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Zero Suit Samus and Adam 3

In Other M, Samus pleads with Adam to let her go into Sector Zero in his stead.

The relationship between Samus Aran and Commander Adam Malkovich was a key element to the plots of Metroid: Other M and Metroid Fusion.


Commander Adam Malkovich was normally cool and not one to joke around, but he would end all of his mission briefings by saying, "Any objections, Lady?"
He was joking, but others weren't... At the time I felt surrounded by people who treated me like a child, or used kid gloves because I was a woman. And yet, with Adam, I was grateful for the nod... My past has left me with an uneasy soul, and as a result, it touched me on some level that Adam would acknowledge that past by calling me something delicate - like "Lady." And I knew more than anyone that every word from Adam was deliberate.

—Samus Aran

The exact nature of the relationship varied. In Fusion, Samus reflected on Adam rather fondly. She named her new AI Commanding Officer after Adam, but quickly grew to revile it for lacking his compassion, especially after it chastized her for destroying the Restricted Laboratory.

In Other M, Samus confessed in her monologues that she viewed Adam as her "best friend" and a father figure. She at one point found herself concerned with Adam's view of her knowing that he, a staunch opponent of bioweapons would have strongly condemned her final act from the SR-388 incident of sparing the baby and providing it for scientific study.

Anthony Higgs seemed to take note of Samus' chemistry with Adam as he asked her at one point how she felt about him.

Metroid: Other MEdit

As the prequel to Fusion, Other M featured Adam as a prominent figure in both the main story and Samus' backstory. Samus reunited with him aboard the BOTTLE SHIP for the first time since she became a Bounty Hunter. Adam was initially bitter with her and called her an "outsider" (A word that Samus said "pierced my heart"). Though he did not authorize Samus to stay, she decided to do so for the sake of his 07th Platoon. Out of respect for Adam, she deactivated all of her upgrades for later. After assisting the Platoon in defeating a Brug Mass, Adam welcomed her onto the team on the condition that she would follow his commands.

In a flashback, the circumstances of Samus' departure from the Federation are revealed. The VIXIV was supervising Adam's brother, Ian Malkovich who was working to repair the destabilizing drive unit of the civilian aircraft, Lusitania. The drive unit went critical and Adam made the hard decision to order the ejection of the machine, knowing that it would kill his brother. Samus protested, believing that she could save Ian in time, but Adam did not cease the order. Samus later felt guilt for "questioning his authority and making things more difficult", causing her to become an independent Bounty Hunter. In the present day, Samus reflected on the incident and said "If something like that happened again, I would hold fast to that glimmer of hope and try for redemption. That was who I am."

Samus Crying

Samus cries as Adam walks to his death.

Samus grew increasingly aware that Adam knew more about what occurred on the BOTTLE SHIP than he was telling her. She encountered a survivor who showed her a Metroid military program report that Adam wrote concerning the feasibility of Metroids as bioweapons. Learning that the Metroids are cloned and placed in an area of the Ship called Sector Zero, she travelled to this area where she encountered a Baby Metroid outside the entrance to this Sector. Adam shot Samus from behind and before it could attack her killed the Metroid. Adam explained that the Metroids in the Sector are made to be unfreezable. With this weakness wiped away, these Metroids are now a threat that Samus could not defeat. Adam explained that his report outlined the various risks that came with using Metroids as bioweapons. Although "HQ listened" to his warnings, a corrupt faction of the Federation took his report and went ahead with the project anyway. Adam revealed that Sector Zero had a failsafe mechanism. If the sector took significant damage, it would detach from the BOTTLE SHIP and self-destruct, completely wiping the unfreezable Metroids out.

Realizing what this meant and someone must die to make it happen, Samus protested, echoing the incident which Ian died. Adam explained that while he could not beat Ridley or save the galaxy, he could still "save [Her]". He walked off to his death, locking the doors behind him to prevent Samus from following him. She banged on the doors, crying out his name. Finally, Adam turned to her and asked: "No objections. Right, Lady?". Bitterly, Samus gave him a thumbs-down (See below) and as the doors closed behind Adam, Samus shed a tear for him.

Adam vanished. My best friend, the person who understand me best, the closest thing to a father I had. Thoughts swirled through my head – I couldn't come to grips with what had happened. Such a cruel way to say good-bye. I was the only one who witnessed Adam's last moment, and though it shook me, I was calmer than I usually am. I think Adam granted me that eye-of-the-storm clarity – his final gift to me. There was no time for me to grieve his death. But there was time for me to say: Adam, thank you… Leave the rest to me.

—Samus Aran


Escaping Sector Zero, Samus finished the mission and rescued Dr. Madeline Bergman, a survivor that Adam told her about. Madeline killed MB and departed with Samus and Anthony in Samus' Gunship. As they returned to the Galactic Federation Headquarters, Samus questioned Adam's choice and said that "the cost was far too great". However, she later realized that he made the right decision as he had years ago. She swore not to grieve his death and found comfort in that someone else understood her now, just as well as Adam did: Anthony.

Days later, Samus returned to the BOTTLE SHIP as it was scheduled to be destroyed, looking for an object that she described as irreplaceable: Adam's helmet. Disabling her Power Suit, she had a tender moment with the helmet and embraced it, seemingly breaking her vow not to grieve. The Countdown activated and Samus escaped suitless from the BOTTLE SHIP with the helmet before it was destroyed. Onboard her ship, she talked to the helmet: "Sorry for keeping you waiting, Adam. Let's go home." What became of the helmet was unknown.

Metroid FusionEdit

As I listened to the briefing, my thoughts turned to Adam. The real Adam understood me well. He would end orders by saying, "Any objections, Lady?" He knew I wouldn't disagree. That was just his way of noting our trust. I wonder if I can trust this computer, too...


Fusion introduced the character of Adam. Although it was released eight years prior to Other M canonically, it occurred after. By Fusion, Adam died from initially unknown causes (Explained in Other M, see above), and Samus looked upon him fondly. As stated, she was reminded about Adam by her new artificial CO and privately named it after him. She was unsure if she could trust the computer and occasionally disobeyed it's orders or did things without it's approval such as lifting Level 4 Security.

The biggest act of disobedience that Samus committed was breaching the Restricted Laboratory after destroying the Security Robot B.O.X., despite "Adam" warning Samus to leave immediately after to avoid the SA-X. Having discovered the entrance to the lab prior to the battle with B.O.X., Samus returned with the newly acquired Wave Beam and entered the lab. She discovered that the Galactic Federation was secretly breeding the Metroids and destroyed the lab. The computer admonished her for ignoring her orders and destroying the Metroids. Disgruntled, Samus called the computer a "machine obsessed with duty" in an introspective and stated that no compassion compared to the real Adam could exist within it.

Late in the game, the computer informed Samus that the Galactic Federation was coming to capture the SA-X and confined her to a Navigation Room in order to prevent her from stopping them. Samus called it Adam in a moment of frustration. Having not disclosed her private nickname to the computer, it became confused for a minute. After a brief argument, the computer regained control of itself and revealed that it actually contained the consciousness of the real Adam. It ordered Samus to activate the BSL station's propulsion sequence and escape and eradicate the X Parasites before the Federation could acquire them. Samus escaped right before the station collided with SR388, destroying the station, planet and all X Parasites.

At the end of Fusion, Samus learned that Adam's "perfect military mind" was preserved in computer form and installed in her gunship. She became concerned about being held responsible for her actions aboard the BSL, but Adam reassured her that someone would understand them. One detail continued to bother her, however. Before she confronted an Omega Metroid in the Docking Bays, her Gunship was moved by someone before it was flown back into the station for Samus to board it. Samus briefly wondered whether it was possible that Adam operated the ship, having somehow survived. The computer revealed that the Dachoras and Etecoons which Samus rescued earlier assisted him. What became of Samus and Adam after Fusion was currently unknown.

Thumbs-up/down signEdit

Adam and Samus flashback

Samus gives Adam the thumbs-down.

The thumbs-up sign had been used by the Galactic Federation for ages. Me, I was known for giving the thumbs-down during briefing.
My thumbs-down was a twofold response - a sign of derision at being called a lady, and a signal of my complete understanding of the mission orders.

—Samus Aran

Samus met Adam when she joined the Galactic Federation Army. Adam joked with her after his briefings by asking "Any objections, Lady?" as she was the only female under his command. To signal that one understood the mission orders of their commander, a soldier would give a thumbs-up sign. Samus developed a reputation for giving a thumbs-down which told Adam that while she understood the mission orders, she would not be derided by him calling her a lady. In Fusion, she said that the phrase was a way of denoting their trust.

As Adam left for Sector Zero, he turned and asked a weakened Samus, "No objections, right Lady?" She responded with a bitter thumbs-down. Following the death of MB, at the Galactic Federation Headquarters, she gave him a thumbs-up for the first time "just in case he was watching over me." Anthony appeared, giving a thumbs-down at her. Samus, having previously stated in a soliloquy that only Adam understood her, realized that Anthony now understood her as well.


  • Critics of Other M stated that though Samus describes Adam as a father figure, her actions and thoughts suggest a warped Electra complex (in which a daughter is attracted to her father).[1]
    • In addition, the depiction of their relationship in Other M was also criticized for romanticizing abuse, with Adam shooting Samus in the back being one of the more blatant examples that criticism focused on.[2]
  • Elements of the relationship, owing to Other M being designed for a more Japanese audience than usual in an attempt to increase the amount of Japanese fans, was taken from various elements of Japanese and East Asian culture. In particular, filial piety was used for the scenes where a large part of Adam's coldness to Samus was because of her leaving the military, and to a certain extent the similarly-controversial Authorization mechanic in the game (in Japan, a soldier is expected to absolutely obey their commanding officer's orders without question and not do anything without the CO's explicit authorization under the basis of having absolute trust in authority. On that note, walking out on their CO for any reason is considered inexcusable in Japan.). Also, several of Samus's decisions are emphasized as being due to thinking that's what Adam wanted rather than what she personally believes (the latter barely given any focus in the story), which had basis on the Japanese virtue of "Enryo" or the suppression of self.
  • In the Japanese dub, as Samus is banging on the blast door and calling after Adam, she can be heard sobbing. She does not do this in the English version.
  • Nate Bihldorf from Nintendo of America implied that the backstory between Samus and Adam was likely written, or envisioned by Yoshio Sakamoto when Fusion was released.[3]
  • The Samus-Adam relationship was referenced in Adam's spirit battle in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where the player has to defeat puppet fighters composed of Snake and Zero Suit Samus, with the former carrying Adam's spirit. Coincidentally, Snake, or more accurately his father Big Boss, had a similar relationship to The Boss that Samus and Adam had in Snake Eater.
  • Jessica Martin (the English voice of Samus in Other M), in a 2019 tweet expressing her gratitude for the Metroid fan community, used three thumbs-down emojis in reference to Samus's practice with Adam.[4]



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  3. ^ "The backstory between her and Adam was probably written — or at least roughed out in Sakamoto-san's head — around when Fusion came out. That game only touched on their history, but you actually got a lot of meaty story out of those cutscenes. You only got hints, but you got the sense that, a.) They were close and had a unique relationship, and b.) Something dramatic happened and there was some fiction there. There clearly was a lot of backstory there that was laid out in the creator's head that was only touched upon in Fusion. A lot of those things are really being drawn together for Other M."
  4. ^ Martin, Jessica Erin (jessicaemartin). "To this day I am so heckin grateful and heart warmed by the Metroid fans and community. 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻♥️" 15 Mar 2019 10:25 p.m. Tweet.
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