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Top-Down Metroid quest.

Overhead view Metroid

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#1 Reflectionist



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Posted 27 December 2017 - 11:27 PM

Hey, everyone!

I've been on a bit of a Metroid kick lately (the game design has me hooked in like the Matrix), just recently beating Super for the first time and playing the GBA ones (I've had the Prime Trilogy for years on the Wii).

And I'm wondering... since Prime kind of proved it works as a FPS, would it also work as a top-down adventure?

I mean, sure, Zelda qualifies as a Metroidvania, but I mean, shooting the doors, rolling up into a ball, speed boosting through things, and hopping around the place kind of Metroid game.

At face value, some of it could work (because it works in Zelda).

Set Sword Beams to always, remove the stab sprites, etc. The Roc's Feather looks cool for a jumping mechanic, but I'm a bit stumped for what it can do besides hop over little rivers that become obsolete.

But how much of Metroid do you guys think would work as an overhead view game?

I didn't know how much of it would be plausible, but I've been working on remapping Super Metroid as if it were an overhead game, and the only huge design issues I can see so far is how the game locks Samus into Norfair before the Kraid fight (Ice Beam the flying? enemies), and some of the morph ball stuff. Bombs are bombs, so... yeah.

Anyway, I'm just tossing the idea around. Do you guys have any thoughts about this?

Edit -- I get that you can make a side scrolling game kinda like this with ZC, I was just curious about the translation to top-down.

Things from Prime and Super can be relevant. Like, reading a computer for information (it won't be logged, but its still cool.)

Edited by Reflectionist, 27 December 2017 - 11:31 PM.

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#2 Dimentio


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Posted 28 December 2017 - 12:56 AM

Quests like Hitodama and Yuurei prove the concept can work. The problem really just comes down to how well it's designed.

#3 Shoshon the Elegant

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 01:36 AM

Something to keep in mind when converting a sidescroller or 3D game to top down is that you are really just changing the point of view. Instead of emphasizing verticality, you start focusing on the horizontal plane. If you put together a grid, Metroid works by finding the y axis and viewing it from the side. Zelda works from the X axis, and views it from above.

Think of how your environment woupd or may look from above. You are looking down from the ceiling, instead of in from a wall.

Regardless, to go full Metroid, you'll probably need quite a few scripts.

First off... I wouldn't use a swords. Change your bow to Samus' gun and just have the arrows be the projectiles. You want to be able to switch freely between your projectiles as well.

I haven't played a Metroid game, but I know the idea behind the Morphing Ball is that it makes Samus smaller to squeeze through tighter spaces. I would make it a ring item probably. Then use a LTM to switch to a set of character sprites where Samus is a ball. However, you would need a script to make Samus' hitbox smaller, assuming that is possible. You would also want more scripting to restrict Samus' items in her Morphing Ball form. Ideally, you would make her be able to move across half tile surfaces.

There also comes more complications I'm sure. Like complications that may arise from altering her hitbox.

I'm not a scripter or Metroid player, so I wouldn't be sure how to do these things. But they are ideas.

#4 Reflectionist



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Posted 28 December 2017 - 01:34 PM

The idea with the sword beams was that I could almost have a Prime-style switching between beams instead of stacking. Then the Wooden Arrows and Silver Arrows become Missiles and Super Missiles.

And sure, Metroid has more of a focus on verticality, but you can work that in with an overhead, right? Remember the Ice Palace in LttP?

I might have to play some Hitodama or Yuurei.
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#5 Lightwulf



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Posted 29 December 2017 - 11:12 AM

I know someone was working on this already. A while back, I remember playing such a quest, though I don't clearly remember what title or by whom it was made. The morph ball was used to access special small gap combos; I think it might've been implemented using the raft item.

#6 ZoriaRPG


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Posted 01 January 2018 - 07:17 AM

I have seen two attempts to do this, and both of them suffer from using internal ZC mechanics.

You do want to script this type of game. All of your weapons, at the least, and some npc behaviour, if you are using 2.50.x.

Hardcoded internal ZC mechanics always come off as lack of ambition/polish, when applied to this type of game, and the types of scripts that it requires are quite minor.

If you must do it without scripts, it would be an excellent candidate for 2.54, as you have far better control over weapons, and npcs. There is a generic projectile weapon now, for which you can set a type, and the future expansion of this (already coded, for the most part) permits creating highly specialised weapons.

For the present, you will want scripted triggers for doors, and for the items that can open them.

I'm not sure how the morph ball would translate to a 3/4 view. A script that allows the player to move along paths that are solid to an un-morphed player, might work.

Likewise, the Varia suit could negate heat-damage combos and reduce enemy damage with a minor script.
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#7 Reflectionist



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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:32 AM

Okay, so I'll just see what I can come up with on paper.

Like I said, I've already started kind of gridding off the map from Super Metroid as an implied 3D space, so I could probably think of an analogue to almost every puzzle in the game; for every room in the game.

Then to try and engineer it on that level. I'm horrible with scriptwork, but good at the concepting.

What about the Jump? Samus almost has as much of an attachment to jumping as Mario does, but not Link. The only thought I had involved using an item like the rocs feather to facilitate jumping "up" a Z3Cliff script. But thats a ways off.

I suppose Metroid's dependence on "rooms" might help with some limited Z3esque scrolling.

Thats a good call with the morph ball. What about something almost like how the Minish Cap works? There's less separation between the two modes of play, and the puzzles are more invisible.

Zoria, when you say 'solid', you mean like, walking over a grate, finding the 'hole' and then being a ball under the grate? That works too, and its a great idea for the mechanic, its just that I want to avoid the player looking for "docks", but looking for a space the ball fits.
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#8 Reflectionist



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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:21 PM

Okay...I'm up. I slept great. Hey, Zoria, how far away is 2.54? Just so I have a ballpark timeframe to have the concepting complete? I'll upload the griddy map I'm working on.

Crateria is mostly mapped out, but the rest looks like a 6-layer cake of BS 8x8 maps. I don't plan on using *every* available screen, but I wanted to emphasize the verticality with the same trick that gets Link to the fairy fountain in the Tower of Hera in LttP. That takes care of Z-axis down, but its also not sufficient for some of the puzzles.

So if I need to trap the player in Upper Norfair until they get the Ice Beam, how could I do that in top-down? Acid/lava floes that you have to freeze to make platforms on so you can kinda wiggle your way back "upstream".

But then the problem is that theres a way in, and you have to find a new way out.
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#9 kurt91


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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:42 PM

The easiest way that I can imagine doing something like that without scripting is having to push a block sideways to reach a staircase. Something like...


[X] = Solid Combo

[1] = Pushable Block

[=] = Staircase


Place something like this at the entrance, mixed in with what looks like ruins or something so it doesn't look quite so obvious. As long as the player requires the Ice Beam to reach this screen, you've got it.


If you're allowing scripting, just set up cliffs that the player jumps off of Link's Awakening style throughout the game so that it seems like a natural method of progression, and leave out a way to climb back up until the player has what they need for the return trip.

Edited by kurt91, 08 January 2018 - 10:45 PM.

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