|This is a featured article.|
- "Sammy" redirects here. For the former Retro Studios artist, see Sammy Hall.
"Samus" redirects here. For other uses, see Samus (Disambiguation).
"Newborn" redirects here. For the Chozo Artifact, see Artifact of Newborn.
"Princess" redirects here. For other uses, see Princess (Disambiguation).
|“||In the vast universe, the history of humanity is but a flash of light from a lone star. The life of a single person should be lost in space and time. But among the stars, there is one light that burns brighter than all others. The light of Samus Aran. Her battles extend beyond her life, and etch themselves into history.||„|
—Metroid Prime intro
Samus Aran (サムス・アラン Samusu Aran ) is an intergalactic bounty hunter and the main protagonist of the Metroid series.
The daughter of Rodney Aran and Virginia Aran, she lost her parents during a Space Pirate raid on her home of K-2L. Later, Samus was adopted by the mysterious Chozo and taken to Zebes, where she was infused with their DNA and raised to become a warrior. Once she reached adulthood, Samus joined the Federation Police and served under the Commanding Officer Adam Malkovich. Though she ultimately left to become a Bounty Hunter, she was nonetheless hired by the Galactic Federation on many occasions. Equipped with her cybernetic Power Suit, Samus has become famous for accomplishing missions previously thought impossible. Her most renowned achievements are the destruction of the Space Pirate base on Zebes, her role in ending the Galactic Phazon crisis, her extermination of the Metroid species, and her disobedience of orders at the Biologic Space Laboratories research station where she chose to destroy the deadly X Parasites rather than turn them over to the Galactic Federation.
Samus broke ground early in the gaming world when she debuted in the 1986 game Metroid. Originally players were under the impression that Samus was a male, as the English translation of the instruction manual used male pronouns for her.
However, completing Metroid in under five hours revealed Samus to be a young woman. Although Samus wears the Power Suit throughout most of the Metroid series, she traditionally removes it at the end of most games, often as a result of satisfying certain conditions such as completing the game quickly or with a high percentage of the game's items collected or even both.
Samus was born on the Earth colony K-2L, and after its destruction was raised on Zebes by the Chozo. Her residence has never been seen in the games, but has been depicted in comics and manga, much of them non-canon.
Personality and portrayal
|“||With the death of the planet Phaaze, Samus Aran's arduous fight against Phazon has ended. However, in the vast regions of space, this victory is just a twinkle of a star, spreading the light of hope through the darkness.||„|
Samus's personality has rarely been explored in-depth within the context of the games, a conscious decision by Nintendo to help the player imagine themselves better as the in-game character. However, Metroid Fusion, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and Metroid: Other M are perhaps the most notable games in the series to give insight into Samus' personality, as well as other media formats such as comics and manga. Prior to Metroid: Other M, her voice would only be represented by text in beginning narration, as well as throughout Metroid Fusion.
Typically, Samus is depicted as a melancholic, heroic loner of few words. She dislikes taking too many orders, and will only do so from those she respects. She remains lonely and brooding in spite of her great accomplishments, and seeks revenge against the Space Pirates - especially Ridley, who was personally responsible for the death of her mother. Despite her tragic origins, Samus has been shown to have unparalleled willpower and resourcefulness, succeeding where thousands failed and stopping at nothing to save the galaxy from any threat that may arise. Such is Samus' determination that she was even willing to sacrifice herself to prevent the spread of the body-snatching X Parasites.
Despite her reputation for destroying even the deadliest of foes, Samus is also known for her compassion, and has consistently stood up to secure the helpless and downtrodden. Three notable instances of this were when she volunteered to single-handedly save the Luminoth race from the brink of extinction, when she helped innocent Etecoons and a Dachora escape a self-destructing Zebes, and when she swore to Quiet Robe that she will put an end to Raven Beak's evil ambitions. In Metroid II, Samus also bonded with a Metroid who was born in front of her eyes, and decided to spare it, possibly recalling her three-year-old self during the attack on K-2L. It later sacrificed itself at the end of Super Metroid to save Samus, leaving her heartbroken and emotionally scarred for some time, as shown in Metroid: Other M.
Witnessing her mother's death at Ridley's hands left Samus with posttraumatic stress disorder, which manifested as a severe panic attack upon her first encounter with Ridley in adolescence. She appears to have since learned to cope with this trauma, as she has rarely hesitated to do battle with her most opposed nemesis since then. Upon learning that he had survived their first battle on Zebes, Samus expressed only silent anger and wasted no time rushing to her Gunship to chase Ridley down to the planet Tallon IV.
During the events of Metroid: Other M, Samus was in an especially vulnerable state following the death of the Metroid hatchling, the destruction of her childhood home Zebes, and an unexpected reunion with her former CO Adam Malkovich. Her behavior was more passive and less self-reliant, uncharacteristically dependent on Adam Malkovich while joining him and the platoon in investigating the BOTTLE SHIP. Desperate to prove she had overcome her old insecurities of feeling weak and delicate, Samus willingly placed herself back under Adam's command in an attempt to regain his trust. During an encounter with a cloned Ridley she was faced with the facts: she was not over her old insecurities after all, causing her to enter a state of shock (likely a relapsed PTSD attack). After this she briefly relapsed into her headstrong rebellion of Adam, even believing MB's lie that he endorsed the BOTTLE SHIP's bioweapons program, but upon gaining her final orders from Adam outside Sector Zero she completely regained her composure. Other M's depiction of Samus has garnered significant criticism for being perceived as inconsistent with her depictions in all other games, as well as the questionable implications of her submissive behavior and interactions with Adam throughout the game. Other M is the only time these traits have been observed; by the time of the events of Metroid Fusion, Samus is once again portrayed as self-reliant and strong-willed, if somewhat more introspective.
Samus's precise age has never been revealed, with the Japanese Prime site even stating that her age is unknown.
In Metroid: Volume 1, Samus is 3 years old during the K-2L attack and 14 years old when she leaves Zebes and joins the Galactic Federation Police; the final chapters of Metroid: Volume 2 leading into her Zero Mission are set an unspecified "few years later" and therefore could take place during her late teens or early twenties. However, Other M concept art states that she is "about 4-6 years old" around the time of the K-2L attack, and "approximately 15-17 years old" in her Federation military period.
While non-canonical, the Nintendo Comics System comic The Coming of a Hero refers to Samus as the youngest police officer to become a Star-Tracker. The Nintendo Comics System adaptation of Captain N: The Game Master features the teenage Kevin Keene as Samus's love interest; this could indicate that Samus may have been intended to be in her late teens or early twenties in the original Metroid, which would roughly line up with the timeline presented in the Magazine Z manga.
Inspiration from the Alien series
It is plausibly assumed that Samus was inspired by Sigourney Weaver's character Ellen Ripley from the Alien series. In fact, Samus's physical appearance in the Super Metroid comics was a combination of Ripley and Leia Organa from the Star Wars films. Samus's relationship with the infant Metroid is comparable to Ripley's relationship with a surviving LV-426 colonist named Rebecca "Newt" Jorden. Like the Baby, Newt dies in the sequel, Alien3, and like Samus, Ripley grieves her death. Unlike Ripley, Samus has never shown to be traumatized by the Metroids she faces on her various missions, with her psychological scars instead caused by her childhood encounter with Ridley.
In other media
In licensed Metroid material outside of the games, Samus’s personality is largely left up to the writer in question. As such, her personality has varied considerably between major publications. The Magazine Z manga depicts her as suffering from childhood trauma and often thinking heavily about her role and the role of the Pirates. In the Captain N: The Game Master comics, Samus is depicted as brash and money-hungry (as just about any bounty hunter would be), though she is willing to compete fairly with Princess Lana for the protagonist Kevin Keene’s feelings, suggesting her behavior is something of a "tough-guy" act.
While Samus does not have a royal heritage in any of the games, she was depicted as the queen of Garbage World in A King of Shreds and Patches in Captain N, and Anthony Higgs gives her the nickname "Princess" in Metroid: Other M (although in concept artwork James Pierce says "Heey, Princess!" likely referring to Samus). Non-canonically, she is also depicted sitting on the throne in the King Conan Diorama in Corruption. This would seem to indicate that she became an empress to the Reptilicus, although this is never depicted in-game.
Samus Aran is a human. According to the Super Metroid Players' Guide, she is 6 feet 3 inches tall (roughly 190 cm) and weighs 198 pounds (roughly 90 kilograms); however, the manual of Metroid II: Return of Samus attributes these measurements to her Power Suit instead. Physically, her body is quite lean under the armor, though her superhuman abilities may be accountable to her muscle/bone density given her hybrid genetics and augmentations. Her hair color is blonde, her eye color is blue with a green tinge, and she appears to be Caucasian. Samus typically wears her blond hair in a modified ponytail with a red hairband, with a lock on either side. The exact hairstyle, however, can vary from game to game.
Samus's appearance varied widely in the early games. In the original Metroid, her hair was miscolored brown, though it would turn green once the player acquired the Varia Suit. If Metroid II: Return of Samus was played with a Super Game Boy, Game Boy Player, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance or Game Boy Advance SP, her hair would be miscolored red. It wasn't until Super Metroid that she officially became blond, although the non-canon comic colored her hair purple. In addition, the gamebook Metroid: Zebes Invasion Order depicted her hair color as largely being black.
Similarly, Samus's Hairstyle has varied in the early games and other media. In the original Metroid, her hairstyle was depicted as wavy and reaching just beyond her shoulder blades in the ending, while in Metroid II and Super Metroid, it was depicted as straight with a part on the left side of her forehead and bangs, respectively, with the former only reaching her neck and the latter reaching her shoulders. In Fusion, she has two bangs, one of which partially covers her left eye slightly, and is depicted as long enough to reach down her back. In addition, in Zebes Invasion Order, Samus's hair, similar to Fusion was depicted as long enough to reach down her back. Samus's signature hairstyle debuted in Metroid: Zero Mission, and has been present in every Metroid game released since. The only exception is Metroid Prime Hunters which, though it retained Samus's ponytail, lacked the two locks of hair on each side of her head. Previously, Samus had been depicted with a ponytail in Metroid Prime and (briefly) at the end of Metroid II and Super Metroid.
Samus's face structure has also varied between games. Metroid, Metroid II, Super Metroid, and Metroid Fusion gave her a wider face and larger eyes than later incarnations. In particular, her appearance for Super Metroid is stated to be based on American actress Kim Basinger. In Metroid Prime, her jaw was squarer, her eyes deeper-set and her lips more defined, giving her a Caucasian appearance. Zero Mission gave her higher cheekbones and a thinner face than previous installments, and that template has been the basis for every game since. Echoes' incarnation is possibly her most panned appearance, due to the in-game model suffering from the uncanny valley. Prime Hunters, on the other hand, gave Samus a face that appeared to be a blend of Zero Mission's and Prime's depiction. Samus retained the deep-set eyes, traditional ponytail, and fuller face from Prime, but also had Zero Mission's higher cheekbones. Corruption's is closer to that of Zero Mission, with a thinner, more stylized face. Samus Returns gave Samus a slightly angular face, along with slightly rounder eyes. In other media, such as Zebes Invasion Order, Samus's face was rendered with a similar design to various Japanese anime, such as Speed Racer.
On the other hand, Metroid: Other M is perhaps the largest change Samus has ever had to her appearance since Zero Mission. She is depicted for the first time with short hair and green eyes, with subtle facial features reminiscent of Asian descent. While her adult appearance still gives her a ponytail, the two locks on either side of her head have been heavily reduced in size, her bangs have been altered and her ponytail has been moved to the nape of the neck. She also has the beauty mark that Yoshio Sakamoto alluded to in the Super Metroid developer interview, under the left side of her lip. A mole was marked in concept art for Metroid Prime, but was not added to the model. Before the credits, Samus is briefly depicted with her hair down, the first instance of this in 3-D. With her hair down, she has locks of hair hanging over her shoulders. After Anthony steps in, the lock over her right shoulder is no longer there. She then ties her hair back into her ponytail, mirroring the scenes in Metroid II and Super Metroid where she unties the ponytail. A development screenshot pictured her young appearance with black hair, which given the intended focus on the Japanese audience as well as Samus's rebellious past being focused on, may have been intended to imply that Samus dyed her hair blonde as an act of rebellion (as the act is considered such in Japan due to its associations with Western/American culture).
Powers and abilities
|“||Even without the Power Suit, all that training she did with the Chozo has made her a super athlete. I don't think a normal human could ever keep up. Just look at her.||„|
—Mei Ling (from Metal Gear Solid), Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Samus Aran's infusion with Chozo DNA (later revealed to be a combination of both Thoha and Mawkin DNA), as well as her warrior training since her childhood, has turned her into a superior athlete. Her training began at the age of three and continued up until she was fourteen years old. As a result of the Chozo’s influence, Samus is capable of running and jumping heights far past normal human ability, as well as surviving falls that would otherwise kill an ordinary human. Samus is also more adaptive to foreign alien environments that normal humans cannot survive in, such as the majority of Zebes and Elysia.
Samus also demonstrates good sharpshooting skills. She is an excellent marksman, with an incredible aim, and is tremendously deadly in combat. She exhibits prodigious puzzle-solving and hacking skills. She also possesses a lithe figure that allows her to crawl through tunnels and gaps that would normally require the usage of the Morph Ball. All of these are, of course, augmented further by her Power Suit. If need be, Samus will engage in melee combat, often using kicks and wrestling tactics to weaken her foe for a point-blank shot.
The extent of Samus’ training after she joined the Federation Police is currently unknown, but it is clear that the Federation has made one major augmentation to her abilities: her infusion with Metroid DNA. This infusion was done in a last-ditch attempt to save her life after she was infected with the X Parasites, and thus it was not completely known at the time what the side effects would be.
As a result of the infusion, Samus gained immunity to X Parasites, as well as the ability to absorb them for energy. However, she also inherited the Metroid's crippling weakness to cold, though this disability was toned down after downloading the Varia Suit upgrade and later negated altogether after she absorbed the essence of the SA-X. However, Samus did not inherit the Metroids' ability to float or to absorb bio-energy from life forms beyond the X Parasites.
This later changed on ZDR when the Metroid DNA in her body begins to fully awaken and allows her to absorb bio-energy, however, it also results in a rapid transformation that turns Samus into a unique form of Metroid/human/Chozo hybrid. She also ends up displaying the ability to absorb energy from machinery as a result of the aforementioned metamorphosis. This eventually had nearly disastrous consequences where she was unable to pilot her ship out of ZDR without draining its energy, until she absorbed the X Parasite of Quiet Robe, a Thoha Chozo, re-stabilizing her DNA. A large part of the reason behind the sudden changes on ZDR was because of her encounter with the Mawkin leader Raven Beak, as Metroids were programmed to react violently to Mawkin, although Raven Beak implied that she would have undergone the changes immediately after the Vaccine "Metroid" procedure earlier had she not possessed Thoha DNA beforehand.
Samus’ most notable piece of equipment is her Power Suit, which has become virtually synonymous with her own identity. This suit was given to her during her time with the Chozo and was built to be fused with her mind, body, and spirit. The original Power Suit was destroyed when Samus crash-landed on Zebes after an ambush by Space Pirates, but her duel with the Ruins Test gave her a new, upgraded suit, which is able to absorb dozens of upgrades of alien origin. The Power Suit's main purpose is to protect Samus from adverse environments and enemy fire, and it can be upgraded to dozens of other forms, each with its own different advantages. While some suits are stronger than others and have different abilities, they all maintain the same basic shape and usage.
Beneath the Power Suit, Samus wears a skin-tight bodysuit known as the Zero Suit. Because of its negligible weight, this suit allows Samus to perform at top physical performance level and gives some weak protection from enemy fire. She also owns an emergency pistol known as the Paralyzer, which auto-charges to fire stunning shots, though it has no lethal capacity.
For transportation, Samus uses her Gunship, which usually resembles her helmet. Samus has been seen in five Starships and Gunships of unique design: Her first Starship design was used and destroyed on her initial Zero Mission, while the second Gunship was used in her mission to Tallon IV and the mission to the Tetra Galaxy. She has had other two ships custom-made for her in Aliehs III's shipyard: Her modular Gunship used in the waning days of the Phazon crisis, which combined Chozo and Federation technology, and the iconic Gunship for which she is best known. The latter Gunship model was first seen in the mission to Aether, and stayed with Samus until its destruction in SR388's asteroid field. After its destruction, Samus was assigned a new Starship from the Federation with an onboard AI for her investigation of the BSL.
It is currently unknown if/how her first two ships and the "iconic" ship are related, although information on the Metroid Prime website suggests that her Gunship in that game was the same one as her Zero Mission's Starship, perhaps salvaged from the wreck on Zebes.
A curious aspect of the Metroid series is that Samus begins most games with a minimal amount of equipment, even after accumulating a sizable number of upgrades in the preceding game that would help her on subsequent missions. This is evidently a necessary gameplay mechanic needed for every title in the series, but it is unknown why this occurs so frequently in-universe, and has become a subject of humor over the years.
Later games in the series have presented plot-related explanations for this: In games such as Metroid Fusion, Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Samus starts out with a considerable amount of gear but is quickly stripped of most of it by attacks or unfortunate incidents. Samus then regains these abilities over the course of the game, in addition to a vast array of other upgrades that expand her arsenal well beyond its initial size. Additionally, Samus seems to relinquish most of her upgrades at the end of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, explaining why she only has her basic abilities by the time of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force is the first Metroid game where Samus is not the main protagonist or even playable, but plays a role as a secondary character, aiding the Federation Force. After the Space Pirates are discovered in the Bermuda System, the Galactic Federation asks Samus to investigate their activities. She is briefly seen flying over Excelcion, and she destroys one of the missile factories on Talvania while the Force destroys another. During M10: Black Hole, Samus contacts the Force directly to warn them of a fifth Missile Transport ship, which they destroy. She also assists the Force after the Rohkor Beetle battle, using her Ship Missiles to finish it off. After M14: Tremor, the Force mysteriously loses all contact with Samus.
A Decoy item in the game deploys a scarecrow-like model of her to distract Space Pirates.
In M22: Convergence, it is revealed that Samus was captured by the Space Pirates and brought aboard their battleship Doomseye. During the Federation Force's assault on the Doomseye, the pirates take control of Samus's suit, use the amplification beam on her to increase her size, and force her to fight the Federation Force in her Morph Ball form, serving as the game's final boss. After she is defeated, she reverts back to her normal size and freed from the Pirates' control, but is then buried under falling debris. She survives and later assists the Federation Force in escaping the battleship's destruction, rescuing them with her Gunship when they are sucked into the vacuum of space. At the end of the mission, she commends the Federation Force and looks forward to their future efforts.
|“||What?! Samus Aran is fighting us?! I never thought I'd say this, but... You've got to take Samus out!||„|
Samus spends the entire fight in gigantic Morph Ball form, laying large destructible Bombs in sets of three and attempting to ram the Marine with the Boost Ball. She constantly rolls around the field but does not actively chase the Marines.
Samus is surrounded by a purple shield that negates all the Marines' attacks, although she can be frozen with the Freeze Shot. However, the shield does not cover the green cores on her sides, which if shot enough times disables the shield and stops her movement. Once the shield is down, the Marines must shoot and push her into the electric fields at the edges of the room, similar to Blast Ball. After enough damage, Samus regains her shield, repeating the process. Using the Scan Bolt on Samus can make her more floaty, and thus easier to shoot into electric fields.
Once she loses all her health, Samus shrinks slightly but regains all her health; the process must be repeated two more times. After one full depletion, Samus will start using her Spider Ball to roll across the ceiling, eventually stopping at the center to drop down to the ground and produce a shockwave. After the second full depletion, Samus rolls much faster, drops larger red Bombs, and also lays Bombs while using Boost Ball and Spider Ball. Her Bombs can be destroyed to get AUX ammo. The red Bombs have a large blast radius when they explode. The mission's bonus objective is to never take damage from Samus's Bombs.
Behind the scenes
Concept and creation
|“||Samus is an ideal role model not just to me, but for many women to look up to as a powerful game icon. In a video game realm with princesses aplenty, Samus stands out as an atypical Nintendo gal holding the title of one of gaming's strongest symbols of courage, power, and heroism.||„|
—Michelle Perl (Samus cosplayer)
Samus Aran first appeared in 1986, as the playable protagonist in the video game Metroid. Originally, Samus was created solely as an alternate identity for the player to put themselves into and was given no separate personality or defining features, characteristic of the creative treatment of many video game characters of the time. Partway through the development process, one member of the team suggested: "Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if the character turned out to be a woman?” A vote was held and Samus was changed into a woman. The identity of the developer who suggested making Samus a woman is unknown, and when asked in 2017 and 2018, Yoshio Sakamoto and Hirokazu Tanaka were unable to remember. Sakamoto suggested that it may have been someone who has since left Nintendo.
Since the film series Alien was acknowledged as a major influence in the development of Metroid, it is reasonable to assume that the inspiration for making Samus a woman may have very well come from the film's own Ellen Ripley. Indeed, in the Nintendo Power-published Super Metroid comic, her personality was based on a mix of Ripley and Princess Leia from the Star Wars series. Contrary to popular belief, Samus was not created by Metroid producer Gunpei Yokoi. The original game concepts were done by game director Makoto Kanō and were designed by Hiroji Kiyotake.
The name Samus comes from the 3rd century Macedonian poet Samus, whose name is derived from the Greek name "Samos". Her last name of Aran may refer to the Aran Islands on the west coast of Ireland. Pronunciation of the name over the years has varied from either SAMUHS A-RUHN (as in the verb "run"), A-RAHN (using the "CAT" vowel for the first two As and the verb form of "ran"), but it wasn’t until the release of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption that pronunciation of her name was finally cemented as SAMUHS ERR-EN, and it is likely to remain this way since. The spoken Chozo language in Metroid Dread roughly pronounces her name as "Tamus Arlan", although her given name is still spelled "Samus" in the written language. An interview with several of the developers of the original Metroid states that her name originated from the famous footballer Edson Arantes "Pelé" do Nascimento.
Super Metroid marked the first time Samus had written dialogue in a game, narrating the events directly after Metroid II: Return of Samus. Her speaking role was expanded in Metroid Fusion, where she spoke in more narrative monologues, and also conversations with her computer. Though Fusion was well praised, there was some controversy over Samus's several inner monologues and as a result, aside from an opening narration as well as the beginning of the expanded portion of the plot in Metroid: Zero Mission, she did not speak again until Metroid: Other M, the first Metroid game to feature Samus in an extensive, voice-acted role.
However, it was initially intended for Super Metroid to give her an audible voice for the first time in the series. A short voice track recorded by Minako Hamano could be heard as Samus died, as well as a brief view of the latter's nude body during the death sequence. These elements were reconsidered because of American objections to nudity and the voice sounding "too sexual", thus Tomoyoshi Yamane added the black Casual Outfit to Samus and the voice track was removed. Sakamoto claimed in a Super Metroid interview that he has "a special version of the ROM" with the original death sequence. A female moaning sound (incorporated into the in-game jingle Samus Aran's Final Cry, which plays during the Game Over sequence) was discovered by Super Metroid dataminers in 2021, although it is unconfirmed whether this is a recording of Hamano's voice. The sound, and an edit that alters its pitch and speed to better match the in-game cry, can be heard below:
Aside from this, heavy breathing sounds that were presumably emitted from Samus could be heard in the game's Samus Data Screen, with them being sped up briefly when a save file is selected. She is also heard breathing during the final battle with Mother Brain, after being significantly weakened by the Laser Brain Attack.
An unknown actress voiced Samus in a series of Japanese commercials for Super Metroid.
Samus first received a voice in the game Metroid Prime, although she had no in-game dialogue: instead, she only utters various grunts or yells when damaged, a scream when killed, and rarely, breathing when at low energy or in an extreme climate. Dialogue for Samus was considered, but not added as Retro Studios felt it did not suit the game. Placeholder recordings from one of the designers were used for Samus at first, but they were deemed too sexual by Nintendo EAD. Afterwards, EAD had a dozen actresses record vocals for Samus and sent them to Retro Studios, where audio lead Clark Wen chose the ones he liked best. Though Nintendo Power claimed that Jennifer Hale provided Samus's voice for the Prime games, the credits make no mention of her. In a 2018 interview, Wen revealed that the recordings he used in the final game included the initials of the actress in the filename from his ProTools session, "JH", which he was reasonably certain stood for Jennifer Hale. However, Samus's death scream was different as he and the Retro team wanted an actress with a higher register for it (to match the scream in Super Metroid). The initials for that actress are "VM" (suggested to be Vanessa Marshall). Wen recognized one of the other actresses as Gabrielle Carteris.
While Samus utters grunts when hurt in bipedal form in the Prime games, if she is hit in Morph Ball form, a different, percussive sound is made.
In Survivor mode of Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, Samus gasps in pain upon her defeat. Rather than being reused from the recordings of "JH" or "VM" from the previous Metroid Prime games, this gasp is "HUMAN, GASP - GASP: FEMALE 02", a generic stock sound effect from The Original General Series 6000 - Sound Effect Library. The original voice actress who recorded this gasp is unknown.
Her next voice actress was Alésia Glidewell in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, who also voiced Knuckle Joe and Krystal in the same game. Most surprising about Glidewell's depiction of her is that Samus is given a voice-over with speaking lines for the first time; Samus lacked a voice actress in the previous installments Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, instead communicating via mechanical sounds. As Zero Suit Samus (treated as a separate character from her Power Suited self), she speaks for all three of her taunts, and in one victory pose. Her lines are: "Is that all?", "Try me.", "You’re mine." and "Be still." Otherwise, Zero Suit Samus has grunts and screams while fighting. Glidewell's vocals are retained in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Metroid: Other M features Samus speaking again, voiced by Jessica Martin in English and Ai Kobayashi in Japanese. Yoshio Sakamoto's creative preference was that Martin deliver a detached performance for much of her work to match the Japanese voice track, with passion and pain in certain scenes, namely the scenes where both Malkovich brothers die. The direction of Samus's voice in this game, particularly her monologues, was criticized for its monotone delivery. In contrast to the Prime series, Samus's grunts of pain are heard when she is hit in both bipedal and Morph Ball form.
Samus has a single spoken line in Metroid Dread, when talking to Quiet Robe. She reassures the Thoha Chozo, in the Chozo language, that she will destroy the E.M.M.I. and defeat Raven Beak. While she is siphoning Raven Beak's energy at the end of the game, she screams in rage. Her voice in Dread was provided by Nikki García. Sakamoto explained that Samus's limited speaking role, compared to Other M in Fusion, had to do with the game's titular theme of dread. He felt that for this mission, Samus's feelings and thoughts were better left up to the player's imagination through non-verbal cues, like the expressions her eyes make.
Samus has been portrayed in live-action in four commercials for Metroid games. She is portrayed by Japanese model Chisato Morishita in the live-action Japanese commercial for Metroid: Zero Mission, and Czech model Lenka Volfová in "Past is Prologue", the commercial for Metroid: Other M. She is also portrayed by unknown actresses in the Japanese Super Metroid commercial and "Two Separate Worlds: One Shadow, One Light", the North American Metroid Prime 2: Echoes commercial, and unknown stunt performers in the live-action Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion commercials.
Samus's true identity as a woman was a heavily guarded secret and was obscured by the Power Suit’s androgynous appearance. The game manuals for Metroid in Japan used pronouns like "it" mainly because the Japanese language only has gender-neutral pronouns like aitsu. The American manuals flat-out referred to Samus as a "he", but it is unknown if this was an attempt to keep Samus' gender a secret or simply a mistranslation. Only by beating the game in under an hour could the player gain access to a secret ending where Samus would remove her Power Suit and reveal herself as a woman. It has become a tradition for Samus to do so in every Metroid game since if the player completes the proper in-game requirements. In-universe, Samus's identity is a closely guarded secret.
In the 1994 Japanese Nintendo Official Guide Book for Super Metroid, a number of biography cards were published about each of the members of the development team. Hirofumi Matsuoka, one of the background artists and a designer for Samus in the original game, answered one of the questions (which asked if there were any secrets of Samus that only he knew) with the statement "Samus isn't a woman. As a matter of fact, she's actually a newhalf." Newhalf (ニューハーフ nyūhāfu ) is a Japanese slang term used to refer to transgender women or transvestites, roughly equivalent to the English slur "shemale". The sincerity of this quote has since become a source of heated debate; some fans have cited it as canonical proof of Samus being a trans woman, while others have dismissed it as a crude joke from a non-authoritative source. Regardless of Matsuoka's intentions, his remark has been contradicted (and likely overruled) by series co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto, who joked in 2004 that a Metroid game on the PlayStation 2 would be "as likely as Samus Aran being a newhalf.", as well as canonical material that depicts Samus as being female as early as her toddler years.
A number of Samus figures, toys and statues have been produced over the years. A gallery of these is below.
Role in other media
Being one of Nintendo’s flagship franchises, Metroid, and Samus with it, have been featured in a variety of other media, as cameos, or in promotional material, as well as being mentioned or spoofed in other games or on television.
- Main article: Samus (Super Smash Bros.)
Samus is a member of the "perfect-attendance crew", a term for the twelve fighters who were playable in Super Smash Bros. and have appeared in every game to date. Her special moves are based on power-ups from the Metroid series, with her standard moves being original melee attacks. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, she has a separate character transformation, Zero Suit Samus, who becomes a separate fighter in subsequent games.
Cameos in other Nintendo titles
- Famicom Wars (1988, Famicom) (Unreleased outside Japan; The Red Star commander on Donut Island is called Samasuun, and her face on the result screen is Samus' helmet.)
- Tetris (1989, NES) (Cameo, appears playing the upright bass after the player wins a B-type game of level at least 9 and height at least 2.)
- F-1 Race (1990, Game Boy) (Cameo, appears cheering for the player with four other women before Course 7)
- Galactic Pinball (Virtual Boy) (Cameo, her Gunship appears in a minigame where the player must shoot oncoming Metroid enemies, similar to Space Invaders)
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996, SNES) (Cameo, after Mario's party, defeats Yaridovich and until Mario travels to Land's End, he may find her sleeping in the Mushroom Kingdom Castle. Also, a Samus figurine appears in the toy box of Booster's Room.)
- Kirby Super Star (1996, SNES) (Cameo, when Kirby uses his stone ability he can become a Samus statue. Also, the Screw Attack icon (called the Screwball) is a treasure in the Great Cave Offense segment of the game.)
- Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (1997, SNES) (Cameo, appears after level 5-2, which also contains six Metroids. If Kirby defeats them all using an Ice power, Samus will remove her helmet.)
- Super Smash Bros. (1999, N64) (Playable character) Note: This is her only appearance in a Nintendo 64 game.
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001, Nintendo GameCube) (Playable character)
- Animal Crossing (Nintendo GameCube) (An e-Reader card called "Samus's Suit" gives the player a Power Suit to wear in the game. This is coded on the card, and not the game, however.)
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest (2003, Nintendo GameCube) (Includes a trailer for Metroid Prime.)
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! (2003, Game Boy Advance) (Contains a microgame based on NES Metroid called Metroid (microgame), with Samus firing missiles at the Mother Brain. Though she cannot move, the Morph Ball is functional.)
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003, Game Boy Advance) (Samus was intended to appear at Starbeans Cafe, among other Nintendo characters, during a scripted event. Dialog remains in the game's code- "Cashier: Whoa! A power outage? Yikes! Samus Aran! I see you're rocking and rolling as usual! ...Looks like your energy tanks are empty! Sorry, but can't you give your Hoolumbian to Samus? Oh! Feeling better?" She would then give the player an Energy Tank in exchange for the drink. Ultimately, most of the items were replaced with similar ones in the final game, though the Energy Tank became a Power Grip accessory.)
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! (2004, Nintendo GameCube) (Contains Metroid (microgame) from WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!)
- WarioWare: Touched! (2005, Nintendo DS) (Contains a microgame based on Metroid)
- WarioWare: Twisted! (2005, Game Boy Advance) (Contains two microgames based on Metroid and another full game called "Mewtroid" starring a rolling cat with an Arm Cannon and Brinstar music.)
- Animal Crossing: Wild World (2005, Nintendo DS) (Gulliver, the seagull, references Samus saying "Tell me, have you ever heard of the bounty hunter that can turn into a ball?" Also, you can get a 1x1 item that is a Metroid in a case. When you touch it, it glows and plays a small clip of Metroid music.)
- Geist (2005, Nintendo GameCube) (Samus’s helmet and red clothing are seen in a locker within the women’s locker room at Volks Corporation.)
- Tetris DS (2006, Nintendo DS) (Metroid-based course, Catch Mode; in the title screen, Samus shoots some tetrominoes; A difficulty level on Marathon Mode is Metroid Themed, with Samus to the right, and clips of the original Metroid playing on the top screen, but with a more realistic background.)
- Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Wii) for the Wii was intended to include Samus and Link, but Nintendo did not allow Activision to include them. A video shows her using many of her attacks from the series, which would have been motion-activated.)
- WarioWare: Smooth Moves (2007, Wii) (Contains a microgame based on Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Samus also occasionally appears in two other games, with a Super Metroid cartridge in one and Samus playing an upright bass again (as she had in Tetris) in another.)
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2007, Wii) (Playable character, Zero Suit Samus is also a playable character. Mainly partnered with Pikachu, she plays a large role in the game's story, The Subspace Emissary.)
- Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse (Japan 2008, Wii) (Zero Suit is one of two unlockable Nintendo costumes.)
- Kirby Super Star Ultra (2008, Nintendo DS) (Samus statue and Screw Attack, now correctly named, appear in this SNES remake.)
- Animal Crossing: City Folk (2008, Wii) (Samus Helmet, Metroid, and Varia Suit available in-game.)
- Phantasy Star Ø (Japan 2008, Nintendo DS) (Samus' Arm Cannon is one of two available Nintendo weapons.)
- Dead or Alive: Dimensions (2011, Nintendo 3DS) (Samus makes an appearance towards the end of every match on the Geothermal Power Plant to kill Ridley with her Power Bomb. An interview confirmed that she would not be playable.)
- NES Remix 2 (2014, Wii U) (Metroid is featured in this NES game compilation for Wii U.)
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (2014, Nintendo 3DS) (Playable character)
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (2014, Wii U) (Playable character)
- Miitomo (2016, Phone Devices) (Samus Helmet, Metroid, Ridley, T-Shirts and Varia Suit.)
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018, Nintendo Switch) (Playable character)
In other media
- Samus was also a semi-regular character in the Captain N: The Game Master comic books, published as part of the Nintendo Comics System. In these stories, Samus has romantic feelings for Kevin Keene, the main character, despite his own affections for another woman, Princess Lana. However, as she states in the story "Breakout", Samus prefers to win Kevin's affections fairly. Samus's starship also makes an appearance as the Hunter IV, though in a very different form than in the games.
- In the Captain N: The Game Master cartoon, Samus did not appear, even though Mother Brain was the show's primary villain. Jeffrey Scott claimed in an interview that he didn’t feature Samus in the cartoon because he "never heard of her".
- Samus also starred in her own Nintendo Comics System stories, apparently set in the same continuity, titled Deceit Du Jour; it was the only ten-page story to have the Metroid umbrella title. In this story, Samus duels with another Bounty Hunter, 'Big Time' Brannigan, whom Mother Brain has hired to capture her, and who claims to be just as efficient as Samus. In the end, Samus proves her superiority by sabotaging her own gun (after he damages her Arm Cannon) before handing it over to Big Time. When Big Time attempts to kill her with it later on, it explodes, covering Samus' escape.
- In the 1989 movie The Wizard, Metroid can be seen briefly (in a full-screen shot) on a PlayChoice-10.
- A super deformed doll in Samus' likeness that Princess Peach desired drove the humorous plot for a Mario VS Wario comic that was published one month prior to the Super Metroid comic.
- Samus also starred in two comic adaptations featured in Nintendo Power: a 60-page one for Super Metroid and a 24-page one for Metroid Prime.
- Samus also appeared in the Samus and Joey series of manga, where she meets a boy named Joey and adventures with him.
- Samus once appeared in a Kool-Aid commercial that advertised Metroid II: Return of Samus. An animated version of her is seen in the back of a bus with two children.
- In the episode of the show "Code Monkeys" called "Valley of the Silicon Dolls", Larrity searches for bounty hunters to kill the robotic teddy bear that Dave, Jarry, and Black Steve reprogrammed. Towards the end of the episode, a warped version of Samus' ship rises up and Samus jumps out and kills the teddy bear. She then removes her helmet and reveals that she is actually Mary. She then morphs into a ball and rolls away. This version of Samus has the arm cannon on her left arm instead of her right, probably due to copyright issues with Nintendo.
- Samus can be seen on Nintendo Monopoly representing New York Avenue for $200, and is featured prominently on the box based on Metroid Prime 2: Echoes artwork.
- Samus is shown on pages 26 and 27 in How to Draw Nintendo Greatest Heroes & Villains.
- In the official Men in Black 3 game by Gameloft, available for the iOS and Android, one of the recruitable agents from the Locker Room at MIB Headquarters is a woman named Samantha Aran. Both her appearance and name are obvious references to Samus Aran, and her former services included being a counter-terrorist, similar to how Samus thwarts terrorists' plans, most notably the many Space Pirate operations.
- In the Valentine's Day couples section of Nintendo Power, the winning couple was Jango Fett from Star Wars: Bounty Hunter and Samus Aran. Coincidentally, Jango had a similar backstory to Samus, as he had been orphaned at a young age by an immense war and taken in by Mandalorians and trained in their culture. Ironically, both Jango and Samus were used or at least considered to be used as templates for a planned clone army for the purposes of galactic domination by the major antagonists (Darth Tyranus/Darth Sidious and Raven Beak, respectively), although a major difference is that Jango consented while Samus refused.
- In Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play, Samus is identified as the favorite female character of Morrigan Johnen, the Community and Social Media Manager at Crystal Dynamics.
- Samus was allegedly planned to be playable in the popular online third-person shooter video game Fortnite. This idea was later decided against apparently due to Nintendo's desire to keep Samus as a skin exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version.
For additional art, see Samus Aran/Gallery.
Power Suit models
- ^ Super Metroid comic
- ^ Samus & Joey
- ^ Tiny Rails
- ^ a b According to Super Metroid Players' Guide, these measurements are attributed to Samus herself. However, according to page 14 of the Metroid II: Return of Samus manual, these measurements are attributed to her Power Suit.
- ^ Page 7 (translated from pg 10 of Japanese) includes "The space hunter chosen for this mission is Samus Aran. He is the greatest of all the space hunters and has successfully completed numerous missions that everybody thought were absolutely impossible. He is a cyborg, his entire body has been surgically strengthened with robotics, giving him superpowers. Even the space pirates fear his space suit, which can absorb any enemy's power but his true form is shrouded in mystery." see File:SamusMalePronouns.png for scans
- ^ One Girl vs. The Galaxy. 1UP.com (2006-08-07).
- ^ "For someone who dislikes taking orders, this is the second time I've found myself having to do so." - Samus Aran, Metroid Fusion. 2002.
- ^ Nintendo UK (NintendoUK). "Now that you've had time with Metroid Dread, tell us: who’s been Samus’ greatest threat in the Metroid series?" 21 October 2021 10:01 a.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoUK/status/1451186907816161295
- ^ "The station has a self-destruct mechanism. I must use it to destroy the X here and on the planet. I must send them to oblivion. Them, the station, and myself, if I have to." - Samus Aran, Metroid Fusion. 2002.
- ^ DidYouKnowGaming? "Metroid Prime Devs Share Secrets (EXCLUSIVE)". YouTube. April 17, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022. (starts at 19:33)
- ^ "I wondered what Adam thought of me... Out of nowhere, I suddenly found myself concerned with his opinion again." - Samus Aran, Metroid: Other M. 2010.
- ^ "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." - Samus Aran, Metroid: Other M. 2010.
- ^ Metroid: Volume 1, as translated by Metroid Database
- ^ Metroid: Volume 1, as translated by Metroid Database
- ^ Metroid: Volume 2, as translated by Metroid Database
- ^ Gallery Mode, as translated by Metroid Database
- ^ Gallery Mode, as translated by Metroid Database
- ^ File:NP58comiccomment.jpg
- ^ (1991) Metroid II manual. Nintendo of America, Inc., 14.
- ^ Hilliard, Kyle (2017-06-18). Samus Returns' Developers On Bringing Back 2D Metroid And Why MercurySteam Is Developing. Game Informer.
- ^ Kerwin, Darren, RoyboyX. "Interview: Hirokazu Tanaka", Shinesparkers, 2018-12-24. Retrieved on 2018-12-24.
- ^ El Origen de Metroid (Spanish). N-retro.
- ^ Transcripts from E.M.M.I. Reactivated Cutscene
- ^ https://tcrf.net/Super_Metroid#Unused_Audio
- ^ a b Interview: Clark Wen. Shinesparkers. June 2, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
- ^ a b Kiwi Talkz. "#112 - Clark Wen Interview (Metroid Prime, Sound Design, Kenji Yamamoto, Mixing, SFX, Game Audio )". YouTube. October 23, 2021. Retrieved April 25, 2022. (starts at 30:50)
- ^ Wen, Clark (exile5ound). "That's a great guess! It certainly could be 😀" 5 Jun 2018 5:44 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/exile5ound/status/1004101714843131905
- ^ Interview: Nate Bihldorff. Shinesparkers. February 23, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
- ^ Ramée, Jordan (October 8, 2021). "Making Metroid Dread: Concluding The Saga, Samus' Voice, And Cinematic Storytelling" GameSpot. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
- ^ Metroid Dread Report, Volume 3: Seven Points That Define the 2D Saga
- ^ When Samus Was Naked. Metroid Database. Retrieved on 2015-09-03.
- ^ "newhalf", at Wiktionary
- ^ Wu, Brianna; McGrody, Ellen. Metroid's Samus is a Transgender Woman. Deal With It.. The Mary Sue. Retrieved on 2015=09=03.
- ^ Metroid: Zero Mission FAQ (untranslated). Retrieved on 2015=09=05.
- ^ a b c d Metroid and Samus cameos. Samus.co.uk.
- ^ a b Metroid Database :: Metroid Cameos. Metroid Database.
- ^ 
- ^ Interview with Jeffrey Scott, The Unofficial Captain N Homepage
- ^ Super Metroid: Comics, Metroid Database
- ^ "A character whose appeal has helped build one of Nintendo's long-lasting franchises is Samus. At a time when the trope of damsels in distress ran rampant, Samus burst onto the scene as a woman whose strength was being a bounty hunter and badass." Marie, Meagan (2018) Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play, page 179. Prima Games.
- ^ https://www.sportskeeda.com/fortnite/samus-aran-skin-fortnite-why-collaboration-work
| Guardian of Agon Temple
| Guardian of Torvus Temple
| Guardian of Sanctuary Temple
Samus Unmasked • Zero Suit Samus
|Family||Chief Rodney Aran (father) • Virginia Aran (mother) • Old Bird (father figure) |
Gray Voice (Thoha DNA donor) • Raven Beak (Mawkin DNA donor) • Commander Adam Malkovich (father figure) • Baby ("child") • Solomon Aran (brother)
|Abilities and powers||Power Suit (other) • Zero Suit • Arm Cannon (Beams/Missile Launcher) • Morph Ball |
Samus's Gunship (ZM/MP1/MP3/RoS/MF) • Paralyzer • Special Actions • Metroid powers
Super Smash Bros. attacks
|Music||Theme of Samus • Crateria Surface • Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior |
Samus Aran's Appearance Fanfare • Samus Aran's Final Cry • Record of Samus • "Vs. Samus"
|Other||04: Samus • 29: Zero Suit Samus • Biography • Cake • Gallery • Hairstyle • Helmet • Journal • Mimics |
Monologues • Official data • Residence • Samus in Super Smash Bros.
|Actresses||Minako Hamano • Jennifer Hale • "VM" • Chisato Morishita • Alésia Glidewell • Jessica Erin Martin |
Ai Kobayashi • Lenka Volfová • Nikki García
|Metroid series||Samus Aran|
|Comics||'Big Time' Brannigan • Armstrong Houston • Zegan Doh|
|Metroid Prime Hunters||Sylux • Weavel • Kanden • Spire • Noxus • Trace|
|Metroid Prime 3: Corruption||Rundas • Ghor • Gandrayda|
|Hybrids||Asborean • Chozo Statue • Darkling • Dark Samus • Dark Suit • Light Suit • PED Suit • Samus Aran • Omega Suit|
|Biomechanical||Aurora Unit • Security Robot B.O.X. • Cortex Chamber • Dark Diligence Drone • Dark Ingsmasher • Dark Quad • Fusion Suit • Mother Brain • Nightmare • Quadraxis • SA-X • Space Pirate Boarding Pod|
|Cyborgs||Crash Pillar • Ghor (-G) • Kyratian • Leviathan Battleship • Pirate Militia • Preed (Dark) • Puffer Mine • Ridley (Meta/Omega/Proteus) • Samus Aran • Slench • Space Pirate • Weavel • Zebesian (Cyborg/Super) |
Large Leviathan-class armed ship • U-ton
|Food, Nourishment and Sustenance|
|Plants & Fungi||Blueroot Tree • Fruit • Red Starburst • Sap Sac • Saturnine • Tangle Vine Fruit|
|Species||Geruta • Embers • Kiru Giru • Pirate Militia • Reo • Ripper • Sciser • Scritter • Skree • Space Pirate • Tallon Crab • Torizo • X Parasite • Zoomer|
|Carrion||"Deceased Soldier" • Amok Mommy|
|Liquid||Lava • Phazon|
|Artificial/Misc.||Deca-triticale • Elite Nutrient Mix • Energy • Nutrient-grade biomatter • Synthetic Metroid rations • Wrecked Ship|