It turns out there are two hard modes: one unlocked by amiibo, one that's not. What?
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/neej3w/nintendo-just-made-the-metroid-hard-mode-controversy-way-more-confusing
I hate to be That Person who says “I told you so”, but the details of this story were never as clear-cut as “there’s a Hard Mode behind an amiibo”. While that might be the tl;dr of it, the details were always that the mode behind the amiibo is “Fusion Mode”, which (presumably) will give Samus her Fusion Suit, effectively, makes the game harder (because you take more damage).
Is it still kinda shitty? Yeah. Is it more confusing? I wouldn’t necessarily say so!