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Project ZM

Hack of Metroid: Zero Mission


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Project ZM is a work-in-progress vanilla+ hack for the North American (U) Metroid Zero Mission ROM. It is designed to fix errors and add new gameplay routes, tricks and mechanics. More information in the README.

Standard Patch (Proj_ZM_083.ips) The intended experience for new players.

  • In the original game and this patch, some abilities are unknown items – They cannot be used right away.
  • Chozo statues drop hints to keep you on track.

Unknown Items Enabled (Proj_ZM_083_Unk_Enabled.ips) For experienced players and speedrunners. If this is your first time, do not use this patch. You will be lost.

  • Unknown items can be used right away.
  • Chozo hint statues are removed.
  • Item messages can be dismissed faster.
  • Plasma beam deals less damage.
  • Bosses are more aggressive.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Metroid - Zero Mission (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Game Boy Advance (v. 20180816-092117)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: 5DE8536AFE1F0078EE6FE1089F890E8C7AA0A6E8
  • File/ROM CRC32: 5C61A844



RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image


ContributorType of contributionListed credit
CosmicHackingLevel design, ASM, Graphics, Palettes, Hex tweaks
biosparkHackingMetroid Advance Game Editor (MAGE), ASM, Graphics, Hex tweaks, General help
Captain GlitchHackingASM, Hex tweaks, General help
raygunHackingASM, Hex tweaks, Graphics, General help
kiliwilyHackingASM, Hex tweaks, General help
cauuyjdpHackingHex tweaks, General help
JumZhu.DiwaHackingWalljump with Spacejump

User Review Information

Great Hack, but Unk_Enabled version needs some work.

Reviewed By: Haz on 16 Jun 2021

I hadn’t played Zero Mission at all before I dived into this hack, and because the main criticism that I had always heard about the game was the hand-holding and the railroading I decided to go with the version that disabled unknown items and Chozo hints. This turned out to be a relatively good idea, but it had some pretty bad side effects which I think first-time players need to consider, and that future versions of this hack should address.

Most of the time a lack of Chozo hints don’t really mean much outside of increased player agency, since the world design itself is so linear. However, sometimes the lack of waypoints absolutely destroys progression if you don’t know where to go already. Having not played the normal version, I don’t know what the player would be guided on or not, but here’s a few examples of where I personally got stuck;

1) The damn Varia suit. I hit a wall for ages just circling around trying to find the way forward, but the only way I could see was through heated rooms I couldn’t survive. I had to search for a walkthrough on how to find the Varia suit, and lo and behold it was in a secret room behind an unmarked destructible ceiling. I don’t know how players could find it in the base game, but in the Chozo-less version it needs to be made much more obvious.

2) Fake lava pits. Once again I hit a wall for ages and it was only in a madness-induced stupor that I threw myself into a lava pit looking for a secret passage, only for it to be fake and the path forward finally presenting itself. If I had a general direction to go in (like what I assume vanilla players had) I might have tried it sooner, especially if I had had the Varia suit (which I couldn’t have reasonably found myself, I remind you), but in this version the fake lava pits only confuse new players and should be removed.

3) Ridley. Overall the difficulty is pretty well tuned, but the very beginning of it is agony. The floor crumbles underneath you and you fall into lava, with a ridiculously long string of fireballs keeping you in the lava. New players will get shredded in seconds (especially since they wont have the Varia suit) on their first attempt, which is obviously unfair. Removing the crumbling floor and delaying the fireballs would be a good tweak.

Those are the main sticking points, which I reiterate I only have because I’m a new player playing the Chozo-less version. If one is playing the regular version or is knowledgeable about the game before playing this version, then this hack is just an objective improvement with zero drawbacks. And even when I was lost and confused, being able to make my own decisions and go through the game on my own terms is an undeniable advantage that this version has over Chozo hints and unknown items. And of course I experienced zero glitches or technical problems over the course of my playthrough (save mGBA crashing a few times). The hack has an incredible future, it just needs some more tweaking.

Version 0.7.3 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Hampered by too many enemy difficulty settingsifightdragons07 Nov 20210.8No
Good WIP hackLemonov02 Feb 20230.8.3Yes
Great Hack, but Unk_Enabled version needs some work.Haz16 Jun 20210.7.3Yes
It works!Pethronos23 Dec 20200.7.3Yes
Good changesMattKimura10 Jul 20200.7.1Yes
Very Fun! Found a Glitch Where I got Power Bombs EarlyRekka14 May 20200.6.4Yes