Super Metroid + A Link to the Past Crossover Randomizer Gets Multiworld Multiplayer
It’s been a while since we heard news about the Super Metroid + A Link to the Past crossover randomizer. Last year it was one of the most popular ROM hacking projects the emulation and speedrunning world had ever seen, smashing two of the best SNES games of all time together into one crossover item-hunting fest. It was all the rage for a few months, attracting casual and hardcore players alike, before fading into the background as a neat little pastime for the speedrunning community.
Now, a little more than a year later, the crossover randomizer is coming back into the spotlight with new functionality: multiworld functionality. What’s that?
Multiworld is a relatively new multiplayer style of playing randomized ROMs. Basically, you get a bunch of players together to play a randomizer of some sort. The catch is that all the items from the game are randomizes across every players game. Player 1 can find an item for player 3 in a treasure chest, for example. Finding an item for another player causes them to instantly collect it in their game. Basically a text box pops up showing you what item you received and who sent it to you. Similarly, when you collect an item it tells you who you are sending it to (or doesn’t tell you anything if it’s an item for you). The goal, of course, is to get every player to finish the game, but to do so you’ll have to work together to find the items that are gating your progress.
Mutliworld games did not originate with this crossover. In fact, players have been playing multi-world versions of Ocarina of Time and each individual game (Super Metroid and A Link to the Past) for quite some time. The thing is, setting up multi-world games required quite a bit of janky hacking, fiddling with Python scripts, and lots more. Heck, early multiworld games didn’t even tell you who you picked up an item for. Players just had to check their inventories every time something was picked up.
The SMZ3 randomizer, on the other hand, is optimized for casual use. You can even play on original SNES hardware if you have an SD2SNES flash cart. Full instructions can be found here and they differ depending on whether you are playing on an emulator on PC or Mac or original SNES hardware. In short, it’s mostly just downloading a few files and running a few extra programs.
Once you have everything up and running, however, playing couldn’t be easier. Just play as you usually would and every time you find an item you’ll be told exactly what you found and who it is going to. You can play with a lot of players at once, which creates a neat sensation of items just avalanching toward you as everyone discovers new items.
Note, however, that you will need to have access to the original ROMs for each game to be able to play, and neither we nor the randomizer’s creators will distribute them. However, after you provide the roms you’ll get your very own special randomized ROM for a single play session. Just load it up and make sure any extra software is running and you are off to the races.
And if you need to find people to play with, there is an official Discord for the project as well. Hop in there and you will be able to find multiworld sessions for both hardcore and casual players alike. If you are wondering why the Discord’s icon is a Burger King logo, it refers to a test session of an early multiworld release. A player found themselves stuck and unable to progress until their teammates found more items and decided to go to Burger King while they waited. Thus, getting stuck in that way has become lovingly referred to as “BK Mode.”