Just yesterday, we mentioned that ex Retro Studios dev Zoid Kirsch started sharing insight about Metroid Prime’s development in honor of the upcoming 20th anniversary. Following that deluge of info, another Metroid Prime dev has timed in with an even crazier story.

Jack Mathews is another dev who helped bring Metroid Prime to life, and in a series of tweets, he revealed a particularly challenging problem Retro Studios had to tackle once Metroid Prime had already shipped.

According to Mathews, Nintendo told Retro that they had shipped out a series of GameCubes that had bad CPUs. Unfortunately, Metroid Prime was the only game that was experiencing issues with this CPU, so Retro had to figure out some sort of solution to the hiccup.

With these bad CPUs, Metroid Prime’s animated objects were moving way too quickly. This was because Metroid Prime’s code was running too quickly for the CPUs to handle. Nintendo had just one dev kit with this CPU, and doing tests to find a solution literally took hours and hours of work, as test builds had to be burned and then played on the dev kit.

Here’s where things get even stranger. In order to see the problem, the dev kit had to be extremely cold. This led to Retro putting the dev kit in the freezer for 15 minutes at a time to force the issue, and then they’d take it out, try out another solution, and pop the dev kit back in the freezer.

Through this process, Retro managed to figure out a solution. As patches couldn’t be downloaded and applied to console games at the time, the only option was for customers to call Nintendo customer support, report the problem, and then Nintendo would send out an updated copy of the game with the patch applied.

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1+ y ago

A slippery situation, but I'm glad they were able to find a cool solution. CPU issues are snow joke.