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Trivia / Retro Studios

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  • Executive Meddling: After completing Metroid Prime 2, the studio wanted to experiment with other Nintendo franchises, including The Legend of Zelda. Metroid Prime 3 was made at Nintendo's insistence, as Iwata wanted a Metroid title at launch in order to showcase the Wii's capabilities.
  • What Could Have Been: Like any other studio, there are plenty of games and pitches that Retro Studio worked on that never saw the light of day. The ones we know of include:
    • Various games Retro was working in its infancy were NFL Retro Football (a football title that was originally pitched as a Mario sports game), Car Combat/Thunder Rally (a vehicular combat game), an action RPG called Raven Blade, and an action-adventure game called Metaforce (whose team became the core creatives behind Metroid Prime).
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    • For a time, Retro considered making a 2½D remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus as a small side project, according to one of the studio's artists. It's unknown how far these internal discussions went, but while such a game was eventually made, Retro Studios wouldn't be the ones to do it.
    • Shortly after completing work on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, one group at the studio pitched a new Kid Icarus game for the Wii. Nintendo rejected it due to the pitch being primarily narrative-based, as the company's overall design philosophy places gameplay first.
    • Early during the life of the Nintendo DS, the studio pitched a Final Fantasy Tactics-styled Zelda spinoff for the handheld called "Heroes of Hyrule" wherein a young boy discovers a magic book detailing the exploits of a trio of adventurers trying to rescue Link and help him defeat Ganon, not knowing that the book itself is the prison currently holding the villain. Nintendo rejected the idea on the spot with no explanation given, though the idea of Link having Rito, Zora, and Goron companions who battle alongside him would end up forming the basis of the Champions within Breath of the Wild's backstory.
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    • During the late 2000s, there was pre-production work done on a Zelda action game spin-off known internally as "Project X" starring Sheik during the series' "Downfall Timeline" after the events of Ocarina of Time. The project was quickly scrapped after a prototype was shown to Nintendo, with the gameplay (described as a "simplified version of whac-a-mole") deemed terribly uninteresting. Some of the story ideas, such as showing the origin of the Master Sword, would end up being recycled by the main Zelda team for other games such as Skyward Sword.