Let’s plan out the Thardus battle!
Here is how I envision it:

Enter from the left. On her own Samus flips down into the pit. I’m a fan of making everything actual-size from MP, so the quarantine is massive. Picture how long it takes to walk from one end to the other in Metroid Prime, then imagine running the same amount of time in a sidescroller (Okay, maybe not that much). Likewise it’s also going to be pretty tall, especially since you’re going to be spiderballing around the top.

The cutscene is like in MP – first a single rock pops up, then more, and suddenly that innocent stack of rocks is unraveling into a monster. Here’s where things change up a bit. Thardus’s right foot is the typical progress bar, pounding down onto the ground once the beast is formed. We wouldn’t be able to see this if Thardus was facing left. So instead… Thardus starts in the background! The rock pile is directly behind Samus, and the camera pans up as the rocks from all corners of the room come to life in the center.

So then the actual battle:

[Option 1] Thardus rolls out of the background and turns sideways for a side-scrolling battle not unlike Mr. Stone (Required viewing!). It stands still in front of Samus doing its attacks. We’ll want to modify the ice attack because it’s much easier to jump over it in 2-D. I haven’t thought this through as much because I prefer option 2, but we want to make sure Samus can’t get cornered after Thardus rolls.

[Option 2] Thardus stays in the background except while rolling. This means its animations can directly mimic those in Metroid Prime. The rock shots will probably have to be summoned at the same depth as Samus, then fly sideways. The ice we can get fancy with – maybe it tracks Samus from the background and you have to figure out when to jump. When Samus pulls the camera left and right, Thardus will stay mostly centered the background, with a little tug. One part of Thardus’s body at a time can be damaged by Samus’s shots as if it was floating in the foreground. Like PQ’s head.

[Rolling] is a big problem for both options. I think I had an idea involving boost balls and side ramps or underground or early spider ball or something but I’m about to fall asleep. I’ll let someone else come up with the rest. Goodnight!

Reading this made me break a sweat.

I. Just. Can’t. See. It.

Here’s option 2, which I like.

The ice thing should hit where you were when Thardus’ hands hit the ground. It won’t telegraph it outside of the timing, but you’ll still know exactly where to stay away from. Basically it’s a “get away from where you are when he starts the attack” attack.

The rocks can also telegraph really easily by rotating toward you before they go, with a delay between their direction being locked in and starting to move. So it would go rise-stop-rotate-stop-beat-pew. Probably shaking while it rises and rotates and stopping during the beat.

Rolling I’m also not so sure about.

Yep, Phlakes got it. Thank you for the explanatory image.

If we ignore Thardus’s rolling, this video demonstrates both options:
We start with option 2: boss is in the background, attacking the player in the foreground.
Then at 1:33 is a second phase with option 1: boss at same camera depth as player, making it a sidescrolling battle.

Basically it’s the same choice we have with the Parasite Queen, and it’s one that’ll keep coming back for many of the bosses.

Yeah okay I got this. I think that the background thing will work, I think it will just be awkward hitting each weak point though…

And yeah this is gonna be something we are going to have to figure out for most of the bosses. Any boss with a health bar really… we should make this a topic on how each boss will work instead of just Thardus.

Troid, does your engine support view scaling or zooming? I think it will be necessary for these large bosses, it would also give you more gameplay options during these fights.

Yep, totally supported.
Since we’re using pixel-perfect sprites, though, it might take some extra work to make it seem natural. I was thinking of having the game window be a higher resolution than we’ve had in the past, but with the camera zoomed in a little bit more (like 2x), so that we can zoom out to a 1:1 scale when needed, rather than shrinking and blending pixels together. Then again, you all saw Flaahgra growing from 0x to 1x in DYF and that didn’t look too bad, right? I guess the camera/resolution is one of those things that will have to be determined with experimentation once we get there.
(Note: it will take a few more tech demos before the engine is able to properly run every feature of the Thardus battle, so I’ll be holding off on that scene for now.)

I like the idea of him in the background - I feel like much of the battle against him in Prime he was obscured by the snow effects and far off in the distance, rarely closing ground and relying on ranged attacks, as opposed to enemies like Ridley and Omega Pirate that get all up in your face. I think that a background Thardus would better convey that feeling of “oh fuck he’s out there somewhere throwing rocks at me” and better recreate the general atmosphere and feel of the fight, while sidescrolling Golem-type bosses suck in 90% of games I’ve seen them in, plus how the heck would we integrate the weather effects? Plus he hardly ever moves without rolling (actually, DOES he?) so it seems a side-scrolling one would just feel … boring, and take up a ton of the navigable terrain without actually doing anything besides being a target.

TLDR: A fight against a background Thardus would feel like being up against some towering behemoth off in the distance, a fight against a side-on Thardus would feel like shooting a stationary wall that occasionally throws rocks at you.

As for the roll - come on, sidescrollers break physics all the time. Let’s do like in Super Mario World against Bowser - he could bounce around the arena, or occasionally just roll straight across (but more slowly so you have time to jump over how huge he is - maybe have a platform on opposite sides of the room that you can use to get a boost if that’s too much?)

We could do something similar to the ice shockwave things-

And it can be timed so that you need the boost ball to get out of the way in time or something. And he could follow where you go with a little lag as he’s rolling forward or just stay locked into the direction, depending on what works.

Hmm, that could work too, but I think Thardus bouncing and being able to boost under the bounces would better fit the 2D style.

Just my $.02 though.

That is a wonderful diagram.
In the end it’s probably best to have multiple types of rolling sequences – after all, Thardus takes a ton of different paths in the original MP, right? :stuck_out_tongue:
(Actually maybe it just goes forward at Samus and then locks into a circle around the edge of the room… I can’t quite remember).

Another way I can think of is if Thardus summons some giant icicles that Samus can use to boost over Thardus as Thardus barrels sideways and shatters them.

There’s also the possibility of some kind of path dug into the ground, like the Metroid Prime exoskeleton, although maybe that makes less sense in 2-D. You’d have to find a way to get into it or activate it, like bombing certain spots or something, which maybe would be interesting if there was a time crunch as Thardus is coming at you.

Another possibility is that Samus gets the spiderball before or during the battle, and can use it to avoid Thardus’s rolling or other attacks. (And Thardus recovers itself or gets its attack materials by pulling/summoning chunks of rock off the background walls that reveal more magnetic tracks as the battle goes on)

Just throwing ideas out. We could go with E.) all of the above.

I don’t know why but I really hate the idea of getting the spiderball before beating him. It just feels wrong to get the reward BEFORE beating the boss.

It just means there would be an even better reward immediately following the battle!

You have a good point.

Tarantula Ball, instantly scare away all females in the area
bombs can now be launched mortar style, exploding on impact

also you get hairy

Samus implodes

if you use it for too long