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Castlevania II: Simon's Quest STARTED Metroidvania...change my mind! and other "firsts"

VGEsoterica

Member
So often in gaming certain titles just don't get the credit they deserve as far as what they brought to the table. A game will come along, do something entirely innovative or new and not get the credit for actually having done it.

Symphony of the Night gets credit for "creating" the concept of Metroidvania...a mash up of the classic Castlevania formula and the open world elements of Metroid. Don't get me wrong....I LOVE SotN and consider it one of my fav games of all time....but damn it Simon's Quest did it first!

Open world where you can explore in every direction? Check. Impediments you can't pass until you acquire an item or ability? Check. Cryptic item descriptions and clues you need to solve before you progress? Check. A large map with diverse areas? Check

Am I talking about SotN or Simon's Quest? Well BOTH actually. Which just goes to show that Simon's Quest 100% paved the way for something like SotN and never got the credit it deserved.

Other firsts that went unnoticed or even hated on before it was widely adopted? Dual analog controls in Alien: Resurrection on PS1. Torn apart for the innovation and barely remembered for changing the entire console control scheme for FPS games moving forward

 

IDKFA

Gold Member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Alien Resurrection on PS1 was the first console FPS to use duel analogue stick controls. A control system so popular that it's now the default way to play a FPS on a console.
 

KellyNole

Member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Alien Resurrection on PS1 was the first console FPS to use duel analogue stick controls. A control system so popular that it's now the default way to play a FPS on a console.

I think technically Goldeneye beats it for dual analog sticks. They had a mode you could use two controllers for dual analog stick mode. For a single controller, Alien Resurrection possibly may be the first.
 
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Saber

Member
It's interesting. Not my cup of tea though, I only started liking Castlevania at GBA.
I would say this concept was present on Wonderboy: Monster Trap as well, even though its probably not that older still a popular and fun game to me.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Pretty much whatever game came after Mario and let you start going in multiple directions instead of just left to right. That's really all it is. 2D exploration with some locks and keys.
 

AJUMP23

Gold Member
 

ssringo

Member
Playable character has stats and levels up to get stronger. A variety of equipable gear with various stats and effects to strengthen your character and/or change the way you play. RPG elements.

Those are key factors imo. Not having them makes it a Metroid-like not a Metroidvania.

Edit: speaking of 2d or 2.5d games.
 
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So often in gaming certain titles just don't get the credit they deserve as far as what they brought to the table. A game will come along, do something entirely innovative or new and not get the credit for actually having done it.

Symphony of the Night gets credit for "creating" the concept of Metroidvania...a mash up of the classic Castlevania formula and the open world elements of Metroid. Don't get me wrong....I LOVE SotN and consider it one of my fav games of all time....but damn it Simon's Quest did it first!

Open world where you can explore in every direction? Check. Impediments you can't pass until you acquire an item or ability? Check. Cryptic item descriptions and clues you need to solve before you progress? Check. A large map with diverse areas? Check

Am I talking about SotN or Simon's Quest? Well BOTH actually. Which just goes to show that Simon's Quest 100% paved the way for something like SotN and never got the credit it deserved.

Other firsts that went unnoticed or even hated on before it was widely adopted? Dual analog controls in Alien: Resurrection on PS1. Torn apart for the innovation and barely remembered for changing the entire console control scheme for FPS games moving forward


I believe that Iga had to cite Castlevania II in order to get Konami upper management to agree to Symphony of the Night development.

I found the Making of Vid that I heard that on:
 

CamHostage

Member
I've never once heard anyone say SOTN created the concept of Metroidvania. The conversation is always respect towards Metroid and Castlevania as a whole with each iteration refining the genre.

Metroid came after Castlevania outside of Japan (likely because they had to adapt the game for batter backup after the original was on Famicom Disc System.) Metroid also doesn't have leveling (aside from her weapons being more useful, I believe her gun stays as powerful from start to finish,) and it doesn't have any dialog aspects with clues to solve (which also considered are minor part of the MetroidVania concept,) so it's missing some of the aspects that make MetroidVania a hyphenate... otherwise we'd just call these games "Metroid-Likes".

Technicalities, to be sure. I agree with you that Metroid was the innovator (also Zelda II) and Castlevania 2 was part of the wave that followed. (It's worth noting though that in Japan there were a lot of games trying interconnected, open-exploration levels in that 1987 period, but they all sucked so they're easy to not count... Probably none of them were trying to clone Metroid, though; all these games were hoping to capture that depth and length in action games that the massively successful Dragon Quest and Legend of Zelda kicked off with the console RPG revolution.) However, the PB&J of MetroidVania required the combo.

Interestingly, if we had known better and it had been a bigger success, we might have called this genre the MetroidGar...

Rygar for NES does everything that we'd consider MetroidVania (interconnected worlds, RPG leveling, NPC conversations, items that let you come back and explore areas not accessible previously in levels,) and it did it before Castlevania II: Simon's Quest came out. It wasn't as successful (although IMO, C2 SQ was kind of a mess,) but it was a really enjoyable game on the NES and had more variety than Metroid or Castlevania II thanks to its switch of viewpoints (It arguably did not play as well as either of those games though, and hooking up the wire to cross pits was often a miserable way to accidentally lose a life falling into that pit trying to get the wire to connect.) Rygar for me is up there with the great innovators in early gaming, but it wasn't ultimately one of the two games that other designers looked at when thinking of how to move platform-action forward, plus its name doesn't lend the same singsong quality to the portmanteau as "MetroidVania", so maybe it's best remembered but not credited for co-inventing the genre.

 
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NeoIkaruGAF

Gold Member
I'll go one further: with the weird ass NPCs and the obscure as fuck design, it's probably the first Souls-like game.
There were tons of Japanese games that only released on Japanese home computers that had that before Simon’s Quest, and even the most pro Souls gamers would curl up into a corner and cry if they were to try those games today. If there’s a thing in gaming that wasn’t born with the NES, is obscure design and weird-ass NPCs.
 

Raven117

Member
Metroid came after Castlevania outside of Japan (likely because they had to adapt the game for batter backup after the original was on Famicom Disc System.) Metroid also doesn't have leveling (aside from her weapons being more useful, I believe her gun stays as powerful from start to finish,) so it's missing some of the aspects that make MetroidVania a hyphenate... otherwise we'd just call these games "Metroid-Likes". Technicalities, to be sure, I agree with you that Metroid was the innovator and Castlevania 2 the wave that followed (though in Japan there were a lot of games trying interconnected, open-exploration levels, but they all sucked,) but the PB&J of MetroidVania took the combo.

However, if we had known better and it had been a bigger success, we might have called this genre the MetroidGar...

Beating this without a guide as a kid still remains one of my greatest videogame achivements.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Alien Resurrection on PS1 was the first console FPS to use duel analogue stick controls. A control system so popular that it's now the default way to play a FPS on a console.
Ape Escape was before it and was released for that controller specifically
 

CamHostage

Member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Alien Resurrection on PS1 was the first console FPS to use duel analogue stick controls. A control system so popular that it's now the default way to play a FPS on a console.

Essentially, although a few N64 games had "dual analog stick" control options, if you had two controllers and a lot of hand strength. Of the FPSes, only Rare's two games Goldeneye and Perfect Dark did it (and they had a funny way of implementing it which was almost-not-quite what we have today, depending on how you tweak your settings.) Not even the Turoks tried this, which is surprising given all the other novelties that Acclaim tried in that era.


Ape Escape was before it and was released for that controller specifically

First console FPS, not first dual-analog game. But Ape Escape is pretty awesome, and it'd sure deserve credit for being a pioneer in its subgenre if it had been the start of something but unfortunately there's not a slew of Apelikes out there...
 
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Raven117

Member
Also, I do think Simon's Quest was ahead of its time.

A remake of Simon's quest in the vein of an open world Transylvania type style could be absolutely brilliant.
 

CamHostage

Member
Dual analog control on the Atari 5200: Robotron 2084, 1983.


Oh cool, so they did do that? I was thinking of Robotron as a first in its category (though it's the same year as Black Widow, I'm not sure what the history of hooking up a second stick in the cabinet really was?), but I couldn't come up with any cases (even experimental games with freaky accessories) where somebody would have actually done it in a home device before N64. But they did, way way before!

(BTW, it's "dual analog" due to the Atari 2600 controllers having analog sticks, but technically Robotron was 8-way, so a little give-and-take on credit there. However, implementation of "analog" regularly shaves off the natural analog aspect down to useable integers and instead giving players directionality and force by steps of difference, so what really is truly "analog"?)
 
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Trunx81

Member
Aliens Control scheme was so new, that reviews were really weird about it.

First 1st person stealth game (before AC): Thief, maybe?
 

Knightime_X

Member
Don't think Simons Quest had actual stats, you did level up but that was only an increase in health which was present in Metroid.
Actually, I forgot about that. You got health as well as an increase in defense.
If I recall correctly, later enemies would do more damage to you if you had lower levels.
 

SmokedMeat

Gamer™
Interesting take on Castlevania 2, and something I never considered.

I haven’t played it since it released way back when. Wasn’t it more along the lines of choosing your path or was there backtracking?
 

Gamer79

Predicts the worst decade for Sony starting 2022
So often in gaming certain titles just don't get the credit they deserve as far as what they brought to the table. A game will come along, do something entirely innovative or new and not get the credit for actually having done it.

Symphony of the Night gets credit for "creating" the concept of Metroidvania...a mash up of the classic Castlevania formula and the open world elements of Metroid. Don't get me wrong....I LOVE SotN and consider it one of my fav games of all time....but damn it Simon's Quest did it first!

Open world where you can explore in every direction? Check. Impediments you can't pass until you acquire an item or ability? Check. Cryptic item descriptions and clues you need to solve before you progress? Check. A large map with diverse areas? Check

Am I talking about SotN or Simon's Quest? Well BOTH actually. Which just goes to show that Simon's Quest 100% paved the way for something like SotN and never got the credit it deserved.

Other firsts that went unnoticed or even hated on before it was widely adopted? Dual analog controls in Alien: Resurrection on PS1. Torn apart for the innovation and barely remembered for changing the entire console control scheme for FPS games moving forward

Metroid? Just look at the word and the game it references. That is the first one!
 

VGEsoterica

Member
Metroid? Just look at the word and the game it references. That is the first one!
Lol maybe I should have been clearer. Metroidvania was “coined” for SotN. But Simon’s Quest is the first true Metroidvania style game (obv Metroid did it first…but that’s JUST Metroid)
 
Metroidvania was coined as such because sole credibility for the genre couldn't just be given to Metroid since Castlevania had a game release the same year with similar nonlinear gameplay. That game being Vampire Killer for MSX. And that style was explored even more in Simon's Quest.
 
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