1986 • Nintendo Entertainment System
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The year is 20X5, and the Space Pirates have attacked the Galactic Federation. They stole samples of a newly-discovered dangerous life form: Metroids! Fortified in their base, hidden deep below ground on Planet Zebes, the Space Pirates are trying to weaponize the parasitic organism under the leadership of Mother Brain, a super-AI resembling a human brain.

The Galactic Federation sends Samus Aran, a fearless bounty hunter equipped with a special combat suit given to her by the Chozo, who raised and trained her. She alone can infiltrate the Space Pirate base on Zebes and eliminate the threat.

In 1986, METROID was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom Disk System. It laid the foundation for one of the most influential franchises in gaming, and for good reason. The side-on view scrolling in all four cardinal directions, asking players to explore the caverns of Zebes in a non-linear fashion, was groundbreaking at the time. On top of that, notion of exploration gated by abilities granted through the discovery of new items and gear was the secret ingredient to a formula still being imitated over thirty years later. Such abilities include the iconic Morph Ball form, that allows Samus to pass through tight spaces and reach new areas, and the Screw Attack, a rolling jump charged with energy that means bad things for unsuspecting foes.

To neutralize the Space Pirate and Metroid threat, Samus must acquire new weapons and skills on her journey to Mother Brain’s lair. It appears Metroids are impervious to regular weaponry but are defenseless in low temperatures…

METROID was developed by Nintendo R&D1 with Yoshio Sakamoto directing and Hirokazu ‘Hip’ Tanaka composing the music. Samus Aran was designed by Hiroji Kiyotake, and the scenario was penned by Makoto Kanō.