Last updated 15JUL2022
In this guide we’ll create our own “remaster” of Metroid Prime by upscaling the graphics, adding new textures, and implementing a modern control scheme thanks to a forked version of the Dolphin emulator called PrimeHack.
This guide primarily (no pun intended) relies on a forked version of Dolphin called PrimeHack, which has all sorts of Metroid Prime related updates like dual analog (or mouse and keyboard) controls, an adjustable view modifier, and more. PrimeHack is only available on Windows and Linux distros via flatpak on the Discover store. This means that it will work on the Steam Deck (it’s also integrated into EmuDeck). Android-based devices like a phone or the AYN Odin won’t be able to run this program; this guide will focus on Windows PCs and handheld PCs like the AYANEO devices.
For this setup, we’re going to be running the Metroid Prime Trilogy, because it has a few features that will improve the overall game experience (like native support for widescreen without using any hacks) and then you can also play all three games without having to do this setup all over again. So make sure that you have a ROM of this game, either ISO or WBFS file formats are fine.
Download and set up PrimeHack
To start, head to this page. Install this Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable (x64) if you don’t already have it on your PC, then grab the latest release of PrimeHack Updater. It is possible to just manually install PrimeHack but I prefer PrimeHack Updater because it updates your build (of course!) but also makes it easy to keep a portable version of the app, so that its settings don’t conflict with vanilla Dolphin if you also have that installed on your PC.
Once installed, place the PrimeHack.Updater.exe file in a folder, and also place your Metroid Prime Trilogy ROM file in that same folder. Run PrimeHack Updater, which will download PrimeHack. Click the “Browse” button to navigate to the ROM file. The game name will appear in some sort of Chozo script, don’t worry about it. Next, click the “Portable Mode” option so that it is checked, this will store all of the config and asset files in that same folder. Leave the “Run Game Immersively” option unchecked. Finally, set your Quick Start option (either “Yes” or “Never”); by selecting “Yes” that means every time your run PrimeHack Updater it will boot Metroid Prime Trilogy — choose whatever you prefer (I like “Yes”).
There are two types of HD textures available for this game: one that updates the textures within the game, and another that updates the menus and interface. I recommend updating the menus and interface no matter what, and consider the in-game textures if you have space on your PC for it. All told, the entire package (game + all textures) will be about 25GB, but only about half that size if you don’t use the in-game textures.
HD Interface Textures: Head to this page and download the DDS files linked in the first post. Unzip the package and place the R3M folder in the User > Load > Textures folder. You can also take any of the folders found inside the “Extras” folder and place them in the R3M folder as well; these are optional extras like a smaller crosshair. There are readme files inside of each folder so you can read a bit more about each of them.
HD Textures: Head to this page and download the HD texture pack under Files (click “Show Spoiler”) > Trilogy. It will be over 5GB in size. Unzip the file and then place the contents in the User > Load > Textures > R3M folder.
Once you have the textures added, be sure to go into Graphics > Advances > Load Custom Textures > ON.
PrimeHack works with a keyboard and mouse by default, but it can also be configured to use dual analog stick controls. To do so, go into the Gamepad settings and adjust the settings to your liking. The screenshot above is what I have mine set to for the first Metroid Prime using an Xbox controller.
For the beams, I use a combination of R1 + the d-pad directions. Note that when making multi-button hotkeys with a controller in Dolphin, you can press both buttons when mapping the command, but it will register as the “|” key signifying either/or (like in the screenshot above), which means that pressing either of those buttons will active that hotkey. Instead, you want to right-click the hotkey button on screen, select “Edit”, and replace the “|” with “&” to have it behave as a proper “this button + that button” hotkey.
For additional information regarding controls, check out the information posted above, the PrimeHack wiki page concerning controls, or consider joining the PrimeHack discord server for a treasure trove of helpful information and community fun.
– updated Visual C++ package link
– updated Linux (and Steam Deck) information
– updated with new control information
– guide published