THE METROID MAKER No other designer has worked on more Metroid games than Yoshio Sakamoto. As one of Nint-en do’s longest-tenured designers, Sakamoto helped create classic NES titles like Donkey Kong Jr., Bal loon Fight, and Kid Icarus. But when his boss ﬁrst approached him to help ﬁnish Metroid, Sakamoto was wary. “My boss told me that the Metroid team was having a very hard time, and as someone who had experience on building video game projects could I go and somehow help this game prog-ress to release?” Sakamoto says. “In short, I was forcefully asked to participate. By his tone, I re-ally smelled danger. And as I joined the project and looked around, I realized that the release date was right around the corner but the project had nothing there. Even with our limited resources and time, I ﬁgured out how we could leverage the ex-isting components of the game to create variation and an exciting experience.” Sakamoto’s work on Metroid has become leg-endary. Nintendo was so impressed with his de-signs that he was eventually given the reigns for Super Metroid, where he perfected the ideas he had worked on during the original NES title. Over the years, Sakamoto has had his hands on nearly every Metroid game, from Retro Studios’ Prime trilogy to the GBA remake of the original game, Me troid: Zero Mission. However, there is one Me-troid game that Sakamoto never touched, Metroid II: Return of Samus. “I have been wanting to make a 2D Metroid game for four or ﬁve years,” Sakamoto says. “Compared to the rest of the Metroid franchise, Metroid II has a unique game design and its characteristics re-ally stand out. I didn’t make the original, but I have feature huge respect for the original game. It tells the story of an important event in the Metroid series, which is Samus meeting the big Metroid, so I wanted play-ers to have the opportunity to experience this very important event in the franchise.” With all of Nintendo’s internal studios busy with other projects, Sakamoto needed to ﬁnd a development team that could tackle his dream project. Fortunately, one studio had been pound-ing on Nintendo’s door with a Metroid pitch. After ﬁnishing work on a few Castlevania projects for Konami, the Madrid-based developer Mercury-Steam pitched Nintendo on the idea of remaking Metroid Fusion – the 2002 GBA title where Samus got infected with a parasitic organism. Sakamoto was impressed with the studio pitch and their love for Metroid. He told them no, they couldn’t remake Metroid Fusion…but he did need their help on another remake.