Lost World
Release date: Dec 20, 2015
Author: TROM
Download: Version 4.0 [UH] (504 downloads)
Download: Version 2.0 [UH] (3484 downloads)
Genre: Exploration [?]
Game: SM
Difficulty: Vanilla [?]
Average runtime: 17:11
Average collection: 107%
Read Me: [None]
Forum Thread: Release Thread
Rating: Star Star Star Star Star
Other Links: Map by GPuronen
The Story: At the end of the known galactic systems, lies an abandoned planet for the civilization that was there, now is extinct… Called “Lost World”, this planet is still wild and nature has grown free from dominate species, pollution or whatever could modified it…

But, watch satellites have detected “Hunters” spaceships movements around the area of XELIA, it’s veritable name. Some “hunters” are supposed to capture creatures to sell them. Maybe some trapped species are used to be slaves or forced to serve in galactic circus.

The high galactic federation called the famous detective Samus Aran to investigate on planet XELIA for stopping the traffic immediately!

Our heroine is brought in a new adventure full of danger : a whole new planet to explore filled with hostile and wild creatures where “hunters” are ready for all to continue their lucrative traffic!

The Hack: new planet, enemies, huge areas… Must know wall jump and mid-air morph but not a hard game… For ALL players! Have fun!
Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot
Ratings and Reviews
By jamablues on Nov 08, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
99% in 0:00
I can not believe no one has rated this game!? Awesome stuff here! Warp stations...all new worlds... key doors that have to be unlocked. Game is hard AF, but still awesome. You will about die when you finally find the first super missile that can be obtained with out a SM :( not sure how long i spend but it was over the course of 3 weeks at least. Great job!

Lot's and lots of animals saved lol
By Syphon on Nov 11, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
107% in 15:22
This review is for version 2.0.

----Original Review (TL;DR I got softlocked and quit. Since I didn't give it a fair chance before I played through it completely and finished it. Skip to the new review below.)----

Alright, I did not finish this.

This hack has softlocks in the sense that you can access areas (without using advanced techniques so it's not really sequence breaking) you shouldn't be in without required items and a few unmorph permastucks in some cases. Seriously, did he not have any testers?

Entering the Mountains area means you can't go back in case you missed CHARGE BEAM (easy to find but can be missed) which you need for a certain boss since you don't have enough missiles to beat it.

Same area, some time after you get Power Bombs, you fall down a shaft with a morph tunnel on the left with a blue gate that wasn't properly blocked off I guess? If you go this way you will be softlocked. The author expects you to have Grapple Beam in that area so you can get Speed Booster to get out.

I quit there because I unfortunately saved at the Save Station in the Grapple-required area and did not feel like doing everything over again especially since there are likely even more places to get softlocked. Really made me angry.

I cannot recommend this hack in this state. You will possibly get softlocked or permastuck at some point because the author didn't polish/test the hack despite it being 2.0. It's a shame too because what I played up to that point was pretty decent.

EDIT: In response to Sapphron: Especially since it is an Exploration hack I expect that normal exploration without sequence breaking will not get the player softlocked. Even if you allow the player to enter areas that they shouldn't be in you should at least let the player go back.
A polished hack should be expected if it is already at version 2.0.

----Review after completion----

I finished it! To my surprise those two soflock situations mentioned above in my original review were the only major ones I found. There are a few unmorph permas and you can also get permastuck when getting the Thermo Suit if you grab it from a weird angle.

Anyway, this hack is really good. Exploration-wise it really is one of the best. Afaik this is the second biggest hack to date. Really impressive. Only Metroid Mission Rescue is bigger but I can't stand that one.

The areas are massive but pretty easy to navigate. I like that the map has icons that show you important locations where Grapple Blocks, regular gates, and Speed Boost blocks are.

Plenty of places to get items early if you know how to IBJ.
Lots of secrets. Items are hidden very well.

The custom graphics are nice.
Level design like was good and like I said easy to navigate and many secrets.

The game teases you with Super Missiles and Super blocks all the way through until you finally get them.

Some things I didn't like:
-Invisible Grapple blocks. Like in Hydellius they only exist to give X-Ray a purpose and even then sometimes they can't even be revealed with X-Ray or bombs. That goes for some items and secrets paths too.
-Speaking of Grapple blocks, don't make them only stay broken for a second. It's a slight annoyance.
-The solution for the Light Gate in the Hilly Swamps should have a hint. You basically only find out by randomly trying.
-The extreme backtracking one has to do for those endgame doors. That's my biggest critique for this hack. Really tedious even when you are fully loaded and practically invincible. Even more tedious when you just backtracked to get all those Super Missiles and have to go the same paths again.
-I wish there would have been a proper escape.
-Ridley was hard. I said the same in my Hydellius review. I'm bad at fighting him though so that didn't help.

The difficulty isn't too hard but I disagree with the author's statement that Hydellius is easier. I also believe the difficulty should be put under "Veteran".
Enemies hit hard and the exploration difficulty is much higher here.
If you are familiar with Super Metroid hacks and know some tricks this hack should be beatable.
I believe Short Charge was required once or twice.

Lost World is an impressive hack. The effort that went into this hack paid off. If you are fine with lenghty hacks, don't mind backtracking a lot and love exploration hacks this is worth checking out. Just be careful with those softlocks and unmorph permastucks I mentioned above in the early game.
By Sapphron on Nov 12, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
106% in 14:22
Damn good hack, one of the best exploration hacks.
This hack has some great design and graphics, and pretty good level design for the most part. However as Syphon mentioned, there are a few problems with the hack. It's an exploration hack though, what do you expect? Permastucks in a lot of places too, but that's typical TROM. You get used to it honestly. (edit: wow this was a bad take)
The door hunt at the end of the game is quite obnoxious though. The map that's included makes it a lot less painful though.
Also, maximum percentage is 117%.
By MetroidMst on Jan 19, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
103% in 12:55
I am glad TROM kept going after his first two hacks both kind of fell into some serious traps and tropes. There is still one major TROMism in that Supers are everywhere and all blocked by Super blocks. Besides that though, a lot was learned and implemented really well into this hack.

Lost World is a giant hack, with a lot to explore, and a nice little warp area to help you traverse the large map more quickly. This hack does include another locking gate system, which is both majorly improved over Hydellius, and is a reason for some frustration.

The good: It's just to unlock the final area, no more progression is blocked by these gates.
The bad: You can catch a glimpse of the locks, but the view you get makes it look like there are less than half of the total gates you need to unlock. That was my biggest point of frustration with the hack.

Besides that though, I really do recommend this hack. It's large, expansive, and flows much better for the player overall. I did break Super Missiles early, so that probably helped a little as I was able to do a lot of progression right then and there, but I still think this hack would've played well if I didn't do that. I highly recommend this hack for people who like taking their time and exploring.
By Metaquarius on Jun 27, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Reminder that bigger isn't always better. Those neverending massive rooms literally killed my interest after a while. Did not finish.
By METROID4U on Sep 04, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
112% in 29:04
TROM built an interesting world for the ROM Hack community here. The difficulty rating isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the items are set up in a fair manner to where the average Super Metroid Player can find them.

The Gates near the end of the game are not as friendly to new Super Metroid players. Where backtracking and item hunting go hand in hand with well-placed One-way doors, are the keys hidden among the rooms they are to be searched in. All together, I've accrued 261 Missiles, 95 Super Missiles, 35 Power Bombs, and 14 E-Tanks. To a completed rating of 112%, this does not sit well with me. as i have no gray areas to explore for more expansions.

Perhaps a map with Expansion locations are necessary to complete the game. (I sure as heck used one for the Gates) I feel that this hack isn't polished enough for a fair X-Ray Scope item hunt, whereas the items are gated from you based on your equipment. I'll freely admit that the Hydro Suit was one of (if only) the most difficult upgrade for progression, but, a hack that's designed around multiple paths and One-Ways where you're locked out until you have a specific upgrade or have destroyed the enemies in the room is where the line is clearly showing the skill cap needed to enjoy this game's expansive and well thought out environment.
By infinality on Dec 08, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
109% in 24:13
I was looking for a long exploration hack and this one hit the spot. I'm about 95% through but trying to find all items (there are a lot). I've played 20 or so exploration hacks and would consider myself a veteran but not an expert. I agree with another reviewer that this should be classified as "veteran" and not "vanilla". This game is relatively hard and I would not expect a casual player to be able to deal with this hack.

The levels are well-thought through for gameplay early and later in the game and TROM clearly spent a long time creating this. Before you find super missiles, it's pretty overwhelming because there is so much area to cover, and hard to remember spots where you can progress once you get a new item. So there is a lot of covering the same areas many times looking for something you might have missed.
I sequence-broke and got supers the "wrong" way, and used IBJ quite a bit to maybe get to spots I wasn't supposed to be at yet, which could have added to the confusion.

There were several times I thought I was soft-locked or stuck for various reasons, but there is usually a way out if you search long enough. One complaint is that there were some spots where it was unclear to me if I'm "supposed" to use an advanced technique or if I'm sequence-breaking by doing it. Draygon is a good example of this, and you might understand once you are there. Another complaint is that it is easy to miss charge beam in the mountains, as someone else mentioned. You can still get past a "certain boss" if you find a beam weapon first, even if you don't have enough missiles.

There is no way I would have attempted this without savestates, as there are some very specific, tricky mechanics at some points that will be annoying time-wasters if you don't execute them consistently. Lots of various techniques are required if you want to get everything, especially Tidal Beam. I learned how to execute one that I've never been able to do before when trying to get that one. Thank you savestates!

I recommend this hack if you are into exploration and are OK doing or learning some harder techniques.
By lowkey on Jan 01, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
105% in 19:27
By Kremit44 on Jan 07, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By metalridley6 on Feb 07, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Man, i do the best i can to like this game, i REALLY want to give this game a chance, but i simply can't...

The custom tiles, backgrounds, palettes and sprites are fucking beautiful, gives a new fresh look to the game many other hacks can't give, but unfortunately the only redeeming quality about this hack is the art, enemies are INSANELY strong (strongest flying-swarm-type enemies i've seen in a sm hack, for example), the new mechanics are bad, missiles have a 2/3 second firerate momentum now, which looks like a fucking E T E R N I T Y for metroid standards! Not only that, you only get 2 missiles per pack (but that ins't necessarily bad either ins't it? Eris did it and is a great hack!). New gates are a pain in the ass to find, unlike axeil edition that shows on the map the key items to enter the final zone, this game basically tells you ''fuck you, search the gates everywhere in this sparse, large world without any tip, good luck'', speaking about item hunting, till today i've never found an OFFICIAL way to get the first super missile pack, all of the gameplays i've watched and even in my own gameplay, the player have to do some tricky warping glitch somewhere in the volcano zone to get it. BTW this game do have a thing with puzzles involving those nautilus guys uh?

TL;DR game has exploring, backtracking and mechanic problems

Didn't finish

Do not recommend
By OmegaMalkior on Jul 23, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
116% in 14:46
So I changed my one star rating to five after picking it up again. Did I change opinion on the critique I originally gave it? Not really. What gives it now a 5 star rating is only due to the fact that you have to transform yourself into a true completionist to finish this hack. After giving it more patience that I had originally gave it was quite the extreme tedius experience as progression is nowhere unless you check every brim till you casually shoot a well hidden tile that so happens to lead to Ridley which had me going nuts for a whole 3 hours. Nonetheless, the pro's and the cons of this hack:

-You WILL feel like you're playing an extremely new and unique Metroid game. 100% the longest Metroid game I've ever played. And do note, I cheated my way skipping a few gates cuz I really couldn't fathom playing the hack for 5 more days as some gate positions were REALLY cheesed. Think I only needed like 4-5 more but they're just too much to find without a guide and I pationately don't like to look for guides to complete Metroid games. Don't even know how I found all four of the green world on my own.

This hack is LONG and by long I mean you will need to search every corner for specific items. Get ready to see Super Missles in every corner without actually obtaining one. And fyi, for your sanity, get your first pack with a trick, glitch, or workaround. I don't even know when's the first SM supposed to appear through sequence but I had to break it at that SM on the roof speed booster block in the yellow map/part. Go figure.

Feel like I suffered playing this hack but if you like to explore every corner of a rom hack and like being an extreme completionist, this is the rom hack for you. 5 stars only from the immense effort this creator must've put into this but I really do wish a condensed version of this hack existed.

Original review:

One star to this amazing rom hack for it being the first SM rom hack I ever abandonded mid-game. The title fits it well as I'm always constantly lost where to go from how much backtracking you have to do. You can spend a hefty amount of time reaching to X or Y place to find only a mere missle pack in a convoluted place. Also, absolutely no sequence breaking unless you IBJ your way to infinity which is pretty annoying as a lot of places seem to have potentential to reach early, but hello super missle doors/gates on the other side of that tight place you had to impossibly wall jump too. Sad since I really loved with a passion this creator's other work (Hydellius). May pick it up again out of boredom.
By Zhs2 on Nov 25, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
101% in 15:39
In 2015, one man had a vision. This man's name was TROM, and by the sweat of his baguette he set out to craft the Super Metroid hack to conquer all. Soon had he created a massive gauntlet of exploration, buffered and extended by tides of liquid movement not yet known to Super Metroid fans. TROM had created the perfect hack, known as... Lost Underwater.

No, no, wait, that's not right. Let me start again. In 2015, one man had a vision. This man's name was TROM, and by the might of his white flag he set out to craft the Super Metroid hack to conquer all. Soon had he created an undertaking of proportions that fankind might be pressed not to see again, one where room after room connects in such circular fashion that one can't help but run them for items with new major equipment again and again. TROM had created the perfect hack, known as... Loop World.

No, that's still not right. Let me try this one more time. In 2015, one man had a vision. This man's name was TROM, and from the squeeze of his Muslim refugees did he produce the Super Metroid hack to conquer all. Soon he had created an epic tale of Samus' adventures in gainingly and progressively more frustrating fashion, building and toiling more and more upon annoying tricks and air fool x-ray that might turn away a fan of lesser mettle. TROM had created the perfect hack, known as... Lost Cause.

Alright, I could keep coming up with nicknames for this hack all night, but serious time. Metaquarius' review is absolutely right. This hack is not for the faint of time, and be prepared to look up somebody else's youtube playthrough to advance at points in this hack, especially for major item locations - the hack makes NO attempt to guide the player from one to the next, and which loop you need to go through next is a shot in the dark at least four times. I might not have completed it if I weren't streaming it for the boys and laughing at their snide commentary all the way through the hack. TROM put his soul into level design and (subpar but at least consistent) graphical quality but that's all this hack has going for it, the rest of it reeks of amateur hacking 101. I might have given it three orbs if I didn't have to crystal flash for Ridley and my friends didn't have to walk me through the NECESSARY super short charge needed to open Hilly Swamp's yellow gate. No advanced techniques needed my butt. Oh, and don't get me started on the gates. I studied Palmy Risen's hack map to beeline to each one after I got plasma because the hack was just tedious after being starved of super missiles for so long. This hack is best summed up as one man's brain TROMma and all Super Metroid players' easily avoided descent into tedium and anger. And what the hell is up with those Sunkern mazes?
By badatmetroid on Dec 28, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 17:52
This map is great, but long. It's item progression is probably too linear meaning that if you don't know where to go next you'll find yourself lost for hours at a time. Luckily there are custom map items indicating "go here after speedbooster/wavebeam/grapple" which I think would nudge you in the right direction. Also I did find the non-sequence break super missiles and figured out all the gate locations. I'm putting together a map and a guide, but if you're stuck and reading this before then, DM me.

Really, there's so much good stuff in this map, but it's just diluted behind being too large.
By bem on Dec 31, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
110% in 23:11
How to say what is my feeling of the hack....

OMG this is hack twisted my brain so much !!!!!
Thanks for the map to find the last door ^^

perhaps the boss are quite too easy but if you love exploration i really recomend this mode.
By Tundain on Jan 11, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
117% in 27:51
This is my second run where I went for 100% (or 117% in this case).
This hack is extremely long, but to me, that was one of the parts that I enjoyed the most. I really liked the graphics, the art was very good. some patterns were repetitive but they were good nonetheless.
First of all, the first part, the beginning. At the start things stay very mysterious, there's not really a lot of information on what to do (although you are given a story line, so i guess you could say you know something. It's extremely straightforward in the beginning, there's only one way to go, and it's made extremely clear. I do like the fact that you need to travel very long before reaching the first upgrade, this is something you don't see in many hacks. I think this is good because it teases you with a lot of different possible places you can go, so you know that there will always be a place you can check out later on. The first boss is pretty boring though, you can only hit him once every certain amount of time. It's a pretty boring fight which becomes annoying if you have to do it multiple times (this happened to me once because shortly after the boss fight, you can get softlocked and it happened twice). This was the "introduction" part and then things get more interesting. Next is a long underwater section which was pretty tedious, and at first, the botwoon fight seemed extremely unfair, but once you figure something out (which isn't actually so obvious, based on how you progressed until then) it becomes a lot easier. After this you need to go all the way back (a long way, especially since a large section is underwater) to fight bt. Next You go through the only part of the hack where two areas are directly connected, all the other ways to go from area to area are via the warp station, which of course doesn't make it easy to draw a full map of the hack. I did like the fact that there's an easy hellrun, as it's really not that hard and it can be a fun challenge. The mountain area is my favorite, although I did get more the impression that it was a volcanic area. One funny detail I noticed was that in the background of the heated rooms, the creator has used some of crocomire's graphics, and they actually fit nicely. You go and get the next upgrade, after which you go again through a section you've already been, but to me that was not such a big problem since you often find new items on the way. After this, every upgrade you get helps you a lot to get to a lot of places. Some upgrades can help you explore entire sections of areas, and sometimes they just let you find one area. Once you get supers (which is pretty far in game, but that just makes it very satisfying to find them), everything really changes radically. you can finally get all the supers you've always wanted to get. You can also get the final two upgrades that allow you to, finally after all this time, to explore the entire map. Now a huge gate hunt starts to unlock the final area. In a lot of other reviews, I've seen that people don't really like this part, because there are no real hints. I disagree with this, I only believe it's hard at the start, when you haven't found any yet. Once you start to find the first few gates, if you pay attention to how they are placed on the map, you should start to notice a pattern, which in itself is actually a hint to were the other gates are for each area. Of course, I don't blame other people for maybe not figuring this out, as it shouldn't be expected of the player to start thinking about such things. Nonetheless I liked hunting for the gates, I also always ended up finding some extra items. The part that I enjoyed the least was the final area. This is mainly because of the way it was designed. it's very open, rectangular and empty, overall, just not so exciting (The difficulty is on par with what you'd expect from a final area though), I feel like Trom mainly wanted to keep it challenging, and focused on that a lot, resulting in the rooms not being any interesting, but you do need careful movement if you don’t want to lose all your health to a single Metroid? Also, why do the metroids look so weird? Almost every graphic in the game is well-made, and then there's... the metroids. they seriously look like little effort was put into them. The final boss is very repetitive, and also pretty easy once you figure out where the safe spots are. the story line is clear though, as in the end, you do free a lot of caged animals from pirates that wanted to kidnap them. You even get to see the ship they escape with. Overall, I'd say the exploration is very good, I really don't mind the way you need to backtrack, I will say that you had to do it often, but it's really not that bad. What I didn't really like about the level design is that it relied a lot on spikes. lots of huge rooms with narrow passageways where careful movement is required, and you often fall once which then results in you taking a lot of damage, especially in the early game, were you don’t have any suits yet.
The difficulty:
When it comes down to difficulty there’s a lot to say. As I mentioned earlier, you have a lot of spikes in some crappy spaces, so you need to move pretty slowly at sometimes and pretty quick at some other times. The enemy placement is very good, and I feel like every single enemy is placed in such a way that they will always be a problem when you traverse the room. This was great in some situations, like in one room of the mountains there is a jump scare because of a falling enemy. On other moments it just felt pretty stupid because the enemies are just in your way, but they’re really not a threat, you just spend your time killing them, and that’s it. Overall, every are had spikes, and almost every single room had spikes. I do like the fact that every area had their own quirk, although maybe just a bit too much. The hilly swamps had a lot of treadmills and a lot of quicksand, but I don’t really blame the latter for being there often. the final area was pretty challenging, but pretty short and not so interesting.
In conclusion, this is my favourite hack, after super zero mission. I liked the fact that it’s so big, since I really prefer large hacks (and no I don’t like MMR, I’m not crazy). Great work!
By Zincoshine on Jul 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Wow, this is the perfect example of why quality is more important than quantity. This mod is among the biggest ever made, but the quality leaves so much to be desired. First of all, I haven't seen tilework as bad as this since I checked out Super Metroid Escape (edit: super metroid mini is worse). Second of all, the individual rooms are way too big, dilute, and poorly structured. Third, you can get soft locked which means there was not enough testing. This is unsurprising, considering how large this is. It's really tragic that TROM misdirected his passion into an excessive focus on size and quantity instead of quality but it is what it is. definitely stay away from this one.
By JohnnieEpic on Mar 11, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
99% in 18:03
OK where do I begin... I love this one and I hate this one at the same time. There is some amazing sprite work in this hack, like we're not on Zebes any more Toto! which creates some great immersion / exploration moments. That said a lot of it was undone for me with the multitude of 2 block high spaces I kept getting stuck in or secret tunnels that always seemed to end up in a missile pack, grapple crumble block or super missile block. I lost count of the amount of times I had that "YES!" moment when I finally found another way forward only to reach a dead end. Item progression was ok but with my previous point it meant that I never really remembered where I could return to find new locations and spent a lot of time back tracking or just plain lost. Room size is maybe a little over the top but it fits with the overall world feel / construction and really pushed me to explore more than I would normally. Tidal gates/Key gates... I don't even want to talk about them. Lucky I had speed booster as I almost got permastuck in the warp room! and finally the last area... only on the off chance that I was over that way did I actually find it.

I would recommend this hack, because it is a good one despite my frustrations with it, just be prepared to sink some time into it.
By RX-78-2 on Jun 09, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
118% in 10:38
this is an amazing hack, everything about it was done exceptionally in my opinion.. the tilesets, suit palettes, enemy resprites, new layout and item progression, all of that was done well and I like this hack other than the fact that all supers (except for one that can be obtained with a tricky shinespark after collecting gravity and speed booster) are blocked by super missile blocks .. the item progression and layouts were pretty neat and the difficulty is imo slightly above vanilla difficulty because of the tricks needed for some items but anyways I had fun playing this even tho I was trying to go for a lower score and max% but nonetheless this hack was fun and I like it.. nice work TROM, 10/10 would recommend
By Love Colored Magic on Jul 26, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
106% in 14:28
First time completion on version 2.0

I'd definitely rate the difficulty as Veteran. Besides the standard tricks of walljumping and midair morph, this hack will also test your movement skills in general, familiarity with enemy behavior, puzzle solving, finding the required paths forward (sometimes invisible to X-ray), some tricky grappling, getting horizontal distance on bomb jumps, fighting ninja pirates in awkward constrained spaces, space jumping up narrow vertical shafts lined with spikes, your patience, and more that I've probably forgotten since finishing this hack several months ago. There's a couple of places where quick charging speed boosts is required. But for those willing to meet the hack's skill requirements, it felt very rewarding to explore and complete.

Was internally debating whether this is a 4 or 5 orb hack. It felt like a 5 orb hack while playing it. when I wasn't getting frustrated at some particularly tricky segment, I was really getting immersed in its world. On the other hand, there is technical jank to be found here and there, such as randomly getting stuck in terrain right after obtaining a suit upgrade. Such jank is infrequent enough that memories of it has generally faded but if it strikes when having not saved in a while, it gets discouraging.

In the context of realizing a vision of a strange and unfamiliar world, this knocks it out of the park. Custom graphics are used well here to create that effect. To add to the effect of a vast world, map stations appear late and only after having covered a significant amount of ground in a region. Then one looks at the map and sees vast stretches of not-yet-explored areas. Really feeds the idea of massive regions. Generally, there is a large amount of ground to cover between major upgrades to feed the atmosphere. Many areas will be visited multiple times whether it's because of the paths to major upgrades frequently overlapping or just item hunting with new tools to reach items that were previously dangling out of reach.

On top of the amount of exploration it takes to reach required upgrades, there's also plenty of expansions to track down. They tend to come in 1s and 2s and the max capacities are high so those who are inclined to poke around in every corner will uncover a lot. While some passages that require speed, grapple, wave, or boss kills are marked on the map (a useful custom addition), having a good memory will still prove valuable in bolstering Samus' ammo counts.

I did get stuck in several spots to varying degrees. I couldn't work out where to go after finding the morph ball and resorting to searching an outside playthrough to reveal where to go. Botwoon was a difficult fight that required me to step up my skill to make it through at all and I can picture people used to vanilla difficulty just giving up in frustration here. Ridley killed me many times before I came out the victor. I got turned around when going for the final beam upgrade. Was actually on the right track but thought I'd reached a dead end and didn't look closely enough at first.

There's also a gate hunt which I have mixed feelings about. On the positive side, it's more time spent with full upgrades. Given how long it takes to obtain all the upgrades, I can understand a desire to spend a longer portion of playtime with them and that aspect was welcomed after the long journey to that point. On the negative end, it takes the exploring for hidden areas which I'd been enjoying and turned it into work. While I found most of them straightforward to locate and often a simple matter of recalling where a previously blocked passage was, your experience will vary. Ultimately, I found all but 3 on my own. And one of those 3 was one I had found the path to earlier but forgot about it later.

Even with the long playtime, (20-25 hours if factoring in all the reloads) I felt engaged for the bulk of those 14+ hours. If one is in the mood for a meaty hack, this delivers. If looking for something with a similar playtime to vanilla, this isn't it. There is a feel of a magnum opus to this one, as if Trom crammed every remaining level design idea into this hack as if it was to be a final sendoff to SM hacking. Given the wide variety of obstacles I encountered, it's an impression I got. I actually haven't tried other hacks since this one; what could match up to the scope? If it becomes the last hack I play in my time with Metroid hacks (hardly a given at this point), this is a very high note to go out on.
By drb on Mar 22, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
119% in 0:00
It’s obvious that a lot of time and effort went into this hack: a massive map and custom tilesets and sprites that really capture the “abandoned world” vibe. It plays well enough for a while too: the first half of the critical path is slow but doors and other obstacles keep you mostly locked into the right path and allow you to trust your gut. But somewhere around Grapple the wheels fall off, and the game opens up into a massive sprawl of aimless punishing exploration, obnoxious mechanics, convoluted secrets, disappearing pickups, and all the wrong kinds of challenge. When I finally found the intended first Super Missile there was no sense of accomplishment, I just wanted a nap. And there’s still essentially two separate fetch quests wrapped around a ridiculously spongy boss left to deal with before the final area. I don’t think this was intended as a troll hack, but that’s what it ends up feeling like.

All that said, there is a bit of an acquired taste factor as subsequent playthroughs go much more smoothly once you have the lay of the land and (hopefully) find a couple of clutch sequence breaks that really dull the agony of the endgame, but it’s hard to give much credit for that since the first playthrough is so off-putting. 5/10 overall, only recommended for fans of slow, deep exploration (think original Redesign and early versions of Phazon Hack), and even then prepare to have your patience tested. Maps are available from Maptroid.unrest.io and my map repo on the forums – don’t be a hero.

PS: I *think* 119% is max but can’t really be sure, and that’s 230 full-fanfare pickups.

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