A portion of a Game Informer interview with Yoshio Sakamoto...
GI: Why Metroid II? Why not a new Metroid?
Sakamoto: Metroid II really hasn’t been remade or revisited at this point at all and there are a lot of really interesting special things about Metroid II, so we just thought it would be great. And we think there are a lot of people that want to play it and we wanted to give them that opportunity.
Metroid II contains something that is really important to the Metroid franchise and that’s the episode where Samus first encounters the baby Metroid. So, we really wanted to revisit that crucial story point on the Metroid timeline. And of course, Metroid II is a bit of an older game, so with the increased technology we have, we thought there are a lot of new things we could bring to it, to give it a little bit of a paint job, and add some really fun stuff. So that combined with the other things I mentioned were really the impetus behind revisiting this title.
GI: How significantly will the game differ from the original Metroid II?
Sakamoto: It is based on the original, the flow is basically the same, and we have some extra areas and we powered up the map system, but yeah there are definitely new places to check out.
GI: Whether by way of story or mechanics, is this leading into Metroid Prime 4 in any way?
Sakamoto: No, there is no connection. The Metroid Prime series and the 2D Metroid – they’re both obviously Metroid, but they’re not connected in that way. We hope that you will support Metroid Prime 4, as well, of course.
GI: You worked on the original Metroid which makes this a good opportunity to confirm a story that I have heard conflicting reports about. How did the decision come about to make Samus a woman and reveal her gender at the end of the game?
Sakamoto: We were pretty much the majority of the way through the title and we thought it would be sort of fun as a gift or a present to the player to let them have a glimpse at who is inside the armor. So what could we do with that would be exciting and interesting to the player? And someone on staff suggested, “Well how about if the person inside the suit is a woman?” and we all said, “You know what? That’s a great idea.”
GI: Who was it?
Sakamoto: I don’t recall 100%. It’s been a long time. It might actually be someone who is no longer with company, I just don’t remember. Sorry.