For this month’s Spotlight, we are happy to share with you the work of Noababoa, a 3D artist who has redesigned many of Samus’s suits. He’s currently working o a brand new take on her Varia Suit, and also on her Fusion Suit. We hope you’ll consider checking more of his work!
Hi, I’m Noababoa! I’m an artist who aspires to one day be able to work on something related to video games. Ever since I was young, I’ve been drawing characters and worlds from all types of fiction. In particular, the world of video games was where my main inspiration for my art came from.
I can’t exactly remember when, but one day I came across the existence of a certain bounty hunter in a certain sci-fi franchise. It was the intergalactic heroine Samus Aran! The first thing I noticed about this character was the armor she wore, the Power Suit. In my opinion, it was the coolest piece of sci-fi technology I had ever seen. The unique design of the suit and all of the amazing abilities it had quickly got me hooked on the wonderful series that is Metroid. I started drawing her Power Suit in its many forms all the time. Samus is probably one of the things I drew the most growing up. I have countless drawings of her. Eventually as my creative side grew and as I saw more amazing designs for Samus’s suit being created for Metroid, I thought I would start drawing my own designs for her suit. I did this for years, changing the design slightly each time. No matter how many times I drew the suit, I kept wishing for more. I wanted it to be more than just an image on a piece of paper. And that’s how creating my ideal Samus design and bringing it to life became one of my life’s dreams.
Fast forward around 20 years later from where we started. I had been teaching myself 3D art for a while. And one day, I came across the modding community for Super Smash Bros. I found out that it was possible to import 3D models into the games and replace the models used for the characters in the official games. At this time, Super Smash Bros. For Wii U was the latest entry in the Super Smash Bros. series. I started learning to mod it and actually successfully imported my first model, which was an edited version of Metroid Prime 2 Samus. (I didn’t make this mod public.) But this wasn’t enough for me. Modding in an existing design just didn’t cut it. And when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came out, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. It was time to start modeling my own design for Samus. I was finally going to bring one of my designs to life. This is when Samus Re-Envisioned was born.
Samus Re-Envisioned is a project that aims to put what will be my ideal personally made Samus design into existing Nintendo games in order to bring it to life. I started with a design that took some risks, branching out from what I might call my comfort zone in how I personally believe Samus is supposed to look. This first iteration of the design was mostly an experiment to see what I could do in those areas outside of my comfort zone. I put this model into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and gave it an Arm Cannon with custom animations.
Now some of you might be wondering why I said “first iteration.” Well, I knew I wasn’t going to be satisfied with my first go at the design. So a little while later, I started working on Samus Re-Envisioned 2. This time, I decided to lean more on my favorite version of Samus’s suit: Super Metroid Samus. Super Metroid’s design is a slightly altered version of Metroid II’s Samus design, which was the original version of Samus with large round shoulder pads. With Re-Envisioned 2, I made a lot of the armor similarly shaped to those renditions of Samus’s design and as a result, it had a very bulky appearance (which I personally love). In addition to Super Metroid, I put in design aspects from other Samus designs I liked as well, such as Metroid Prime, Samus Returns, etc. I also expanded the scope of this iteration of the project, adding more things such as custom made projectiles, effects, sound effects, a Power Suit and Gravity suit version of the model, and several extra subtle details.
Even after Re-Envisioned 2, a project I’m still very proud of to this day, I’m still finding more things I’d like to do with the design. So I’m continuing to work on this project, now working on Samus Re-Envisioned 3. This version is taking a lot of inspiration from Metroid Dread. Their team’s design work is something that amazes me and has me thinking, “I wish I thought of that.” So this time, I want to see what I can learn from them by making a design with similar elements. The main suit model is already done. A friend of mine who goes by Pik will be making a face model to go behind the visor. It’s looking really awesome so far. I’m very grateful to them. You will be able to see the face through her visor like in Metroid Prime. After I finish the Varia Suit model, I will be working on additional suits just as I did for Re-Envisioned 2. The first alternate suit model will be the Fusion Suit, then I will be making a Power and Gravity Suit based on the new design. I’m looking forward to sharing more about this project as it progresses. Thanks to all of those who support me!
Noababoa’s work is absolutely fantastic. He understands the visual identity of Samus’ suits so well, his work could fool me as being official! I’m looking forward to seeing the final results on his upcoming projects that already look very promising.