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Small Details You Missed In The Metroid Dread Trailer

With Nintendo's E3 2021 presentation having come and gone, fans have now gotten a glimpse at some of the company's upcoming first-party, and third-party, titles. While the yet-unnamed sequel to "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" and the announcement of Kazuya Mishima coming to "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" were all highlights, "Metroid Dread" was arguably a show-stealer for Nintendo, given the fact that the series' last brand new title was 2010's "Metroid: Other M."

Yet, there is more to the story of "Metroid Dread" than meets the eye. In the "Metroid Dread" announcement trailer, it appears to be one of the series' flashier entries. This is owed, in part, to the technical power of the Nintendo Switch. However, in addition to addressing one of the series' biggest controversies and appealing to the hearts of old school "Metroid" fans, there are some more smaller details about the new trailer that may have been missed.

Not exactly built for the pre-Switch era

Samus has encountered enemies on the past that have chased her and cannot be killed by conventional means. Judging from a few moments in the new trailer, it seems like the robotic sentries known as E.M.M.I. will be fulfilling a similar role to the SA-X from "Metroid Fusion." During the chase scene, Samus doesn't even attempt to fire upon her mechanical enemies, implying that they can't be stopped. 

Sakamoto also added that the Nintendo DS's capabilities weren't quite up to par for what he had in mind for "Metroid Dread." In particular, the game's E.M.M.I. robots, intended to be a terrifying enemy, wouldn't have had the same effect on the Nintendo DS, according to Sakamoto. The robots are meant to be "unsettling for players" and have "this kind of unfeelingness that is inherent in something that's robotic."

According to a post-E3 interview with "Metroid Dread" producer Yoshio Sakamoto, the game's concept didn't quite fit the capabilities of the Nintendo DS system. Only the Switch felt like it had the power to bring the E.M.M.I. to life. When Sakamoto met with "Metroid Dread" developer MercurySteam, also the developer of "Metroid: Samus Returns, Sakamoto hoped "that they'd be able to realize the concepts that I had for Metroid Dread.

These concepts ultimately resulted in the creation of E.M.M.I., which The Verge describes as "predatory creatures that Samus isn't strong enough to fight, forcing her to hide."

Is the Morph Ball obsolete?

Another detail that may have gone by without anyone's notice is the Morph Ball's shrinking importance in "Metroid Dread." Although it has been one of the series' standard upgrades since the beginning, the trailer for "Metroid Dread" includes exactly one second of morph ball footage, which implies it will have less significance in "Metroid Dread."

Nintendo's Treehouse: Live video for the game seems to back up this claim. For instance, much of the gameplay entails the use of a slide ability, which allows Samus to slide through thin crevices — a strategy once covered exclusively by the Morph Ball.

Of course, this doesn't quite guarantee that the Morph Ball's presence will be lacking in "Metroid Dread." The footage so far simply indicates that the Morph Ball's abilities, as fans know them, can now be handled more capably by Samus' standard movements. However, it's always possible that the Morph Ball could entail new capabilities that haven't been shown off by these first couple of previews.

"Dread" is not a new title

One of the less obvious details regarding the new "Metroid" title is the game's subtitle is not an entirely new one. On Twitter, Axios Gaming writer Stephen Totilo called attention to some information suggesting that "Dread" has been in Nintendo's orbit for over a decade. 

In 2005, IGN obtained an internal document from Nintendo listing various in-development Nintendo DS titles, including "Metroid Dread." Then, In 2007's "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption" for the Wii, there is even a message mid-adventure that reads, "Experiment status report update: Metroid project 'Dread' is nearing the final stages of completion." Alas, the game clearly didn't come to fruition on Nintendo's first dual-screen handheld, leaving "Metroid" fans to instead anticipate "Metroid: Other M."

It's unclear if this title is simply a case of Nintendo reusing a title from an unmade game or if this is an all-new project. Either way, even huge "Metroid" fans might have missed the significance of the new game's title.