Zhs2's Ratings and Reviews
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Metroid: Desolation by jasinchen [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 30, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 3:55
(Played version 1.1.1) Move over, boring old Subversion. THIS is the hack that got me to play it twice in a row, and it was worth it both times. Normal mode is fairly balanced for experienced players around the few energy tanks you'll be finding, and you will be scrounging for them since they are few and fairly hidden - you will probably reach the end with four total, and you'll be having fun the whole time, I guarantee it. The author knows very well how to funnel you into major items, most of them you'll be finding accidentally. There are a few optional items too, some of them assembly'd in, and if you're REALLY good there are even sequence breaks to get some major items without fighting their bosses. And when you "finish" (I say "finish" because you can technically end your game at any time by returning to the ship) your first run through Normal mode, what do you get? A new mode that will challenge your skills in the early game (or perhaps your savestates) by throwing you through a COMPLETELY different route through the world, but again, it's not actually that unfun to persevere. Item collection becomes normal again after getting bombs in the second playthrough but the end still has some surprises in store. My only complaints are some suitless underwater (including an entire boss, which makes him rather tedious to bring down) and a few crashes. If you can tolerate Zero Mission hacks, 100% play this shit. Fuck yes. (Completion time is for the second playthrough, the first playthrough took exactly an hour more.)
Metroid: Scrolls 6 by Conner, OneOf99, CaptGlitch, JRP [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 15, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
94% in 1:45
The best ZM hack to date (that I also forgot to review until now.) Another offender of lifting Fusion bosses, this hack takes itself pretty seriously for renaming everything to be magically themed (except power bombs, I guess nukes are pretty magical) and has many fancy new tilesets to boot. Finding items and expansions is pretty intuitive and about the only thing that annoyed me was the screw attack gauntlet, which was not very hard to navigate but ZM hackers do love how seamless it is to transition Samus back to the beginning of a room. I highly recommend this to ZM players.
Super Metroid CRE 2 by Tundain [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:29
These CRE hacks are unironically better than some fullhacks. They are more fun, more creative, more encouraging to explore to see just how bored the author actually gets during his every day life and subsequently more expressive. This one had a map that was intuitive to fill out, too, short as it was. The creator knows how to mix high effort with shitposting, and it is the best kind of shitposting. Definitely fully recommend this and its predecessor.
SM - Cryogenesis by Onnyks [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
76% in 3:05
You don't know how cool it is for various assembly patches to be showcased in a hack until you play the full-fledged hack that actually showcases them. Allow me to say first that the new item is the most satisfying way to kill those spiked Maridia floor hiders, hands down. Beyond that, this hack does very interesting things with transitions from foreground to background and rooms within rooms. The screenshots don't showcase the rooms with the hands, but this is the hack you come to for the rooms with the creatively tiled hands (among other things). My only complaint about this hack is that Hotlands seemed like a more intuitive and user-friendly experience than this one, but this hack is by no means evil - just extremely damaging at certain parts, and a little obscure in the case of finding grapple beam. Recommend you definitely give this winner of the contest it was in a try today.
Super Metroid: Hotlands by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 31, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
59% in 1:19
Good short-ish gimmick hack. The limited number of upgrades you find were always useful, and the optional ones make some things easier but some other things harder in return. The room based bosses were simple but not frustrating. The single vanilla boss was balanced to match the limited resources of the hack. The creator definitely put Super Metroid's existing resources to good use. I don't know what other hacks were in the contest but I bet this hack definitely deserved placing in the top three. Also, my sister had to tell me the music was stolen from Undertale.
V I T A L I T Y by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Oct 17, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
56% in 5:02
4 years well spent, but I wouldn't necessarily trust DMan with the phrase "hack made for noobs". There is much in the way to pick up that has been made very not obvious, and some items are even less obvious in this final release than during the playtesting phase. Always be wary of secret passages, especially near locked doors, and do know there's a way to escape Ridley's volcano if you don't have enough items to beat him. That being said, it's not a difficult hack at all. Searching every nook and cranny you can find goes a long way toward rounding out your ability to survive. Absolutely worth more than one playthrough.
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 21, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I'm biased because I like RealRed's hacks, but here goes: this hack is one of the most fun least difficulty hacks I've ever played. Fuck Oxide and vanilla, vanilla especially because there are items hidden in stupid places in that hack.
Oxide by Cyclamen32 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Oxide looks like your average Super Metroid. But wait! Look at all of these missiles you just got! Wow, you're going to have a lot of fun trying to run out of those! No kidding! The only downside to this hack is a bit of backtracking, but I had too much fun spending missiles to care.
SM: Search and Destroy by lenorator [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Jun 20, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
93% in 0:31
Absolutely not Beginner difficulty. It is punishing at first, especially due to possible spike missteps and not knowing where to go at first, but if you can weather enough pain rain heat runs and find the Varia suit the hack's difficulty disappears. The author of this knows his stuff, putting the player into situations where X-Ray is actually necessary for reasons of fun, not reasons of torture. It has been so long since I've seen a hack that uses X-Ray CRE that it isn't even funny, so this happens to be a breath of fresh air on that front. The next point of contention for that difficulty thing happens to be the boss, a reskinned Gold Torizo that will pound you if you don't know the strategies for beating him, and you absolutely must use Super Missiles to do it because you won't have Charge Beam. (Or will you? I don't actually know what the last item is.) Overall, this hack is worth a bite-size of your time. Make a fullhack next, dude.
Escape from Planet Metroid by Sylux [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on May 17, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
58% in 2:20
Quite good actually. Only one failing: You're allowed to leave Green Brinstar, or perhaps more accurately all too easily enter Wrecked Ship, without the necessary Gravity Suit needed to platform in water. If it wasn't for that I would have no qualms about giving this 5 orbs for setting out to offer a perfectly valid set of levels without a map. Some rooms in Green Brinstar look like crap but that's about all I have to complain about. It's very simple to navigate, short, and fun. I'd say it's pretty Vanilla in terms of difficulty rating.
V E R T I C A L I T Y by Tundain [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on May 01, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
94% in 4:21
(Played version 1.1) Winner of the KPF "SMALL ASS JUMP HOLE" award and the "Best Speedbooster additions since Ascent" prize. Nowhere near the running for "Greatest Terrible Music Tweaks", however - Super Metroid MINI holds that crown to this day.

This hack is a step up from CRE 3 for sure. That's not saying much considering CRE 1 & 2 and Familiar pretty much still outclass this hack in personal orb ratings, but it is not to be missed. I hold the belief that the more ASM Tundain learns, the less soul his hacks have, but they are not becoming any less fun. This one had so many camera snaps littered about, but the camera code in place covers the gaps and makes them hard to distinguish for the casual player. Speaking of casual, I'm in the camp that we need some kind of rating for accessibility between Vanilla and Veteran - I'd be hard pressed to say it is Veteran difficulty but it would definitely be frustrating for anyone who can't immediately pick up the new tricks (it takes some trial and error to learn that diagonal downsparks require you to press aim up + down) and is foolish enough to walk right by Spazer. Vanilla Super Metroid certainly didn't enable such immense vertical mobility, and while it isn't hard to master for an experienced player like me, I can see it would be frustrating for people just trying to get into Super Metroid. On a related note, reset spikes could be way more unforgiving than they currently are. I'm sure people yearn for the days hacks are literally made of spikes (there are, in fact, whole rooms in this hack made of spikes) but taking one damage and starting over is nothing compared to losing so many tens of minutes of progress because you ran out of energy and forgot to save - I bet you can't even count on your fingers how many times that's happened in other hacks. This hack is happily not guilty of making it happen here. And, as a final note, the music is cringe soul - easily the one thing about this hack that Tundain figured he could do, not whether he should.

Edit: Dude........ I should really pay attention to my previous reviews. https://metroidconstruction.com/hack.php?id=722
Metroid Crystal by ShuiJing [MF Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 10, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 3:50
Pretty good actually. Among the best of the Chinese Fusion hacks for one simple reason: it doesn't try to do too much. It locks a lot of final exploration behind L4 locks and screw attack blocks, and it can and will murder you, but it's a halfhack so it doesn't ruin the map or make navigation confusing. 100% is actually impossible unless you're some kind of TASer but you can comfortably collect around 90% of the items in the hack with pre-existing Fusion skills. Those skills are important, too - I don't recommend this hack to anyone who isn't already familiar with all of Fusion's quirks and gotten 100% in vanilla, though nothing actually prepares you for the dreaded drop-thru platforms only used everywhere outside of vanilla (and, to a lesser extent, diagonal missile blocks, though there is only one instance of those.) Savestates highly recommended, but you will have fun.
Super Junkoid by P. Yoshi [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 17, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
98% in 3:38
A very good hack, but not a perfect hack. Don't get me wrong, there were no problems with playability whatsoever - easier than what I'm accustomed to but that's a great mark to hit for a general all-comers hack like this. It's very approachable, despite containing some visceral themes not suited for consumption by everyone. My problem lies in presentation: it's an entirely ambitious redraw of Super Metroid, but for all intents and purposes you are still hit in the face with how much it is Super Metroid with how it sounds. If P.Yoshi replaced various repeated sound samples with more appropriate variants for his world - shooting, spacejumping, doors, damage - it would absolutely deserve five orbs from me. As it stands, I highly, HIGHLY recommend disabling sound channels 7 and 8 in your local emulator. This will remove the vast majority of immersion breaking sounds while not removing them completely, as they still have a chance to hit channel 6 while 7 and 8 are occupied, and music (most of it stolen from Subversion) remains untouched by disabling those channels. I place less blame on not replacing all of the boss themes since I'm sure changing those out depends on changing samples as well but there would be no argument from me that this is a 5-orber hack if it ever becomes completely custom.
Symphony of Soap by Ing-ing [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 28, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:27
Definitely a good and fun hack. If you don't bring ball and bombs on the top route of the beach area you will miss some item marks and passages, but they may not be important considering I got 100% anyway. Also the only ZM hack I've seen that makes charge worm threatening. Worth a play, even if it's short.
Metroid: Takeover by Spedimus [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Nov 16, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
74% in 2:44
Pretty good hack. For as lazily tiled as it looks, the author placed great emphasis on letting the player go where they want and do what they please, upgrades permitting. It's a fun hack to explore, with some obvious missteps like invisible tiles that are also shot blocks and overlapping rooms that look bad as Samus moves through them. It's a standard ZM hack, and it's nice to play a hack every once in a while that doesn't casually murder you aside from with barely tested ASM additions like Crocomire. Protip: You can aim at his mouth from the floor, and once he's angry lay a power bomb to obliterate him. The plasma path is also somewhat annoying and I needed slowdown for it, so keep that in mind if you want the strongest powerups or 100%.
Super Metroid Planet of Barren by ノブッキー (Nobucky) [SM Vanilla+], rated by Zhs2 on Aug 16, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
84% in 2:32
That feel when you have to be the one to post a hack just to appropriately rate it. *Ahem* Planet of Barren is an interesting little hack that takes you to the right of the world first instead of the left, and doesn't make that difficult in any way. Phantoon has been nerfed to first major boss standards, all of the others are untouched. I thought it particularly fun to soar through the water given Project Base changes enough physics to make navigation unfrustrating. And note Project Base especially: once you get speedbooster, you can pull off all of those fun shinespark tricks basically anywhere. Its only major failing is that it's a halfhack, which means navigation is extremely predictable, and some palettes are crap. Nothing murderous to the senses but definitely irritating.
Super Metroid - Revamp by The Brothers Crafters [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jul 12, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 2:17
Pretty good. Errs on easy gameplay, but that's a given when Super Metroid is the same relative difficulty. Music is okay, tinkle Maridia is the most annoying song given the sharpness of the primary instrument but there were other great tracks (mostly subdued) to balance that out. I don't mind the backtracking, there are so many shortcuts and even express dumps to where you need to be in this hack that navigation is not a pain. I would not have minded if Kraid and Ridley were a smidge tougher than their original counterparts, this is practically the first romhack where I have not had so many missiles I kill Kraid before he can destroy the ledge but he's still simple with tractor beam and Ridley dies if you simply unload your supers. Vanilla difficulty, basically. Clever to use the ceiling rides as a substitute for grapple beam. If anything, I was confused that "Crocomire's" room had a boss icon but nothing in it. Definitely worth a play if you like ZM hacks.
Metroid Fusion: Evilution by kkzero [MF Incomplete], rated by Zhs2 on Jun 14, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Damn, why didn't it get finished? It had some nice tight design and amusing tracks. Not much more to say aside from you probably shouldn't play it if you don't want to get depressed imagining what it could have been. (It's pretty good.)
Metroid Another Legend by DuoLa Ayu [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jun 14, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
57% in 3:21
Janky, but lots of fun. The map is broken in quite a few places (mostly late in the hack in optional areas) and rooms are tiled strangely in others, but none of this really detracts from your experience in terms of exploration and item collection. It's quite casual in difficulty, the only really tough monster I found was the one giant Norfair beast that needed to be defeated with charge beam, and was immune to everything else. It was a strange decision considering you meet several more in a single room three rooms later but you can kill them with anything you like, although you will hesitate after having defeated the first one. Following statue clues entirely can tend to mislead you as well - there is a point where you are pointed to grabbing an item deep in Norfair, but you are not told that there is a major upgrade up in Crateria that you need to proceed on the path down. Half of Tourian and the optional areas connected to it contain rooms from single random tilesets each, mostly from Fusion - you'll jump from a BSL main room into a TRO shaft just by entering a door, and that's just one of many examples. Good ripped music though, if not a bit quiet compared to the interspersed vanilla songs. I definitely recommend it if you want to kill some boredom.
Metroid: New Zero Mission by jasinchen [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on May 24, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
51% in 3:33
This hack is... alright. Way better than Lost Chozo, not as momentous as Desolation, but for a remix of base Zero Mission it hits a lot of high notes and expands the experience by twofold. You visit Tourain not once, not twice, but three times, in typical jasinchen routing fashion - he knows exactly how to lead you where he wants you to go, and it's always surprising to be pathing through an endgame area at the beginning for maximum tension. There are some pitfalls, however: the route to Kraid is inobvious, requiring Ice Beam and platforming on some enemies that are not normally frozen. (Once you figure this out, if you are already wise to how Kraid is hidden in vanilla you should have no more trouble finding him.) Space Jump is not simple to find, and completely missable (but fully obtainable) before Mother Brain - if you do not find it Power Bombs will be hard to find as well later on, requiring a speedboost in an outdoor room at the end of the game to find the hidden passage to them. This is a progression problem as after you beat Mother Brain the only way to explore the rest of the hack afterward and get Screw Attack is to find Power Bombs. Otherwise, it's a great jas masterpiece. Definitely recommend.
Metroid Fusion Master Quest V2 by Gameringly [MF Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 12, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
81% in 4:34
This hack was okay I guess. I liked the SA-X invasion at the end, kind of dumb not to see them normally since the plasma vulnerable lore is really forced. I did not like the random section of drop-thru ledges first Sector 6 visit, they confused me to no end when they are A) used absolutely nowhere else and B) never explained, just forced on you. The rest of the hack is okay for veteran experience players and not truly that tough. Blocks added to boss rooms don't actually make the bosses more challenging. (Thanks for not adding any to Ridley's, I know that took restraint.) Oh, and the ending references were dumb, but whatever, it's just some silliness in a beatable challenge hack. Plus the Varia palette is terrible.

There are two non-event-related softlocks that exist in the current version (1.1.3):
- If you break through the speed blocks into the right section of Sector 3 before opening L2 locks, you will be stuck in the red column with nowhere to go.
- After beating Nightmare, you are able to return to the navigation room at the beginning of Sector 5, which locks both doors and traps you.
Super Metroid: Depth by Tedicles [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 02, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
11% in 0:44
Pretty good. Short, and dark as dicks (says so on the tin), but highly atmospheric and aesthetic. Look out for ceiling entrances, I was confused in the first underwater area for a while trying to find the way forward. Ended up entering (and leaving) BT's little corridor via glitch-gating because I didn't find missiles or charge at first (thanks to above point). It also really annoyed me that Metroids took 2 supers a piece but you don't actually have to kill a single one to progress. Just be sure to realize that that super dark door next to the Rinka spawner is actually a MISSILE DOOR instead of farming the Rinka for supers only to realize you didn't have to kill any Metroids to move on.
Super Metroid: Life by Nevyn 1.0 / DCR 1.2 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 31, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
94% in 4:20
Pretty alright. You spend a lot of the hack suitless but end up finding a bunch of useful upgrades that make up the difference lying around everywhere. It's very possible to enter Norfair without Varia suit, especially since you need to beat Phantoon, enter Maridia, and beat Botwoon just to find Varia suit. (If you can locate the entrance to Norfair, that is.) Once you find Varia suit it's all smooth sailing, but before that watch out for Giant Sidehoppers. The guy who made this hack has a fetish for pre-Varia Giant Sidehoppers, I'm not even joking. The escape is slightly changed but no worse for wear. Probably THE worst part of this hack is that the door to the animals is locked during the escape, like the author didn't even know you could rescue them. Overall worth the playthrough, and you don't need to play in the lava before Gravity like you need to play in the water to find Varia.
SM Weekend III by dewhi100 [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 05, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
16% in 0:29
Great short and simple hack. Should have called this the search for supers, once you have those the hack is basically over.
Super Metroid: Hydellius by TROM [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 04, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
64% in 8:49
Played version 1.4. I liked this a lot more than Lost World. Lost World had a serial problem with loops and guidance, while this hack does both better somewhat. People mention not liking the twin pillars mechanic but I think, for Trom at least, it's a HUGE step in the right direction of giving the player signs on what to do next. This of course crumbles at the part where you need to do lots of backtracking and exploring to find those twinned pillars once one blocks your way, but nonetheless. There's also too many spots in the hack where you must traverse long hallways of spikes for forced damage (before space jump, even) and I hate, hate, HATE that room with the lowering troll pillar in Norfair that you need to cross too many times to go anywhere important. Like with Lost World, I found myself busting out a map around the point of Wave Beam, though for this hack a map was more of a convenience than an aid against being seriously lost. It's also a lot more fun to use Speedbooster everywhere.
Super metroid familiar by Tundain [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 08, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 3:16
(Played version 1.6) Should have called this one Super Metroid: Verticality. Seemingly inspired by a Rotation hack, this hack features plenty of rooms that are mostly the same as Vanilla except worked into a space rotated left 90 degrees. If Tundain was Japanese, I expect this hack would have been called Super Metroid Jumping instead. Aside from those jokes though, this hack is way more worth your time than a typical Rotation. Fresh and not too difficult, you will have good fun scaling Zebes' many platforms, especially to get away from the rising liquids. There are so many rising liquid threat rooms in here that it's almost a meme. I can't agree with KPF's evaluation here because all major items were easily found with enough clever exploration (you may be lacking E-tanks on your first go-round the planet though, so be careful!) even if some were found outside their natural area. Overall? Tundain hits another slammer out of the park. Play it today.
Super Metroid Alliance by Mentlegen, Tundain, Dewhi100 [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Oct 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
83% in 1:35
Wow, cool! I didn't know Jathys finally released his hack! Seems pretty short, though... And weird... And where's the spiderball?

Joking aside, this is an alright hack with Mentlegen music (albeit tamer than Biohazard's, Biohazard's music was good) where you'll be exploring kinda samey rooms with mildly tossed up progression (spring ball early, bombs midgame) and an all too easy to find difficulty spike right after exploring the necessary short heat run area. It's an optional difficulty spike, but it's way more obvious than the correct path and I did end up savestate surviving it for a very nice beam before getting mad that I'd JUST played a hack where I was wondering where the damn speedbooster is for too long. Still good, still worth a play, and your 'allies' are amusing creatures.
The Adam Virus by Crystal_Knight [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Oct 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 0:22
Actually a pretty neat, easy, and short hack. Sure you get the Varia suit right after you traverse a heat run but the heat run itself is pretty easy if you just run and gun. Everything else is simple and old places to explore with new upgrades are not too far a backtrack thanks to the compactness of the hack. The real scary part is climbing a spike shaft with the best space jump ever but no respin. Also still wondering what game the hack's tiles are from!
Super Metroid: Advent by Shadow96 [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Oct 05, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
34% in 0:58
Pretty good and lovely looking. Sad that it's technically unfinished, it has a lot of decent ideas going for it even if needing to pause to switch beams to open doors is not a great design idea. Still, it's short enough that that only gets in the way for two beams and boy do some areas look cozy lush. It even has some secrets in the "escape" although you want to make sure you save a super missile after Ridley to blow that secret open. Worth a play for sure.
Legend of the Beast - Prologue by statik [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 21, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
36% in 1:04
At first I had to ask myself, oh my god, will Samus be okay? But then I saw her on the end screen and I breathed a sigh of relief - thank god, she made it. This is one of the more... unique hacks I've played, the level design is absolutely ugly but functional (oh my god those Prime doors) and the HUD/weapon graphics are extremely simple. Still, it was fun to run around in even if there wasn't much to find, the world is interconnected via some later upgrades, and regular bombs do exist - they are just post-speedbooster, which is one of the last few items to collect. Short but good, and I believe the game crashes if you touch the game-ending PLM while holding the run button. Savestates recommended.
Metroid FreezeFlame by Conner [MZM Challenge], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 15, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:46
Pretty creative take on the heat run hack idea. It's not as annoying as you think, though you will die if you do not absolutely do the intended thing at the intended time sometimes (a consequence of the concept I'm sure.) While not more special than just what I described, it was put together in a way that feels good to intuit and explore, and finding 100% is pretty easy. Good for a playthrough.
Spooky Mission 2: The Nightmare Before Christmas by Spooky Team [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 15, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
69% in 3:38
Did I really forget to review this? Well, whatever, better late than never. It's approximately three times better and larger than its predecessor, and while it predictably steals Fusion bosses like other ZM hacks around here it doesn't hide items in stupid places and you're much less likely to get killed or stuck for wandering into a new area without the correct items. (I vaguely remember getting lost in a water-filled ice area when you're supposed to have gravity but the area was fully escapable with enough walljumping.) The progression isn't noobproof, because my brother had a fun time running into Serris before finding Charge Beam, and it's completely possible to do that because the boss who normally drops Charge Beam does not actually drop it but instead opens the way to it when defeated, but that's about the limit for dumb design I found in here. Definitely worth a playthrough if you like ZM hacks.
Platinum Hexidecimal by seastorm [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 14, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I see why this hack has no completion stats. Despite that, it was a fairly amusing and balanced romp through sixteen functional but not really pretty rooms. Did not collect charge beam and I managed to make Ridley fly away. This is about 40 minutes of a good time.
Metroid: Falling by TN [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jul 20, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
93% in 6:29
Actually a pretty good hack. The only thing that bothers me (and it will bother you too) is that it's one of those hacks where you must traverse specific loops of the world more than once with new items to find more gear, close to Lost World in annoyance of how much you must traverse to get back to certain areas in those loops. It gets slightly better once you have power bombs and speedbooster but not much. Smaller complaints include how absolutely wrecked you can get if touched by any boss, which is part of the hack's challenge - Spore Spawn teaches you this quickly by doing 60s with no suits and it only gets worse from there, but there are ways with items you don't expect to get early to mitigate this difficulty. This balance is actually more superb than you expect. Practically every major item (Wave and Grapple are the exceptions) can be obtained without killing a major boss (for Varia and Speedbooster you must kill a minor boss) so don't feel concerned about needing to find them too soon, just explore the planet deeper. And on that note, I feel like this hack better deserved the title of "Hidden" than the next hack, or maybe "Metroid: Crumbling". (Hidden would just be Legacy 2 instead.) Keep watch for air tiles.
Super Metroid Ruin by personitis [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on May 20, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 0:25
Short. Sweet. Unique. Tough. Lush. Satisfying. I don't have much more to say than play this hack if you don't mind having hits instead of an energy counter, and you know how to get Ridley to die early. It's worth half an hour of your time, guaranteed.
Super Metroid: Recovery by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
91% in 4:32
Pretty alright for a half hack, although it did pick up several jokes from the boys about how it was actually a quarter hack (complete with Tourian and escape DLC). The biggest problem with this hack was that the path to grapple beam was not obvious (played on version 1.2). I ended up wandering around for far too long discovering that every single route through Norfair required grapple and I ended up grabbing Wave before returning to find that there were actually two crumble blocks that revealed the route to grapple where previously I only found one. I can also think of a few permastuck scenarios in Maridia if you managed to sidestep spring ball. My final question is, why can't Samus just leave after recovering all of her items?
Polarity by Oi27, Moehr [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 06, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
64% in 1:37
This... was a weird hack. Lots of mechanics and level design is obscure, starting with the fact that many blocks that could have been mistaken for bomb blocks are missile blocks in the beginning. After you make your way through the area with the helicopter grapple music (which was hilarious, by the way) the hack becomes a lot less of a stumbling block as you have all the items you need to proceed. Did the infection mechanic really do anything? Did it change the ending, or was it just a scare tactic? Does anything even happen if you escape without an infection? That mechanic at the least felt so inconsequential for how much documentation there was on it in the actual hack. Overall a pretty good playthrough though.
Tallon IV Tours: Phendrana Frolics by dewhi100 [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 06, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
23% in 0:47
Pretty good. Lots of attention to detail was pulled from the game (area) this pays homage to and the final boss of the hack was a neat surprise. Worth a playthrough.
Super Metroid YPX by YP [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 10, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 5:01
Pretty good hack full of interesting gimmicks. The speedboost walljump mechanics made you feel like a total badass when you pulled it off to break into an item vault, though it could have been better explained somewhere. Can't give a full five stars because there's too much instant kill inspiration from Megaman X but I still rank it high in terms of enjoyment factor. Just never play this on a console, always bring savestates with you to ensure actual fun.
Temple of the Winds by Moehr and Albert V. [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Feb 16, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
83% in 1:16
Wow. That's pretty much the only syllable this hack left me with from beginning to end. There were a couple of questionable design decisions such as basic reflec enemies and use of stupid random conveyor belts but none of these elements were too overbearing or a hindrance to an otherwise amazing hack. The key point of frustration as I understand it is that if you do not tie down exploring all of the item rooms you can find your way to you will have a bad time, and that's the main draw this hack has. If you do, though, you will find enough equipment, ammo, and health to last you through the entire hack without needing to return to the ship as the readme suggests. There were quite a lot of creative minibosses using regular enemies rooms in this, and the only annoying ones were that unkillable flying enemy and Bomb Torizo enemy destroy block abuse, which you will not survive without finding enough power stones. All in all worth a playthrough, but make sure you scour every corner and take the hints seriously. Low % would be a nightmare.
Retroid by ProjectXVIII [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Feb 16, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
33% in 1:46
Pretty good recreation of Metroid in Super Metroid's engine. It takes some liberties but tries to match original Metroid as closely as possible, and as a result it can be just as anticlimactic as the original. That said there's absolutely nothing wrong with this middle-of-the-road hack, even if I do have to echo the above criticism of there not being a Ridley statue to go with the Kraid statue. It's a chill and much easier equivalent to playing actual Metroid that'll occupy ~90 minutes, not much else to complain about.
Super Metroid Nature by Jefe962 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Feb 10, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
85% in 3:14
Pretty good hack. Nothing wrong with it (the latest version of course, I understand earlier versions had rough bugs the author didn't want to fix) so far as I could tell, kinda lame to use such a calm song for red Brinstar but that's an aesthetic choice that didn't detract from the experience. Like Reimagined, this is a three-quarters hack that's sure to occupy a decent three hours of your time.
Super Duper Metroid by Metaquarius, Daltone [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 11, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 6:08
This hack is... alright. I wouldn't say it's actually super duper, maybe just super. This is because of heavy similarity with Vitality, in the granularity of exploration you must apply in order to acquire what veterans of Super Metroid these days consider "optional", the biggest offender in this case being beams. Expansions not so much but I'm not amused by the concept of half e-tanks, even if it does lend to seeing them all over the place.

I can't in good faith give this hack five stars because the non-linearity lends to a rocky start of your first playthrough, your efforts to plumb Duper's Zebes surrounded on all sides by threatening sidehoppers, heatruns, and water - it will be just as frustrating as mine for the first couple of hours, guaranteed. Underwater suitless is in fact required for the "intended" sequence of major items, but the moment you find Gravity Suit the hack is promptly blown wide open for the taking, making most threats rather unthreatening. Only one problem: you still have to find it, and you're not going to have a good time without Charge Beam, also just about as stupidly hidden within the muck of a "broken lamp" passage a room prior.

Beyond all that, if you're an elite player I understand this hack offers more options for replayability than your typical SM hack, so props for that too.
Reimagined by SavageWizzrobe [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 02, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
71% in 6:21
While DMantra hasn't officially reviewed this hack, the most apt description I can think to give it is in his words: "I was fine with its whateverness, it was just more Super Metroid to spend my night on." And you know what? That's exactly what it is. Moreso is it like Redesign minus Drewseph, but at its core it is another Zebes from another timeline to explore and uncover. It is correctly labelled "Veteran" difficulty, as there are many scenarios where walljumping is required and many, many expansions are hidden off of map squares you will need to search thoroughly to enter, but it is by no means challenging, nor is it frustrating to progress through the major item chain. Filling out the map in complete pink is enough to uncover roughly 70% of the items, and that's all you need to beat the game. No bosses seem altered for difficulty. It really was just more Super Metroid to spend my night on, and that's exactly what it aims to be. Definitely recommend a playthrough if you're good at the original game.
Searching for Items by Terimakasih [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack makes you feel good about yourself in the worst way possible, e.g. being as good as the hack author in terms of finding items - because they aren't hidden or hidden creatively, at all. If you want a short, easy romp, play this hack.
Phazon Hack by A_red_monk_called_Key [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
You thought Revolution EX was bad about needing to shoot enemies repeatedly until they die? This hack is going to knock you into next week, buddy. Still, it's not bad at all - the graphics are stylish (and obviously Photoshopped), the progression chain is clear-cut, and there's fun to be had even if you have to expend all of your ammo to have it! Definitely a good hack for veteran players.
Ice Metal Uninstall by Crys [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I liked this hack a lot. It wasn't too difficult to find items, and it didn't railroad you; that might be good in some people's books, some bad, but to me I didn't find it too much of a problem since I don't remember a point where I was dropped on a boss without sufficient gear to kill it - not everyone will have the same experience thanks to how open-ended this hack is, and I think the forum thread proves that. Still, four item balls from me.
Metroid Super Speed Zero Mission by advancedpillow, SBniconico [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jun 06, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
62% in 7:55
Much, MUCH more playable than the original due to Project Base speed physics, but still the terrible romhack we all know and don't love (or hate). You will get lost. You will be confused by the item order. You will die to nearly invincible Space Pirates pre-Plasma (but you can actually kill them with Speedbooster feasibly now.) You will be wondering where the hell Gravity is. You will be searching for that L-4 gate lock. And you will be massively annoyed by the requirements to collect X-Ray without taking several convoluted steps to get it early. Still only play this if you hate yourself, but not enough to play the original.
Another Super Metroid by Banana Oyaji [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on May 23, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
91% in 2:52
Very barebones halfhack, but it's from the guy who made Legacy so I had to experience just a piece of history. The main draw for this hack is that it encourages a different item order than the original, and I really wanted to say that it's possible to engage in this new order without a single walljump but it's actually very difficult to get up into spring ball's area without just one walljump. Sorry, non-walljumpers. For anyone interested, the intended order is normal up to supers/charge, then goes: power bombs, high jump, varia, grapple, ice beam, spring ball, gravity, speedbooster (and from there, the item order returns to completely normal post-gravity.) Yes, the items are all in their original locations so you will have to do some suitless underwater to grab spring ball (and some grapple blocks have been put in place to help you do this.) Of course, this order is merely a suggestion - with enough walljumping skills you can easily backdoor the Wrecked Ship to ignore the frontal spring ball check, and you can tank the lava in speedbooster's gravity check and easily walljump out of that. Boy, that was a lot of words before a real rating: this hack can be safely ignored unless you want another night of Super Metroid that's approximately 5% different. Also, the Super Metroid's room tends to freeze on exit due to a stupid sound check - I had to cheat start in front of Mother Brain's door to complete this. Go play Legacy instead, it's obviously Banana Oyaji's better work.
Urinary Samus by MarioFan2468 [M2 Spoof], rated by Zhs2 on May 23, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 0:03
A in ASM. D in spelling and grammar. B in jumpscares. F in jumpscares freezing the game. F in never explaining that you can stun the hall monitors with missiles (power beam is completely useless). This is not a good looking report card, young man.
Super Metroid Redirect by j2001m [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on May 17, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
101% in 3:13
It was... okay. Not quite as irredeemable as KPF's review suggests but you can and will fall into Norfair without collecting Varia suit first (hint: go immediately right the moment you enter Norfair) and the immediately available save station at the start of the Norfair exit loop only compounds upon this easy to make mistake since you are surrounded by heated rooms from then on. It's not impossible to heat run back to Varia (or in fact survive the rest of Norfair - I went and grabbed Ice Beam then had to farm fire Geemers to make it back out), but it is stupid and does take some amount of farmbug grinding to maneuver. Terrible design imo. Even worse, as Sapphron suggests, are the crapple grumble blocks plaguing the hack and especially Maridia. Totally normal path looks blocked by seemingly impenetrable blocks? Yep, time to bust out that Grapple Beam. Lower Norfair is guilty of this as well so you have to keep on the lookout. Overall, though? I always appreciate another excuse to traverse with Project Base movement, and this hack isn't anywhere near hard at all. It deserves Vanilla difficulty rating tbh, not Beginner. Be mentally prepared for TROM minus TROM because this hack has some dumb loops blocked by metal doors and crumble blocks designed to keep you trapped down in the Kraid area.
Rainbow City by squishy_ichigo [SM Incomplete], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 27, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Fun, but overdesigned. It's pretty easy to see why the author burned out on this when there is so much content to be had just in the first area alone (the only area that is accessible, in fact) but 50% of it is complicated morph ball mazes and pipe paths. If half of the effort spent on paths underneath the surface were dumped into other areas I feel like this hack would be a lot more complete. As it stands, it's a testament to how being too ambitious leaves you with a scavenger hunt for a total of 25 ammo (spread across missiles, supers, and power bombs) just to kill one reskinned Botwoon. Keep it simple unless you have a solid development plan for your hack, folks.
Super Metroid Blockland by Sludkip [SM Incomplete], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 27, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Pretty good. Savestates recommended, as the only save is the ship and the hack is buggy and prone to dying on you in very specific circumstances (such as grappling any grapple kill enemy and Draygon 'splodging' from the left, as the author describes it). It is also not the prettiest looking hack around but it is aesthetic. Highly recommend you know how to IBJ and walljump as there are some early sections you cannot escape without doing so. The way forward is not always clear, even with the supplied map, but it is a great help. Just be aware there are map sections that overlap and the map can reset itself upon using some door transitions. Really, this needed a coat of Q&A and an ending room and it would be a solid hack. It would deserve four orbs if it was complete.
gossamer by neen [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 07, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
84% in 4:49
A fine hack, if you can bear to look at it. Seriously, about 30% of the hack is damp palettes on vanilla tiles, 20% is "I can't do real backgrounds", item rooms are a terrible mess that can only wish they were assembled by Digital Mantra, the deeper final areas aim to give Dismet a run for its money, and Ridley's room is unwarranted rather than a nice "OH WOW HE RIPPED OFF OF ANOTHER FRANCHISE! :soypoint:" But despite looking like neon garbage, this hack is very playable. I might be inclined to say it's a little closer to vanilla difficulty than its veteran rating if it wasn't too easy to fall into very suitless areas without the proper gear - I personally downgrabbed my way into Seizuridia without high jump, and while I realized later on after escaping that that was a very me problem this could also have been mitigated if the way in was a higher jump with a morphball passage at the top that all the casual noobs hate. Just a suggestion since I'm sure the downgrabbable entrance was a conscious design choice, and it's entirely possible to escape Seizuridia, return to Crapteria, and claim the necessary traversal gear. Nothing else is really terrible explorationwise, aside from some late game items being hidden behind silly riddles with answers you would never commit in normal Super Metroid. Just make sure you bring as much equipment to the end as possible because you will have to wear down Ridley with limited ammo.
Metroid Fusion Rebuild by huanmengxujing [MF Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Feb 14, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
49% in 4:03
Decent hack bordering on mid. I would not say it gets confusing later on, reaching the pump is dumb at AQA phase 1 but the hack stays pretty consistent to normal Fusion difficulty for most of the game. I was a bit worried that the 6 minute boiler explosion was going to have a convoluted route but it was straightforward. The real killer is invisible items and pro-tier puzzles for reaching some of them. You will have a low number of e-tanks for most of the game unless you search every nook and corner due to this. I presume it was because editing was done on a Chinese-region rom and ported to the US version. Overall, play if you just want more low% Fusion fun.
Metroid Acrash by Heyhooheyhoo [MF Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Feb 14, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 5:09
10?% completion. A far-reaching hack that tries to do too much, in my opinion. It's not bad, but it's not good either. Primarily it is interesting because it's an open Fusion hack, but it doesn't try to guide the player in any way after morph ball and finding your way is a crapshoot - upgrade bosses are obscure to find, and entering random rooms unlocks random door locks at the start. There is a heatrun for charge beam, but no suitless underwater on the intended route. The biggest annoyances were the changes to speedbooster and screw attack - having to press a button to use the former is NEVER explained, and using the latter can kill you without warning because it uses an e-tank every time you enter the screw attack state. To top it off, there are some gotcha tier dead-ends late in the hack. This is the kind of hack you absolutely want to be on the lookout for dropthrough platforms in - why is it that those are always used in the annoying puzzle tier hacks?
Metroid Mission II by Sapphron [MZM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 28, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
75% in 0:12
Way too short for its own good. I want to give it more orbs because it's very well designed and the creator absolutely understands how a Metroid game should play but I can just as easily counter my own desire with, well, why wasn't it longer? Why didn't it have more gameplay? If there was more than one area this would easily be a four orber. As it is, it is forever doomed to be demo/contest length.
Metroid: Return to Zebes by alexman25 [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 13, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
68% in 1:48
Played version 2.5.4. Largely open ended yet it doesn't take very long to beat. I can't agree with some of the above reviews about its quality because it's nowhere near tight enough to call great. There are a number of veteran traps littered about in its design, whether accidentally or purposefully I cannot tell but it is very easy to do something dumb like skip morph ball or power grip and be locked out of collecting them for a while. The biggest veteran trap is using the supers you can collect from an open door you can walljump to right off of the ship room to blast open the door to bombs, where you can only escape by being dumped into - and locked into - Brinstar. You can actually feel your way out of this, progress so far via hidden passages that you eventually tumble into the Maridia Abyss (where you can find Powerbombs and Plasma very easily!) and engage in near-death trials in Norfair Ruins for the right to own Gravity Suit, but from there I felt trapped in that area because I could not find a single escape route that led me back to the main path. There IS actually a way out, and I believe you can finish this hack morphless, but it took a restart to grab morph so I could actually figure out the proper passages. Yeah, that's not fun. All of this could have been easily prevented by adding a super door in the ship room so you can't just grab supers right away. Lock that behind a hidden passage that gets around the super door, you know? Don't make it easy for people to sequence break unless they have the proper knowledge to do so since getting yourself into heaps of trouble with only an ounce of walljumping skill is not something anyone finds fun, especially on a blind first run. Kind of a shame considering this hack does some neat things, like deletes a whole dungeon when you kill its boss and takes you to space (complete with a change in atmosphere!) Unfortunately, those neat things are relatively late, and if you got stuck somewhere earlier due to having too much skill you might give up before getting there.
Final Stand by Moderndayzero [SM Challenge], rated by Zhs2 on Nov 16, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
It seems like a savestate hack due to terrible design, but once you figure out a few facts a light clicks on in your head and playing this becomes more like a movement puzzle, one where you must still dodge Metroids before they latch on and murder you. Let me save you ample trouble by screwing in the biggest lightbulb: THIS IS A HALFHACK. As dark and confusing as it looks, once you realize that navigation becomes extremely simple. I'll lay it out for you with a mini-walkthrough: Go to Blue Brinstar and grab Morph Ball. Now go back to Green Brinstar and head as deep as you can go to collect Gravity Suit. Congratulations, you're already halfway done with ensuring your survival. Now you can explore as you please (those water zones you've already been to look enticing, don't they?) and collect energy tanks and upgrades so that you can reach the end of the hack, where if you've picked up a certain item the last item will be missing and you can't actually complete! Oh well. It was fun while it lasted, and I don't care to try again. One last word of warning: don't take the Crateria<->Red Brinstar elevator without being geared up, as this is most certainly where you will die without the proper precautions.
METROID: CROCOMIRE's LAST STAND by Roebloz [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 27, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
82% in 3:09
Way more fun than Operation Execution. However, I'm pressed to give it three orbs because of quite a few failings, lots of them audial and visual and thus superficial if you are sufficiently desensitized to all of the ripping that makes up hacks these days, you know, just some music stolen from Super Metroid that sounds bad thanks to compression or a sprite set for Samus that seems totally unfinished on the assembly side (or perhaps the artist gave up once they realized the SA-X doesn't fit ZM poses - the power grip is hilarious.) The biggest failing by far is that it promises the ability to go anywhere and collect anything if you're clever enough but you can and will be trapped in the eastern section of Aqua Abyss because you never found the Gravity Suit. Hmm. Still, the gameplay is good, the levels are fun, and it has Roebloz-tier enemy count per room (high) but you never feel frustrated with killing anything. This hack is definitely on the easy side, great for casual exploration - just watch out for the Aqua Abyss trap entrance made of power bomb blocks. Oh, and watch the title screen demos, too. They are by far the funniest part of the entire hack.
Super Metroid: Hyperion by silverpaw84 [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Aug 15, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
12% in 1:15
Ehh, it was okay. Super dark so don't even think of playing this on a dark screen or on a portable device outdoors. For the most part you are wandering through a dim maze but it's not hard to navigate, a bit expansive but you'll find your way back to where you need to be without trouble. Bombing platforms is stupid when only one block among four will actually break and you can only drop two bombs every five seconds. The only really dumb part of this hack was Ridley, which I'm sure is easier to beat if you go back and search for more gear (if you can figure out how to shinespark, anyway.) I just savestated him to death since I got kind of fatigued.
Metroid: Operation Execution by Roebloz [MZM Vanilla+], rated by Zhs2 on Jun 15, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
71% in 3:33
WARNING: NOT VANILLA DIFFICULTY. Much closer to Veteran. There are many points of contention for tedium in this hack: there are so many enemies that take way too many beam shots to kill, and a mandate of two platform crawling enemies plus one floater/Ripper has been placed on every platform in every room in the game. No joke. You will end up breathing a sigh of relief every time you get that one upgrade that makes enemies die 10% quicker, only to be faced with a new area and another truckload of enemies. You will be scrounging through enemies for health, and you will be clinging to save points as mediums of survival - not unlike Dark Souls. It is not unfair, it is totally beatable, but my enjoyment was definitely middling every time I encountered the low health alarm. Ridley was definitely tough, but the massive buff he received taught me his tail pattern so it wasn't all bad. If anything the best part of the hack is the bootleg SA-X - I mean the Executioner. Any time he's on screen, you need to scoot, and that includes the final encounter. (You don't need to kill him - he can be cheesed by platforming at the top of the screen until his AI decides he can't find you, then you sneak through the gate before he does find you.) The worst part is that stupid kill pit right in the middle of Brinstar that serves no purpose other than to frustrate you for falling in at any time, as there is no escape. It doesn't belong in a Metroid game. It ruins my map%.
distressCall by moehr [M2 Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jun 14, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 3:19
Not bad, but not quite on the level of good either. For a full real M2 hack it's ambitious but unfortunately that ambition runs hard into pitfalls considering not only is it mega janky to navigate most rooms given this game's level of tech but also BACKPORTS more pitfalls from Super Metroid conventions. It's annoying to jump over the tons of obstacles you will come across, there's a pervasive atmosphere of forced damage that doesn't even work half the time because the tiles are only programmed to give your feet cancer, and you feel like you can't actually get anywhere because you weren't helped along to some of the most important traversal upgrades you need to escape tricky situations and otherwise restrictive world loops. Oh, and there's suitless underwater.

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

This hack does have some nice features. The map is nice, if only falling straight on its face given that it doesn't help any with room connections and doesn't point out any targets. Auto-morph in small spots is also nice. But then we have things like increased bomb timers, which was likely done to discourage bomb jumping but also just makes them completely painful to use on the blocks they are required to destroy. (Thank god you can find Plasma really quick.) By contrast to either of these the Metroids are completely unchanged (aside from graphically), so they are as fully abusable as they are in vanilla M2. In conclusion, mostly open does not equate to mostly fun game design, especially given the limited design M2 is capable of. There's a reason Nintendo made this game more linear than others in the series - they knew the constraints of the system, and they knew how confusing the world would be to traverse with duplicate room spaces... plus, of course, how much you really need Spiderball.
Super Metroid CRE 3 by Tundain [SM Spoof], rated by Zhs2 on May 24, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
89% in 0:41
Not a great finish for the series tbh. The first two were excellent products of creativity and boredom, this one is more of an ASM showcase (cool ASM that it is nonetheless). The main custom music track is a huge detractor, and fails to follow ProjectXVIII's golden rule: if you're going to be hearing it for 90% of the game it better not suck. The final Mode7 boss also sucks because he is basically undodgeable and deals a lot of damage - either you need to skill up in timing your hits so that enemy invincibility time means it won't touch you or you need to bring a lot of e-tanks. The rest of this hack is fairly good and amusing, and your new abilities are cool (the anti-permastuck tweak is THE BEST), but overall I wouldn't say it's as worth getting into as the first two. Still worth, just not as worth.
Metroid: Lost Chozo by jasinchen [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 12, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
57% in 3:28
Not as momentous as Desolation, but definitely worth a try. Desolation made me come into this hack enthusiastic, but while I wasn't exactly disappointed I wasn't exactly wowed either. If I had played this first and then Desolation I might have not gone into Desolation with as open a mind. Anyway, all of the jas design hallmarks are here, but unless you play on Hint difficulty (a renamed Easy) be prepared to not be led to the next item as efficiently, find many dead-ends, search for several air/bomb/missile passages, etc. There's a particularly egregious case of the lattermost occurrence as a missile block in a (otherwise suspicious) floor that leads to bombs, which may not be a logical progression for most players that early. Make no mistake, you will still be funneled to major items but there is enough tedium in scouting those items that brings this hack away from perfect, especially since there are enough recognizable rooms from vanilla ZM to make you wonder how much effort was put in. Later in the hack you can expect to fight up to THREE(!) bosses in a row without a single upgrade takeaway, which only further reduces the speed of fun. By the time you have space jump and screw attack you are very likely still discovering new areas and secrets, and while it's kind of impressive in scope it still makes you wonder if exploration ever ends. And that's if you don't conveniently walk past speedbooster or power bombs, which is very easy to do to both for how much more exploration they afford you. Walking past power bombs has the harsh downside of a tough escape. And ice beam, while nowhere near required, is one of the most hidden items in the hack, but there are all these ripper columns you could possibly climb with it yet will very likely traverse very late with screw attack and space jump instead. There's just this lack of polish and tightness that keeps this hack from feeling great and me from considering this to be highest rated.
New Wet Dream by TROM [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 02, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
125% in 6:46
Not as bad as Lost World methinks but that's mostly because it sits on the shoulders of the good hack it halfhacked: Super Metroid Life. If you've played Life before, the item order is roughly the same (half of the items are not in the same place), but expect all of the typical TROM shenanigans as well: super missiles late (but this is the first TROM hack I've played where you can collect at least 30 easily), lots of loops, zero backtracking in those loops until you gain access to super missiles, forced damage, the usual. It's still pretty tight explorationwise but it's not an overly annoying hack, just a go back and explore things you needed supers or wave for to get major items hack. Maridia in particular is the worst: it's filled with tons upon tons of hard to see spikes, which makes it feel like a punishment area for players. Overall you will be spending extra hours moving through rooms you've already visited to get more stuff. That's called poor design.
Metroid: Expedition Z by DarkSamus [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 12, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
83% in 1:34
This hack was pretty good up until you needed to collect a very hidden plasma beam (no indication it's there or even how to get it, I found out from Aran;Jaeger's 100% video) and use it to defeat Ridley with only 4 energy tanks. Everything else is easy, there are a couple reflecs you must shoot with missiles (some hidden completely out of sight) for major items and you won't be progressing unless you hit them. Explore every corner and push against anything that looks like a secret passage and you'll succeed pretty simply. Well, except against Ridley.
Limit by Sin [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 12, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
77% in 3:45
Not terrible. At least, it's not terrible if you bring savestates, slowdown, and a moon jump code to deal with the greatest challenge of collecting plasma. Good luck doing that on console. The rest of the hack is pretty decent, very explorable with the early hiccup of needing to ice a single climbing enemy in a spike shaft to escape, much less collect one early energy tank. X-ray is located in the dumbest room ever designed in a hack, good luck finding and touching it much less acquiring anything else in that same room. The speedbooster and MB escapes are the best parts of the whole hack. Good luck saving the animals.
SM Redesign: Axeil Edition by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Oct 20, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 11:31
Yeah... This is the best version of Redesign you're going to get. Don't get me wrong, the new quality of life mechanics are good and useful. Auto-walljump, auto-sparkcrouch, and auto-spacejump are all welcome crutches to deal with Samus' snappy, rock-inspired physics. The hint system is great - no longer do you need to guess and check the world's many hostile environments in order to find the next major upgrade, you can instead be pointed to how to rush them so that actually traversing the world for expansions isn't a well of tedium. (I personally don't recommend exploring on your own until you get Gravity Suit or even Space Jump.) And Kraid's new puzzle path is very much welcome over the original ice heatrun. But beneath all of that, it's still the Redesign we know and don't love. All of the original pains in the ass are still there. Absolutely break out a web map if you want to find ANY hidden passages. Acid now completely empties all your energy tanks instantly if you fall in for three seconds (I hope you have a reserve tank noob!) The Lost Caverns are now somehow even less intuitive even though it looks like it should be more intuitive (hold the hack up to a mirror if you can when you're navigating the first room.) And even if traversing the world at large for all the upgrades is now 10% less annoying, your efforts to do so and collect as much as possible are met with the biggest, puzzliest, most irritating slog to be found in an SM hack to date: the new Tourian. Not only must you pay attention to the environment to clear out fatal laser beams so you can progress further (the more fun part of Tourian imo), you must also pay attention to your savestate button so you can clear out rooms of vicious Metroids that dodge your beams, anticipate your movements, latch on without fail, and need nine bombs to unlatch so you can finally deal with them after losing an energy tank or two. AND there's a good chance you'll encounter another wave of them in the same room if you're too slow to kill them all. FUK THESE BULL SHIT ASS METROIDS. DREWSEPH, YOU SUCK FOR MAKING THEM SHIT!!!!!!!! Oh, and let me not forget to mention that everything in Tourian is immune to Screw Attack, so you better not have missed any beams... It's just one thing after another with this hack. Play it only if you really want to experience an artifact of history with the least headache possible, but a headache nonetheless.

Special thank you to based KPF reviews for amusing me the whole time I played this and making it so much more bearable. They're the only reason I did.

You traveled 269.04km.
Energy lost: 33,277
Enemies killed: 3,849
Shots fired: 18,023
Doors traversed: 1,861
Super Metroid: Hermit Kingdom by Kojakt [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Oct 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
79% in 2:55
How it started: Interesting, what with your first upgrades being ball and power bombs. How it's going: Okay, so I've looped the world twice and have all of the necessary boss killing equipment, now where's the damn speedbooster?

At first we joked about how this wasn't even a halfhack, more like a 2% hack given that the majority of rooms and room connections are largely untouched save to relocate some upgrades into different walls. Later it showed it was actually a 5% hack what with a number of room connections snapped together to create late game gauntlets from unchanged vanilla rooms. No boss healths are different, and due to the order you can collect your equipment they'll all probably be really easy. That's all this hack really is, jumping hurdles on rooms you already know and beating Super Metroid as you know it, room by room. Crocomire was simultaneously the best and worst part of the hack, best for his creative usage of wallbreaking and worst because you have to know how to manage him with only ten missiles. It has some redesigned save rooms too but that's about it, just another version of Super Metroid that barely deviates from Super Metroid. I thought it was fun enough to recommend a playthrough, but it will look boring.
Super Metroid: MINI by Mr. Hiryu [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 22, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 2:38
Don't let that Zincoshine rain cloud put you off, there is one absolutely amazing reason that you should play this hack (version 2.2, provided by the person(s) who fixed up its issues here on Metconst I'm sure): the edits to the music make it sound like it came straight out of Super Metroid: The Movie: The Game: The Official Soundtrack. I've had these songs on my iPod for weeks now.

Okay, but seriously, this is a not-bad hack for which the music is bad in some places (looking at you Awake Crateria and Lower Norfair), great in others (I wish more hacks made a simple tweak like the major sample for the Wrecked Ship, it sounded so badass). It wasn't hard to navigate, but the level design suffers greatly from one simple failing: no interconnectivity. The only ways to get into each area are the required elevators, and woe be to the one who needs to backtrack through the whole hack to get any items they missed. It's not like the main path is annoying or filled with spikes, and the hack is semi-mini so it's not a great issue, but quite literally the only shortcut is the one door that unlocks after Crocomire is defeated, and your path to power bombs is only longer backtracking if you did not grab them right after collecting super missiles (which I'm sure most players wouldn't do.) I also didn't find ice beam anywhere, which necessitates the player knowing that they should be killing Metroids with power bombs. Not that there was more than two rooms of Metroids, but still... Overall I call this worth a playthrough. Seriously, the music edits are worth at least one listen. Just imagine the credits music being conducted by an orchestra...
Metroid FreezeFlame 2: Twisted Dimensions by Conner [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 15, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 0:55
[Watch Video]  
Not as good as its predecessor. It's a good concept, but the creator unfortunately didn't have the ASM skills or the custom music to back up his gratuitous homage visiting of other ZM hacks around the community. Still, it's fun in a way as it is essentially a buffet of hack recommendations rather than a good full hack. It just doesn't completely do everything it borrows from justice.
Super Metroid: Subversion by TestRunner and AmoebaOfDoom [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Sep 14, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 8:43
Oh, Subversion. Where do I start with you? Maybe that this hack feels to me like nothing more than a modern showcase of asm tweaks that were applied just because we can, of "Hey mom, look what I can do in Super Metroid's engine!" Maybe that I fully agree with KPF's evaluation, and then some. Maybe the idea that some people should stick to designing level editors rather than editing level design. (That's not completely fair of me to say, I would be interested in seeing a second hack from the SMART ones provided they learn from all the mistakes they made in their first.) To be honest, I suppose I don't know what I was expecting, but I suppose they get points for subverting my first expectation from such a hyped-up hack certain friends of mine can't stop raving about. Just one simple thing: more.

Let's go over a list of (attempted spoiler-free) grievances I had sorted from most annoying to least, shall we?
- Visor activation on fire button. Not only does this suplex my muscle memory, and not only does it eradicate your right to self-defense with the wrong item selected in the top bar, I know you guys were going for eradicating time freeze plasma damage. Not that you specifically need to do that anywhere on normal difficulty, but you can't fool me.
- Reclosing doors. Some people like to shoot doors open and keep them open for a reason, not the least of which for me is wanting to speedboost or shinespark through them at some point. It becomes a major annoyance on certain control setups where you must curl your finger over to hit fire while holding run just to open a damn door.
- Crocomire. I won't spoil the method of killing him, but I can call him a test of how new you might be to Metroid games in general. It seems to me like his tweak was implemented for the sole reason of being cool and new rather than sensible and ultimately even if you do read the logs provided in that new fancy log system the answer will still not be immediately obvious. (One of my friends got killed in that fight for touching him, although really because they didn't find enough e-tanks first.) A certain redditor here would definitely call it a glitch gate. Me, I thought it would have been much, much more clever to find a way to break blocks so he can fall in the usual acid. But that's just me.
- Custom music. Hey, actually that's another expectation you subverted! I was expecting cool custom tracks by known good community composers like kottpower and Mentlegen but instead all I got were rips from other video games! And as a bonus, half of them don't even sound good!
- Vanilla tileset level design. Seriously, you guys had seven years to fix up all the little effects that don't work together in rooms using those tilesets (in particular is that room that connects to the bottom left of the Pirate Lab, where the blue water moss joins clash with the rest of the rock) and while the second half of the hack with custom graphics does look great, it doesn't excuse the first half.
- Tedium. This is by and far the most subjective grievance but take it from me, I was not impressed at first when the levels were designed around a new item that had been added for the sake of adding a new item. (Disabling it is handy for exactly one puzzle later.) Things don't really pick up from there, you get slightly new abilities based on things seen in other hacks previous but the first half of the game is essentially just a game of beeline from one upgrade to the next and find out what it does, plus potentially finding out how they have been nerfed for the sake of adding more pickups, or you'll be getting nowhere. Railroading ahoy. The second half of the game does slightly better since you are able to explore anywhere you want (and indeed the tools for collecting 100% open up to you right away) but it's still not very impressive.

The bottom line? Do play this hack. It is actually worth a playthrough but it's really no better than a fullhack with no asm tweaks at all. (There are postgame objectives as well if you're really determined but for me it'll be a matter of if I get really bored.) It gets one orb from me for being playable and completeable, one orb for the bells and whistles that are neat, and one orb for not being totally boring or aggravating but that's about it. No orbs here for soul or innovation. If you want a cohesive soul in a hack, play Hyper or Vitality. If you want fun and innovative, play Ascent (I'm still going to bitch about the points of no return) or an Oats contest hack. Come here when you want a fully standard game that really does feel like it's fresh off of the Metroidvania assembly line and ready to be released on Steam.
Eris by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jun 09, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
74% in 5:46
Rating is for the 2012 version. I see I gave it a sparkling description when I played the 2009 version (as per what I wrote for Top Hacks) but I didn't have quite as much fun with Eris 2012. You have a very limited arsenal. Enemies hit for tons of damage. But these are not the real problems, oh no. Between all of the visual tricks that have to be seen in a classic hack like this and good/bad palettes is a plague of items you can't find passage to and passages you won't find the first time you look, smushed together into a giant cube of a world that must be traversed every time you want to switch areas. Not a whole lot of thought was put into how to help the player backtrack to where he should go or need to be - you will be looping this as hard as Lost World if you don't bust out a map. For me in particular it was the path to speedbooster, guarded by a door you're not sure of when it opens in a room full of spawning crabs that freezes in higan to this day if you linger for too long. (Thankfully that's the only freeze I found.) After earning all of the necessary items and pathing past the artifact gate you are treated to a finale that lasts far too long, a final area of sorts where you should have everything you need to win and yet you're still getting lost and wondering what door opens where and when. It's a giant mess, but still manages to be decent for a good 4-5 hours of your time. Savestates highly recommended. The hack creator offering tips and tricks for veteran moves you never thought of even more recommended.
Super Metroid: space Junk (Not Contest Ver.) by Crystal Knight [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jun 02, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
89% in 1:13
Pretty good, but presuming Draygon can kill you when you have grapple beam is a rookie design flaw. I managed to reach his room thanks to grapple and kill him with only two e-tanks and Varia only to find I couldn't leave to return to the rest of the hack. This soft permastuck only a veteran would find aside, the hack was rather fun and fresh for exploration and item gathering. Definitely recommend, but make sure you search out and gather as many missile packs as you can at the beginning - you'll need them to open some doors without running them out on enemies. Oh, and e-tanks too so you can survive the lava decontamination room.
Super Metroid: Hidden by TN [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 10, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
89% in 5:29
Decent 2/3rds hack plagued with backtracking fun and a couple of lost caves sequences where you must find the correct exit or start over at the beginning door. Heavy Legacy inspiration here, along with heavy incentive to bomb every tile you come across. This becomes more important the longer you play, as there are some unfair dumps into rooms you've already been and you need to wind through the full routes of Maridia and Lower Norfair in order to reach Draygon and Ridley, respectively. Compared to that, Tourian is completely unchanged (there are subtle changes to the escape to fit the hack's theme), including the point of no return. Basically it feels like a 2008 hack that got recommended for 2018 top hacks.
Metroid: Spooky Mission by Magconst [MZM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Feb 10, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
91% in 1:40
I'll give this hack credit, for the stupid things it does with low item amounts and being a short hack where you can get murdered around every secret corner there are equal amounts of opportunity to power up and overcome them. The problem is, you still have to find said powerups, and some of the paths to the most helpful powerups can be obscure. Also all of the equipment text is dumb and memey. Overall not the best way to burn an hour and a half.
Super Metroid Exertion by Mentlegen [SM Improvement], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 26, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
35% in 0:45
Very short but generally fun. The music in Sector Z is the best part of this hack, all of the other custom music sucks. Whatever the hack author did to Spore Spawn's music was ear pain. There are also plenty of map tiling errors, room entrances into platforms, and the floor elevator in Sector Z can gay baby jail you if you press up again on the top floor. If these errors were fixed up I'd give it an easy four stars.
Stargazer by Ing-ing [MZM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 19, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
95% in 0:42
This hack was small, stupid, and fun. Nothing really pressuring the player here except at the end and no dumb tricks required, walljump and slope shinesparking are but that's a given I think. The end is the worst part of the hack, where you must drop imago larva within the two minutes after beating mother brain whilst avoiding his unkillable spores with low health because the author thinks scrollers into lava are cool and good. Immediately after that is death by space pirate you weren't expecting. All in all a function of mild amusement - now go turn off that damn alarm.
Ancient Chozo by Albert V. [SM Vanilla+], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
94% in 3:08
Review based on the 2020 version of Ancient Chozo, aka patch version 1.1.5. When I went into this hack I was expecting cool things solely based on the praise of other proficient hackers, and it was just a little more than disappointing once I walked through the first few rooms and realized it was literally just Super Metroid with ZM and Hyper graphics. That's not to say it isn't pretty. Albert V really put a lot of time and effort into retiling every room he could get his hands on, and overall his work ultimately culminated in what feels like a remix of Zebes - where you still know how to find (almost) every item it has to offer and yet still incorporates enough new rooms that it isn't all exactly the same. I'd give this hack a good four stars if it wasn't for a spontaneous decision at the very end to incorporate X-Ray into the escape, which doesn't freeze the timer and you will be wasting many precious seconds trying to figure out how to exit the third damn room on your way out. Overall a pretty good halfhack, though the fact that it's a halfhack would be that much less of a letdown if this hack was actually just what a typical all frills Project Base patch made Super Metroid look like. Just saiyan.
Super Metroid Biohazard by Mentlegen, SMILEuser96 [SM Speedrun/Race], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 31, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 2:32
Soy tier "every patch from project base without actually being project base" "all CRE stolen from Hyper" "player graphics stolen from Opposition" hack. 70% of it is CRE hell and the developer ENCOURAGES you to stay in CRE hell by placing just about every major upgrade save beams, bombs, hj, space jump, and screw attack in CRE hell. The other 30% of it is not visually appealing either, attempts to be more than SM yet still fall flat at escaping sameness. There are also lots of blank room segments that appear past scrolls the dev didn't bother to fill in, likely because he didn't expect the camera to scroll that far. One door in Phytor Ruins when entered from the left takes you to a higher door on exit. Overall not a very difficult hack and okay on fun factor, but it definitely needed polish. And the music is kinda catchy, but nothing special.
Super Metroid: HISHE by Scyzer [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on May 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
A gimmick, but an excellent gimmick.
Super Metroid: Ascent by Benox50 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on May 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 5:08
I'm gonna be that guy and not rate this hack 5 stars. Why? Sit down for a minute and I'll tell you why points of no return are a stressful gimmick holding back an otherwise fantastic hack.

Area 1 was fine, I know what I missed and it was just a little bit annoying that I couldn't go back and get it because lava had risen in the first room and now those missiles aren't collectable without just a wee bit of searing pain to the E-tanks. This was just the starting point for the frustration, however.

In Area 2 I found myself having mapped out the entire thing, no rooms missing on a Danidub map, yet no motivation to search every corner just to fulfill a meter that said 86.7% because I could not remember a single tank I had either missed or needed to come back to with more equipment and neither did a loop back around reveal a single thing. This was the point where I put the hack down and said, nope, I'm not even going to try to put up with that for Area 3, which is probably even larger and has even less obvious items to collect in the weirdest spots.

Normally, if I had the freedom to explore as I pleased, I don't think I would have felt that pressure. It not only dampens reasons to explore and find all the items, but beats reason over the head with a "LOL YOU BETTER DO WELL IN THE PREVIOUS AREA OR YOU'LL NOT BE HIGHLY-EQUIPPED FOR THE NEXT..." If I was assured that at some point I could go back and rectify mistakes this hack wouldn't be such a bummer to me. Nice room memes tho! Three stars for putting more than an ounce of effort into an otherwise tedious game.

Edit: Finally up and beat this hack from start to finish. The speedbooster is fun if you gather enough e reducers to make it fun. The boss rush at the end is also fun and silly. Still not changing my opinion on points of no return, though.
Super Metroid: Z-Factor by Metaquarius [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I'm bringing down the rating on this one. Know why? It's not the god-like hack some people might tell you it is. It has the open-ended exploration of Ice Metal, but not the assurance of mind that you won't get dropped into a stupid situation at any door you deign to enter. It has a cut-out sequence of progression, but good luck trying to find your way forward at certain points in the game - more than likely you'll find yourself lost in a sea of hallways and dead-ends that contain nasty slip-ups capable of sending you back ten, twenty minutes of progress, or more on a death. I'm fairly sure I reached all the way to Gravity, personally, but I'm still not sure if I actually completed the hack in its entirety; that's a testament to the far-reaching complexity only the hack's author seems to understand. It was still an effort on his part, though, and something to be explored if you have both the time and the patience!
Super Metroid: Pantheon by squishy_ichigo [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
64% in 4:56

Serious time: I don't think I actually completed it until just now (10/19/22). I don't remember the dick moves squishy_ichigo pulled in Tourian, much less half the hack. *Ahem* This is actually good for a 2008 hack, though there are a lot of pitfalls to be had straight out of Amateur Hacking 101. To recount a few: walljumping required just about everywhere, high jump and spring ball are hidden behind advanced techs (high jump is much easier to get than spring ball imo), hack seemingly untested without those two items, charge is late-midgame so you better bring a bunch of missiles for Botwoon, you can get stuck in later underwater areas if you bring the untested items, tiling errors plague Norfair, and rooms in the hack can be divided into two categories: 2% changed from the original or retaining the same structure but with a ton of copy-pasted architecture. And despite all of these flaws it still retains a solid progression, one that is not unfun for a veteran player and definitely nowhere near the level of stupid some of these other hacks bring to the table. It is still very completeable despite morph ball being the sixth major item you get and bombs the eighth (or just about, I didn't count.) Bring your savestates though because the hack is an open world during the escape and at the time squishy_ichigo did not have the technical knowledge to make save stations not remove the timer, you can probably even go back down the Tourian elevator but I didn't check. Animals saveable, that I did check. All in all I just want to start a petition to have this hack renamed to Painful Hallwaytheon because it really has a number of those. Anyone?
Super Metroid Revolution EX by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Pretty good, if you don't mind spending the time shooting Space Pirates repeatedly with separate beams. (As in, completely separate - Ice, Wave, Spazer, etc. alone. Configured the normal way through the pause screen.) Fairly solid work otherwise.
Hyper Metroid LLE by LexLuthermiester [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Mar 23, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Hyper Metroid but for babies. The Charge Beam room was removed (why???), many door caps were thrown out (sure removing X-Ray's door cap is convenient but it also removes the learning experience for the new item you just got), a platform was added so any noob could grab Supers early, and Screw Attack and Gravity Suit were relocated so any noob could grab them early. Power bombs are also grabbable early. Also introduces random inexplicable tiling errors in seemingly random places. Did not complete because I found some place in Tourian to infinite fall and generally just dropped this at that point. Eight months of development time btw (fun fact: did you know this is comparable to the development time for Hyper itself?). Highly recommend playing original Hyper instead.
Metroid Fusion T.S by Meilove [MF Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Feb 29, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
83% in 5:19
There is a very pertinent question that floated in my mind practically the entire time I played this. That question is: how does this hack have 4.5 orbs??? It's the kind of experience that makes me glad I left 3 orbs on the other Chinese hacks because they deserve it more than this one. At the bottom line, this hack is beatable, and not really tough, just plagued with so many horrible design decisions that make you question the author's sanity. The heavily disjointed map design? Do NOT hire Meilove for anything related to construction. Things that are elevators but don't actually look like elevators? Yep, this hack has those. Navigating through crumble puzzles in SRX? Stupid. Navigating after bombs? Don't fall into the yellow door pit at the bottom of TRO your first visit lmao. Puzzling out the route through first visit AQA? Good luck. Want a massive darkness maze in NOC? Well at least you're the kind of person who actually wants something out of this kind of hack, you masochist. I hope you like diagonal missile blocks through walls because you get those too from this point on. Boss rooms are a little more annoying, BOX1 especially has nothing to help you get above it, but nothing really takes the cake like BOX2 IN ACID. Good luck preserving your thumb while firing blindly at a robot's weak spot and not touching the energy Drain-o. At least its core-X is the most exploitable of them all. But we haven't gotten to the absolute dumbest part of this hack, oh no. The dumbest part is GOOD LUCK FINISHING THE GAME: the SA-X Fight Club is located in BSL's literal basement, accessible directly from the route you take back when the power goes out, and that means riding the main elevator up from the bottom and letting it stop. If you're some kind of casual (what kind of casual goes looking for a hack like this???) you'll be funneled into this because you visited a Nav room at the start of any Sector. If you have any kind of predisposition to knowing how Fusion works, you more than likely will have tried to go back to Sector 2 and out through the reactor hole to visit a Nav room that opens up most of the game at the end save. Haha, silly you, you're going to be combing the Main Deck looking for that last boss sequence! Are you still reading this? Well, good, since you're here you can take my advice and go play something better. Metroid Fusion Master Quest does what this hack does but much better (watch out for those dropthru platforms), Rebuild does too but more middlingly than Master Quest, Acrash is comparatively illogical but more fun, and even Ing-Ing hacks have a semblance of class to go with their sadism. This one you can play if you are really, truly bored, but it scrapes the bottom of the Fusion barrel. The only reason I'm giving it 2 orbs is because it doesn't crush your balls.
Vacation by Jathys [SM Spoof], rated by Zhs2 on Aug 15, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
HISHE but without the gameplay.
SMConflict by SMILEuser96 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 04, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
54% in 0:40
It was too annoying to search for anything hidden or grind for money so I ended up crossing the spikes in the yapping maw room and beating the final boss. Thank god I found charge beam before that.
Super Metroid Gathering by Leodox [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Oct 05, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
36% in 0:58
Not as bad as you think, but at the same time not actually worth most people's time. If you think it is, it would be helpful for you to know that it is VERY, VERY EASY to miss any and all beams but Ice and I ended up restarting my game to collect them (thanks to Aran;Jaeger's helpful video) because it is VERY, VERY DIFFICULT to exit Lower Norfair after performing the elevator shinespark. Technical knowledge of Samus' movement is required to traverse this hack, some expansions require the use of short charges. Overall the reason I'm not giving this one star is because it's not a challenge hack, very beatable with the equipment you can (and should) find and was an interesting test of my Super Metroid knowledge and abilities.
Super Metroid: Golden Dawn by Black Telomeres [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jun 22, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 6:50
[Watch Video]  
Man, and I thought Eris 2012 was bad. THEN I made the mistake of moving on over to replaying Golden Dawn and OH GOD it is actually ten times worse than Eris. Let's just list off a few short reasons why:

- Foreground air tiles. They are EVERYWHERE. They hide VITAL PASSAGES. Good luck navigating without visiting Metroid Mapstation.
- Bad level design. Crumble blocks were a sensation in old challenge hacks and this one is no different. You are expected to deal with terrible spike sections even before Varia suit and lots of walljumping. LOTS of doors in this hack's equivalent to Norfair connect to full-height lava or even ACID rooms. And there are deliberate sections where BT does a little trolling. You have been warned.
- Horrible boss rooms plagued with spikes. Some require upgrades or definite cheese. Botwoon in particular requires Wave beam.
- And speaking of Botwoon requiring Wave beam, you are pretty much required to traverse acid rooms without Gravity so you can get Wave so you can beat Botwoon so you can get Spring Ball and consequently Gravity. It's terrible.
- And if you make it through the first 70% of the hack you are treated to neon bricks contrasted with eye-raping green backgrounds and yellow skies. Did BlackTelomeres even play this far in his own hack?

Mother Brain also crashes before moving to phase 2 in higan/bsnes. Do not recommend this hack too seriously, even with a map. Anyone above who says otherwise is a masochist. Play Dependence instead, which I'm pretty sure I have way better memories of.
Harvest by Oi27 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on May 20, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
57% in 2:11
For an oats contest entry that placed second I honestly expected better, especially stacked against 1st place hands hack and 3rd place hotlands. The innovative custom ASM does not save this hack from some bad design decisions, such as needing to destroy many missile blocks with only a max of 10 missiles at the beginning, and the ease of which you can accidentally enter the underwater endgame area without gravity suit and not be able to escape to pick up more equipment before a boss you will be REQUIRED to use savestates to beat without said gravity suit. (At least, I presume that's what you can pick up. I don't actually know if this is true because I never found it.) Game design clearly escapes the creator if my experience with Polarity was anything to compare this to, albeit at least in Polarity the enjoyability picked up and stayed up after seeking out several hidden passages before slamming headlong into one murderous Ridley. Here the enjoyability rises from the intro all the way into the factory (the best area imo) and peaks at power bombs, then goes back downhill into said contrived boss that wasn't actually fun. Sorry, but a few more hints to the player about points of no return would have gone a long way into salvaging my rating for this hack.
Super Ethical Metroid by dewhi100 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 06, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
82% in 2:08
This was an okay hack. Meme item names, the hard backtracking the lost caves, and the REPEATED flashbang visor were all sore detractors on an otherwise perfectly fine and interesting Super Metroid room remix, bringing its quality to middling at best. It'd be a great-quality hack without those things, but it isn't, and it's almost a shame it was released on April Fool's day. Almost.
Adam Please by Ing-ing [MF Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 19, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
9% in 2:26
Meh. Any hack that requires turning on moonjump because I got sick of all the tetchy walljumps is not a very good hack, but it has many pretty backgrounds to look at. I had to use moonjump because I have no idea how in the hell you climb the shaft after unlocking level 3 locks legitimately and in fact city core was the place I really started moonjumping anyway. I did walljumps for literal minutes trying to get the second one to activate before that, then realized this kind of hack really wasn't worth that much of my time and life. Some fun ideas in here though, and I enjoyed the shinesparking puzzles - they were about the easiest thing to do.
SM:Decision by JoshShoeWah [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 2:12
Is this really the standard of quality we think is okay for Super Metroid in 2018? *Ahem* Besides the obvious misgivings like the author having zero idea of how to make any landscape look less than solid and noob design decisions abound, this hack really doesn't stand out as anything special, at all. It's not overly difficult, it can catch you up with a few bad design quirks here and there but overall it's completely playable and it kind of saddens me that that's the best thing I can say about it. Ugly suits and the not-well-thought gimmick that gives the hack its name just shove it so far into mediocre it hurts, like imagine choosing spring ball over grapple or screw attack over plasma. Crocomire's fight was about the most interesting highlight, no hack I've ever seen before has put blocks behind him to add to the things to do in that fight, but the fair few sparks of brilliance this hack has to share are easily overshadowed by dumb choices like the short charge wall that seemed inserted into Tourian just for the sake of being annoying. By the way, you can stand on the wires above the arena in Draygon's fight and he'll just swoop below you without a care in the world. Overall a meh hack that gives you the impression you played it for longer than the hacker worked on it.
Lost World by TROM [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Nov 25, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
101% in 15:39
In 2015, one man had a vision. This man's name was TROM, and by the sweat of his baguette he set out to craft the Super Metroid hack to conquer all. Soon had he created a massive gauntlet of exploration, buffered and extended by tides of liquid movement not yet known to Super Metroid fans. TROM had created the perfect hack, known as... Lost Underwater.

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

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

Alright, I could keep coming up with nicknames for this hack all night, but serious time. Metaquarius' review is absolutely right. This hack is not for the faint of time, and be prepared to look up somebody else's youtube playthrough to advance at points in this hack, especially for major item locations - the hack makes NO attempt to guide the player from one to the next, and which loop you need to go through next is a shot in the dark at least four times. I might not have completed it if I weren't streaming it for the boys and laughing at their snide commentary all the way through the hack. TROM put his soul into level design and (subpar but at least consistent) graphical quality but that's all this hack has going for it, the rest of it reeks of amateur hacking 101. I might have given it three orbs if I didn't have to crystal flash for Ridley and my friends didn't have to walk me through the NECESSARY super short charge needed to open Hilly Swamp's yellow gate. No advanced techniques needed my butt. Oh, and don't get me started on the gates. I studied Palmy Risen's hack map to beeline to each one after I got plasma because the hack was just tedious after being starved of super missiles for so long. This hack is best summed up as one man's brain TROMma and all Super Metroid players' easily avoided descent into tedium and anger. And what the hell is up with those Sunkern mazes?
AN.T.I [ANother Terrible Idea] by TriAsUnit [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Nov 17, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 0:42
Gave this hack (the one labelled a fair handshake to see if it stacks up for 2015 Quickplay but I cannot find the super missiles and thus cannot complete. Not gonna waste any more time on this hack.

UPDATE: I lied. If it weren't for the GRACIOUS inclusion of the 100% video on Aran;Jaeger's review, I would not have completed this. I'll give it one more orb for being able to complete the hack, but the hidden route to super missiles... Seriously? There are at least ten walls that look like the secret passage to them and I'm supposed to pick out that one? That's one terrible hack design idea. The other terrible idea is the gimmick of including the accel charge patch, which makes charging your beam super slow. Save that for a larger, more drawn out hack instead of this quick idea jotted out in SMILE.
'Roidz by DemickXII [M1 Improvement], rated by Zhs2 on May 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Okay, this graphical hack actually looks pretty damn cool. Still, it's not a level design hack.
Super Metroid: Dependence by Black Telomeres [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on May 08, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 5:27
I wanted to say this hack was kind of cool and did some neat things, but... it didn't. It's an old grandpappy decade-charged fart of a hack made of terrible tiling and even more terrible design decisions. It's alright if you love rooms with like 8/5000 tiles made of shot blocks that you need to shoot to proceed and fun grappling sequences, I guess. In summary, Black Telomeres would get fired really quickly if he was a building architect.
Super Zero Mission by SBniconico [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
You think it might be like the official Nintendo release of Zero Mission, but you quickly find yourself very, very wrong. Still, even for the difficulties in playing, there are a few good moments to it. Complete this only if you hate yourself.
Super Metroid: Redesign by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
66% in 9:28
ORIGINAL REVIEW: It's the granddaddy of major hacks, alright. The physics fight you, there are great places to get stuck X-Ray won't help you out of, and Sidehoppers will try to shank you with impunity. Still, it's worth checking out as a solid release and a experience you will likely never forget - good and bad. Watch out for Metroids!

UPDATED REVIEW, DATED 12/22/22: Don't play this. Play Axeil, and then rip the band-aid off when you get to Tourian (aka dump your rom in the trash). You can read why in my Axeil review, but between this version and Axeil this version of Redesign has some of the dumbest design decisions, particularly late game (some of them are fixed in Axeil, thankfully in regards to filler Chozo guardian placement). You will suffer through a mandatory heatrun, fall in lava and not be able to get out, explore Norfair and not be able to get out, explore lower Norfair and be unceremoniously booted back to upper Norfair, enjoy no hints and have to search out all of the major items yourself, and lose plenty of health trying to screw attack grounded foes in lower Norfair (don't touch Ridley btw). Its biggest saving graces are Screw Attack as soon as you attain Speedbooster (normally required to reach Draygon in progression post-Space Jump) and Tourian is right to the point (if not still a savestateathon because the Metroids are always on you and you don't have enough bombs worth dealing with them). It might be worth that if you like a Super Metroid hack that makes you suffer.
Airy by Cyclamen32 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Not as good as its big brother Oxide. This one took more effort to complete and didn't feel that great.
Super Metroid Clocktoberfest by Aran;Jaeger, moehr [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Feb 16, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 1:22
Ugh. As far as joke hacks go this one is the worst. Why? Try finding the path forward. Oh, you can't? Well too bad, search harder. Now here's some random conveyor belts straight out of amateur hacking 101. Wow, BTS that blocks shots also straight out of amateur hacking 101! Oops, you're stuck again, time to wade through spikes to find the really, REALLY obscure path forward. Some hacks have big problems with intuitively signalling to the player what they should do where and when, and this hack finds all of those situations and accumulates them into one painful slog. You want to move on and finish this hack so you don't have to stare at all of the terrible colors? Too goddamn bad, you're stuck wandering through the same three rooms trying to find an exit. And to top it all off only two of the custom music tracks are good, the rest are either ear pain or tiring after a minute. Don't play this. None of the assembly hacks in the world can save it.
Metroid + Saving by snarfblam [M1 Improvement], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
The best assembly hack ever made, hands down... But it's not a level design hack.
So Little Time by MetroidMst [SM Spoof], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Shit. Avoid.