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Random: Metroid Prime Devs Kept A GameCube In The Freezer To Run Patch Code

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Metroid Prime
Image: Nintendo

We are rapidly approaching the 20th anniversary of the GameCube classic Metroid Prime on the 18th November (the same date as the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet and the anniversary of the Wii U – Nintendo really knows how to plan its dates) and the development team has some stories to tell.

If you have been brave enough to grace Twitter with your presence over the past few days, you might have seen ex-Retro Studios developer Zoid Kirsch (@zoidctf) sharing a number of anecdotes about his time on the game detailing anything from how the game’s static came to be, to why there are elevators between worlds. Now, Kirsch has encouraged some of his other team members to get involved and this one from Jack Matthews (@jack_mathews) might just take the biscuit as the weirdest story we have read so far.

Apparently, the original game had a ‘bad batch’ on release, where some copies would see objects doing all kinds of crazy things that they shouldn’t be doing. Nintendo only had one dev kit with this CPU, and the team needed to use it to work out how to fix the problem (slowing the code down enough, but not too much). On top of this, the kit needed to be really cold in order for the team to see what they were doing.

We’ll let Matthews take it from here.

Yep, that’s right. In order to fix a bug on what many believe to be one of the greatest games ever made, the development team had to literally put their dev kit in the freezer to see the problem! Ah, the joys of game development.

Of course, this chilly solution did enable the team to fix the problem and all players who had the issue would get a new disk sent out to them – patching old school-style – but it is a pretty cool story all the same. The rest of Matthews’ thread goes into detail on the nitty gritty of why the glitch was there in the first place and we definitely recommend reading it through to see just how far game creation has come in the last 20 years.

Now, time to defrost the GameCube and get playing before the anniversary.

What are your memories of Metroid Prime? Aim for the comments and give your thoughts a shot!

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