Metroid (series)

Metroid (series)

nihongo|"Metroid"|メトロイド|"Metoroido" is a series of science fiction adventure video games conceived by designer Gunpei Yokoi and produced by Nintendo. "Metroid" combines the platforming of "Super Mario Bros." and the exploration aspect of "The Legend of Zelda" with a decidedly darker atmosphere. It is noted for having one of the first female protagonists in a video game, and for its nonlinear gameplay. "Metroid" chronicles the missions of bounty hunter Samus Aran to protect the galaxy from the depredations of the Space Pirates, who attempt to harness the power of fictional organisms such as the eponymous Metroids.

As of 2008, the "Metroid" series consists of ten games spanning most Nintendo platforms from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Wii. All of the games in the series have been both critically acclaimed, although each installment has seen varying levels of success. It is one of Nintendo's most successful franchises with 14 million games sold.cite web|author=Rus McLaughlin|url=|title=IGN Presents The History of Metroid|publisher=IGN|date=2007-08-24|accessdate=2008-02-17] Samus Aran is featured in many other Nintendo-produced games along with secondary characters such as Mother Brain and Ridley. Nintendo has adapted several "Metroid" games into manga comics, and a live-action movie has been considered.

Common gameplay elements

The "Metroid" series contains gameplay elements from shooter, platforming, and adventure games. The games are notable for their non-linear progression and solitary exploration format where the player only controls Samus Aran, with few or no other characters to interact with. The series has been a 2D side scroller in all its incarnations until the "Metroid Prime" series changed the format to a first-person perspective, leading to a strong first-person shooter element while still retaining its adventure and exploration features. The player gains items and power-ups for Samus' cybernetic suit by defeating alien creatures through real-time combat with her arm cannon, which enables further exploration.cite web|url=|date=2006-07-11|author=GamePro Staff|title=Feature: The 10-Best Video-Game Franchises|publisher=GamePro|accessdate=2008-02-26] One frequently recurring upgrade is the Morph Ball which allows Samus to curl into a ball, roll into tight places and plant bombs. "Metroid" was also one of the first video games to feature an exploration to the left as well as the right, and backtracking to already explored areas to search for secret items and paths.cite web| url=|author=Gametrailers Staff|date=2007-07-25|title=The Metroid Retrospective Part 1|publisher=GameTrailers|accessdate=2008-03-30] "" is the first game in the "Metroid" series to use extensive voice acting; however, Samus remains a silent protagonist. There is very little story explanation in the first few "Metroid" games, although more backstory was introduced in "Super Metroid" with its opening narration, and the "Prime" series with the scanning visor that allows the player to read information on walls and computer terminals. [cite web|url=|author=IGN Staff|date=2004-10-14|title=A Space Bounty Hunter's Arsenal|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-26]

The "Metroid" games have been popular for speedrunning, which is the act of completing a game in the fastest time possible, since players often receive a better ending if they do so. "Metroid" had five different endings based on how quickly a player could complete the game, a design unheard of at the time. "Super Metroid" is one of the most popular speedrunning games, and helped popularize speedrunning in video games through its non-linear design that allowed for sequence breaking through secret passages and other means. [cite web|url=|author=Lucas M. Thomas|date=2007-08-20|title=Super Metroid Review|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-26] The original "Metroid" introduced the challenge of having three minutes to escape from either a planet or a ship that is set to self destruct, which is another recurring gameplay innovation of the "Metroid" series.

The original "Metroid" was influenced by two other major Nintendo franchises, including "Mario", from which it borrowed extensive areas of platform jumping, and "The Legend of Zelda", from which it borrowed non-linear exploration. The game differed in its atmosphere of solitude and foreboding.

Recurring characters


The heroine, Samus Aran, after the murder of her parents by Ridley and the Space Pirates, is raised by an alien race called the Chozo. To help her survive their planet's climate, they infused her with their blood, which also improved her physical abilities. She was trained by the Chozo to become a warrior, and they even designed a powerful exoskeleton to assist her efforts to protect the galaxy. Other versions of her story have that she is an officer in the Galactic Federation Police Force. Graduating first in her class, Samus also completes the training course in record time and becomes the youngest officer ever promoted to the elite Startracker Squad, and is equipped by the Federation with her weapons and "cybernetic super powers". [Caragonne, George, James Brock, Bob Layton, Jade, and Kathryn Bolinger. "The Coming of a Hero." Nintendo Comics System. Valiant. 1991:2.]

The Galactic Federation is the governing body of the galaxy and was formed after numerous space-faring species made contact. The subsequent cultural convergence led to rapid technological advancements. [citeweb|url=|title=Metroid eManga pgs. 9-11|accessdate=2007-10-18] They often contract Samus with large missions to complete, and aim to eradicate the Space Pirates. Samus trained in the Federation's military before becoming a bounty hunter. It is assumed that she left following the death of her commanding officer, Adam Malkovich. Samus has a profound respect for Adam because he died to save her in a previous mission.cite video game|title=Metroid Fusion|developer=Nintendo R&D1|publisher=Nintendo|date=2002-11-15|platform=Game Boy Advance|quote=Computer: Did this "Adam" care for you? Would he sit in a safe Command Room and order you to die? / Samus: He would understand that some must live and some must die… He knew what it meant. He made that sacrifice once. / Computer: So he chose life for you? Our fair warrior, Samus Aran… Your Adam gave his life so that you might keep yours… For the sake of the universe…] The Galactic Federation's soldiers use powered armor similar to Samus'; however, they are much weaker. Their technology usually bears multiple versions of their symbol, a stylized cross-shape that seems based on their visors. Troopers are also given a basic repeating assault weapon, and in "Metroid Prime 3", some are equipped with the Phazon Enhancement Device.

A species of bird-like bipeds, the Chozo raised Samus Aran and outfitted her with armaments. [citeweb|url=|title=Metroid eManga Vol. 2 pgs. 2-70|accessdate=2007-10-21] They are portrayed as mysterious and sage-like throughout the "Metroid" series. The origins and age of the Chozo race and civilization are unknown, but they were once spread across several planets in the "Metroid" universe, though none have been seen alive in the current time of the games. The Chozo were extremely technologically advanced, but took pride in their elaborate statuary. They also exchanged knowledge with other species, including the Luminoth of Aether, the Reptilicus of Bryyo, the Elysians of Elysia (robots which they themselves built), and several other as yet unseen species.cite video game|title=|developer=Retro Studios|publisher=Nintendo|date=2007-08-27|platform=Wii|quote=The ships of Bryyo sped to the stars, in all directions, bearing the banner of peace. Soon we found stellar brethren in the Chozo, the Luminoth, and the Vlla. Starborne knowledge came to Bryyo, and we gladly sent our wisdom to our new friends in return.] They were also responsible for breeding the Metroids. In the Japanese versions of the games, the Chozo are only ever identified by the generic term nihongo|chōjin-zoku|鳥人族|lit. "race of bird-humans", of which the name "Chozo" is an anglicized version. In "Super Metroid", some of the Chozo statues would rise up and attack Samus; these bosses are called Torizos. In "Metroid Prime", in later areas in game play, Chozo ghosts appear and attack Samus. Although originally allies, they have been maddened by the Phazon corruption of their planet, and can no longer distinguish friend from foe.


The eponymous in-game Metroids are large jellyfish-like creatures with quadripartite nuclei. They are capable of siphoning an undetectable life energy from any animal, generally causing the death of the victim in the process. This energy can also be siphoned from the Metroid in turn, allowing it to be used as a living power source. The original "Metroid" establishes that exposure to beta rays would cause them to multiply very quickly. ' established a five -stage life cycle in which those Metroids native to SR-388 go through two stages of ecdysis followed by two stages of mutation, thus maturing through five previously unknown forms: Alpha, Gamma, Zeta, Omega, and Queen. "Metroid Prime" introduced three new, Phazon-mutated forms: Hunter Metroids, Fission Metroids, and Metroid Prime itself. ' has a Phazon-mutated strain of Metroid, the Tallon Metroid. Instead of siphoning all of their power from victims, they can feed directly off Phazon. They are born as Infant Metroids from cocoons and mature into adulthood when exposed to Phazon. The game also introduces Dark Tallon Metroids, Tallon Metroids corrupted by the . In "Metroid Prime 3", three new mutations of Metroid appear: Phazon Metroid, which is almost exactly like a common Metroid, except that it is capable of phasing in and out of local timespace; Hopping Metroid, which cannot hover, phase out of local timespace, or drain energy, but can fight using its claws as melee weapons and armor for defense; and the Metroid Hatcher, a boss which can float and spawn Phazon Metroids, but cannot phase out of local timespace. A Metroid appears in "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" as an Assist Trophy character.

A hostile group known as Space Pirates serve as the antagonists of the "Metroid" series. They are a group of "interstellar nomads" resembling humanoid insects or crustaceans, who plunder colonies and ships. A single Pirate may have many biological differences between individuals of their own species, most likely because of their willingness to perform self-experimentation and mutation. Important leaders include Ridley, the Space Pirate commander, Mother Brain, the biomechanical defense of Zebes controlled by the Space Pirates, and Kraid, a recurring boss. The organization also includes a winged, "mantis"-like species, the Ki Hunters. The Space Pirates are interested in Metroid research, especially in using Metroids for energy generation, as soldiers, and for experimentation – their Phazon experiments produced all the Metroid variants seen in the "Prime" games with the exception of "Metroid Prime" itself.

One of Samus's recurring adversaries, Ridley, is a high-ranking Space Pirate. Ridley shares features with both the pterodactyl and the mythical European dragon. Ridley's exact rank is unknown, with some sources referring to him as the general of the Space Pirates. Ridley directly led the Space Pirate attack on Samus's home colony of K-2L, which inevitably led to the deaths of all the colonists including Samus's mother and father. [citeweb|url=|title=Metroid eManga pgs. 34-64|accessdate=2007-10-18] Samus has since had a personal vendetta against Ridley because of this, coupled with her objective to rid the galaxy of Space Pirates. Over the course of her adventures, Samus confronts several different incarnations of Ridley in the series, such as Meta Ridley from "Metroid Prime", Omega Ridley from "Metroid Prime 3", and also an X parasite clone in "Metroid Fusion" and a mechanized version in "Zero Mission".cite web|url=|date=October 18, 2002|author=IGN Staff|title=Metroid Time Line|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-26] Ridley appears in the introduction and as a trophy in "Super Smash Bros. Melee". In "Super Smash Bros. Brawl", both Ridley and Meta Ridley are boss characters in the Subspace Emissary.

Kraid is a gigantic dinosaur-like beast allied with the Space Pirates, possibly one of their leaders. First appearing in the original "Metroid", he is the first part of the mini-boss duo along with Ridley. In "Super Metroid" he appears in his giant form, two screens tall and almost a screen wide. "Metroid: Zero Mission" retconned his size and appearance, showing he did not grow between games. [cite web|url=|date=January 23, 2004|author=Craig Harris|title=Metroid: Zero Mission|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-26] He was also slated to appear in "Metroid Prime" as a boss in the Phazon Mines, with a metal dome covering his head and blue Phazon veins on his belly, but was removed due to time constraints. [cite web|url=|title=Did You Know? Classic Metroid enemy Kraid was planned to be in Metroid Prime|publisher=Generation N|accessdate=2007-10-25] Kraid also makes a guest appearance in the background of the Brinstar Depths stage in "Super Smash Bros. Melee".

Mother Brain is a recurring game boss in the series. Its exact status has always been unclear, as it has been referred to as the general of the Space Pirates, a supercomputer that operates the Space Pirate home world of Zebes, or a councilor of the Chozo.cite web|author=Matt Casamassina|date= August 14, 2007|url=|title=The Return of Aran's Fiercest Enemy|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-26] Samus seemingly destroys Mother Brain in the original "Metroid", but again confronts her in "Super Metroid" and this time Samus is almost defeated, but the baby Metroid intervenes and brings about Mother Brain's final defeat. It was revealed in "Metroid Prime 3" that the Galactic Federation had constructed supercomputers called Auroras, and that there were plans for a "Future Aurora Complex", which appears to be the Mother Brain as depicted in "Super Metroid".

A highly radioactive and mutagenic compound, Phazon is a major plot element of the "Metroid Prime" trilogy. Some decades before "Metroid Prime", a Phazon meteorite crashes into Tallon IV. Later, Samus responds to a distress signal from a Space Pirate space station orbiting Tallon IV. Her investigation leads her to the surface of the planet discovering several Space Pirate bases and the Metroid Prime itself. Metroid Prime is a Metroid that has become highly evolved and mutated by Phazon exposure. Though it is defeated by Samus, the creature absorbs her Phazon Suit and copies her genetic code, ultimately becoming Dark Samus, a major antagonist in the Prime series. "Metroid Prime 2: Echoes" sees Samus fighting against Dark Samus as it attempts to absorb more Phazon to survive on the planet Aether. She also confronts the Ing, a demon-like alien race from Dark Aether, the dark parallel of Aether. Dark Aether and the amorphous Ing that inhabit it were created by a different Phazon meteor impacting an undetermined time ago splitting the planet and its energy in two. Corruption introduced a monster called the "Phaz-Ing" which had similar characteristics to the "Inglet", a member of the Ing race. This brings to question whether the Ing are Phaz-Ing exposed to Dark Energy or previously existed. "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption" is centered around Dark Samus, in conjunction with the Space Pirates, spreading Phazon across the galaxy by infecting planets and several hunters with it, including Samus. Samus's body begins to naturally produce Phazon, but is in danger of corruption because of overexposure. Samus eventually tracks Dark Samus to the planet the compound originated from, Phaaze, and defeats Dark Samus and destroys all Phazon as a result.

In "Metroid Fusion" Samus faces another opponent, the X-Parasite, a parasitic life-form from planet SR388. These creatures were originally the prey of the Metroids but have now multiplied out of control following the eradication of the Metroids in "Metroid II". An X infects Samus but is saved by a vaccine created from the DNA of the Metroid hatchling she spared from "Metroid II" and "Super Metroid". Some of the X infect her suit and become a clone of Samus called the SA-X, which has the same powers and capabilities as Samus at full power and uses these to assist the other X. Although Samus is ordered by the Federation to destroy the X, they secretly desire to capture the creatures for themselves, and intentionally sabotage Samus's mission to keep her from destroying too many of them (a fact that enrages Samus upon her finding out). Samus is able to exterminate all X by destroying SR388 and the space station "Fusion" takes place on.


The ten games in the "Metroid" series focus on the adventures of Samus Aran and her assignments to wipe out threats to the Galactic Federation presented by the Space Pirates and their attempts to harness various biological weapons such as the Metroids and Phazon.

The chronology of the "Metroid" fictional universe does not match the release order of the games. This section lists the games in chronological order, rather than the order of release.cite web | url = | title = METROID ZERO MISSION OFFICIAL SITE — History | year = 2004 | accessdate = 2005-08-21 | publisher = Nintendo | language = Japanese]

;"Metroid" and ' (1986/2004): Samus travels through the caverns of the planet Zebes to stop the Space Pirates from exploiting the Metroid species for galactic domination. She confronts the cybernetic lifeform Mother Brain, as well as its guardians, Kraid and Ridley. In the 2004 remake ', it is retconned that she was ambushed by Space Pirates after defeating Mother Brain and escaped from Zebes, and her ship crash-lands back on the surface. Stripped of her Power Suit and her ship destroyed, she is forced to infiltrate the Space Pirate mothership to find a way off the planet with only an emergency pistol for protection. After receiving a fully powered suit from deep within the Chozo ruins, she defeats Mecha-Ridley and escapes from the mothership before it self-destructs.;"Metroid Prime" (2002): Approximately six months after the events of "Metroid", Samus receives a distress signal in her new ship and travels to Tallon IV to stop the Space Pirates from exploiting a powerful radioactive substance known as Phazon. She discovers that the Chozo once settled on this planet, and their disappearance, as well as the emergence of Phazon, is due to a meteor impacting the planet decades ago. After ruining a Space Pirate mining operation and collecting the twelve Chozo Artifacts that allow access to the sealed impact crater, she confronts, and seemingly destroys Metroid Prime, a Metroid that had been feeding off the Phazon Core of the meteor to increase in size and strength.:;"Metroid Prime Pinball" (2005): Not a separate canon game in the "Metroid" storyline but actually retells the story of the original "Metroid Prime" in pinball format. [cite web | author=Craig Harris|url = | title = Metroid Prime Pinball | date = October 21, 2005 | accessdate = 2008-02-27 | publisher = IGN] ;"Metroid Prime Hunters" (2006): When the Federation receives an unusual telepathic message, Samus is sent to the remote Alimbic Cluster in the Tetra Galaxy to uncover the rumored "Ultimate Power." Six rival bounty hunters that also heard the message actively attempt to secure the power before anyone else, including Samus. It transpires that the promise of ultimate power was actually a lie sent by the creature Gorea, sealed away by the Alimbics in a void between dimensions. Gorea attacks and sucks the energy and weapons from the hunters. After killing Gorea, Samus and the other hunters escape the cluster, empty handed, but alive.;"" (2004): Samus is sent to investigate the planet Aether after a squad of GF Marines was lost there. Samus finds them all dead, killed by several creatures, most by an evil race called the Ing. The Ing possess life forms, transforming them into monstrous "dark" versions of their former selves to wage war with Aether's dominant race, the Luminoth. Upon meeting the only remaining member of Luminoth (the others are frozen in stasis chambers, awaiting the destruction of the Ing), Samus learns Aether has been split into two dimensions by a meteor similar to the one that crashed on Tallon IV. Samus agrees to assist by recovering Aether's planetary energy (the "Light of Aether") from Dark Aether and therefore putting an end to Dark Aether and the Ing; however, Samus yet again encounters Metroid Prime, a heavily mutated being who had copied Samus' genetic code and stolen her Phazon suit at the end of her Tallon IV adventure, now in the form of Dark Samus.;"" (2007): Space Pirates shut down Galactic Federation computer systems and then engage in large scale combat in an attempt to further spread Phazon. Enormous Phazon-based seedships, known as Leviathans, impact planets and begin corrupting them with Phazon. Samus is charged with destroying the 'Phazon Seeds' and restoring functionality to the Federation's computer network. After purging three planets of Phazon (including the Space Pirate homeworld), the Federation locates the source of Phazon, planet Phaaze, which is made entirely of Phazon. As the Federation engages the Space Pirates in orbit, Samus enters the depths of the planet, and succeeds at finally destroying Dark Samus and Phazon once and for all.;"" (1991): The Galactic Federation deems the Metroid species too dangerous to exist, and after their own failed attempts, employs Samus to travel to the Metroid homeworld, SR388, and exterminate the entire species. After killing every Metroid (among them Alpha, Gamma, Zeta, and Omega Metroids) and the Queen Metroid, Samus finds an unhatched egg behind the Queen Metroid's chamber. Before Samus fires on the Metroid egg, an infant Metroid hatches and believes Samus to be its mother. Helping her escape back to her ship, it is handed over by Samus to the research station, Ceres, for study.;"Super Metroid" (1994): Before the scientists can conduct extensive research, Samus receives a distress signal from the research lab. She returns just in time to catch Ridley stealing the hatchling, having killed all of the scientists. She then follows Ridley to the rebuilt base on Zebes to stop the Space Pirates in their new plan to clone the Metroids and use them as a weapon. She kills the reborn versions of Ridley and Kraid, as well as new guardians Phantoon and Draygon, to confront Mother Brain once again. Samus is nearly killed in the battle, but is saved, and her suit supercharged, by the Metroid hatchling, shortly before Mother Brain kills it. Samus proceeds to destroy Mother Brain, and once again escapes Zebes during a countdown to an explosion. This time, the entire planet explodes, taking with it the few remaining cloned Metroids.;"Metroid Fusion" (2002): While acting as a bodyguard for researchers on the planet SR388, Samus is infected by a native creature known as the X Parasite, originally the prey of the Metroid species. Doctors surgically remove portions of her Power Suit and cured the X infection with a vaccine created from the DNA of the baby Metroid from her previous adventure. The vaccine not only allowed her to survive the parasites, but to absorb them to power up her energy and weapons. She is then sent to investigate a disturbance at the Biologic Space Labs research station. Here, the researchers had attempted to contain the infected Power Suit as well as a number of creature specimens taken from SR388. It is revealed that not only have the specimens been carriers of the X parasite, but an X mimicking Samus, nicknamed the SA-X, has taken control of Samus's old suit. The SA-X methodically breaks into different parts of the station to allow the X parasites to infect the entire station. While trying to destroy the rapidly multiplying X as well as clones of the SA-X, Samus discovers a secret Federation Metroid breeding program. The Federation intends this for peaceful purposes and plans to capture the SA-X and conduct research on her. Realizing the threat this would pose, Samus' shipboard computer, Adam, suggests that she self-destruct the station, as well as alter its propulsion to intercept with SR388 and destroy the planet as well to finally wipe out the X and Metroid populations. Samus is confronted by one of the SA-X, which she defeats, but the parasite escapes. After changing the station's propulsion to intercept with SR388, and activating the self-destruct cycle, Samus races back to her ship. Once there, she encounters an Omega Metroid combating the weakened SA-X she had fought earlier. The SA-X is quickly destroyed by the Metroid, and Samus absorbs the SA-X parasite to use her regained weapons to destroy the Omega Metroid and leave the station before it explodes. Having gone against their wishes and halting their plans, Samus' future relationship with the Federation is uncertain.




In the mid-1980s, Nintendo's Research & Development 1 team started simultaneous development of two games for the Famicom Disk System: "Kid Icarus" and "Metroid". The two games, both released on the same day in 1986, have been called "companion games", as they shared developers and gameplay elements such as the introduction of the game saving password system in the North American release. [cite web|author=William Cassidy|date=2003-09-14|url=|title=Hall of Fame: Kid Icarus|publisher=GameSpy|accessdate=2008-03-19]

was released for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1991 in North America and 1992 in Japan. It was the first game of the "Metroid" series whose North American release featured a save system, allowing the player to have three separate save files. "Metroid II" also established the current "look" of Samus Aran and her Power Suit, namely the bulky look of the Varia Suit upgrade and the visual difference between the "Beam Mode" and "Missile Mode" of Samus' arm cannon.

Director Yoshio Sakamoto began planning concepts for "Super Metroid" in early 1990, but his studio was committed to making another game, so developers from Intelligent Systems were brought in to help complete the game. After "Super Metroid"'s release, there would not be another sequel for eight years. A Nintendo 64 title was considered during the period, but Nintendo "couldn't come up with any concrete ideas". [cite web|url=|title=Metroid Prime Roundtable QA|publisher=IGN|date=2002-11-15|accessdate=2008-02-20] In 1999, Retro Studios, a newly formed second-party developer based in Austin, Texas, was given the project for "Metroid Prime". Nintendo rarely allows overseas teams to work on its games but this was one occasion when they allowed a high profile title to be developed by a studio outside of Japan. [cite web|author=IGN Staff|url=|title=Quotes from Metroid Prime Roundtable|publisher=IGN|date=2002-11-11|accessdate=2008-02-17] After it became a top seller on the GameCube, a trilogy was authorized.

Rumors abounded since 2005 about the development of a title called "Metroid Dread", supposedly a 2D side-scroller for the Nintendo DS. In "", there is a message in the Metroid breeding zone of the Space Pirate Homeworld on a computer panel that if scanned says "Experiment status report update: Metroid project 'Dread' is nearing the final stages of completion." Developers from Retro Studios gave a full but cryptic denial of any connection with the rumored game, and Nintendo has denied they are making another 2D "Metroid" title at this time.cite web|url=|title=Nintendo DS Mailbag|accessdate=2005-09-19|author=Craig Harris|authorlink=Craig Harris (journalist)|date=2005-09-19|publisher=IGN] cite web|url= |title=Metroid Dread — Canceled?|accessdate=2005-10-07|author=Ryley|date=|publisher=Nintendo-Next] [cite web|publisher=MTV Multiplayer|url=|title=Retro Studios Answers The Dreaded “Metroid Dread” Question — And Other “Prime” Exclusives|date=2007-09-26|author=Stephen Totilo|accessdate=2008-02-17] [cite web|publisher=IGN|url=|title=Metroid Dread Nearing Completion|date=2007-08-27|accessdate=2007-08-27|author=Matt Casamassina] [cite web|publisher=Computer and Video Games Magazine| url=|title=Nintendo denies Metroid Dread| date=2007-09-06|accessdate=2007-09-06|author=Mike Jackson]

Creation and design

"Metroid" was designed to be a shooting game that combined the platform jumping of "Super Mario Bros." with the non-linear exploration of "The Legend of Zelda" and a distinctly darker aesthetic. Half way through development, one of the staff said to his fellow developers "Hey, wouldn't that be kind of cool if it turned out that this person inside the suit was a woman?", and the idea was accepted. [Cite web|url=|title=Metroid: Zero Mission director roundtable|publisher=IGN|date=2004-01-30|accessdate=2008-02-20] While "Alien" was never mentioned during development, the team is said to have been influenced by the film's atmosphere, and the series has since been one of their biggest inspirations. [cite web|url=|title=The History of Metroid - Part One|author=Andy Robinson|publisher="Computer and Video Games"|accessdate=2008-09-30]

"Metroid", "Super Metroid", "Metroid Fusion" and ' were all developed by Nintendo's internal R&D1 section. The games which have been developed by separate teams are ' (Intelligent Systems), "Metroid Prime", ', and ' (Retro Studios), "Metroid Prime Hunters" (Nintendo Software Technology Corporation), and "Metroid Prime Pinball" (Fuse Games). The central figures in the production and development of the "Metroid" series are Yoshio Sakamoto who has directed or supervised the development of all the games (excluding "Metroid II"), Gunpei Yokoi who headed the Research & Development 1 team and produced the first three games before his death in 1997, Makoto Kanoh who directed and designed scenarios for the first three games, and Hiroji Kiyotake who designed the characters for the original game. Shigeru Miyamoto, who made the "Mario" and "The Legend of Zelda" series, has not been involved with the production of "Metroid", but he did act as producer for both "Metroid Prime" and its sequel.


The "Metroid" series has been noted and praised for its unique style of video game music. Hirokazu 'Hip' Tanaka, composer of the original "Metroid", has said he wanted to make a score that made players feel like they were encountering a "living organism" and had no distinction between music and sound effects.cite web|author=IGN Staff|url=|title=Top Ten Tuesday: Best 8-Bit Soundtracks|publisher=IGN|date=2007-08-08|accessdate=2008-02-19] The only time the main "Metroid" theme was heard was once Mother Brain was defeated, giving the victorious player a catharsis. At all other times, no melodies are present in the game. [cite web|author=Alex Brandon|url=|title=Shooting from the Hip:An Interview with Hip Tanaka|publisher=Gamasutra|date=2002-09-25|accessdate=2008-02-19] The composer of "Super Metroid", Kenji Yamamoto came up with some of the games' themes by singing them while riding his motorcycle. He was asked to compose the music for "Metroid Prime" to reinforce the series' continuity. "Metroid Primes Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound was designed by a member of Dolby Digital.cite web|author=Fran Mirabella III|url=|title=Metroid Prime|date=2002-11-11|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-27] Developers from Retro Studios noted how the process of fitting all the sound effects and music for "Metroid Prime" in 6 MB of space was crucial in producing a quality soundtrack, as each sound had to be of very high quality to be included. Composer Kenji Yamamoto utilizes heavy drums, piano, voiced chants, clangs of pipes, and electric guitar. ' took advantage of the increase in the amount of RAM that took place when the series switched from the GameCube to the Wii; this allowed for higher quality audio samples to be used and thus a better overall audio quality.cite web|author=M4G Staff|url=|title=Interview with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Sound Team at Retro Studios and Composer Kenji Yamamoto|publisher=music4games|date=2007-10-05|accessdate=2008-03-19] Kenji Yamamoto, who composed the music to "Super Metroid" and the "Prime" trilogy, copied the musical design of the original "Metroid" in "Metroid Prime 3", by keeping the music and themes dark and scary until the very end, when uplifting music is played during the credits.

In other media

Characters and elements from the "Metroid" series have appeared in different mediums. Samus has appeared in Nintendo games such as "", "Tetris" (Nintendo Entertainment System version), "Tetris DS", "Galactic Pinball", "Kirby Super Star", and "WarioWare". [citeweb|author=IGN Staff|url=|title= One Ticket to Zebes, Please|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=1999-03-18|publisher=IGN] [citeweb|author=IGN Staff|url=|title= Wario Ware Is Insane|accessdate=2008-02-26|date=2003-03-21|publisher=IGN] Several characters and game environments have appeared in the "Super Smash Bros." series. Samus is a playable character in all three "Super Smash Bros." games. [citeweb|author=Peer Schneider|url=|title= Super Smash Bros.|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=1999-04-27|publisher=IGN] [citeweb|author=Fran Mirabella III|url=|title= Super Smash Bros. Melee|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2001-12-03|publisher=IGN] "Super Smash Bros. Brawl", also features Zero Suit Samus, a version of the heroine using the blue form-fitting suit seen in "Zero Mission" and the "Prime" series. [citeweb|author=Lucas M. Thomas and Matt Casamassina|url=|title= Super Smash Bros. Brawl FAQ — Veterans|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-01-01|publisher=IGN] [citeweb|author=Lucas M. Thomas and Matt Casamassina|url=|title= Super Smash Bros. Brawl FAQ — Newcomers|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-01-01|publisher=IGN] Ridley makes cameos in "Super Smash Bros.", where he can be seen flying through the level Zebes, and in "Super Smash Bros. Melee" both as a unlockable trophy and in the game's opening, where he is fighting Samus at Ceres Space Station. [cite web|url=|date= July 31, 2001|author=IGN Staff|title=Smash Profile: Captain Falcon|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-26] In "Super Smash Bros. Brawl", Ridley, in both normal and Meta Ridley forms, appears as a boss character.cite web|url=|author=Phil Pirrello and Richard George|title=Smash Bros. Wish-List: All Nintendo Edition|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-26] Kraid also appeared in "Super Smash Bros. Melee" as a stage hazard in Brinstar Depths and unlockable trophy. Comics and manga have been made for various magazines based on "Metroid", [citeweb|author=George Caragonne, James Brock, Bob Layton, Jade, Kathryn Bolinger |url=|title= Metroid|accessdate=2008-02-20|date=1987-01-01|publisher=Nintendo Power] "Super Metroid", [citeweb|url=|title= Comics & Manga
] "Metroid Prime", [citeweb|url=|title= Comics |accessdate=2008-02-20|date=2002-01-01|publisher=GameSpy] and "Metroid: Zero Mission" [citeweb|url=|title= Manga |accessdate=2008-02-20|date=2004-01-01|publisher=GameSpy] in both the United States and Japan. Samus Aran and other "Metroid" characters also feature in the "" comic books by Valiant Comics. [citeweb|author=Webster Swenson|url=|title= Captain N Volume 1|accessdate=2008-02-20|date=1990-01-01|publisher=Valiant Comics] Mother Brain was also the main villain in the "Captain N: The Game Master" TV show. [citeweb|author=Michael Drucker|url=|title= Captain N The Game Master – The Complete Series|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-02-01|publisher=IGN] Metroids were an enemy encountered by Pit (Nintendo) in the NES game Kid Icarus. Six short "E-comics" were created to chronicle Samus' life and were published by Kodachi.

Live-action movie

In 2003, two producers optioned the rights to create a movie based on "Metroid", but the rights expired.
Lion Rock Productions reacquired the rights a few years later, and Lion Rock Productions was to produce and release before 2006, but has been either canceled or remains in development hell. [citeweb|url=|title=John Woo Bringing Metroid to the Big Screen|accessdate=2007-10-18|date=2004-04-07|publisher=Crave Online] On April 1, 2005, IGN posted an April Fool's Day article reporting critically panned director Uwe Boll would be directing the "Metroid" movie, with Samus being portrayed by Michelle Rodriguez, who stated the Nintendo GameCube is for kids. [citeweb|author=Matt Casamassina|url=|title= Metroid Movie Details Announced|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2005-04-01|publisher=IGN]


The series has been highly praised by critics, being ranked by IGN as the eighth best franchise ever. [cite web|url=|title=The Top 25 Videogame Franchises|date=2006-12-04|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-20] In 2001, "Electronic Gaming Monthly" chose "Super Metroid" as the best game ever. [cite web|url=|title=Electronic Gaming Monthly's 100 Best Games of All Time| author=EGM staff |publisher=Electronic Gaming Monthly| year=2001| accessdate=2006-11-17] The "Metroid" games have since appeared in other "best game" lists, with all games released up to 2005 included in a "Nintendo Power" "Top 200 Nintendo Games list",citation|year=February 2006| title=NP Top 200|periodical=Nintendo Power|volume=200|pages=58–66] "Prime" in the IGN top 100, [Cite web|url=|title=IGN Top 100 Games 2007 | 30: Metroid Prime|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-20] "Metroid", "Super Metroid", "Prime" and "Echoes" in a list by GameFAQs users; [cite web | title=Fall 2005: 10-Year Anniversary Contest – The 10 Best Games Ever| url= | publisher=GameFAQs | accessdate=2008-02-20] "Metroid" and "Super Metroid" in "Game Informer"'s list; [cite journal | title=Top 100 Games of All Time | journal=Game Informer | volume=100 | year=2001 | month=August | pages=34 ] and "Prime" and "Super Metroid" in "Edge"'s list. [cite web|url=|title= Edge's Top 100 games|publisher=Edge|accessdate=2008-02-20] The series has been influential in many other games, including "". The games have also sold very well, with "Super Metroid", "Metroid Fusion", "Metroid Prime", and "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption" exceeding one million copies sold. [cite web|date=2007-12-27|url=|title=US Platinum Videogame Chart|publisher=The Magic Box|accessdate=2008-03-19] cite web|date=2007-01-01|url=|title=Super Metroid|publisher=N-Sider|accessdate=2008-03-19] cite web|url= |title=Financial Results Briefing for the Nine-Month Period Ending December 2007|publisher=Nintendo|date=2008-01-25| accessdate=2008-01-25|pages=6] Some characters have received their own reception. Ridley was the number two most requested Nintendo character by IGN and number one by the fans to be added as a playable character to the "Super Smash Bros." series and Mother Brain has been commonly ranked among the all-time best video game bosses. [cite web|author=Ryan Stewart and Mitch Krpata|date= October 13, 2006|url=|title=The 20 Greatest Bosses in Video Game History - #4: Mother Brain|publisher=The Phoenix|accessdate=2008-02-26]

The original "Metroid" has been described as being boosted by its "eerie" music, adding a "sense of mystery and exploration" to the game by making the game "moody and atmospheric". IGN praised the well timed music that helped add suspense to the experience.cite web|author=Tim Jones|url=|title= Metroid 2: Return of Samus|publisher=IGN|date=1999-06-14|accessdate=2008-02-19] GameSpot described "Super Metroid" as better than the original "in literally every conceivable way", [cite web|url=|title= Super Metroid review|last=Provo|first=Frank|publisher= GameSpot|date=2007-08-27|accessdate=2008-02-20] "Metroid Fusion" was noted for its "understated score" which fit the mood of the adventure and its excellent stereo sound effects, making it an uncommonly good Game Boy Advance sound experience. [cite web|author=IGN Staff|url=|title=Metroid Fusion|publisher=IGN|date=2002-11-12|accessdate= 2008-03-19] "Metroid Prime" was considered one of the best games ever upon release, winning Game of the Year from various publications and websites. [cite web| url = |title = GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2002: Game of the Year| publisher = GameSpot| accessdate = 2008-02-20] [cite web| url =| title = Game of the Year 2002| publisher = GameSpy| accessdate = 2008-02-20] [cite web|url=|title=GDC 2003: Metroid Wins Game of the Year|publisher=IGN|date=2003-03-07|accessdate=2008-02-20] IGN called the aural experience with "Metroid Prime 2: Echoes" "mesmerizing". [cite web|author=IGN Staff|url=|title=The Ultimate Metroid Prime 2 Echoes Experience|publisher=IGN|date= 2004-11-02|accessdate=2008-02-19] Music from "Metroid" has been frequently re-released as part of "best of" video game music releases. [cite web|url=|title=Game Central's Best of the Best CD|publisher=IGN|date=2007-06-06|accessdate=2008-02-19] [cite web|author=IGN Staff|url=|title=Japan Gets Famicom Music|publisher=IGN|date=2004-03-12|accessdate= 2008-02-19] [cite web|author=Carle, Chris|url=|title=IGN Interviews 8-Bit Weapon|publisher=IGN|date=2005-11-18|accessdate=2008-02-19] "Metroid Prime"'s soundtrack was called the best sound design on the GameCube. The sound effects were also noted for a high degree of accuracy and blending with the soundtrack.cite web|author=Fran Mirabella III|url=|title=Metroid Prime|date= 2002-11-11|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2008-02-27] On the popular video game music site OverClocked ReMix, "Super Metroid" is the tied for the tenth most remixed video game, with "Metroid" tied for twenty-fifth. [cite web|url=|title=Browsing: Games (530)|publisher=OverClocked ReMix|date= 2008-02-01|accessdate=2008-02-19]


External links

* [ Official English site]
* [ Official Japanese site]
* [ Retro Studios official site] ("Metroid" and Retro Studios)

*moby game|id=-group/metroid-universe|name="Metroid" series
* [ Wikitroid, the "Metroid" wiki]

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