This article is written from the Real Life point of view Globe

This is a featured article.

Metroid: Samus Returns is a science-fiction action-adventure game announced during the Treehouse broadcast on June 13, 2017. It is a 2.5D remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus, and the first traditional, sidescrolling Metroid game since Metroid: Zero Mission (a remake of Metroid) in 2004. It was released worldwide on September 15, 2017.[1]


The game was announced at the E3 2017 expo during the post-conference Treehouse live stream, with Nintendo representatives providing commentary as gameplay was shown. In an interview with Reggie Fils-Aime, he explained that they did this because they believed that people were more interested in Nintendo Switch games during the main show, and also because of the negative reception that Metroid Prime: Federation Force received, stating that:

"I really do think we need to help our fans understand what we're doing, why we're doing it and give them all the examples of why we think it's going to be a fantastic experience, and certainly I have confidence in our developers on what they deliver is going to be first-rate."[2]
Restore peace to the galaxy & stop the #Metroid threat in Metroid: Samus Returns. Available now for the Nintendo #3DS family of systems!

—Nintendo of America tweet[3]


In the year 20X5 of the Cosmic Calendar...

A Galactic Federation research team discovered an unknown life-form on planet SR388. While they were able to successfully obtain a living sample, their research vessel was attacked by Space Pirates during their voyage home.

This attack was no coincidence. The Space Pirates had set their sights on these mysterious organisms called Metroids. They planned to replicate the sample and exploit its ability to absorb the energy of any life-form. Their intention was to use Metroids as a weapon, one powerful enough to conquer the entire galaxy.

To combat this threat, the Galactic Federation dispatched a lone bounty hunter to infiltrate the Space Pirate base on the planet Zebes.

Against all odds, Samus Aran eradicated the Metroids on Zebes and defeated Mother Brain, the leader of the Space Pirates. And so their sinister plans were thwarted... for a time.

Concerned by these developments and by the great threat the Metroid species still posed to the galaxy, the Galactic Federation mounted another expedition to SR388.

A special squadron of elite soldiers from the Galactic Federation Police was dispatched to investigate. The team soon went missing, but not before transmitting a small sampling of data back to headquarters.

Analysis of this data confirmed a Metroid presence within the interior of planet SR388. So long as they continued to exist, these Metroids would forever pose a devastating threat to the galaxy.

The resulting decision of the Galactic Federation Council was immediate and unanimous.

Samus Aran... You must exterminate the Metroids once and for all!


The plot remains nearly the same as in Metroid II: Samus Aran is sent to SR388, the home planet of the Metroids, with the order to exterminate the species and discover what happened to the Galactic Federation Special Squadron sent before her for the same purpose. The game begins with an introduction sequence in the style of Super Metroid, summarizing the events of Metroid: Zero Mission, and depicting Samus's battle against Mother Brain.[4]

Samus lands on the Surface of SR388 and begins to explore the planet and its deep caverns. Samus encounters the Metroids in different stages of their newly discovered life cycle, growing from small jellyfish-like creatures into large reptilian monsters. She also encounters the Diggernaut, a massive Chozo mining robot that threatens her at several points until she destroys it. After eradicating nearly all the Metroids, Samus confronts the Queen Metroid after several larvae, eliminating all of them. Shortly afterward, Samus discovers a Metroid Egg that hatches in front of her. Immediately preparing to kill the infant, Samus is confused when it does not attack her, but thinks she is its mother. Unable to bring herself to kill it, Samus takes it with her.

As Samus and the baby reach SR388's Surface to return to her Gunship, they are surprised by Proteus Ridley, who tries to abduct the baby. Samus beats Ridley and takes the hatchling back, but Ridley rises again and continues to engage her. The baby assists Samus at occasional intervals, draining a small amount of energy from Ridley before he shakes it off, and giving it to Samus. After a long and difficult battle, Ridley is defeated, and Samus and the baby leave SR388 together in her Gunship. The events of Super Metroid immediately follow.

Chozo Memories[]

As items and expansions are collected in the game, a gallery of art pieces called Chozo Memories will become unlockable, depicting the history of the Thoha tribe of Chozo that inhabited SR388 and created the Metroids. The final two Memories depict the Mawkin tribe leader Raven Beak's massacre of the Thoha. These Chozo Memories hint at crucial story elements in Metroid Dread, which features the appearance of Raven Beak as a main antagonist along with Quiet Robe as a supporting character.

Post-credits scene[]

In a post-credits scene, a Hornoad is seen wandering on the planet's surface, gnawing on Ridley's discarded mechanical claw before being infected by an X Parasite. Now that the Metroids have been exterminated (save for one), the X are able to repopulate, which they do in Metroid Fusion. Ridley's discarded claw also hints that he ultimately regenerated enough of his body to no longer need cybernetics.


As you go through the game, you'll pick up extra equipment giving you a wider range of actions to perform. Equipment such as shots with different effects and the Spider Ball (an item introduced in Metroid II that let you stick to surfaces) let you uncover more of each stage. Since this is a remake of Metroid II, we're bringing in several power-up items and abilities that were never seen in the original. These special abilities give players a fresh way to experience the fun of exploration and fighting the Metroids that was so important to the original game.

Yoshio Sakamoto

The Evolution of Samus Aran (Nintendo AU site)

Additions to the game include the Free Aim ability allowing Samus to aim in 360 degrees, instead of just diagonally, horizontally and vertically as in previous 2D titles. A laser sight has been added to Samus' Arm Cannon which will glow red when it intersects an enemy. The game features melee combat similar to Metroid: Other M, including a Melee Counter Samus can perform to deflect enemy charges and create an opening for further attack, in addition to instantly readying a fully charged Charge Beam. The Melee Counter can be used on almost all enemies, including all Metroids and some bosses.

Large ornamental Chozo Seals exist in the areas of the planet, functioning similarly to the Golden Statues of Zebes. When accessed, Samus will download information indicating the number of Metroids in that area. Filling the statue with "Metroid DNA" collected from kills will cause the purple liquid preventing Samus' progression to subside, similar to how defeating Metroids in the original game would cause the liquid to decrease.

New power-ups introduced are the Aeion abilities. Functioning as a fuel system, Aeion abilities are new powers that use a gauge system which gradually depletes as they are used. Aeion Orbs may be used to refill the gauge, and are sometimes dropped by enemies when defeated or successfully countered.

Energy Stations and Ammo Stations return as Samus's method of renewing her energy and Missile reserves, along Energy Capsules and Missile Ammo drops since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Checkpoints are also featured in addition to Save Stations. Unlike the original game, Samus does not begin with the Morph Ball and must acquire it from a Chozo Statue. She also starts out with 24 missiles instead of 30 missiles, which is expanded by 3 each time a Missile Expansion tank is acquired instead of 10. The Charge Beam, Grapple Beam, Super Missiles, Gravity Suit, and Power Bombs which were absent from Metroid II, can be acquired in the game. Although the Speed Booster does not appear in Samus Returns, using the Spider Ball in conjunction with the Power Bomb creates the Power Bomb Cannon which mirrors the Ballspark.

While the Wave, Spazer and Plasma Beams can be stacked, the Ice Beam cannot and has to be equipped separately from the Power Beam. The Ice Beam is much weaker in this game, however it can now damage all Metroids, whereas in Metroid II they were only vulnerable to missiles.

A common criticism of previous Metroid games is extensive backtracking. Samus Returns eliminates this by adding a fast travel feature in the form of Teleport Stations, which let Samus quickly move between different areas of the planet. Elevators, which were absent in the original Metroid II, also fulfill this purpose.


Because [Metroid II] is more than 20 years old now, I felt it necessary to take this chance to retell that story anew, to bring it to the attention of so many game fans once more. My role as producer on this project was to get this process started and then to help navigate the various challenges in preserving the charm of the original game while still bringing our own new interpretations to it that would culminate in the greatest possible remake.

—Yoshio Sakamoto [2]

The development codename for Samus Returns was Matadora. Yoshio Sakamoto led the game's development, which began in 2015.[5] Samus Returns is developed by MercurySteam in collaboration with Nintendo. MercurySteam is a Spanish developer that had previously pitched a Metroid game for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, which Nintendo rejected. According to Sakamoto, he decided to collaborate with them after hearing about their interest in developing a remake of a Metroid game, although not Return of Samus specifically; he later stated that it was Metroid Fusion they wanted to remake. [6] Sakamoto rejected their Fusion pitch but decided to work with them on a remake of Metroid II, knowing they had good experience with Metroidvania titles from their work on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate.[7] He did not consider working with another developer. Sakamoto was particularly interested in remaking Metroid II, both because he was not involved with the original game's production, and because he wanted to retell the pivotal story of Samus's first encounter with the baby Metroid for a new audience of players.[8]

The game was developed for the 3DS rather than the Switch due to the former's larger consumer base.[9] It is being developed by the same core team behind Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, which was itself a Metroidvania title.[10] The game has no story or mechanical connection to Metroid Prime 4, which was announced on the same day as Samus Returns.[11] Tim O'Leary confirmed to Kotaku on June 19 that the game's development was complete.[12]

Asked why Nintendo and MercurySteam chose to develop the game for the 3DS rather than the Nintendo Switch, Sakamoto explained that the dual screens of the handheld allowed them to make better use of the map without taking away from the experience. [13] He also revealed that he had wanted to create a Metroid game with a map on the bottom screen and seamless gameplay on top since the time of the Nintendo DS.[14]

Legacy Edition includes a Retro Steelbook case, a 40-page Artbook, Game Soundtrack, Gold S-Mark Pin, a Morph Ball 3D Keyring and a download code for Metroid II: Return of Samus for Nintendo 3DS.


The game also comes in a special edition, including a reversible cover insert and a CD soundtrack with 25 classic Metroid tracks, called the Samus Archives Sound Selection. The reverse side of the cover is a reproduction of the original boxart for Metroid II.[15] European players who pre-ordered the game obtained a Legacy Edition that includes a download code for Metroid II to be redeemed in the Nintendo eShop, a SteelBook modeled after the original Game Boy cartridge for Metroid II, the soundtrack, a Gold S-Mark Pin, a Morph Ball 3D Keyring and a 40 page Metroid: Samus Returns Artbook.[16] Similarly, preordering the game itself from GameStop had the player gain a special keychain depicting a colorized sprite of Samus Aran's Varia Suit from Metroid II.

A Metroid II remake had been requested by fans for many years, to the point where a widely popular unofficial remake, AM2R was developed and released in 2016, in time for the 30th anniversary of Metroid. Shortly after its release, it was taken offline by Nintendo. In response to Samus Returns, DoctorM64, the creator of AM2R stated: "N won E3 for me, #SamusReturns looks like the Metroid 2 I always wanted to play. Looks like the ANOTHER part of #am2r still makes sense now." [17] On his AM2R blog, Milton later stated that he bought a New 3DS XL specifically to play Metroid: Samus Returns. Interviewed by Kotaku, Sakamoto stated that he was aware of AM2R and while he had not seen the game, he appreciated that DoctorM64 cared so much about the Metroid series. [18] Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, addressed AM2R and implied it was shut down in order to protect profits that Samus Returns would generate.[19]

Following the game's release, Sakamoto has repeatedly iterated that he has no plans to remake Super Metroid or Metroid Fusion, [20] but is interested in continuing to work with MercurySteam on future, original Metroid titles.[21] This eventually came to pass with MercurySteam developing the long-rumored Metroid Dread for Nintendo Switch, to be released in 2021. According to Sakamoto, he originally met with MercurySteam in the hopes that they could help him realize his vision for Dread, and they exceeded his expectations with Samus Returns.[22]


Kenji Yamamoto and Minako Hamano, veteran composers of the series, returned as directors of the soundtrack of Samus Returns, with the main score being composed by Daisuke Matsuoka. The game features remixes of several classic tracks, including (but not limited to) the classic Title, Surface, Metroid Nest, Met2 Metroid Hatching and Staff Credit themes composed by Ryoji Yoshitomi for Return of Samus. The original cavern tracks, which were criticized as being unmemorable, have been converted into atmospheric themes with the original notes playing in the background, including Met2 Caverns3 and Met2 Caverns4. Samus Returns also uses some versions of tracks from the Prime Series, such as the Item Acquisition Fanfare (which returns for the first time since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption), the Tank and Event Jingles from Metroid Prime, and Samus Aran's Appearance Fanfare. Samus Aran's Final Cry, the Game Over jingle from Super Metroid, returns as well. In addition, there are new themes, including Matad Jinchozo.

Other returning tracks include In the Cockpit; Magmoor Caverns; Star Ship; the Silence remixes taken verbatim from Echoes; and the Movie Ship Landing theme from Super Metroid that plays when Samus flies to Ceres Space Colony and Zebes.

amiibo functionality[]

Samus Returns supports amiibo, including the figures of Samus and Zero Suit Samus from the Super Smash Bros. series, as well as two new amiibo of Samus in her classic Metroid II cover pose, and a Metroid (with a squishy texture). While amiibo support was first confirmed at E3, their exact functionality was not revealed until July 24, 2017.

The Smash Bros. Samus amiibo unlocks a Missile Reserve Tank, which automatically replenishes Missiles, and a gallery of concept art to view after beating the game. The Zero Suit Samus amiibo will unlock a Reserve Tank that automatically replenishes energy and a Sound Test mode in the Gallery that unlocks after beating the game. The Samus Returns Samus amiibo unlocks an Aeion Reserve Tank that automatically replenishes her Aeion, and Metroid II artwork for the gallery (again, after beating the game). Finally, the Metroid amiibo unlocks a marker on the Map showing the location of the closest Metroid, and a harder Fusion Mode that unlocks after beating the game once, and enables the Fusion Suit from Metroid Fusion to be worn on subsequent playthroughs.[23] A standard Hard Mode is present in the game without amiibo, unlockable after beating the game once.

Official data[]

Nintendo of America tweet[]

"Are you a fan of The Legend of #Zelda [Triforce]: Ocarina of Time? Save Termina in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, or find new adventures in the stars with #Starfox 64 3D & #Metroid: Samus Returns! Start a new quest today on the Nintendo #3DS family of systems!"[24]


Samus Returns received critical acclaim, with many fans and critics considering it a return to form for the Metroid series. Reception was positive pre-release as well, a contrast to the previous two Metroid games, Metroid: Other M and Metroid Prime: Federation Force, which were received negatively by fans and the press.

The announcement of exclusive amiibo figures, each with an unlockable feature tied to them (most notably Fusion Mode), caused controversy and confusion, requiring Nintendo to issue an explanation and reveal the existence of a traditional Hard Mode that does not require amiibo to unlock.[25] Some reviews also criticised the game's controls and/or a "slow pace" caused by the Melee Counter.[26]

The review embargo was officially lifted on September 12 and the game received over 56 positive (and no negative) reviews with aggregated scores of 85/100 on Metacritic,[27] 87.11% on GameRankings[28] and 87/100 on Opencritic[29] (respectively).

The first official review, by Famitsu, gave the game a score of 32/40, with each of the review panel's four critics giving the game a score of 8.[30]

Samus Returns was the eighth best selling game in the United Kingdom and the United States for its first week of release, and was the highest selling Nintendo release in the UK that week. (NBA 2K18 on Nintendo Switch was higher on the list, but because it is only a digital release it is not counted as a Nintendo release for those charts)[31][32][33] It sold nearly 30,000 copies during its first week in Japan, ultimately selling through 70% of its shipment there.[34] [35] [36] Sales of Samus Returns increased after the announcement of Metroid Dread in June 2021, with the game becoming the second Best Selling title on the 3DS eShop in the United Kingdom.[37] It was the third best selling game on the eShop during the week of Dread's release.[38]

Samus Returns won Best Handheld Game at the 2017 Game Awards on December 7, 2017.[39][40] At the 21st Annual DICE Awards on February 23, 2018, the game won the award for Handheld Game of the Year, 13 years after the last 2D Metroid game, Metroid: Zero Mission, won in the same category. At both shows, the awards were announced during award montages, and not collected by anyone from Nintendo.[41]

Over time, criticism has been brought up regarding some of the changes in the remake, among them being the final segment leading up to the game's ending due to how it drastically differs in tone and atmosphere from Metroid 2: Return of Samus. Some consider the new final boss and the use of the last Metroid as an item/power-up to be unnecessary and negative additions (however, some argued the new final boss contributed to the game's lore, particularly its direct tie-in to Super Metroid and canonizing the Metroid Prime series, and did not view its inclusion as negative). Others have also remarked on the low enemy variety and repetitive encounters in Metroid: Samus Returns, as a result of nearly half of the original game's creatures being cut. This issue is further compounded by the remake's larger focus on combat, with many rooms featuring a larger enemy presence where there were initially fewer or none in the 1991 game. Phase 9 in particular now holds numerous creatures living in very close proximity to the Metroid hive, contradicting the long established lore of the titular species being a threat to all life. Finally, the combat was criticized for being tedious and slow paced, with many enemies having unusually high health and aggression which heavily enforced use of the Melee Counter.[42]


See also[]

Trailers and Commercials[]


For artwork, see Metroid: Samus Returns/Gallery



Print media[]



  1. ^ MercurySteam (mercurysteam). "Happy Metroid: Samus Returns 4th Anniversary!" 15 September 2021 8:21 a.m. Tweet.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Walker, Austin (June 2017). Nintendo Explains Why They Didn't Focus on Indie Games at E3. Vice.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Myers, Maddy. Polygon. "Metroid co-creator on why Metroid Dread is all about scary robots" 17 June 2021 9:00 a.m. EST. Retrieved on June 17, 2021.
  23. ^
  24. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "Are you a fan of The Legend of #Zelda: Ocarina of Time? Save Termina in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, or find new adventures in the stars with #Starfox 64 3D & #Metroid: Samus Returns! Start a new quest today on the Nintendo #3DS family of systems!" Mar 12, 2019 4:00 p.m. Tweet.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ Darren. Shinesparkers. "Metroid tops Wii U eShop best sellers." June 25, 2021. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  38. ^ Shinesparkers (Shinesparkers). "An update from the eShop sales chart in the United Kingdom as it stands, on 11th October 2021. ¶ SWITCH: #1 Metroid Dread ¶ WII U: #1 Metroid Fusion #2 Metroid Zero Mission #7 Metroid Prime Trilogy #9 Super Metroid ¶ 3DS: #3 Metroid: Samus Returns" 11 October 2021 8:02 a.m. Tweet.
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ Metroid: Samus Returns review. Robinson, Martin. September 12, 2017. Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on September 13, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2024.
  43. ^ Nintendo NY (NintendoNYC). "Incoming Transmission: New Metroid gear has landed at #NintendoNYC. Discover these and more during your next visit!" 1 Jun 2018 4:55 p.m. Tweet.
  44. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "Take a look back at some highlights from the past 10 years! Which of your favorite games & systems can you spot?" 30 Dec 2019 9:00 a.m. Tweet.
  45. ^ Wild on Media. Walking Billboards: Nintendo. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  46. ^ Wild On Media. Walking Billboards: Nintendo. YouTube. September 8, 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2024.

External links[]