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Metroid Dread is the former[1] title of an action-adventure game believed to be developed by Intelligent Systems. A 2-D sequel to Metroid Fusion for the Nintendo DS, the game is considered cancelled or stuck in development hell, with no official word from Nintendo on the future of the project.


Early 2000's

Metroid Dread was first announced in the June 2005 issue of Game Informer, and further details emerged on the magazine's online forums. According to the forum moderators, the game was a 2D side-scroller being developed for the Nintendo DS, with its plot following the events of Metroid Fusion.[2][3]

On September 19, 2005, IGN reported that Metroid Dread was being developed but would not be formally announced for some time.[4] Nintendo had neither confirmed nor denied its existence.[4] On February 17, 2006, Official Nintendo Magazine listed Metroid Dread as having a possible release date in November 2006. However, on March 16, 2006, in the second issue of the magazine, the game was marked with a vague 2006 release date.

On October 7, 2005, the Nintendo-Next website reported that the game was cancelled without giving a source. However, on March 23, 2006, the website N-Sider reported that IGN editor Craig Harris was asked about Metroid Dread, who stated that it was too early to show Dread at E3 2005, but that it could be shown later that year. [5]

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption reference

On August 27, 2007, IGN discovered a scannable Space Pirate log from a terminal in the Metroid Processing room, on the Pirate Homeworld. The message stated:

Experiment status report update: Metroid project "Dread" is nearing the final stages of completion.

The adjacent terminal states that the project had failed:

"Experiment results unsuccessful. All attempts at using Metroids as a weapon power source have failed."

Fans were led to believe that these messages were a reference to Metroid Dread and indicated the game had been cancelled,[6] but on September 6, 2007, Nintendo denied the existence of Dread and said "Nintendo is not making the 2D Metroid at this point in time".[7][8] While Retro Studios developers stated that the reference was a coincidence, Mike Wikan later admitted that it was a joke.[9]

The Metroid Dread reference was removed in the Japanese version of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption only.[10] It now reads:

"Space Pirates data decrypted: Ordnance research and development progress report. The development of Dread-Class Turret is going well."


Yoshio Sakamoto revealed that the game did exist at one point and stated that if he were to return to it, he would prefer to "reset the situation at once and start from scratch."[11][12] [13]

On the May 3, 2010, 75th episode of IGN's Nintendo Voice Chat Podcast, editor Craig Harris confirmed that the story for Dread was fully written and he had seen it at one point in time, claiming "[Nintendo] has it and can bring it back at any time."[14]

In July 2015, a Nintendo Software Technology insider revealed that a working prototype of Dread had been created around 2008, and was shown in secrecy to Nintendo of America staff around E3 2009. By this point, the game no longer bore the "Dread" title and had a graphical style very similar to Fusion. [15] The source stated that NST had been considered as a priority studio in the development of Dread, but were dropped by Nintendo after the failure of their game Project H.A.M.M.E.R.[16]

On a followup podcast, Liam Robertson, the video game researcher who broke the NST story, revealed some more details. The prototype had a Map on the bottom screen of the DS, with the gameplay being on the top screen. He also revealed that Craig Harris could not recall the synopsis he had seen of the game, which he had seen in materials selectively distributed to the press circa 2005. Robertson speculated that Dread was dead by 2010, and developed by the same team behind Fusion.[17]

When asked by IGN whether Metroid: Samus Returns, the forthcoming remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus for Nintendo 3DS was linked to Dread, Sakamoto quickly shot down any connection, saying "I think it’s better to say that this is a remake, remastering of Metroid II, a powered-up version of that, and not something to do with the other project."[18] He did, however, indirectly confirm the earlier statement by the anonymous NST developer, about Dread having a dual screen setup with the Map and UI on the bottom screen, and gameplay on the top screen.[19] In a 2018 interview with Hobby Consolas, Sakamoto stated that the DS did not have the technical specifications to make the new Metroid game he had in mind.[20]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ask GI: Metroid Dread?. Game Informer forums. Retrieved on 2005-08-21.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b Craig Harris (journalist) (2005-09-19). Nintendo DS Mailbag. IGN. Retrieved on 2005-09-19.
  5. ^ Bayer, Glen (2006-03-23). GDC: Spore on Nintendo DS, New Super Mario Bros. videos, more. N-Sider.
  6. ^ Matt Casamassina (2007-08-27). Metroid Dread Nearing Completion. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-08-27.
  7. ^ Mike Jackson (2007-09-06). Nintendo denies Metroid Dread. Computer and Video Games Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-09-06.
  8. ^ Stephen Totilo (2007-09-26). Retro Studios Answers The Dreaded "Metroid Dread" Question — And Other "Prime" Exclusives. MTV Multiplayer. Retrieved on 2008-02-17.
  9. ^ Monnens, Devin "CapCom" (2012, June 21). "Where is Metroid Dread?" [Msg 12] Message posted to
  10. ^ proof, Fool (2008-03-13). Metroid Dread reference removed from Japanese version of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. GoNintendo.
  11. ^ Totilo, Stephen (2009-06-03). Nintendo: New Metroid Is NOT Metroid Dread. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2009-06-03.
  12. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2009-06-04). E3 2009: Metroid: Other M Heavy on Action and Story. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-06-05.
  13. ^ Yoshio Sakamoto discusses Metroid 64, Metroid Dread and the 3DS. GamesTM (2010-09-14). Retrieved on 2011-03-18.
  14. ^ Harris, Craig (2010-05-03). Nintendo Voice Chat Podcast Episode 75 - Wii Feature at IGN. IGN. Retrieved on 2010-05-03.
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  19. ^ Sakamoto: One of the themes we chose to stick with this time [with Metroid: Samus Returns] was utilizing both 3D visuals and a dual screen setup. In fact, I’d been interested in creating a Metroid title that allowed you display the map constantly on a second screen and interact with the elements of the UI by touching them since the time of the original DS.
  20. ^

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