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Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt is an official demo of Metroid Prime Hunters, the first Metroid game for the Nintendo DS. It was included in Nintendo DS packages at the time of release, but has long since been discontinued. The game includes three short single-player games, a trailer for the full game, and a small multiplayer section.
First Hunt came about when Reggie Fils-Aimé felt that development of the full game was not progressing quickly. He recommended that as an alternative, a demo be included in the first launch of Nintendo DS systems. This was unpopular with NST developers, who felt they would be giving away content for free, and making a demo would delay the launch of Hunters by at least six months. However, since Fils-Aimé had built trust with Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto, they agreed and First Hunt was born.
Hone your skills
as a bounty hunter.
The single-player game is a collection of Bounty Hunter training missions to test Samus's abilities. Points are gained based on performance in these trials, and by combo-ing enemies without missing a shot.
Type A: Regulator
"Destroy all of the hologram targets before time expires."
Regulator can be counted as the 'main' mode of this demo. In it, Samus must reach the end of a "holographic arena" consisting of twelve rooms before the 10 minute Countdown ends. Each room is teeming with harmful holograms based on enemies including Zoomers, Tallon Metroids and what appears to be an emaciated Metroid-like creature. She must destroy all the enemies in one room to unlock the doors and progress to the next. At the end of her path there is a room in which she has to face a green doppelgänger of herself to complete the mode.
Type B: Survivor
"Exterminate the Xenomorphs before they exterminate you."
The player must defeat as many enemies as possible before dying on the Assault Cradle level. The player faces an abundance of the three enemy types seen in the Regulator (Type A) trial. The music accompanying this trial is a remixed version of Vs. Meta Ridley. Samus can gain the Missile upgrade in this mode, as well as a temporary damage power-up in the highest room.
Type C: Morph Ball
"Test your Morph Ball abilities as you collect modules."
Morph Ball training requires the player to guide Samus through a series of modules to reach the end of the area in a time limit.
Be a hunter
or become the hunted...
The game also includes a wireless multiplayer mode for up to four players, each of which play as a Samus doppelgänger, but there are no in-game bots (which appear in the final game) to play against. Each player is assigned a distinct color palette so that they can be distinguished from the others. There are three levels available for multiplayer. They are Trooper Module, Assault Cradle, and Ancient Vestige.
This level appears to be an early form of the Data Shrine level in Metroid Prime Hunters. There are several key differences, however:
- In the middle of the level are three floating platforms, as opposed to the bridge seen in Metroid Prime Hunters.
- To either side of the platforms is a Morph Ball Cannon, similar to the Morph Ball sized tunnels in Data Shrine. These cannons launch players to the centre of the map.
- The ring going around the outside of the level is accessed at the corners of the main room, not the sides.
- This level also features the Electro Lob gun.
This levels appears to be a very early form of the Harvester level in Metroid Prime Hunters. There a lot of differences between the two, but the fundamental level design remains the same:
- Like Harvester, Assault Cradle has a large tower in the middle flanked by a pair of external platforms.
- In Assault Cradle the middle room appears to be a lot wider, and a little narrower. It is also open at the sides.
- There are a pair of Morph Ball Cannons on the external platforms, as well as a pair of jump pads towards the outer edges. These can be used to access the top of the tower.
- Unlike Harvester, the top of the tower is a fairly small room, but has a pair of exits on either side which lead to a pair of smaller external platforms. These can then be used to drop down into the lower middle room.
- This is the level that the Survival mode takes place in, although the Morph Ball Cannons cannot be accessed.
This level appears to be an early form of the Combat Hall level in Metroid Prime Hunters. There are very few differences, as this level remained largely unchanged:
- Both ends of the hall have jump pads, allowing easier access to the upper levels.
- The bridge in the middle contains a missile pickup, and it is very easy to obtain Super Missiles on this level.
- The shielded corridor at the side of the level has a damage amplifier in it.
If a high score is obtained in any of the trials, a secret trailer for the full game can be viewed.
- In the final version of the game, Metroid Prime: Hunters, neither the Tallon Metroid nor the Mochtroid-like creature make an appearance at all, making it the first Metroid title to not feature the series' namesake in any shape or form. Quadtroids and Petrasyls however appear in Hunters and share some characteristics with Metroids.
- Although the Tallon Metroid hologram is not named as such in First Hunt, it has an oval-shaped membrane and is vulnerable to Samus' standard weapons. Both of these characteristics are present in actual Tallon Metroids seen elsewhere in the series.
- In Survival mode, the word "Xenomorphs" is used to describe the Mochtroid-like hologram creatures. This is possibly one of Metroid's many references to the 1979 film, Alien, which also uses the term to describe its titular creature.
- Two unused models were present in the game's data: a test room with a grid texture (testLevel_Model.bin), and an unidentified object resembling a space station (mp5_model.bin).
- The demo makes a cameo appearance in the first season's fifteenth episode of House, titled "Mob Rules", where House produces his Nintendo DS and holds it up to a comatose patient's ear. Notably, the sound effects are different, possibly due to copyright issues.
- Rick Bauer, a quality assurance tester for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes at Nintendo of America, also tested First Hunt. Rocky Newton created the game's Title Screen and menus.
- ^ Interview: Lawrence Schwedler. Shinesparkers. Dec. 24, 2021. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
- ^ Brian. Reggie on his push for Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, was controversial since “our developers hated to give away content for free”. Nintendo Everything. May 3, 2022. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
- ^ Proto:Metroid Prime Hunters. The Cutting Room Floor Wiki. Retrieved on 2012-01-05. “The demo version of Metroid Prime Hunters, with the subtitle First Hunt, was released by Nintendo in 2004 a pack-in bonus with the original Nintendo DS.”
- ^ http://metroid-database.com/index.php?g=features&p=beyondzebes
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_8M2vnFtik