metroid box art original game
9.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Controls: 9/10

A totally different entry and game for the NES

Sometimes suffered slowdown, more basic than sequels

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Metroid

Studio:   Nintendo R&D1

Genre(s):   Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):   August 6, 1986 (Japan)/August 15, 1987 (US)

MPAA Rating:   E

metroid samus aron vs kraid retro gaming

Kraid’s not a fan of the bombs…

On the planet SR388, space pirates are launching a dangerous plan.  They are breeding and growing Metroid at the controls of Mother Brain and the Galactic Federation must stop them.  A bounty hunter named Samus Aron has been sent to eliminate the threat of Mother Brain and the space pirates and eliminate the danger of the Metroids…but the vast caverns and ruins of SR388 could spell doom for Samus.

Metroid is an sci-fi action adventure game.  It was originally released for Nintendo’s Family Computer Disk System (or the Famicom Disk System) in Japan in 1986 while being released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987.  The game featured a password system allowing players to continue their games.

I didn’t have a Nintendo when Metroid was initially released…but I wanted to play it badly.  With a friend having a Nintendo, I convinced him to ask for it (he got it).  While he didn’t love playing Metroid, I did…and I ended up with his copy after I finally did get my NES.  Metroid was hard (but winnable), but also felt entirely different than most games at the time.

metroid samus aron vs mother brain gameplay screenshots

Mother Brain will destroy you!

The game was non-linear and featured a world with mazes and puzzles to open up new areas.  This puzzle solving aspect puts the game in alignment with games like The Legend of Zelda.  In addition to the puzzle solving, you have some rather intense jumping and shooting…something almost more Mario-esque (Metroid is often paired with Kid Icarus which featured passwords and a similar jumping/shooting aspect).  The combination felt completely different than games at the time.

The sounds and look of Metroid was also new.  The game featured a lot of strange “space” sounds and some eerie music.  The visuals of the game were based heavily on the Alien film franchise and the visuals created there by H. R. Giger.  The game can give you a very claustrophobic feel at times just like the films.  With a lot of enemies on the screen, the game sometimes can suffer from slowdowns.

metroid justin bailey code samus aron

Get your Justin Bailey on!

The controls for the game are strong.  As you unlock more and more weapons, you unlock more and more areas of the game.  Things like jump boots and the classic Morph Ball really changed up the gameplay the longer you played…nothing was worse than falling in a vat of lava and trying to bounce your way out with bombs.

Metroid was a classic with a twist.  The speed at which you played the game affected the ending of the game.  The best ending came with the big reveal that Samus Aran was actually a woman (by allowing you to play in a weird bathing suit outfit).  It was different than the standard male heroes and of Nintendo games at the time, Samus Aran was probably the most hardcore of Nintendo’s creations…too bad you often had to use the classic “Justin Bailey” code to see it.  Metroid was remade for the Gameboy Advanced as Metroid:  Zero Mission and was available on multiple systems through the Nintendo Shop.  Metroid was followed by Metroid II:  Return of Samus on the Gameboy in 1991.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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