Remembering…Super Metroid

Super Metroid

On May 15th, 2013 one of my favorite videogames of all time will be re-released, this time on the Wii U Virtual Console. It’s going to take all of my strength to keep this article somewhat short, because I could literally go on and on about this game for pages and pages. I promise I won’t do that to you. So, here’s my introduction to this game.

It’s the same introduction we all witenessed. Even after all these years (Super Metroid was originally released on the SNES back in April 1994) that intro still gives me goosebumps. I love it, as in I don’t think I’ve ever seen another videogame intro quite as magical and awe-inspiring. I mean you watch that and you know you’re in for something special.

Let’s rewind a second, to where I first heard about this wonderful game. It all started with my brother’s subscription to Nintendo Power. Back in the late 80s and early 90s everyone had a sub to Nintendo Power. You weren’t normal if you didn’t :-P Anyways, I remember this issue fondly.

NP Vol 60

It was volume 60, and with it came my love for the game. I vividly remember going to Toys R Us and picking it up. I was so excited to finally get my hands on the game after seeing so many previews in Nintendo Power. You have to remember that back then there was no Internet so the only place to find out about the latest and greatest games was from magazines. Anyways, when I got home my brother and I put the game in our SNES, and the magic began.

We spent the next month or so playing nothing but Super Metroid. Sure the original Metroid offered exploration and action platforming, but it paled in comparison to this. There was something special going on here, something that’s never been replicated since. It was all the little details, like when you first arrive on Zebes and see no-one around, the feeling of being truly isolated on an alien world, and how when you ran Samus made little splashes on the ground with her boots. Maybe you had to be there, but it was so impressive to our young eyes, and even today the two of us still go back and play through this game at least once a year.

Another thing that really impressed us was the soundtrack. The above track is from when Samus first touches down on Zebes. Just listening to it now brings back a flood of memories, all good ones. The soundtrack remains one of my favorite of all time, right up there with A Link to the Past, and Super Castlevania IV. It’s funny, but when I think about it now, the SNES library holds just about all of my favorite games, and soundtracks. It really was the system to own.

The core gameplay in Super Metroid was also incredible. From the giant areas to explore, to the wicked map, which made finding the secret items slightly easier because you could actually see where you hadn’t been before. It’s this one feature that makes returning to this game so easy, and why it’s so difficult to replay the original Metroid. Another reason is the weapons and how your powers improve over time. In Super Metroid progression feels natural and by the time you finish the game you feel like a true bad ass. In the original, even at the very end of the game you never quite managed to get that same feeling.

Speaking of endings, the last boss fight and sequence remains one of my favorite. It brought the Metroid series full circle, and made millions of people lifetime fans of the series. The following video shows exactly what I’m talking about. Make note that if you’ve never finished the game or even played it, DO NOT WATCH this video or you will be doing the biggest gaming injustice of your lifetime.

The only thing that I disliked about this game was the “See You Next Mission” slogan at the end of the credits. This teased us fans for years and years. We would have to wait eight years(!) for a follow-up, and during that time my heart sank each and every year that went by without a word from Nintendo. I used to look forward to each month’s new Nintendo Power for word on a new installment in the series, but was always disappointed. I actually consider this time period The Great Wait because of how long it took for new installments to arrive in the Super Mario, Zelda, and Metroid series. While both Mario and Zelda would see new games in 3D on the N64, poor Samus was left behind. It was at that point when I figured the series simply ended, and it would never be heard from again. Boy was I shocked when I learned that not one, but two new Metroid games were in development for a 2002 release. All I could say was “Thanks Nintendo, it’s about F-ing time!!!”

I promised I would keep this relatively short, and so I’m going to open the floor and let you all chime in with your fondest memories of this legendary game. Don’t be shy, I’m certain all of you have something to say about the greatness that is Super Metroid.

16 thoughts on “Remembering…Super Metroid”

  1. This is one Nintendo franchise that I’m not that hardcore into and never even knew existed during the NES/SNES era. Super Smash Bros. for the n64 was my introduction to Samus and even then I didn’t know what the big deal was. I jumped the bandwagon in 2002 with both Metroid Prime and Fusion, and I was left pleasently surprised.

    Fusion gave me a taste of 2D Metroid greatness with a surprisingly deep narrative, and Prime was simply…perfection. I’ve seen videos of Super Metroid since then, but in my opinion Prime 1 is the best game in the franchise. It took everything from Super Metroid and successfully implemented it in an FPS perspective. I felt immersed and nostalgic despite never playing a Metroid game.

    I guess Super Metroid was one of those games that ‘you had to be there for’ to fully get. You had to play it back in the day to fully appreciate. 30 cents is a definite must buy for me, but I’m not sure that I’ll fully enjoy it because I played out of order.

  2. My Metroid love started with Fusion. But for me, Zero Mission is the game that made me fall in love with the franchise. Have completed that game so many times I used to know the game by heart. I actually bought a copy of Super Metroid years later and it arrived just before x-mas. I went back home for the holidays and when everyone was asleep, I was playing super metroid on a huge 13 inch screen! Finished the game in 2 sittings! Awesome game, fantastic even! Haven’t played it since unfortunatly. No need to tell you I can’t wait for next tuesday!

  3. Great stuff guys. I didn’t know these stories before. I’m really loving this new series, and I hope you guys are too. I hope more people chime in. I’ve sent the article off to a few friends that I know are omega fans so I’m hoping they share their fondest memories too.

    I hope you guys pick this one up and give it another whirl. For me this is a no-brainer. I’ll be going through the whole game on Tuesday for a 100% completion rating :)

  4. The best I’ve done is to complete the game with 4 energy cubes and only 1 weapon upgrade. The hardest is to finish the game with only the charge beam. That requires some serious skills. I’m sure I could do it though as I’ve played the living crap out of this game, much like ALttP.

  5. Game breaking is so awesome in meteoid games. I always like that stuff. Its crazy what you can skip

  6. Oh yeah man, count on it. I want to challenge myself with ALttP. I usually only get hit once or twice in the whole game if I’m playing like a moron. Problem is that restore points take away the real challenge. People can cheat the game now whereas I had to do this the hard way.

  7. Honestly, people can play this however they want. They spent their hard earned money on it after all. Shouldn’t stop you from doing all this crazy stuff. I suck big time in alttp. Keep dying left and right. Dont know how you manage to not get hit.

  8. Yeah I agree, just saying if you use the restore points for a challenge run it kind of defeats the purpose as you’re removing the challenge ;). As for ALttP, I’ve memorized almost everything there is to in that game.

  9. With ALttP, I can definitely beat it without dying and memorized just about every little secret, but without getting hit needs to be seen in order to be believed. If I can see you do that Jarrod I’ll honestly salute you.

    Speaking of which, did you play the extra dungeons in the GBA versions of ALttP? Those were INSANELY tough. Had to go out and refill my bottles after every dungeon.

  10. Just ask Steven. We played ALttP last year I think it was over Xbox Live and I would be so ticked whenever I got hit. It was hilarious because I’d enter a dungeon and a few minutes later say “okay all done.” Lol. One of the hardest fights in the game has to be the Blind fight because of the slowdown with all three heads up. That said so long as you have the magic cape there’s little reason to be hit at all. Just pop another magic potion and presto done.

    That’s the big trick with the three-heart completion. Use the cape and magic potions and it’s a breeze.

    1. It’s an extra dungeon, the Palace of the Four Sword. You need to play through the Four Swords game that was included on the cart in order to access it. If you want to see a video of it, I’ve included one here.

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