As a fan, remastering a beloved game is the farthest thing away from an easy task. It requires an in-depth understanding of coding on the necessary hardware, artistic direction that matches the themes of the original, and a dedicated team that is passionate for the source material. Luckily, Aether Labs is up to the task when it comes to a certain 2002 classic.
MPR is made possible by way of a fork of the Ishiiruka build of the Nintendo Gamecube and Wii emulator, Dolphin. This fork, a custom modification that deviates from the traditional Dolphin build, is specifically optimized by Aether Labs to run the Metroid Prime titles at peak performance. MPR is built with clean-room techniques with completely unique textures and assets. It’s also compatible with the fan-favorite PrimeHack project which gives the Metroid Prime Trilogy precision mouse and keyboard controls, amongst a handful of other improvements.
MPR recently released its first public build in a surprise shadow-drop by project lead Jason, AKA Samus Prime. “Phaze 1” is just the start of what the team is hoping to be a continuous series of improvements, fixes, and updates as the project continues. MPR has been in development for about three years as of the most recent build.
In an era where Nintendo fan projects being shutdown is a regular occurrence, it’s understandable that many readers might be worried about MPR’s future. This is especially compounded by rumors of Nintendo potentially releasing their own remaster of Metroid Prime in the near future. That being said, the team is confident that their work doesn’t fall into any legal gray areas.
Speaking with SirMangler, a programmer at Aether Labs, he notes that “MPR doesn’t even use AI upscaling like many fan HD packs” to drive home that every asset of the project is 100% original.
From MPR’s GitHub page, “MPR is based on Dolphin Emulator. All modifications are entirely original, and were developed from clean-room techniques. MPR does not distribute any copyrighted assets. “GameCube”, “Wii” and “Metroid Prime” are trademarks of Nintendo. MPR and Aether Primus are not affiliated with Nintendo in any way.”
Download MPR today to experience the first Metroid Prime title like you never have before! If you want to chat with fellow fans of the project, or want to submit an application to join the team at Aether Labs to help them with future builds, check out the team’s Discord server at Aether Primus.
Source: Aether Labs
Isabel Braman is the Community Manager of Omega Metroid and curator of the Metroid 35 fanzine. She likes to create stuff!