RT-55J's Ratings and Reviews
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V E R T I C A L I T Y by Tundain [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Apr 28, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
93% in 4:38
This hack already has some very wordy and well-written reviews, so I'll just cut to the chase:

This hack is very good. A lot of care and effort went into making this a polished experience, and it makes very good use of community resources and fixes. The world is well-designed, with lots of interesting touches. The rooms themselves are pretty good. Your jump height puts Hyper Metroid to shame. The ASM work here, particularly the bosses, is incredibly well done. The soundtrack has incredible vibes, like you're in an off-kilter fever dream or something.

As for gripes, the biggest one is that the first boss is an incredibly rude addition, relative to how soon in the game you encounter it. It's a neat fight, conceptually, but the lack of any available e-tanks beforehand is very hard to forgive. If you ragequit at this point, I don't blame you. Fortunately, nothing else in this hack is as remotely as infuriating.

There are still some other rough spots: the teleporter spikes are overused, and some of the challenges with them are overtuned in their difficulty. In particular, one of them in the late game took me nearly 150 failed attempts before I decided to screw the rules and set the emulator to 50% speed, after which I got it first try (fortunately it was an optional challenge). Nevertheless, I thought the spikes were a neat addition, in spite of their overuse/misuse in a couple places.

While the background graphics are uniformly excellent, some of the custom sprites feel like they could have used a second pass (or been handed off to someone like mccad or albertv).

Overall, this hack is one of the greats.

4.5/5 - Recommended with caveats (Review based on version 1.0)
gossamer by neen [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Mar 02, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 5:27
[Watch Video]  
I'll admit that as a beta tester and friend of the show, that I am not really the most impartial judge of this hack.

With that said, as the credits were rolling on my playthrough on stream, I felt inexplicably at peace with myself and the world for a moment, as if I could just spend the rest of the night simply breathing and have a good time.

I'm not sure how much of that is directly attributable to the hack itself, but it's hard to argue against a thing that leaves you feeling like that.

What I can say is that this hack is one that rewards a second playthough. The first time around, you'll loop the starting area a few times around in confusion, and then loop around the main two areas as a whole unit multiple times until you find progression. The second time you play this hack, everything will be simply ripe for the picking, as progress in it is as much knowledge-based as it is ability-based (if not more).

The altered physics are definitely an odd choice. The gravity is heavier, but not quite as much as Redesign. The increased pull forces you to be more intimate with the craggier terrain. An interesting side-effect to this is that you end up being more mobile underwater than above water, which (considering how much water there is) provides an interesting set of sensations and frictions unique to this hack. (Is it "good"? I don't care. I thought it was interesting and still fun.)

In terms of difficulty, it isn't too bad. Energy is in slightly short supply, but not unmanageable. Contrary to what some of the above reviews seem to imply, this hack does accommodate players of lower tech skill. Wall jumping is not required (as far as I could tell), and I'd wager that past a certain threshold your skills might end up making things harder on yourself. (With that said, I am under the understanding that the last handful of items for 100% require knowledge and execution of some very advanced tech, but they seem to be hidden well enough (and are inconsequential enough) that you won't run into them anyway.)

The visuals of this hack might be its most divisive point, but I quite like them. Everything looks to me like it looks like what it wants to look like. Traditional, vanilla-style rooms look sufficiently interesting. Dark rooms look dark. Weird rooms look weird. And the final area is an utterly fantastic collection of abstract glitch art (much moreso than Clocktoberfest).

This hack may not be the most appealing to hardcore design purists or whatever, but it is a highly-idiosyncratic and polished piece of work.

4.5/5 - Recommended

tl;dr - my favorite part of this hack was when samus said "it's gossaming time!" and gossamed all over the place.

Note: My listed completion time is from my beta test playthough, while the completion percentage is from my second playthrough on stream (because the beta didn't yet adjust the percentage properly).
beth by JonnyManjiro [M1 Challenge], rated by RT-55J on Sep 28, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
85% in 2:13
[Watch Video]  
beth ™ is a very nicely made, very small hack. Nearly every screen is a deliberately constructed platforming challenge, and they provide a good test of one's advanced Metroid 1 skills. The solutions to a few rooms are particularly devious.

Learning the particularities of M1's unmorph jump is the key to success here. As long as you don't move laterally after unmorphing, you can jump mid-air whenever you want. It's tricky to do, but feels very satisfying to get right.

Keep in mind, however, that wallcrawling is not required to finish this game, and is liable to get you softlocked as much as anything else. Clipping through thin ceilings is also not required, but apparently it was also unanticipated, so it can be quite helpful in a few spots.

The only real gripe I have with this is that there weren't really any spots in Tourian that were conducive to farming. This is mitigated by the location of the final e-tank, but it's still something that bothered me slightly.

The Kraid and Ridley fights were relatively perfunctory, but I enjoyed the respite from the rest of the challenge.

Item percentage is approximate (I skipped two e-tanks and missed one entirely, and I assume I missed a missile tank here or there).

Recommended for true Metroid-heads. 4.5/5
Super Junkoid by P. Yoshi [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Aug 23, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 3:28
This hack lives up to its name: it is Junkoid, but Super. Nearly all of the ingredients of the original are here: sensible room design that eschews unnecessary complexity; dreamlike landscapes that juxtapose the fanciful and the mundane and the horrifying; elegant, nonlinear design with multiple viable routes; and silent meditations on the various horrors that come from existing as a woman in the waking world.

Even though this hack only took me three and a half hours according to the in-game timer, it personally felt like this hack was twice as long as that (in a good way). A lot happens in its short runtime. Perhaps a couple ideas could have stood to be more thoroughly elaborated on, but what's there is quite strong.

I do wish that there could have been some nods to Mindflower's soundtrack for Junkoid 1, but with SNES music hacking/composition being as tough as it is, I understand the why that wasn't the case.

Highly recommended. The only caveats I have, with regards to recommending this to a general audience, are the walljumping requirement and the amount of suitless underwater platforming in the critical path.
M2 Fight Akuma by MarioFan2468 [M2 Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Jun 30, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:01
Hack works as advertised:

1) Start
2) Fight Akuma
3) The End

Bonus point for execution and effort.
Super Metroid: Recovery by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Apr 15, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 3:21
This hack had me saying "oh that's neat" pretty much every single room --- just lots of interesting, neat decisions and divergences from the original game's room design at pretty much every point. That's about as much as I can ask for from a half-hack, to be honest.

There are a couple rooms with suspect enemy placement (and possibly just a few too many ninja pirates), but overall the level design is very meticulous and well-considered, both on a macro and a micro scale. Traversal is a bit more frictive than the vanilla game, but it never becomes laborious like a bad half-hack would.

Overall, I would say that this is the best hack released by MetroidNerd so far --- though that's more by reason of its genre and scope than anything else. Pit of 100 Trials is a neat gimmick, and Hotlands is a fun-sized snack, but Recovery is (despite being a half-hack) a full-sized meal.

Seeing how MNerd's craft has improved over time, I can't wait to see him cook up another hack of this scope. #QuarryHypeSquad
Super metroid familiar by Tundain [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Nov 07, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
89% in 3:47
Thought that the main gimmick of this hack was quite amusing. There's nothing mind-blowingly new in this hack, per se, but it has just a bit more novelty than its description lets on.

If you don't go in expecting a masterpiece, you'll come out quite pleased having experienced a rather well-made vanilla-esque half-hack.

4.5/5
Polarity by Oi27, Moehr [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Sep 17, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
78% in 1:56
[Watch Video]  
This is a sloppily constructed hack that feels like it should collapse in on itself any minute, but somehow manages to hold together into a coherent whole with its own identity.

My main complaint is that the route to get bombs is quite obscure. Also, the save station placement was kind of iffy.

On a certain level, this would probably just be another 3 or 4 star contest hack, but the soundtrack really elevates the experience. Very moody and unconventional. If you don't like the music, then you will not like the hack.

Note: The linked video is the soundtrack of the game.
Super Metroid: Subversion by TestRunner and AmoebaOfDoom [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Sep 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 9:05
this hack whips

It had a bit of a slow start, but once it hit stride it was excellent. Several moments had me grinning ear-to-ear. Lots of neat custom stuff.

There are a couple moments later on that feel catered towards metroid hacking sickos, but otherwise this feels surprisingly approachable for a hack of its size. Easy mode probably fixes them.

Easily the best Super Metroid hack named after a piece of version control software.

ADDENDUM: There is a very well-hidden postgame challenge that, having completed it, makes me want to increase my rating from 5 orbs to 6 --- it's an excellent bit of artisanally crafted content for those of us who are true sickos.
Junkoid by P. Yoshi, Mindflower [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Apr 22, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:35
I enjoyed new character and theme of the game. It's all quite charming. I liked all the animated tiles. The music is good.

Despite the lack of a map outside of the hub area, I found each area to be both cleverly constructed and reasonably easy to navigate. This hack does lots of novel things without any major ASM changes.

Difficulty is well balanced.

Easily a top 3 Metroid 1 hack.
Super Ethical Metroid by dewhi100 [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Apr 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
91% in 2:20
A large variety of ROM hacks are available on the website metroidconstruction.com, all of which are available free of charge, no questions asked. They are made by passionate individuals and teams that have a broad range of talents and preferences. These people make these hacks out of respect for the Metroid series, and as such deserve to be credited for their accomplishments. Therefore, I would like for formally express my thanks to dewhi for making this hack. I feel as if I am a much more ethical individual for having played this hack, and I hope that you also will experience personal growth from playing this fantastic game.

Truly, there is no other rom hack with more ethically sourced rooms, nor with more ethical weapons, abilities, and armaments for Samus to collect. Truly a masterclass in ethical hack design, setting bold new ethical standards for both creators and players alike.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to rest my eyes for a minute.
Super Duper Metroid by Metaquarius, Daltone [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Dec 08, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 5:20
This hack is Superb Duperb.
Super Metroid: Y-Faster 2 Furious by Metaquarius [SM Speedrun/Race], rated by RT-55J on Jul 04, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
65% in 1:50
funny hack, would play again
V I T A L I T Y by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Oct 17, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
78% in 4:50
Vitality is basically like "what if Eris was playable by normal humans?" It's got the same lush double-layer tilework and palettes and effects and atmosphere, but it's been thoroughly playtested so the necessary tech-skill is much lower (and enemies don't all hit like trucks). The only advanced technique required to beat the game is the rising mid-air morph -- not a single wall jump is necessary.

One particular thing I like about the world design is the cues it takes from Metroid 2. Like Return of Samus, there are a lot of big structures and ruins in this game which are contextualized by having massive rooms delineating their exteriors. This (a) owns, and (b) helps give the planet a definite sense of geography.

Now, as far as whole "Rated R" thing: aside from the nudity on the title screen and with the death animation, most of the hack is pretty tame in a ratings sense. However, the final area (which I will not spoil) contains the bulk of the game's potentially objectionable content. Double check the age settings on your stream when you get there (if you're streaming).

Good hack.
Metroid FreezeFlame by Conner [MZM Challenge], rated by RT-55J on Jun 17, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
95% in 0:30
Really good, modestly-scoped gimmick hack. You might die a couple times when exploring, and a certain boss is quite challenging for what it is, but otherwise this isn't too hard (imo).

Bonus points for the Metroid 2 nod in the level design.
Metroid: Return to Zebes by alexman25 [MZM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Jun 16, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
96% in 1:27
This is a pretty nice, modestly-scoped hack. Color me impressed.

The custom music is appreciated, even if it sounds like plunky midis.

The extra aerial horizontal speed feels nice, though is a bit hard to get used to at first (especially with the gravity being unchanged).
Metroid Incursion by Grimlock [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Jun 06, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 1:40
Not the best Nestroid hack, but definitely the best one since Metroid X back in 1999.
Metroid X by Rage Games [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on May 16, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 1:35
The first Metroid hack ever, and it's actually pretty solid. It avoids a lot of flaws endemic to many, many later Nestroid hacks, such as being ambushed when popping out of doors, and it even manages to avoid a problem that plagued the original game: getting sniped by pipe bugs in the middle of a door transition. In other words, the designer of this hack was quite aware of the limitations of the original game, as well as the tools they had back in 1999.

If I had to level a complaint against this, it would be that the world design is a bit too straightforward (Kraid's Lair especially), and that there aren't any hidden secrets -- though folks who find vanilla Nestroid too obtuse and hard to navigate might appreciate those facts.

Still one of the best Nestroid hacks, even 21 years later.

(item percentage is approximate)
Eris by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on May 05, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
91% in 4:21
Decided to replay this on whim. Only died once or twice.

Years later and this is still brilliant and beautiful, and still in my top 3 SM hacks.

Don't let the frontloaded difficulty get you down. Be cautious, but take risks, and just allow yourself to be immersed in the world.

Eris 2012 has some very smart changes over the original that I didn't appreciate at first. I recommend it over the original, especially for first-time players.
Sequence Breaking Fusion by Kazuto [MF Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on May 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
69% in 2:21
Sequence breaking is fun.

I hope that this hack can be used as a base for more substantively non-linear hacks.
Super Metroid: Ascent by Benox50 [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Apr 16, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
81% in 6:30
Very engrossing.
Super Metroid: Y-Faster 2 Fast by Metaquarius [SM Speedrun/Race], rated by RT-55J on Apr 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
57% in 1:58
It's 5 hacks for the price of one!

This is basically Y-Faster, except bigger, longer, and a fair bit more difficult. (How much one likes those qualities depends on the person, but that's just what the hack is.)

Recommended, but only on the condition that you are already fairly literate when it comes to Super Metroid hacks.
Super Metroid: Y-Faster by Metaquarius [SM Speedrun/Race], rated by RT-55J on Sep 03, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
70% in 0:56
It's like somebody spiked my Metroid with just the right amount of Mega Man.
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on May 30, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 7:13
100% High Polymer Permanent REAL RED

Professional Grade

No Fake Red
Urinary Samus by MarioFan2468 [M2 Spoof], rated by RT-55J on May 05, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:03
MarioFan2468 is too powerful.
Metroid: Oil Spill by Spedimus [MF Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Apr 13, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 2:06
This hack is janky and unbalanced, but it has a lot of heart, which counts for a lot.

The hack doesn't quite impress for maybe the first area and a half, but once it starts showing its cards and your kit improves it becomes pretty fun! There are some pretty neat setpieces and cool events, and what appears to be a good amount of routing options.

One of the main issues with this hack is its balance. The overall structure it wants to pull off is similar to what the Junkoids did, with two areas that you could visit in either order and do stuff in, but it doesn't quite pull it off that well. Fusion's bosses (and enemies) scale in health and damage and complexity in a way that makes shuffling the order weird and unpleasant unless careful attention is made to rebalance the numbers, and I don't think this did enough in that regard, if anything. Fighting Yakuza or Nettori with only regular missiles is an exercise in frustration, while fighting a Serris that takes 20 charged plasma shots is just an exercise in tedium. Still, some of the bosses are remixed in genuinely interesting ways.

The level design is also pretty hit or miss. The standard hallways are often just a bit too unadorned, while a lot of the other rooms are a bit too cheeky (if that makes sense). Too many rooms just assume you want to walljump everywhere (ladders are rare and randomly placed), and the unmorph-into-ledge-regrab maneuver is required a few to many times.

The premise and plot are neat, but a bit undercooked. The weird implications of the X in this setting are acknowledged at one point, but never explored since the ending cutscene's text is vanilla. The ending itself comes quite abruptly, and it's easy to miss out on a few bosses depending on how you explore, though given how there are two different ways to access it this seems mostly intended.

Anyhow, the best thing I can say about this hack is that, despite it having some serious jank and rough spots, I had a lot of fun with it. It's definitely not something I'd recommend to everyone, but if you're a weirdo I'd recommend giving it a good try.

3.5/5 (version 1.5)
Metroid Reborn A Call to Valor by David Turnblom [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Feb 06, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
95% in 3:05
This is a very bizarre hack for 2020, essentially coming from an alternate universe where Editroid and it's ability to expand the rom did not exist. Instead, according to the forum thread, the author chose to optimize the level data for space in order to fit more data in the game (something SnowBro once gave a detail suggestion for in the help files to MetEdit). Even if the end result doesn't meet modern ideas of polish, it is still quite interesting to me.

Area palettes and screens look very vanilla, and the data optimization did not lead to as much of an increase in room variety as once would hope (many 3x1 rooms are practically identical), but having mapped the whole game out by hand during my playthrough I can say that I enjoyed the map layout (even if there were some questionable decisions). Samus's increased speed (even in the "slow" patch), did a lot to remove the feeling of monotony for me.

In addition to the usual QoL features people add to hacks these days (Wave+Ice, respawning with full health), this hack has some features that I wish were present in other hacks such as contact damage being decided by the enemy rather than the area, and bombs propelling you slightly higher. It also has some easier to miss features, such as the map properly wrapping around vertically and horizontally, which makes the overall layout for the world a bit more interesting than normal.

Ridley and Kraid each give you a new custom ability immediately upon defeating them (in addition to the usual missiles), and they are hilariously overpowered in the context of the game.

Regarding, the "invisible walls and floors" the previous review mentioned, I only encountered them in one place (and I explored the entire map), and to me they made sense in context.

The game ends at what would be the Tourian elevator, which leads directly to the credits instead.

Overall, this isn't the best hack, but it has a lot of heart even if it looks rather plain.

3.5/5 -- Recommended if you enjoy making your own maps as you play, and can do some bomb-unmorph tricks to get yourself out of a couple weird situations that the author didn't seem to anticipate.
Metroid: Flying in the sky by jasinchen [MZM Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Feb 04, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack's joke is much funnier than it has any right to be.

Well done.
Metroid: Juicy Mission lite by Frydi [MZM Speedrun/Race], rated by RT-55J on Feb 02, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:02
neat little hack. i like the afterburner music (and whatever the other custom music was too). harder than i expected.

could use some apple juice tho

recommended for true doom ZM heads
Super Metroid: HISHE by Scyzer [SM Unknown], rated by RT-55J on Jan 29, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:01
A touching story for love, regret, and redemption.

Contrary to Aran;Jaeger's review, there is an animal to be saved.

Docking a point off of this because it made me realize that the doorway for the Ceres Metroid room is one tile less long than any other door in the game.

Also, the hack incorrectly reports your collection percentage in the end screen for some reason. This isn't a major flaw, but I thought it was worth pointing out.

Recommended.
M2 M1Samus by MarioFan2468 [M2 Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on Jun 04, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 1:32
For such a simple premise, this hack is remarkably thorough and well-executed. From the title, the sprite edits, the mechanical changes, to the ending, nearly everything is changed to provide a more nestroid-like experience.

The removal of crouching and aiming down actually have less of a negative effect on the game than you might expect. In fact, the ability to instantly morph feels pretty nice. On the other hand, some of the other removed M2-isms (such as damage boosting and the speedy morph ball) are sorely missed, but such are the sacrifices needed to emulate nestroid.

Highly recommended for sickos like me.
Samus Goes To The Fridge To Get A Glass Of Milk by kkzero [MF Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Apr 15, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
9% in 0:00
One of the top 3 hacks where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk. Probably not the top 1 hack where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk, but certainly the top 1 hack where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk that I am surprised that I have not reviewed yet. Like the other hacks where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk, I highly recommend it if the subject matter sounds interesting to you (namely, Samus going to the fridge to get a glass of milk). This hack is guaranteed to give you minutes of excitement as you help Samus go to the fridge to get a glass of milk. It even has accessibility features to help Samus go to the fridge and get a glass of milk if you fail. All in all, if you are not interested in this hack where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk, then maybe you should go to the fridge and get a glass of milk yourself, buddy.

Not recommended if you are lactose intolerant.
Metroid: Salt Mission by alexman25 [MZM Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Apr 02, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
4% in 0:03
A touching story, of love, salt, and tears.

Remember to like and subscribe if the ending made you cry!
Super Metroid: Hotlands by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Sep 15, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 1:12
Very workmanlike. The world design is quite competent (though perhaps a bit *too* neatly designed). It has some neat music, events, and other custom stuff, so it's not too hard to recommend. From a casual perspective, the biggest issue is probably that some of the lava pits seem very difficult (if not impossible) to exit without wall-jumping, especially late in the game.

My main gripe with this is the combat design, from a numerical perspective. Enemy population and enemy health both feel tuned a bit too high compared to the resources you're given, when pumping up only one of those numbers would have sufficed. Heaven help the player who misses a beam upgrade.

The Power Rush is an interesting item, but essentially a non-factor. You'll exit its active range after just a couple enemy kills, and the bosses are immune to the charge shots it produces (despite them being what you'd want to use it on the most). Apparently it does double your missile damage, but there isn't any aural/visual feedback to indicate that.

I enjoyed my playthrough, but can't see myself replaying the hack due to the way the combat is balanced.

Review based on version 1.1. Completed deathless.

EDIT: I played this again, and happened to be in a much better mood when doing so. Hack's good y'all.

4/5
Harvest by Oi27 [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Sep 14, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
64% in 2:28
This is a very weird hack. It's very funny and clever, but very weird.

It starts off wanting you to like it, and you do want to like it, but it makes itself hard to like at the beginning. For instance, activating the first event either requires you to be incurious and lucky, or to solve a bizarrely difficult spatial reasoning puzzle. Not too long after that, progression is locked behind a bizarrely obtuse item puzzle. Both of these moments had me scratching my head for a while, even as a person who had partially watched people play this hack before and generally knew what to expect.

Anyhow, once you get past those initial hurdles and make it to the third area, the hack becomes a blast. Again, it is very clever and very funny, so once things get rolling the cleverness and funniness start to click and you start enjoying the hack as much as it wants you to.

And then it just kinda ends.

Mind you, it's a really good ending, and I don't mind short hacks, but I was kinda left wanting more. Thankfully, this feels like the kind of hack that ends up being much better on a replay.
Super Metroid Alliance by Mentlegen, Tundain, Dewhi100 [SM Quick Play], rated by RT-55J on Aug 16, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
25% in 1:35
The scope of this hack is pretty impressive, especially given the time constraint of the contest, but it is also this hack's biggest weakness. In particular, the upper portion of the water area feels about 1.5 to 2 times as big as it needs to be. The bloated size of that area made the hack's pacing slow to a crawl, but that can be partially blamed on how I somehow last-location'd every single key discovery there. Aside from that early-game hump, the hack manages to feels properly scoped, with only maybe a little bit of trimming or extra variety needed here or there (issues that, again, are understandable with the time constraints of the contest).

The custom music is a fantastic addition, and really helps elevate the slower parts of the experience.

I liked the way the contest's theme ("Strange Allies") was incorporated into the hack. I feel that if I followed my instincts regarding that in a couple places, that I would have had a smoother experience.
Metroid Ridley X Hack 2 by Ridley X [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Apr 30, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 1:49
Overall, it's generally a nice improvement over the first Ridley X hack.

The world design is a bit tighter and more focused -- though it's debatably a bit too streamlined in comparison to the first. There aren't very many places where the map design loops back on itself, though there were still some clever moments that made me grin. I really liked Norfair's design in this.

The early game progression is a bit ping-pong-y, but once you get bombs it's okay.

There are still a lot of repeated screens (I hope the author knows how to define new screens with Editroid (pls join the Discord)), but I personally didn't get lost. I had fun making a map as I explored.

It's usage of M2's graphics is a bit more cohesive and varied this time around, and is used to make for some more interesting spaces.

Recommended for nestroid fans.
Metroid: Scrolls 6 by Conner, OneOf99, CaptGlitch, JRP [MZM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Jul 20, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
98% in 2:25
Not bad, not bad at all.

The soundtrack gave me some serious corny Amiga vibes. Apologies to the composer, but I was laughing 80% of the time (it was great, I mean to say).

The custom tilesets are pretty nice, though the room designs felt a bit perfunctory and slightly repetitive in terms of gameplay/architecture (though as a contest hack that's perfectly understandable). Area designs weren't bad, but about halfway through I could see pretty clearly how I was being kettled by the gray doors and such.

The best areas (by far) were the upper and lower halves of Mons.
Subpar Metroid by WompaStompa [SM Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Apr 26, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
73% in 1:25
Hack was a bit on the short side. Hopefully the author makes a larger version of it in the future.
Mintroid by Golden Warrior [MZM Quick Play], rated by RT-55J on Nov 05, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:25
Nice little minihack. Quite polished.

There are a good number of different routing options, one of which involves doing a really, really early hell run. I, uh, chose to do that for my first playthrough, and without spoiling anything I'll just say that I felt a bit stupid for doing it.
Metroid + Saving by snarfblam [M1 Improvement], rated by RT-55J on Aug 02, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I can usually beat vanilla Nestroid in one sitting, so this patch alone isn't too useful to me personally, but it has been a major quality of life improvement in all the hacks that use it. If you're making a Metroid 1 hack, use this.

Wavy-ice is a great bonus. I have a few issues with the map functionality, but it's fine.

Source is included, which is always a plus.
Samus Goes To The Fridge To Get A Glass Of Milk II by kkzero [M2 Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Jul 20, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:07
One of the top 3 hacks where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk. Highly recommended for all of you fans of hacks where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk. If you are not sure if you're a fan of hacks where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk, then you should play this hack where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk. If you are not a fan of hacks where Samus goes to the fridge to get a glass of milk, then maybe you should go to the fridge to get a glass of milk yourself, buddy.

Not recommended if you are lactose intolerant.
Temple of the Winds by Moehr and Albert V. [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Jul 05, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 1:50
Really pretty looking, and some nice custom music. Some standout ASM work as well.

The whirlwinds feel a bit too finicky to navigate and I take some issue with the lack of refills from (most) enemies. The result is that the game always feels like it's providing almost a little too much friction against the player.

Other than those complaints, this is pretty solid all around.
Super Metroid: Pit of 100 Trials by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Challenge], rated by RT-55J on Jun 21, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
74% in 1:39
Cool challenge hack. It has some teeth, though it's a bit easier than what the concept might imply. I beat it deathless on my first attempt, though I was generally quite cautious and meticulous in my approach.

Worth checking out imo.
Over the Moon by TestZero [M1 Quick Play], rated by RT-55J on Jun 06, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
99% in 2:09
As far a Metroid 1 hacks go, you could say the quality of this is... *puts on sunglasses* over the moon.

*audible groans*

The world design of this is nice, compact, dense, and rather well-considered. After the starting hump it becomes rather open-ended, and rewards memory and observant-ness. I highly recommend mapping this by hand, making note of obstacles as you go.

The early game when you're low on missiles can be a bit too much. Also I give you permission to quit once you reach Tourian if it gives you trouble (the rinkas are also a bit much). Other than that, this is a pretty swell experience.
Metroid Genocide by Dude Man [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Jun 04, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:21
I played this back in the day, making a map on paper as I went along. I still had that map somehow, so I played it again using that map. Thankfully, that map was pretty accurate, so I was able to beat this fairly quickly.

The custom graphics are nice, and the attempt at modified music is appreciated -- the songs in Brinstar (and Brinstar only) seem to use slightly different instrumentation (but not always for some reason).

Anyhow, I don't have too much to say about this hack. I liked it. It's a bit tougher than the original game, but if you're good at Nestroid I recommend it.

Odd issue: The player sprite was glitched out when I first started, but dying loaded the graphics properly.
Metroid Deluxe Reduxe by The Rooser [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on May 22, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
99% in 2:14
The progression, especially towards the beginning, is rather ping-pong-y, but other than that this is one of the best hacks of the pre-2005 Metroid hacking era.

The modern amenities this version provides are quite nice.

Recommended.
'Roidz by DemickXII [M1 Improvement], rated by RT-55J on May 22, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:50
Pretty nice graphics hack. Certain things look a bit too glossy for my tastes. I would have preferred something that changed the tiling, and not just the individual tiles, but what we got is okay.

The level design changes (mostly the item rooms) are tasteful.

There are a couple of extra missile tanks in this, but it appears that you lose them if you die.
Metroid - Mission 187 by Odb718 [M1 Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on May 16, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
98% in 2:22
While this hack isn't bad by any stretch, it definitely does feel like a half-finished hack that was handed off to somebody else. There is a decidedly noticeable drop in ambition and ideas as the game progresses. Brinstar and Norfair are quite good and well realized, Kraid's Lair is mostly good by feels half-baked aesthetically, and then Ridley's Lair and Tourian feel like minor rearrangements that only use screens from the vanilla game.

Still, nothing in this hack is really bad, and as someone who likes Nestroid I found this to be quite swell.

Be aware that a couple items are gated behind unmorph-jumping and unmorph-bomb-jumping-into-a-respawning-tile.
SMChallenge by SMILEuser96 [SM Speedrun/Race], rated by RT-55J on May 14, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
49% in 0:03
Quite a nice little mini-hack.

Did the opposite of saving that animal.

Minor complaint: Having to sit all the way through the credits to see my item collection rate is silly, given how short the hack is.
Metroid: The Blue Plague by Nodever2 [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on May 05, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
93% in 0:46
Very nice contest hack.

Good escape sequence.
Metroid: Ice Break by ThatSpoiler [M1 Quick Play], rated by RT-55J on Apr 26, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:15
cute little contest hack
Inceptroid by Odb718 [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Apr 25, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 2:00
Not bad. A tad repetitive, owing to its concept, but it doesn't overstay its welcome.

(Time is approximate.)
Super Metroid Nature by Jefe962 [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Apr 23, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
81% in 0:00
Mmmmm... delicious vanilla.
Ancient Chozo by Albert V. [SM Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on Apr 21, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 3:40
Docking a point for entirely petty reasons: my color deficiency made me mistake the red doors in front of the speed booster and wave beam for grey doors. I lost an embarrassing amount of time to this fact.
Super Metroid: Darkholme Hospital by Cloud12 [SM Quick Play], rated by RT-55J on Sep 03, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I was enjoying this up until the very end, where the game just decided to throw an HP check at me. I dropped the hack like a bad date right then and there.
Super Metroid: Arrival by Jefe962 [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Sep 02, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 3:03
Modestly sized full-hack that doesn't wear out it's welcome. Would recommend.

Be Aware: The Golden Torizo fight is no fun at all (skip it).

(Review based on v1.11)
Super Metroid Weekend V by dewhi100 [SM Quick Play], rated by RT-55J on Apr 28, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:33
Very nice little hack. The rooms, taken in aggregate, are a little generic, but the enemy placement and general progression are very well thought out. I enjoy how the enemies force you to respect them.

There are definitely a lot worse ways to spend half an hour.

3.5/5 - Recommended (Review based on v1.4)
Super Madtroid 2: Anger Management by dewhi100 [SM Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Apr 13, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
70% in 0:32
A decent improvement over Super Madtroid 1 -- a good amount more japes being played, and far fewer broken doors.

I, for one, would love to see some more Awful Hacks Made Quick by this community. They're just good for the soul.
Metroid: Zero Mission at Night by alexman25 [MZM Challenge], rated by RT-55J on Feb 03, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This is pretty much exactly what you would expect based off the screenshots. It's a neat challenge that is both a test of how much of ZM you have memorized, as well as how well you can use the beam to echolate. (I have to imagine that navigation gets exceptionally tricky if you ever get the wave beam.)

One interesting thing about how this was implemented is that it appears that instead of turning all of the background palettes to pure black, that all of the graphical tilemaps were deleted (while keeping the clipdata in place). This is most easily noticed with the Charge Beamst in the 2nd screenshot above.

As far as my progress is concerned, I got the Power Grip, made it back to the ship, and told myself that the Canon Ending to this is Samus saying to herself "hit da bricks" as she flies off in her spaceship.

Recommended for no more than 1 hour of playtime (unless you're blind, in which case this hack will have no noticeable differences to you).
Metroid Blue by Roebloz [M1 Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on Feb 02, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
95% in 2:21
For a hack made in a couple days (according to the readme), this isn't half-bad, but a lot of big and little design decisions hampered my enjoyment of it.

In some ways, this hack feels like a throwback to the MetEdit era. The layout of the map is completely different from vanilla, but many screens are the same, giving it a similar sort of half-hack flavor that those old hacks had, except in the opposite way. For several years in the '00s, this would have been a strong contender for Nestroid hack of the year.

At the start I was pretty impressed with the design of Brinstar, but as the game went on I became increasingly frustrated with the overall layout and level design. Brinstar is a bit too sprawling as a hub area, which with the increased linearity in the game's progression makes for some annoying backtracking. Moreover, the other areas tend to lack helpful loops or shortcuts to maintain interest, meaning their lasting appeal is limited. Combine this with obnoxious enemy placement on certain screens and you have a hack where I felt like I was just going through the motions for the mid-game (Tourian is fine, FWIW).

Contrary to the hack description, Wave+Ice does not work properly.

Finished with 240 missiles and 6 energy tanks. Taking a cursory glance in Editroid, it appears I only missed one missile tank.
Open Doors by idle [SM Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on Jan 31, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
59% in 1:18
This hack's premise has been tried at least once before with CrAzY's No Doors (and I think there's at least one other hack that tried something similar to this). Judging by my playthrough of this, and the reviews of that other one, I'd hazard a guess that this one is better.

Overall, I'd probably have liked this better if I was just better at SM. Not being able to do the speedless moat skip and being very bad at fighting Ridley underequipped put a major damper on the route deviations I tried.

I spent much of my playthrough quite flummoxed at how speed blocks were the only special block (besides grapple crumbles) to not double as shot blocks. I don't understand why this decision was made, and to be perfectly frank it feels kinda contrary to the hack's design ethos.

I also take umbrage with how the items in the Wrecked Ship work like vanilla, meaning that the majority of the items simply don't exist before you defeat Phantoon. In spite of this behavior being vanilla, the author changed things so that backdooring Tourian to the first room of the escape does not set the escape event bit. (If you're going to change that thing, please at least throw us a bone elsewhere.)

I do appreciate that most of the hack's changes appear to be code-based.
Metroid 2: Metroid Purge by Liam Najor [M2 Quick Play], rated by RT-55J on May 05, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:10
This is a very bizarre little hack. It all takes place in a single level bank, about 30-40 screens total in size, with less than half that many unique screens. Even with the tooling available at the time, having every screen in this hack be unique would have been within the realm of possibility. Of course, with this being made for a contest, it's clear that this was patched up and rushed out at the last minute to meet the deadline (been there). Either way, the effect this repetition brings is one of constant disorientation, and a feeling that you are always missing out on something (most likely, you are not). It's odd, but I can't bring myself to say it's bad.

As much as I am tempted to compare this to the unreleased hack I tried making in 2015 (I won RotW with it back in the day!), the fact of the matter is that this hack got released. My project never got finished because trying to edit the enemies or room transitions made me lose motivation, but this author managed to work past those difficulties. Make fun of the jank if you want, but Real Artists Ship.
Super Metroid: Bluestar by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Quick Play], rated by RT-55J on Apr 15, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:16
It's the Pit of 25 Trials, basically. Not too much to say about this one.

Pit of 100 Trials has several adjustments that make this portion of that hack more interesting, but as a demo this is still pretty good.

The blue theming is nice, but a bit garish in a few places (as can be seen in the screenshots).
Gaslight, Gate Glitch, Miniboss by Croakomire [SM Unknown], rated by RT-55J on Apr 02, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Utter nonsense that feels like it requires savestates and peeking in the editor to feasibly complete.

Got up to the third room before quitting. Did not finish.

Giving two orbs for living up to the gaslighting and gate-glitching parts of the hack's title, and a presumptive third orb under the assumption that the hack lives up to its promise of including a miniboss. (This orb will be docked if it is found that a miniboss is not actually present in the hack.)

It's got some Quality Trolling, as we call it. Highly recommended for people who want to make fools of themselves.
Super Metroid: Federation Force by Metaquarius [SM Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Jun 30, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
hey meta-sama-sempai-san-kun!!!!! they're's a bug in ur hack! i can't access the samus screen on the paws menu! pls fix this fast!!!!!!!
Metroid mOTHER by dACE [M1 Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on Jun 06, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:41
Eh. I like the background graphics from 'Roidz, but the most all of the MBDtroid sprites feel like a downgrade compared to sprites from 'Roidz. Also, I take issue with the removal of the tasteful level design changes 'Roidz made.

This is like if Project Base was just a set of alternate palettes, but didn't make any meaningful changes to the gameplay or world. I just don't see the point, really.

Still, the wave-ice combo is nice at least.
MDbtroid by Infinitys_End [M1 Improvement], rated by RT-55J on Jun 05, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
The title screen, Ridley, and Kraid look decently impressive, but otherwise the graphical edits come across as either amateurish or neutral compared to the original.
Final Fantasy Chaos Realm by ronaldo79 [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Jun 04, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:33
Silly little crossover hack. Decently crafted, some jank aside (like the nasty GFX errors one the player sprites).

A map was provided, so I played with it in the background. The map design is a little spread out, and the areas overlap sometimes, but the map layouts are fundamentally pretty simple compared to the original, with only a couple exceptions (like a one-way door here and there). Maybe I shouldn't have used the map (idk).

I lost like 15 minutes of time because the Ice Beam did not spawn in its backup position behind the statues, meaning I had to trek all the way to the Norfair Ice Beam to get it. That kinda spoils my mood to recommend it to be honest, though it's probably fixable.
Metroid Master by Chris Allen [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on Jun 03, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 2:23
I enjoyed this more than I expected. It has a couple issues, but it's not bad.

There's a softlock about halfway through Brinstar if you don't have bombs. Also, if you get the Wave Beam and want to return to Brinstar-proper, your options are either (a) deathwarp, (b) wallcrawl, or (c) trek deep into Norfair to fetch the other Ice Beam.

Despite those issues, I found this quite playable and easily mappable by hand. Contrary to its name and what the description may suggest, this is not really much a challenge hack. It's generous with e-tanks, the map design isn't too convoluted, and you can get Varia rather early.

If the ROM was expanded so some of the dead ends could be pruned (by adding more room-types) and wave-ice was added, this would be a decently solid recommendation.

The ending text gave me a chuckle.
Metroid Ridley X Hack by Ridley X [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Jun 03, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:43
Not bad, rather polished, but not great.

I like the Metroid 2 graphics, but this hack only takes only a fraction of that game's tilesets, so all the areas end up looking too similar.

Brinstar feels decently well-realized, but the other areas not so much. Overall the map design is a bit too sprawling, sparse, and repetitive. The worst culprits are the two-column vertical shafts in Norfair (overly tall and dreadfully boring). If this was an old hack, I'd be a bit more forgiving, but this is a newer hack that uses an expanded ROM.

This hack has a lot of elevators, and each area ends up being a set of non-contiguous sub-areas. Unfortunately, the sub-areas of each area don't really do too much design wise to differentiate themselves. It gives the hack a slightly bizarre sense of space.

Brinstar has a good number of secret passages, but the other areas are pretty straightforward.

Both Wave and Ice are far enough out of the way that this hack could have used the wave-ice patch.

After defeating Kraid I looked at the editor for where to progress, because I ran out of options on the map I was making. It turns out the path forward was just a hidden path in an elevator room. After Ridley I was done with the hack and just made a beeline towards Tourian.

I do appreciate the fact that the hack is nice and easy, relatively speaking. The game is fairly generous with e-tanks early on, varia is accessible pretty early, enemy placement is reasonable, and Tourian isn't too hard. Good job on nailing the difficulty.
Metroid 99 by Maximum Potion [M1 Improvement], rated by RT-55J on May 28, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Docking a point for not including the source code.

Should be under resources imo.
Metroid Walljump by Parasyte [M1 Improvement], rated by RT-55J on May 28, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
+ Adds walljumping
+ .asm source included
- You can only walljump when moving upwards

Should be under resources.
Metroid Automap by Parasyte [M1 Improvement], rated by RT-55J on May 28, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
+ It's a minimap
+ .asm source is included
- Only uses energy tank graphics (gets confusing in more crowded areas)
- Seems to be based on the camera's position, not Samus's (?)
- Automap was full at the start
- We have better versions of this.

This should be under the resources tab.
Metroid Alpha by Byvegeta [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on May 28, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:45
The most notable thing about this is that it's for the PAL version. It's worth playing just to hear the PAL arrangement of the soundtrack (did you know: the music for European Nestroid was subtly and tastefully adjusted).

Decent hack for what it is. Most of the original background graphics are amateurish, but fitting. I like it.

Not very many level design changes outside of Brinstar.
Metroid Omega by Redrum [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on May 26, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:02
Vanilla map and item layout. Brinstar is tough at first, but after you get some decent equipment it's fine.

While the main portion of each area's tileset was changed, it looks like most of the shared tiles were not. Slightly disappointing, given the quality of the tile and sprite work.

I wish this were finished.
Metroid 2000 by ColinB [M1 Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on May 25, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:59
Map and item layout is identical to the original. However, all the individual screens are changed in every area however (except for Tourian, which was unchanged). The requirements for only a couple items were changed, from what I saw.

If you know the original game you can beat this in an hour.

Not bad, but not really interesting either.
Metroid Planet by Metroid Planet [M1 Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on May 21, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:44
Decent hack for it's time. It has a few clever ideas, not that many glitches, and avoids the sheer bloat that a lot of its contemporaries ran into. Early-game pacing is also relatively brisk compared to most.

The general skeleton of the map is vanilla-ish, but item placement has been shuffled around compared to the original (unlike most hacks of this era) -- this comes with the side effect of some expansions respawning, but that's excusable given its age.

The design of each of the screens is a bit uneven --- they tend to either be slightly too rough or slightly too featureless, if that makes any sense.

I ran into a scrolling glitch in Ridley's lair, but thankfully it was relatively easy to fix (no OoB shenanigans needed).

Overall, this isn't really bad at all, and is one of the few hacks from this era that I'm willing to recommend.
Metroid: Wart's Invasion by AlexAR [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on May 17, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 1:52
This hack is worth three orbs, but the primer on Metroid 1's bomb jumping is worth 5 orbs if you can decipher the ascii diagrams. Unfortunately, I'm reviewing the hack, not the readme.

Presentation wise, I give this a nice, solid B+. The enemy sprites are generally cute, though its clear that the author struggled to find a good Mario equivalents to sidehoppers and swoopers. Unfortunately the screen layouts are just aesthetically very messy, and don't end up feeling very Mario-like. Also, it's kind of disappointing that the music wasn't changed at all (though I can't really blame them).

The difficulty is kind all over the place. Kraid's Lair comes before Norfair in this, which is weird because the enemies in Kraid deal twice as much damage. You get the Wave Beam nice and early (the Correct design decision if you don't have the combined Ice-Wave patch to work with), but you get the Varia Suit too late to really make a difference (honestly its place probably should have been switched the the Screw Attack). Fortunately, both the minibosses in this are pushovers thanks to how their arenas are laid out.

The moment-to-moment level design is what drags this game down. The amount of navigation this game expects you to do with bombs gets very tedious by the end. It feels like at least one-third of the screens have you doing some sort of bomb-jumping shenanigans, and it gets kind of tedious. Fortunately, the linearity of the hack means that you rarely have to do any backtracking.

The hardest part of Tourian was not the final boss or the metroid stand-ins, but rather doing bomb jumping while being assaulted by rinkas.

Not too bad of a hack, but not too good of one either.
Metroid Mother Visibility Rearranged and Compactified by metalmight [M1 Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on Apr 25, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:50
Hack over-achieves at its own goals, resulting in something that feels _too_ streamlined. This is most egregious with Norfair, where the entire half of the area behind the hi jump boots was simply excised. I thought the in-game map was lying to me when I saw that, but nope, that area really does not exist anymore.

Also, the attempts at breaking up the repetition of the original game's areas are commendable, these efforts are undercut by things like having 3 identical screens in a row with missile upgrades in Brinstar, or another 4 such screens in a row, also in Brinstar, or yet another 5 such screens in a row, also in Brinstar.

The boss graphics being on the in-game map are a cute touch, but in every area other than Brinstar the graphics are incorrect.

I recommend neither for nor against playing this hack.
Reimagined by SavageWizzrobe [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on Sep 03, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
68% in 6:35
I'm becoming a crotchety old man losing his patience for vanilla-style sprawl-fests. You did good work, bud, but this ain't my taste anymore.

The overall map strikes me as very disjointed. Still, in spite of everything of interest being hidden behind some sort of fake/shootable wall/ceiling, there is a certain logic to how the gameworld and navigational puzzles are arranged. For instance, in many cases when you run into a dead end, the path ahead is hidden a handful of screens behind (or in plain sight). Eventually you'll start to be able to read the author's mind, and things will start running a bit more smoothly.

Even so, progression felt overly slow for my tastes, and the world just wasn't compelling enough to keep my interest. (Another issue is that being in school kills my motivation for longform entertainment, but that's beside the point.) By the time I beat Draygon, I was just wishing the hack was over. Fortunately, will say that everything after getting the Screw Attack was smooth sailing for me, so in a sense my wish did come true.

In other words, I give this 2 points for fun, and 1 point because Ridley was kind enough to get himself trapped in a corner just for me.

(Review based on v1.4)
SM Redesign: Axeil Edition by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by RT-55J on May 30, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
74% in 11:46
The level of professionalism and polish Drewseph put into this cannot be mistaken. In terms of look, feel, scope, and aesthetic realized-ness, this blows most other hacks straight out of the water. Props to him for that.

Generally speaking, I would say that this hack accomplished its goal of providing a more accessible version of Redesign, at least up until Tourian. Save for a small handful of in rooms that area, I was able to beat this hack without savestates. Granted, I had beaten the original Redesign twice, but that was over 5 years ago (at the very least). It can still be rather challenging at points, but the most egregious nonsense of the original Redesign has been excised or ironed over (well, except for the 25-missile doors).

Unfortunately, some changes have been made for the worse. Phantoon's AI was changed, making an obnoxious boss even more obnoxious. The Screw Attack is now guarded by an entirely opaque sub-Zelda puzzle. And for whatever reason you can't jump off of crumble blocks. Other reviewers have enumerated more of these negative changes, so I'll forbear.

But I will still talk about Tourian. You see, Tourian has been completely redone from the original Redesign. It's now an absolutely brilliant piece of level design that will leave you frothing at the mouth by the time it is finished with you. It's meticulously well-realized and crafted, but utterly and entirely inaccessible to play, even for the most skilled players. All pretensions of "easier-ness" that this hack had come here to die, again and again and again and again. I don't care how hardcore you think you are, you _will_ hit a roadblock here that will send you into a fit of apoplectic rage. Ultimately, I was able to power through the worst of it (with savestates), but even after the difficulty finally started winding down there those moments left a very sour taste in my mouth.

I wish Drewseph the best of luck in his future hacking endeavors. The guy has a lot more talent than most. If he makes a new world for us to explore, I would hope that it is more restrained in scope.

(These impressions are based off of version 1.4)
Super Madtroid by dewhi100 [SM Quick Play], rated by RT-55J on Feb 15, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
3% in 0:25
[Watch Video]  
This has a couple really funny trolls (imo) and bits of intentional jank.

Not sure what to think about the softlocks, but you are unlikely to run into them on your first playthrough.

The attached link here is a map in case you got mad.
Eaeint by alexman25 [M1 Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Sep 24, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
0% in 0:01
alexman25 has done it again. following the refined minimalism of 2018's The Hallway, alexman25 gives us the most maximalist nestroid hack --- no, the most maximalistest metroid hack --- no, the most maximalistestistest search metroidvania keyring action game ever made, period.

Rouge Don, Metroid Miscue Riscue, Holla Night, and Aeternis Nocta all tremble in fear before the unbounded size and girth of this hack. Featuring a full 8196 screens of pure, unbridled, freeform exploration, this hack forces us to confront the consequences of our desires. Do we really want the largest game possible? Do we really want the most freeform game possible? Do we really want a game with no restrictions whatsoever? As we explore the hall and endless shafts of Eaeint, we are forced to contemplate these questions. Perhaps making the largest game possible is not desirable. Perhaps we do not want unlimited freedom. Perhaps the real fun in play is the friction that comes from pressing against the boundaries of our restraints, and the intimacy that is to be had in small, curated spaces. More than anyone else, alexman69 is forcing us to reconsider the dominant trends in open-world games in the modern games industry. Maybe Starfield and Friends would have been better with just 30 planets instead of 30000. Maybe Tears of King Dom didn't need that underground area to be the same size and scale as the overworld. Maybe the last third of Elden Ring's map could have been cut from the game with nothing of value being lost. Maybe an endless supply of content is not what gamers true crave, especially if it fails to differentiate itself in any meaningful way. Maybe the kids these days really just want Virtual Hydlide HD Remix. Thoughts like these flowed through my mind for a couple minutes until I broke down and opened the editor to find the exit.

I can't wait for what thought-provoking masterpieces alexman86 paints on the canvas of nestroid next. Truly the Packson Jollock of the modren age.

would rate this 5/5, but deducting 3 points because this is nestroid and somehow there are no bubbles (?????????????)
Metroid Mission Zero by Meeptroid [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on Aug 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
It's MDbtroid, except a few items are shuffled around like this is a plando or something. Room design seems unchanged aside from a 3 or so screens at the beginning, and the addition of a few missile doors en route to the bombs.

Not bad by any means, just pointless enough that I can't really recommend it.

Played for 15 minutes before getting bored. Did not finish.
Metroid - Captive by SPJ & sqpat [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on Jun 02, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 2:30
Rather janky and obtuse at times, especially early on... but I kinda liked it. Mind you, it has it's fair share of nonsense, but the graphics are nice and it has a number of clever ideas using wraparound and door blocks. As it stands however, I had to play with the editor open most of the time because I couldn't ever quite trust it as much as I wanted to -- there are a couple places early on I think you can get softlocked, and there are a few too many areas requiring advanced techniques.

The worst bit is at the starting screen, where you have to just barely walk off a platform to do a mid-air jump to get the morph ball. I thought you had to get the high jump first, but as far as I could tell that requires missiles, and the earliest missile pack requires the morph ball.

The second worst bit, that I just wish I could like, a morph ball maze in Norfair that you had to navigate by bouncing. It's a great concept, but suffers because of the difficulty of fitting into 16 pixel tall gaps (if the gaps were 24 pixels tall, then it would be just fine).

The funniest bit is that the item fanfare in Ridley's lair (and only in Ridley's Lair) is glitched out. I thought the game had crashed for a second there.

I actually rather liked Tourian (aside from the escape) -- there's a couple of rather clever ideas there.

Also, I'm not sure what Sapphron is talking about with the Varia. I was able to collect it just fine. The only issue is that I had to go through some doors to fix the scrolling for some reason.

The Kraid fight is easy because you can lodge yourself at point blank range and fire missiles at max speed.

Ridley's fight is weird, since his arena wraps around from the bottom to the top of the map. I didn't even know that was possible.

If someone were to come back to this and polish it up a bit I'd say it would be worth 3 or 4 orbs perhaps.
Metroid Mutation by Tek [M1 Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on May 28, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
A slapdash collection of background graphics from other NES games. Looks... okay, I guess? Not really thematically coherent, nor especially good or bad.

The only sprites that were modified appear to be items/pickups, the HUD, and doors.

A funny inadvertent level-design change is that you can vertically screenwrap in a couple horizontal rooms in Brinstar because they changed some of the roof tiles to be non-solid.

Only played for 5 minutes before getting bored.
Metroid Origin by JoQualian [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on May 27, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:45
I'd give this hack an extra orb or two if the permastucks, softlocks, and save data issues were fixed. Going towards bombs without high jump results in a softlock, and it's possible to softlock in the bomb room if you fall down before getting bombs. Also, I lost my first missile tank when dying in Norfair (lame).

As it stands, this feels like a middle of the road hack from 2005. The creaking skeleton of the original item locations can still be felt. Unfortunately, too many of the areas have long, winding, linear paths without much of interest.

The Metroid 2 tiles are nice, as are the parts when the areas overlap.

Recommended if you can tolerate a certain lack of design polish.

(Review based on the "enhanced" version.)
Metroid Simplified by Malpercio [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on May 27, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:34
Not the last hack of its kind.

Just like "Metroid Mother Visibility Rearranged and Compactified" this over-simplifies the game and trivializes the exploration and discovery. Items are strewn along your path, and many rooms were just removed. To make matters worse, this hack flattens most of the existing rooms, reducing the variety and interest of the game even further. Worse yet, enemies are clumped together, often in groups of 6, so lag is even more of an issue here than it was in the original (since it's harder to get them cycling through enemy slots between screens).

Wave Beam is required to beat the bosses, but the bosses aren't required to access Tourian, and beating Mother Brain isn't even required to beat the game. All you actually need is just 10 missiles, really.

Two doors in Tourian and one door in Norfair lead you out of bounds.
The Hallway by alexman25 [M1 Spoof], rated by RT-55J on May 25, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:10
[Watch Video]  
This hack strips the "metroidvania" genre down to its barest skeleton. Truly, a subversive piece of art worth all of your thought.

For those who need some help completing this hack, I put a link to a map/guide I made up in that little "video link" at the top-right corner of this review (even though it is a still image and not a video (please understand)).
Super Samus by Grond [M1 Improvement], rated by RT-55J on May 21, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Decent looking sprite.
Should be in resources.
Metroid Quest by MakouEyes [M1 Vanilla+], rated by RT-55J on May 21, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:30
This is a very silly graphics hack. The morph ball turns you into Kirby!

The are some minor changes to the layouts of individual screens. The Brinstar item rooms were rearranged, but unfortunately the position of the items themselves weren't, meaning that they are uncollectable. If you want to play this in its current form, use a password that at least gives you bombs, varia, and long beam.

I fiddled around with this for 30 minutes using the JUSTIN BAILEY password and had a decent enough time.

Note that the intro text in the patch here doesn't match the text in the fourth screenshot. Weird.
Metroid Remix by Litmus Dragon [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on May 19, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:48
This is a middling hack that keeps the skeleton of the original game's map. I'm struggle to think of any interesting ideas it has (other than putting ice at long beam). It was okay to play, but I got bored towards the end.

Energy tanks are hard to come by, and I only found two by the end. Looking at the game in Editroid, I have a feeling something regarding their spawning is bugged, because at least two of them didn't spawn for me, even though I passed right by them.

In Norfair there is an energy tank at the old screw attack location that I did manage to get. However, I had to wall-crawl to get to it because the author changed what column the hole in the floor was on in the room before it, rendering it inaccessible by normal means. Anyhow, when I left that energy tank room the scrolling got messed up because the author accidentally used a horizontal-horizontal door tiles. I had to do some really stupid door-crawling and OoB shenanigans to get scrolling back to normal. That was both the highlight and lowlight of the hack to me.

BTW, if you ever play this, there's a missile tank at the very bottom of Kraid that respawns when you die. It's easy to get to, and I wouldn't be surprised if other items also have that property (this was a common occurrence in old Metroid 1 hacks that changed item locations).

Looking forward to "METOOID REMX II" coming soon.
Metroid M by Mega-Dog [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on May 16, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:34
This hack takes the reputation of Metroid 1 being a sprawling, repetitive, unnavigable mess and takes it as a worthy design goal to surpass. Areas are even larger, more repetitive, and less interesting. A common occurrence in this hack is for there to be a bunch of nearly identical horizontal rooms stacked right on top of each other, and they would all lead to the same two vertical shafts on both end. One might have missiles, the other ones would have bupkis, and that would literally be the only difference.

Several years ago I played this while mapping it by hand. In Kraid's Lair, I eventually found the path to Kraid himself. It was a linear stretch of decently long horizontal rooms with almost nothing but pipe bugs, followed by a 12 screen tall vertical shaft you had to climb, where one mistake could send you all the way to the bottom.

Later, I made it into Ridley's Lair, and after mapping out the elevator room I noticed that Ridley's area dipped below the lowest extremity of Kraid's area. As soon as I saw this, I just knew that I would have do something absolutely stupid like take a horizontal corridor spanning the entire length of the map just to get to Ridley. Upon having this thought I opened up the level editor and took a look at the map, and sure enough that is exactly what the hack's author had done.

I dropped the hack right then and there.

Recently I replayed it to completion with a map in hand, and it was... okay. I still wouldn't recommend it due to its flaws, but is at least polished and not super buggy, which is more than I can say for a lot of other early Metroid 1 hacks.

Be warned though, this hack forces you to 1CC it. Death (and I assume using the Up+A code) boots you straight back to the title screen without any password, and the password screen itself is unusable (all the characters have been replaced by 0). Either bring your skills or your save-states.
Metroid Revenge by L.Soft Hacks [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on Jun 05, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Played for 3 minutes and then stopped.

The text on the title screen is AAAAAAglitchedAAAAA.

Samus spawns one block inside the floor.

The screen with the door on the right in the first vertical shaft in Brinstar was changed to require a precise damage boost to get up. The ripper you're supposed to damage boost off of doesn't always spawn, thanks to how enemy slots work in this game.

This is something that a 12 year old with MetEdit would make after screwing around for 20 minutes, and not an actual hack. Barely anything was changed, and what was changed is bad.
Project Ridien by Nathan Serubin [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on May 30, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:57
This hack has a couple really novel ideas for something without any ASM hacks. It has a couple "teleport stations" that abuse how door blocks work (you see one right at the start). Also, it has special doors in Norfair that you have to shoot at the top or bottom to get working. Both are pretty janky, but are quite neat.

That's pretty much all of the good things I have to say about this hack. Everything else is pretty bad.

Progression is very stingy from beginning to end. There are only 5 energy tanks and 5 missile tanks overall. After collecting morph ball (and I guess missiles), you have to get wave beam in Norfair to get the high jump in Norfair to get bombs and long beam in Brinstar. Both Brinstar and Norfair are a pain to traverse for different reasons, and you likely won't find any energy tanks for this first leg of the journey. After this initial hump the game becomes markedly easier, but that's true of most Metroid 1 hacks. Progression-wise, the only saving grace is that Screw Attack is quite early (if you can find it), but that doesn't save the map design from being way to spread out and sparse and dumb. (Also, it looks like the author anticipated wall-crawling, since there is no way to use it to get main items early.)

In Kraid and Norfair, dying respawns you at the bottom of the elevator shaft. This is annoying in Kraid, but infuriating in Norfair since going down the elevator shaft is a one-way trip, and the way back up basically requires traversing the rest of the area.

The tilework gives me major Hoshi wo Miru Hito vibes. Everything is ugly in the most boring way possible (except somehow their suitless Ridien sprites turned out decent (being minor edits)).

I was tempted to give this hack 2 orbs on account of its clever ideas I mentioned above, but that doesn't save it from being garbage. However, this feels like a marked improvement over the author's previous hack, Metroid Adventure, so take that how you will.

Completed with liberal use of a map and savestates, after an initial attempt not doing that.
Metroid Adventure by Nathan Serubin [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on May 28, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:01
Vanilla screens and item placement. Kraid and Ridley's area have okay-ish designs. Norfair is tolerable. Tourian is only slightly changed. Brinstar's design is absolutely hateful.

As far as I can tell, the intended route to bombs in Brinstar is to fall down a vertical shaft that spans the entire left side of the map, go across a horizontal corridor that spans the entire bottom of the map, and then climb almost all the way back up a vertical shaft that spans the entire right side of the map.

The rest of Brinstar's map design isn't quite as ridiculous as that, but it's pretty close. The only saving grace is that the starting point is pretty close to Tourian and the Brinstar Ice Beam.

Completed using a map and with judicious use of wall-crawling and death warping. (I might have been able to cut 10 minutes off that time if I had gotten Ice Beam before Varia (or just skipped Varia)).

I recommend reading the readme just to get an idea of the contempt at work here.
Bionic Metroid by Defgav [M1 Improvement], rated by RT-55J on May 27, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Barebones resprite with a couple text changes. Nothing looks very interesting.

To elaborate on Sapphron's review, it says YOU SUCK when you die, and YOU DIED when giving you a password.

Played 6 minutes before getting bored.
Drugtroid by TheDruggedMetroid [M1 Speedrun/Race], rated by RT-55J on May 25, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Beyond the grotesque color choices, this slightly shuffled the item progression. However, after playing for half an hour and exhausting my choices of where to explore, I opened up the editor and found that this hack is not completable without wall-crawling --- you need ice beam to get bombs, but both ice beam locations are locked behind bombs.
Metroid Challenge by Quasius [M1 Exploration], rated by RT-55J on May 22, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Charmingly garish and amateurish visually, but absolutely infuriating to play. As the title suggests, almost every single screen is an ordeal.

I was having a decent time despite the high difficulty, until I found out that the intended route to the high jump boots has you take nearly 3 energy tanks of forced damage, by having you to bomb a row of blocks at the bottom of the screen (where you take lava damage) to get around an impassable wall.

I looked at the editor and the path to the screw attack has the same thing, except it's 7.5 screens long. The detailed map says that you need nearly 400 energy and varia to make that trip.

Did not finish.
Pitoid by frederickarte [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on May 20, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 3:31
This would be a two-and-a-half star hack if some of the glitches and softlocks were fixed. As it stands, it's hard to recommend.

Ridley's Lair is the most egregious example. There is a tiling error in one of the structures that leads to most of the morphball passages in the area being unusable (somehow, this is not shown in Editroid). Thus, finishing Ridley's lair requires door-climbing. Also, the energy tank room right behind Ridley looks like a glitchy mess. Kraid's lair is fortunately playable.

Early-game progression is a bit too obscure and too slow, especially with how large Brinstar is. Also, Brinstar has two rooms with doors that take you off the left edge of the map for some reason.

Norfair has an interesting design, but has too many dead ends with nothing on them, even though they have item orbs. (Empty item orbs and chozo statues are also a big issues with Brinstar.)
Metroid - Zebian Illusion by DragonEye Studios [M1 Unknown], rated by RT-55J on May 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This is like the Cristener Homenag of Metroid 1 hacks. Immediately grotesque and impressively unplayable.

I remember back when Dragon Eye Studios was still a thing that the author of this hack (who I shall not name) regretted making it. It's easy to see why.

The vertical shafts in this are like if somebody though that the Kraid-climb in the original game (the part with all the breakable blocks) wasn't hard enough, and so just stuffed a bunch of enemies in and arranged everything randomly. If you get hit on your way up you'll end up being combo'd to death as you fall down. It's quite impressive, in a way.

Looking at the level editor, it appears that Brinstar is the only area that is accessible. Kraid and Tourian also appear to have been modified, but are inaccessible (and, oddly, appear to be better-designed). 100% "completion" of this would entail getting morph, bombs, ice, long beam, varia, 2 missile tanks, and 0 energy tanks.

I quit after playing for 20 minutes, because I couldn't see myself making any progress.
Metroid 2: Challenge by RT-55J [M2 Spoof], rated by RT-55J on Jun 03, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
lame