As amazing as Metroid Prime Remastered is, not everyone out there is entirely happy about the state of this Swtich release. You might even recall how the original Retro Studios development team voiced their frustrations about the game’s credits – noting how did not include the full original credits.
A number of team members spoke about it at the time of the remaster’s release, and now co-technical lead engineer Jack Mathews has elaborated on just how much the original developers contributed to the project during an interview with the YouTube podcast channel Kiwi Talkz, hosted by Reece Reilly.
Here’s what he had to say in relation to the remaster not crediting the original development staff while calling out Nintendo and the people “at the top” making these decisions:
Not crediting the people who did that is petty and ridiculous… let’s take all the design, scripting, AI code, UI code even, like almost all that code is wholesale exactly as it was, then you have all the artwork which is ultimately artwork that is based on original artwork by the original artists on the game. This isn’t a thing where they built art just on concepts alone or just on designs alone, they built it based on their own thoughts.
You look at the Talon overworld, right near the beginning the game that large vertical tunnel where you have the X-Ray visor things at the top, you know that cool wooden bridge, it’s a bridge that looks like giant tree branches… that’s a piece of art that even if it was remade was made from the artist’s mind that built that bridge, not that concept artist, not necessarily the designer but the person who actually made that the first time, and the remastered version is largely getting it traced over you know – so why is that original artist not credited, you know? It sort of goes pretty deep.
The way Nintendo appears to be doing credits right now, it’s intentionally called staff credits which means that they’re basically just trying to put the names of the people that were in the seats at the time the game was made… but just because you call it staff credits doesn’t mean that it’s credits and there are very many people at Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Japan that had nothing to do with the game that are listed in the staff credits.
Mathews further noted how the credits in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD did include “original staff” credits, but he believes it could be because many of the employees are still at Nintendo, or one other theory is that “their producer just actually stood up for their team”.
He also noted how some of the original Metroid Prime team members (Mark Haigh-Hutchinson and Andy O’Neil) who have passed away had their work “directly represented” in the remaster, but were obviously not credited. Many other team members also had work directly and indirectly represented in the Switch release.
Original team member Clark Wen (who was the original sound designer on Metroid Prime) was also brought back as a contractor for the remaster. According to Mathews, this proves there were people working on staff who “actually do care about the legacy” and the original devs who contributed to the game – acknowledging how it’s “unfortunate that at the top decisions got made in that way”.
It’s more than a five-minute job, but it’s inconsequential… even if they did where they just made a separate screen in the extras menu that was an unlock after you beat the game much like the other unlocks they have when you beat the game that was just original staff credits…play the same looping movie that plays behind the credits for the full game and then just put the full staff credits from the original – it’s that simple.
These sorts of stories seem to be popping up more frequently nowadays and it’s not just video games, either. Last week, legendary video game composer and DK Rap creator Grant Kirkhope discovered his name had been excluded from Nintendo and Illumination’s Mario Movie end credits.
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