Romhack In-Depth Review: Super Metroid Zero Mission

There are some video games that are just so well designed and immersive, that you wish they’d never end. Instead of just playing them over and over, some have decided to make their own unofficial sequels by hacking and changing the original ROM. One such game that fits these criteria for many who love the 16-bit era is Super Metroid. The game is flawlessly designed and full of secrets that are still being discovered years later.


Super Metroid: Zero Mission is the ultimate Super Metroid remake. Using tilesets and area themes from the Gameboy Advance Zero Mission, this version of the game plays like an obvious successor to the 1994 classic. With new enemies, new weapons and a world almost 3 times as big as the original’s, you will be kept busy for a long time.

To play this game, you can follow our IPS patching tutorial to learn how to modify your legally-obtained backup copy of the original ROM.

The developer of this rom was truly dedicated, spending years creating this pristine Rom Hack. He even developed code to swap maps and data in and out of memory to get over the size limits imposed by the original games memory usage design. Every aspect of the game has been changed for the better. The normal “do one area and then the next” play has been replaced with having Samus traverse various areas before encountering even the first boss. The boss battles have been changed massively. Many of the boss face offs take place in rooms filled with lava that force you to swing around like Spiderman while battling your foe.

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This game is harder than Super Metroid and most of the other games in the series. Boss battles can last up to half an hour if you don’t know any tricks. Its definitely worth playing through though, and it really shows off what the SNES is capable of. Here’s a few quick tips for new players are the following;

  • Don’t forget that you can run and jump to get more horizontal air, the game uses this a lot.
  • Just because you encounter a heat room doesn’t mean you should turn back.
  • Some walls are fake and will disappear when you pass through them.
  • The Boss map icon is often a decoy, the boss’s true location is always nearby by rarely accessed as you’d expect.

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If you search around, you can even pick up a physical SNES copy on eBay. I was skeptical that it would even work, but it does. I played this game on my standard gray 25-year-old SNES and it works great. Any true Metroid fan should take the time to thoroughly enjoy this epic hack.

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