- Metroid Prime has been a popular game since it was released in the 2000s.
- This speedrun showcases various glitches and exploits, including wallcrawling and movement speed tricks.
- A Canadian gamer achieved a sub-40-minute record for the Frigate Escape, a significant milestone in Metroid Prime speedrunning history.
Metroid had captivated audiences for many years before the first 3D game in the series was released. But when Metroid Prime hit the shelves in the early 2000s, it quickly became both acclaimed by critics and one of the most exciting entries. The impact of the game wouldn’t only be felt by long-running Metroid fans but by the gaming industry as a whole. Samus’ journey into the 3D world helped to revolutionize the first-person shooter genre and popularize the GameCube console. But in the world of Metroid Prime speedruns, her adventure looks a little different from normal. Come with us as we get into one of the most amazing speedruns of the title, and find out what makes it so incredible.
While a typical playthrough encourages steady-paced exploration, a speedrun relies on exploits, special methods, and sequence skips for blasting through the world of Tallon IV at lightning speeds. Part of the fun of the game is that a lot of the design is non-linear. It lends itself quite well to finding alternative routes.
What Makes Speedruns So Impressive?
Speedruns can look rather effortless from the outside. But anyone familiar with them knows the real story couldn’t be more different. We could almost consider the way speedrunners operate their controllers as an art form. Before we even get into the way they perfectly exploit glitches, there’s an insane amount of time dedicated to understanding the game mechanics and flawlessly executing every movement. This is probably even more difficult with an adventure platformer like Metroid Prime. Some of these obstacles can be tricky to navigate, even at a casual pace.
Aside from the outstanding level of skill involved and immense personal accomplishment, speedruns have a lot to offer their audience as well. Most are fellow speedrunners and gamers, but lots of people enjoy relaxing with their favorite streamers and cheering them on as they go. Since the advent of streaming platforms, particularly Twitch, speedruns have broken into the mainstream as a community-driven way of enjoying classic and modern video games.
Background of the Speedrun
This particular speedrun is thanks to T3, or TRR, a Canadian gamer who loves to speedrun and discover glitches, mostly in Metroid Prime and Pikmin. T3 has almost 20 years of experience speedrunning Metroid Prime, which is insane. While T3 has records for various kinds of speedruns, this one is an any% single-segment run on normal mode. This means the rules involve completing the game with any amount of completion, on the normal difficulty, and without taking any breaks. Generally, these are a little easier than 100% or low% completion runs, since it can be extremely hard to complete every aspect of a game at a competitive pace or finish it with no extra upgrades or boosted stats. If you’d like to see more of T3’s videos, you can go to his YouTube profile.
- Experience Samus' first 3D adventure with updated visuals
- Can be played portably and on TV
- New and improved immersive mechanics
- Optimized controls designed with the Switch in mind
Metroid Prime Speedrun by T3: Highlights
It’s time to jump into the best bits of this run:
- Beats the previous record by 4 minutes, which took almost 2 years to beat
- Broke the Frigate Escape record
- Perfect use of glitches, e.g. Infinite speed glitch at 32:12
All in all, you can’t fault much in this run. There are many glitches at play here. From the Infinite speed glitch and side dash to the L-jump and bunny hop, there’s a lot going on. Most of these tricks are centered around increasing Samus’ movement speed past its normal limits as well as helping you traverse gaps you normally can’t. In addition, being able to move outside of the ordinary bounds of a room is pivotal in a fast speedrun. This is known as wallcrawling, and many examples can be seen in this run. Pretty much throughout the entire run, T3 pulls off these exploits excellently without any major mistakes.
One of the most notable moments is the Frigate Escape, where T3 obtained the fastest time on record. For a long time, runners never thought they’d break the 1-hour mark, let alone the 50-minute mark. So, getting a sub-40-minute record is fantastic.
History of Metroid Prime Speedruns
Speedrunning was well established by the time Metroid Prime hit the shelves, so runners got to work almost immediately. Metroid is an extremely popular series to speedrun, particularly Super Metroid for the SNES. A whole new adventure, and a 3D one at that, brought a lot of excitement to the scene. This was especially because it had been nearly a decade since a Metroid release. The early Prime speedrunner, SolrFlare, actually coined the term “sequence break”, meaning skipping intended sections or item collections. This would go on to be a widely used term in the entire community.
In 2003, a lot of tactics and glitches were uncovered. These include obtaining the ice beam before fighting Thardus, obtaining the plasma beam before the grapple beam, and even skipping the grapple beam entirely. May 2003 brought a long-reigning champion, Kyuenjin, to the forefront, who would go unchallenged for a long while. The scene would get shaken up in 2011, when Claris would beat out all other competitors. She would remain the top dog in many categories for a good few years until T3 would claim this spot. All the world records have been amazing feats by themselves. But T3’s takes a special mention for not really utilizing any new tactics or glitches. Instead, he heavily focuses on simply optimizing the routes already established.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Tinxi/Shutterstock.com.