An intergalactic bounty hunter, Samus Aran is clothed in a Power Suit constructed by the Chozo race. Samus Aran has appeared in various Metroid games on many of Nintendo's systems. Notably, Samus Aran is a groundbreaking character for her role in Metroid.
The player was deliberately led to believe that Samus was naturally a male or a cyborg. At the end of the game, however, Samus revealed her true self and it was shown that she was in fact a very beautiful young woman, a first for the video game industry.
Now one of the most iconic female characters, Samus' games have raised the bar on quality and sell phenomenally. In the series she is often hired by the Galactic Federation to halt the progress of the Space Pirate's plans and is oftentimes involved in the extermination of the Metroid species.
In the games she has been infused with the DNA of Chozo to gain a greater resistance to various environments and that of the Metroid to counter the effects of the X virus. She wears a blue suit underneath her power suit that is commonly referred to as the Zero Suit. Samus is usually seen in this particular suit at the end of the games post Metroid Zero Mission, though more recently she is shown in the suit at various points in the game due to the well known fact of Samus' gender.
Samus was born on the planet known simply as K-2L, which was an Earth colony. Her parents were Rodney and Virginia Aran. Ridley, a Space Pirate commander, ordered an attack on K-2L in an attempt to dissuade Earth colonists from space exploration. This attack killed all the colonists on K-2L to include Mr. & Mrs. Aran. However, Samus was later saved by the Chozo, an ancient race of bird-like creatures, and took her in.
Because their planet, Zebes, had an environment that was not suited for humans, she was injected with Chozo DNA, which would help her resist it. Although the Chozo were an advanced race, they had lost many of their fighting abilities due to their committment to pacifism. Samus had martial instincts, which she likely inherited from her parents. She became an admirable woman, and when she grew older, a group of Chozo elders gave the young woman a power suit which they personally crafted. With this suit, she would be able to protect the galaxy in which they live.
To follow this destiny of hers, she went to the Galactic Federation. There, they ordered her to head down to planet Zebes, where currently a group of Space Pirates had been producing colonies of Metroids, considerably one of the most dangerous species in the entire galaxy. When there, she had to completely stop production of the species, and defeat the Space Pirates once and for all. However, it was ultimately not the last time that they'd meet. In her next chronological mission, Samus followed Ridley down to Tallon IV in the events that took place in Metroid Prime. There, she found a large amount of a potentially dangerous substance called Phazon.
To rid of the planet of it's Phazon sources, she is forced to defeat the antagonistic Metroid Prime. However, this was not the last time that Phazon would appear in the series. Following the events that took place in Prime, she is ordered by the Galactic Federation to retrieve eight ancient artifacts that were known to hold some sort of "Ultimate Power". However, word got around of this power, and six other feared bounty hunters went out to get it for themselves, each with their own reasons. Nevertheless, Samus is able to withstand the hoard of bounty hunters and ultimately succeed in her goal.
In the events that took place in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Samus is sent down to planet Aether in order to save a team of Galactic Federation members. She soon finds out that the team was killed by a species known as the Ing, and that the remains of the behemoth known as Metroid Prime have formed into a doppelganger that greatly resembles herself, though clearly more blue. Not only must she defeat this new source of Phazon, though she's also been asked by the Luminoth to save their species as well. She completes both of these tasks, but in the next chapter of Samus' story, things takes turns for the worse as Dark Samus returns, stronger than ever.
The events from Echoes continue onto the next game in the series, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. In this game, Samus, along with three other bounty hunters, get infected by Phazon after Dark Samus corrupts them on the planet known as Norion. Not only has Dark Samus done this, though she also infects multiple different planets with a Phazon-based life form, the Leviathan Seed, launched from a planet that is completely Phazon based (Phaaze).
Samus' goal here is to obviously destroy all of these sources, and to once and for all defeat Dark Samus, aka Metroid Prime. Samus succeeds in the battle and the planet Phaaze was ultimately destroyed thus purging all known sources of Phazon from the universe, including the corruption that had grown inside Samus. Following the events in Prime, Samus is finally finished dealing with Phazon, though once again must go onto the topic of the deadly Metroid species. The events of Metroid II: Return of Samus shows that she is sent once again to SR-388 in order to completely obliterate all Metroid species.
After seemingly doing so, she stumbles upon a single Metroid egg that soon enough hatches into a baby Metroid. The baby then views Samus as its mother, and thus Samus in turn feels a compassion for it and decides not to kill it. She brings it with her so that a group of scientists can perform research on it, though in the events of Super Metroid, Ridley once again returns. In Super Metroid, Ridley raids the scientist's ship, and steals the baby Metroid. After saving the baby from Ridley, Samus is attacked by an enhanced Mother Brain, though at the last moment Samus is saved by the infant Metroid, who kills itself just to save Samus, who manages to ultimately kill off Mother Brain and escape.
Some time after the events of Super Metroid, Samus receives a distress signal from an enormous space station dubbed the Bottle-Ship. Upon further investigation Samus meets with her old team from her army days, including her old commander Adam Malkovich. The station had been ovverrun by various creatures kept there for experimentation into bio-weaponry, a subject that not only angers but frightens Samus Aran. The researchers there had cloned various deadly species native to various planets that Samus had explored in the past, including Zebesian Space Pirates, the SR388 parasitic Metroid species and also Ridley her mortal enemy.
Samples taken from her power suit were used to clone these species and although illegal, the Galactic Federation had decided to initiate these experiments at the cost of many lives. After much hardship and loss, Samus defeated the various inhabitants of the ship, including a Metroid Queen. Both Samus and her former colleague Anthony Higgs helped reveal the situation to the Federation (it seemed a secretive group within the Federation had permitted these experiments illegally) and they therefore decided the Bottle-Ship was too dangerous to leave unattended and decided to have it destroyed.
However before the destruction of the station Samus returned, claiming to be searching for something she had left behind. Eventually Samus reaches the control room and battles with an enormous replica of Phantoon, an enemy previously fought on the planet Zebes during Super Metroid. In Samus' last known story thus far, she is sent, once again, to SR-388. When there, she is attacked by a species known as X Parasite. The X infests her central nervous her system, and knocks her unconscious, sending her ship into an asteroid. Luckily, her ship ejected the escape pod before impact.
Biologic's Space Labs recovered the vessel and brought it back to Galactic Federation Headquarters. One scientist suggested that they inject Metroid DNA into her body, which would in turn destroy the X Parasite. At the end of the game, she disobeys orders and destroys the ship in which all of the X Parasite are stationed, knowing fully well that they could be a drastic danger for the entire galaxy. Using the ship's propulsion mechanism, she crash landed the station into the nearby SR388 (which the station was orbiting) to ensure the complete extinction of the X parasite species.
Development of the character
Samus Aran first appeared in the NES game Metroid, a title that was intended to be a mixture between two of Nintendo's biggest franchises: Mario and The Legend of Zelda. Makoto Kanō created the character while Hiroji Kiyotake designed her. The game contained many references to the movie Alien, and Samus Aran was made a female to reflect the gender of the lead character of the film franchise. Apparently, the character wasn't initially female, but midway through development one of the designers thought it would be a cool idea to change the character's sex.
After the developers took a vote, it was decided that this was the appropriate approach to the character, and that it wouldn't be until the end of the game until they would reveal the truth behind her. After her successful appearances in Metroid and its two sequels, Samus Aran went on a major hiatus until she appeared as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 by Kirby creators HAL Laboratory.
It was then prior to the launch of the GameCube that Nintendo would announce that they would revisit the franchise, and would give the responsibility over to new found developer Retro Studios. A brief trailer was shown beforehand, and the game became one of the most talked about game. Early screens of the game didn't look very appealing, but soon enough after the switch to a first person perspective, the design would take a dramatic turn. Upon release, the game would be lauded as one of the greatest titles of all time.
That game was Metroid Prime. Andrew Jones designed the new character for the game while Gene Kohler modeled her. Jones not only made the concept art for the character, though also designed all of her suits in the title. Before Andrew Jones crated his Samus, a concept artist by the name of Mike Sneath did some work but it ultimately didn't fall through. The concept he created was the Samus that was originally shown in the trailer, and while the reactions by the fans were great, when the two new designers got on board they were asked to redesign her from scratch.
Outside appearances and cameos
Super Smash Bros.
Samus is a recurring character in the Super Smash Bros. series. She appeared in the first game, where she was able to execute multiple attacks. Multiple stages were based on the Metroid games, and an item named Screw Attack, that causes any player to perform muli-hit attacks.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, multiple trophies were modeled after various themes from the Metroid series. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Samus would transform into Zero Suit Samus after performing her final smash, which would send an immense laser across the stage.
Once performed, the intense power from the gun would cause her suit to overheat, thus destroying it and revealing her Zero Suit form. Zero Suit Samus is a separate playable character, too. She can be played as once Samus Aran performs her final smash, or if a player presses the shield button (Z on the Wii controller) when selecting Samus. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, Samus and Zero Suit Samus return as seperate characters, though Samus is also more designed around her Other M appearance, looking less bulky.
- Neutral Special: Charge Shot
- Side Special: Missile
- Down Special: Bomb
- Up Special: Screw Attack
- Final Smash: Zero Laser
Samus has 7 alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Her costumes from right to left starting with the top pic are the Varia Suit, the Fusion Suit, the Gravity Suit from Super Metroid, the Dark Suit, the Gravity Suit from Metroid Prime, an original Green suit, the Light Suit and one based on Dark Samus.
- In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Samus can be sleeping in a bed in one of the game's inns.
- In Famicom Wars, Samus is one of the CO's of Donut Island.
- The game Galactic Pinball for the Virtual Boy is said to take place in the Metroid universe, and was Gunpei Yokoi's last Nintendo published game. Samus makes appearances in the title.
- In Kirby's Dream Land 3, Samus makes an appearance at the end of a stage.
- In Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra, Samus is one of the stones or statues Kirby can transform into while Kirby has rock abilities.
Samus Aran features some of the most advanced equipment, weapons and armor in any Nintendo video game series. She travels the galaxy using her starship made by the Galactic Federation, though the machine was equipped with missiles in the events that took place in Corruption. With her ship, she could call for raids on specific points that would almost certainly kill the opponent(s) in question.
As a young adult, the Chozo constructed a Power Suit to prevent intense environmental issues and powerful opponents from damaging her. Throughout the series Samus improved the suit greatly, though she'll usually lose these upgrades by the time of a new video game for whatever reason. Zero Suit Samus is basically Samus Aran without her power suit. She first appeared in this type of form as a playable character in Metroid Zero Mission.
During the course of the series, Samus has donned many different suits. In some video games she'll acquire various suit enhancements and upgrades, and subsequently the appearance of the suit will change along with it. The following are suits Samus has worn in the video games:
- Power Suit: Samus' starting suit in most games. It is a standard suit without many upgrades, though it is capable of being "powered up" by items found in-game.
- Varia Suit: The most common suit that Samus wears. The Varia Suit will reduce damage given to her and will allow her to venture through hot and cold environments. This is the suit Samus wears in the Super Smash Bros. series.
- Gravity Suit: Allows Samus to walk freely underwater and, in some games, lava. In water her vision is increased with the Gravity Suit (Metroid Prime), as well as reduces damage given to the character.
- Fusion Suit: The suit Samus wears in Metroid Fusion.
- Phazon Suit: Increased resistance to attacks, resistance to Phazon and the inclusion of a Phazon Beam.
- Dark Suit: Increased resistance to Dark Aether.
- Light Suit: Increased resistance to poisons and immunity to Dark Aether.
- PED Suit: Phazon related Hyper attacks.
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Names in other languages
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- Samus' precise age has never been revealed in any game or by Nintendo. With the Japanese Prime site even stating that her age is unknown. Other M concept art reveals that in her early years of around the time of the K-2L attack, that she is "4-6 years old," contradicting early media saying it happened when she was three, and in her Federation military period, she is "15-17 years old.
- It is plausibly assumed that Samus was inspired by Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley from the Alien series. Her relationship with the 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 just like Samus, Ripley feels guilt over her death. Unlike Ripley, Samus has never shown to be traumatized by the Metroids she faces on her various missions.