Metroid Prime Dev Reveals That Static Is Actually Game Code

Metroid Prime turns 20 next week but it seems as if Nintendo won't be marking the occasion. Those who worked on the game won't be letting the milestone come and go unnoticed though and have been sharing fascinating stories about its development, revealing details fans of the games have never heard.

Zoid Kirsch has been leading the way, initially promising to share one story per day in the build to Prime's birthday but doubling that due to demand. The story that has generated the most interest so far is an explanation about the static players could see on Samus's visor. Turns out making that happen was more problematic than you might think.

“When you see Samus’s visor affected by electrical 'noise' in-game, you’re actually seeing the bits and bytes of the Metroid Prime software code itself being rendered,” Kirsch explained. The noise texture needed for the effect used too much memory, something the GameCube had very little of. Someone on the team suggested the idea explained below, and it worked.

Kirsch's static story prompted someone else to share that this wasn't the first time someone in video games had that idea. 20 years before, someone working on the Atari 2600's Yar's Revenge did the same thing, adding that Atari was concerned the workaround would expose the game's code to the world. Kirsch has also shared a story of developers needing to keep their GameCubes in freezers to help Nintendo fix a “bad batch” of CPUs.

Prime will officially turn 20 on November 18, giving Nintendo one more week to announce that long-awaited remaster which may or may not actually exist. There have been rumblings for a long time now that the remaster not only exists, but it is complete and Nintendo is just waiting for the perfect time to unleash it on the world. If all of that is true, there are few places better than Prime's 20th anniversary to officially confirm it exists.

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