Nintendo's European division is opening up the vault to reward long-time fans of the Metroid franchise. To promote the upcoming release of Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Wii, Nintendo is offering a free download of the original Nintendo Entertainment System Metroid for the Virtual Console. The freebie isn't for recent newcomers to the franchise though. No, all of you Samus-come-latelys are out of luck, as this is a reward for the corest of the core gamers. Kombo has the details.
[Nintendo of Europe] has 5,000 "copies" to give away of the game which started it all, Metroid for the NES, by way of the Virtual Console. But here's where it gets a little bit weird. In order to get your free download, you must be one of 5,000 people to register your copy of Metroid Prime Trilogy on the European Club Nintendo website. That part makes sense. What's strange is that you must also have previously registered a copy of one of the three previous Metroid Prime games for the GameCube or Wii.
There's been some complaints about how fans that meet these requirements most likely already have the original Metroid in some re-released format (it was unlockable in both the original Metroid Prime when paired with Metroid Fusion and in Metroid Zero Mission for the Game Boy Advance, plus it's been re-released for the GBA as a stand-alone game pak and, of course, on the Virtual Console), but I say that it's difficult to become outraged over a free bonus. So what if Metroid has been surpassed over the years by other games in the series? It doesn't cost Nintendo anything significant to give it away in this manner and it doesn't cost the fans anything to download it. Everybody wins. Besides, this is a promotion that targets an audience that many believe Nintendo has ignored this generation: the core gamers. Who else but core gamers would meet the requirements needed to earn the free Metroid?