When you see the timer come on at thirty seconds, instead of the square minute the original gave to escape the doomed space colony, you know you aren't in fucking Kansas anymore. Then you touch down on Zebes, and you're not even in Oz. You're in a crazy, spawling nightmare landscape, a mad alteration of the Super Metroid ROM. This is a Bizarro world my friends, a place where items are strange and newly hidden, where pacing is made, not given, where wall jumps are expected for mere navigation. Then there's all the super-advanced moves, things not even composited from programmed moves of the original, but glitches, glitches, that you must use in order to get an energy tank, or another super missile.
But Drewseph, the creator, who now works for some AAA studio, didn't stop at a topographic redesign. He got his hands into the guts too. Gravity has been adjusted, the I/O period cycle for wall-jumping has been slacked a bit. Missiles now give you +2 capacity, rather than the +5 you expected from the original, and Super Missiles are only +1. Enemies do more damage, of course, but the genius of this redesign is the new balance that results, and what you get is a tight economy where those pipe spawn points, you know, with the easy insect kills that pour energy and missiles like a fountain, are as much relief as you can hope for.
At one point, you must sprint through a lethally hot Norfair in order to find the Ice Beam, which you need to get the Varia suit. I think thats about all you need to know. This game is meant to be played with any-time saving, it's meant to be played by people who can speed run the original. This is a game whose challenge is simply not possible given the constraints of the original, you must master the nooks and crannies, the bugs that became features, in order to compete. But when you climb the cliff, and literally, when you wall jump off a one-square high cliff and then flip back onto it, you will feel amazing. No game have I played, indie or mainstream, retro or modern, that has challenged me so, and given me such endorphin rushes.
The escape sequence takes about 26 minutes.
I recommend fast-forwarding through the Something Awful videos, but watching the one where Drewseph comes on to give his designer commentary.
N.B.: Super Metroid Redesign was created as an IPS patch to the original Super Metroid ROM image. To play, you will need a SNES emulator (like ZSNES, linked to above--versions for PC, Mac, and Linux); an IPS patcher for SNES ROMs (the link above takes you to a page that links to several); and an, ahem, legal copy of the Super Metroid ROM, which, you know, you're on your own obtaining. And of course the IPS file for the redesign, which we also link to above.