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Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-over
Posted By: General-RADIXDate: 10/1/15 2:24 p.m.

In the absence of purely-Marathon-related things to discuss (and in order to log back in after upgrading from Vista to 7), I thought I'd talk about this crossover idea I've had floating around. I dunno how many folks here are familiar with Metroid, so, uh, hopefully this will still be an interesting read.

It started all the way back in high school (around 2008-09, specifically), when I entertained the idea of Durandal acting as Samus Aran's shipboard AI. The only actual evidence of this was a note written next to a different AI stating that he was Durandal's replacement; rediscovering that amongst my old doodles got me thinking about the concept again.

For now, let's put aside the timeline conflicts. Note that this post partially relies on the idea that 1) the Security Officer is Vincent Callahan, data thief and sack-hog, and 2) Durandal has access to an android vessel, though he'd probably spend most of his time in either his own network or Samus's.

For me, at least, a good deal of amusement comes from the fact that Samus Aran and Durandal would actually be a terrible match. Samus (when not working with the Galactic Federation, at least) accomplishes her goals as she sees fit, using her own exploration and deductive reasoning skills; Durandal, meanwhile, tends to have a very specific way he wants things done. Vincent doesn't mind following his orders as closely as circumstances will allow, but Samus would take about five minutes of railroading (and rambling, if there's a long enough lull) before she mutes her would-be "navigator" and goes on; bounty hunters don't have time nor tolerance for things like that.

Once the shock wears off, Durandal tries to send Vincent to go look for ancient tech instead, but they quickly hit a snag in the form of tunnels that are too narrow for Vince to crawl through--only Samus's Morph Ball can fit. Plus, there are bound to be areas that aren't safe for Vince to even go near (but Samus's Varia Suit upgrade can handle just fine). Vince talks Samus into un-muting her comm link so that she and Durandal can work out a compromise: she'll hunt around for ancient tech at her own pace, with Durandal's input limited to providing her with info on her surroundings that she'd otherwise not have. Durandal's not happy with this arrangement, but it's workable.

If even that didn't move things along fast enough for Durandal, though, he might upload himself into his vessel and go with Vincent to cover as much ground as the terrain allows--at which point he'll be aware of just how much bigger Samus is than him. Android!Durandal is 5'3", Vince is around 5'5", and Samus can't be shorter than 5'9". If he gave her any lip while physical--instant rear-hold choke.

Speaking of tech, it's likely that Durandal would take a vested interest in Samus's Chozo suit--namely, making a version of it for Vince (he's not foolish enough to try and just directly swipe the original). Samus notices but might not be too concerned as there's no way for Durandal to construct an actual Chozo suit--the original blueprints are long gone, for one.

Basically, Samus and Durandal's working relationship would be rather strained. Vincent is much easier to get along with--at least, he would be until Samus learns, somehow, that he's a cyber-kleptomaniac and skilled hacker. Just like that, he's barred from her ship. Not that Vincent would try to peek through Samus's logs unless her actions were incredibly shady (which they probably wouldn't be).

--

Gameplay-wise, I don't think it'd be too different from the 2D Metroid games--just even larger, to comfortably fit in all the terminals (of which you would need many, as per Marathon standards). I slapped together a mockup of how they might in appear in-game: http://bit.ly/1iPuRgg

Most of them would be for Durandal's use, so that he could directly show Samus points of interest and warp her around if needed. Some may be written by the Space Pirates (the primary antagonists of Metroid), including a few by everyone's favourite razor-tailed dragon, Ridley (Samus's arch-nemesis). Perhaps there's even an ancient AI (of Jjaro origin?) that the Space Pirates are attempting to analyze, and upon whom Samus stumbles with no initial context.

If Vincent were playable, his weapon setup might have to work more like in Tomb Raider: a default pistol that's not terribly powerful but has infinite ammo (though you have the option to punch your enemies into paste), with other limited-ammo guns being more powerful and usually having faster rates of fire.

Android!Durandal is stuck with a single fusion pistol that, while infinite, he can't fire very quickly. Maybe if he found a sword...

Any power-ups you come across that can't be used by your chosen character will be automatically transferred to the one who can, to reduce backtracking headaches.

Samus isn't prone to the sorts of dreams that Vince has, but nevertheless, dream levels could prove interesting to work in. Due to the nature of Metroid, these'd probably be mini-maps separated from the normal ones, accessed via odd terminals bearing Thoth's insignia (perhaps foreshadowing his appearance in the plot if he's not the Jjaro AI the Pirates are harassing). Few/no enemies, but fiendish layouts that require lots of lateral thinking and dexterity to traverse. The events described in the terminals therein may contain both literal accounts of events in Samus's life and allegorical examinations of her psyche, and which is which can be difficult to determine. Careful exploration can yield decent upgrades. Sometimes, you don't realize you've entered one until you read the terminals or check the map.

No vacuum levels, since Metroid doesn't have those and vacuum is my bane. Save stations serve the dual purpose of saving and healing, so there'd be no need for pattern buffers or rechargers (unlike in Marathon, slain enemies in Metroid can drop health power-ups, so mid-map rechargers would still be redundant).

--

Anything else to discuss/add? Even if nothing comes of the above, I do enjoy universe-melding.

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Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-overGeneral-RADIX 10/1/15 2:24 p.m.
     Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveHokuto 10/1/15 3:30 p.m.
     Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveVikingBoyBilly 10/2/15 1:11 a.m.
           Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveGeneral-RADIX 10/2/15 1:28 a.m.
                 Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveVikingBoyBilly 10/2/15 3:09 a.m.
                       Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveForrest of B.org 10/2/15 8:41 a.m.
                             Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveVikingBoyBilly 10/2/15 1:52 p.m.
                                   Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveGeneral-RADIX 10/2/15 5:55 p.m.
     Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-ovescratskinner 10/2/15 5:39 p.m.
     Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveLion O Cyborg 10/3/15 5:01 a.m.
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                 Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveLion O Cyborg 10/4/15 10:18 a.m.
     Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveLion O Cyborg 10/3/15 5:10 a.m.
           Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveLion O Cyborg 10/3/15 5:12 a.m.
           Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveGeneral-RADIX 10/3/15 12:58 p.m.
                 Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveBob-B-Q 10/4/15 9:29 a.m.
                       Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveGeneral-RADIX 10/4/15 12:23 p.m.
                             Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveLion O Cyborg 10/5/15 7:17 a.m.
                                   Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveGeneral-RADIX 10/14/15 10:31 a.m.
                                         Re: Imagine, if you will, a Marathon/Metroid x-oveLion O Cyborg 10/14/15 12:17 p.m.

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