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Gunpei Yokoi has been teasing me with this since 1992!

In Metroid II: Return of Samus Near the mouth of the tunnel to the surface of SR-388 from the Queen's lair there appears to be some kind of machinery buried near the surface. It is only visible in part if Samus gets all the way to the left just below the exit to the surface.

Does anyone know what that is?

You can see it in this video at 6m37s:

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It's likely either a misplaced tile put there by a map designer who did not realize the camera could scroll over there, or a legitimate glitch of the same kind that cause the so-called "secret worlds" in the first few Metroid games (generally some flavor of invalid or badly-mapped tile data that ends up resolving to the wrong or unusual tile graphics or collision data. Like this.

There are a few places in the game you can legitimately see this kind of bad/random tile data in game -- many of the larger rooms in the game have bomb-able ceilings that you can climb up into with the spider ball which lead to narrow, short, dead-end corridors. Sometimes you can see a row or two of random junk tiles above you.

An interesting (technical) read on Metroid II glitches can be found here, and this site has some interesting discussion of glitches that can be abused to enter these "secret worlds" (among other things).

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Linked below is a massive, pixel-per-pixel map of the entire game of metroid ][. As you can see, the tile in question isn't on the map. My guess would be that whoever dumped the map and created the image file saw the "flaw" and replaced it with a correct, "rock" tile. (vgmaps.com/Atlas/GB-GBC/MetroidII-ReturnOfSamus-SR388.png) –  RLH Oct 4 '11 at 1:28
    
It appears with such regularity that I question whether it is a glitch or not. (On an unrelated note, I've found a glitch world once on my own, don't remember how I did it). –  CyberSkull Oct 4 '11 at 2:31
    
The glitches caused by missing or bad tile data are all pretty regular and reproducible. –  Josh Petrie Oct 4 '11 at 3:32
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