|First game||Metroid (1986)|
|Created by||Surprisingly, not Shigeru "Shiggy" Miyamoto, but rather Makoto Kano|
|Voiced by||Preferably none|
Samus Aran is a girl and the protagonist of the Metroid science fiction action-adventure video game series by Nintendo. She was introduced in the 1986 Metroid game creatively named Metroid, starting off as a redheaded stalwart then dying her hair green, and finally settling for blonde by the time the series jumped to 3D. She was voiced in earlier games by the competent-enough Jennifer Hale, but was replaced in later games by the whiny Jessica Martin.
Samus is an ex-soldier of the Galactic Federation who became a bounty hunter, usually fitted with a powered exoskeleton with weapons that include atomic bombs and tear gas. Throughout the series, she fights the dim-witted Space Pirates and their marginally less dim-witted dragon leader Ridley, while ethnically cleansing alien races such as the Xel Naga, X-Cholo, and Metroids in the meantime.
Samus is well known as one of the earliest female protagonists in video game history. She has appeared in every Metroid game and has also been featured in media outside of the series, most notably the Super Smash Bros. fighting games and reserved, tasteful fan-made interpretations depicting her in the Zero Suit, which skyrocketed on the Internet following the release of Zero Mission. This helped Samus remain a popular character over a quarter-century after her first appearance, since most people would not even know she's a girl otherwise.
Despite being the "protagonist" of the series, Samus is seen engaging in systematic desecration of religious sites, mass genocide, destruction of indigenous species, unbalancing planets' ecosystems, and other loathsome crimes, and apparently getting paid to do so. She is also known for stripping after each mission, especially when completed quickly; whether this is because it gets hot inside the Power Suit when she works harder or she still has these habits burned into her subconscious from her abuse by the Chozo, no one knows for sure.
Samus was born in the cosmic year ~2000 on the Earth colony K-2LOL, a planet where bath salts were mined. She was later kidnapped and taken to Zebes, after some hopelessly addicted Space Pirates popped caps in her parents' asses over drug money. There, she was raised by birds called the Chozo and "injected with their DNA" during her training as a prostitute. Samus eventually stole a Power Suit to escape her captors, and became a bounty hunter. She now deals with her traumatic childhood experiences by shooting creatures, killing aforementioned Space Pirates, and blowing shit up on faraway planets in large quantities, including the planets themselves if she's in an especially bad mood that day.
Education and Master Chief fling
Samus briefly attended a Galactic Federation academy in between escaping the Chozo and becoming a bounty hunter. There she pursued a Bachelor's of Science degree in Advanced Mass Murder Engineering with a minor in Explosionology, paying for her education mainly through pole dancing. During this time, she became acquainted with the equally-famous Master Chief from the Halo series, and began dating him after admiring his codpiece.
Both have admitted on camera that they had a brief flame, but as Samus put it during a later interview, "Do you have any idea how hard it is to have a romantic dinner when you can't see the guy's face?" On the other hand, Master Chief responded with, "She was a bitch back in college. I can't tell you how many times I'd try to strike up a conversation and get a faceful of Plasma Beam." TMZ reported that they continued dating behind the backs of partners Cortana and Adam Malkovich for some time, although both vehemently deny this and no concrete evidence has surfaced.
Samus debuted in the video game Metroid (1986), released back when games had no save feature and you needed to write down a 100-character password for memory. In the game, the Galactic Federation declares open season on the Space Pirates. Samus discovers that the pirates are stealing Metroid alien specimens from their home planet planet of Zebes, and goes to track down and rescue them, kicking the asses of the pirates, a lizard, and a pterodactyl along the way. Deep within the pirates' base, Samus battles Mother Brain, a floating brain in a jar that controls the base's defenses, and escapes just as the base self-destructs. She concludes her first adventure of widespread genocide by stripping down and revealing herself to be a woman (even though the manuals refer to her as a man) — not just any woman, but a pixelated redhead wearing a hot pink bikini. If one is equipped with the Varia Suit during gameplay, Samus will appear as some kind of punk rocker, with her hair color changing to green.
In Metroid Prime (2002), Samus explores Tallon IV, an inhospitable planet which contains a Chozo colony in ruins and a Space Pirate base. There she learns of Phazon, a mysterious mutagen that puts its user on Cloud 9. She encounters strange animals, collects ancient artifacts, battles a dinosaur-sized Metroid known as Metroid Prime, and does various other things for a non-monetary reward (perhaps the reward is to see her strip down again). In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004), Samus is sent to the planet Aether, a Phazon meteor-ravaged planet which is infected with the Dark Parasite that splits the world into Light and Dark dimensions. There she explores an abandoned laboratory and battles the Ing, creatures that are able to possess other organisms, and Dark Samus, a creatively-bankrupt mimeograph of herself formed from the remains of Metroid Prime. In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2007), Samus becomes corrupted and develops an addiction to a mutagenic material known as Phazon whilst partaking in wild parties with the Space Pirates.
In Metroid II: The Return of Samus (1991), the Galactic Federation commissions Samus to investigate the planet SR1138 and cleanse it of all Metroid creatures. In her quest to find the best Metroid specimen, Samus discovers several new species of the creature, each related to some kind of different and specific fetish. She travels deep into the planet's caverns, where after fighting and defeating the Metroid Queen, Samus discovers a small Metroid hatchling, which imprints on her, thinking she is its mommy. Having a change of heart, she spares its life and
kidnaps takes it in as her cute widdle pet.
In Super Metroid (1994), Samus battles Mother Brain, Kraid, Ridley, and the Space Pirates, who have lazily been rehashed by the developers. Here, she is able to purchase upgradable cannons and armor, similar to Megaman. In the end, she again kills everyone and takes off her clothes if you finished the game in less than two hours.
In Metroid Fusion (2002), after completing yet another mission, Samus wants to test her contortion skills and practices some challenging positions in her ship. While using a patented Biologic Space Laboratories VibratorTM, she accidentally contracts the X-Parasite. Desperate, she searches for a vaccine to quash the parasite before it's too late. In the end, she manages to expel the virus from her body and vows to never use a BSL product again.
As a side-job during slower periods of business in her primary occupation, Samus signed up as a fighter in the famous mixed martial arts game Super Smash Bros.. During this time Samus dealt many sound beatings, but received almost as many from the others. As fellow combatant and co-worker Kirby put it:
|“||She dealt with the pain by eating... lots and lots of eating. It started with just a few turkey legs a day, maybe a Maxim Tomato here and there. Then it got worse; pretty soon she was downing a whole Party Ball's worth of chocolate. Any sane person would have stopped by now.||”|
It didn't take long for the tabloids to get all over her recent weight gain; she couldn't even leave the house with out a swarm of paparazzi on her fat heels. A distraught Samus sought refuge by staying indoors, where she became bed-ridden and morbidly obese.
Luckily for Samus, Team Ninja stepped in and promised that they would give her a complete makeover. They kept true to their word, enrolling her in Weight Watchers for free and even paying for her liposuction. However, as a condition of her contract, she was given a new mission to check out a distress signal from the Bottle Ship, leading her to star in the ill-fated Metroid: Other M. This may have ruined her bounty hunting career going forward, but she has since become a beacon of hope to young women again by using her experience in inspirational talks aimed at dealing with body image issues.
Reception and controversy
Samus's character was received well-received, despite initial outcry and confusion from male gamers that they were unknowingly playing as a woman the entire time. However, their opinions largely changed after beating the game faster and with more powerups collected, as Samus rewarded skilled players with Nintendo-approved stripping. This demotivated female gamers from playing as well though, which could explain why the gaming community is so male-dominated today.
Samus is recognized as one of Nintendo's most famous characters, regarded so highly that she was permitted to take King Dedede's spot in the first Super Smash Bros. game so long as she kept her Power Suit on. She was not allowed to utilize her sex appeal again until Super Smash Bros. Brawl released for the Wii, giving players more incentive to seriously consider buying the underwhelming console. In the latest entry released for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, she is allowed to use her Zero Suit instead at any time and even go down to a bikini, as Nintendo struggled desperately for hardware sales and loosened up on its family-friendly image in doing so. One of the developers of the series reportedly leaked plans for the next game entry on the NX console to the press, revealing Zero Suit Samus would gain a new Final Smash where she takes off everything and kills all nearby characters through fatal nosebleeds and/or priapism; this addition was quietly canceled when the same effects took hold on playtesters.
Despite all the praise for her merciless killing and shameless exhibitionism, she faced considerable criticism when Metroid: Other M attempted to expand on her character. She was perceived as whiny, monotonous, needing explicit approval from her lover/father figure Adam Malkovich any time she sneezed or needed to use the bathroom, and cowardly in the face of Ridley, whom she could kill with her arm cannon tied behind her back just like back in the "good ol' days". However, male gamers disagreed with this assessment, appreciating the wealth of well-rendered CGI cutscenes showcasing her boobs and her desire to cater to her man's every need. Regardless, the backlash shocked Nintendo, who decided to avoid admitting their mistakes and making new ones instead in the upcoming Metroid Prime: Federation Force, where Samus will not appear since asking for an extended vacation.