How Metroid Forces Players to Remember the Whole World

Whenever a Metroid player aquires a new power-up, her mind races back in time in a way not unlike what happens at a turning point in a movie. When a secret is revealed we are forced back through the story to mentally review everything we've seen so far, sometimes changing the interpretation of entire scenes.


Since the player never completely leaves an area behind and forgets about it, the game world constantly expands in the mind of the player. By never completely exhausting an area before moving on to the next, Metroidvanias promise us that if we remember and acquaint ourselves with the game world, it will not go unrewarded. The ever-accessible map is a huge help in keeping track of it all, but players will not be interested in looking at the map at every turn. Instead, they start to create a mental map of Zebes.

Because of this, the experience of most Metroidvania titles takes place on two levels simultaneously. On one level, you are traversing a dangerous corridor, avoiding lava puddles, solving riddles and shooting alien creatures. But at the same time, your mind is in macro mode. It sees you moving through the map, and is plotting your long-term course. This type of simultaneous navigation challenge ensures interest even when one level fails to enchant us.


Folksonomies: game development game design

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Imagination (0.905929): dbpedia | freebase
Mind (0.804464): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
First-person shooter (0.776396): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Cognitive science (0.763658): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Psychology (0.763510): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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MIND (0.712000): geo | yago

 The Invisible Hand of Super Metroid
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Bille, Hugo (01/14/12), The Invisible Hand of Super Metroid, Retrieved on 2015-05-23
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  • Folksonomies: game development game developer game programming game programmer videogame