Posted on September 12, 2011
Super Metroid (Super NES)
As mentioned yesterday, Super Metroid was introduced to me by a friend I met in University. Before then, I had heard a lot about the awesomeness, but never experienced it first hand.
When this came out in ’94, my interest in video games was waivering a little bit. I wasn’t growing out of them, so much as I was just looking for that next jump games would take. I was somewhat obsessed with the Mortal Kombat titles at the time, if only for the fact that the subject matter seemed more adult, which is what I needed (even though I was only 11).
When Super Metroid was plastered all over my issue of Nintendo Power, I wasn’t really up for trying it. I had gotten some enjoyment out of the first game, but its Game Boy sequel had me less than enthused at the time… this was just another one of those titles with “Super” tacked onto the front of it.
I was way, way wrong about that.
*Fast-forward to nine years after the game is released, in 2003.*
A bunch of friends and I had gone to see Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in theatres. I enjoyed the campiness of the movie quite a bit, and I believed it was a great addition to the franchise – many others didn’t seem to think so, but I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to sci-fi flicks.
After the movie was done, the group headed to the good ol’ Smythe St. apartment, and my friend Mike wanted to show me his “mad skills” with Super Metroid, a game he was appalled I hadn’t played yet. He told me he could have the game beat in less than two hours, so I sat and watched as he played through.
Two things struck me right away – the very first objective is to get the maru mari (more commonly known as the Morph Ball), which means returning to the exact area that started Metroid for us all back when it came out for the NES. Those who know me know just how much I love anything retro, be it music, video games, or television. Going back to this room had me wanting to play it pretty badly.
The other thing was the music. Oh my, the music. It sets the tone so perfectly for each portion of Planet Zebes, from the swampy marshes of Crateria to the hell-fire depths of Lower Norfair. The best music in the game, however, is also the simplest little tune.
That bass in the background is enough to give me the creeps when I get to the “red soil” portion of Brinstar, never mind the haunting melody that comes with it.
After Mike’s quick introduction to the game (his quest ended rather abruptly after battling a one-eyed monster named “Phantoon”), I headed home, downloaded a ROM, and tried to explore every little nook and cranny this game had… that certainly kept me busy for a while. So many missile expansions, energy tanks, hidden paths and fancy gadgets are stashed in the least obvious places, which is fantastic for those who just love to look around and feel like they’re a part of a strange environment.
I had to split this relatively short movie into two parts, just due to the fact that Windows Movie Maker was being a pain…
This playthrough was definitely the most thorough I have ever done for any game, and it often wore me down. Don’t get me wrong, GameFAQS is a great resource for walkthroughs, but I’m thinking YouTube just might work better for future games. My head would hurt after reading countless phrases like “go down two corridors, down the elevator shaft, then the second door on the right, but not the first one, because you’ll only be able to benefit from it later, and then down the path on the right from the door; there’s a hidden passage underneath the statue, next to the special-looking rock here, so bomb it, and roll through.” It wasn’t bad for a while, but I would dream about all these various paths I could be taking, that didn’t really exist in the game… not really conducive for getting a good night’s sleep.
Somehow, I managed to follow the walkthrough to a T (though I’m not sure why people follow T’s in the first place… that’s U’s job) and I pulled off 100% item completion in under three hours… so the “sexy Samus” ending was achieved.
Here’s Super Metroid in “movie” format, from acquiring the first item to defeating the Mother Brain in one of the more epic boss battles in gaming history.