Round Table: Metroid Memories

The staff discusses their memories of Samus Aran’s greatest adventures!

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 09/16/2017 20:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

This weekend, after years out of the spotlight, Samus Aran has made her triumphant return. In honor of Metroid’s return, we asked the staff for their favorite memories of Zebes, SR-388 and Tallon IV!

Marc Deschamps

For me, I think my fondest Metroid memory is the first time I played Metroid Prime. Heck, I’d go so far as to say that exploring Tallon IV for the first time is still one of my favorite memories in all of gaming. The game just has all these small details that have a way of sticking with you, like the first time I noticed Samus’ reflection in the visor, or when the Phendrana Drifts track first started playing. In the cold winter of November 2002, that song seemed to follow me around, stuck in my head.

I had been introduced to the series through Super Metroid, and while I certainly have strong memories of playing that on Super Nintendo, my heart belongs to Samus’ initial GameCube outing. I wanted so badly for Metroid Prime to work. In my high school days of debating the merits of GameCube over Xbox and PS2, I needed every game to be huge. But with Metroid, I just wanted to see the franchise return to the glory days, and this 3D, “don’t call it an FPS” title seemed destined for failure. Except it wasn’t. Instead, Nintendo and Retro Studios released a magnum opus for the GameCube that felt familiar enough, yet far grander than anything we had ever seen out of the franchise.

Samus’ first 3D outing came a generation after Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time, and yet it feels as important as both of those titles. While Samus Aran never quite reached the same heights as Nintendo’s two biggest icons, Metroid Prime still remains one of the best games the company has ever published.

Joshua Johnston

It’s an interesting time for me, because in the last month or so I’ve played through Metroid: Zero Mission (for the first time) and also played Super Metroid (not for the first time). The games hold up well even now, with just the right combination of exploration and action. Even my daughters (9 and 5) thought the game interesting enough to come in and watch. More than once, my 5-year-old asked, “When are you going to fight Mother Brain?”

Maybe the best part of the games is the way you get to beef up your gear throughout the adventure. The way a new suit or weapon can turn formidable foes into creampuffs is immensely satisfying. That thrill is still there, especially at the end of Zero Mission, when you get your suit back and get to start blowing up all those Space Pirates who had made you so miserable.

But my favorite piece of gear comes from Metroid Prime 3: Echoes. I honestly thought the first two Metroid Prime games were a little too difficult compared to earlier Metroid games (a problem rectified nicely by the Wii’s Metroid Prime Trilogy, which had multiple difficulty modes), but that didn’t stop me from staring in awe when I finally got my hands on the Light Suit, which was a beacon in a very dark world. Seeing Samus in that holy armor staring down Dark Samus is one of the all-time best moments in the series.

Robert Marrujo

I wasn’t introduced to Metroid until Metroid Prime came out. GameCube is one of my favorite systems of all-time and I think a big part of that is owed to Samus and her inaugural first-person outing. There’s really no easy way of conveying just how impactful my time on Tallon IV was. Watching rain drops form on Samus’ visor, the dread of seeing Meta Ridley soaring overhead knowing that eventually I’d have to face him, and a bunch of other details all sucked me into the world of Metroid.

Of course, Metroid Fusion came out at the same time and I got it, too. My Game Boy handhelds were always my de facto system of choice, so being able to play a game with that same awesome heroine in it was irresistible. It didn’t hurt that Metroid’s 2D outings were easily equal in quality to the Prime games. I know a lot of people gripe about how “linear” Fusion was, but I couldn’t care less. It was full of action and great graphics, and being hunted by the SA-X was downright frightening.

So now I find myself awaiting Samus Returns and the agony is killing me. I can’t wait to play it come Friday and re-experience a classic in a new way. I hope all of you are just as excited as I am for Samus to make her comeback after the disaster that was Other M!

Jon Stevens

My strongest memory of the series also comes from Metroid Prime and my time hanging around the local game shop playing all of the demos until they ran out of time (and then restarting to try and get even further!).

Before I could afford a GameCube, I vividly remember playing the demo of Metroid Prime and being blown by the opening moments of the game and thinking how incredible it looked. The ship, your reflection in the visor, the environments… I hadn’t played any of the 2D Metroid games either, so as far as I was concerned, this was just a graphical powerhouse which showed off what was possible on Nintendo’s new console.

It’s only in hindsight that I can appreciate what a departure the game was for the series. With Prime, the developers successfully managed to bring what had been solely a 2D franchise into the third dimension in much the same way that Nintendo had done with Zelda a few years earlier (and in the face of just as much doubt). The impact of this is shown by the fact that even with the release of Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS, fans are still clamoring for a Prime-style game!

That’s all from our staff! Let us know your favorite memories of the franchise in the comments below!

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