Metroid Prime is a beloved game in the franchise. We frequently commend its music, atmosphere, world design, and structure. We talk endlessly on the accomplishment that Retro Studios was able to deliver. But one component of Metroid Prime that seems to fall off many people’s radar is the sound effect design.
Just as the music helps immerse you into the world of Metroid Prime, so too do the sound effects. When you charge your power beam, for example, you can feel the energy coursing through Samus arm cannon. Yes, the visual effects add to that feeling, but give it a listen with your eyes closed. There’s actually more going on with the sound effect that I myself never realized. There’s an initial build up, maybe energy getting pulled in, followed by a larger charging sound. There’s also a gritty pulsating effect added to the different sounds giving it structure and weight. It’s a fantastic sound effect and considering how often you hear it, it was important that the creator got it just right.
So, where did this sound effect come from? You would think a simple look into the credits of Metroid Prime would hold the answer, but video games have been a bit murky when it comes to providing proper credits. To help answer this question, and provide credit where credit is due, SynaMax released a video titled “Who created Metroid Prime’s first sound effects?” In his video, he looks back at how many of the sound effects came to be included in Metroid Prime. He then digs through video archives, interviews, sound effect libraries (including their metadata) to help discover where many of these effects originated from.
If you haven’t already, give his video a watch below. It’s fascinating to see the history of such iconic sound effects. You’ll also be surprised to see where some of those effects are being used today. Here’s a little spoiler: you can find Samus’ charge beam sound in a modern off-the-shelf toy.
Have you seen the video? What do you think of Samus’ iconic sound effects like the charge beam and boost ball? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Daniel is a Website Reporter for Omega Metroid and an avid fan of the Metroid series. You can find me most places as AFallenApple.