Video Game Legend: Samus Aran
In which game did you first encounter Samus? The original Metroid, Metroid Prime series, Super Metroid, Other M, or maybe some of the cameos Samus has had? Samus Aran is a character known not only to retro gamers but to current gen gamers as well. In fact, ask the experts on gamer web sites, television programs and magazines and you’ll be reminded that Samus and the Metroid series are one of the best known and best loved franchises in gaming history.
Why do we love Samus so much?
Maybe it’s because in every installation of Metroid, Samus kicks total ass. Samus’ suits are capable of wielding amazing power and dealing certain destruction to Ridley and the Space Pirates. Who doesn’t love the Morph Ball? Who doesn’t like adventure gameplay with the fun of platformers as well as puzzle solving and an intense storyline? Oh, and did we mention . . .One of the most ass kicking space heroes is . . .Wait for it. . .
A girl. Samus Aran is a girl.
Now before you get all hot and bothered by the later incarnations of Samus in her skin tight Zero Suit keep in mind that Samus was designed as neither a sex symbol nor a poster child for women’s lib. What’s women’s lib? Ask your mom. Samus was designed as a great character. The fact that Samus ended up revealing herself to be a chick was more or less a last minute decision. Developers thought it might be cool. That’s it. Were you surprised when you saw Samus standing there outside of the Power Suit in a 8-bit bikini? Did it change your life? Oh, you need help.
You can’t expect anything less from a Galactic Federation soldier turned bounty hunter who loves special missions to destroy the Space Pirates who killed her parents. Even if you didn’t know the story, though, you would still enjoy the gameplay. In fact, I challenge the younger gamers to find an old fart like me who has an NES and SNES. Ask if you can play Metroid and Super Metroid on their systems. Trust me, they’ve got both. You’re going to love it even though there is no 3D environment and even though the graphics are lackluster. The games are just that darn good. In fact, I still rank Super Metroid for the SNES as one of the best console games ever made.
Before anybody sounds off about Samus being a hottie, babe, betty, or some other lingo for a person you’ve turned into a sexualized object let me talk a little about this ass-kicking woman. According to the Super Metroid guidebook, Samus is 6’3” and weighs 198lbs. That’s no slight little waif you’re ogling there. Second, her build really has little to do with the suit she uses to wreak havoc on Space Pirates and Metroids. It really has nothing to do with the game. So keep your eyes front, soldier.
For those who would turn Samus into a heroine of independent women everywhere, look elsewhere. Samus was designed neither as a sexpot nor as a symbol of female dominance. She is a cool character who kicks major ass in some of the finest video games Nintendo has ever put out. Samus is here to be a good character in a good game, regardless of how she looks in a form fitting jumpsuit. Just play the games and enjoy. And don’t play the games on an emulator unless you own the legal right to do so (and Nintendo is VERY strict on who has that right). Video game piracy, like space piracy, is wrong.