Nintendo: Sakamoto is the only one who knows who Samus Aran is

Wednesday, 23rd February 2011 06:04 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nate Bihldorff, senior localization manager and primary writer on Metroid Prime, has said Metroid co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto is “the only one who really knows” who Samus Aran is, and that when the character finally gained a voice, she was “always going to be different” from player expectations.

“We’re dealing with a beloved series that’s almost 25 years old, and since Metroid has traditionally been extremely light on exposition, fans have filled in a lot of the blanks with their own imaginations,” Bihldorff told Shinesparkers.

“Samus’ story—her voice, her motivations, everything about her—has largely been a matter of individual perception, especially in the US, where people haven’t read any of the official manga related to her childhood.

“Mr. Sakamoto is the only one who knows who she really is, and his vision for her and her voice was always going to be different than the character people had built in their heads.”

Bihldorff also commented on some of the more controversial plot decisions and story elements of recent Metroid games, which critics felt showed Samus as cowardly and over-dependent on authority. Spoilers ahead.

“For me, Samus’s detached monologue speaks to the reticence of a wounded character, one scarred by the tragic events of her childhood,” he said. “The glimpse of the pain and fear she carries—shown in the flashback scene when she sees Ridley—is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

“People who call out that scene as anything but empowering are kind of missing the point, in my opinion—she does end up torching Ridley, after all. There is no courage without fear, in my mind, and knowing that Samus overcomes that repressed terror makes her all the more heroic than someone who plods forward without a hint of humanity.

“I do think that Samus’s reliance on Adam’s commands is an important part of her canon as we see later in Metroid Fusion, Samus hates taking orders, and that problem with authority can be traced directly back to the events on the Bottle Ship in Metroid Other M. … the events of Metroid Other M change her.”

Thanks, GoNintendo.



  1. Blerk

    I’m not convinced she ever needed to speak.

    Anyway, when are we getting a “proper” Metroid, Nintendo?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Freek

    Yeah, her silence created a more mysteriouse character and having the story be told via clues in the enviroment tied back into the exploration gameplay. So giving that game to a studio known for cheeseball storylines and huge boobies was probably not such a great idea.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. TheWulf

    Funny. I always felt that Retro Studios knew exactly who Samus Aran was – and that’s where the series should have continued. The thing is is that given the two versions, I have to say that Retro Studios has the correct approach and that Sakamato is a bit of an egomaniacal idiot.

    His approach was akin to Captain America curling up foetal at the feet of Dr. Doom and blubbing like a baby over how all the people he knew are dead. This should absolutely never happen, and what happened to Samus in Other M also should absolutely never have happened.

    #3 4 years ago

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