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Metroid Prime: Federation Force Was Originally A PVP Called Project Valkyrie (& Looked Like Quake)

"Metroid Prime: Federation Force" has the dubious honor of being the worst-selling "Metroid" title of all time, and one of the least-liked, but it started out as an entirely different game. Gamers know "Federation Force" as a tonally different "Metroid" game. Instead of starring Samus Aran, it features a team of mech-suited space marines that must cooperatively work through a series of enemy hideouts, completing various missions along the way. Unlike other "Metroid" games, which feature single-player narratives, "Federation Force" brought multiplayer to the series, but the game flopped and eventually faded into "Metroid" history.

However, an unreleased prototype of the game suggests that "Federation Force" originally resembled games like "Quake" more than "Metroid." While the game changed significantly during development, YouTube channel Did You Know Gaming provided a look at what could have been. Originally titled "Project Valkyrie," the game was the next big project of Next Level Games, the developer behind some "Luigi's Mansion" games and "Super Mario Strikers." Nintendo wanted a game with online functionality and multiplayer options, and Next Level quickly got to work developing assets for a multiplayer experience.

Next Level Games actually had several projects in development for Nintendo at the time, even bringing a prototype of one to show execs. However, after arriving at the meeting, Nintendo informed the team it would begin work full-time on "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon" instead. After "Dark Moon" released in 2013, Nintendo urged Next Level Games to resume work on "Project Valkyrie," an idea for a new sort of "Metroid" title, this time with the benefit of updated technology.

A death match for Metroid fans

Did You Know Gaming spoke with a 3D modeler who worked on the project, verifying that once "Project Valkyrie" rebooted, everything from the original attempt had to be thrown out. Instead of working on a DS game, the team began modeling for technology more comparable to the Wii U. According to the 3D modeler, developers weren't sure what platform the game would eventually appear on, but they weren't confined to the DS hardware while working on a prototype.

The basic premise of "Project Valkyrie" remained the same, though, and focused on four players in a battle royale style fight to the death. However, soon after Did You Know Gaming's source left the company, "Project Valkyrie" began swiftly morphing into something resembling "Federation Force" – all under the guidance of Kensuke Tanabi, who had wanted to develop a game about the other members of Samus' organization for years.

Another team member for "Federation Force" explained to Did You Know Gaming, "We were told it should be a co-op game, 4 players, in the Metroid Prime universe ... [Nintendo] were quite specific that that's what they wanted." While the team could still design levels however it pleased, the overall vision of the game as a co-op experience came straight from the top.

The final team member Did You Know Gaming spoke to mourned that the prototype never got developed more thoroughly. They said that "Project Valkyrie" was "more like Quake – like a Quake game but Metroid ... I think to this day I'm more in love with the early exploration than I am with the final product." Gamers may never get a "Quake"-like "Metroid" game but it's interesting to see what could have been if "Project Valkyrie" had remained on its original path.