May 7, 2020

Cancelled Zelda And Mario Spin-Offs From Metroid Prime Developer Revealed–Check Out The Concept Art

Concept art has emerged of cancelled projects that were reportedly being worked on within Retro Studios, the developer of the Metroid Prime trilogy, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Tropical Freeze. The two games were in pre-development between 2005 and 2008, likely for the Wii and DS, respectively.

An example of one of Sammy Hall's art pieces
An example of one of Sammy Hall’s art pieces

Metroid fansite Shinesparkers has dug up these pieces from the ArtStation page of Sammy Hall, a former Retro Studios pre-production artist. It reveals art for a cancelled Sheik game, which was to be an action-RPG title set during a time where Ganon is being birthed by the Dark Gerudo. It sounds like it would have been a slightly darker take on the Zelda franchise.

This concept art is not necessarily indicative of how the final game would have looked, but it gives some insight into what was being considered and worked on. These are just a few examples of Hall’s work; the rest appear on his ArtStation page, and each one comes with commentary about the piece. It’s absolutely gorgeous stuff.

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Sheik originally appeared in 1998’s The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and was, of course, actually Zelda in disguise. The character has appeared as a fighter in every Super Smash Bros. game since Melee, and is playable in Hyrule Warriors.

His Boo art is equally great–it was seemingly being worked on for a DS game, and artistically it has a lot in common with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Here’s the full Boo portfolio, but a few examples are included below.

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Retro Studios is currently working on Metroid Prime 4, which had been entrusted to an outside studio before returning to Retro in early 2019. The Sheik and Boo games are not the only cancelled games on Retro Games’ slate, with the most notable being the GameCube action-adventure Raven Blade.

Sammy Hall can be supported on Patreon, and prints of his (non-Nintendo) work can be purchased here.

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