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Metroidvania origins
A mixture of platformer, RPG elements and logical puzzles, the Metroidvania genre right now is rebirthing. Let's try to figure out how and when the genre was born and what about it fascinates so many modern players.

"Metroidvania" is always a huge connected world, parts of which are blocked by obstacles. To overcome them, the player will have to find a suitable item or ability. This will help the hero not only to visit a new location, but also to defeat previously invulnerable enemies or, for example, find secrets. So, gradually discovering new items and abilities, the player explores the vast world.
It all started back in 1986 with the Metroid game series. The first part of the series saw the light and immediately surprised the players with an unusual approach to the gameplay. The standard, at first glance, platformer forced players to explore levels and return to previous locations to get some kind of boost. The rest of the platformers focused on speed and time-limited boosts.
At the same time, the gothic Castlevania series was gaining popularity. The first games were standard platformers with some non-linear quests thrown as an experiment. Everything changed in 1996, when the lead game designer of the series, Koji Igarashi was inspired by the series The Legend of Zelda and based on it created Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The game boasted a huge open world, beautiful 2D sprites, excellent gothic pixel art and RPG elements. To complete the game, players had to thoroughly explore the world, using a vast variety of skills and items.
Players liked Symphony of the Night so much that it gained a huge fan base. The genre didn't have a name at the moment, and the market had only two similar series. The names Metroid and Castlevania combined into one. And so the name of the genre was born - Metroidvania.

Both series continued to develop and attracted the attention of other developers and publishers.
Here are some examples:

- Axiom Verge was released in 2015 and paved the way for other projects.
- Dust: An Elysian Tail showed that you can create a great game even with a small budget.
- Shantae: Half-Genie Hero has proven that the game doesn't have to be serious in order to be successful.
- Hollow Knight is a great example of how a flash game with a rating of one star can turn into one of the greatest games of the genre.

This is just a small number of games from an ever growing genre. Metroidvania is experiencing, if not a boom, then a very good increase in popularity.
Progenitor of the genre itself, Koji Igarashi, recently released a new metroidvania "Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night". We sincerely hope that it, along with other diamonds of the genre, will push the genre even further. Metroidvanias will live as long as they continue to give players a sense of discovery, adventure and the living world.