I’m actually pretty embarrassed it’s taken us so long to feature ‘Metroid’ for Throwback Thursday, ScienceFiction.com’s ongoing column dedicated to the great science fiction of the past. I mean, we’ve talked a lot about some really crappy games like ‘Space Channel 5‘ (shh, don’t listen to what I said ‘Space Channel 5’, I’m just trying to sound cool even though I secretly love you) and some somewhat unknown games like ‘Xenogears‘… but yet, we have not touched ‘Metroid.’
So take yourself back to the land of 8-bit, where plot wasn’t really much more than reason for you to do jumping puzzles on a scrolling video game. Let’s think about a time where science fiction was really more about environment and shooting laser beams than actually being science fiction.
Enter ‘Metroid,’ with its campy space plot. In it, you play Samnus Aran, who is trying to stop Space Pirates from replicating parasitic organisms called “metroids” before they unleash them on the world. As Samnus, you explore caverns and get power-ups, and eventually defeat the game (if you don’t suck at it, like I do). Now what’s cool about this game is that even though it’s an early game, it actually has various endings. Depending on how fast you complete it (under 5 hours reveals that Samnus is a girl), you get a different conclusion to the plot… which makes it one of the most replayable games of on the Nintendo system.
But really, the charm of ‘Metroid’ isn’t just the original game, it’s what it became. There is barely a game with the ‘Metroid’ name attached to that doesn’t get high critical acclaim (or at the very least, it rarely gets “ugh, this game sucks” which more than we can say for other series). It’s a fun game to play no matter the system, with lots of things to explore.
If you ever get a chance to play the whole run of ‘Metroid’, starting with the very first one for the Nintendo, I highly suggest you do it. You won’t regret it.