According to Nintendo, 7 Points Define the 2D Metroid Games Saga
Metroid Dread is coming soon, and while some of the fans are still riding the high that after all this time, Metroid Dread is a real game that is coming out on the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has been putting out some blog posts to keep the hype going until the game’s October release. In their latest blog, the Metroid Dread’s developers talk about the seven defining characteristics that make up the saga of 2D games.
Seven Defining Characteristics About 2D Metroid
While a lot of the specifics from the blog are fairly obvious to people who have been with the Metroid series since either Zero Mission, or its original debut on the NES 35 years ago, this blog talks about the importance of some of the key characteristics that have with the series since it’s inception.
While this may seem like a no-brainer, 2D Metroid games wouldn’t be the same without the inclusion of the bounty hunter herself, Samus Aran. Consider something like Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a four-player co-op FPS game for the 3DS, and one that didn’t involve Samus at all. Rather, the game focused on the Federation. The players were put into mechanical exosuits and sent on missions from the Federation. While Samus shows up once in a cameo in her spaceship, and another time as a decoy in the game, many fans felt that a game focusing on the least liked part of a title isn’t worth playing, even though Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a sequel to Metroid Prime 3 and Metroid Prime 4.
However, with Metroid Dread, the game is all about Samus, and it seems that the series is going to stay that way. The most important piece of information players can glean from the post is some information that the developers say about Samus.
“In the Metroid Dread game, Samus’s suit appears to have changed quite a bit from her previous missions. In the Metroid Fusion game, Samus’ suit was greatly transformed after the emergency removal of pieces eroded by the X parasite and a life-saving injection of the Metroid vaccine—resulting in an organic appearance for her suit. Now, her suit is gradually returning to its original, mechanical Power Suit form.”
This developer transmission hints at a big question that players were wondering about Samus, that being that the consequences of the fusion suit from Metroid Fusion are not permanent. This is a big deal for the story implications of 2D Metroid games, as the fusion suit was fused to Samus’ body due to the infection from the X-Parasite.
The second no-brainer from Nintendo is that Metroid games should contain the Metroids in some capacity, considering they’re the namesake of the 2D franchise. Created by the Chozo, the same alien race that rescued Samus when she was young, the original purpose of the jellyfish-like Aliens was to bring harmony into the world and destroy the X-Parasite that plagued the Chozo homeworld, and was called “Ultimate Warrior” in the aliens’ language. However, their ability to drain the life of their enemies made them weapons.
And this is something that’s managed to stick to the Metroid series since its inception, with the Metroids playing a key part in the story of Samus Aran. Metroid 1 and 2 is all about destroying the Metroids, and Super Metroid continues with the consequences from Metroid 2. Metroids turned up once again in Metroid Fusion, when their DNA is used to save Samus from the X-Parasite infection, giving her the ability to stop the X-Parasites, but also making her weak to low temperatures.
While the role these aliens will play in the next game isn’t clear just yet, one thing has been known about the state of the Metroid species: they’ve gone extinct! With Metroids disappearing from the galaxy, Samus is the only living creature with Metroid DNA in her, which could play a role in the new game.
The developers left a comment about the aliens as well, stating, “I’m sure some of you may have thought that the character Samus was named Metroid?”
35 Years and Running
While Samus didn’t get the same treatment Mario did when her 35th anniversary rolled around, the fact that Metroid Dread is coming out in October is all the presents any player could ever want. It’s also imperative to look back and see just how far the series has made it, since Metroid has managed to survive a lot of trials and tribulations, more so than other franchises like Zelda and Mario. With 35 years behind the Metroid series, Nintendo is hoping that Dread will be a smash hit for Metroid fans, and increase their number when it releases.
The developers also share the same sentiment, and have reminisced on the series, as well as spoke briefly about the remakes of Metroid 1 and 2.
“We developed the Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid: Samus Returns games, which are remakes of the first two 2D games in the series, but it’s been 19 years since a brand-new title released in this saga—which means we’ve kept you waiting for more than half of the 35-year history of the entire series to see what happens next. As such, we have plentifully poured in what we have been preparing, and we believe everyone will be able to experience the game with many surprises within.”
Another thing that permeates every Metroid game is the concept of exploration. Since Dread is returning to the roots of the series, exploration is coming back in full swing. Exploration in Metroid is also something that many fans have put into their games, which is where the “Metroid” in “Metroidvania” comes from.
While talking about this, Nintendo showed off some of the new ways Samus can explore the planet ZDR in Metroid Dread. Dread now includes new functions on the map, such as Highlighting rooms with items in them, as well as the player being able to zoom in on the map and put markers down to remember where things they want to continue with are.
Nintendo also stated that they hope that the new additions and expansions on the map system will make running through the planet smoother and more fluid than before.
Finding items to progress has always been a titular part of Samus’ Journey, from finding the Super Missiles to open doors in Zero Mission, to using the Speed Boots to break special blocks, allowing Samus to reach new areas in the world.
Dread is going to include some of the older items from the franchise’s history, and will also include some newer ones for Samus to use, such as the Spider Magnet, which allows Samus to climb up walls, or the Cloaking ability, which will let Samus become invisible and hide from the dangerous E.M.M.I robots Nintendo discussed in their previous post.
Another constant in the Metroid games is the Chozo, an alien race of hyperintelligent beings that resemble birds. These aliens raised Samus when she was young after losing her parents, and bestowed upon her the ways of their kind, as well as letting her use the armor they made, which is where Samus got the suit she’s been using since the original game.
Samus has encountered the ruins of the Chozo while fighting through the many games, and as they’re the creators of the Metroids, they play a big part in the Metroid series. The statues of the Chozo are seen all around the Metroid games, giving her health, as well as new abilities. However, the Chozo are all but extinct, and many not be seen in the game.
Nintendo also mentioned in their list that there are things to be discovered containing more clues about the Chozo civilization, which could hold massive weight in the larger scope of the Metroid story.
While not a constant in the Metroid games, the X-Parasite is something that has become a massive part of the story, as the events of Metroid Fusion saw Samus becoming infected with the parasite, only to be saved by a vaccine made from the X-Parasite’s only predator, the Metroids. The X-Parasite can infect a living creature and then create a copy of their genetic makeup, and Samus sees this firsthand when she returns to SR388 to finish off the remaining X-Parasites that live on the planet. When she makes it down to the planet’s surface, she finds out that the X-Parasites have made a copy of her SA-X. this replica of Samus chases her down throughout the entirety of Fusion, only to save her at the end. While Samus thinks that the job is done the X-Parasites could still be alive on the planet ZDR. This is where Samus is heading in Metroid Dread.
Regardless, it looks like Metroid Dread is shaping up to be the definitive Metroid experience for players all around the world. Many fans have been waiting a long time for this game, and Metroid Dread is going to be the first Metroid experience for a lot of new fans to the sci-fi genre.