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Tanabe talked about his plans for Metroid Prime 4 in 2015. Let's revisit them.

Cerium

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Thanks to WonderzL for bringing this up in another thread.

2015 was when Federation Force wrapped up and Tanabe presumably began working on Metroid Prime 4. He is remarkably candid in these interviews, and although they are dated at this point, they offer the best insight available into Nintendo's plans for the sequel. Now that said sequel has finally been announced I thought it would be worth looking back at these because there are a fair few interesting bits in here.

Next proper Metroid Prime "would likely now be on NX"

Speaking to Eurogamer at E3, Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe said that due to the amount of content such a game would require, it would probably take several years to develop.

"If we started for Wii U now, it would likely take three years or so. So it would likely now be on Nintendo's NX console," he said.

"It's a long time but it would need to include a lot of content, which would take a lot of work on the development side."

Speaking with Tanabe, it was clear he had plenty of ideas for the game, including a focus on a single planet that has a time-shifting mechanic, similar to Metroid Prime 2: Echoes' single planet with dark and light variants.

"Instead of broadening it to more planets I would have one and would focus on the timeline, and being able to change that. That's one interesting idea I have in mind... but I understand many people thought that [Echoes] was too difficult."

Regardless, Tanabe continued, two particular storylines wrapped up in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption would not be revisited.

"The stories of Dark Samus and Phazon are done now," he confirmed, before adding that the series would still focus on other Prime-series elements.
A future Metroid Prime game could be a numbered release, too. "Three ends the trilogy, but if I can I would like to continue with numbered games."
Note that despite his three year estimate I wouldn't assume that there's a good chance of Prime 4 in 2018; there's no telling when they entered full production and complications can always happen during development. This will, after all, be the first HD Metroid ever.

The time shift mechanic sounds very appealing to me since Titanfall 2 had a great implementation of it (albeit for a single level) and I always thought a full game with that concept and more variety would be great.

What Metroid Prime's Producer Wants In the Next Sequel

We asked Tanabe if Metroid Prime Federation Force is the only Metroid Prime game he's working on. "I said this at the beginning, but I'm not involved in the 2D Metroid games that [Yoshio] Sakamoto works on," Tanabe said. "I still feel like there's a little more work left for me to do in the Metroid Prime series. I can't say when, but I want to make another one.

Tanabe reminded us about the ending of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. After Samus's ship flies off into the distance, another ship suddenly appears. He said that players Metroid Prime Hunters should recognize that the ship belongs to a bounty hunter called Sylux. "He's actually chasing after Samus, and that's where that game ends," Tanabe said. "There's still more I want to build around the story of Sylux and Samus. There's something going on between them. I want to make a game that touches upon [it]."

"I'm also thinking that, in that eventual game between Sylux and Samus that might get made, that I wants to involve the [Galactic] Federation as well," he said. "So it would be a good idea to release a game like Federation Forces to flesh out its role in the galaxy before moving on to that.
 

BY2K

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So it's likely a new story without Phazon or Dark Samus, but within the Prime "continuity".

As in, they are games that can easily be put anywhere in the main timeline without affecting the main timeline itself.

I hope.
 

Nanashrew

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Tanabe also brought up that that was Sylux's ship at the end of Prime 3. The post credits ending to Federation Force also has Sylux infiltrating a federation base and hatching a Metroid.

Tanabe's definitely been planning something.
 

GDGF

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Maybe instead of escaping a planet that's about to explode, we bounce back and forth between it existing and its destruction. One second there's a cavern, the next there's a cave-in.
 

Azuardo

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I hope it's not actually called Prime 4. The Prime stuff is done. Let's move it on to Metroid 5, or something new.
 

RoboPlato

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I know it likely won't but I'm really hoping that we get a game that takes place after Fusion. The Fusion Suit abilities could be really neat in a Prime game.
 

Azure J

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So potentially Prime 4 would be Prime 2: Super Turbo HD Remix edition.

 

Cerium

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Tanabe also brought up that that was Sylux's ship at the end of Prime 3. The post credits ending to Federation Force also has Sylux infiltrating a federation base and hatching a Metroid.

Tanabe's definitely been planning something.

I added a second interview from 2015 that covers that.

>_>

<_<

I hope it's third-person.


*runs*

It's already confirmed first person.
 

chaosblade

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I hope it's not actually called Prime 4. The Prime stuff is done. Let's move it on to Metroid 5, or something new.

I don't feel like it matters much. Nintendo completely ruined the meaning behind the Prime subtitle ages ago with Hunters. At this point it just means "first person Metroid" more than actually relating to Phazon/Dark Samus/the Metroid Prime.
 

Pineapple

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I know Prime games really haven't focused on multiplayer, but I hope it's something they're seriously investing in for Prime 4. It's really a golden opportunity to bring an exclusive, AAA multiplayer FPS to the Switch. Something on the scale of what a Halo multiplayer game offers in terms of maps, features, content, etc, would be amazing.
 

Tuck

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Yeah Sylux is definitely gonna be the main villain in this next one. Or at least a major antagonist. He's been planning this for a while, it would seem.
 

Servbot24

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I know Prime games really haven't focused on multiplayer, but I hope it's something they're seriously investing in for Prime 4. It's really a golden opportunity to bring an exclusive, AAA multiplayer FPS to the Switch. Something on the scale of what a Halo multiplayer game offers in terms of maps, features, content, etc, would be amazing.

While you're not wrong, I hope this is something they only do if they have extra time in the schedule - 100% focus should be on single player perfection. Also the gameplay would have to be very unique in order to reflect what Metroid is about. It couldn't just be an arena shooter.
 

chaosblade

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I know Prime games really haven't focused on multiplayer, but I hope it's something they're seriously investing in for Prime 4. It's really a golden opportunity to bring an exclusive, AAA multiplayer FPS to the Switch. Something on the scale of what a Halo multiplayer game offers in terms of maps, features, content, etc, would be amazing.

They already did this with 2 but it was not online and not all that good. If they do decide to include multiplayer I hope it's done by a secondary team and doesn't take resources from the single player content.

Metroid isn't the kind of game that lends itself directly to multiplayer anyway. But that won't stop people from looking at it and saying "it's a shooter! Give it multiplayer and put it online!"
 

Cerium

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I know Prime games really haven't focused on multiplayer, but I hope it's something they're seriously investing in for Prime 4. It's really a golden opportunity to bring an exclusive, AAA multiplayer FPS to the Switch. Something on the scale of what a Halo multiplayer game offers in terms of maps, features, content, etc, would be amazing.

That's just not in the series DNA honestly. If they want that they should make a new IP.
 

Berordn

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Why call it Prime then?

Probably because Syluc and it's position in the timeline. Federation Force actually carried a couple of Prime's old threads, and both the Space Pirates and Federation are looking for replacements for Phazon now that Phazee is dead.
 

Azuardo

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I don't feel like it matters much. Nintendo completely ruined the meaning behind the Prime subtitle ages ago with Hunters. At this point it just means "first person Metroid" more than actually relating to Phazon/Dark Samus/the Metroid Prime.

Aye. Shame, really. Prime should have been for the original three numbered Primes and done.
 

Servbot24

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I would like if Prime 4 is after Metroid Fusion.

I would really love to see them run with the Samus being a biological weapon angle.


I have never played Hunters so I don't know if I'm going to particularly care about this Sylux...=/

He's nothing. Fans just feel obligated to act like he matters because there aren't really any other NPCs.
 
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It's kind of crazy how Metroid's return is so surprising to people. I was saying as far back as I remember skipping a single gen didn't make it dead, and Miyamoto literally said they were looking into both 2D and Prime style games.

I think development of MP4 is slightly more ahead than people realize
 

TheDinoman

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Finally his plans will come to fruition.



I love teases like that paying off.

I have to say, I really, really hope Sylux gets a visual makeover for Prime 4.

The MPH hunters have a really simplistic look to them all, obviously to accommodate the DS and to make them stand out better on its low resolution screen. But now we have the Switch and its sexy screen to play with. I just think it's gonna look pretty bad on Tanabe/Nintendo's part if the supposed big bad of the first ever HD Metroid Prime still looks like some cheap blocky action figure, lol.
 
Jun 27, 2015
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I have to say, I really, really hope Sylux gets a visual makeover for Prime 4.

The MPH hunters have a really simplistic look to them all, obviously to accommodate the DS and to make them stand out better on its low resolution screen. But now we have the Switch and its sexy screen to play with. I just think it's gonna look pretty bad on Tanabe/Nintendo's part if the supposed big bad of the first ever HD Metroid Prime still looks like some cheap blocky action figure, lol.

I think they could add some complexity to him without changing his "shape". That kind of thinking is why we have the mechanical mess that is the Bay Transformers designs or why the new Power Ranger's megazord looks like shit
 

Azuardo

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He's nothing. Fans just feel obligated to act like he matters because there aren't really any other NPCs.

Yup. I couldn't care less about the throwaway NPCs that Hunters introduced. In fact, I'd rather they binned them all off entirely and gave us something more akin to Prime 1 again. NPC interaction, which got boosted in Prime 3, does nothing for me.
 

daffy

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That's just not in the series DNA honestly. If they want that they should make a new IP.
That is such bullshit. Metroid Prime Hunters was a stellar foundation. If they use this series name they can get a decent budget for it and that poster is right; this is a huge chance for Nintendo to justify their upcoming online service and frankly we as gamers deserve a decent, deep, multifaceted multiplayer FPS on Switch.
 

RagnarokX

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So it's likely a new story without Phazon or Dark Samus, but within the Prime "continuity".

As in, they are games that can easily be put anywhere in the main timeline without affecting the main timeline itself.

I hope.

Well, the Prime trilogy already does too much to really have it fit with the mainline games. I say just continue keeping them as two separate continuities that pay no mind to each other instead of worrying about making them fit. Prime may not make much sense without Metroid Prime being in the picture, but they could just say that it refers to the first person nature of the games.
 

MoonFrog

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I don't like the story elements Tanabe seems to want to focus on, personally. But he can go there in a game that still is largely a good Prime game. Moreover, talk of isolation in the document we got says good things about this plot taking the background.

I think we'll probably get another Fusion 3D like game along the lines of Prime 3 with a plot trading in a sort of generic/boring Federation and super-hero like bounty hunters, at least Sylux. My hope is a) the micro-gameplay and locations are good and b) the plot is more in the background and the NPCs aren't as present/obnoxiously bland.

My dream is that the game is structured more like Prime 1 and SM, with an interconnected world and less of a straightforward dungeon after dungeon approach (which both 2 and 3 have).

Tbc, I think the game that I think we'll get could be quite good.
 

Servbot24

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Yep, and the whole "Samus is now an enemy of the Galactic Federation" is really nice. I wanna see this developing further.

To be honest I hope the Federation isn't mentioned much or is just retconned out. Metroid to me needs to feel alien and almost otherworldly. It needs to invoke questions without actually asking them, and leave it up to the player's imagination. Simply the phrase Galactic Federation sounds so generic low level sci-fi that just by it being used in game the world feels more boring.

Though you're right that if anything they should be an enemy, I still worry it would result in having to fight boring ol' space marines.

That is such bullshit. Metroid Prime Hunters was a stellar foundation. If they use this series name they can get a decent budget for it and that poster is right; this is a huge chance for Nintendo to justify their upcoming online service and frankly we as gamers deserve a decent, deep, multifaceted multiplayer FPS on Switch.

Just make a new IP for that instead of forcing it onto Metroid. IMO.
 

Cerium

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That is such bullshit. Metroid Prime Hunters was a stellar foundation. If they use this series name they can get a decent budget for it and that poster is right; this is a huge chance for Nintendo to justify their upcoming online service and frankly we as gamers deserve a decent, deep, multifaceted multiplayer FPS on Switch.

If you had your way Splatoon would probably be Mario Paintball like they were originally considering.
 

ckaneo

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It's kind of crazy how Metroid's return is so surprising to people. I was saying as far back as I remember skipping a single gen didn't make it dead, and Miyamoto literally said they were looking into both 2D and Prime style games.

I think development of MP4 is slightly more ahead than people realize
The internet is always such an echo chamber. I've been telling people we were getting prime 4 ever since federation force teased it. People just kept continuing the narrative that the series was dead for some reason. Memes and all.
 

reelbigtink

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From that document in the press kit it seems they're focusing on "action, isolation, and exploration" so I don't really care what the story is. Those three things are Metroid to me.
 

Randomizer

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Time manipulation mechanic could be used for some great puzzles. Something along the lines of Skyward Sword's time crystals and Sand Sea area.
 

TreIII

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Yep, and the whole "Samus is now an enemy of the Galactic Federation" is really nice. I wanna see this developing further.

Yep. Few things would immediately convey that sense of urgency and isolation than a Samus on the run from enemies on all sides, then dumped onto a world where she has to survive and figure out timey-women shit, too.

There's just so much they can do with that.
 
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I hope to god we get MPH's multiplayer in a mainline game this time. Seriously been one of my dream games for over a decade More fleshed out of course, it's been a decade, but while MPH sucked the multiplayer was awesome and I've always the introductions of new bounty hunters of the Metroid universe (including MP3 hunters)

PS Rundas was easily the coolest