Samus

-Under Construction- Samus is the alien-killing bounty hunter from the Metroid game series. Her armored Power Suit is instantly recognizable by gamers around the world.

Just The Facts

  1. "Samus Aran" is the badass heroine of Nintendo's "Metroid" series.
  2. Samus is a human who was raised by aliens, and grew up to be a bounty hunter.
  3. Her main weapon in fighting nasty things is her Power Suit, which has a digital scanner built into the visor and a big laser cannon for a right forearm.

The Beginning

Samus first appeared into Nintendo's 1986 NES game Metroid. Nintendo placed Gunpei Yokoi in charge of designing a new action game. Yokoi had been working for Nintendo since 1964, long before videogames even existed. He had already been a key asset in the design of Donkey Kong, and he also had years of experience with electronic and mechaincal toys. They knew they wanted "Mario with a gun", but they also knew it wasn't that simple.

Yokoi delivered, hard. Metroid was a gigantic maze of exploration and alien blasting goodness. A few games had used the idea of finding certain treasures which were actually permanent upgrades, and Metroid brought the concept to fruition. The whole game was about using the weapons you had to find a way forward, and then fight through enough enemies to reach the room with the upgrade, and you could use it to travel into new areas of the game. The process was as addictive as the fast paced jumping and shooting.

Yokoi didn't feel his own forte was creating characters or designing costumes, so he chose two other Nintendo workers for this. A worthy character would be needed to explore this harsh alien world.

It's no longer any surprise to anyone, but at the time, there was no indication of who Samus was. You only knew it was someone in robotic looking suit. However, if you won, Samus would take off her helmet, revealing long hair and a female face. If the videogame world is dominated by male characters now, it was even more so then. Samus was actually one of the first playable female characters ever, and has always remained popular.

Tony Stark wishes he could make his suits look this cool.

"Alien" had already been an influence in the vision of the game, and when the designers saw "Aliens", they decided that having a female lead character would be a good idea. Sigourney Weaver had pulled it off pretty well, after all.

They also decided to name one of the game's bosses "Ridley", after director Ridley Scott. It was a close thing, because they almost went with "James", after James Cameron, which would have not sounded as threatening. So, Ridley it was. However, rather than direct movies, this Ridley is a horrifying screeching space pterodactyl who manages to show up wherever Samus is. This flying boss appears in every Metroid game at some point, along with other regular adversaries such as Space Pirates, and the Metroids themselves.

Space Pirates are a constant menace; tall nasty buglike things, many armed with blasters. Not only can most of them easily jump from wall to wall, but even when Samus hits them, they take a lot of damage before dying.

Last, but not least are the Metroids themselves. Icky, flying jellyfish with brains inside them, and pincers which they use like vampire fangs; draining the life out of anything they can catch, and taking it for themselves.