Nintendo has cause to celebrate this week as Metroid, one of its best-loved franchises, turns 25.
Saturday August 6 marked the anniversary of the release of the original NES game, simply titled Metroid, in 1986.
Well known for its non-linearity, continually-flowing action, minimal but deep narrative, and the jaw-dropping reveal of what was then an almost unique female protagonist, Metroid went on to spawn 11 highly-rated games, a Metroid Prime compilation re-release, comics, soundtrack albums, and a hefty manga adaptation.
After the success of Super Metroid in 1994, the series went quiet for several years, before bursting back onto the scene in 2002 with Retro’s Metroid Prime. This best-selling Gamecube title reinvented the original game’s side-scrolling platforming for the 3D generation, to critical acclaim.
Samus Aran has become one of gaming’s foremost heroes, although her controversial characterisation in recent games has caused dissent among series fans.
If you haven’t experienced the original Metroid, you can find it through the Wii’s Virtual Console service. The 2004 Game Boy Advance remake Zero Mission is most readily available for second-hand collectors.
The anniversary has triggered an outpouring of love for the series, and we’ve compiled some links below:
- Here’s an an amazing musical tribute to the series, courtesy of IGN.
- IGN has also compiled a Best Of Metroid awards highlighting some of the series strongest offerings.
- Kotaku turned up another fan tribute video, which includes comments from industry figures including famed composer Tommy Tallarico.
- 1UP has a commemorative post on the series, and asked community members to blog about their experiences.
- GayGamer has posted a retrospective on Metroid’s release history.
Let us know of anything else you stumble across, and if you’ve got a favourite Metroid memory, there’s never been a better time to share it.
Congratulations, Metroid, Samus, and Nintendo, and thank you for many years of compelling, challenging fun.