Metroid: Desolation
Release date: Mar 20, 2023
Author: jasinchen
Download: v1.3 [U] (259 downloads)
Download: v1.1.2 [U] (6880 downloads)
(404 downloads of previous versions)
Genre: Exploration [?]
Game: MZM
Difficulty: Veteran [?]
Average runtime: 4:43
Average collection: 84%
Read Me: [None]
Forum Thread: metroidconstruction
Rating: Star Star Star Star Star
Description
[Story]
Area LC-13. It used to be a fertile piece of land, where there were many species. However, the water source here suddenly dried up, the land became a desert, and many species perished. I've come here to find out the reason for the disappearance of water source.

[How to play]
Game can be finished whenever you want. The game will show different endings based on your progress.

[Tips]
1.Bomb Jump and Wall Jump are not required.
2.No final escape in this hack.
3.Dread mode: Just like dread mode in Metroid: Dread. Try normal mode when first playing.
4.Secret mode´╝ÜNew game+ mode await your discovery! (New game mode is a challenge mode, I suggest that you finish 100% before challenging it.)

[Update v1.3]
1. Add new bosses and sprites.
2. DLC: Secure animals.
3. Add new abilities
4. Balance adjustment:
1) Gravity suit cannot reduce damge
2) Gravity suit cannot provide damage from heat and lava
3) Some bosses are not so terrifying now.
5. Fix bugs
Screenshots
Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot
Ratings and Reviews
By Cosmic on Mar 20, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
89% in 6:39
[Watch Video]  
089% in 06:39:53
100% in 08:53:07

100% is all major items, 9 E tanks, 150 missiles, 40 supers, 30 power bombs.

IMO, this is Top Hack 2023. It looks amazing, sounds amazing, plays amazing, and has a lot of unexpected twists and turns.




+ The world is huge, possibly on par with if not even bigger than Spooky 2. But just being bigger doesn't always mean better -- to that I say there are no rooms that feel particularly empty or pointless. Every room has a purpose.

+ The scenery is lush and makes the world feel alive. Backgrounds pulsate, plants sway, critters flap and swim about, liquids falls into pools and sand pours into piles. Airborne enemies stay above water. I can't stress enough how pretty this is.

+ In terms of sound, it has wonderful music, which you might recognize from other games.

+ Desolation manages to combine gameplay aspects of SM, ZM, Fusion, AM2R, even some popular hacks like Redesign Axeil Edition and Super Zero Mission!

+ I really don't want to spoil much about the unexpected twists and turns... But let's just say there are a lot of them and it made me feel like a kid again playing Metroid for the first time. I had no idea what was going to happen next, but I knew I was up to the challenge.

+ The puzzles in this hack are the best I've seen so far in a ZM Hack. They're not bullsh!t, they just require more brainpower than carpeting everything in missiles and bombs. Sometimes they span multiple rooms, or they are partially obscured by the HUD. Despite this, if you have a careful eye, they always have "gives" to let you know something is there. It's amazing stuff.




I've said a lot of praise, let's talk about some faults.




~ There are a few spots that feel like you can't reach them yet, but you can and it's actually on intended path. This hack was carefully crafted to not require walljumping or IBJ to complete; if you feel you need these, you don't. You're exactly where you need to be. Press onward!

- There is a rough patch in progression where after you get power bombs you're stuck for a while. The intended path forward is probably going to be made more obvious in updates though.

- There are also some really tight spark puzzles but they're like super zero mission where those are only needed for 100%.

- Occasionally some points of no return make themselves known, forcing you to take really long paths to go back around, or map tiles that "describe" a room as a hallway, but once you enter said hallway it's only traversible in one direction.




That's about it though really, and even these nails are being hammered out as we speak.




I've beat the hack, but I'm not done yet. There's still more to do!
HIGHLY Recommended.
By Meinos Belfort on Mar 22, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
72% in 3:47
[Remade the review to be way shorter]

Very good hack overall , sadly giving 2 orb again for some frustrating things , a actually doing a very easy softlock in the special mode (which made me lost 2 / 3 hours irl runnning back and forth toward a few roms and trying clip / perfect walljump / spark which lead to .. literally a softlock)

Author know where it is and how to do the softlock very easily (just skip bombs , which is easily avoidable by mistake and how easy getting lost in that hack is frequent , + a small other softlock more or less "punitive")

Won't play it by disgust of losed all my progression and loss time.

Still recommending Normal gameplay and dread difficulty , since softlock aren't this abondant in that playstyle.

But overall a great hack , that i sadly had a very bad experience while that softlock.
will edit when it will be fixed , until then..
By MetroidNerd#9001 on Mar 28, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
82% in 3:43
Reviewed after finishing the "Normal" mode with the "Lifelong Enemy" ending.

This is a good hack, but I have some gripes with it. The room design is top-notch, and the rooms themselves are very interesting. The map design is also usually pretty good, facilitating for a very good gameplay flow from one major item to the next, with some exceptions. The story is pretty cool, though it is very much in the background for most of the hack, which can sometimes make it hard to understand what you are supposed to do.

On the more negative side, there are some room designs in this hack that are agonizing to traverse. Some of these will be fixed in later versions, however (I played on version 1.1.1.). The constant use of borrowed music is also kinda tacky at times. There are a few points where the game locks you in an area where almost all the paths are blocked by an upgrade, making the area super annoying to navigate, but then when you get that upgrade, so much opens up that you have no idea what to do next. This only happens a couple times, but it's quite a drag when it does.

This is a very good hack, and I do recommend playing it.
By NaCl10 on Mar 28, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 1:08
I determine to rate this hack as my first review.

This is one of the best MZM hack I have ever seen. There is a feature, which appears in all hacks made by jasinchen, that all elevators can be connected without covering any piece of map. It means that the map can be considered as a whole. That can also be reflected in room design: In Karst, the water level remains consistent in upper rooms. That recalls the experience of Spooky Mission II.

The design of multiple endings caught my eyes on my first sight. Some of them are challenging, but I finally beat them. I think that is why this hack is classified into "veteran". Some of them are fun. Pay attention to "you can finish the game 'whenever' you want", and you will find one.




The following content may contain a few spoilers:

There are some micro details in room design. When you start the escape after Mother Brain, you could see the acid pool rippling in second room, because the rocks are falling down. Numbers on metroid rooms tell the number of metroid in this room. Lights in Bionicle and Acead are turned on after the explosion.

The design of bosses is also a brightened dot. Security Robot B.O.X. first appears in a MZM hack. Kraid and Ridley are strengthened in separated ways.

1:08:54 is my best time of 100% till now.

5/5 orbs. Highly recommended.
By KPF on Mar 29, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I've changed my opinion on this one, AGAIN.
I don't really like this particular hack because it gets harder to find the next upgrade. And when you do it's a headache attempting to acquire it.
For instance, you are required to fight an EARLY Ridley to get power bombs. And by the time you get to him you don't, really , have enough ammo to defeat him.
This hack could be a whole lot better.
I just don't know how.
Either this or, maybe, I'M just not that good at THIS one.
By CaffeineCadet on Mar 29, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 4:24
When I think of a metroid game, I consider elements such as immersion, exploration, and features (quality of life). There are ample rom hacks that focus on perhaps one or two of these three main ideas, and seldomly does one truly accomplish the ultimate trifecta. I have to add, I made an account just for this hack, because it's more than a hack - it's a respectable metroid game on par with the main line series. This game is difficult, and some of the puzzles can be intimidating to first-time players, yet perseverance and practice are ultimately rewarded with an excellent story plus addicting replayability. I urge you to give it a try. It's a staple of what makes metroid construction and all of the work therein stand out.
By RealRed on Mar 29, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 9:02
This is basically the Vitality of Metroid Zero Mission. It doesn't follow any of the rules of the original game. It has eye catching new visuals, satisfying story, and a good mix of music. There are a few oddball rooms with ridiculous tricks to be performed, but they're optional so I don't give a shit.

Play this hack.
And that means play Imago mode too.
By Zhs2 on Mar 30, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 3:55
(Played version 1.1.1) Move over, boring old Subversion. THIS is the hack that got me to play it twice in a row, and it was worth it both times. Normal mode is fairly balanced for experienced players around the few energy tanks you'll be finding, and you will be scrounging for them since they are few and fairly hidden - you will probably reach the end with four total, and you'll be having fun the whole time, I guarantee it. The author knows very well how to funnel you into major items, most of them you'll be finding accidentally. There are a few optional items too, some of them assembly'd in, and if you're REALLY good there are even sequence breaks to get some major items without fighting their bosses. And when you "finish" (I say "finish" because you can technically end your game at any time by returning to the ship) your first run through Normal mode, what do you get? A new mode that will challenge your skills in the early game (or perhaps your savestates) by throwing you through a COMPLETELY different route through the world, but again, it's not actually that unfun to persevere. Item collection becomes normal again after getting bombs in the second playthrough but the end still has some surprises in store. My only complaints are some suitless underwater (including an entire boss, which makes him rather tedious to bring down) and a few crashes. If you can tolerate Zero Mission hacks, 100% play this shit. Fuck yes. (Completion time is for the second playthrough, the first playthrough took exactly an hour more.)
By zb10948 on Mar 31, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
69% in 4:10
There is one big deficiency of this hack. Although story driven with multiple endings, it's clear halfway through the first run you'll be searching for items around a typical Metroid map created from MZM, MF and AM2R environments with mixed bosses from ZM and Fusion.

A major disappointment was the suitless phase which is nothing to write home about.

On top of this add using "Environmental Mystery" theme for a complete area. This is really annoying. I had to shut down the sound here on several occasions.
By Digital_Mantra on Apr 01, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 5:00
Great hack, big planet that doesn't feel like another Zebes.
Progression was seamless for the most part.

Solid 5/5 for the post-game content, this is the subversion of gbatroid.
By caauyjdp on Apr 09, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
93% in 3:36
No praise can be high enough.
By FANXINGPRIME on Apr 14, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
It's more free and enjoyable than New Zero Mission and Lost Chozo.I firmly believe that the author has spent so mush time and energy in it. Desolation,beyond all question,is truly the best hack of China.
By Boomerang on Apr 18, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 5:22
Reviewed on Version 1.1.2. Runaway, Lifelong Enemy, and Superior Firepower Endings Achieved. This is not a spoiler-free review; you have been warned.

Metroid: Desolation is a work of extremes.

There is absolutely no doubt that this was a labour of love, as passion and artistry permeates almost every corner of this hack. Among Zero Mission and Fusion hacks, Desolation has, despite the name, by far the lushest and most detailed environments on display. The work done to blend tilesets from the GBA games and AM2R is nothing short of extraordinary, and the custom tilework done to animate small flora and fauna outstrips that of most Super Metroid hacks. I am certain that this is one of those hacks that will inspire others to reach even greater heights. When MAGE was first released on Metroid Construction almost seven years ago, this was the hack I was waiting for, visually-speaking.

In terms of the audio, I am also similarly impressed. While others might view the use of borrowed music to be kitsch, I do not feel the same. Subversion released last year to near universal acclaim--myself included--and it featured music from Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong; Desolation restricts its music choices to those of previous Metroid games and AM2R, meaning that the tone stays relatively consistent throughout. The wizardry done to adapt songs from the other games is nothing short of astounding--Lower Norfair from Super Metroid has been adapted onto the GBA, somehow, with little to no reduction in quality. Needless to say, I was consistently surprised and delighted by the audio quality.

Desolation also throws a few surprises in: there are three new upgrades, though one is adapted from Super Metroid GBA Edition: the Spazer Beam, the Tractor Beam, and the Rapid Missile. The Spazer Beam replaces the Long Beam from Zero Mission, as Samus starts with it in this hack, and can thus be switched on and off in the pause menu. The Tractor Beam is self-explanatory, and retains its function from the Prime games. The Rapid Missile allows you to hold down the button to release a rapid salvo of missiles so long as you keep it held down. While these new upgrades are decent additions to Samus' arsenal, I was disappointed to see that they don't feature in the pause menu like the Spazer Beam does; the Rapid Missile in particular is something I would like to switch on and off at points, as reworking my muscle memory to not hold the button down for so long never really occurred, and there were times during tense boss fights where I wasted an extra missile.

Speaking of bosses, they are definitely Desolation's absolute lowest point, and the major point of contention in this review. I am fairly confident when I say that people tend to view Zero Mission's boss roster as the weaker of the two GBA games, which is something I agree with. Even on Hard Mode, Missiles are overpowered and the bosses, with some exceptions, tend to devolve into missile spam, Ridley especially. Fusion's bosses are more dynamic and most cannot be steamrolled into an easy victory.

So, of course, efforts have been made to translate Fusion's bosses into Zero Mission as a means of rounding out the roster and providing more challenge in various Zero Mission hacks. The results have been a resounding success in implementation, but a failure in balance; more often than not, the bosses and their arenas are placed into Zero Mission with little thought or consideration as to how Zero Mission Samus can interact with them. See, many bosses like Serris, BOX, and Nightmare ask players to utilize movement mechanics unique to Fusion, particularly ladder climbing and rail hanging, to fight them. Without those mechanics, the fights do not work as they should, and players are forced to contend with these new threats in ways they were obviously not balanced for.

Take Serris, for example. You can either stay on the platforms or hang from the ceiling to anticipate its movements. The ceiling was safer, but afforded fewer opportunities to attack. The platforms were more dangerous, but Serris could be more easily attacked while standing on them. The ceiling wasn't completely safe either, as Serris would occasionally slither up along the ceiling, meaning you had to keep an eye on its patterns and listen for audio cues to get out of the way before you're hit. The fight was dynamic (though Fusion's unique charge shot mechanics could trivialize it) and avoiding damage never felt random. Implementing Serris into Zero Mission changes the entire fight, as you're forced to stand on the platforms. If that wasn't enough, Zero Mission also has harsher gravity than Fusion, so Samus' air time while jumping is shortened. If Serris decides to fly along the tops of the platforms, you're all but forced to jump into its tail and take nigh-unavoidable damage.

BOX was also imported into Zero Mission, with even worse results. The sweet spot to actually damage it was small even in Fusion, but you could carefully space your shots using the ceiling rail with some accuracy. There's no ceiling rail this time, only destructible blocks that make landing shots on its core needlessly annoying. The fight took so long to overcome legitimately that I got bored and decided to ram Samus into BOX so that she would clip inside and I could land a bunch of missiles at once. What was once a decent boss in Fusion has fallen victim to the very same issues that plagued most bosses in Zero Mission: missile spam.

These issues permeate almost every single Fusion boss, with exception to Arachnus and Yakuza, though the latter has issues aside from the game's mechanics. Unfortunately, the issues are not restricted to the newly implemented Fusion bosses; changes have been made to the original bosses which also make them a slog to fight. On the face of it, they've all been given an absolutely titanic amount of hit points, meant to resolve the steamrolling issue, but apparently that was not enough. Each fight has numerous changes meant to make them more challenging, but instead they turn out to be more frustrating, random and annoying than anything.

Kraid, for instance, has been placed into an underwater section without the Gravity Suit. That change alone would be rather drastic, but in addition to that, he also creeps away from the right side of the screen, meaning your only way of attacking Kraid becomes riding the belly spikes before they go off-screen and disappear. You only have precious few moments to actually land a few shots on the mouth, and like the original game, the hitbox on the mouth isn't that generous. You'll land a super missile on Kraid's palate, only for it to uselessly bounce away, wasting both your ammo and your time. Jumping across those belly spikes is tougher than it seems; you need to be at the apex of your jump to not get Samus' feet clipped by the spikes and take damage. This fight, too, got incredibly boring and tedious. Kraid was among Zero Mission's better bosses, and steps were taken to throw it out the window.

Ridley in particular received a host of changes meant to make him more challenging: what was once solid ground has been perforated with slow crumble blocks meant to keep Samus moving; the arena has been expanded so Ridley has more opportunities to fly off-screen; lava has been replaced with higher-damaging acid like the stuff found in destroyed Tourian; Ridley himself has been made much more aggressive; and finally, he's received by far the largest hit point increase out of any boss. You can still missile spam him, but even an entire salvo of all the game's super missiles up to that point can't put this seemingly immortal dragon into the ground. Unfortunately, like with most of the game's other bosses, these changes don't really make the fight more challenging in ways that are fun or fair. The worse footing exacerbates any issues one might have avoiding his tail, giving players a one-way trip into the acid. If the player falls into the acid while Ridley attacks the right side of the arena, moving to the left side will often have Ridley instant transmission himself to the left side of the screen into a difficult to avoid grab attack that I could not dodge consistently, or at all.

The issue isn't that these bosses are hard, per se; none of them took me more than a couple of tries to beat. But I can recognize tedium and unfair challenge when I see it, and all too often I found it on full display in Desolation.

Regardless, eventually you will overcome these bosses and get back to the more enjoyable portion of the hack: the exploration. Like the very best hacks out there, there are many layers to the exploration that I have not yet plumbed. There are multiple endings (and a decent storyline with a unique flavour to Metroid games that I enjoyed), some of which involve exploring the planet in different ways. You can find all the major powerups without fighting even a single one of these annoying bosses, which is nice, though I don't hold that in the game's favour when it comes to the boss roster. There is one rather large caveat, however: you're not going to resolve the game's central conflict on Normal Mode. See, in order to get the true ending, you're forced to replay the game on "True Ending" mode.

Now, I am all for replayability, but this just left a sour taste in my mouth. On your first playthrough, you'll come across a gate in Bionicle that says "it's time to leave", which is your cue to backtrack to the ship and leave the planet. You can still find the five Metroid rooms You'll unlock "True Ending" mode, and only then will that gate unlock in Bionicle and allow you to complete the true ending. Additionally, a random wall in Acead will be removed only in "True Ending" mode that lets you fight Nightmare. I could find no in-universe justification as to why the gate is locked in Normal Mode. It all felt incredibly unsatisfying, the hack just ending on such an empty note.

This wasn't my first rodeo with this concept, of course. There are a few games out there that encourage multiple playthroughs, some of which are required to reach the true ending, but they offer incentives beyond playing the same game slightly differently: some let you play as entirely different characters, for instance. That being said, it wasn't a big deal, until you reach the bosses again, and things take a turn for the worse. Ridley, for instance, receives an even larger buff on True Ending Mode, at which point he receives a truly ridiculous amount of hit points. The bosses were already the worst part of the game, but making them even worse on the second playthrough just for an ending that should have been available on normal mode? No thanks.

As I said before, Metroid: Desolation is a work of extremes. You have some of the best tilework, music implementation and exploration of any hack, but some of the worst bosses and ending implementation on the other. While I would love to recommend this hack to my friends, I cannot in good conscience do so without warning them about the awful boss design. It is a shame, because otherwise this would be THE hack to recommend. It is so close, but these issues hold it back severely. I do recommend any veteran hack player to give this a whirl, even if you don't care for Zero Mission, but anyone who's looking to play their first hack? I don't know.

Some odds and ends:

* The text could use some cleanup. I realize English is not the native language of the author, but the script robs the game of some gravitas. I, and many others, would be happy to review the script and give constructive feedback.
* Power Bombs retain a bug from vanilla Zero Mission that forces Samus to release ledges she is hanging from while they explode.
* An endgame area, Bionicle, shares it name with a rather famous brand of toys, so the immersion is somewhat broken at that point.
* Apparently there have been some crashing issues. I never encountered any crashing, but it's worth keeping in mind and saving often.
* Plasma + Wave + Spazer has no visual distinction from Plasma + Wave. I don't know if this is a callback to Super Metroid, where Spazer and Plasma were mutually exclusive outside of glitches, but it does seem like a strange exclusion in such a robust, meticulously-crafted hack.
* Endgame navigation is a bit more roundabout than I would have prefered: Nurk-Bionicle, and Desert-Bionicle (aside from the secret ending) have no direct connections despite their proximity on the map. Acead-Rocava weirdly has a connection at the top of the map, but not the bottom.
* Acead and Bionicle could use more distinctive tilesets; they reuse tilesets and could stand to stand out from each other more.
By ponybaloney on Apr 18, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 4:08
It's the best Metroid game since AM2R. Stop reading reviews and play it already.



!!!!!!!DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT IF YOU DONT WANT SPOILERS!!!!!!!
















The best thing to me about this hack is that the map is designed to have two completely separate linear paths thru it. You play thru the game on normal, then you unlock "True Ending" mode where you play thru again along an entirely different path with new content that wasn't available in the normal mode. The amount of thought and testing put into this game's map design is mind boggling.

It has music, enemies, graphics, and bosses from zero mission, fusion, and even am2r which is insane to me. It's really the best from all 2D metroids.

The only real complaint I have is that Kraid's fight was very annoying and tedious. I would prefer him to not walk away from the wall. Or maybe there could be a platform that you can get to that makes it so you don't have to jump to shoot him in his mouth. Once you get to the platform, it would feel rewarding getting to pump him full of missiles. But yeah that's about my only complaint.

It's not just any old hack. It's a whole new metroid game and jasinchen should be very proud of this achievement. Desolation is the new gold standard of metroid rom hacks.
By MAPES25 on Apr 22, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 5:00
SPOILER WARNING FOR PEOPLE THAT WANT TO DISCOVER THE STORY ON THEIR OWN



This hack is pretty unique because you can leave it at any time (i even accidentally left it at 0% and samus said the mision was boring xd) i didnt like that you need to replay it to get the true ending but i liked the creative boss fights that even were from metroid fusion some of them and they made it a bit harder than the vanilla so veteran is ok it sometimes get frustrating but its not really much hard i got the lifelong enemy ending and i rate 4/5 (80%)
By Kuae on Apr 26, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
76% in 6:31
****SPOILERS BE WARNED IN CASE****

Hack is amazing. gotta throw that out there right off the bat. wanted to explore everywhere unlike most times when playing a hack. BUT locking true ending to ANOTHER playthru is GARBAGE. i was already wanting to play again midway through, but now forcing it? big nono. there were 2 segements, one in rocava and one in the zero suit section that seemed a little bit of a reach on where to go, not too bad, but could be more clear with how well everything else is put together. Again, hack WOULD be 5/5 but forced replay drops it down hard. sorry not sorry. But DEF recommend to ANYONE, as this felt like a legit true metroid game.
**also in game time is far off than the 11 hours i spent exploring**

EDIT:
mmk, a few days later after beating true ending mode forced extra playthru...ugh. holy. the new starting location that works with the map tiles before and doesnt break is something amazing from the creator, so i bring the score up to 4/5 because dang, thats some skill. good stuff. cant wait to see the next hack
By djcdubz on Apr 27, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
4.5/5 (rounding up to 5 for orbs)

Despite my criticisms, the game is really great and a worthy addition to the jasinchen trilogy, which are the best and most professional MZM hacks by far.

+Clearly a labor of love
+Aesthetics and effects are top notch
+Multiple endings
+Well thought out paths
+Well thought out secrets
+Second quest
+Second quest gameplay
+New items
+Item progression
+Enormous map and lots of exploration
+Addicting to play

+/- Some areas/biomes are really well done, others not so much. Hard to really say "X place has distinct Y feel" at times
+/- 2nd quest mirrors Subversion, however Subversion handles it better because it mixes up not just item order but the items themselves
+/- "Invisible hand" is too invisible. Good Metroid games rely on the player being guided but the player having a sense of self-discovery. Here the player is seamlessly guided but it can seem haphazard and without the sense of self-discovery. It felt like I stumbled upon items instead of taking cues from the environment and using various acquired abilities to find them.
+/- Length is good, but overstays its welcome during the second quest if you play them back to back.

-Room design. Too many business centers (vertical hallways with doors on both sides) and transitional hallways. Not enough variety in platforming. Not enough unique rooms with distinct designs and character. Compare this to MZM or another of his hacks, New Zero Mission, where the gameplay is much more varied and engaging. Rooms there have a unique identity absent in much of this hack.
-Map too labyrinth-y at times. Enormous but can be too compact. Very easy to get confused as to location and can make the player over reliant on the map.
-Ridley in 2nd quest has absurd HP.
-Having to play the entire game again to get the full story/best ending.

Additional thoughts:
1. There are paths to avoid bosses. I only found one, but it's cool that they are there.
2. Unsure about flexibility in item progression and sequence breaking. To me, a good Metroid game (see New Zero Mission) has organic sequence breaks that reward advanced players, can vary up your experience, and invite multiple playthroughs. They may exist here, but it wasn't very clear to me and I'm a very veteran player who is frequently looking for them and has had no problem in both his other major hacks finding them. I also thought there were some killer, multi-room and chained shinesparks in this hack that could have been used to sequence break but weren't. Again, I may be wrong here though.
3. For me, New Zero Mission > Desolation > Lost Chozo

All in all, despite my issues, it's a great hack, is excellent quality, and I recommend it to anyone.
By sheck on May 02, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:00
An all-around excellent hack. How everything links together is very ingenious and the use of ZM and Fusion assets along with what look like original assets creates a very unique feel. Being able to finish the game in so many ways is impressive, and along with the NG+ adds a ton of replay.

One criticism I have is that there are a lot of one-way barriers for much of the game, basically up until PBs. Coupled with the relative scarcity of energy tanks, this makes it easy to feel underpowered and trapped.
By Kremit44 on May 04, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 4:58
I think it might be my new favourite GBA hack. It's well paced and large but doesn't have significant tedium nor do you find yourself aimlessly lost. Bosses were usually very well done with some interesting mechanics. This hack is harder than the base game for sure but not crazy. Thanks for the great hack.
By caldw3ll on Jun 01, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
69% in 3:13
This hack is pretty amazing. The ported bosses were a super cool addition, and I really liked the story concept. The endings kind of feel lack-luster though. Most of them feel super abrupt, like the author crammed the plot into the last half hour or so of the game.

Also, I feel like the game is overly restrictive when it comes to stopping sequence breaking. Often I would perform a series of difficult wall-jumps or infinite bomb-jumps, only to be met with a power-bomb door, or a pool of water. It often felt like the author went out of their way to add redundant barriers to progression, just to prevent people like me from going off of the beaten path.

At first, this sort of thing bothered me A LOT-- however, as I started playing the new game+ mode, this restrictiveness began to make sense. Still, I feel like the a few instances of such barriers could have been removed without frustrating players.

Despite all of that, the sheer quality and polish of the hack makes it a must-play. The custom asm is top-notch, to the extent that the author added an entirely new major upgrade, without it overwriting an existing upgrade slot.
By Kriken Empire on Jun 21, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 3:14
Beat it twice from beginning to end, with 4 endings reached (two normal, two True Ending). To get this out there, this is a step up in ZM hacking. I don't understand how impressive it is from a technical standpoint, but it is creative and ambitious. I have some criticisms but the author should be proud and I recommend anyone give this hack a try. Even if something bothers you, it's worth it more to look stuff up to continue forward than to drop this hack outright. It's worth it.

Its ambition can be a hinderance, sadly. I couldn't tell when/if I should return to my ship, and did so on a whim my first playthrough. Needless to say I wasted a lot of time thinking there was more to do when I actually needed to start a new playthrough. The Metroids were also annoying because there's no indication that destroying them is pointless on a first playthrough. The Metroid doors should've at least been shown at the same time a message tells the player they need to come back to a certain door in a new game. I also saw no indication as to where screwattack was, and Metroid hunting without it was extremely tedious.

Some platforming sections were very punishing, and others were a little too hard for ZM's lack of buffer inputs I thought, but combat was always exciting and I'm impressed by what's been done with the bosses. They're a highlight. I could stand for it to be a little easier overall but that's a personal preference. Most of the shinespark puzzles were fair too.

The world is huge, pretty to look at, and has good choices for music. It's not too hard to navigate, and the map is easy to read, but the critical path and many sub items are found by twisting all around the map in strange ways. Hidden walls are everywhere and usually intuitive, but not always. By the second half of the game it felt like I was circling around the same couple zones Metroid or boss hunting and that gets boring after a while, but given you can cut your mission short I don't see it as a serious issue.

Overall this is a rewarding, unique, and fulfilling to play hack with some rough edges.
By Stsyf on Sep 26, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
85% in 5:30
The best Metroid hack I have ever played. This is a full length hack with multiple endings and a completely redesigned world. I loved the music ported over from AM2R. Beating the game on normal difficulty is about as hard as beating Metroid Fusion. Hard mode is renamed True Ending mode and basically acts as a more difficult "second quest"; the route through the game is changed and items and bosses are encountered in a different order. True Ending mode requires shinesparking, is more difficult and was a blast to play through. I liked having the extra incentive to play through a harder version of the game on a second playthrough for the True Ending.
By Spodej on Oct 02, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
78% in 6:04
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By el gatito on Feb 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
not completed

very good hack.
the map is so expansive, never felt so lost in a metroid game before
some music is taken from am2r with little reduction in quality which is very nice
By raygun on May 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 5:00
Awesome hack; well thought out and has the most new and refreshing content of any hack to date. A milestone in GBAtroid hacking as significant as spooky mission 1 was when it first released.

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