Metroid, a series set in the far future across various planets and galaxies on paper at least has little in common with the prehistoric vistas featured in the Turok franchise. On closer inspection however, the two are more alike than they appear, especially if you’re looking exclusively at the Metroid Prime series. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of 10 ways in which the Turok and Metroid Prime franchises share common ground.
AS SEEN IN: ALL METROID PRIME AND THE CONSOLE TUROK GAMES
This is probably the easiest and low hanging of the two, but it’s a no-brainer to point out that both the Turok and Metroid Prime series are played from the first-person point of view. Not much more to be said here, so let’s move on.
AS SEEN IN: ALL METROID PRIME GAMES (EXCLUDING PINBALL); TUROK: DINOSAUR HUNTER/TUROK 2: SEEDS OF EVIL
One of the main characteristics of the Metroid Prime, nay the Metroid series, is having your route blocked off until you have the right tool or weapon to either clear a gap or open a door, which causes you to back track over a lot of terrain you’ve previously covered. The same can be said of the Turok franchise, in particular Turok 2: Seeds of Evil where you have to return to levels with newly obtained abilities to reach the confrontation of the game. The original Turok: Dinosaur Hunter can cause you to replay levels and backtrack, but you can also catch everything on your first go through if you’re observant enough.
AS SEEN IN: METROID PRIME TRILOGY; TUROK N64 TRILOGY
Metroid Prime differs a tiny bit from the N64 Turok games in that the Prime trilogy wasn’t completed on the system it started out on (part 3 was released on the Wii as opposed to the GameCube) but the initial Turok trilogy closed out the story it started in 1997’s Turok: Dinosaur Hunter before being rebooted in the GC/PS2/Xbox era. Which brings me to my next point…
7) HALF-HEARTED REBOOT
After the close of the Metroid Prime trilogy, Nintendo went back to the series roots bringing in team members from the SNES era to create a sequel to fan favourite Super Metroid in 2009’s Metroid: Other M. Similarly, Acclaim returned to the star of the original Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Tal’Set, in a prequel/reboot entitled Turok: Evolution. Neither effort returned either franchise to their former glory and little was seen from either franchises after these games were released.
6) MULTI-PLAYER CENTRIC SPIN-OFF’S AFTER SECOND INSTALLMENT
AS SEEN IN: METROID PRIME: HUNTER; TUROK: RAGE WARS
As a stop-gap between Turok’s 2 and 3, Acclaim published the multi-player focused Turok: Rage Wars that stripped the adventure aspect for which the series was known for in favour of fast, deathmatch action. The wait for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was equally satiated with Metroid Prime: Hunters on the Nintendo DS that shipped first as a demo with the launch systems before releasing as a full game in 2006. Much like Rage Wars, Hunters removed a lot of what made the Metroid series famous, in particular the Prime series, for a more action oriented game that could even be played online over the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection.
5) KEYS, KEYS, KEYS
AS SEEN IN: METROID PRIME TRILOGY; TUROK’S 1 AND 2
As great as the Metroid Prime trilogy is, what each of the three installments ultimately boil down to is collecting keys: Prime had you gathering artifacts, part 2 had you scrounging up sky temple keys and the trilogy closed out in Corruption by tasking you to collect energy cells. Those who played the first two Turok games on the N64 were no stranger to this activity as both games required you to collect an excessive amount of keys if you wanted to make it past anything other than the first stage. The players patience was stretched to the ultimate limit in Turok 2: Seeds of Evil as not only did you have to collect stage keys, but totem keys to unlock special abilities as well as keys to the final boss confrontation, most of which forced you to re-enter all the game’s stages.
4) ABILITY UPGRADES
AS SEEN IN: METROID PRIME TRILOGY; TUROK 2: SEEDS OF EVIL
What has made the Metroid series such a well-beloved series is the weapons and tools that you discover in your journeys. Whether it’s a new beam that will allow you to freeze enemies to turn them into a make shift platform or the Varia suit that allows Samus to traverse areas filled with lava, you’re always driven to go just a little bit further around the corner to see what upgrade awaits you.
The first Turok had nothing in the way of player upgrades, other than the massive arsenal you accumulated to tear enemies apart, but that changed in Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. By sacrifising sacred eagle feathers, Turok would be granted new abilities that would allow him to do such things as traverse poisonous lakes and fire traps, as well as super jump across previously unreachable areas. All of these abilities would be put to use much like the Metroid games as getting a new power up often forced the player to replay a stage to get an important item that they couldn’t have otherwise reached before.
3) NINTENDO EXCLUSIVITY
AS SEEN IN: METROID (SERIES); TUROK TRILOGY (N64)
Metroid is a property that is held dearly by Nintendo so until the day they somehow run out of money and are forced to put their games on other platforms, I wouldn’t expect to be picking up the next Metroid game on either the PS4 or Xbox One anytime soon.
As it mostly survives on the power of its key franchises: Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc., Nintendo never had much in the way of third-party exclusives. One of the exceptions to that rule until Turok: Evolution in 2002 was the initial Turok trilogy on the N64. Yes, you could play certain games on PC, but those who purely enjoyed console games, such as myself back then, had to own either an N64 or a Game Boy in order to enjoy a Turok game.
2) FIRST-PERSON GRAPPLING HOOK
AS SEEN IN: METROID PRIME: TRILOGY; TUROK 3: SHADOW OF OBLIVION
The grapple beam, a tool introduced in Super Metroid, allowed Samus to shot a beam that would allow her to swing when attached to certain points and creatures. This was introduced in the 3-D space for the first time in the first Metroid Prime and would become a staple for the entire series. In the player chose Danielle, the female Turok, in Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion, the player had the ability to latch onto certain objects in a manor like how Samus would in the Prime trilogy.
1) RETRO STUDIO WAS FOUNDED BY THE PERSON WHO FOUNDED IGUANA ENTERTAINMENT
Jeff Spangenberg, the person who helped found Iguana Entertainment and aided in the development of the first Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, left the company in October 1998, two months before the release of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil to form Retro Studios. Nintendo had previously provided aid to Iguana when they were developing the first Turok: Dinosaur Hunter on the N64 to help bolster the systems rather paltry line of games. The goal behind the formation of Retro Studios was nearly identical, with the exception being that Retro would work officially in-house for Nintendo and put forth their efforts on developing games for the yet to be released GameCube.