The Metroid universe refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's famous Metroid series of science-fiction adventure games. It is one of the company's most successful franchises. The series has had eleven official games released thus far, with most of them being near-universally praised by critics and gamers alike. The series also has a compilation (Metroid Prime Trilogy), an two enhanced remakes (New Play Control! Metroid Prime and New Play Control! Metroid Prime 2: Echoes). The series revolves around the space-faring bounty-hunting exploits of a woman named Samus Aran.
The original Metroid was released for NES in 1987, and it was considered state-of-the-art for its time because of several elements of design: It featured a labrynthine world in which the player chooses which direction to explore, making it one of the first highly non-linear game experiences on a home console; It was one of the earliest games to feature a password system (and in fact it had a saved-game slot system in its Japanese release on the Famicom Disk System); and in a landmark moment in game history, it was revealed at the end of the game that the playable character is female, an unusual concept for videogame characters at the time. It has remained one of the most popular games from the NES era. Metroid was expanded and developed as a franchise with the releases of the follow-ups Metroid II: Return of Samus for Game Boy in 1991 and Super Metroid for the Super NES in 1994, and they incorporated and introduced many elements that can be associated with Metroid-style gameplay. Super Metroid, in fact, was declared by issue #150 of game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly to be the single greatest game of all time.
In spite of this impressive track record for a Nintendo franchise, there would not be an official Metroid game for the next eight years. In fact, the only time Metroid properties have been seen in a video game during this hiatus were in 1999's Super Smash Bros. and 2001's Super Smash Bros. Melee. But the franchise underwent a noticeable rebirth late in 2002 with two near-simultaneous official Metroid releases: Metroid Fusion, developed by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance, was the official sequel to Super Metroid. But far more notable was Metroid Prime for the GameCube, developed by a previously unknown second-party developer named Retro Studios, and the gaming populace was shocked to find that this game formerly based on a 2D-only series underwent a full 3D restructuring, with gameplay resembling a first-person shooter. This generated a firestorm of controversy prior to release, but by the game's release critics and fans alike found that Prime successfully preserves and develops the Metroid formula of play around a full 3D-world, and that it successfully pulls off a new approach to the first-person shooter genre titled the "First-Person Adventure". Metroid Prime remains one of the most critically acclaimed and highly-rated games ever.
Since 2002, Metroid games have been produced with an increased frequency, continuing to solidify the franchise as one of Nintendo's flagship franchises. Two years afterwards in 2004, another similar pair of official Metroid titles were released by the same respective developers: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is Retro Studios' official GameCube sequel to Metroid Prime, while Metroid: Zero Mission was developed by Nintendo as a redesigned, much-enhanced GBA remake of the original 1987 Metroid, and it features as part of a lengthy post-endgame sequence main character Samus losing her power suit, leaving her forced to contend with enemies in her unarmored form. This suitless Samus has been revealed as a playable entity in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with the popularized name Zero Suit Samus. Then in 2006, two Prime spin-off titles were released; one was Metroid Prime: Hunters, a Prime-style First-Person Adventure for Nintendo's DS, and the others was the somewhat more comedic Metroid Prime Pinball for DS, which noncanonically redepicts the original Prime in a pinball-table format. Lastly, the recently released Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on the Wii concludes the Prime story arc, and is once again a first-person adventure. There is also much debate if the DS title called Metroid Dread has been cancelled or will appear soon. In 2010, another game for the Wii was released called Metroid: Other M.
The Metroid series takes place in a fictional galaxy featuring several different habitable planets and many races of aliens, some sentient. In almost any given game in the Metroid series, the player takes control of a female bounty hunter by the name of Samus Aran, who uses an enhanced space suit crafted by the bird-man-like Chozo race to carry out solo exploration missions assigned to her by the galaxy's resident Galactic Federation. Among the galaxy's many species of creatures are the titular Metroids, a species of large, flying, jellyfish-like creatures native to one particular planet, and they possess the ability to latch onto victims and siphon a sort of life energy from them to sustain themselves, often resulting in the death of the target. These entities are often the central plot element to each game because their terrifying, almost magical traits are constantly attempted to be harnessed by the series' main villains, the Space Pirates, a sentient but conniving and lawless race that ravages the galaxy, operates outside Federation boundaries, and lives for the glory of galactic conquest. Many Metroid games feature Samus being assigned by the Galactic Federation to raid a planet occupied by Space Pirates, rout them all and their Metroid subjects, and sabotage their operations.
All games in the series constitute a single Metroid continuity. In the original Metroid and its remade version Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus is tasked by the Galactic Federation to go to Planet Zebes and stop the Space Pirates from exploiting the Metroid species for galactic domination, and she battles their leaders, the dragon-like Ridley and the biomechanical brain-like entity the Mother Brain. Then in the full Metroid Prime subseries, Samus thwarts similar operations by the Space Pirates to exploit Metroids as well as a radioactive substance titled Phazon. Following these events, the Federation deems the Metroids too dangerous to exist, so Samus is to exterminate the entire species in their homeworld of SR388, and she does, but spares one apparently domesticated hatching and decides to donate it to the Federation for research. In Super Metroid, however, Ridley steals the hatching, and Samus must defeat the Space Pirates and Mother Brain once again on Zebes. In Metroid: Other M, Samus suffers a nervous breakdown as she's forced to deal with several events from the past after she receives a distress signal known as "Baby's cry" from a seemingly abandoned research station known as the Bottleship and, along with the 07 Platoon, explores the place; in where she finds out that a fraction within the Federation is secretly trying to create an army of Metroids and Zebesians, controlling them with a human-like replica of the Mother Brain known as MB. With the Metroids seemingly exterminated for good, Samus is soon attacked by the Metroids' original prey, the X-Parasite, and in Metroid Fusion she ultimately saves the galaxy from a deadly X-outbreak by destroying SR388 with the collision of an X-infected Federation space station into it; though she saves everything from a potential catastrophe, it is uncertain whether Samus will be prosecuted by the Federation for destroying the space station.
In Super Smash Bros.Edit
The Metroid franchise is represented as one of several "standard universes" found in Super Smash Bros., with one character and one stage.
- Samus Aran: A bounty hunter in a technologically advanced and flexible power suit, Samus Aran is an orphan from a Space Pirate attack. She was harbored by the benevolent Chozo race at a young age and infused with their heritage and technology, and she now serves the Galactic Federation as pretty much a one-woman army against the menace of the Space Pirates and their attempts to use the life-stealing Metroids to conquer the universe. Samus explores the worlds and routs all enemies within them by the decree of the Federation, and she acquires many weapon systems and upgrades to her suit such as missile launchers and heat protection during her expeditions. As a fighter, however, Samus is the lowest possible tier because her attacks lack power, and she must rely on her chargeable projectile.
Super Smash Bros. features one Metroid-themed stage:
- Planet Zebes: This stage is designed to resemble the general environment and hazards of the caverns of the titular planet that Metroid and Super Metroid take place in. It is a big platform with several small platforms above it, and the stage features an ocean of acid that periodically rises up and submerges the lower portion of the stage. Touching the acid will damage a character and send him flying upward. One of Samus' primary foes, Ridley, is seen swooping about in the background as well. Due to the acid, it is impossible, under normal conditions, to die by falling below the main platform; however, one under the power of the Starman may fall through the acid.
- 8: A remix of the Brinstar music from the original Metroid for NES. It is heard on Planet Zebes.
- 18: The victory fanfare of Samus is an orchestration of the music heard when Samus finds a new item or power-up in general Metroid games.
In Super Smash Bros. MeleeEdit
- Samus Aran: Samus Aran is still the only playable Metroid series character, probably because of the solo nature of Metroid games and how they do not seem to feature notable supporting characters. Samus returns with her signature missile launcher as her new Smash-B move.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features two Metroid-themed stages:
- Planet Zebes: Brinstar: This stage is the spiritual successor to the original Planet Zebes stage, and it features a nearly identical layout; aside from the visuals, the only real difference to this stage is that parts of the stage can be damaged by players attacks, and destroying these can cause the elevated platforms to rise upwards to steep angles and the big lower platform to break apart into two. A large creature that is possibly the Mother Brain appears in the background, shaking whenever the lava comes up to it.
- Planet Zebes: Brinstar Depths: A difficult stage to keep on top of, this is essentially a giant, craggy, circular mass of rock that floats above lava, and the stage is routinely rotated by the gigantic lizard Kraid in the background. It is easy to find yourself slipping off it and unable to grab onto any ledge. Many players dislike the stage and it is banned from much competitive tournament play.
In addition, in the fourth stage of the game's Adventure Mode is an area called the Brinstar Escape Shaft which forces the player to jump up to the top of it via multiple platforms before a timer finishes. Failure to do so will result in a lost life.
Melee is the first game in the series to introduce a Metroid-themed item:
- Screw Attack: In many of the Metroid games, late in the game an upgrade called the Screw Attack can be collected and equipped by Samus, and when she forward-jumps her body becomes a whirling instrument of destruction that can destroy most of which she touches. As an item in Melee, when a character holds the Screw Attack orb, whenever that character jumps and double-jumps he whirls around in the air in a fashion similar to Samus' Up-B attack and does lots of hits to opponents that the character jumps into. These hits do tiny damage and have no knockback, however. Then the character can hurl it at an opponent and the opponent will automatically jump up whirling. In both cases this item serves a disruption tactic.
- 7: Brinstar: A medley of three classic Metroid tunes, most of it consisting of a techno remix of the first "Brinstar" area music heard in the original Metroid for NES. It is followed by the short "game start" tune one hears whenever one resumes a game file in a Metroid game, and then the low-key general Metroid theme that was first heard on the original Metroid title screen. This is heard in Planet Zebes: Brinstar.
- 8: Brinstar Depths: A remix of area music heard later on in the original Metroid, where Samus is particularly close to her encounter with Kraid. A bridge section consists of the short tune played in item rooms in the original Metroid. This is heard in Planet Zebes: Brinstar Depths.
- 41: Samus's Victory: The victory fanfare of Samus is an orchestration of the music heard when Samus finds a new item or power-up in general Metroid games.
Full Trophy ListEdit
- Samus Aran's three game trophies
- Screw Attack
- Chozo Statue
- Samus' Starship
- Samus Unmasked
In Super Smash Bros. BrawlEdit
A fairly-decent amount of content from the Metroid franchise appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Samus Aran: Shown by trailers as a returning character for Brawl, Samus Aran has been visually touched up to look like her more detailed incarnation in the final sequence of Metroid: Zero Mission, but otherwise apparently retaining her gameplay. Her Final Smash, the Zero Laser, is a huge beam that literally blows off her own armor to become a pile of throwable Power Suit Pieces and renders her as a new playable character, Zero Suit Samus.
- Zero Suit Samus: The suitless version of Samus from Metroid: Zero Mission is playable via Samus' Final Smash. She fights acrobatically and carries a projectile attack in the form of her handheld Paralyzer gun, which she also uses as the basis for her Plasma Whip and Plasma Wire special attacks, both of which can be used for Tether Recovery. Zero Suit Samus' Final Smash involves a huge, blinding ball of light forming around her, returning her to status with the power suit.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Samus shares the fourth column with fellow Famicom/NES-originated characters Ice Climbers, R.O.B., and Pit.
- Ridley: Samus's arch enemy Ridley makes an appearance in the Subspace Emissary as a boss that Samus and Pikachu encounter in a facility on the Island of Ancients shortly after Samus regains her Power Suit. It would seem he is working for the Subspace Army, but no information really exists on his storyline importance.
- Meta Ridley: Later in the game, when a slew of characters are escaping from the self-destructing Subspace Bomb Factory on Captain Falcon's Falcon Flyer, a rebuilt Ridley in the form as seen in Metroid Prime appears. While he is canonically just a modified Ridley, the fight plays out nothing like the previous Ridley fight. It is worth noting that Metroid is the only represented franchise to feature more than one boss fight.
- Metroid: A Metroid latches its body on a character's head and starts draining their health, increasing the character's damage percentage in the process.
- Norfair: A new stage set in the fiery depths of Zebes, this stage, like previous Metroid stages, features rising lava. In addition to this, lava can come from the sides of the screens too, as well as in an enormous wave from the background that forces players to fight to stay inside a temporary safe zone to avoid damage.
- Frigate Orpheon: Set in the opening area of the first Metroid Prime, which contains the Parasite Queen, this stage has an interesting twist. When the warning siren sounds, the stage flips, and what was once above the players becomes the new platforms to fight on.
- Melee Stages: Brinstar: One of the few stages known to return from the previous game, it is mostly the same stage as it was before.
- Main Theme (Metroid) - A rock styled remix of the Brinstar theme from the first Metroid title. Aside from the vocals at the beginning of the track, this is taken almost directly from Metroid Prime Pinball, with the insertion of some extra instruments and the addition of the original Brinstar NES-like remix. It is used on the Norfair stage.
- Ending (Metroid) - An orchestrated version of the credits theme used in both the original Metroid and its remake Metroid: Zero Mission. It is used on the Norfair stage. This song is also played during both Samus and Zero Suit Samus' Classic Mode credits.
- Norfair - A quirky remix of the lesser known Norfair theme from the original Metroid game. It is used on the Norfair stage.
- Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior - An orchestration of the credits theme of the SNES game Super Metroid. It is used on the Norfair stage.
- Vs. Ridley - A completely redone version of Ridley's theme that is featured in several Metroid games and originated in Super Metroid. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Vs. Parasite Queen - Taken directly from Metroid Prime, this was the track that played when Samus fought the Parasite Queen during the opening section of the game. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Opening/Menu (Metroid Prime) - A medley of two tracks from Metroid Prime: the title screen and the credits theme (which itself was an extension of the menu theme). With the exception of the vocals at the beginning, the title screen theme is taken directly from the game, while the credits theme is arranged. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Sector 1 - An orchestrated version of the background music of the first mission in Sector 1 in Metroid Fusion. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Vs. Meta Ridley - Taken directly from Metroid Prime, this was the background music that played during the fight against Meta Ridley. This same, unaltered track was also used in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Multiplayer (Metroid Prime 2) - A track taken directly from the multiplayer mode of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, which itself was a techno remix of the Brinstar background music from Super Metroid. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Brinstar (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Brinstar stage.
- Brinstar Depths (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Brinstar stage.
- Samus' victory theme - The "got item" fanfare featured in every single Metroid game to date.
- Samus Aran
- Zero Suit Samus
- Zero Laser
- Power Suit Samus
- Screw Attack
- Samus (Fusion Suit)
- Samus (Power Suit)
- Samus (Varia Suit)
- Samus (Gravity Suit)
- Samus (Dark Suit)
- Dark Samus
- Meta Ridley
- Space Pirate
- Parasite Queen
- Metroid Prime (Core)
- Metroid Prime (Exo)
- Chozo Statue
- Dark Suit Samus
- Dark Samus
- Federation Trooper
- Gravity Suit Samus
- Metroid (Metroid Zero Mission)
- Metroid (Metroid Pinball)
- Morph Ball
- Mother Brain (Metroid:Zero Mission)
- Ridley (Metroid:Zero Mission)
- Ridley (Metroid)
- Running Zero Suit Samus
- Samus (Metroid)
- Samus (Metroid Prime 2 Echoes)
- Samus (Metroid Fusion)
- Special Token
- Starship (Metroid Prime Hunters)
- Warrior Ing
- Zebes Inhabitant
- Zero Suit Samus
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