Metroid: Samus Returns Hard Mode, Other Content Locked Behind Amiibo

Nintendo has been keen on making certain features within their games accessible only via the NFC connection with the appropriate amiibo. Now, we’ve learned a key feature in Metroid: Samus Returns is locked behind amiibo DLC.

The game will have both the Fusion Suit for Samus and the game’s hard mode locked behind the Metroid amiibo. Here’s the full breakdown of the amiibo and what each one unlocks:

  • Metroid amiibo: Unlocks Metroid Marker, a tool to help you find nearby Metroids. In addition, it will also unlock Fusion Mode, a new mode that offers increased difficulty and features Samus in her Fusion suit. Note that Fusion Mode will only be available after finishing the game at least once.
  • Samus Aran amiibo: will unlock an Aeion reserve tank allowing you to recharge your Aeion energy. In addition, it will unlock a unique Metroid II Art Gallery once the game has been completed at least once.
  • Samus and Zero Suit Samus amiibos: These two are from the Smash Bros. series. Samus will unlock a reserve missile tank, and after completing the game, an additional in-game art gallery. Zero Suit Samus will unlock a reserve energy tank, and after completing the game, a selection of music.

Nintendo confirmed to Eurogamer that all of the above content is only available if you own the appropriate amiibo.

Metroid: Samus Returns is launching for the Nintendo 3DS on September 15th.

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • Carlos Hernadez Rios

    Is ok when nintendo does it

  • Mr0303

    Not only is making a difficulty mode DLC a pretty shitty thing to do, but making it a limited physical one is beyond the pale.

  • Glyth

    So locking difficulty modes behind paywalls is now a trend with Nintendo. I remember when they did dlc right with MK8, now they have shit like this. Disappointing.

  • InkViper

    Oh this is totally not going to bite them in the ass!

  • I don’t mind locking cosmetic shit behind Amiibo trash, but features and valuable items is cartoon villain levels of dickish.

    At least back in the day to get the Fusion suit in Prime you had to buy another game, so it was a neat cross-promotion, this is just holding shit hostage to shake people down.

  • Funtime Happysnacks

    People are all torn up about this like you can’t buy stacks of Amiibo NFC cards in BULK from China for pennies on the dollar. They have every single Zelda amiibo in one set for like $20. wait til the metroid amiibos come out and then just get all four in a set for next to nothing.

    Nintendo has only themselves to blame if people need to find shortcuts to getting access to their content, especially when scalpers are practically drooling at the chance to mark up more of their toys.

  • Funtime Happysnacks

    It’s literally no different from needing the GBA cart at all. Both cases you have to buy an external product to get the Suit. At least it’s one of the nicest looking Amiibos they’ve made so far, and an actual non-OM samus suit, for once.

    Just let Nintendo make their stupid decisions and get a set of Metroid cards from China for a couple dollars. It’s stupid that people are driven to that, but I don’t blame folks for getting sick of it due to their habit of understocking and fueling scalpers.

  • Nalferd

    Of course!

  • Taedirk

    DIY is around 30-50 cents per tag plus whatever you decide to stick them on. Only requirement is an Android phone and some Google-fu.

  • Mechonis

    Buying them anyways. This is nice

  • AuraMaster DX (austin9568)
  • Himegami Aisa

    I’m sure you could pirate a rom and not pay a cent either way. But that’s not even remotely the point. It’s the principle that locking a fucking difficulty setting behind an overpriced, understocked piece of plastic is a reprehensible business practice we shouldn’t put up with. That you can buy counterfeit shit doesn’t detract from that.

  • The point isn’t the hassle of having to buy an Amiibo, it’s that locking what should be on-disc/cart content behind arbitrary paywalls is a bullshit practice that needs to stop.

  • OzymandiasAeonis

    Well then fuck it they should just bring on the always on DRM because they can fucking get away with anything thanks to you types.

  • AuraMaster DX (austin9568)
  • NukeA6

    Zero Suit Samus confirmed!!! Also, fuck you Nintendo for on-disc DLC.

  • Except with Fusion I am getting a full, good game with the added bonus of a cool alt skin for Samus in Prime whereas with the Amiibo I’m buying a shitty piece of plastic I neither need nor want to get content that shouldn’t be behind any kind of paywall to begin with.

    It’s not comparable at all. I’m just going to not buy it, and Nintendo can fuck themselves.

  • SuuLoliBoob

    But you don’t also just need the game, you will also need a GBA along with a cable.

  • If you were one of the five people who owned a Gamecube, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you definitely owned a GBA.

    But you do make a valid point, though, and the lack of cable is why I never bothered with the Fusion suit, but it still meant all I lost out on was a cosmetic change to Samus’ appearance, and not actual game-altering content.

  • SuuLoliBoob

    Is anyone even saying that? Top comments alone show that they are criticizing the practice.

  • OzymandiasAeonis

    Do you have to ask?

  • SuuLoliBoob

    That’s also a fair point. Though, i do wonder how much harder Fusion Mode will be compared to hard mode. Will it be like the DLC for Zelda in which you will have to come up with a more unique way of dealing with enemies, or will it just be the basic bullet sponge with a 2x damage output for the enemies.

  • Yeah would be interesting to find out, hopefully someone with more disposable income than me will be willing to discover!

  • SuuLoliBoob

    Also just realized this is for the remaster/remake (i don’t know which one is the right word) and not the main game. Hopefully that stays untouched from amiibo shit.


    Remember when they even locked Happy Meals behind Amiibos a few months ago? They didn’t even have the NFCs!!

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Holy fucking shit, they try to fuck up Metroid, even when they finally announce a good Metroid game.

    The sad part is all the idiots who will buy the Amiibos anyways. I hope Nintendo learns from this and releases the DLC for free, I mean I remember when Zero Mission came with Hard Mode and the option to play NES Metroid for FREE.

  • I thought the main game was the remake, and the special edition came with a code for the original GB version?

    All these different versions are so confusing…


    Federation Force is the main game and this is just some bastardized spin-off.

  • totenglocke

    They did DLC right ONCE, and that was Mario Kart 8. All of their other DLC has been absurdly overpriced. Hell, the DLC for Fire Emblem Echoes is more than the game itself.

  • CatCouch

    There’s always a catch. It’s like everything we get from Nintendo was wished upon a monkeys paw.

    It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s still a mild disappointment in a long line of mild disappointments.

  • Clairity

    There is no reason whatsoever to take what has always been ordinary “buy
    the game get these features” content and lock it behind expensive, rare
    physical toys that not everybody even wants. I love the games Nintendo
    makes, but when it comes to predatory practices like this, *fuck them*.

    about it, though. If you want to get all the content that is *already
    on the cartridge*, then you have to pay $40 for the game to begin with
    (an acceptable deal, games have been like this since the beginning), but
    then you have to pay an *extra* $100 on top of that for four pieces of
    plastic that you might not even want in and of themselves, and that’s if
    you’re *lucky* and can find them in stock instead of getting scammed by

    I sincerely hope Nintendo gets their heads out of their asses on the topic of Amiibo, and *soon*. It doesn’t have to be like this.

  • Clairity

    “Oh, you guys want some Metroid? You’re sad that we shut down that Metroid 2 remake? Sure sure, but it’ll cost ya.”

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    It’s a remake; a remaster is just updating the graphics instead of rebuilding a game from the bottom up.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    This is Nintendo so it actually won’t.

  • Kessek

    Do what you want Nintendo. I haven’t given a shit about your games since Gamecube.

  • Touma

    Don’t even know why people are complaining, except for the Metroid one, all the “content” they unlocks is, in my opinion, irrelevant. Do people really care for concept Art and a Sound Test that much? I guess you could argue for the extra difficulty mode, as that’s something you should have by default but nobody complained when Zelda literally sold it as actual DLC so… double standards?

  • I thought Federation Force was that midget soccer game they released last year that everybody was livid about?

  • SuuLoliBoob

    Basically how i feel, though, i thought it was retarded selling hard mode DLC for Zelda, to so i really don’t think they should have made a paywall, most definitely not with an amiibo in this instance here. Everything else from concept art and sound test i couldn’t really care all that much about.

  • LinKurosawa

    12.99 dlc lmao

    This is advanced fuckery damn.

  • Nagato

    The usual boiling frog strategy gamers seem so very susceptible to; like with PS+ starting out with decent games way back when it launched, and then with the PS4 launch transforming into what might as well only be an online play subscription.

    Of course, that could also just be a happy coincidence with both userbases being all to eager to bend over for their corporate overlords anyway.

  • Nagato

    To be honest the game didn’t look that great anyway; Mercurysteam doesn’t exactly have an amazing pedigree within the genre, not too mention the fact that this is a 30fps 2D Metroid game.

    I mean, I’m a huge fan of the genre and I absolutely loved the GBA Metroids back in the day, but a 13 year absence still isn’t any reason to go crazy over getting whatever scraps we might get now.

    And let’s certainly not pretend Mercurysteam is suddenly this amazing worldclass studio just because they’re now working on a Nintendo exclusive game, and thats coming from someone who actually enjoyed the first Lords of Shadow.

  • West

    It’s a rhetorical question.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Umm…I distinctly remember the comments here and on numerous other sites where people complained about Zelda having DLC.

  • Zanard Bell

    I expected white knighting from Nintendrones and it didn’t disappoint. Wew lad.

  • I’m sorry my friend, I genuinely can’t keep up with Nintendo’s convoluted re-releases.

  • Do you have the disease from Memento? People were just as angry when Nintendo pulled this same bullshit with BotW.

    Granted, concept art and a sound test aren’t vital, but they used to be stuff you just unlocked as part of playing the game; putting them behind an arbitrary paywall is the most blatant of cash grabs so people have a right to be mad about an objectively shitty business practice.

  • The difference isn’t the suit. It’s that hard mode is locked behind the paywall as well. It’s not a bonus, it’s literally cut content.

  • Matz

    I always hated Nintendo and their awful “Locking behind Amiibos” practices. Where could I start with this?

    1- Isn’t the locked content already on the Disc/Cart and you need the Amiibo to just change some variables that unlock said content? Because that’s even worse than DLC, at least that way you need to pay to download the new content. Here? You need to pay extra for content that it’s already on the game you paid for. Remember when the fans destroyed Street Fighter x Tekken for the On-Disc DLC fiasco? Like always Nintendo gets a free pass to do some awful anti-consumer practices, if this was the case with a game made by Sony, Capcom, Square-Enix, EA, Activision, Konami or Microsoft the same people defending Nintendo would be the first ones to start asking for heads.

    2- It’s not the same as that time when you could have the Fusion Suit in Metroid Prime, first it was only a special costume, here is content that always were unlockable after beating the game.

    3- At that time you had to buy a Console that you could buy almost anywhere and a game that also was pretty common, and both thing at a reasonable price. Here? Have to be fast enough to get one of those Amiibos on your hands or else you’re fucked and have to wait if Nintendo decides to restock the Amiibo and then be fast enough again to get one of them

    4- Ok then… you can still make your own NFC Cards/Chips/Whatever, or you managed to get some Amiibos… but if you are still playing with an OG 3DS or the original XL Model, you’re still fucked, you have to buy a New Nintendo 3DS or the Amiibo Scanner so you can scan your Amiibo or Custom Cards, oh, and Nintendo discontinued the Amiibo Scanner so good luck finding that thing at a reasonable price

    I was wanting to buy the game from Day 1 but I guess I will have to wait until the game becomes cheaper (Something that might never happen)


    I love Nintendo, but I can’t defend this. I’m only getting that Samus Amiibo to satisfy my anus.

  • catazxy

    Nintendo was always just like the other gaming companies, you had to be delusional to think otherwise..

  • Travis Touchdown

    “The game’s hard mode is going to be locked behind Amiibo.”

    No, Fusion mode, which is harder than hard mode, is being locked behind Amiibo. Hard mode is available from the beginning.

    I can’t wait to buy the Amiibo. :)

  • I know, that’s what I was saying.

  • totenglocke

    All that Breath of the Wild Amiibo unlock is cosmetic stuff and a horse you’ll never use. This is unlocking the fucking hard mode, which is actual content.

  • totenglocke

    People like you said the exact same thing about Breath of the Wild. You were wrong then and I’ll bet money you’re wrong now.

  • ProtomanBlues

    I find it odd that in adition to having the amiibo you must beat the game first. Why not let people with the amiibo unlock the stuff early, and those those who don’t get it by beating the game? This kinda stuff was always historically unlocked by beating the game. It’s not like people won’t buy the amiibo anyways.

  • Yeah, but Hard Mode and a bunch of useful items (not to mention an upgrade for the ‘true’ Master Sword) are locked behind paid DLC.

  • RichardGristle

    Nintendo has always – and I say this as someone that has NES and SNES sitting as his #1 and #2 all-time favorite consoles – ALWAYS been the Jewiest company in the industry. They’ve gotten a pass partly because of their name and partly because they do it in sneakier, cleverer ways.

  • RichardGristle

    Nintendo is retarded for joining the DLC circus at all, whether it be a straight download or off of amiibo. It was one of the few advantages that they had over other companies.

  • Zack Attack

    I am only buying the game. Fuck amiibo. The figures are for scalpers and Nintendo fanbous anyways.

  • Zack Attack

    Amiibos are getting out of hand. Honestly I thought they were cool at first, especially since all they mainly did at first was training dummies in Smash bros or racing outfits in Mario Kart or even 8 bit skins in Mario Maker even though you can still unlock those in game anyways. This is a new way of fuckery however. For that, fuck Nintendo.

  • Zack Attack

    That is exactly why I am not buying unless the Champions content is any good. This amiibo in metroid however is a fuck no.

  • Skate or Die
  • Captain Vidya

    I wanted the game, but I also just wanted a figurine of a metroid to go with it. Why does Nintendo have to make me feel like I’m part of the problem with this move?

  • Shattno

    How is it an advantage? Do you think companies does DLC for shits and giggles?

  • Malascus

    The only useful item is the korok mask IMO.

    The master sword trials are extremely fun and should’ve been in the base game.

    Same with hard mode, it’s been a free unlock in nearly every zelda game.

    At least they’re going to add more dlc/champion dlc, so at least you’re getting more for your money then with the metroid stuff.

  • Shattno

    This is a kind of shitty move, this is what happens when companies try to find new ways to make money.
    Just make your own custom NFC tags and don’t bother with the Amiibos, they are shit as far as figures go anyway.

  • Bitterbear

    Spotted the Playstation fanboy.

  • Bitterbear

    Those days are long gone. People just couldn’t stop bitching that Nintendo should behave more like the competition and this is how the company rewarded their wish.

  • Bitterbear

    Remember that Mercurysteam is also infamous for being incapable of creating decent-looking female characters, so when you finish the game and Samus dons away her helmet expect to see something like this:

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Well to be fair, people wanted them to be the same as their competition by having an up to date online and not having any gimmicks like motion controls.

    They got praise whenever they did stuff better than their competition such as DLC and not having buggy launches for games.

    I think this Amiibo thing is simply their own greed due to Amiibos selling really well.

  • Ruggarell

    Microsoft and Sony don’t sell DLC toys for manchildren.

  • Travis Touchdown

    Yeah, and? I loved the Amiibo support in BOTW. Wolf Link is awesome.

    I’m getting the champion Amiibo as well.

  • Uncle Ocelot
  • Zanard Bell

    Not even close, lol.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    That last part is the one thing that everyone forgets about, it’s easy to get around the Amiibo paywall.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    At least with Zelda you don’t need to buy a shitty little figurine that’s limited in quantity and possibly scalped in price to get the DLC.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Are you still waiting for the special edition Bowser Dildo Amiibo, made in collaboration with Bad Dragon?

  • Bitterbear

    I wish! This is also another classic case of Nintendo granting a monkey paw wish. When the Amiibos were just released, the DLC locked behind it was just a timid thing like a power-up or a costume palette change.

    But obviously, just like Reggie predicted/complained, fans went That just it?, so the company tied more substantial content to it.

    I really wish for once that fans would go Stop! Don’t do anything else, it’s just perfect the way it is! that will never happen.. Sigh..

    I’m hoping that at some point there’s going to be an android app that spoofs Amiibos so I won’t have to spend Forza-like levels of money for content that’s already in-game..

  • Shattno

    Exactly, it doesn’t excuse the practice, but it’s so easy to get around you can just ignore it.

  • Ow. I can’t read

  • Shattno

    I mean if they could at least have a decent figure manufacturer (Alter? Good Smile?) make them I could see myself buying them, but they look like toys produced by Mattel in the 90s :(

  • Shattno

    No, it can’t be done, a reader/writer is not the same as a tag, unfortunately. But on the bright side NFC tags are not that expensive.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Damn, I didn’t even know people complained about that. I just assumed Amiibos were collectables like the Pokemon figurines from back in the day.

    Its okay if they upgrade the content the Amiibos provide, but its bullshit when its at the game’s expense. I’m not going to spend triple the price on Ebay for one just so I can get hard mode in Metroid, there should at least be an alternative to getting hard mode like how Smash Bros Brawl offered different ways of unlocking characters besides the boring adventure mode.

  • Bitterbear

    My hope is that this gets enough backlash for them to notice. But chances are that it’ll never happen because as always Nintendo of America will mute those complaints.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Hopefully, our complaints did get us an open world Zelda and two new Metroids, so lets hope they change their stance on Amiibos.

  • totenglocke

    That has nothing to do with you saying that the game “already has a hard mode, the DLC is just adding an EXTRA hard mode” regarding Breath of the Wild. Just like the Metroid Amiibo isn’t unlocking an “extra hard mode”, it’s just the regular hard mode.

  • Heresy Hammer

    Buy our happy meal toys you fucking goy.

  • Cubed Grapes

    DLC by any other name…

  • Scorching Sirius

    Great show!

  • chocodino

    They consider the service too expensive but will still pay…….smart……….

  • MusouTensei

    Amiibi are a plaque.

  • Right, instead you just need to fork over like twenty dollarydoos to unlock shit that should have been packaged with the game or free DLC.

    And didn’t they make it an all-or-nothing thing where you had to buy the season pass, rather than just the stuff you wanted?

  • I’m just thankful every day that Majora’s Mask already came out.

    Imagine the fucking field day they’d have now, stripmining that game to parcel off each mask as DLC.

  • ProxyDoug

    You can unlock Brock’s eyes in the anime by buying the Jigglypuff amiibo.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Fair point, but depending on how much stock there is, you could be paying more than $20 for the amiibo, and get less stuff than Zelda’s season pass. Both options are shitty in their own ways.

  • Funtime Happysnacks

    But you just ranted about how it IS obviously about having to buy the amiibo. If there is a cheap way of getting that exclusive content besides shelling out $30 for the amiibo 2-pack, then stop complaining. This “bullshit practice” is not going to stop, you are WAY too late on that front.

    These ‘arbitrary paywalls’ are NORMALIZED now. Nobody sees them as a problem except those of us who still haven’t accepted the way things are now. That’s extremely unfortunate, for us, but for ‘normies’ they don’t care, they will buy out all of Nintendo’s stock no matter how anti-consumer these practices are.

    So those of us, like you or I, who see what a bad deal it is, we don’t have much choice except to make our own NFC cards (many are taking that route) or buy them in bulk from China for pennies on the dollar.

  • Funtime Happysnacks

    Yeah, that’s also an option. Nintendo’s content really isn’t all that secure, the oddest complaints I’ve seen are folks who think there is NO WAY AT ALL to get that content without buying the stupid amiibo, when it would take seconds on google to find alternatives that cost far less.

    I was only suggesting the cards because they usually sell them in piles of 15-20 (and would look nicer), so you can get some pack that has all four Metroid amiibo + all Zelda amiibo cards or something.

  • Miguel Angel Opazo Arancibia

    Fucking physical dlc

  • Squirrel on crack cocaine.

    And what happens when these Amiibo’s become like gold dust and impossible to find under £100?

  • Zack Attack

    The funny thing is that I got the Samus figma based on Other M. XD

  • Shocker Rider GG

    this sucks im gonna get the game but not the amiibos

  • Shattno

    Haha, yeah, I have that one too

  • RichardGristle

    I’m not concerned about why they do it. I’m saying that when listing “good things game companies did”, not having DLC and releasing complete games was a check in Nintendo’s column.

  • Shattno

    Ok, so It’s a advantage to you as a consumer, that’s a different thing from having an advantage as a company in a capitalism economy, that’s what I meant.

  • Zanard Bell

    Yes to concept art, yes to sound test. Heck, you may be able to argue that some concept art that is unlocked as pre-order bonuses as already greedy enough.

  • yar yar

    Actually the fanboyism is surprisingly quiet here. Kinda proud of you cynical little shits.

  • yar yar

    No different?

    Depends how the scalping market affects the prices, actually. That piece of plastic could cost more than a GBA and game at retail, without the relatively practical bonus of owning a handheld game you can play on the go that also looks cool on a shelf.

  • yar yar

    And it doesn’t even work on frogs, works great on people tho.

  • yar yar

    Nintendo and the scalpers they made a deal with are laughing all the way to the bank. I really just wanna slap people. So many young people coming into the market, a market led by people who make decisions like fucking addicts and the dealers who know that basically anything goes.

  • My rant wasn’t specifically about the Amiibo, but the arbitrary paywall, which is bullshit however it’s implemented. Yes I can buy these Chinese cards, but that’s like saying I shouldn’t complain about overpriced cinema tickets because film piracy exists. These are workarounds, not solutions to the core problem.

    Just because it’s normalised doesn’t mean I have to accept or support it, for some reason you’ve ignored the third option which is the one I plan to take: I just won’t buy Nintendo’s shit.

    You’re right we’re probably stuck with it, I’m under no illusion that my opting out will be enough to cause Nintendo to reverse their shitty approach, but if that’s the case so be it, there’s plenty other shit for me to play elsewhere.

  • Yeah don’t get me wrong BotW is definitely the better of the two, but it’s still like choosing between a kick in the balls or a broken nose.

  • Zack Attack

    I also have the adorable Kirby nendroid

  • Shattno

    Oh, cool, I don’t have that one, but I do have the Mega Man and Isabelle from Animal Crossing Nendroids.

  • GuyGuysonEsquire

    “Samus Returns”? Yeah, because the last game with similar title was sooo great…

  • Sylveria Shini

    For the cost of amiibos.. and saying this as someone who has them all.. this is some garbage tier “DLC” The “Metroid” one is the only one even close to worth a damn.

    It just further justifies the argument I’ve always made for and against amiibos, do not buy them because they unlock/might unlock some content in a game. You WILL NOT get your money’s worth 9/10 times, if not worse than that. They’re only worth getting if you’re an aficionado of plastic knicknacks and doodads and want Nintendo ones.