|Developer(s)||Nintendo R&D1, Intelligent Systems, Retro Studios, Next Level Games, Nintendo Software Technology, Team Ninja, Next Level Games|
|Genre(s)||Action, adventure, first-person shooter, sports|
|Platform(s)||Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Super NES, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS|
|Platform of origin||Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Year of inception||1986|
|First installment||Metroid (1986)|
|Latest installment||Metroid Prime: Federation Force (2016)|
The Metroid (メトロイド, Metoroido) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's famous Metroid series of science-fiction adventure games. It is one of the company's most successful franchises, and is sometimes considered one of Nintendo's "big five" franchises, of which the other four are Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, and Kirby. The series has had twelve official games released thus so far, with most of them being near-universally praised by critics and gamers alike. The series revolves around the space-faring bounty-hunting exploits of a woman named Samus Aran and her constant conflict, for most of the series, with the Space Pirates, their commander Ridley, the cybernetic organism Mother Brain and the eponymous parasitic jellyfish-like organisms called Metroids. As with other series represented in the SSF games, Metroid carries a distinctive symbol of its own: a Screw Attack-esque emblem seen in numerous Metroid games.
The original Metroid, created by Gunpei Yokoi, was released for NES in 1987, and it was considered state-of-the-art for its time because of several elements of design: It featured a labyrinthine world in which the player chooses which direction to explore, making it one of the first highly non-linear game experiences on a home console; It was one of the earliest games to feature a password system (and in fact it had a saved-game slot system in its Japanese release on the Famicom Disk System); and in a landmark moment in game history, it was revealed at the end of the game that the playable character is female, an unusual concept for videogame characters at the time. It has remained one of the most popular games from the NES era. Metroid was expanded and developed as a franchise with the releases of the follow-ups Metroid II: Return of Samus for Game Boy in 1991 and Super Metroid for the Super NES in 1994, and they incorporated and introduced many elements that can be associated with Metroid-style gameplay. Super Metroid, in fact, was declared by issue #150 of game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly to be the single greatest game of all time.
In spite of this impressive track record for a Nintendo franchise, there would not be an official Metroid game for the next eight years. In fact, the only time Metroid properties have been seen in a video game during this hiatus were in 1999's Super Smash Bros. and 2001's Super Smash Bros. Melee. But the franchise underwent a noticeable rebirth late in 2002 with two near-simultaneous official Metroid releases: Metroid Fusion, developed by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance, was the official sequel to Super Metroid. But far more notable was Metroid Prime for the GameCube, developed by a previously unknown second-party developer named Retro Studios, and the gaming populace was shocked to find that this game formerly based on a 2D-only series underwent a full 3D restructuring, with gameplay resembling a first-person shooter. This generated a firestorm of controversy prior to release, but by the game's release critics and fans alike found that Prime successfully preserves and develops the Metroid formula of play around a full 3D-world, and that it successfully pulls off a new approach to the first-person shooter genre titled the "First-Person Adventure". Metroid Prime remains one of the most critically acclaimed and highly rated games ever.
Since 2002, Metroid games have been produced with an increased frequency, continuing to solidify the franchise as one of Nintendo's flagship franchises. Two years afterwards in 2004, another similar pair of official Metroid titles were released by the same respective developers: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is Retro Studios' official GameCube sequel to Metroid Prime, while Metroid: Zero Mission was developed by Nintendo as a redesigned, much-enhanced GBA remake of the original 1987 Metroid, and it features as part of a lengthy post-endgame sequence main character Samus losing her power suit, leaving her forced to contend with enemies in her unarmored form. This suitless Samus has been revealed as a playable entity in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with the popularized name Zero Suit Samus. Then in 2006, two Prime spin-off titles were released; one was Metroid Prime: Hunters, a Prime-style First-Person Adventure for Nintendo's DS, and the others was the somewhat more comedic Metroid Prime Pinball for DS, which noncanonically redepicts the original Prime in a pinball-table format. Lastly, the recently released Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on the Wii concludes the Prime story arc, and is once again a first-person adventure. There is also an upcoming DS title called Metroid Dread, but its development status is uncertain.
The Metroid series takes place in a fictional galaxy featuring several different habitable planets and many races of aliens, some sentient. In almost any given game in the Metroid series, the player takes control of a female bounty hunter by the name of Samus Aran, who uses an enhanced space suit crafted by the bird-man-like Chozo race to carry out solo exploration missions assigned to her by the galaxy's resident Galactic Federation. Among the galaxy's many species of creatures are the titular Metroids, a species of large, flying, jellyfish-like creatures native to one particular planet, and they possess the ability to latch onto victims and siphon a sort of life energy from them to sustain themselves, often resulting in the death of the target. These entities are often the central plot element to each game because their terrifying, almost magical traits are constantly attempted to be harnessed by the series' main villains, the Space Pirates, a sentient but conniving and lawless race that ravages the galaxy, operates outside Federation boundaries, and lives for the glory of galactic conquest. Many Metroid games feature Samus being assigned by the Galactic Federation to raid a planet occupied by Space Pirates, rout them all and their Metroid subjects, and sabotage their operations.
All games in the series constitute a single Metroid continuity. In the original Metroid and its remade version Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus is tasked by the Galactic Federation to go to Planet Zebes and stop the Space Pirates from exploiting the Metroid species for galactic domination, and she battles their leaders, the dragon-like Ridley and the biomechanical brain-like entity the Mother Brain. Then in the full Metroid Prime subseries, Samus thwarts similar operations by the Space Pirates to exploit Metroids as well as a radioactive substance titled Phazon. Following these events, the Federation deems the Metroids too dangerous to exist, so Samus is to exterminate the entire species in their homeworld of SR388, and she does, but spares one apparently domesticated hatching and decides to donate it to the Federation for research. In Super Metroid, however, Ridley steals the hatching, and Samus must defeat the Space Pirates and Mother Brain once again on Zebes. With the Metroids seemingly exterminated for good, Samus is soon attacked by the Metroids' original prey, the X-Parasite, and in Metroid Fusion she ultimately saves the galaxy from a deadly X-outbreak by destroying SR388 with the collision of an X-infected Federation space station into it; though she saves everything from a potential catastrophe, it is uncertain whether Samus will be prosecuted by the Federation for destroying the space station.
In Super Smash Flash
The Metroid franchise is represented as one of several "standard universes" found in Super Smash Flash, only with one character.
- Samus Aran: A bounty hunter in a technologically advanced and flexible power suit. Samus Aran is an orphan from a Space Pirate attack. She was harbored by the benevolent Chozo race at a young age and infused with their heritage and technology, and she now serves the Galactic Federation as pretty much a one-woman army against the menace of the Space Pirates and their attempts to use the life-stealing Metroids to conquer the universe. Samus explores the worlds and routs all enemies within them by the decree of the Federation, and she acquires many weapon systems and upgrades to her suit such as missile launchers and heat protection during her expeditions.
In Super Smash Flash 2
A fairly-decent amount of content from the Metroid franchise appears in Super Smash Flash 2. With the addition of two stages, an assist trophy and a new character makes this series one of the few from SSF to truly gain more representation in SSF2. The Metroid franchise is currently tied with the Mega Man franchise as the sixth most represented series in SSF2.
- Samus Aran: Samus Aran makes her debut in demo v0.9a. Her move set consist more of her attacks from the main games. Samus Aran's sprite design is based on her appearance in Super Metroid. Her Final Smash, the Zero Laser.
- Zero Suit Samus: The suit less version of Samus from Metroid: Zero Mission(which is the basis for her sprite design) is playable via Samus' Final Smash. She makes her debut in demo v0.9b. She fights acrobatically and carries a projectile attack in the form of her handheld Paralyzer gun, which she also uses as the basis for her Plasma Whip and Plasma Wire special attacks, both of which can be used for Tether Recovery. Zero Suit Samus' Final Smash Power Suit Samus involves a huge, blinding ball of light forming around her, returning her to status with the power suit.
- Metroid: A parasitic organism that latches on its victim to drain his/her energy life. As an Assist Trophy, the Metroid will search for opponents to latch onto. When it latches onto the opponent, it will deal damage by sucking their health. It will also drag the unlucky opponent off the stage, resulting in a KO.
- Crateria: Based on the surface location from Planet Zebes, a recurring location in the series, and is notably known for its constant never-ending raining and its acid rain. The stage is somehow big and a bit complex compared to the Metroid stages in the past. It consists of 3 large platforms and a small floating platform that at times gradually moves around the stage. Occasional acid rains will also deal damage to players. However, they will not flinch. One can avoid taking damage from the rain by hiding behind the glasses underneath the ledges.
- Phase 8: A lava-cavern area found in the planet SR388. The stage has 2 center platforms and 1 platform above each of the 2 islands. Overtime, a giant lava flow appears in the middle of the screen going in and out of the two middle platforms. Any player will be safe if he/she stands in between the center platforms or stands behind the glass that appears when the lava flows through that area but if that person touches the lava flow, he/she will be pushed up and off the screen and most likely be Star KO'ed. As usual with other Metroid-themed stages, the lava at the bottom of the stage will rise from time to time forcing players to jump onto the higher platforms until the lava settles.