Super Metroid: Golden Dawn
Release date: Oct 12, 2007
Author: Black Telomeres
Download: Version 2.66 [UH] (1034 downloads)
Download: Version 2.66 [H] (497 downloads)
Genre: Exploration [?]
Game: SM
Difficulty: Veteran [?]
Average runtime: 5:58
Average collection: 87%
Read Me: Read Me
Forum Thread: [None]
Rating: Star Star Star Star Star
First off, just as a warning to any less experienced players, walljumping is absolutely required from the very beginning. Other techniques that are required to complete the game are "infinite" one-wall walljumping, single bombjumping, and the midair morph. Some madd crumble block skillz are also required. As with most hacks, "infinite" bombjumping is not required.

Similarly to Dependence, save states are required because sadly there are no consistant, reliable regular save points. They cause even worse errors in this game when implemented than they did in Dependence. Try to keep a backup savestate, also. While this game has been playtested a lot and you shouldn't be able to get truly stuck at any point, as with almost any game, you can never rule out the possibility that you could get into a difficult area with low health and have a tough time escaping or something of that nature.

Physical difficulty (i.e. the need for feats of manual dexterity) is definitely stepped up from Dependence. Also, unlike that hack, this one is less nonlinear in the order of the bosses you fight and items you collect, although path you follow through the areas may be quite nonlinear, most notably the many connecting passages throughout the opening area. It's still about as nonlinear as most other hacks out there though.
Screenshot Screenshot
Ratings and Reviews
By squishy_ichigo on Apr 11, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By Vismund Cygnus on Apr 20, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By RealRed on Apr 21, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Eugh. Play Dependence instead.
By Cpt.Glitch on Apr 24, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
CRE everywhere. Bad level design. Forced player damage. Random air blocks.
By Sheoldred on Aug 08, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
If you can accept looking at a map of the layout of the hack to find the solution to a few puzzles along the way, because you will likely get stuck a few times, there are some absolutely great and weird room designs. This is especially true in some of the later areas. Although there's no new graphics inserted into the game, in many cases, the original game's graphics are used in ways that are very creative and alien to the way they're used in the original game, and barring new graphics entirely, that is what I'm after when I play a hack.
By Aran;Jaeger on Dec 08, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 5:26
[Watch Video]  
No animals to be saved.

Quick Summary of the meaning of my SM hack ratings:
5 orbs: SM hacks within the 80% to 100% (90% ± 10%) range of perceived perfection; SM hacks for outstanding wholesome playing experiences and at most minor inconveniences.
4 orbs: SM hacks within the 60% to 80% (70% ± 10%) range of perceived perfection; Well done SM hacks with noticeable design problems.
3 orbs: SM hacks within the 40% to 60% (50% ± 10%) range of perceived perfection; Normal decent average SM hacks.
2 orbs: SM hacks within the 20% to 40% (30% ± 10%) range of perceived perfection; Overall messy, confusing, or punishing SM hacks with some upsides.
1 orb : SM hacks within the 00% to 20% (10% ± 10%) range of perceived perfection; Ruthlessly unplayable, broken, or barely from the original game changed SM hacks.

Judgement parameters summary:
° Creative ideas and features, polished design, how enjoyable and fun the hack can be, lack of hard to find or cryptic required game elements, the difficulty, and if the hack can be finished without major guides or tools.
° Note that the length of a SM hack will not necessarily contribute to my rating of the SM hack, since instead the averaged out experience over the whole hack will be taken into account to get a relative comparison between SM hacks.
° Besides this, lack of impactful changes from the original SM game also went into the evaluation of SM hacks (otherwise one may consider them among the 3 stars hacks) as follows: Ultimately, for my ratings I consider a situation in which an SM enthusiast that already has, knows about and is familiar with the original game and its prominent mechanics could only choose 1 new SM hack to play and thus would really want to make sure he/she will get a fresh and fantastic experience or journey out of his/her 1 choice.

The goal of all these SM hack ratings is so that rather new players have an overview of the whole spectrum of SM hacks and how to sort them in, in relation to each other, where SM hacks that are rated lower might still be enjoyable for more experienced players.

Finally, sometimes for SM hacks it can be relevant that they may be significantly more enjoyable from a player standpoint at which the player is well practiced and familiarized with Super Metroid's game mechanics in general, and that in particular some of the best SM hacks may not be the outright best first SM hack choices to play otherwise because of this, and for beginner SM hack players this typically steers the best first SM hack choices towards some of the SM hacks that I rated with 4 orbs instead of 5.

Rating for some hacks may be off by 1 Star, but arguably not more, and ratings are not attempted to be provided within the precision of ''half orbs''.
By Pixel_Tiger on Jul 19, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
76% in 10:33
Ok so here's my review of this...

The good:
Hack WAS challenging - some areas were pretty nasty tho.
Most rooms were interesting and unique in their own way.
Minor items such as missiles etc. were easy to find after you found em ONCE

The bad:
Hack WANTED to be CHALLENGING but failed to be it in some rooms - bad design decisions - enemies in your face, RNG luck based boss fights and so on.
One of the WORST "have to find to progress" paths for varia suit that I've ever encountered... followed by "AM I EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE HERE?" moments and "WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON" rooms.
Had to re-do the damn ESCAPE because I had a hard time finding my way through the damn FIRST ROOM...
Skytemple.. OH GOD WHY... thats EYE-CANCER-TEMPLE for you! Hope you have bad dreams and nothing to eat! >:O

The meh:
I consider my self experienced and this hack was in no way difficult at any given point, just weird, unfair and as I mentioned above, a wanna be challinging - thing.

If you don't have enough e-tanks, you gonna die in many.. maaaany rooms, this hack makes BACKTRACKING MANDATORY, which makes it kinda hard to get through the hack, because most rooms are just TOO BIG.

Boss fights I consider ok are: Kraid, Crocomire, (Phantoon), GT, (Torizo)
Yep, that's it. Let me say something about that. If you find the bombs, you might die! Why? Because you simply can't see the future and dont know what's coming for ya in the next room. Spore Spawn... if you have enough energy, go ahead, otherwise... you might die miserably. Same goes for Phantoon and especialy for Draygon.

I finished the game... believe it or not, without EVER finding HIGH JUMP - SCREW ATTACK - WAVE+PLASMA, missing 3 e-tanks and 2 reserve (Spazer is one of the worst hiding spots, too).
Speaking of bad hiding spots - mandatory items... this hack did it with almost every damn item that makes it easier to navigate through areas!

Even tho you're warned about hazards and so on... most of the time it just feels of getting thrown into a new room and first thing that happens is getting hit by hoppers... or spikes.. or being in acid.. lava whatever..
By Black Luster Soldier on Mar 29, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 2:44
Terrible. No save stations (aside from your gunship) so you're going to have to use save states. Also, crumble block navigation without Spring Ball, too much forced damage, hidden upgrades up the wazoo, and other bad design all around.

Black Telomeres' other hack, Dependence, is better, but not by a lot.
By Sapphron on Feb 23, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
74% in 6:22
Please don't play this hack. No save stations, a disgustingly bright final area, unbelievable requirements for progress, hidden passages up the ass, etc.
However, I must say that it has some extremely interesting design aspects + lots of cool exploration if you do play it, and it gets bumped up to 2 stars for that.
By Jeetkundo on Apr 02, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
dont waste your time, dumb hack
By caauyjdp on Nov 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
about 9 hours wasted
got as far as grapple
trash hack, delete
edit: might be tolerable/interesting with savestates
By Sickwood on Dec 03, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I avoided this hack for a long time because of reviews, but after jonesing for a full exploration hack I gave it a try. I have to say that I liked it way more than Dependence and was actually a pretty good blend of challenge and exploration. Dependence to me was too bland, this one was more creative. Yes there are no save stations and I did have to look at a map a couple times for obscure hidden wall stuff for the sake of time, but considering this was made in 2007, I have to give the author a lot of credit. As others have mentioned the yellow final area was obnoxious, but the rest of the hack level design and tiling was pretty interesting. If you've played all the good major overhaul hacks, enjoy twisted exploration and a bit of challenge, I'd give this one a shot and I'm glad I did.
By Zhs2 on Jun 22, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 6:50
[Watch Video]  
Man, and I thought Eris 2012 was bad. THEN I made the mistake of moving on over to replaying Golden Dawn and OH GOD it is actually ten times worse than Eris. Let's just list off a few short reasons why:

- Foreground air tiles. They are EVERYWHERE. They hide VITAL PASSAGES. Good luck navigating without visiting Metroid Mapstation.
- Bad level design. Crumble blocks were a sensation in old challenge hacks and this one is no different. You are expected to deal with terrible spike sections even before Varia suit and lots of walljumping. LOTS of doors in this hack's equivalent to Norfair connect to full-height lava or even ACID rooms. And there are deliberate sections where BT does a little trolling. You have been warned.
- Horrible boss rooms plagued with spikes. Some require upgrades or definite cheese. Botwoon in particular requires Wave beam.
- And speaking of Botwoon requiring Wave beam, you are pretty much required to traverse acid rooms without Gravity so you can get Wave so you can beat Botwoon so you can get Spring Ball and consequently Gravity. It's terrible.
- And if you make it through the first 70% of the hack you are treated to neon bricks contrasted with eye-raping green backgrounds and yellow skies. Did BlackTelomeres even play this far in his own hack?

Mother Brain also crashes before moving to phase 2 in higan/bsnes. Do not recommend this hack too seriously, even with a map. Anyone above who says otherwise is a masochist. Play Dependence instead, which I'm pretty sure I have way better memories of.
By RX-78-2 on Jun 20, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 5:35
just like I said I. my review of Dependence, this hack is also not worth playing through because like others have stated, it has too much wrong with it for it to be good or even acceptable.. this hack is much worse than Dependence in my opinion but neither are worth the time you'll be wasting if you play this hack or that one... 4/10 I definitely do NOT recommend this hack to anyone, I mean yeah it could be worse but if dependence is bad and this hack is a step up from Dependence then I doubt this hack could get much worse than it already is so yeah don't play this hack OR Dependence unless you like getting frustrated to no end and also ruining your eyes with that bright neon area that is located to the right of the Wrecked Ship-ish area.. beginners, veterans, and experts should steer clear of this hack at ALL COSTS and play something that is actually worth playing
By ClaireDiviner on Mar 20, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 4:20
[Watch Video]  
Let me get something out of the way right now: I unironically really like this hack. Before I elaborate, let me go over what I didn't like:

- The gunship being the only save in the game, I admit, really sucks. I do understand that implementing save points was a difficult thing to do in hacks back then. But there are hacks, like Redesign, that was able to pull it off just fine. It could just be me, but I wondered if asked for help in something like this, someone maybe could have given some pointers or something.
THAT being said, the hack maker does give the player their blessing to use savesates (oh I'll get to that). Sadly, those who want to play this on console, aren't afforded the luxury. Also, while I do say it sucks, it does, however, add to the high stakes/high reward aspect of the game, where one has to make a choice as to whether or not to save, to preserve the items they got, or to keep going to avoid the trek all the way back to the ship. Of course, dying means losing any progress you've made since saving at the Landing Site, so the player MUST take stock in their situation, and decide accordingly whether they're confident they'll survive going further.

- Mother Brain... I really really hate that the area where Mother Brain is encountered uses the Red Tower music, because this results in a VERY high chance the game crashes upon beating MB1. I've tried just about every emulator, and the issue is the same. I hear even console has this issue, but don't quote me on that one.
I never had to use savestates during the course of my playthrough, as the game can be conquered without it, but this is the first non-TAS-only hack (so far), where I was hard-forced to use a savestate, or reset to have to trek ALL the way back to Mother Brain from the gunship. I've lost count the number of times I reloaded the state, but if you take the time it takes to reach Mother Brain from the gunship, and multiply that by the number of times I've reloaded the state, it would mean literal hours of grinding and grinding, and beating MB1 over and over, until the game accidentally works. For the sake of my sanity, the playthrough, and my stream/viewers, I had no alternative but to rely on savestates, and pretend I just reached Mother Brain from the ship that many times.

- I understand there are items super-well hidden, not unlike what is seen in Impossible. I am not a fan of items like that, as A, the X-Ray Scope couldn't even reveal or hint at them, making the player none the wiser, and B, it forces the player to have to look in an editor to see that the items are there. Specifically, a Missile pickup in the big room before Grappling Beam, and a Power Bomb in the big green room leading to Kraid.

Everything else was pretty much fine. Some of the obstacles were pretty cheap in its difficulty, but nothing too overtly troll, as far as I can tell. The Speed Booster escape was absolute hell, but to the maker's credit, the player can literally see the room's layout before getting Speed Booster, and try to plan accordingly. Some other weird changes include enemies, like Mocktroids and Cacatacs being immune to Grappling Beam for some reason, etc.
The path forward is FAR linear than Super Metroid: Dependence, for better or worse. Some may like that, some won't. I'm mostly indifferent, and if nothing else, it makes it more fun to try and figure out ways to sequence break wherever possible (there are VERY few opportunities for sequence breaks, as far as I can tell). Still, the progression was interesting, and the challenge was genuinely fun for me.
The Tourian(?) escape sequence was definitely something. I won't spoil anything, but it was tough, and in some cases, a bit annoying. I liked it more than I was annoyed with it, so it's a net positive overall. My only complaint is that the timer breaks in the middle of the escape, and it never fixes itself. I get why it does that, and I don't know if there's any way for anyone to fix the issue. Otherwise, I liked it. What I didn't like is that there are no animals to save; I really like trying to save the animals, whenever I'm able. Unless they can be saved, and I never knew?
Also, let me talk about the look. I'll be the odd bitch out and say that I do like the aesthetics. Granted, the really green room in Crateria (when you know, you know) was... really green, but everything else was fine. Norfair, Brinstar, Wrecked Ship, and Ceres-style rooms were left mostly unchanged aesthetically. However, the Sky Temple, with the really bright yellow, and lime green bricks, was quite the cool thing, in my opinion.
Yeah, the Sky Temple visuals can certainly blind a player, especially when they've been so used to the dark, dank environments of everywhere else, but I really like how unique it was compared to other hacks I've seen; we've seen a million red Craterias/sky backgrounds, but how many hacks have a background that literally lives up to the hack's name?

So why am I giving it a 3, instead of a 4, or 5/5? Well, the lack of saves do hurt it, but not as much as one may think. Like, yeah, it sucks, but it can be a non-issue if the player uses savestates, or in the case of myself and some others, have the necessary skill to persevere using ONLY the gunship as the save point. Still, it's something that I take into consideration, given the difficulty of some sections, and having too much path between you and the ship.
The other issue, which is the biggest downside for me, is the Mother Brain crash. I hate using savestates, unless it's hard-required, like the original Kaizo. So having to be effectively forced to have to use it at MB1 just felt really wrong to me. It also makes one wonder if this game was ever playtested up to that point, either by Black Telomeres themselves, or someone else. If so, they may have reached MB1, got lucky that the game didn't crash the first encounter, and thought, "Yeah, it's good to go."
If anyone, even if it's Black Telomeres themselves, ever decide to go back to this hack, and update it with a little polish in the same way Digital Mantra did with Cliffhanger Redux, that would be pretty awesome. Even if the choice to have no saves outside of gunship is kept, just fixing the Mother Brain crash issue will definitely shoot this hack to a 4/5 for me. Maybe even a 5/5, just for the ambition, the aesthetics, and the fact that not one bit of this hack has anything vanilla as far as room/map layout is concerned.

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