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Metroid - Rogue Dawn

Hack of Metroid


(Updated to Version 1.21 - See “readme” for change log)

Metroid: Rogue Dawn is an unofficial prequel to the original Metroid game released in 1986. 30 years later, we bring you the events that unfolded before Samus’s famous “zero” mission on planet Zebes.

The original Metroid manual tells us about a deep-space research ship that was attacked. The Space Pirates seized a capsule said to contain a previously unknown life form in a state of suspended animation. Rogue Dawn surrounds these events that led up to the theft of the capsule, which ultimately placed the Metroids under the control of Ridley and the Mother Brain. The mission to acquire the capsule was placed in the hands of one of Ridley’s best-kept secrets: a rogue human agent, trained and manipulated by Ridley from a young age…

Taken as a child from a Galactic Federation colony obliterated by Ridley’s faction, she was initially just another test subject slated to undergo horrific experiments. Ridley decided to instead manipulate and mold her into a weapon, his first human servant and dark agent. Primed yet untested, she is sent out on her own “zero” mission. She will retrieve a newly-discovered biological specimen in the possession of a Federation research crew orbiting planet SR388 and prove her worth.

Her name is Dawn Aran.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Metroid (USA).nes - NOINTRO
  • CRC32: A2C89CB9
  • MD5: D77C8053168DA14B360BF5CAECCC5964
  • SHA-1: ECF39EC5A33E6A6F832F03E8FFC61C5D53F4F90B
  • SHA-256: E6E6B7014685ADAE447EBB3833242815747BC1E5DF83ADE79F693FB67CF565B6




ContributorType of contributionListed credit
GrimlockProductionProject Lead, Graphics, Level Design, Project Concept
snarfblamHackingASM Programing, Game Editor Development, & Additional Graphics
OptomonHackingCustom Sound Engine Modifications, Sound Effects, and Track Development
ParasyteHackingAdditional Programming
Kenta KurodaniHackingAdditional Programming
DemickXIIGraphicsAdditional Graphics
M-TeeGraphicsHive Easter Egg Characters
MrRichard999GraphicsProvided extracted font from Shadow Brain

User Review Information

You're not one of the good guys, Aran

Reviewed By: vivify93 on 15 Nov 2017

Metroid - Rogue Dawn is a first in Metroid mods in many ways. It does its research and ties directly into the overarching main story of the series–very plausibly, I might add–and the game stars not only an entirely new heroine, but someone in league with the enemy. You play as the only human on the side of the Space Pirates, Dawn Aran. Set in a haunting take on SR388, the homeworld of the Metroids, you are tasked by General Ridley to steal a Metroid sample from the Galactic Federation Scientists. How will your Zero Mission fare?


Rogue Dawn is very much a standard Metroid adventure. Dawn, being infused with many different non-human DNA, is well-equipped and functions much like Samus does–with a few surprises. There are a couple of new power-ups to find, some new cosmetic differences, and it feels like Dawn jumps a bit smoother than Samus did in Metroid I.

Traversing SR388 is a standard ordeal. You look for new upgrades and expansions, kill enemies, and hunt down your ultimate goal. Combat is made a bit easier from the get-go by having Dawn start out with the Long Beam and Morph Ball, and the new power-ups aid in traveling across the hostile planet world.

One of the things that really makes Rogue Dawn shine above the original game for NES is its save system. That’s right, we have three battery-powered saves as opposed to passwords, which adds an unspeakable amount to overall playability. Also, if you get lost on SR388, Grimlock and Snarfblam have kindly implemented a map of the entire planet when you pause the game. Most convenient!


Optomon’s music is absolutely stunning; beautiful and alien, peaceful yet laced with a hint of danger. It feels right at home when placed alongside the Metroid Prime trilogy, and easily competes with the original game. There’s nothing else to say here, other than give a listen to the NSF soundtrack bundled in with the patch download.


The atmosphere of SR388 is top-notch. It’s a bit of a shame that Rogue Dawn wasn’t able to be released on the NES in its heyday, because it would’ve been the talk of the town. The graphics are beautiful, full stop. They push the NES to its limits with a gorgeous set of colors and bright, memorable enemy designs. The way Dawn herself is drawn makes feel her like a realistic person in a real world–and that doesn’t even factor into the seamlessly animated rain and water effects.


No one plays Metroid for the story, but due to the effort Grimlock put into writing the game, it wouldn’t do to not include a section for it. You are Dawn Aran, a rogue agent of the Space Pirates. You’re tasked by General Ridley to infiltrate the Galactic Federation Scientists’ research vessel on SR388, and take their Metroid sample for the Pirates’ gain. It’s unknown, exactly, as to the true nature of Dawn’s relation to Samus Aran, galaxy-renown bounty hunter and Galactic Peacekeeper. As you progress through the game, dialogue further explains the story.

While it may have looked more professional to have a scrolling dialogue window like in Metroid Fusion, I understand why it wasn’t implemented. One has to understand that, for all its technical marvels, this is an extensive mod of a preexisting NES game, and that it may have not been feasible to include such a detail. But as it is, I praise the Rogue Dawn team for choosing the implemented compromise–the dialogue is able to be entirely ignored and thus you can skip it! Quite a blessing, as it means that you don’t have to sit through it all every playthrough, hopelessly mashing the A Button and trying to get back to the action.


Rogue Dawn can tend to be a little short, and that’s its only downside. I clocked in my 100% playthrough at 6 hours, 45 minutes, a first for me personally with a Metroid title. However, like Metroid I before it, Rogue Dawn has a New Game+ mode–though this one is a bit different from the first entry. It’s still massively enjoyable, though, and it never gets old trying to uncover the many secrets of SR388.


Metroid - Rogue Dawn has rightfully earned a solid 9/10, with high praise and recommendation to any Metroid fan. The game isn’t perfect, but it’s an exemplar Metroid experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Version 1.21 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
In the running for "Best NES game"Burningtrash4heat08 Feb 20201.21Yes
Past and present meet with a bang...jm10288705 Feb 20201.21Yes
So Much Love and Dedication Went Into This ModMorinis03 Feb 20201.21Yes
This is Professional Work, Folksfiredropdl16 Nov 20181.21Yes
A very good hackscipion303 May 20181.21Yes
You're not one of the good guys, Aranvivify9315 Nov 20171.21Yes
Modest and Confidentrainponcho30 Mar 20171.21Yes
Simply Exceptional! [No Spoilers]lexluthermiester24 Jan 20171.10Yes
Epicly Epic! (May contain spoilers)SacredHooves23 Jan 20171.10Yes
A Masterpiece!Sephirous22 Jan 20171.10Yes
Sets a new standard for NEStroid.kagerato21 Jan 20171.10Yes
Excellentliraman17 Jan 20171.10Yes
Incredible8-bitBishop15 Jan 20171.10Yes