many fresh items and so much use of item-breakable blocks to provide lock-key progression. On the other hand, it’s possible that most items being close to vanilla (or established ideas in the metconst universe such as speedball or accel charge) keeps the hack feeling closer to the Super Metroid we know and love.
By Insomnia Speed on Sep 09, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
96% in 13:26
might be the best hack I ever played. (sorry hyper metroid)
By brized on Sep 09, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
96% in 9:50
This is better than most retail metroidvanias. I hope the authors make their own game next so they can be paid for their work.

Play this.

That said, it's not perfect:

It would be better for quality of life if you used Hyper Metroid's wide X-Ray visor.

There are several long vertical and horizontal shafts that would be better with shinespark/speed boost shortcuts built in.

There are some places where decorative blocks look like destructible blocks. Not sure if intentional, but it feels better when you can spot inconsistencies and get rewarded for it.

There are some places where one destructible type of block (like Spazer, Hyper, or Super Missile) looks like another type. It's better when the visual language is consistent, like with Ice Blocks always being melted by Plasma. Even bomb-only destructibles should be distinct from generic destructibles when possible.

The final sequence feels like it's missing something. Maybe in the boss fight, sparks that have some sort of dynamic position instead of a static laser beam? Or something about manipulating the laser beam?
By zb10948 on Sep 09, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Easily one of the most thorough hacks out there. A project of this scope actually feels hampered by its environment; this is one of the few hacks that would merit a more modern engine and fully original assets, it's good enough to be its own game.

The downsides are just a few. Although the new HUD item is crucial for one part of the game, it is seldom used throughout the rest. The soundtrack is OK, while having a soundtrack is certainly commendable (vanilla sound gets annoying after all these years), but I feel it's not up to par with the rest.
By jasinchen on Sep 10, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This is not only ok.
By Voltekka on Sep 12, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 7:42
By drb on Sep 14, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 7:28
Don’t bother reading this; you’re wasting time that you could be using to play this masterpiece. But if you must…

- Aesthetics: Aside from the main areas, Subversion divides itself into more than two dozen diverse sub-areas, each with its own unique tileset and music. This creates an interesting mix of old and new aesthetics, and also ensures that none overstay their welcome. New music is subjective but always appreciated, and some of the tracks from other games in the Metroid series sound awesome on the SNES sound chip.

- Exploration: There is a bit of Prime-style backtracking throughout, but it’s not unmanageable once the player gets the lay of the land, and the diverse aesthetics help to lessen any potential tedium that may arise from having to backtrack. Even when you don’t know exactly where to go next, you’re never going to feel lost, and that’s a major accomplishment for such a huge game. The inventory and mission sections of the logbook do a surprisingly good job of keeping exploration goals organized and at front-of mind. In easy mode, the hint system reveals the locations of critical-path upgrades, but not how to get to them or which comes next – a good compromise that helps the player to set their own goals without feeling like they’re being hand-held.

- Immersion: Subversion does an excellent job of presenting the player with obstacles before they find the tools to overcome them, keeping the player immersed and anxious to find the next big upgrade. It also features one of the most well-developed plots ever seen in a romhack, bolstered by the inclusion of a logbook. This truly feels like a direct sequel to the original Super Metroid.

- Difficulty: More challenge than vanilla, but definitely not veteran-level, and rather consistent throughout. The only exception is the optional area, which has a sharp difficulty spike in its puzzles, and potentially its combat if the player heads there without certain upgrades (as I did, convinced by the logbook that I needed to find something there before facing a certain boss elsewhere).

- Gameplay Innovation: This is where Subversion truly shines. There is soooo much new stuff crammed into one hack: new gear, new mechanics, new implementations of classic SM tropes, and best of all new boss treatments. Bosses tend to feel stale when playing a lot of hacks, but not here – most have been tweaked in some innovative way, and not just graphically. There’s noticeable influence from other Metroid titles and some of the all-time great SM hacks sprinkled throughout Subversion’s gameplay, but everything comes together in a way that feels incredibly fresh. You won’t want to stop playing until you’ve done everything there is to do.

- Replay: Off the chart - easily the most replayable hack ever made that doesn’t have a randomizer. Tons of “what if I had done this?” considerations to re-explore, hard mode, a built-in challenge list, and something else that I dare not spoil, but I will say this: make it a point to come back and save the animals at least once (because you probably won’t on your first playthrough.)

- Overall: Five orbs on scope alone. TestRunner and Amoeba clearly had no shortage of ambition, and deliver on every bit of it with a near-studio level of polish and a reverence for the entire Metroid series not seen in any other hack to date. Subversion stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best hacks from any era, and I won’t fault anyone for labeling it as the best ever.

(Stats are IGT for first/blind playthrough on easy mode)
By Zhs2 on Sep 14, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 8:43
Oh, Subversion. Where do I start with you? Maybe that this hack feels to me like nothing more than a modern showcase of asm tweaks that were applied just because we can, of "Hey mom, look what I can do in Super Metroid's engine!" Maybe that I fully agree with KPF's evaluation, and then some. Maybe the idea that some people should stick to designing level editors rather than editing level design. (That's not completely fair of me to say, I would be interested in seeing a second hack from the SMART ones provided they learn from all the mistakes they made in their first.) To be honest, I suppose I don't know what I was expecting, but I suppose they get points for subverting my first expectation from such a hyped-up hack certain friends of mine can't stop raving about. Just one simple thing: more.

Let's go over a list of (attempted spoiler-free) grievances I had sorted from most annoying to least, shall we?
- Visor activation on fire button. Not only does this suplex my muscle memory, and not only does it eradicate your right to self-defense with the wrong item selected in the top bar, I know you guys were going for eradicating time freeze plasma damage. Not that you specifically need to do that anywhere on normal difficulty, but you can't fool me.
- Reclosing doors. Some people like to shoot doors open and keep them open for a reason, not the least of which for me is wanting to speedboost or shinespark through them at some point. It becomes a major annoyance on certain control setups where you must curl your finger over to hit fire while holding run just to open a damn door.
- Crocomire. I won't spoil the method of killing him, but I can call him a test of how new you might be to Metroid games in general. It seems to me like his tweak was implemented for the sole reason of being cool and new rather than sensible and ultimately even if you do read the logs provided in that new fancy log system the answer will still not be immediately obvious. (One of my friends got killed in that fight for touching him, although really because they didn't find enough e-tanks first.) A certain redditor here would definitely call it a glitch gate. Me, I thought it would have been much, much more clever to find a way to break blocks so he can fall in the usual acid. But that's just me.
- Custom music. Hey, actually that's another expectation you subverted! I was expecting cool custom tracks by known good community composers like kottpower and Mentlegen but instead all I got were rips from other video games! And as a bonus, half of them don't even sound good!
- Vanilla tileset level design. Seriously, you guys had seven years to fix up all the little effects that don't work together in rooms using those tilesets (in particular is that room that connects to the bottom left of the Pirate Lab, where the blue water moss joins clash with the rest of the rock) and while the second half of the hack with custom graphics does look great, it doesn't excuse the first half.
- Tedium. This is by and far the most subjective grievance but take it from me, I was not impressed at first when the levels were designed around a new item that had been added for the sake of adding a new item. (Disabling it is handy for exactly one puzzle later.) Things don't really pick up from there, you get slightly new abilities based on things seen in other hacks previous but the first half of the game is essentially just a game of beeline from one upgrade to the next and find out what it does, plus potentially finding out how they have been nerfed for the sake of adding more pickups, or you'll be getting nowhere. Railroading ahoy. The second half of the game does slightly better since you are able to explore anywhere you want (and indeed the tools for collecting 100% open up to you right away) but it's still not very impressive.

The bottom line? Do play this hack. It is actually worth a playthrough but it's really no better than a fullhack with no asm tweaks at all. (There are postgame objectives as well if you're really determined but for me it'll be a matter of if I get really bored.) It gets one orb from me for being playable and completeable, one orb for the bells and whistles that are neat, and one orb for not being totally boring or aggravating but that's about it. No orbs here for soul or innovation. If you want a cohesive soul in a hack, play Hyper or Vitality. If you want fun and innovative, play Ascent (I'm still going to bitch about the points of no return) or an Oats contest hack. Come here when you want a fully standard game that really does feel like it's fresh off of the Metroidvania assembly line and ready to be released on Steam.
By Boomerang on Sep 15, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 8:58
Subversion is one of those rare hacks that breathes new life into the Super Metroid hacking scene. It perfectly blends the old with the new, the tried and true with the bold and innovative, and delivers an experience unlike any other hack before it.

The amount of custom ASM in this hack is astounding, all of it in service of constructing perhaps the most polished, and, dare I say, cohesively soulful hack to date.

What this hack demonstrates to me is the importance of treading new ground. Most full-length Super Metroid hacks follow the same formula: you fight the majority of the bosses in the same way in slightly different arenas; you collect the same bevy of items with some minor variations here and there; and most puzzles have solutions immediately apparent to veterans of the game. This isn't to say that other hacks are bad; some of them I love just as much as Subversion - some even more so - but the undeniable truth is that in most full-length hacks, the limitations of the game itself present solutions that can only be immediately apparent.

Not so with Subversion. For the first time in a very, very long time, I was presented with obstacles that piqued my curiosity in ways I hadn't felt since I played the game for the first time as a kid. For that alone, for capturing that childlike sense of wonderment and curiosity, I cannot help but give Subversion full marks - doing any less would be insulting - but it's more than that. TestRunner and Amoeba have packed the game to the brim with extra goodies and challenges that are sure to give you more bang for you buck, proverbially speaking. I am dread to meet the Scrooge that would consider this tour de force simply "okay."

As the hack that SMART was built for, if my understanding is correct, this is a stellar first outing. I look forward, with unabated excitement, to what else is in store for us. Suffice to say, Metroid fans will be eating well tonight.
By ProjectXIX on Sep 15, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Shit music (except for the hive), 2007 tier level design for 60-70% of the hack, and a bunch of unnecessary mechanics for the sake of saying "I can do ASM". Meh.
By badatmetroid on Sep 16, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
85% in 7:21
My only complaint is that it drags a little here and there. There are some redundant areas and the hack probably could have been trimmed by about 10%. That's definitely just a preference though and I'm sure many people will think this is perfectly paced.

But otherwise... just... wow... I was worried that SM hacks had peaked but now I feel like this is the beginning of a new era. There are so many brand new concepts that are introduced and this feels like they have just scratched the surface of what is possible. Can't wait to see what SMART makes next. I have played about 50 rom hacks and thought I understood the limits of what could be done, but all my assumptions have been shattered.
By kinyobi on Sep 25, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
77% in 11:20
Take a very good game and turn it into something much better I've played many hours and I think it will be more RECOMMENDED!
By PHOSPHOTiDYL on Sep 26, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
66% in 5:54
This game gets way better than it looks.

Thankz for the hack!!
By dagit on Sep 30, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 9:30
I'm taking off one orb because of graphic glitches that happen continuously while I played the hack. I played on console. I've heard it works better on emulator, but I prefer to play on console.

I'm taking off another orb for issues related to game play. The intended progression is very back and forth. For the first approximately half the game you'll go from one end of the map back to the other end and back. There's a ton of hacks that do that and I'm never a fan of it. One boss glitched out for me and I almost reset the console to fix it. I started toggling random items and the fight was able to start. I had glitches on several other bosses and rooms. I didn't like the changes to how you activate items, particularly headgear. Etc.

There is a puzzle where you make changes in one room and check in a different room. Even after I figured out what I was doing, it still took me a ton of room transitions to make changes and check the result. And I found that kind of tedious. I would have preferred the switches and puzzle to be in the same room so that it's faster to check what's going on. I feel like I made 50 trips back and forth. In fact, there is a different puzzle that is similar where the solution and toggles are in the same room and I didn't mind that one at all.

I liked some of the musical choices and others I got sick of really quickly. I can't really comment on the art. To work around the obnoxious graphical glitches in the hud, I stayed in grayscale for like 90% of the game. And as a result I missed out on most of the art.

I did like that the fanfares are dramatically shorter. I loved the new fast doors. The new grapple blocks make for interesting puzzles. I think they should be a little faster to activate and there is something wrong with their hit detection. About half the time I grappled them samus didn't latch on.

I was told by the author of the hack that I was playing incorrectly. I'm not sure what they meant by that, but apparently there was some sort of book you're supposed to read to go along with the hack. I guess that's a stylistic choice you can make when you make a hack. I don't play metroid games so that I can read. I play them for the action and platforming. Seems like a weird choice to me to try to force that on players, but it's their hack they can do whatever they want. On the flip side, that doesn't mean I'm going to engage with it or like the choice.

The hack has some stuff that can only be unlocked if you beat the game. I never like that in games. I basically never try those things out because it's exceedingly rare that I beat a game and immediately start a new save file. I was there was a way to say "Yes, I'm really sure I want to unlock this without beating the game first."

The room design was consistently good. There were some rooms I didn't like, but most rooms were good. Some have amazingly bad lag.The SA-1 patch can't come into existence fast enough.

I'm not sure if I would recommend this to people. I think if you play on emulator and you don't mind lots of backtracking, you'll probably like this hack because so many people do.
By nodever2 on Sep 30, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
69% in 6:40
Did most of my playthrough on 1.1, switched to 1.2 after Draygon.

Overall, this is an incredibly polished and large-scale new Metroid experience with many new additions to the game, and it's highly recommended that you try it. The hack contains a fully custom soundtrack, several new tilesets, new items, new enemies, various code changes all over the place, and more. It's fresh and memorable and mostly flows pretty well. The custom events were a treat as well, and I am really glad to see more hacks including events that change the world over time as you play. It's something I value a lot.

Bugs were few and far between - the only significant one I can recall was a crash after beating Draygon which is apparently rare. It didn't happen after a re-fight, and as far as Draygon fights go this one wasn't too hard so it wasn't too bad of an inconvenience.

The only complaints I can really make about this hack are the world navigation and sometimes obtuse boss solutions. For world navigation, my main complaint is with the way some of the central areas connect with each other. For some strange reason, the Wrecked Ship area is disjointed into two separate halves, an upper and a lower half, and you cannot travel between them for much of the game. Before you find the somewhat well hidden fast travel area which has entrances that aren't unlocked until pretty late in the adventure, the only way to cross through Wrecked Ship is to go to the lower part which involves traveling through a roundabout path with a morph maze. This irritated me after having done it several times.

As for the bosses, while I liked that they did different things with them and most of them were successful, I think some of these boss solutions are obtuse enough that some players might have a hard time figuring them out on their own. I personally feel like the hack is too reliant and expectant on players reading the logbook to figure out solutions to these types of things in the hack instead of the solution being more intuitive in gameplay. I am glad the logbook is here, and this would be a far bigger problem without it, but sometimes it felt like it was used as a crutch. In particular, there is like no way I would have figured out Ridley on my own, since (SPOILERS - skip the rest of this paragraph to avoid) he's in an ice area which discourages you from wearing the suit you need to use on him, plus I had never even known that sparks gave you hyper beam because up to this point the hack had only encouraged me to do so with the lasers and never taught me about the sparks.

Regardless, I am very glad to see this hack trying new and creative ideas, and I don't think that these slight hitches are anything gamebreaking. In fact, I think pretty much anyone going into this hack will have a good experience. The fact that this hack goes above and beyond and provides difficulty options, challenges, and more is the icing on the cake. There are so many cool/interesting changes to the game it's hard to cover them all in one review. This is definitely one of the top hacks that I have ever played, and the developers of this hack deserve a lot of commendations for their hard work, especially since they also gave us a great editor to boot. Much respect.

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