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Metroid Dark Echoes.
In what comes to gaming preferences I’ve always liked to play Metroid games, since the ones on Gameboy to the newest in Nintendo Wii… The only one I was never able to complete was Prime 2: Echoes and I really
don’t think I want to finish it. Maybe I don’t really want to play one Metroid game in my life anymore… nah… that might be too much. But, damn… I mean... what would you do after something like this happened to you?
It was finally weekend; I didn’t really have anything to do in all those 3 days and I didn’t feel like going out, so I asked myself “why not playing a videogame?” I went to the basement to search for my old GameCube console and a controller. I finally found it after a couple of minutes, I cleaned the dust and dirt that it had, checked if it could read the disk and incredibly it was able to. Right after that I went to search my Metroid Prime 2 Echoes game but I remembered I had left many games in my parents’ house.
I don’t know why, but I had maybe 10 games to play but I just wanted to play that and only that. So I decided to go to GameStop and see if there was an old or used copy of that game that I could buy for maybe less than 5 dollars. And I went there, unfortunately there weren’t any more copies of that game, finally I just decided to go back home. After arriving and getting out of the car my neighbor came to me and said that a person had came to my house to give me a package while I was out. He gave it to me and I thanked him. Both of us started going back to our houses when he turned back at me and said:
“I think you should be careful with that package, it felt strange when I was holding it…”
I didn’t really know what he was talking about, I just nodded my head and went back home. Two things were really weird for me. One was the fact that I had never received a package from anyone. I mean… I don’t think anybody sends packages anymore… do them? And the second, what my neighbor said somehow kept me thinking for a while. He is one of those persons that really believe in things like possessed objects, and really religious stuff. I’ve never been much of a believer in what comes to religion.
I said “Fuck it” and started opening the box and now we could add a third thing to the list of weird stuff in one day. There was a note in there saying:
“So you really want to play Echoes that much?”
Now It was really getting scary, but I thought this could be either a joke from some friends or maybe my dad sent it since he knows how much I used to play that game. Then I just relaxed, said “Fuck it” again and kept searching in the box until I finally found the disc just like that, lying in the bottom of the box with its case right next to it. There was also another note that said I could be excited about the ending and special features on this game. Now all I could think about it was a scary image popping all of the sudden, making weird noises after I start the disc on the console.
So I finally put the disc and it started working, a really big feeling of happiness went through my body.The title screen finally appeared but it was not the same one as before and there was no music. I thought it could be because the game was scratched or to those “special features”. I didn’t really give it much importance and I started playing. I watched the cut scenes, went through the tutorial and finally got into the room where you meet Dark Samus for the first time. Samus went into a portal that leads her into a dark world. In that moment some dark creatures jumped over her and started eating and destroying her leaving a pool of blood in the ground. I was able to hear a scream, Samus was screaming while the screen was getting dark until the screen popped up a message saying “Game Over” and two options, “Leave” and “Continue”. The cut scene was not supposed to be like that AT ALL!! I was speechless, still… I continued playing, and I still ask myself why? Why did I keep playing this game? I could have easily just turned off the game and break the disc, but I didn’t. Maybe it was my desire of completing the game at all cost or maybe I wanted to know what the hell was happening…
So I did, I pressed “Continue” and another message popped up saying: “How many times…” I didn’t get it, how many times what? Also I was pretty sure a message never popped in any of the Metroid games I’ve ever played. I settled down since I was a little scared and kept playing. This time I appeared in the same room as in the beginning of the cut scene but I didn’t have my abilities like it was supposed to happen. I didn’t give it too much importance and I continued playing. I kept playing all the day without stopping. As I kept going through the rooms I noticed that there were a lot of trooper bodies lying on the floor and walls, even there were some troopers like stone, standing up… still… in poses like they were asking for help, I thought it could be another one of those ‘features’ or a glitch. There were some blood splatters too, but nothing anyone who has played Gears of War or Mortal Kombat couldn’t handle. The game was running smoothly and nothing happened in all the time I was playing. After many travelling in Agon Wastes I got to the boss fight where I get the bombs back. It was really easy; I mean, it was just a big worm you had to shoot, the small time it took me to beat it made me think that the game was finally back to normal and I wouldn’t have any more troubles. I was wrong…
After beating the worm, it starts turning into a dark version of itself stronger and harder to beat. I kept shooting and avoiding its attacks, I only had to give one more shot to kill it but that worm just dug a hole and got into it. I’ve played this game a couple of times and I was sure that never happens. As soon as that happened a cut scene appeared where Samus was searching for that thing, aiming to the ground and looking all over the place. I blinked and the worm came out of the ground grabbing Samus by the helmet and shaking her. Now I was able to hear Samus scream a louder than the last time, until she finally stopped… the worm opened its fangs and let her fall into the ground while some blood was coming out of her helmet and the screen was turning black again. This time I was pissed. Same options appeared and I pressed continue again. The message appeared again “How many times will…” I yelled at the TV with all my strength:
“I don’t give a fuck, just let me finish this game already!!”
The game loaded and now I was standing right next to the Bomb power-up. I grabbed it without thinking twice and decided to complete this game with all my will. I wanted it to end so bad… so turning off the console was out of the question. The next thing I decided to do was to go and recover the space jump boots in the Dark World. I have to say; every time I had played this game the Dark World always looked creepy to me. But now with these glitches happening at random, just the idea of having to go there really was scaring me. So I did… I found the portal to go there, scanned the button or whatever is called and went inside the portal. I got to the other side but now there was something really different on the Dark World; It looked like it was melting or… I don’t know, the structure was filled with a dark stuff like when those dark monsters, The Ing, go to the ground and become like a moving dangerous liquid like goo.
After thinking for a while, a minute more or less, I decided to continue. Like always, as soon as I got out of those like shields Samus life started to suck away thanks to the atmosphere, but I could see it was a little faster. The travel to the arena for the Jump Guardian had to be faster and with a lot more of precaution. There were no problems in killing the Boss or in killing the enemies. I didn’t think twice and got really quick out of the Dark World and continued playing. I finally managed to go to the room where you fight Dark Samus for the first time. The thing is, when I got in there was no song, no sound from the structure, not even the sound when the door closed behind me. Got into the cut scene where you are about to fight her, but she didn’t attack me at first.
After the scene, there she was, in front of me without doing anything. I was the one that gave the first shot as a reflex; I mean she’s the bad guy… girl… boss… WHATEVER!! But it only took me one shot to beat her, making the screen flash white and the cut scene appeared where Dark Samus damages the structure of the room with a blast of energy, but when that blast occurred she yelled “WHYYYYYYY?!” making it echo all over my house, and finally disappearing.
Samus appeared again but before it turned again to first person she looked to the structure with a sad look on her eyes. That look had an effect on me, it made me feel her sadness, but why was she sad… and why was I sad? It was 3 am already and by that moment all I wanted was to have some sleep, and so I did.
I went to bed and tried to sleep, but that look, that sadness on her didn’t let me have a really good sleep. If I was able to fall asleep I would wake up after 15 minutes thinking on what would happen next in the game. It was not the best night I had, but it was enough to make me feel better and more calm after all that shit I went through. Now it was Saturday in the morning… probably 11 o’clock, I was feeling better. After a quick breakfast and checking my cell phone I turned on the GameCube and started playing Metroid again.
The game loaded quickly and the title screen came up, still with no song in it, all mute. I pressed start and went to load my progress. The problem was that instead of Samus being in the saving station in Agon Wastes after the fight with Dark Samus, my save file was in Sanctuary Fortress. I had the Dark Suit, grapple beam and some others of my upgrades. It took me a really long time to know what to do next but I had to go investigate the area where you fight with the Spider Ball boss, which gives you the ability to stick to some surfaces like… A SPIDER, of course, and go to areas you weren’t able to get before. Aside of that I continued going and got to a part where you have to use your Dark Visor and the Seeker Missile ability to open a door. That zone had 2 Ing Smashers; two big robots that are a pain in the butt and that always scared the crap out of me. Well… they still did scare me. They weren’t supposed to be active until I had beaten the spider boss, maybe they weren’t even supposed to activate no matter how far I was in the game. But they were… they were active.
With these guys you have to use both your dark beam and light beam depending on their shield but I didn’t realize that they were empty. I wasn’t planning on dying again and tried to use my dark visor, open the door and get out of there. But the things I had to shoot were not there. So there I was, fighting with only my normal beam. It took me a really long time just to kill one of them, maybe 40 minutes or more. I didn’t remember them so strong. But as soon as I killed one the other one wouldn’t let me shoot, all I could do is dodge and run away. That lasted for like 30 seconds until he hit me, I lost all the space to run and I could just see Samus’ life depleting. Finally he hit Samus with one arm and left her with just 1 health point. I was about to throw the control away because I thought I would have to retry everything again, but he stopped.
It was all frozen, I shot him but he wouldn’t move at all, then the door finally opened. I wasn’t able to reach it, until I realized I would have to use that giant robot to get up there. So I did it and managed to get to the door and reach the next section. That’s when my map got in the screen and changed the objective to another place outside the map and then it closed letting me play again. In that moment I thought I could quit, load again and see if this was just a glitch or part of the game. But I wasn’t able to put the settings/options menu again, it wouldn’t even show the scans, it just kept freezing for like 3 seconds and then continue the game. I continued playing. Every room that had enemies had them frozen. After a couple of rooms Samus put her cannon arm down, it didn’t affect my game-play at all, but looked kinda’ weird. I realized that many doors were sealed shut and just one of them was always open like it had been shot before. You sure know, you have to shoot a door to open it, right?
I had already crossed many rooms but there was a moment where I didn’t know where I was going. I was still in Sanctuary Fortress, but the rooms weren’t familiar at all, they did have the structure and technologic artifacts to look like Sanctuary Fortress. After crossing maybe 10 or 15 rooms Samus got her cannon back to the screen. In front of me there was a big wall of what seemed to be Galactic Federation Troopers. They were all stones. I knew that in order to go to the next room I would have to either touch them so they could banish or just shoot some seeker missiles so it could be faster. Well… want to know my decision? Yeah, the missiles one. Had to be one of the worst decisions I’ve made in my life. I shot the lower-center part of the body’s wall and everything exploded. Stone fragments, legs, arms, heads blowing all over the place. Even Samus made a motion where she covers her face with her hand like when she is getting damaged. But what made my decision so bad? After the room cleared up from all the smoke, and pieces were not raining all over the place anymore, a lot of screams were soundly echoing all over my house coming from the game.
I don’t know if those were pain screams but they were really loud, I tried covering my ears but I could still hear them. Screams… loud screams from man and women, probably the Troopers. Samus HUD was also like shaking and failing like there would have been a virus in there. With distortion and the danger meter was red. Not just a red, but it was a red that would make you feel in real danger. Ten seconds. The screams lasted for ten seconds; the longest ten seconds of my entire life. I pulled myself together, grabbed my controller and focused on the game, again. The door was visible with an arch of Troopers, still over it since I had shot just a part of the whole wall. I tried to get there the most carefully possible and avoid touching even the slightest part of one them. Almost there, when one of the Troopers fell from arch over Samus, it didn’t hurt her at all, she did the damage motion again but no health had been taken from that.
Unfortunately… another scream was coming out of the game. It wasn’t as loud as when I shot all the bodies but was enough to make me lose it. I was sick of this game, AGAIN. I was angry, AGAIN. The door was two steps ahead of me, but I didn’t care anymore. I turned back, went into morph-ball and deployed a Power Bomb. The bomb explosion was bigger than I thought but it didn’t matter anymore. It destroyed all the Troopers in the base making the rest of the arch come down to pieces. All the ground was filled with stone parts and the smoke wouldn’t let me see shit at all. After three seconds… all went to hell again, this time the screams were even louder. My ears were really close to start bleeding and my ears were filling with tears hoping this would just end. Another ten seconds of complete suffering… ten seconds of agony all over the house. I was sad, but not sad enough to stop playing. I turned back again, facing to the door. Over the door there was a message in green flashing letters: “You see all the pain you’ve caused? You’ve caused pain to these people, caused pain to the game, caused pain to yourself, but mostly… you’ve caused pain to me”. I didn’t get it. Were this screams from real people, was the game somehow alive and who was I exactly causing pain, who was this “me”?
I shot the door and this one opened really quickly. At the other side there was a portal to the Dark World; I guess that was where the marker wanted me to go. There was a hallway, a really thin hallway that would only fit one person to walk through it. The problem was that there was a line of stoned troopers between me and the portal. I knew where this was going… I tried to search for another ways to go to the portal. I scanned the walls, the ground, the bodies, shot the ground and the walls hoping some secret hole would appear. But nothing appeared… I really didn’t want to touch those statues/rocks/ troopers or however you want to call them. My head was hurting and I was really hungry… I wanted to go to sleep. I was about to turn off the console when I remembered that I wasn’t able to save before. So I would have to do all this shit again. I didn’t want that at all. I could lose the little sanity I had left if I had to repeat that again. I took a deep breath and shot the first trooper.
When he banished a timer appeared in the HUD, below my health. “10 seconds left… Go to the portal!” I didn’t think twice and just shot every trooper in front of me. Charged beams, missiles, super missiles, seeker… everything to get to the portal before that timer reached zero. I was running out of time and I still wasn’t half the way. I made Samus go into morph-ball and tried to use the boost ball ability, hoping that I would have already had that ability. Fortunately, I did have it. Samus broke the legs of the statues, going under them, quickly enough to reach the portal. 2 seconds left… 2 troopers more… I was so nervous that I moved a little my thumb, making Samus course change a little bit and slowing her down. By that moment I had a smile in my face because I knew I would make it, but that move in the left stick, changed my face. Now I knew I would go crazy. But I didn’t. Samus might have slowed down but she had enough speed to make it… I crossed the portal, with half a second left on the timer. The cut-scene appeared and now I was on the Dark World again. I was in front of a save station. That was a great relief for me. With a smile I walked to the save station, saved and the message of saved data appeared. After the game was completely saved and nothing new had happened after that, I turned off the console and went to the kitchen. I grabbed a cold pizza I had from last Thursday and ate it, just like that. One slice that felt like glory in my stomach. I went to bed… it was 3 am in the morning and I wasn’t going to let anything disturb my sleep. My bed was so comfy that I instantly fell asleep.
The room had no longer the save station, I was loaded right next to the portal, which was deactivated too. The room had a long corridor which was divided at the end by two alternative hallways. One had the Dark World structure and effects. It had that goo and some purple electricity would come out of the walls from time to time. This hallway would take me to a lower section of the map which wasn’t showing me any exact position, just a green arrow in surrounded by a black background. The second hallway would just go straight, to another portal. This portal had a different appearance from either the light or the dark one. It was… I really can’t tell; I just knew it was different. And still I went through the dark hallway. This would just get me lower and lower but after a couple of steps I was able to see the hallway was turning creepier. Walls were full of that goo, it was turning darker at each step, the electricity became more common and my danger meter was increasing. There was a moment when I felt I was really, really low in the map and now everything was completely dark. I was able to see red dots moving without an exact pattern. Those dots wouldn’t get close to me but I wouldn’t either, I just kept going the same straight direction. After a couple of seconds a message appeared saying “Turn on your scan visor to be able to see in the darkness.”
I activated the scan visor and I was surrounded by Dark Troopers. Those Troopers that looked like some sort of zombies, with their armor crawling with that dark purple thing, their helmet broken leaving just a red dot surrounded by a completely black. Every single one of them was the same; some could have their armor crawling with that dark stuff more than others, or have their helmet visor more broken. I had walked forward so much after turning my scan visor that I wasn’t able to see the way back anymore. Besides of that, I had a wall of those troopers, they wouldn’t let me go back. Scanning them was not a really good idea… after scanning them, just information about their deaths would show up. Deaths like bitten or stung to death, starved to death, friendly fire, insanity causing depression and suicide, darkness overdose, burned to death… I kept walking until I got blocked by those troopers. They made a circle around me, and they aimed their weapons towards me. They weren’t shooting, but it looked more like a warning of “Don’t try to leave or else…”After a couple of seconds a dark silhouette was coming out from a lagoon of what seemed to be acid. When it finally came out, it turned and started moving towards me. A message appeared “Use your Dark Visor to reveal things you were not able to see before.” That’s what I did, I turned the Scan Visor to my Dark Visor.
I saw a skull, a black skull right in front of me… It was Dark Samus with a skull as head/helmet. Some parts of her armor were broken, her hands were thin like bone but with a little bit of skin over them. She was floating right in front of me with that skull… and those red dots like eyes. The eyes were not like a normal eye filled with red or blood or anything like that, they were just red small dots… still, big enough to scare and make me nervous. She raised her hand slowly trying to reach the helmet. I wanted to shoot her to make her go away. But when I was about to do that, the troopers shot at me, those who were surrounding me shot me at the same time, leaving me with just 1% of my life bar. The suit started failing and I fell to the ground facing to the infinite darkness that seemed to be the roof since we were still underground. Dark Samus was just looking at me. She stopped floating and reached the ground. She knelt and started getting closer to me. I was barely able to move even a finger. She gave me her left hand like she had the intention of helping me.
In that moment another message appeared saying “You have two choices.” Then two arrows appeared, one pointing to my left hand and one pointing to my cannon. I made my last effort to point the cannon and shoot her. She was right in front of the cannon, pulling the trigger would make everything end. But I wasn’t able to. My arm exploded. The cannon was destroyed, blown to pieces, including my arm. My arm was bleeding and the pain was so intense I wanted to scream with all my heart… but I couldn’t. Dark Samus looked my arm and stared at it for a while then she looked back at me. Even though she didn’t have lips, she asked me “Why? Why can’t you understand?” From those red dots, from those creepy lights that were trying to take the place of an eye, a tear came out. A tear that fell over armor making it blow up completely and also… blowing me apart with it. Blowing and killing me… but also, making me wake up from a horrible nightmare. It was Sunday afternoon. And I was finally awake.
After a quick, nice and really elaborated breakfast (cereal with milk), I turned my GameCube on. The disc sent me directly to the same room in my dream. This time the portal wasn’t activated, the description said “This is not a dream, portal deactivated…” after I scanned it. I continued going down. It took me some time but I realized the game graphics were different. They looked more like newer games, the structure and everything had better designs, more details as if you could say, more realistic like… I don’t know, but I guess you understand. Everything was the same, the lights, the troopers, the scan visor message. Finally I reached Dark Samus, she was wounded and her armor was severely broken. She got closer but this time I didn’t try to shoot her. She raised her hand, a thin hand, shaking. It looked like she was making a big effort to keep it raised. I instantly looked to my left. Samus raised her hand and made contact with Dark Samus’. When that happened a light blinked, illuminating all the room.
When the light banished Dark Samus was floating in the sky, Samus had the light suit and a message appeared saying “100% Items collected”. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do, but I just continued and finally started battling Dark Samus. It took me a long time and I had low energy when I finally beat her. The final cut-scene ran smoothly with nothing new also the 100% ending scene. The credits came and finally the game sent me back to the title screen. I pressed start to get in the game again, but this one sent me directly to the single- player campaign again. The game sent me to the part when Samus is about to lose her powers, you can say the very beginning. Instead of Dark Samus going into the Dark Portal, she was just standing there watching me. I didn’t shoot, I walked towards her. The portal disappeared and Dark Samus got closer… a message appeared saying “You understand now…” The screen turned black and another message appeared, this one said: “You avoided a long and dark journey.” And finally ‘Game Over’ showed up in the screen.
I turned off the GameCube and realized that maybe Dark Samus was not the enemy in this game. I was so focused on trying to complete the game that I didn’t pay attention to the possibilities of something new. I wanted to kill everything I had in my way without hesitating that I might have made the game turn against me. I wasn’t going to search for a logical solution because most of the times there isn’t. And I completed the game, so maybe I don’t regret playing this. Still, I regret not thinking about recording what happened. It was 7 p.m. and I really wanted to get out of the house for a while. So I did and went for dinner with some friends, it was a really calm and relaxing night… even though it was Sunday and I would have to go to school tomorrow. When I came back I was planning on disconnecting my GameCube and put it in back in the basement. The weird thing was that the disc was not in the console, the disc case was not either, neither was the package that had this game in it. I searched all over the house with the thought that maybe someone had entered in my house. But nothing was missing besides of those things. I gave up searching and went to the kitchen for water when I saw a note in the back of my front door. “Check your memory card.” Now I was sure someone had been in my house. When I checked the Memory Card there was a file of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Save Data. Most of the times this just have a little description about the details of the progress or data. This one had “Game Complete 100%. You understood…”
Yeah… too much gaming for this weekend. A couple of days later I received another package from my dad, it was my Metroid Prime 2: Echoes disc and a note saying “Enjoy it, we love you. Mom and Dad :)” The smiley was totally unnecessary. I haven’t played the game; I might play it next weekend, some normality in this game could be good for my head.