10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Metroid

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The Metroid series is one of Nintendo's most beloved franchises. However, there's more to this deep dark planet roaming platformer than meets the eye. What follows are 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Metroid concerning its development, its teminology, and its fanbase. Let this list tide you over until the Wii U Metroid installment comes out.

  • Morph Ball Morph Crawl

    Samus’s Morph Ball was created because programmers were having a hard time animating a crawling animation. She was later finally given this crawling animation in Metroid: Zero Mission as a callback to the original plan. A Thing You Probably Didn't Know About Metroid? You bet!

  • Varia, Barrier, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

    Samus’s Varia Suit is actually a mis-translation of “Barrier Suit” as it helps withstand high temperatures and acid. It later kept its mis-translated name due to its “variable” and modular nature.

  • Metro-Android

    Metroid is a portmanteau of “Metro” and “Android.” It was a reference to how Samus would take elevators to different areas of the game and how the game map sort of looked like a map of a metro station.

  • A Metroid Without Metroids?

    Metroid Prime: Hunters is the only Metroid game without Metroids in it. Strangely enough, early demos of the game actually did show Metroids, which were removed in the finished product. That's an interesting Metroid fact!

  • Too Many Timers

    Metroid Prime: Hunters also has the most countdown clocks in any Metroid game, making you race against the timer nine times. Racing against the timer has been a staple of the Metroid series since the original.

  • Fits On Your Cellphone

    When it was released, Super Metroid was the largest SNES game at the time, coming in at a whopping 3 megabytes. The biggest SNES games only stretched to 16 megabytes and even then they required special memory expansions inside the cartridge.

  • The Motorcycle Planet

    SR388, the home planet of the Metroids, is actually named after the SR400 Yamaha motorcycle engine series. While the engines were called 400 CC engines, they were actually only 388 CC engines.

  • Space Censorship

    Samus’s body suit was actually a function of American censorship. In the Japanese version of Super Metroid, Samus was shown nude when her suit exploded. This was too risqué for American audiences and Samus’s skintight body suit was made canon.

  • Psychic Suits

    Samus’s power-suit actually operates via psionic energies and concentration, according to developer Yoshio Sakamoto. When Samus takes too much damage or overexerts herself, the suit phases out of existence or explodes. This explains why Samus’s suit sometimes faded from existence in Metroid Other M, though it did not explain why energy tanks make it easier to concentrate… apparently.

  • Will the Real Mother Brain Please Stand Up?

    The blueprint shown in an original Metroid Prime 3 trailer for an “Aurora Unit” is actually a full recreation of the Super Metroid/Metroid stage leading up to Mother Brain. It is still unclear if Mother Brain is a standard Aurora Unit and, if so, how she got her strange dinosaur body in Super Metroid.

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