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This article is about Samus' universe. For the creature the series is named from, see Metroid (species).
Metroid
Metroid logo.png
Metroid symbol.svg
Logo for the amiibo Metroid line-up.
Developer(s) Nintendo R&D1, Intelligent Systems, Retro Studios, Next Level Games, Nintendo Software Technology, Team Ninja, Next Level Games, MercurySteam
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Distributor(s) Nintendo
Creator(s) Makoto Kano
Gunpei Yokoi
Hiroji Kiyotake
Yoshio Sakamoto
Genre(s) Action, adventure, first-person shooter, sports
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Super NES, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch
Platform of origin Nintendo Entertainment System
Year of inception 1986
First installment Metroid (1986)
Latest installment Metroid Dread (2021)

The Metroid (メトロイド) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages and properties that hail from Nintendo's famous Metroid series of science-fiction adventure games. It is one of the company's most successful franchises, and is sometimes considered one of Nintendo's "big five" franchises, of which the other four are Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, and Pokémon. The series has had twelve official games released thus so far, with most of them being near-universally praised by critics and gamers alike. The series revolves around the space-faring bounty-hunting exploits of a woman named Samus Aran and her constant conflict, for most of the series, with the Space Pirates, their commander Ridley, the cybernetic organism Mother Brain and the eponymous parasitic jellyfish-like organisms called Metroids. As with other series represented in the SSF games, Metroid carries a distinctive symbol of its own: a Screw Attack-esque emblem seen in numerous Metroid games.

Franchise description

The original Metroid, created by Gunpei Yokoi, was released for NES in 1987, and it was considered state-of-the-art for its time because of several elements of design: It featured a labyrinthine world in which the player chooses which direction to explore, making it one of the first highly non-linear game experiences on a home console; It was one of the earliest games to feature a password system (and in fact it had a saved-game slot system in its Japanese release on the Famicom Disk System); and in a landmark moment in game history, it was revealed at the end of the game that the playable character is female, an unusual concept for video game characters at the time. It has remained one of the most popular games from the NES era. Metroid was expanded and developed as a franchise with the releases of the follow-ups Metroid II: Return of Samus for Game Boy in 1991 and Super Metroid for the SNES in 1994, and they incorporated and introduced many elements that can be associated with Metroid-style gameplay. Super Metroid, in fact, was declared by issue #150 of game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly to be the single greatest game of all time.

In spite of this impressive track record for a Nintendo franchise, there would not be an official Metroid game for the next eight years. In fact, the only time Metroid properties have been seen in a video game during this hiatus were in 1999's Super Smash Bros. and 2001's Super Smash Bros. Melee. However, the franchise underwent a noticeable rebirth late in 2002 with two near-simultaneous official Metroid releases. Metroid Fusion, developed by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance, was the official sequel to Super Metroid. The arguably more notable title was Metroid Prime for the GameCube, developed by a previously unknown second-party developer named Retro Studios, and the gaming populace was shocked to find that this game formerly based on a 2D-only series underwent a full 3D restructuring, with gameplay resembling a first-person shooter. This generated a firestorm of controversy prior to release, but by the game's release critics and fans alike found that Metroid Prime successfully preserves and develops the Metroid formula of play around a full 3D-world, and that it successfully pulls off a new approach to the first-person shooter genre titled the "first-person adventure". Metroid Prime remains one of the most critically acclaimed and highly rated games ever.

Since 2002, Metroid games have been produced with an increased frequency, continuing to solidify the franchise as one of Nintendo's flagship franchises. Two years afterwards in 2004, another similar pair of official Metroid titles were released by the same respective developers: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is Retro Studios' official GameCube sequel to Metroid Prime, while Metroid: Zero Mission was developed by Nintendo as a redesigned, much-enhanced GBA remake of the original 1987 Metroid, and it features as part of a lengthy post-endgame sequence main character Samus losing her power suit, leaving her forced to contend with enemies in her unarmored form. This suitless Samus has been revealed as a playable entity in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with the popularized name Zero Suit Samus. Then in 2006, two Metroid Prime spin-off titles were released; one was Metroid Prime: Hunters, a Metroid Prime-style first-person adventure for the Nintendo DS, and the other was the somewhat more comedic Metroid Prime Pinball for DS, which non-canonically adapts the original Prime in a pinball-table format. A third game in the sub-series was released on the Wii under the name of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, which currently concludes the Metroid Prime story arc, and is once again a first-person adventure.

A traditional Metroid game would not see the light again until the release of Metroid: Other M on 2010 for the Wii, which was developed collaboratively between Team Ninja and Nintendo under the name of "Project M" (unrelated to the Brawl mod of the same name) mixing platforming elements of the original 2D series in a 3D environment with first-person shooting sequences. After the release of Other M, which received a lukewarm reception, the Metroid series would remain dormant for six years, during this time, Samus and her Zero Suit persona reprised their fighting roles in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, drawing huge influences from Other M. At E3 2015, Nintendo unveiled Metroid Prime: Federation Force on the Nintendo 3DS, a spin-off of the Prime sub-series focusing on the Galactic Federation marines as opposed to the regular Samus Aran. This announcement received an overwhelming negative feedback from fans of the series, who were not pleased with the course the series was taking. Federation Force was released more than a year later in 2016 to mixed reviews from critics.

At E3 2017, Nintendo would unveil two new Metroid titles: Metroid Prime 4, currently set for a future release for the Nintendo Switch, and Metroid: Samus Returns, a reimagining of Metroid II: Return of Samus for the 3DS developed in conjunction between Spanish-developer MercurySteam and Nintendo. This latter was released on that same year and unlike Federation Force, it was released to critical acclaim. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released in 2018 and it saw the addition of long-time requested character Ridley (leader of the Space Pirates and Samus's archenemy) alongside evil doppelgänger Dark Samus (as Samus's "echo fighter") into the playable roster, in addition to the return of both Samus and Zero Suit Samus. In 2021, Nintendo released Metroid Dread, a direct sequel to Fusion, which first started development as a DS title back in 2005 but was canceled twice following technical difficulties. Nintendo revived the project much later in conjunction with MercurySteam, following their success with Samus Returns, as a brand new Nintendo Switch title which released to critical acclaim.

The Metroid series takes place in a fictional galaxy featuring several different habitable planets and many races of aliens, some sentient. In almost any given game in the Metroid series, the player takes control of a female bounty hunter by the name of Samus Aran, who uses an enhanced space suit crafted by the bird-man-like Chozo race to carry out solo exploration missions assigned to her by the galaxy's resident Galactic Federation. Among the galaxy's many species of creatures are the titular Metroids, a species of large, flying, jellyfish-like creatures native to one particular planet, and they possess the ability to latch onto victims and siphon a sort of life energy from them to sustain themselves, often resulting in the death of the target. These entities are often the central plot element to each game because their terrifying, almost magical traits are constantly attempted to be harnessed by the series' main villains, the Space Pirates, a sentient but conniving and lawless race that ravages the galaxy, operates outside Federation boundaries, and lives for the glory of galactic conquest. Many Metroid games feature Samus being assigned by the Galactic Federation to raid a planet occupied by Space Pirates, rout them all and their Metroid subjects, and sabotage their operations.

All games in the series constitute a single Metroid continuity. In the original Metroid and its remade version Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus is tasked by the Galactic Federation to go to Planet Zebes and stop the Space Pirates from exploiting the Metroid species for galactic domination, and she battles their leaders, the dragon-like Ridley and the biomechanical brain-like entity the Mother Brain. Then in the full Metroid Prime sub-series, Samus thwarts similar operations by the Space Pirates to exploit Metroids as well as a radioactive substance titled Phazon. Following these events, the Federation deems the Metroids too dangerous to exist, so Samus is to exterminate the entire species in their homeworld of SR388, and she does, but spares one apparently domesticated hatching and decides to donate it to the Federation for research. In Super Metroid, however, Ridley steals the hatching, and Samus must defeat the Space Pirates and Mother Brain once again on Zebes. With the Metroids seemingly exterminated for good, Samus is soon attacked by the Metroids' original prey, the X Parasite, and in Metroid Fusion she ultimately saves the galaxy from a deadly X outbreak by destroying SR388 with the collision of an X infected Federation space station into it. Some time later, in Metroid Dread, Samus heads to planet ZDR to uncover whether the X Parasites are still alive there and eventually discovers the plans of a villainous Chozo called Raven Beak to revive the Metroids for galactic domination, to which she finally puts an end once and for all.

In the Super Smash Flash series

In Super Smash Flash

The Metroid franchise is represented as one of several "standard universes" found in Super Smash Flash, only with one character.

Character

SSF Samus icon.png
  • Samus Aran: A bounty hunter in a technologically advanced and flexible power suit. Samus Aran is an orphan from a Space Pirate attack. She was harbored by the benevolent Chozo race at a young age and infused with their heritage and technology, and she now serves the Galactic Federation as pretty much an one-woman army against the menace of the Space Pirates and their attempts to use the life-stealing Metroids to conquer the universe. Samus explores the worlds and routs all enemies within them by the decree of the Federation, and she acquires many weapon systems and upgrades to her suit such as missile launchers and heat protection during her expeditions.

In Super Smash Flash 2

A fairly-decent amount of content from the Metroid franchise appears in Super Smash Flash 2. The addition of two stages, two Assist Trophies, and a new character gives this series far more representation than in SSF.

Characters

SSF2 Samus icon.png
  • Samus Aran: Samus Aran makes her debut in demo v0.9a. Her move set consist more of her attacks from the main games. Samus Aran's sprite design is based on her appearance in Super Metroid. Her Final Smash, the Zero Laser.
SSF2 Zero Suit Samus icon.png
  • Zero Suit Samus: The suit-less version of Samus from Metroid: Zero Mission (which is the basis for her sprite design) is playable separately from Samus. She makes her debut in demo v0.9b. She fights acrobatically and carries a projectile attack in the form of her handheld Paralyzer gun, which she also uses as the basis for her Plasma Whip and Plasma Wire special attacks, both of which can be used for tether recovery. Her Final Smash, Crystal Flash, creates a large mass of light around her, damaging nearby opponents and healing herself.
Assist Trophy
Metricon.png
  • Metroid: A parasitic organism that latches on its victim to drain their energy life. As an Assist Trophy, the Metroid will search for opponents to latch onto. When it latches onto the opponent, it will deal damage by sucking their health.
  • Mother Brain: The leader of the Space Pirates and recurring antagonist. As an Assist Trophy, Mother Brain grows to a massive size and assaults opponents by summoning Rinkas and firing her powerful Laser Beam Attack.
Boss
  • Mother Brain: Mother Brain appears as a boss in event #40: The Mother Brain. She acts the same as she does in Assist Trophy form but has 200 HP and does not disappear until it is depleted.

Stages

SSF2 Crateria.png
  • Crateria: Based on the surface location from Planet Zebes, a recurring location in the series, and is notably known for its constant never-ending raining and its acid rain. The stage is somehow big and a bit complex compared to the Metroid stages in the past. It consists of three large platforms and a small floating platform that at times gradually moves around the stage. Occasional acid rains will also deal damage to players. However, they will not flinch. One can avoid taking damage from the rain by hiding behind the glasses underneath the ledges.
SSF2 Phase 8.png
  • Phase 8: A lava-cavern area found in the planet SR388. The stage has two center platforms and one platform above each of the two islands. Overtime, a giant lava flow appears in the middle of the screen going in and out of the two middle platforms. Any player will be safe if they stand in between the center platforms or stands behind the glass that appears when the lava flows through that area but if that person touches the lava flow, they will be pushed up and off the screen and most likely be Star KO'd. The lava at the bottom of the stage will rise from time to time forcing players to jump onto the higher platforms until the lava settles.

Item

  • Screw Attack: A recurring Power Suit upgrade that allows Samus to somersault into the air with destructive energy. Equipping this item will temporarily change the player's jumps to act as attacks that hit multiple times, similarly to Samus's own attack of the same name.

Media with elements appearing in the Super Smash Flash series

The following list consists of media from the Metroid universe that appears in Super Smash Flash and Super Smash Flash 2.

Metroid

  • Samus Aran, who debuted in this game as its main protagonist, appears as a starter character in both SSF and SSF2.
    • Zero Suit Samus's tenth costume in SSF2 is based on Samus with her Varia Suit.
  • The Morph Ball, which is utilized in Samus's down attack in SSF and her sidestep and down special move in SSF2, originates as an upgrade in this game.
  • Missile and Bomb, Samus's side special move and down special move in SSF2, respectively, originate as upgrades in this game.
  • Screw Attack, Samus's jump attack in SSF and up special move in SSF2, originates as an upgrade in this game.
    • The Screw Attack, an item of the same name in SSF2, is based on the same upgrade.
  • Samus's twelfth costume in SSF2 is based on her in-game sprites with her Power Suit in this game.
  • Zero Suit Samus's twelfth costume in SSF2 is based on Samus's in-game sprites without her Power Suit but with the Varia Suit upgrade in this game.
  • A Metroid, which debuted in this game as its titular species, appears as an Assist Trophy in SSF2.
  • Mother Brain, who debuted in this game as its main antagonist, appears as an Assist Trophy and boss in SSF2.
  • A Geemer, which debuted in this game as a common enemy, appears as a background character on Crateria in SSF2.
  • The stage Tourian in SSF2, which is featured in event #40: The Mother Brain, is based on the final battle site from this game.
  • Kraid's Lair, an atmospheric remix of the theme that plays on the Mini-Boss Hideout I level in this game, plays as Phase 8's main music track in SSF2.
  • The victory theme of Samus and Zero Suit Samus in SSF2 is a remix of the theme that plays whenever Samus obtains a new power-up for her suit or when Ridley and Kraid are defeated in this game.

Metroid II: Return of Samus

  • The stage Phase 8 in SSF2 originates as a section of this game, albeit with lava rather than acid.

Super Metroid

  • Samus's design in SSF2 is based on her appearance in this game.
  • Samus's on-screen appearance in SSF2 features a Save Station, with its design based on this game.
  • Samus's dash attack in SSF2 is based on the Shinespark, which originates as a technique in this game.
  • Samus's grab in SSF2 is based on the Grapple Beam, which originates as an upgrade in this game.
  • Charge Shot, Samus's standard attack in SSF and neutral special move in SSF2, originates as an upgrade in this game.
  • Crystal Flash, Zero Suit Samus's Final Smash in SSF2, originates as a technique in this game.
  • Samus's third costume in SSF2 is based on the Gravity Suit from this game.
  • The stage Crateria in SSF2 is based on the starting area in this game, with the hazard referencing the acid rain that occurs when Samus first arrives here.
  • Super Metroid Medley, an electronic rock medley of four remixed songs (Samus Aran's Appearance, Upper Brinstar, Crateria Underground, and Lower Maridia) from this game, plays as Crateria's main music track in SSF2.
  • Lower Norfair, a symphonic orchestral remix of the theme that plays on the Norfair Ancient Ruins level in this game, plays as Crateria's alternate music track in SSF2.
  • Vs. Ridley, a rock remix of the theme that plays during the battle against Ridley in this game, plays as Phase 8's alternate music track and on Tourian in SSF2.

Metroid Fusion

  • Samus's sprites in SSF are taken from the SA-X's sprites in this game.
  • Samus's second costume in SSF2 is based on the Fusion Suit from this game.

Metroid Prime

  • Samus's fifth costume in SSF2 is based on the Gravity Suit's appearance in this game.

Metroid: Zero Mission

  • Zero Suit Samus, who debuted in this game as a form of Samus without her Power Suit, appears as a starter character in SSF2.
  • Zero Suit Samus's on-screen appearance in SSF2 features the Gunship, with its design based on this game.
  • The Paralyzer, which Zero Suit Samus utilizes in much of her moveset, originates as her main weapon in this game.
    • Paralyzer, Zero Suit Samus's neutral special move, is based on the shot it fires in this game.
  • The design of Mother Brain in SSF2 is based on her appearance in this game.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

  • Samus's fourth and seventh costumes in SSF2 are based on the Dark Suit and Light Suit, respectively, which originate as suits in this game.
  • Samus's eighth costume and Zero Suit Samus's eleventh costume in SSF2 are based on Dark Samus, who debuted in this game.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

  • Zero Suit Samus's design in SSF2 is based on her appearance in this game.
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