Metroid: Samus Aran's historical enemies

Metroid: Samus Aran's historical enemies


Metroid Dread will arrive on Nintendo Switch on 8 October 2021 simultaneously with the release of Switch OLED: it is the most prestigious Nintendo publication of the Christmas period, if not the most important in general. The game is developed by the Spanish team MercurySteam, in collaboration with the members of EPD 7 (Nintendo internal team) most closely linked to the series: Sakamoto is the producer, Hosokawa the director of the game. It is in effect a Japanese Hispanic creature.

Waiting to get your hands on the game that will conclude the story - or rather, according to the developers, which will conclude this particular narrative cycle - of the bounty hunter , let's recall together some historical enemies of Samus Aran and his particular relationship with some of them.

In our list, according to Nintendo's claims (and, of course, a concrete reality) we will only partially mention Metroid Prime and Metroid: Other M, both considered a kind of spin-off (in terms of plot) with respect to the "main" saga created by R & D1. On the contrary, when necessary we will mention the manga prequel of the series, which is considered canonical.


A typical metroid, not too grown up. We can only start our list with the symbolic enemy of the saga. Super Mario takes its name from the protagonist, The Legend of Zelda from the princess of Hyrule, Metroid ... well, from the most characteristic enemy. In fact, there are not many games named in relation to an antagonist: even less those that take their title not from a single entity, but from the race itself of an enemy. Metroid, as you know, derives from the fusion between "metro" and "android", but the history of the word in this context interests us little, since it is a creative act external to the plot in and of itself.

Much more interesting than the Macedonian word between "metro" and "android" is the meaning of "metroid" in the language of the Chozo, the ancient civilization that welcomed and raised Samus Aran (and forged his Power Suit): "the ultimate warrior". Although it was not known initially, it was later revealed that the metroids were born in the laboratory, developed by the Chozo: a weapon to defeat an even more dangerous enemy (or at least, considered by them more dangerous), the Parasite X.

The metroids float in the air, they resemble jellyfish that do not need water to move; they have vampire teeth / pincers, with which they cling to the prey and suck its vital energy. They are extremely strong, and their weakness is in the ice.

Their home planet is SR388, and the Space Pirates have tried to appropriate it for use as a biological weapon of mass extermination. The metroids as a species became extinct at the end of Super Metroid, the episode for Super Nintendo (the third of the saga): those that appeared later are cloned in the laboratory, starting from the DNA of the last living specimen. Yep, that famous specimen.

Super Metroid: the now grown baby metroid helps "mom Samus" in the fight. "The Baby", the little Metroid found at the end of Metroid II: Return of Samus - and at the end of its remake, Metroid: Samus Returns, the work of MercurySteam - is the one who undermines Samus Aran's certainties, awakening a feeling of pity and, in part, maternal instincts. This is because, as soon as the little metroid comes out of the egg, Samus is the only living entity near her: he sees her, and perceives her as her mother. The bounty hunter notices that he is harmless, and she refuses to kill him. She takes him away with her, to have him analyzed in the lab.

At the beginning of Super Metroid, the little metroid sees kidnapped by Ridley - which we will talk about later - and taken to the planet Zebes. Here, after some time, Samus meets him again: at first they do not recognize each other, he has become gigantic, and is about to kill her ... until, before sucking her last vital energy, he glimpses in the huntress the one he had. identified as her mother. He leaves, leaving her alive.

Metroid Fusion: a metroid in its Omega version, the most powerful. During the final battle with Mother Brain, the metroid comes to the rescue of her stepmother, healing her and helping her in the fight. Despite the efforts, the metroid succumbs; Samus, still shocked by the incident and grateful more than ever towards the creature, even absorbs its powers (in turn extrapolated from Mother Brain, because the metroids also transfer information during absorption). Samus, thanks to the newly acquired Hyper Beam, defeats the terrible enemy. The last metroid, "that metroid", dies here.

In subsequent games his DNA is reused to resurrect the species, as well as to extrapolate some key features of the metroids. In Metroid: Other M the figure of the "child" is even at the basis of the story, not so much as a character, but on an emotional level. Samus Aran often remembers his birth and her death, we could say that she is even traumatized. But, as said initially, it is not exactly canonical compared to what we will see in Metroid Dread. Game in which, remember, metroids are - should be - extinct.


Super Metroid: an artwork by Kraid. Certainly we cannot say that Kraid generated in Samus Aran sensations similar to those of the baby metroid; however, he is one of the saga's most iconic enemies. In the first episode for NES (which this year celebrates thirty-five years) it was necessary to kill him in order to end the adventure. In his first appearance, Kraid was quite different from what would become his traditional form: he was shorter and stockier. In the Game Boy Advance remake, Metroid: Zero Mission, the clash would have been totally revised, so as to make Kraid look more like the one admired in Super Metroid.

Speaking of Super Metroid, that's where Kraid is full fulfillment: both in terms of mechanics and in terms of appearance. It is an immense boss, gigantic, to the point of occupying "two screens": to take him down it is necessary, between a jump from one platform to another, to shoot him in the mouth. In that game, once Kraid is defeated, you get the Varia Suit: an enhanced version of the armor, which protects more from damage and heat.

Super Metroid: Also revised now, graphically Kraid is truly remarkable. Kraid is a high-ranking Space Pirate who inhabits - although not a native of - the planet Zebes. He has three eyes and horns that he casts repeatedly, he looks like a huge reptile, a cross between Jabba the Hutt and a tyrannosaurus. His skin is very resistant, to the point that to damage him it is necessary to hit him in the mouth. The enemy is so iconic that it appears, as a damaging element of the stage, even in Super Smash Bros.

On a narrative level, probably the most interesting nuance of Kraid - which does not speak - is the subjugation of the surrounding area . In Metroid, the area near the monster is referred to as "Kraid's Lair". In Super Metroid, approaching his home, the area is filled with dangerous horns, similar to the ones Kraid carries on his head. The clash is preceded by the discovery of the corpse of a soldier, presumably dead for some time, having already become a meal for the larvae.


Metroid Fusion: SA-X, in the image and likeness of Samus Aran. We wrote earlier that the Chozo civilization created metroids to protect themselves from an even greater threat, Parasite X. Parasite that Samus Aran accidentally encounters during a secondary mission on SR388, and from which she is irremediably infected. Only thanks to an antidote, taken from the DNA of a metroid, the bounty hunter is saved.

However, that contact gives the Parasite the possibility to strengthen, to obtain information and to grow: abandoning Samus Aran, she manages to perfectly replicate its shape and powers (with the exception of the eyes, which remain devoid of pupils). In essence, it becomes a potentially unstoppable war machine.

Parasite X in its basic form. All this happens during Metroid Fusion, a game in which Samus, orphan of many powers, is constantly hunted by her clone SA-X (which should stand for "Samus Aran X"). She is not a "bad" entity, but her goal is to survive and thrive, and she pursues it by damaging (and feeding on) what is living around her. Activities in which she is extremely adept, as she can reproduce asexually. During a battle, the Parasite abandons the form of SA-X, to become a hideous shapeless monster.

Once again, the game's ending offers a surprise. During the encounter with an Omega Metroid, SA-X rushes to Samus's aid, probably seeing her as a minor threat of survival; SA-X is defeated, she reverts to her basic parasite form, and in this guise allows Samus to be absorbed. With the new suit, and the new powers, the Slayer is able to defeat the Omega Metroid.

All the other Parasites should have been destroyed at the end of Metroid Fusion, in the impact between the Space Station and the planet SR388 . What's left of them, whatever it is, is inside Samus' suit. We'll know more about Metroid Dread.


Ridley, an official artwork representing him. Ridley takes its name from Ridley Scott, director of Alien, the game that provided the guiding coordinates in the creation of Metroid itself: it is no exaggeration to call it the Nintendo version of the science fiction classic, from a certain point of view. Ridley is the enemy most highly regarded by many fans of the series, and certainly the favorite of fans, who have insisted on his presence in Super Smash Bros. - as a playable character - until they were (strangely) satisfied by Sakurai. >
Ridley is a dragon with anthropomorphic features (the torso, in particular), with a long neck, with a snout similar to that of a pterodactyl, with sharp teeth. It has bat wings, and is a much larger creature than Samus Aran: its color tends to be purplish, with a more or less accentuated brilliance based on the graphic style of the title.

Ridley on Super Smash Bros., where it is playable from the episode for Wii U. It appeared from the first Metroid, where - together with Kraid - he had to be killed in order to access the final phase of the adventure. In Metroid II it was only included in the remake for Nintendo 3DS, where he appeared at the end of the story, with structural changes inherited from his appearances in Metroid Prime (however eliminated, during the battle, by the baby metroid). in Super Metroid the role of him is absolutely central. It is he, during the incipit, who kidnaps the little metroid: Samus chases him, chases him, and the clash during the game is one of the most memorable of the series. In this circumstance, Ridley dies permanently. A clone of him appeared in Metroid Fusion, corrupted by Parasite X.

He is a sentient being, although he does not speak in the game. He speaks all right, on the contrary, in the canonical manga of the series: it is precisely here that the reason why his bond with Samus Aran is extremely personal is told. It was Ridley, in fact, at the helm of the Space Pirates, who attacked the child's home planet: it was he who killed Samus's parents, and even devoured the heart of her mother. Yes, an enemy has devoured the heart of a protagonist of a Nintendo game. Unleashing their thirst for revenge, of course.

Mother Brain

Metroid: Mother Brain in the original for the NES. And we come to Metroid's quintessential enemy: Mother Brain, better known, let us write it down at least once, as Mother Brain. It is a gigantic brain, with cybernetic and robotic prostheses, capable of controlling some functions of the entire planet Zebes. He is the leader of the Space Pirates (according to some the role would be shared by Ridley, who however has a different, more active and practical activity), and lives inside a transparent protective capsule.

Mother brain is the final boss of the first Metroid, and also of Super Metroid. In the latter she assumes a monstrous humanoid robotic form, and in size it is second only to Kraid. Unlike other enemies, when it is destroyed it is not reborn in the form of a clone: ​​its history, at the moment, ended together with that of the planet Zebes.

Super Metroid: the form assumed by Mother Brain is grotesque and terrifying. From the manga we learned more details about Mother Brain: it was an advanced Artificial Intelligence created by the Chozo civilization (which in terms of inventions that ended badly has a good curriculum, in fact). Brain Mother watched over Samus during her childhood, during her training with the Chozos. Once she met the Space Pirates, however, she decided to change faction, betraying the civilization that originated it. It seems she was the first to have the idea of ​​using metroids as a weapon of mass destruction.

A last curiosity: Mother Brain had also appeared as the main enemy in the cartoon Captain N: The Game Master ("A videogame for Kevin" in Italian), where she also exhibited the face of an old hag. In Metroid: Other M she appears in a cutscene, in polygonal dress, when Samus remembers the fight at the end of Super Metroid. Will we see her again on Metroid Dread?

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