distressCall
Release date: May 26, 2023
Author: moehr
Download: Version 1.01, Unheadered (621 downloads)
(71 downloads of previous versions)
Genre: Exploration [?]
Game: M2
Difficulty: Unknown [?]
Average runtime: 3:21
Average collection: 100%
Read Me: PDF manual
Forum Thread: Release Thread
Rating: Star Star Star Star Star
Description
Distress call received:
...
Research satellite has come under attack. Rather than risk our military project falling into the wrong hands, we have executed Process 0 eliminating all occupants.
...
With the station automata failing and organic matter weaponized there is nobody to save.
...
We rather ask that you eliminate those who have come here, and return our prototype bioweapons to the proper authorities, under article 36-C of the Galactic Border Treaty.

------

If you use IBJ, you are sequence breaking, and might get yourself some place before you are prepared with proper equipment; the game will let you do this and should not end up in a softlock as a result. But think twice before using IBJ!

The map is very open - feel free to stick to easier areas on several maps, then go back once you have some upgrades to harder areas. You won't be forced to do much movement through damage tiles (though the game will let you if you insist, so if there's an environmental hazard, think twice before going directly through it). It is likely hard to totally avoid the toxic clouds on a first playthrough but you shouldn't be wading through it unprepared.

Hack difficulty is listed as unknown for the following reasons:
- you will benefit from experience with the original
- damage has been reduced a lot
- drops are more frequent and restore more health/ammo
- no missile rechargers away from gunship
- missile expansion tanks refill missiles
- the game world is smaller but not linear
- new upgrades have been added
- beams behave differently
- some new items have been added
- some custom art and enemy behavior
- one of the 4 areas is an entirely new layout
- pausing loads a map showing item locations and game info
- collected beams can be swapped (when paused, press missile toggle to cycle through them)
- anytime you eliminate a game target, the screen shakes to let you know

There are a lot of customizations, enjoy!
Screenshots
Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot
Ratings and Reviews
By Paragon on May 29, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 4:34
[Watch Video]  
Hacks for Metroid 2 are scarce at the time of my review, so I am definitely hoping that we'll get more (Moehr) hacks down the line even better than this one.

Bear in mind, my play time is largely because I wanted to make sure I got everything and saw everything, so I was taking my time, and I was also messing around a little to figure out some weirdness that has been solved by now. This will be apparent in my video. This is not a very long hack and could probably be beaten in under an hour.

That out of the way, I loved it. I'm a huge fan of Moehr's hacks and I love the innovative things he likes to do when he's building. This one is no different! He's built a map screen, animated tiles, and a means to switch beams (no beam stacking.. yet, but you don't have to have only one beam at a time), and new items. The game itself has a few rough patches, but nothing that completely ruins the fun. There's lots to explore in this little hack. It's not particularly difficult, either, but it has its own challenges that are worth checking out.

I'm looking forward to what Moehr and LAMP will bring to this game!
By Digital_Mantra on May 29, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 1:18
My second favorite Metroid game is Metroid 2, so when Moehr dropped a full hack I was intrigued.
Then I was surprised how awesome it was.

DistressCall is a highly detailed and unique M2 experience, you aren't exploring a planet lowering lava, you're on a research station with a map that wraps around the satellite zones cylindrically. It's a perfectly sized hack where it's not too big and not too small, the goldilocks zone of enjoyment and replayability.

Highly recommended!
By Contendo on Jun 10, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Being the creator of the tool used to create this and being in touch with the hack creator this is a very biased review. If I were to play this without any involvement, I would probably rate this a 3.5 - 4 orbs. This just screams: "I am a moehr hack.", which means that it has everything I love about a moehr hack and everything I hate about a moehr hack.

The graphics look beautiful and are very cluttered at the same time.
The world is very unique but is also very close to M2 at points.
I think the progression is just very obscure (like I don't think I ever knew where to actually go) but this also allows for crazy exploration.
The map and several other QOL improvements are things I don't want to miss EVER again.

I can't properly explain how crazy it is to have this hack. This sets the bar so high for everything else. A lot of high rated SM or ZM hacks don't even have the amount of custom things put into them that this hack has.

M2 hacking has finally set off and it's only getting better from here on.
Bravo, Moehr!
By Zhs2 on Jun 14, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 3:19
Not bad, but not quite on the level of good either. For a full real M2 hack it's ambitious but unfortunately that ambition runs hard into pitfalls considering not only is it mega janky to navigate most rooms given this game's level of tech but also BACKPORTS more pitfalls from Super Metroid conventions. It's annoying to jump over the tons of obstacles you will come across, there's a pervasive atmosphere of forced damage that doesn't even work half the time because the tiles are only programmed to give your feet cancer, and you feel like you can't actually get anywhere because you weren't helped along to some of the most important traversal upgrades you need to escape tricky situations and otherwise restrictive world loops. Oh, and there's suitless underwater.

In my play experience Spiderball was the second to last major item I found (Ice beam being the last, Plasma and Spazer I found right after Bombs.) This made going from the first zone left (where I missed just about everything thinking I couldn't get any of it, I needed more movement upgrades) and falling into the second, BSL-shaped zone amazingly horrid to escape until I wandered into High Jump. Along the way I ended up abusing a damage ceiling to reach Dash Boots and getting horribly stuck underwater REALLY REALLY WISHING I HAD SPIDERBALL AND BEING FORCED TO BOMB JUMP SINCE IT'S BETTER THAN ACTUALLY JUMPING WHILE IN WATER because I didn't know where anything was. Cue of course a circuit of platform enemies that flip up and down and since they can generate doing so at they same time if you're moving too fast this made some vertical hallways where you are REQUIRED TO PLATFORM ON THEM IF YOU DON'T HAVE SPIDERBALL amazingly irritating. All of this led to a horrible and grueling experience where I was basically avoiding toxic gas thinking I would be led to stuff that helps me explore only to fall into the most painful and inescapable world loop merely because I probably double bomb jumped somewhere, I don't even remember. I would not have put myself through the search for the final 4 metroids if DMan didn't give me a location map since by the point in item cleanup I finally found Spiderball I was not feeling incentivized to scavenger hunt for the unmarked Metroids (when items were clearly pointed out from the get-go.)

This hack does have some nice features. The map is nice, if only falling straight on its face given that it doesn't help any with room connections and doesn't point out any targets. Auto-morph in small spots is also nice. But then we have things like increased bomb timers, which was likely done to discourage bomb jumping but also just makes them completely painful to use on the blocks they are required to destroy. (Thank god you can find Plasma really quick.) By contrast to either of these the Metroids are completely unchanged (aside from graphically), so they are as fully abusable as they are in vanilla M2. In conclusion, mostly open does not equate to mostly fun game design, especially given the limited design M2 is capable of. There's a reason Nintendo made this game more linear than others in the series - they knew the constraints of the system, and they knew how confusing the world would be to traverse with duplicate room spaces... plus, of course, how much you really need Spiderball.
By Kriken Empire on Aug 10, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 3:27
This is a "shut up and take my money" kind of hack. It feels like a dream that something like this has been made. From conveyer belts, to underwater physics, new enemies, a wide variety of new tiles, new power ups, a map, everything. It feels like Metroid 2 went from short or half hacks all the way to current day Super Metroid hacks with the flip of a switch. I love that this was made, I love Metroid 2, and I thank everyone who played a part in this.

So it's crazy to me that I can say this hack isn't good because of the level design and progression rather than the fact that it's a Metroid 2 hack. Two words: Spider Ball. The amount of potential softlocks (or near enough to one) without spider ball is staggering and I got stuck somewhere so difficult to escape, it was faster to restart my playthrough than to try and leave. I had to look up where spider ball was because I wasn't going to suffer that again. Sadly, I couldn't see any way of accessing it "early" without IBJ, something the hack author says not to do, which is frustrating. Especially since with it, I no longer had serious issues with moving around the station.

Other than that, navigation is still a pain. I don't think there's anything objectively wrong with the game world, but for me personally, it feels like the game was designed around the map more than around cohesive design. What I mean is, many items and your targets (metroid equivalents) are in unintuitive locations, and I think many wouldn't find them without rigorously checking the map. However the map also makes the world look more interconnected than it really is, and sometimes I found myself running circles around a block on the map trying to find a way in when really the path leading inside was several rooms away, tucked in some crevice and maybe requiring a power up. I got so tired of this that I caved and looked up the locations of the last couple targets I was missing, and not surprising, at least one of them was passed a morphball tunnel in an arbitrary spot on a wall in a big room that I missed an hour or two ago. Going back and forth between areas also got tedious. One example is I found spring ball, though I didn't know it was spring ball at the time. I couldn't get it, so I climbed a tower and found space jump. I knew then that I could go back down the tower and get the other item with space jump. I thought to myself just how annoying that that would be to do, but considered "hey, maybe it's spring ball", bit the bullet, and went down. To my semi-amusement is was spring ball, but it bothers me that I couldn't simply get spring ball the first time through. The backtrack felt pointless, and I think this experience happened to me a couple of times. Many areas are packed with enemies and the sparse nature of saves and restore points can make moving around fairly tense, but sometimes tedious in its own right, at least by the final third of my playthrough. The hack is surprisingly difficult. It's not too hard, but it's hard enough that it caught me off guard. I would've thought it'd be easier considering not many are masters of Metroid 2.

To my knowledge there's no Metroid Queen equivalent, and no real final boss. A bit of a shame, but not a deal breaker. There's an air of mystery surrounding the station, and a certain optional boss had me scratching my head. It was interesting, but I'm pretty sure there's no ultimate conclusion. The "story" is just sort of there.

Regardless, this hack is pretty much too big to fail, I hope more hacks are made that can match or surpass it, and I hope no one is deterred from checking out this or future M2 hacks. This is a marvel of ingenuity in the hacking community.
By Stsyf on Sep 24, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 4:10
Great to finally see a full length Metroid II hack. The hack is non-linear and the power ups could mostly be acquired in any order. The main challenge is navigating the world; I actually got stuck about half-way through and restarted. I didn't really mind this and I used what I learned on my first attempt to try a better route for my second attempt. I got hooked pretty quickly and had a great time until the end. Hope to see more Metroid II hacks in the future.

You must login to rate this hack