Metroid - Rogue Dawn
Release date: Jan 14, 2017
Download: Version 1.21 (9612 downloads)
Genre: Exploration [?]
Game: M1
Difficulty: Unknown [?]
Average runtime: 3:55
Average collection: 65%
Read Me: Read Me
Forum Thread: Release Thread
Rating: Star Star Star Star Star
  • Top Hacks 2017: Best Aesthetics, Best Exploration, Best Overall
Metroid: Rogue Dawn is an unofficial prequel to the original Metroid game released in 1986. 30 years later, we bring you the events that unfolded before Samus’s famous “zero” mission on planet Zebes.

The original Metroid manual tells us about a deep-space research ship that was attacked. The Space Pirates seized a capsule said to contain a previously unknown life form in a state of suspended animation. Rogue Dawn surrounds these events that led up to the theft of the capsule, which ultimately placed the Metroids under the control of Ridley and the Mother Brain. The mission to acquire the capsule was placed in the hands of one of Ridley’s best-kept secrets: a rogue human agent, trained and manipulated by Ridley from a young age…

Taken as a child from a Galactic Federation colony obliterated by Ridley’s faction, she was initially just another test subject slated to undergo horrific experiments. Ridley decided to instead manipulate and mold her into a weapon, his first human servant and dark agent. Primed yet untested, she is sent out on her own “zero” mission. She will retrieve a newly-discovered biological specimen in the possession of a Federation research crew orbiting planet SR388 and prove her worth.

Her name is Dawn Aran.
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Ratings and Reviews
By albert v. on Oct 08, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By Sapphron on Nov 08, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
94% in 1:47
Wow. Just wow.
So far, the best NEStroid hack to exist.
It has Metroid + Saving applied to it. Custom hud, ENTIRELY custom graphics, amazing music, new level design, many flaws of the original game fixed. And new items! You won't believe what this hack has in store for you. I cannot recommend it enough.
By kkzero on Mar 25, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
50% in 5:03
Full time of 5:03:03.
About damn time I finished this work of art! I had several on-and-off attempts at this, the first being in early 2017, a couple months after it launched. I didn't get too far with it at that time, and I eventually played more of it in 2018 after I got a new PC. Still, I never even made it to any of the bosses. But just tonight, I dug straight into it and knocked it right out of the park.
The custom graphics and music are what make this hack really shine. It's basically its own game at this point, moreso than any other hack of any Metroid game is in comparison to the one they're based on. I'm particularly impressed with the sound engine modifications, something romhackers of any kind tend not to attempt. I was also charmed by the presence of certain secrets in the game's world.
Gameplay-wise, it's quite an improvement. While some of NEStroid's weird physics still kick in at some parts, control is not much of an issue, especially with the added mechanics. The exploration, while tiresome at times, was well-developed, especially with a fully-functional map in the pause screen and the HUD.
The only real issue I've had with this hack is more of a personal thing. The final boss was a bit too intense for my tastes. I'm generally decent with the Mother Brain fight in NEStroid, but there was something about this hack's version of it that seemed quite a bit more beefy. Maybe it was just me slowing down my missile fire rate that got me through at last, hell if I know. But again, this is something specific to me and does not take away any orbs from my rating.
Overall, if you are a Metroid fan at all--play this hack. I repeat: PLAY THIS HACK! It's an amazing experience. Just play it. Go. Download it. Patch it. Launch it. PLAY IT!
By nodever2 on Apr 22, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
23% in 0:28
Makes you forget you're playing NEStroid in the best way.
The new mechanics are integrated really well, and the world looks great. The addition of a map is very nice, and the game auto saves every time you enter a new area.
All of the custom graphics are beautiful and atmospheric, as with the custom music.
The world is crafted with love, and you can tell - there are little secrets everywhere, and you can really break this hack open and play it many different ways once you know what you're doing.
From what I've seen, probably the best NEStroid hack we have at the moment. I'd recommend it.
By Freyhia on Apr 27, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
50% in 4:03
This rom hack is incredible.
World design is well done, tiles entirely redone, New power-up, new story, new boss.
Nestroid feels entirely fresh and new, go play it!
By MetroidMst on Apr 29, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By RealRed on May 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack is awesome. Congratulations Grimlock.
I've had the opportunity to work on this project. The degree of professionalism he has brought to enhancing the original game is unmatched.
By alexman25 on May 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Great graphics, great music, great level design, great hack.
By metasamus on May 19, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I cannot say anything negative about this piece of art! this felt like a complete new nes metroid game, i appreciate the effort put into this hack.
By ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 14, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
52% in 3:47
(I love that it tells you your completion stats post-credits. Convenient:)
You start up the hack and the first thing you notice: everything's different. Metroid title, Metroid physics, Metroid items, and the namesake themselves, but NOT Metroid. You don't even play as Samus. Instead, you play as Dawn Aran, a character with no resemblance to our usual main character or even knowledge of her existence (the same goes both ways). In fact, Rogue Dawn ends where the first one begins and not a moment earlier. Samus and Ridley both appear in the story, but neither in game. This really is a whole different experience; and that's it for similarities.

Differences: Too many to count. This one takes place outside, inside, dark atmosphere, light atmosphere, Pirate Ship (yours), Federation Ship (enemy), jungle, ruins, surface, caverns, Bone Yard, Metroid Hive, all of these areas are beautifully done in a way that reminds you going in that you don't know this place and as you make your way out, you feel like a native to the terrain. That's just covering how each area looks. The music's...indescribably beautiful. Every moment of this game is tense, which is the perfect feeling for a Metroid game, and yet you'll find times and areas in which you can relax and enjoy the area around you. This IS Zebes, but a part you've never seen before.

Gameplay: smooth and effective. That's not to say that NONE of Metroid's typical nonsense isn't sprinkled in here- acid that's hard to get out of, enemies hurting you in door transitions, respawning with minimal health (that's why we have savestates), you know how it goes -but when you hit, you hit. When you get hit, you got hit, there's no question. This game isn't glitchy or guess-y. Everything's clear to you when you walk into a new area. Bombable blocks are distinguished from the others (most of the time) and the most fundamental abilities, movement abilities, are in the first area you go to. Speaking of areas, guys, there's a map, already filled in, even shows where items are (except e-tanks and missile tanks). There're even printable maps in the game's files -the standard map and a version with names and color- that you can use as a physical copy or from your photos app in another window. Seriously, everything about this hack is superior to Metroid and makes you forget it's an NES Metroid hack at all.

Personal gripes:
The first areas (surface and caverns) are kind of dull, but stick with it. It gets much better once you get all three of their items and get out of there.
Bosses were too easy until the final boss. That one's still a serious pain. The difficulty of Metroid Rogue Dawn is lower than the original until that point.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm not a fan of the "power suit." Much prefer the zero suit.
There are areas that have vertical loops (you go to the bottom of one part of the map and appear at the top of the same part or a completely different one [and the same the other way]). It's a real "Lost Woods" approach that leaves you unsure if you've taken a shortcut or got sent further from where you're supposed to be. Also, some rooms that you can transition between aren't connected. All of these navigation issues are especially present in the Chozo Jungle and Chozo Ruins, or the left side of the map.
Finally, after defeating one of the bosses, you encounter two Federation people possessing an energy tank, but ask that you leave it because it's the only way to power their distress beam. Doing this rewards you in no way, just so you know.

So this game has some similarities and many differences to the original. Rogue Dawn unquestionably outshines Metroid, along with any other hack of it up to this point, in every conceivable way. I had a few unpleasant things to say about it, but it's a videogame. Of course, it isn't perfect...

But it's the closest you're gonna get. Five out of five, fully recommend. Play Rogue Dawn.
By Kremit44 on Oct 04, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
77% in 2:55
Terrific Metroid game. It's impressive in every aspect. It was laid out well and had some new and interesting gameplay elements that really differentiate it from Nestroid and allow it to stand apart. It's one of the few hacks I've played that I would consider essential to play for any Metroid fan. The sound was terrific for an NES game. And although I have one big criticism of the graphics they were apart from that IMO outstanding.

That big criticism would be that I think the terrain could have been more interesting in regards to the main planet area. The graphics here felt subpar compared to the other areas which looked great. I get the idea of trying to make it more organic and surface like but the execution fell short with it coming across as somewhat sloppy. The Chozo area pulled off a similar idea much better. As the first area it for me was at first a little off putting and made areas feel a little bland and indistinct.

I always feel bad criticizing such impressive hacks but I think hard work deserves an honest opinion. I really enjoyed this game and think it stands on it's own as a top tier game on the NES. Thanks to everyone who put hard work into making this happen, i really appreciated it.
By drr3member on Oct 07, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack is great. The progression and puzzle solving is really fun and the environments are organic and interesting to venture through. The music is stellar and makes it feel like a completely new Metroid experience. Level design is really intuitive and the in-game map helps out a LOT. This is by far the best Nestroid hack to date.
By davidkingster on Jan 04, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
92% in 5:20
This is a remarkable hack with an incredible level design that makes game play interesting, but also easy to adjust to in most cases. Don't have time to post a full review, but I enjoyed my play through immensely and intend to try again sometime soon. Actually, posting my own review would be somewhat pointless because so many of the others reflect my views almost without exception.
By Aikner on Sep 12, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 5:04
This hack is really amazing. It improves upon the original in many ways and feels more satisfying to explore and complete. Especially the beautiful soundtrack leaves a lasting impression.
By Kriken Empire on Oct 07, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I imagine this is a NEStroid fan's dream hack. Obviously there are some givens when considering quality. It is every bit a NES game, but that's the point. Even from a modern perspective, it's still a good game, make no mistake about that. It's got great atmosphere, music, and a map thankfully.
By SpookerK on Nov 14, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
54% in 2:26
Anything wrong with this hack is entirely due to it being an NES game. My expectations were blown away, it even has great original music and story which are beyond rare in my opinion. Well done.
By Cosmic on May 27, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
63% in 3:53
[Watch Video]  
As someone who doesn't like NEStroid normally, I really enjoyed this hack. I will admit I have picked up and set down this hack multiple times because the first 2 areas' similar appearance turned me off, getting myself lost and thinking every area was going to look the same. Fortunately I kept going and from there things really picked up! The custom music and graphics were beautiful, and the new abilities, enemies, puzzles and mechanics left me in awe! It still suffers from NESisms like poor performance but you can take care of that by using an emulator that can disable the sprite limit and overclock the PPU. The map is also fairly difficult to read but it's better to have one than none at all so I can't complain much. That may have even been intentional. The difficulty is higher than that of NEStroid, but with modern touches the playing field is more even.

By Zincoshine on Jul 28, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Yeah this is without a doubt the best nestroid hack as well as the best NES hack ever made. Period. Unfortunately, This also shows that no matter how good you try to make Metroid on NES work, in the end, the limitations of the system will just make it impossible to enjoy, no matter how good it is. I really really tried to enjoy this, I wanted to complete this. I absolutely loved the modding. This was made with love and care. I just wish so much that the developers had put their love into a non-NES Metroid instead, or made an entirely new video game instead. They are truly capable of creating a masterpiece given a suitable canvas. I ultimately made it to the second boss before I just could not tolerate these NES limitations anymore and had to bail. I recommend this for anyone who is over the age of 40 as of the time of this review. I don't see anyone younger than that enjoying this, unfortunately. This partial recommendation is the best I can do, I'm sorry. I truly am. I tried my best.
By thedopefish on Dec 20, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
71% in 5:55
[Watch Video]  
I just realized I never posted a review for this hack. So, here we go.

First off, Rogue Dawn looks good--and the fact that I don't have to add "...for a NEStroid hack" to that is a big deal. It's still Metroid 1, but it adds a lot of QoL stuff to make it bearable (saving, a map, health refills, etc.). Tons of custom graphics, custom music, and some new mechanics combine to make this almost feel like a brand new game. It is challenging in a few places, and notably the Chozo Jungle is pretty confusing; I derped pretty hard on figuring out where to go at several points. But all in all, Rogue Dawn is definitely worth a look.
By Thirteen1355 on Jan 17, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
65% in 5:01
As I have not played many Metroid hacks as of yet, I want to preface by saying that my frame of reference only includes the official entries of the Metroid series. Therefore, my standards could be considered pretty high. I can only compare this hack to the games released by Nintendo, which are (mostly) games of high production value.

Not that that stops this hack from souring though, because not only is this hack better than the original Metroid game; it stands next to the other official entries in terms of quality and production values. This game looks and plays like it could have been made by Nintendo sometime after the original Metroid. It features a completely new setting, instead of just reusing areas from the Zebes you're familiar with. It looks a lot better, too.

A completely new soundtrack was composed, with solid tracks of which one or two could even be enjoyed on their own. In my eyes, the soundtrack as a whole doesn't match the quality of later entries in the series, but it sure sounds better than most of the vanilla Metroid music.

Items are added as well. I particularly enjoyed the Wall-Jump. I've always wanted this to be utilised more in the official games, and here we are. Wall-Jump is an item that you need to finish the game.

The only real issue I had was that the map can be difficult to read, because of all the intersections and overlapping stuff going on. Some rooms actually loop, which makes the map design in these situations all the more confusing.

The difficulty regarding survival is comparable with vanilla entries. Exploration is a tad above. All in all, you should play this hack, even if you're only familiar with official entries in the series. If you like any 2D Metroid at all, nothing in this game will deter you, save for maybe the 8-bit graphics and lack of certain features, like diagonal aiming or respin.
By FANXINGPRIME on Apr 16, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Amazing!You can regard it as a new game of Metroid to enjoy.
By Stsyf on Sep 24, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By OmegaDragnet9 on Nov 08, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
54% in 5:25
I'm glad I finally got around to completing this one. While I have complete respect for the source material, Rogue Dawn truly overhauls the Nestroid experience.

The graphics, mechanics, and soundtrack work in perfect harmony. (I liked one new mechanic in particular.)

The story is complelling and the lore is broadcast in a very effective manner.

There were some difficulty spikes. Navigation can be frustrating in the early game.

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