ClaireDiviner's Ratings and Reviews
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Legacy by Banana Oyaji [SM Exploration], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 23, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 3:11
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Another major hack that isn't a half-hack. This one appears to be Well put together, and with no hidden Grapple shenanigans. There are a few moments where they hide the path forward behind fake walls, which is annoying, but the progression feels like a little higher than vanilla difficulty, which is fine by me. If I had one critique, I'd say it should've made the path to some major items a little more apparent, like Speed Booster, Wave Beam, or the way to Wrecked Ship. Also, the map breaking when loading a save also sucks, but it's the curse of old hacks. Overall, compared to some of the other old hacks, this one is by far one of the most robust. I thought about a 4/5, but I'm giving it a 5/5, and it's probably more than I should give.
Junkoid by P. Yoshi, Mindflower [M1 Exploration], rated by ClaireDiviner on Sep 10, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:36
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Just like its successor, this hack has tons of visual creativity, including changing a couple of aspects upon entering a specific area. The difficulty is fair, and so too is the difficulty progression. There's a small secret in the game that can also be found, if you know how to go about reaching it (I won't say here, for spoiler reasons).

All in all, this is a solid hack that I highly recommend any NEStroid fan. You can tell this was but a taste of what would later become its sequel, Super Junkoid.
Super Junkoid by P. Yoshi [SM Exploration], rated by ClaireDiviner on Aug 25, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 3:03
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Easily the most creative hack I've played. Given other hacks that exist, this is saying an awful lot. From all the custom sprite work and assets, to the overall world, and power-ups/progression, this game hits all notes just about as perfectly as one could hope a Metroidvania, rom hack or not, would.

If there's only one nitpick I have, it's one particular attack that isn't very well telegraphed, making it very difficult to avoid, which also makes possible any% runs harder than anything (won't elaborate, because I dare not spoil a single thing). Outside of that, I thoroughly enjoyed this hack, and had the most fun with this since Subversion, and V I T A L I T Y before that, and Escape II before that.

I couldn't recommend this anymore than I already am. If macabre and dark/gory visuals isn't your thing, this MAY not be your cup of tea, however. Easily a 5/5, I'd give it a 6, if I could. Great job on this hack. The work poured into this really shows.
Rewind by squishy_ichigo [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on May 18, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 2:31
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I was expecting yet another lazy half-hack, since that was all the rage in the previous years. Instead, what we have here is an interesting rerouting of the vanilla map, albeit with some tweaks to accommodate it. Essentially, the route is supposed to be RDPK, though the order isn't strict (I beat Phantoon last), which gives the player freedom to sequence break here and there. Some thought was also put into some of the rooms, to ensure the player doesn't accidentally softlock.

That said, there are two instances of where the player can potentially softlock, and that is Old Mother Brain Room, where the Power Bomb block going down into the item location reforms. Of course, the odds of locking down there is incredibly low, but not zero. Also, the Bomb Torizo being immune to all but Missiles and Super Missiles, meaning if you decapitate it, and you happen to run out of ammo, there's no way to beat it, forcing a death/reset.

Enemies have been changed to accommodate the routing as well, so places that normally have giant Desgeegas will have the normal-sized ones, etc. The bosses have also been tweaked as well, with Kraid having really fat-fat HP (probably the same as vanilla Ridley), while Ridley's health is rather low, to emphasize his first-bossness.

All in all, a neat hack, and a nice change from some other half-hacks. It's still a half-hack all the same, so it gets a 3.5, but because I'm rounding up, it gets a 4/5.
Super Metroid: Glitchtroid by ducknerd [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Apr 25, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
45% in 0:00
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So, this is going to sound weird, but I'm giving this a 4/5, when everyone else gave it a 1. My reasons explained below:

First and foremost, you can tell this game was made to abuse savestate, for better or worse. Personally, I detest the use of savestate, and generally don't use it, even in hacks where the creator encourages it (like Super Metroid: Golden Dawn). However, with the lack of any real save points (save for one in Norfair), and two boss fights being unbelievably hard, this game forced me to go the savestate route. Normally, I'd resent it, if not for one thing: Preeeetty sure this hack was made with TAS in mind.

Now, the real issue I have with this hack, other than the lack of saves, forcing me to savestate (I really wouldn't have savestated if there were well-placed saves), is the abundance of softlock chances. And I don't mean locking to the point of reloading your save and trying again, but literally 2-3 moments in this hack can make it so the player has to restart the whole thing from the very beginning if they lock their whole save due to weird-ass routing. Ordinarily, that'd take a point off, but again, pretty sure this game was made for TAS (we'll get to that).

I was able to beat the game, albeit with savestates. The only times I really needed to load the state aggressively was during the fight with Bomb Torizo, Draygon, the path toward the Varia Suit, and a few other spots that was deemed rather difficult, and needed a savestate for safety, or else lose a ton of progress. I would love to see someone attempt to beat this without savestating at all. I imagine it'd be a hell of an endeavor, with just Bomb Torizo alone, much less Draygon.

I enjoyed some of the puzzles the hack actually has. However, another issue I have with the hack is that there isn't much in the way of required glitches as the hack's name would imply. X-Ray climb, Gate Glitch, and... That's pretty much all I can remember, as far as actual glitches go. Everything else are merely just tricks that, in many cases, are dev intended (well, maybe not short-charged speed boosts). All the same, was still fun. It's a shame there's no proper ending; once you reach the Red Tower elevator, and go up it, the game crashes, and that is actually intended to be how the game actually ends, so no Zebes-shattering kaboom.

As for the TAS, Sapphron did share a link to a TAS that SMFTP made, which showcases how the game was meant to look when played and beaten, and that is where the hack shines the most, as it was made specifically for that, or so I'm sure. It makes for an entertaining-as-hell watch, and while there are no moonfalls (probably was made before its discovery), it still looks cool everywhere else. The link to the TAS video below:
Super Metroid: Redesign by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 16, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 12:13
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So here we have the rom hack that really put Super Metroid rom hacks on the map. When I first played this a while ago, I initially didn't like it. Then I revisited it. After having more of an open mind, I decided to play this again, to see if my opinion on this game has changed. Long story short: Yes, it changed, and for the better, though the game isn't exempt of criticism for flaws, some of which are really bad, which I'll be going over.

First thing's first: The physics change seems to be the usual point of criticism for many who do not like this hack. I feel that to be unfair, as yes, it goes against everything we're used to in vanilla Super Metroid. The hack is called Super Metroid: REDESIGN for a reason. Rather than treating this game as a hack of Super Metroid - and I get it, it is a rom hack - this should be treated as a totally different Metroid game entirely. When you disconnect this game from what is established in vanilla Super Metroid, and play this game for what it is, and not for what you want it to be/what it's not, you'll have an easier time accepting its physics at face value.

That out of the way, let's talk about some of the things I hate, because there are a few, and they're egregiously assholish. The Grappling Beam section; the increased gravity/fall speed of Samus, paired with her lack of aerial mobility (we'll get to that) makes swinging from one Grapple point to the next much harder, and more precise than it needs to be. On top of that, should you fail to leave the Grappling Beam area by way of a missed Grapple shot on a Grapple block, you fall into the acid and die, and you can't do anything about it. I could have easily forgiven that, had the save point before Grappling Beam wasn't placed so far before said item, meaning any deaths suffered after Grapple means having to spend roughly 5 minutes reacquiring Grappling Beam, which makes this stupidly tedious.

My other biggest gripe with the game, as I'm sure many others before me had, is the Chozo Statue hunt. To gain access to Tourian, one must find standing Chozo Statues, and Morph into their hands to activate their triggers. There are three such Chozo Statues in each area (3 in Crateria; 3 in Brinstar, etc.), which isn't an issue by itself. What is an issue, however, is that quite a few of these Chozo Statues are super-well hidden, with no hint as to where or how to find them. One must get lucky enough to X-Ray Scope the path leading to a Chozo Statue to find them, or just accidentally find the path without it. In one instance in Brinstar, to the right of the Dachora, the X-Ray Scope doesn't even reveal the fact you can simply Morph Ball through the wall. It's a bad design choice that I feel needed second opinions from playtesters before deciding it was good to go. I feel it should be a requirement for hack makers to put markers on the map that helps with pointing out the general location of said triggers, whether it's the Chozo Statues here, or the Door Triggers in Metroid Mission Rescue, or the Green Doors in Super Metroid: Lost World. All that said, I do know that this issue was addressed and fixed in the later-released "Axeil Edition" of this game, which is great, but I have to rate this game for what it has.

The Tourian escape is unnecessarily tough. Between losing nearly all major items from Mother Brain's rainbow beam, to the escape being really long for the timer to be 25 minutes, to some rooms having trollish routing, precise jumps, and even a Missile pickup that is hard-required to open two red doors during the escape (DO NOT waste any of those Missiles, because you are given no way to farm any, should you miss a shot), it makes one wonder if "Veteran" is truly the appropriate difficulty with which to label this hack. One thing is for sure: This game is NOT for those who are casuals to Super Metroid.

About the aerial movement: From the start, your jumps are hard to control, and you only ever get any real horizontal movement when getting a running start. This makes some jumping sections harder/more tedious than they need to be. That said, however, when you acquire the Space Jump, your aerial movement speed greatly improves, and the Screw Attack only improves it even further, to the point of being hard to control sometimes. Thankfully, the Screw Attack can be triggered by holding the run button, and if you don't want to keep using it mid somersault, you can let go of the run button to dial it down, which I felt was smart. Morph Ball movement is also very slow and clunky, but improves significantly when acquiring the Hi-Jump Boots, which has Spring Ball built in. So while Samus's mobility does feel hampered, it does feel rewarding when you collect the items that help improve it; it really makes you feel stronger, and more accomplished.

Some of the items in the game are placed in really bad areas. The areas themselves isn't bad in the sense that they're hard to find, but rather, the means to get to the items are way too frustrating for most people to want to do, including a Spring Ball/Bomb Jump gauntlet in Norfair, to get a Power Bomb pickup. It's as if Drewseph used save states to see if it was technically RTA possible, saw that it was, and made it the player's problem. Another Power Bomb pickup in Crateria hard-required IBJ, which is notoriously difficult to accomplish because of A, the high gravity, which wouldn't have been too bad had it not been for B, the Bomb use limit. You are given a three-Bomb limit for laying Bombs within a time window. If all three Bombs are used, you must wait for a lengthy cooldown before you can use Bombs again. It is possible to IBJ by timing the Bomb jumps, so that you don't lay the third Bomb by the time the second bomb cooldown is complete. This makes IBJ insanely precise for no real reason. I'd say it was to discourage cheesing/sequence breaks, but IBJ is a feature that was intended by Drewseph to acquire an item or two in the game, so there really wasn't a need to put such a limit on Bombs other than to annoy the player.

Finally, the path forward can be a little too obtuse at times, like finding your way to Phantoon's area through Crateria; there's a hidden Morph tunnel that - unless you know to go in it, or use X-Ray Scope to see it - is almost impossible to notice. Why make the way forward hidden? I would have expected that for a side item pickup for a Missile, or a non-essential luxury item, like Screw Attack. Speaking of Phantoon, the Lost Caverns, or whatever it's called, is annoying, and while there are visual cues that hints to the player how to solve it, it's too cryptic for most people to realistically figure out on their own. I was able to solve it in my most recent playthrough because of prior knowledge gained from a playthrough some time ago before it. Maze-type areas need to have a more transparent hint to the player, or else it just leads to needless frustration, to the point where solving it doesn't even feel rewarding.

All that said, I genuinely enjoyed everything else in this game. There are a lot of great ideas, and a ton of work was put into this from the ground up. It really is a benchmark hack that shows the potential for Super Metroid rom hacking, showing what rom hacks can really do, and be. For that reason, despite my gripes with the game, I can't give it any less than a 4/5. On a side note, saving the animals is made way out of the way during the Tourian escape. Obviously, it's not required to beat the game, but the location of the animals (which should be obvious), and what it takes to get to them, combined with the time of the escape really does feel like an accomplishment. Again, not needed to beat the game, but a nice flex to say "Yeah, I did it", so kudos to Drewseph for the way saving the animals was done.
Super Metroid: Resurrection by BoostGuardian [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
96% in 4:03
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I could've given this hack a low rating pretty easily, especially with some of the jank in this hack, including permastuck in a corner, like in Amphitheater, or Fish Tank. And don't get me started on the godawful layout that was The Worst Room in the Game; that could have, and should have been implemented so much better. Yet, despite all of that, the one thing I really enjoyed about this hack more than anything is the routing.

It can be easy to get lost, or forget where one can go. Thing is, I'm not going to fault the maker for the routing confusion, because in hindsight, I should have known of some alternative ways to get around Zebes, when the usual route that most players know won't cut it. Granted, I did figure it out eventually, but it only made me more aware of some of the way one can get around Zebes (the fact the Forgotten Highway has its namesake can potentially be the reason a player unfamiliar with routing can get stumped).

I would've like Phantoon to have more health, given how late in the game he's encountered, but I'm guessing the hack maker figured there'd hardly be a point, given the gear acquired by then, trivializing Phantoon regardless. All in all, I liked it despite the frustration, maybe more so than this hack deserves.

Also, I unironically like the Samus sprite colors, from the Power Suit, to the Varia, and the Gravity. While the Gravity is my favorite aesthetically, the dark sprite can make it hard to see Samus in quite a few rooms, which can be a potential annoyance. That's about it. Not much else I can add to this.
Super Metroid: Magma by BoostGuardian [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 19, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
33% in 1:29
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The idea behind the hack is pretty neat. The planet is basically a volcano. There isn't a lot that is done with the idea, but what is done is still neat all the same. Some of the color palettes were pretty cool, with the color of the Gravity being my personal favorite custom color. Progression forward can be a bit confusing, and by the point, the hidden Grapple blocks that progresses through the game become more obvious for those who have dealt with them in other hacks before (still sucks that they're still a thing in this hack, though).

All in all, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would have; probably more than I should have. Regardless, it gets a 4/5 from me.
Reverse by Sin [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 15, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
57% in 2:15
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The (as of writing this) last hack of 2004. While, in my opinion, not the best hack, what with the weird design and progression decisions, the routing and item progression still makes this hack an interesting playthrough. While not exactly a half-hack, it still falls in the category of vanilla+, due to the general structure of the game world, with one major exception, which I'll get to.

My only gripe with this hack... I honestly don't have much complaints, as the path forward isn't so blatantly hidden in trollish ways. The complaints I do have, however include the tedious maze that's in Forgotten Highway, and the maze of rooms where one would normally expect to see G4. That latter part, however, can be cheesed, if one knows how and where to do it, and while there are no visual cues/clues as to how to navigate the maze, each room is very different from one another, so you can still map out where you've been before.

Overall, not a bad hack, and arguably one of the better ones of 2004. Only thing stopping me from giving a 5/5 is some of the design choices in certain rooms, and - while few - some softlock potential, if you're too reckless.
Super Metroid: Battle by Banana Oyaji [SM Boss Rush], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 13, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
30% in 0:38
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As the name implies, this is a Boss Rush of sorts, but it's a little more than that. Rather than beat a boss, and go to the next room for the next boss, you still need to find items in the order you normally would in the vanilla game to progress to the next area housing the boss. Each area isn't big at all, usually no more than 2-4 rooms, give or take, but the item progression is enough to require some thought to progress. The boss fights themselves were not much different stat-wise, but the rooms for a majority of them were different, changing up how they're fought. The Mother Brain fight is only different in the first phase; the other phases are the same. However, from my playthrough, I only found 3 E-Tanks, so you gotta make sure your Mother Brain fight is on point. The escape sequence is similar to Another Super Metroid, with some minor differences. Though you can save the animals, the way in which it's done is subtle enough for the player to not realize what triggered the save.

Regrettably, I never got to find the Spring Ball during my playthrough, and I'm sure it is somewhere in this hack, but I could be wrong. Overall, this hack, especially for one so old, ended up being better than I thought it would be. And it's short enough where it doesn't overstay its welcome. I think a solid 4 does this hack justice, especially when comparing to other hacks of 2004.
Gaslight, Gate Glitch, Miniboss by Croakomire [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Nov 02, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
9% in 0:38
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Given that this game was released on April Fool's Day 2023, I have to rate it accordingly. This game promises everything that the title advertises, so there's points for that. You need to know some obscure tech to get through several of the game's rooms. Everything else is just execution, really. Only thing preventing me from giving this a perfect 5/5 is the first save room, which commands perfect gate glitching thrice in a row, which sucks.

I only recommend for those who are willing to see how far they can go, and for the novelty of it.
Super Metroid: Boss by Cardweaver [SM Boss Rush], rated by ClaireDiviner on Apr 19, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
48% in 0:18
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It's a pretty standard Boss Rush. I like how certain rooms transition, and how the bosses are fought in accordance to their areas, and not really the order in which they're casually fought (with one little exception). The only sad thing is no animals to save. Other than that, it's better than some of the other Boss Rush hacks I've played so far, so it gets a 3/5.
Super Metroid: Golden Dawn by Black Telomeres [SM Exploration], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 20, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 4:20
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Let me get something out of the way right now: I unironically really like this hack. Before I elaborate, let me go over what I didn't like:

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

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

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

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

So why am I giving it a 3, instead of a 4, or 5/5? Well, the lack of saves do hurt it, but not as much as one may think. Like, yeah, it sucks, but it can be a non-issue if the player uses savestates, or in the case of myself and some others, have the necessary skill to persevere using ONLY the gunship as the save point. Still, it's something that I take into consideration, given the difficulty of some sections, and having too much path between you and the ship.
The other issue, which is the biggest downside for me, is the Mother Brain crash. I hate using savestates, unless it's hard-required, like the original Kaizo. So having to be effectively forced to have to use it at MB1 just felt really wrong to me. It also makes one wonder if this game was ever playtested up to that point, either by Black Telomeres themselves, or someone else. If so, they may have reached MB1, got lucky that the game didn't crash the first encounter, and thought, "Yeah, it's good to go."
If anyone, even if it's Black Telomeres themselves, ever decide to go back to this hack, and update it with a little polish in the same way Digital Mantra did with Cliffhanger Redux, that would be pretty awesome. Even if the choice to have no saves outside of gunship is kept, just fixing the Mother Brain crash issue will definitely shoot this hack to a 4/5 for me. Maybe even a 5/5, just for the ambition, the aesthetics, and the fact that not one bit of this hack has anything vanilla as far as room/map layout is concerned.
Super Metroid: Dependence by Black Telomeres [SM Exploration], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 18, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 4:14
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This was an interesting full hack. Definitely not for the casual players, but isn't hard enough for me to consider this a challenge hack in the same way Super Hard Metroid, or even Super T-Metroid were. There wasn't anything that stands out in this hack, however; it's pretty standard. That said, I do have two issues with this:

- The path forward in ProtoTourian (Maridia): There are Power Bomb blocks at a ceiling in a Metroid room that would more than likely not be seen by the player. The X-Ray Scope cannot reach that high, unless the player had the forethought to freeze one of the Metroids, and use them as platforms. You can bomb the ceiling to reveal them, but the position of said blocks means the player would more often than not have had to find them by accident. It could've been implemented better, and be made more transparent to the player.

- Red herrings: There are a few doors in this hack that cannot be reached, and the player is given the impression that there's some kind of secret way into the door, or some path that leads out of it. The truth is that these doors go nowhere, and are simply there to piss people off. Case in point, there's a blue door in the room where Screw Attack is acquired that is normally unreachable. When X-Ray Climbing, one can reach said door. Entering it will take the player to another Lower Norfair room that can be reached elsewhere, making that door above the Screw Attack absolutely pointless.

Other gripes include the path forward in Tourian being one of those hidden paths that X-Ray can't reveal, etc. Also, I must be superhuman as Black Telomeres says I could be, because I did not find the Spring Ball, nor could I find it, so it was not for a lack of trying. If anyone knows where that hidden sumbitch is, I'd love to know.

Those issues out of the way, everything else is pretty straightforward. Some parts can be seen as challenging to the average player, while to veterans, not so much. I think the biggest selling point for this game, more than anything, for better or worse, is its open-endedness, as the player can take almost any route they want to proceed. Of course, this means some parts of the game will become harder, depending on where one chooses to go first, but that's part of the charm. Overall, I give this a 3/5.
Impossible by Saturn [SM Challenge], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 13, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 6:05
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The very first true challenge hack on the site. Yeah, there were hacks, like Ultimate Challenge 1 and 2, Super Hard Metroid, and Super T-Metroid, but this one feels far more fleshed out, with the challenges really thought through in how one progresses through the game. I did enjoy the challenges and routing, for sure, but this game is not without its issues, as I'll go over first.

My biggest issue, more than anything, is the location of some items. There are many places that are way too obtuse to figure out, like grabbing the Missile in Aqueduct, for example. The player absolutely cannot and will not know about how to get said Missile, and there's no way to cheese it either. Damning still is that X-Ray Scope (oh, I'll get to that) doesn't reveal anything either. The player has to somehow know there's a hidden crumbling Grapple Block on the right side of the door leading to Botwoon Hallway, literally right below the loading zone. One must time a jump with Spring Ball as the Grapple Block crumbles, as it does reform, and must do so without hitting the loading zone. HOW THE HELL IS ANYONE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT?! IT'S BULLSHIT! Literally, one is forced to look at the hack in an editor, like SMILE in order to know that it's there; there is no universe, no timeline where a player accidentally stumbles upon this intended little path to the Missiles. There are plenty of obtuse instances of items being this well hidden for no reason. The X-Ray Scope does reveal most things otherwise.

Speaking of X-Ray Scope, the location is just plain mean spirited. While there's a non-zero chance the path to the Aqueduct Missile can be accidentally found, there is literally no way anyone could have found X-Ray Scope on their own. This one hard-requires either prior knowledge, or opening the game in an editor to see where it is. It's found in Three Musketeers' Room, and requires a Crystal Flash into the wall between the right side, and FrankerZ Missiles, but in a very specific stretch of tiles, as there's a hidden path within. Immediately from there, one must navigate in Morph Ball in a crawl space above, and ceiling bomb jump across a 1-tile gap, or else one will fall through to the main area below, with no way back up, except another Crystal Flash. Once across said 1-tile gap, the X-Ray Scope is to the far right of that section.

I understand why the X-Ray Scope was placed in such a stupidly cryptic manner, and while I don't like or agree with the choice, I can respect it. I learned, while playing this game, that the hack's author, Saturn, is a known TASer, and knew just how powerful a tool the X-Ray Scope can be in the hands of those who know how to really use it beyond the devs' intended function. If the X-Ray Scope was acquired earlier, or more easily, one can cheese parts of the game, including the acquisition of the Gravity Suit MUCH earlier than intended. I agree with Saturn's motive, just not the method.

The one saving grace, however, is that ALL hard-required items are pretty straightforward. From my experience, only the truly esoteric and cryptic items are optional, including the X-Ray Scope, and isn't needed to progress through the game. Granted, sticking to ONLY the required items will make life harder, as one will have less resources, like ammo and energy for later bosses and areas - oh, I'll get to that too!

The areas are hard, but it's to be expected. Norfair's "Oops! All Hell Runs!" was a bitch to do, but was still fun in its challenge. Definitely NOT for everyone, but anyone who plays this game should know what to expect. The bosses are also hard as well, though to some detriment. Phantoon was alright for the most part. Kraid was annoyingly bulky, and hit harder than usual, but nothing too bad. Draygon, on the other hand, was WAY too stupid. For starters, it hit like a truck; I don't even know if the damage was buffed from it or the surrounding turrets, but they all hit stupidly hard all the same. To add to this, Draygon's health has been significantly buffed, and the turrets are impossible to destroy. This makes the fight less about skill, and more about RNG. If the game decides "Here's a dick," you can't do anything about it; you have to take it and start again. The only saving grace is that the save point is, like, right there... which cannot be said about Ridley.

Ridley has also been buffed significantly in health. Either that, or his resistance to Super Missiles were increased. Either way, the fight isn't easy, since you'll be in a hell run throughout, meaning the fight with Ridley is a DPS race. That itself isn't a problem. What is, however, is the fact that the closest save is in the Red Kihunter Shaft, meaning every death results in a tedious trek back to Ridley, and an even more tedious health/ammo grind, using the wasps in the Lower Norfair Farming Room before Ridley. They could have placed an energy and Missile refill in there or something, to mitigate the tedium.

Mother Brain is a major pain in the ass. Everything she throws at you does an illegal amount of damage, and her health has been heavily buffed. So knowing how to deal with all of her attacks, especially her bombs, are important. Also, health management is equally important, as you need to put yourself within range for MB's rainbow beam to initiate the Baby cutscene, or else you die to Mother Brain's projectiles during her taunting phase. The escape after that gives you only 1 minute, with very little room for error. Tourian Escape Room 3 is easily the worst part of it, requiring not only a shinespark, but weaving through a Morph crawl space before shinesparking to the top-right door. One can mess that up once, and still have just barely enough time to escape, so not all is lost. I am 100% convinced, unless I see proof to the contrary, that the animals are impossible to save successfully.

Overall, I still enjoyed everything else in the game, most especially the routing, what with where the game places Varia. Once that is acquired, A, you're pretty much at the end game, and B, there's a genuine feeling of accomplishment. Draygon and Ridley does sour the experience quite a bit, but what's good in this game is pretty damn good in terms of testing one's skill. That said, I can't give this more than a 3/5, because of Draygon and Ridley made to be more aggravating than challenging, and the way in which this game hides most of the item pickups. Still, I liked it more than anything.
Super Metroid: The Darkness Spreads 2 by BoostGuardian [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 10, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
65% in 6:08
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There are two major issues I have with this hack, preventing me from rating this any higher than a 3:

- It's BORING and TEDIOUS to navigate. To elaborate, there are way too many instances where rooms are laid out to have a lot of narrow passages, requiring Morph and Bombs to proceed. It becomes a slow slogfest, with the purpose of aggravating the player. I could easily forgive it, if the hack gave the player Spring Ball early, but no, it's given significantly late in the game. It should be a requirement for hack makers to give Spring in hacks where they insist on tedious Morph Ball mazes, do not debate me.

- Red herrings; this game has a lot of them. Grey doors that don't open, and even if they did, leads to nowhere, or even if they had a loading zone, like Crocomire's room, it's impossible to enter them. This is made more egregious when Crocomire's door, which is grey, flashes after defeating Ridley, as a way to taunt the player. There's no reason for that. While I haven't used any Game Genie codes to walk through walls, to see what was down there, I do speculate that Crocomire's area is purely unchanged from vanilla, because why would it be different if it can't be entered? On a related note, the map remains unchanged from vanilla, so rooms that are omitted from the hack are still displayed, incluidng Croco's room, Hi-Jump Boots Room, etc.

After reading the reviews after my playthrough, I'd parrot what caauyjdp said; I used Crystal Flash to enter the bottom door of Crateria Super Room. What I didn't realize was that it was meant to be an exit. I collected a Power Bomb within. During the escape sequence, the top door of that room opens to the player, where they are meant to go around to the bottom of Craterai Super Room, collect the Power Bombs, and escape. If you collect the PBs before the escape sequence, it will be nearly impossible to escape (not sure if the Boyons in the room, which can be killed with a single Bomb, drops Power Bombs).

At that point, I was forced to hard-reset the run, but by way of Spacetime Beam, as to keep my items, and speed through the game to Tourian. Had it not been for that, I'd have been forced to start a whole new playthrough, and it would technically be the fault of the player, but it's still an awful thing to put necessary items during the escape sequence, because of occasions, like these.

Other than those gripes, I did enjoy the routing, the aesthetic, some of the genuine effort, and the challenge presented in the hack. This could have been executed better, but for what it is, and what we got, it could've been so much worse.
Vacation by Jathys [SM Spoof], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 03, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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This hack is interesting. After years in the military, under the command of Adam Malkovich, Samus Aran goes her own way, working hard to make a name for herself as a bounty hunter. She is well renowned in the galaxy, as the Galactic Federation often calls on her to take on missions even their own trained military forces cannot. Why wouldn't they? Even from childhood, Samus has lived her life working; training her body to become physically strong, and flexible, to the point she can perform feats no ordinary human can. Granted, much of that heavy lifting was due to her DNA being combined with that of the Chozo, making her overqualified for many tasks considered too dangerous for a human otherwise.

She has infiltrated the Space Pirate base on Zebes, to fell their leader, the Mother Brain, and during that mission, she had to navigate the treacherous caverns, even going so deep as to reach volcanic chasms, where she encountered the likes of Space Pirate generals, Kraid and Ridley; formidable foes, the latter of whom was responsible for Samus being an orphan, and being plunged into the life in which she currently lives.

Fast forward to the Prime series, where she has tangoed with more Space Pirates, including a returning Ridley, and has also tangoed with other bounty hunters, some of whom proved as formidable as Samus herself. That's to say nothing of the Metroid Prime, which ultimately became a ferocious dark-side version of Samus, a foe even more dangerous than Ridley and Mother Brain could ever hope to be.

Then she was tasked to explore the Metroid-ruled planet of SR388, where her mission was to destroy all the Metroids that thrive there, a job no other human could accomplish, given the danger the Metroids posed. Not just the standard life-draining Metroid larvae, but she also tussled with their more mature stages, including Beta, Zeta, and the fearsome Omega, leading up to the behemoth that was the Metroid Queen. It was there, she encountered a baby Metroid. The last of its kind, who mistook Samus as its mother. Having shown such intelligence, Samus didn't have the heart to eradicate the larva, and instead, took it with her.

All this leads up to the events of Super Metroid, AKA Metroid 3. And after all that she has been through up until this point, the bitch definitely more than deserves a vacation. To hell with Zebes, to hell with Ceres, to hell with the Galactic Federation, Samus is going out to Space Hawaii to sip on mimosas and having her Metroid baby as a companion, because not even Adam Malkovich can tell her she ain't earned her time to put her feet up. Yes, Adam, there is an objection, and Samus will dare you to do something about it!
Super Metroid: The Darkness Spreads 1 by BoostGuardian [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 28, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
97% in 2:05
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It's a half-hack, with different routing. Some of the item locations are different, which is neat. If you're a casual, you'll likely follow the intended path, but veterans will more than likely stray from the main route and find more items than they need by the time they fight the first intended G4 boss encounter. Some of the bosses were vastly buffed (in health, not damage) while others were greatly nerfed, for the sake of the routing. Not much else to say, really. My only gripe is, despite the name, the aesthetics of Zebes (or Dark Zebes, in this case) looks literally no different than ordinary Zebes. At least Samus's suits have different colors. As something to note: Like with Super Hard Metroid, the Baby Metroid encounter uses a different sound effect for the Baby Metroid, making the game very likely to crash if it grabs Samus, and reduces her health to 1, forcing the player to have to Baby skip, which is always annoying.

P.S. Where the hell is Spazer?!
Searching for Items by Terimakasih [SM Exploration], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 22, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
85% in 2:36
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The hack was neat, but some things hold it back. The most glaring of which is the save. Saving anywhere in Crateria will render the save unplayable, as you'll end up softlocked out of bounds in Spore Spawn's area somewhere. Maridia's save is fine. Norfair's save, however, places you in a watery room a room or two before the actual save room. Bottom line: Saves are broken, so don't save in Crateria. I was forced to use savestates at save points, in place of actually using the save, which sucks, because I don't like using savestates, especially when I don't have to. Only thing that saved me from the Crateria save softlock was by resorting to using an Action Replay code that allowed me to select in which area to load my save (Norfair was the safe option).

Another point against the hack is some of the obtuse item locations, most especially Ice Beam. This is a hack that practically forces the player to use X-Ray Scope EVERYWHERE the moment they get it, and sometimes, it doesn't really help much. Also, there are a few doors that cannot be entered, which act as red herrings to the player. To see if they led anywhere, I took it upon myself (after my playthrough) to use a "Walk Through Walls" cheat to enter the door, in which it led to a softlock. Also, unless proven otherwise, there are no animals to save. Or if there are, the means to do so isn't made apparent, if at all possible.

The good things it does have otherwise is its map layout and - barring the item locations - item progression. The boss fights were pretty standard, though most boss rooms were changed to make them more interesting. Ridley's room, however, was annoying; it made the fight harder than it needed to be, which I feel was unnecessary.

I'm giving it a 3/5, because there was genuine effort put into this, though some of the execution was a bit lacking. I would've given this a 4/5 if the save issues weren't a factor.
Titanic Ceres Arena by Jathys [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 12, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
42% in 0:25
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Weird level layout, and a weird hell run, made weirder by the lack of a proper moving camera. Ceres was also really troll, though I managed to get through it (and the rest of the game) deathless. Overall, I kinda like it, and the challenge it presented. Nothing about which to write home, but I found it (mostly) harmless.
Super Metroid: Ultimate Challenge 1 by Popple_Waffles [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
15% in 0:00
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Your run-of-the-mill obstacle course hack. This one isn't for beginners, but those who are half-adept in Super Metroid movement should be okay, especially since you start with max E-Tanks.
Yonpi ks One Room - TR by Yonpi [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
5% in 0:00
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I like the obstacle course style of this hack. It does what it set out to do, simplistic as it may be. My only criticism is the lack of an actual ending, but at least you'll know when you reach the end. I liked it more than I thought I would, but nothing too special overall.
Another Super Metroid by Banana Oyaji [SM Exploration], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 2:13
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For the earliest hack on the site, and a hack this old, I can't judge it harshly. It's a half-hack, except there's genuine effort put into the structure of many of the rooms. If you know vanilla Super Metroid, you'll know where to find everything, so in that regards, it's very simple. Still, it's a nice look at what rom hacks were like that early. Not great, but not bad. Feels more like a test of what one can do with whatever tools they had back then for hacks.
Super Metroid: Rush by Dark_Echoes [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Apr 28, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
26% in 0:18
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I have nothing to really say. Just another boss rush with nothing unique to offer to it. It isn't stupid, unlike Warfare, so it gets a 2/5, at the very least. No animals to save, sadly.
Playground by Cardweaver [SM Quick Play], rated by ClaireDiviner on Apr 19, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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My biggest issue with this hack is how stupidly obtuse progression is in the beginning. Everything else was actually fine. Between trying to find a stupidly hidden bomb block, to kagoing upward through a slope, which runs the risk of softlocking the player, this hack feels largely unpolished. Could've been worse; I've played worse.
Super Metroid: Mission Bicho by don gato pato [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 18, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 2:16
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This game is mostly lazy spike spam, and breakable blocks (including Super Missile, Power Bomb, and Crumbling Grapple blocks). The item locations, save for a couple of exceptions, are exactly the same as vanilla, thought the routing differs a little, because of some obstacle placements.

I didn't hate the hack, and actually kind of liked some things about it, but it was rather shallow in the end. I'd give this a higher score if the obstacles, spikes included, weren't placed so arbitrarily, and the breakable obstacles did reform; the Speed blocks that block Taco Tank, for example, will reform quickly, softlocking you, if you shinespark to get it. I had to use a temporary Blue Suit in order to get it without softlocking. There are other instances where one can softlock, if they're not careful, and that is mostly a failure on part of the hack maker than the player.
Super Metroid: Full Run by BoostGuardian [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
36% in 0:25
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Just a more fleshed out version of Super Metroid: Marathon. Not much substance to this. Some softlock potential, but as long as the player isn't dumb enough to needlessly waste ammo, they'll be fine. The Baby Metroid has the issue that some early hacks have, using a different sound effect, resulting in a game crash if it grabs Samus and reduces her health to 1, forcing the player to Baby Skip. Had it not been for that, I'd have given this a 3/5.
Super Metroid: Colors by After K [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 06, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
95% in 3:56
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(Played Extreme Mode)

I have quite a few issues with this hack. The first major issue to get out of the way are some of the Missile pickups; there are 2 Missiles in West Ocean, a Missile in Kraid's Warehouse, etc. that crashes the game upon collecting them. I don't know if it's an emulator issue or not, but it prevented me from getting max collection %. The good news is that they're just Missiles, and not something important, like Bombs, or Gravity.

The progression is weird, and the ways to get some items seem to be more annoying than actually difficult, like Speed Booster, for example. It's a half-hack, so you'll know the locations to most items, though some items have been changed around. This, however, leads to my biggest gripe...

The location of the Charge Beam. Why in the blue hell would anyone put it in a save room, especially when it's a save most Super Metroid veterans would normally ignore? Every other save room in the game lacks items, though I suppose I'm just too stupid to take the subtle hint of Chozo statues in right-ward save rooms alluding to one of them potentially holding a Chozo orb. See, it's MY fault, the player, for not reading the mind of the hack maker, and what they want the player to do. Of course, I say all this with sarcasm.

I could forgive all of that, had it not been for Draygon's section in Maridia. Botwoon, and Draygon have unholy amounts of health, which is no problem if one had Charge Beam, as to microwave them with charged Plasma shots; because of the Charge Beam's location, I was forced to fight Botwoon with ammo, by way of getting stuck in the door, to avoid Botwoon's body, as it does almost 100 damage per hit (projectiles were more forgiving), and in a room layout that's too ridiculous to make fighting and beating Botwoon feasibly possible with just ammo.

I mentioned Draygon's section; if you go past the Botwoon E-Tank room, you absolutely cannot go back without Spring Ball. Draygon guards the Spring Ball. Draygon's room makes hitting him with Supers nearly impossible, and the turrets cannot be destroyed. Draygon also does a shit-ton of damage, making that fight impossible without Charge Beam. I had thought myself irreversibly functionally softlocked. I ended up X-Ray climbing out of bounds in Botwoon E-Tank Room, and trying to find a loading zone that can potentially get me out. By some miraculous stroke of serendipitous bullshit, I managed to reach a replica of Botwoon's room, and navigate it half-blind to reach a loading zone to safety, allowing me to continue the game.

All that said, one would think I'd give this a 1/5, but no. There are a few challenging spots I enjoyed, all things considered. The location of the Plasma Beam, for example, was pretty amusing, among other things. Still, I can't recommend this, unless one is curious to see the weirdness put together in this hack, as if someone from the Memphis Group was given a rom hack to make.

P.S. Why was this called "Super Metroid: Colors", when the colors and aesthetics didn't look any different or more colorful than vanilla?
Super Metroid: Marathon by BoostGuardian [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 03, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
[Watch Video]  
Run boy run! This world is not made for you
Run boy run! They're trying to catch you
Run boy run! Running is a victory
Run boy run! Beauty lays behind the hills

Run boy run! The sun will be guiding you
Run boy run! They're dying to stop you
Run boy run! This race is a prophecy
Run boy run! Break out from society

Tomorrow is another day
And you won't have to hide away
You'll be a man, boy!
But for now it's time to run, it's time to run!

Run boy run! This ride is a journey to
Run boy run! The secret inside of you
Run boy run! This race is a prophecy
Run boy run! And disappear in the trees

Tomorrow is another day
And you won't have to hide away
You'll be a man, boy!
But for now it's time to run, it's time to run!

Tomorrow is another day
And when the night fades away
You'll be a man, boy!
But for now it's time to run, it's time to run!
Limit by Sin [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 29, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 4:02
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There's a few things that can be said about this. Many others have already said what I would say, honestly, so to not beat a dead horse, I'll go over my review briefly.

What I liked: The fact that it's a full hack, and one particular section of the escape sequence was really cool.

What I didn't like:

- Some of the obstacles are a little obtuse in telegraphing to the player what to expect. The Speed Booster section comes immediately to mind; the end of which many players will likely die during their first rodeo, not knowing they need to charge for a shinespark, let alone when to actually charge it.

- The Grapple section leading to Phantoon is harder than it needed to be. It could have used either less Atomics, or... Nah, just remove the Atomics altogether, because the obstacle's a good enough challenge without them disrupting the flow of it.

- Maridia. Beyond the glass tube, proceeding forward results in the player unable to backtrack, nor can they return beyond the broke glass tube after that section is done. This creates a major issue; Plasma Beam is in a hard-to-reach area, and if that area isn't reached, you missed your chance. Beyond that point, whether you get Plasma or not, is the Gravity Suit, which requires blue suit, which is fine, but a player who doesn't know what that is can easily lose it, and potentially softlock themselves. After gaining Gravity, and proceeding to the exit of Maridia, assuming you didn't get the Plasma Beam, you will have permanently missed your chance. It punishes the player for not happening to know this would happen.

- The troll crumbles during the escape sequence. They do nothing but to hemorrhage time, which you're given little for the length of the escape. The final part is literally the only cool thing about it.

Overall, some neat ideas here and there, including the routing, but the execution in many regards fall flat, with sections being hard because of bad design choices. Had this hack given the player the chance to return to post-glass tube room for a second chance at Plasma, I'd have given this hack a 3/5 instead of a 2.
Super Hard Metroid by Crocomire [SM Challenge], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 27, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
97% in 4:28
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I really wanted to like this hack, because the truth is, I low-key enjoy challenge hacks with spikes, provided the spike placements aren't stupid. For the most part, that's what I feel we have with this hack. The routing is also interesting, and replacing the water in Moat with lava was an interesting choice, among many others. However, there are several things that prevent me from giving it more than a 2/5:

- The biggest issue for me are the troll traps, whereby you fall through a crumble block, and end up irreversibly trapped in a pit of spikes; sometimes these are the result of picking the wrong path forward. Shit, like this, is the kind of amateurish design shitty Mario Maker level creators do with the thought that it's "challenging". It isn't a challenge, it's tedious and stupid. There are other trial and error hacks, like Super Mega Metroid X-2, and Kaizo Possible, but they have the decency to implement an instant respawn. A hack like this shouldn't have such trolls, espeicially for players who happen to have not saved in a while. When I think "challenge", I picture an obstacle that's transparent to the player, so that said player uses their skill to get through it, and not because of blind chance.

- Some of the items appear to be impossible to obtain. Specifically the E-Tank in the Big Pink Water Speedway, and the Power Bombs in the top-right corner of Landing Site. The former is just blocked off, with no discernible way to reach it (X-Ray Scope reveals nothing here either); the latter crashes the game upon using Power Bombs to open the door to the room housing the Power Bombs. There's one other item that is too obtuse to obtain, and that's the Main Street Missiles; the speed block reforms, trapping the player in, forcing a softlock. The only way to get it is for the player to have the forethought to use Blue Suit obtained from Draygon, or with speed keep, using X-Ray Scope for turning (and I'm not sure if that method is realistically feasible.

- Another major issue that many hacks released since this seem to have, is that the Baby Metroid's sound effect is different, for some weird reason. On its own, it's no big deal, but when Samus is grabbed, and drained to 1 health, the game's audio goes ape shit, and soft-crashes the game, causing a hard crash upon loading the next room. This hard-forces the player to have to Baby skip, which would be fine, if the game wasn't being run on the PAL version (oh, we'll get to that).

- Finally, this game runs on the PAL version. Even if you apply this patch to an NTSC version rom, the PAL version's quirks will overwrite. I've never played the PAL version before (only ever hearing about it), but from what I've played, it really messes with the muscle memory, and physics that the vast majority of Super Metroid players know. Speed Booster is different, item fanfares are longer, beam and missile cooldown is longer, the list goes on; it runs slower than NTSC, at (from what I was told) 50 FPS. Why you chose to go with PAL is beyond me, especially when your previous hacks are the standard NTSC.

Despite everything listed, I didn't hate the hack. What I liked in it, like the actual challenges, I did like (even Ridley's room that amounts to "Oops! All Spikes!"). However, the issues I did have with the game REALLY hurt it, to the point where I'm giving it a 2/5, instead of a 3 or 4.
Super Metroid: Grapple by Crocomire [SM Vanilla+], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 25, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
52% in 1:07
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There's a good concept in this hack somewhere. The issue is how awful it's executed. What can I say that hasn't already been said by others? Well, I can say what I would have done to improve upon the concept:

I would remove the ability to jump altogether, let alone the ability to wall jump (not sure if this would impact jumping off walls from a Grapple position). That way, a hack can be built around the full focus of the Grappling Beam and its mechanics. The ideas and pieces are there; maybe someone will make something polished out of it, if it hasn't been done already.

A couple of troublesome things to note:

- The entrance to Lower Norfair has not been altered, as far as I was able to tell, and without the Space Jump, or grapple blocks to use Grappling Beam, the player is forced to do a Gravity Jump in Lava Dive in order to enter Lower Norfair. I thought maybe the back door into Three Musketeers would have been opened to compensate, but that isn't the case.

- The Plasma Room in Maridia is completely unaltered, so if the player, without thinking, kills off all Pirates in the room, they'll be effectively softlocked, not unless a stupidly precise wall jump out is possible, but most players aren't adept enough for such a trick. Either way, that room was badly handled as well.

I gave it a 2/5 because I like the idea... but that's all it has going for it. Everything else is... eveything else.
Super Easy Metroid by Crocomire [SM Vanilla+], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 25, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
23% in 0:43
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There's really not much to this hack. It is what it says it is, to be fair. This is something you give to your young nephew, or something, to introduce them to Super Metroid. Even then, a kid could reasonably beat this, as most people on this site did just fine during their childhoods in this game. My one nitpick is the removal of the hidden path with the crumble block in Blue Brinstar Energy Tank Room (Taco Tank Room), as it was there as a safety measure, should the player run out of Power Bombs; with that path removed, a player can softlock if they happen to use their last PB, and proceed to Billy Mays.
Zebes Returns by Crocomire [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 24, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
76% in 1:09
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While I enjoyed the changes made to the major item location, and changes to the routing, it's still ultimately a vanilla+ hack. Granted, more effort and thought was put into this than some other half-hacks, but it's still a half-hack all the same. I do appreciate the bosses' health being adjusted accordingly, with the order in which they're meant to be fought, like Ridley being the second boss, for example (his lowered health does make him stupidly easy, however).

The changes to Samus's color pallet is nice as well, though I can see some not liking it. Also, while the opening intro's narrative was changed, nothing in this game exactly references it, making it pretty pointless, if not somewhat amusing. While some newcomers may find a somewhat decent challenge here, veterans of Super Metroid can generally blaze through this just fine.
Arena 7 by Jathys [SM Boss Rush], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 23, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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This is an edited/updated review. It has come to my attention that the patch for this hack is (as of writing this) mislabeled as an unheadered patch, when it's actually for headered. Shoutout to Neen, for getting me an unheadered patch, so that I can review this properly:

The ideas here are neat, and the custom enemies, though few, are definitely something I've yet to see in a hack up to this point. The low gravity areas were cool, and the pallets were also nice. Though Ceres is now used as an actual explorable area, little is done with it. I didn't know where the hack actually ended, but I believe after the Baby encounter, the game can be considered done. Beyond that point is just the vanilla game, but with a few caveats, which I'll explain below (Spoiler Warning):

- Exiting the Baby room to the left takes you to a room where the camera breaks. Going to the right gets Samus an E-Tank, while going to the left exits the room toward the sand pit in Botwoon E-Tank Room. The game proceeds from there, but with broken graphics. However, saving and reloading will fix it. From there, much of vanilla Zebes is explorable, emphasis on "much"

- DO NOT enter Save Rooms where the entrance is through doors to the right (the only exception being Business Center); the Save Rooms are broken, probably wouldn't even work, if you found the save machine, and you end up softlocking, trying to explore an out-of-bounds area. Maybe there's something out there if one is tenacious enough, but I didn't spend too long exploring it to find out.

- Many of the rooms for this hack are just modified versions of otherwise vanilla rooms. For that reason, exiting Big Pink to the left (save for the Waterway) will result in Samus exiting to one of the rooms made for the hack, but stuck in a wall, resulting in a softlock. While some doors won't softlock, they will - all the same - return you to the main hack map proper.

- The only modified enemy (other than The Baby) appears to be modded from what was a Kago. This is made apparent when you enter Mushroom Kingdom, as the Kagos are replaced by them, which makes for an amusing encounter.

-There are doubles of quite a few items, including Ice Beam, Varia Suit, etc. There are, however, many items that won't be in their usual locations, like most of Big Pink's items. I don't know if they're simply not there, or if they share an ID with an item acquired in the main hack map.

- The one thing preventing a higher score than a 2/5, personally, is the lack of a proper ending. Tourian is completely broken, and entering Tourian from G4 will result in a softlock in a room of garbage graphics, making Mother Brain impossible to reach.

Overall, it was okay, but I would've liked an actual ending. Oh well.
Enemy Scroll Concept by Jathys [SM Incomplete], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 23, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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There's potential here. The hack itself is just vanilla outside of Parlor, so don't expect anything outside a showcase of a potential idea for an autoscroller. That said, I'll give this a 2/5, despite the hack barely even being a hack, simply for the concept alone. I really hope someone, in the future, takes this concept, refines it, and makes something out of it.
Arena 2 by Jathys [SM Boss Rush], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 12, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
71% in 0:28
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I'd have given this a 3/5, but you had to go and hide the way forward in such a stupid way. I had to look at your Read Me file to see the hint. Yeah, hiding a morph tunnel you can't see above the blue door to the right of the ship wasn't cool. Hack makers really need to not hide progression in such an obtuse manner. It's fine for optional item pickups, like Missiles, etc., but not for progression.

As for the rest of the hack, it was fine otherwise. It certainly felt more like a boss rush compared to the first game, but ultimately, nothing beyond that.
Landing Site Abuse by Spoo [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
19% in 0:00
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Fun idea, especially from a hack this old. My only gripe are the hidden Grapple blocks that cannot be revealed until shot with Grapple, and some of the obtuse, cryptic paths forward. I ended up grabbing items out of sequence using Spike Suit, among other tricks. When the path forward isn't made too apparent, it's a flaw in my book. Some of the cool things were pretty cool, but that's about it.
Arena 1 by Jathys [SM Quick Play], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
8% in 0:00
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I give this a 1.5/5, so I'll round it up to 2. The idea has potential, but the execution is downright unfinished. Once you beat Kraid, and Bomb Torizo, that's it. There's no proper ending to this game, so don't expect much outside of a few minutes or so worth of gameplay.
Test by Jathys [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
37% in 0:40
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It's weird. A few minor changes in the beginning, but it's vanilla for almost the whole way. Oh, except for the Save Room in Parlor... Won't say what that's about; best to find out for yourself. The new intro dialogue was half-amusing, but nothing is done with it. Mediocre overall. Had it not been for the fact that this was mere a test, I'd have given a 1/5. Still, this didn't need to be a hack released on the main site.
Super Metroid: So Much Hell Apocalypse "Q" by The Monster of Surrealton [SM Challenge], rated by ClaireDiviner on Sep 11, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
98% in 4:39
I've had some time to reflect on this. Initially, I was going to give this a 1/5, like the others, but upon looking back on this game... Yeah, it's a pretty bad hack. It's not without its merits, though.

For starters, this game is what you get when you have most of the bad design ideas in a Mario Maker game slapped into a Super Metroid hack, including spike spam, and rooms that's filled with nothing but lava and/or acid... WITH spikes, because "Ha ha! You died, scrub! lul!" Despite this, there were some parts that I genuinely liked overcoming. Once you get the Daemon Armor (Gravity Suit), the game becomes much easier, until it doesn't anymore, which I'll elaborate more...


For starters, the rooms that are acid-filled, or rooms where acid fills quickly are pretty harsh, to say the least, but can be overcome with proper movement, and shinesparking (in the case of the Pillar Room). However, the Ridley fight, which has no platforms on which to stand, and is a room that is nothing but spikes, with an acid bath at the bottom was just ridiculous. Practically speaking, you will need to find every bit of ammo and E-Tank you can find. The bosses' health has been buffed, so you're looking at way more than 35 Supers to take Rodney down.

You would think that Ridley would be the hardest fight, because it's Ridley, and he has the most health, but no... There's Botwoon, with a room full of acid instead of water, with spikes everywhere, and then Draygon, which is pretty much like Botwoon, except there are turrets that cannot be destroyed. You WILL be hard-required to use well-timed Crystal Flashes throughout the fight to even survive (the ammo provided up to this point allows no more than 4 Crystal Flashes, so use your ammo and CFs wisely).


Where I give this a 2/5 instead of a 1 is the challenge that I think is pretty fun, all things considered, with the exception for what I mentioned in the spoiler section. Also, the custom Metroid sprites looked pretty dope too, so those get a point as well.

Clearly not a hack for everyone, so only play this if you're morbidly curious, believe you have the skill to persevere, and/or are purely a masochist.
MockingBird Station by Xaggoth [SM Exploration], rated by ClaireDiviner on May 15, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
42% in 4:53
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This hack is awful. The idea is neat on paper, but the execution is absolute trash. For starters, no saves. Like, did ya'll really have some misplaced sense of pride in the late 2000s that ya'll couldn't ask others for help in that regard, or help those who didn't know how to? If Redesign could do it, I know save points could've been implemented. I'll likely see more and more of these issues with these 2000s hacks. Another issue is how obtuse this game's progression is; too many hidden blocks that lead to progression, and even the X-Ray Scope won't guarantee you'll find the path forward. Also, the red herring that is the yellow doors; this hack has no Power Bombs, so I'm saving whoever is reading this the trouble of looking for or expecting a way into yellow doors. There is no way in them, and are there purely to point at, and laugh at the player, like a dumbass.

I could forgive all of that had it not been for two things: The godawful Phantoon fight, and what comes after. I am 100% convinced Xaggoth cannot beat Phantoon without save states (I did it save stateless), until proven otherwise. Between the room layout being a goddamn Morph maze, and Phantoon being vulnerable ONLY to Bombs, there clearly was zero thought put into the fight. No sense of balance, reason, or even vision. "Oh, Impossible made a really hard Draygon fight. I'm going to make a hard Phantoon fight!" Yeah, guess what, you failed at realizing what makes a hard boss fight good; this was just a bad fucking fight!

Then there's the issue that follows the Phantoon fight. Be sure to backtrack allllll the way back to your ship to save, because the path forward from Phantoon is a room with three Metal Pirates that crashes the game due to some issue with the audio. Either retry over and over again, loading your game every time, until you get lucky, or middle finger the hack's design and save state in front of the room's door, brute forcing reloads until the sound stops having a fuckin' seizure! God help those who decide not to save after Phantoon, or else they'll have to refight him after the game crashes. Oh, and the location of the Gravity Suit was a dick move. I had to look at Dragon's playthrough to find it, and I wasn't even looking for Gravity at the time; I assumed it was locked behind Phantoon.

Shit design, shit philosophy, shit execution, shit game. This game sucks, and the hack maker should not be proud of this.
Tenka by Mr. Hiryu [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Apr 28, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
82% in 0:18
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Not a fan of the high Redesign-like gravity, but it's mostly harmless. It's short, but the biggest issue with the hack is the same MB1 crash issue that plagued Super Metroid: Golden Dawn, as well as a stupid hidden path in Green Hill Zone during the escape that leads to the Speed Booster needed to proceed. Outside of that, it was really underwhelming.
Control Freak by Kejardon [SM Improvement], rated by ClaireDiviner on Apr 27, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
43% in 1:00
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So, I can respect the idea behind the concept, but it falls flat with how unintuitive the controls really are. Despite the hack's name, I felt like I had less control, but maybe it's just my muscle memory being so ingrained to vanilla Super Metroid, that this kept throwing me off, especially when wanting to aim diagonal-downward. The removal of moonwalk is also an unneeded choice. I understand the motive, but don't agree with the method. The removal of downbacking is also unnecessary, unless that's just a byproduct of the control change.

I will say this: This has a ton of opportunity for a TASer to do things with this hack that cannot be done in vanilla, though the lack of moonfalling and downback will hurt it some. But that's all it's got. The least this hack could have done is have a different map to utilize the different controls, but it's still just vanilla Super Metroid at the end of the day. I can only recommend this as a play-around, just to see the gimmick of the different controls, but that's it.
Warfare by Bolognab [SM Boss Rush], rated by ClaireDiviner on Apr 27, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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This is one of the worst hacks so far, and given some of the obtuse exploration hacks I've played, that says a lot. First off, no saves. I can have truck with that, except the bosses have been buffed to hell, which is also not that big of an issue, were it not for the fact that (save for Kraid and Gold Torizo), all boss rooms have been altered to be as unfair as possible. The hack maker has the gall to suck their own dong and say "unless you're the boss fight expert". You goddamn right I am; I could beat these bosses just fine, even with buffs, but you throw in obstacles that do nothing but aggravate the player, it literally forces the player to - at the very least - save state before a fight, which is dogshit design. Throw a save point for god's sake; I would've never resorted to save states otherwise.

For context, Spore Spawn has low-level water with 60-damage spikes on the side of the room. Crocomire has crumble blocks, though the lava has been replaced with water, in the only act of mercy. Phantoon has two small-ass platforms on which to stand to avoid the lava below, with (what I'm guessing are) 60-damage spikes in the top corners of the ceiling. Botwoon has spikes in all four corners of the room, meaning no safe spot on which to stand, so you are literally at the mercy of RNG. Draygon has one turret that is indestructible, but if you're used to suitless Draygon fights, you'll be mostly okay. And all of this is done without a Varia Suit.

Worst of all is if someone had it in them to actually play through this and go the distance without save states, and to actually gain the favor of RNGesus, it will all be for nothing, because after the battle with Gold Torizo, the player is put in a glitchy mess of a room that cannot be progressed further, effectively ending the playthrough. It should be a hard requirement for hack makers to get playtests and opinions from other members before uploading a thing! Blah!

Frustration aside, a hack like this makes me petition for reviews to allow for a 0/5. In fact, I challenge the hack maker, Bolognab (if they're even still around) to beat their own hack without save states. If they can do this live, I will personally give them $100. I could not recommend this game less.
Super Metroid: Puddin by Cardweaver [SM Vanilla+], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 31, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
74% in 5:25
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Fuck this hack! I'm moving on...
The One Room Hack by Digital_Mantra [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 26, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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Every hack maker has to start somewhere, and that start is always their first ever hack. Some hack makers debut with a hell of a strong start; others debut with a rough-as-hell game. Digital_Mantra needs no introduction to anyone who is in the Super Metroid rom hacking community, either as a creator, a player, or both, and has become one of the more respected high-tier makers around.

All that said, however, I'm going to review this hack fairly, and from what I've played here, yeah, it really does show that this was a first ever hack for a maker. As the name implies, it's exactly that: A One Room Hack, not unlike Landing Site Abuse. Like Landing Site Abuse, this hack has a lot of problems, and all of them stem from one main issue: A lack of transparency. Just like with other hacks before it, including Super Metroid: Gravy, and Super T-Metroid (to name a couple), this game's progression is incredibly cryptic, with zero hint as to how to progress. Worse still is the tired gimmick of having hidden Grapple blocks that even Bombs can't reveal.

Another issue, and probably the biggest, is a PLM issue involving the gates. It's never made clear to the player if the lack of function on the gate is supposed to be a feature or not, and yeah, it's actually a feature. The most egregious being required to open a hidden door behind a Gadora eye at the top part of the room. Only then will the upper-most gate be operational. I had thought I broke something in the game, and ended up restarting a fresh file multiple times, when it's the game gaslighting the shit out of me. I swear, makers have no idea how uncool that shit is.

The last issue I have is the lack of a clear win condition. The description doesn't mention anything of the sort, and you wouldn't really know where the end was, unless you found it by accident. Long story short: You must find a hidden map station that looks nothing like a map station, where you will see a message that essentially congratulates you, and that's it. That's the end of the game. Can't say it's the worst win condition, but it's still quite anticlimactic, but I'll get to the map thing in the next paragraph.

Let's talk about the things that are cool in this hack. It most certainly is not the challenge/obstacles, because they're too convoluted. The things I found cool were the aesthetics, and the message received when activating the map station. Those have since become staples of DMan's hacks. A signature, if you will. From the unique use of the Chozo assets, to the structure of the tiles. It screams Digital_Mantra. I do wonder if the lore presented in each of DMan's hacks ties in to one another, or if they're all standalone. Either way, it's those aspects that do make me appreciate, at the very least, that part.

Overall, though, I have to rate it as the game that it is, and the game that it is isn't good. A 1/5, which while unfortunate, given the hack maker, it is his first attempt at a hack. I reiterate: Not every artist's debut can come in strong, but it's still interesting to see the major difference in growth between DMan's first hack, and his later masterpieces, like Eris, or V I T A L I T Y.

But yeah, this hack sucks.
Super Metroid: Gravy by Cardweaver [SM Vanilla+], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 23, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
84% in 4:50
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I really hate this hack. The main issue lies in its routing. Everything is stupidly hidden from the player, forcing them to Bomb EVERYWHERE, or accidentally find a hidden Morph tunnel, or a hidden Grapple block.

Now, here's the thing: I could have truck with this if the X-Ray Scope was found reasonably early, as it does reveal pretty much all obtuse shit in this hack. The problem is that you need X-Ray Scope to find X-Ray Scope. By that, I mean the way to it is so cryptic and hidden, I challenge anyone who can find someone who managed to find it on their own without looking at a playthrough, or a level editor. I'll stake my life in such a person not existing.
I'll save you the trouble of shoving your thumb up your ass, trying to find it, and tell you here (so an obligatory spoiler warning): It is located in Mama Turtle's Room. The problem is that you need to find a super-hidden Morph tunnel under the ledge under the eastern door of Mt. Everest, of all the places to put that shit! No hint or clue, be it visual or anything telegraphs to the player that there's anything at all there. It isn't something you can Bomb either; it's a hidden Morph tunnel hidden within the rocky terrain, too high up, and in a spot that is largely unremarkable. LITERALLY NO ONE WILL THINK TO CHECK THERE!

Worst part is that the path forward, especially to Lower Norfair, is also as stupidly hidden as the X-Ray Scope, as there's a hidden Morph tunnel in Lava Dive that the player simply won't know to check at all, and only the X-Ray Scope can reveal it, hence the issue.

That's to say nothing of the door leading to Bowling Alley in West Ocean. It's a locked door with no hint as to how to open it. You MUST kill 15 enemies (the Zebs in the Zeb nest will count). Thing is, unless someone happen to need to do extensive energy/ammo farm, no one will know to do this; I had assumed I was missing some Boss or some other trigger to open the door.

Here's another thing: I am convinced the hack maker, and likely others beyond this, likely saw Impossible, and thought, "Wow, I want to make a hack like that!" without actually knowing what made Impossible work. Yeah, Super Metroid Impossible had an awful lot of cryptic and obtuse item locations, and X-Ray Scope is literally impossible for anyone to find on their own, even by accident. But the thing is, all of those super-obscure, super-hidden items are not needed; they're optional, and the path forward is also transparent to the player. You can get the items that are easy enough to see and acquire, and while it's the bare minimum, it's still all you need to beat the game's challenges.

This hack (and likely others I'll be playing) completely misses the point, and poorly emulates what made Impossible good. By hiding X-Ray Scope in such a way, that alone isn't an issue. What is an issue is hiding the path that progresses the game in such a way, it may as well require X-Ray Scope to find. Therein lies the egregious oversight presented here. This hack isn't without its cool ideas, but the frustrations of finding one's way to the end of the game is just too much for me to give this game anything higher than a 1/5, and I'm surprised I'm the only one (as of writing this) to give it this low a score.

Here's to hoping Cardweaver's other hacks are made better, and more transparent than this. I can handle hard games. I don't mind a challenge. But being super-cryptic in the same vein as something, like Shadowgate on the NES, or that one cryptic tornado puzzle in Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest, does not a good game (much less a hack) make.
NoobSmasher by Fizzer [SM Challenge], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 21, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
22% in 0:26
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As of writing this, this is personally, by far, the worst rom hack I've played on this site. This is because of two factors: The beginning, and the end.

- The start of the game is incredibly badly designed. Midair morphing to avoid spikes that one can hit because of luck (oscillating hitboxes, or whatever it's called) means you will die more times because of the unlucky roll of the RNG dice. After one gets past that, there's a gauntlet of crumble block jumps, followed by 1-tile blocks that have hidden conveyers on top. For me to realistically get through it, I was forced to wall jump off the sides of each platform, and even that didn't guarantee anything, as the nature of the conveyer means you could be pushed a little farther from the platform to wall jump off of it.
If that weren't bad enough, you are given an E-Tank with which to run through Speed Booster Hall. It's mostly vanilla, save for the red door requiring 1 Missile (it'd be impossible to survive otherwise, I'd guess). The next room is a gauntlet where one must navigate a "maze" in Morph Ball form, and by the time you reach this, you have too little health to survive a hit. This maze also include falling down into gaps, and god help you if the oscillating frames decide to give you a dick through no fault of your own. In several cases, an unmorph into remorph is required to get through this. That's to say nothing of the timed Bomb Jumps one must perform to cross one-tile gaps with spikes while in a 1-tile Morph tunnel.
If you managed to survive that, the next room has Speed Booster, and below that is a pit of spikes, and a 1-tile Morph tunnel one must carefully unmorph and remorph to enter, or face a death. Beyond that are Speed Blocks that lead back out into the Landing Site, AND THEN you're able to save. If this game threw in a save point somewhere before the room where Bombs are acquired, I'd have forgiven this game, and given it a 2/5.

- I mentioned the end. The escape is very trollish, but it's not the worst I've seen, and I could forgive even that, had it not been for Tourian Escape Room 4; There are Metroids (more on those later) that, while they can die to Hyper Beam, leave behind their shell sprites. This creates an issue with the sprite limit, between the explosion sprites in the room, and the Metroid shell sprites, this creates a chance that the game can crash upon loading the next room through no fault of the player.
This is clearly a hack that was not playtested by the maker, and I'm willing to bet they couldn't even beat their own game without savestates. No care was put into the balance of this game, and while some other games have very high difficulty, they were balanced out with either items, or well-placed save points, sometimes both. The only thing I can say I liked about the hack were the Metroids in Tourian; it made for a fun little "puzzle" of sorts, trying to figure out the best way to maneuver them, and take them out.

I'll likely play even worse hacks than this, I'm sure, but right now, this is the worst I've played thus far. I won't update this review to reflect the fact I happen to play something worse, but I will say this hack is a hard pass from me. If this site allowed a negative rating, I'd give this a -3/5. Hell, if we were allowed to give a 0/5, I'd do that too, but the lowest score I can give is a 1/5, and that is more than what this hack deserves.
Deathtroid by Shadowtroid [SM Vanilla+], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 18, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
57% in 1:05
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As others have said, this is almost no different than Super Metroid: Expert Edition. Only change from Expert Edition is Ridley having a ton more health, but it doesn't change the difficulty of the fight. Just like Expert Edition was just a lazy editing of some numbers, and nothing more, this one is just as lazy. Take vanilla Super Metroid, edit some enemy stats, and call it a rom hack? Blah!
Maridia by Kyodo [SM Incomplete], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 10, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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Neat concept, but nothing is done with it. It can barely be called an alpha build. The game crashes upon entering Bomb Torizo's room; once that happens, the playthrough is done. 18 years later, and I doubt this hack idea will ever go beyond what is here.
Screwed And Chopped by InsomniaDX [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 04, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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It's a shame this game is unfinished, though I understand there's a version of this that actually was made to be finished, and not as jank. As the name implies, it is screwed up, and chopped up, and put together by Scotch tape. Some neat ideas and layouts, sure, but if you save in Maridia, you'll end up in a state where you won't be able to progress further upon reloading your save. Oh well.
Super T-Metroid by kokoakki2 [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Mar 03, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
66% in 4:51
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Boy, I knew I was going to get around to reviewing this sooner or later. I'll try to give my own take, as to not parrot what the others have said.

The only positive I can think of, is that it isn't vanilla, and that's the best I can think of. Some of the challenge was neat, I suppose, but everything else sours the whole of the experience, the challenges in this hack, having now become a dime a dozen, makes me want to play hacks that are hard (some almost unfairly so), but fair.

Let's go over the issues I did have with it:

- Bomb Torizo. The game crashes upon initiating the Bomb Torizo fight. Granted, it IS possible for the fight to start without an issue, but one must be lucky for the audio conflict to not spaghetti the game. Either one must brute force the fight over and over until they get a fight that won't crash the game, or find an alternate route around the game to allow the player to return to BT with Spike Suit (oh, there's plenty of spikes in the game off which to do that), and shinespark out with the Bombs.

- Progression is... weird, for lack of a better way to describe it. I had to cheese Power Bombs early to progress beyond Bomb Torizo, so I know not the intended route, though that hardly matters, as well-known Super Metroid streamer, Oatsngoats, managed to lock himself out of progression; he managed to initiate Bomb Torizo without a crash, and proceeded through the game presumably as intended, with the result being that a Power Bomb pickup vanishes. There is an item in the game that must share the same ID as said Power Bomb (the very one I cheesed early), causing it to vanish.

- X-Ray Scope is a potentially dangerous item. You get it stupidly late, and I assume it's because of the power that item has in the hands of those who know how to abuse it. Either that, or the hack maker simply didn't want the player to get help in finding ways to items until late game. However, there are some rooms where unseen items (likely out of bounds) are set with the respawn flag, which results in the game hard crashing upon using X-Ray. Though I haven't experienced it, I hear that there's a risk the crash can wipe one's save.

- There are plenty of "red herrings" throughout this hack; either doors that cannot be entered, items that cannot be reached, or in one case, a path that results in getting lost, and possibly softlocking out of bounds. It's bad design meant to only frustrate the player. It's not a challenge, it's a troll.

There are a myriad of other things that is wrong with this hack that I cannot begin to cover in a single review (I don't have the mental fortitude to even go over its issues, as I can go on 'til rapture). All I know is that this game is awful, and feels like it was the maker throwing darts at a dart board, seeing what sticks, and all the darts happen to hit and stick to a bench below said board. A game that feels like it was barely put together, and was likely never playtested by anyone other than the author. If I could, I'd rate this a 0/5, but since the lowest score that can be given is 1, it's the next best thing I can do to get my own point across. What a shame.
Phantom by Zzanitari [SM Incomplete], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 18, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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This game is unfinished, so I'll only review this for what it is currently:

It's still a mess. For starters, hiding Super Missile blocks in seemingly arbitrary places that's meant to progress is not good design. I'd have more truck with it if the X-Ray Scope, or Bombs were given from the onset, but you don't get Bombs until you're already deep enough into the hack to not care anymore. Also, there are issues with certain enemy placements, as the game crashes upon loading certain rooms, or loading certain enemies.

I ended up using Game Genie walk-through-walls cheats to explore the places that was otherwise unreachable, to find that there was slightly more things being worked on, but still unfinished (West Ocean, in this case), including Zebs or something that crashes the game upon loading. The Wrecked Ship is literally unchanged, which is fair, since it's a place you're not supposed to reach anyway. When entering The Mushroom Kingdom room, the game crashes, so you effectively reach the end of the hack upon entering that door.

I'd give the hack 2/5 for some ideas, but because of softlocks, crashes, and stupid placements of Super blocks, with hardly much in the way to refill ammo until after the planet's awake, this sits firmly with a 1/5.
Tubes by Jathys [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 17, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
[Watch Video]  
This isn't really much of anything. Showcases one-way tiles, essentially, but that's it. There's nothing beyond landing site, except a soft lock. It's not like it's the first hack to utilize this either, as there are earlier hacks that has used these, like Reverse.
Ceres by Jathys [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 13, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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The Ceres station was somewhat almost interesting, but there was nothing too special. Making the fake wall with the morph tunnel unviewable with X-Ray Scope was a tad bit of a dick move, but I've seen worse cases of this. You're given 10 seconds to escape, which isn't enough time to do so. Even if it was, you're trapped in a room with Metroids that will give you the succ. Upon reloading the game, the Ceres station will still have the escape flag on, allowing you to instantly escape at the elevator. After that, it's literally vanilla Super Metroid. I went as far as Varia, to see if the suit colors were different, at the very least, but they sadly were left unchanged. You're free to finish the game proper, but seeing as Ceres is the only point of this hack, there's no reason to play what is basically OG Super Metroid again beyond Ceres.
Super Metroid: Expert Edition by Dark Knight Kain [SM Vanilla+], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 13, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
74% in 1:09
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It's more or less like Hard, except it's even more vanilla than that. Many of the bosses are hardly buffed, and... There's really nothing I can add to this. At least Hard changed the look of Landing Site somewhat, and buffed all the bosses (sans Mother Brain). This is a hard pass from me.
Hard by Ir0n_BeasT [SM Challenge], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 12, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
71% in 1:24
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It's literally just vanilla Super Metroid, with tankier enemies, and nerfed drops (Big Health gives 10 instead of 20). The Landing Site is slightly different in appearance only, but that just gives a false sense of something different, until you actually play the game. It's lazy at best.
Super Metroid: Ultimate Challenge 2 by Popple_Waffles [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 08, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
6% in 0:00
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My biggest gripe with this hack isn't the acid and spikes, because I can handle that. It's the fact that - unless I overlooked something - there is NO Screw Attack to collect, which is supposed to be the win condition for this hack. I reached an area I'm guessing was supposed to house the Screw, but it had no item, let alone Screw Attack. And to make doubly sure I wasn't crazy, or being gaslit, I took the liberty of using Game Genie codes to walk through walls, and even give myself X-Ray Scope. Guess what? Nothing was found. I'd have given it a 2/5 otherwise.
Super Metroid: Confinement by Bolognab [SM Unknown], rated by ClaireDiviner on Feb 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
7% in 0:00
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I would've liked this hack. Probably would've given it a 3. However, with the exception for Missiles, all items in this game share the same ID, as stated by caauyjdp, so if you reload your save (assuming you saved after getting Morph), all the items will be gone, irreversibly locking the save.

One will need to either play from start to finish without any deaths, which is made difficult by the 60-damage spikes, and no E-Tank until the very end, or rely on savestates (I did the former). The one saving grace of mercy is that once the E-Tank is collected, you can save just fine, and not worry about a locked save. The game ends after Botwoon, but has no actual ending.