The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 19 | The secrets of Super Metroid

Like any good game, Super Metroid contains plenty of secrets. Some intentional, some less so. The sheer number of working parts in the game that collide as you put the programming code through permutations the developers couldn’t have predicted or accounted for inevitably make for some surprising interactions. Some of the details are simply there […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 18 | Zebessinia, Henry

The defeat of Mother Brain doesn’t mean it’s game over, of course. It wouldn’t be Metroid if you didn’t have to run desperately to the exit before the enemy base explodes. You have three minutes to reach your gunship before Mother Brain’s lair detonates. While the notion of an escape sequence should feel like old […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 17 | Family reunion

The game uncharacteristically wrests control aways from the player as the super metroid chows down on the sidehopper, and as soon as it’s completed its snack you regain power over Samus again. There’s just a split-second before it swoops down and latches onto Samus and begins depleting her health many times faster than any other […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 16 | Reprise

With Ridley down, there’s just one place left to explore. Unless you’ve not explored all the other places you couldn’t get to before you acquired all your cool gear, in which case there are many places left to explore. Go on, explore them. I’ll wait. No, really, take your time. OK, done? Great. So now […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 15 | A dish best served cold

With the Screw Attack, Samus Aran’s essential arsenal is now complete (barring one final power-up that you experience so briefly and use in such a limited capacity that it amounts to a set piece). You can go anywhere. Do anything. Acquire any item. The entirety of Zebes is now at your fingertips, and a 100% […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 14 | En flambé

Firstly: Welcome to the new site. Secondly: I apologize for any weirdness in the formatting of this entry. New site, you see. Finally: Are the images too big? I like chunky pixels but maaaaaybe this is going overboard. I dunno. Edit: Yes, too big. Back to 512×448. By stepping into the vast stone maw of […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 12 | Enter the Draygon

Metroids already!? Nope, not metroids. Just moctroids, those foul fakers of the sea. It was a moctroid that you may have spotted as a momentary blur during Samus’ descent from Maridia’s sandy regions to the watery caverns below. Moctroids are — as the name suggests — mock metroids. They look similar and exhibit similar behavior, […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 11 | Water-logged

The journey into Maridia marks a turning point for Super Metroid. Until now, the game has been half-adventure, half-tutorial. The caverns of Brinstar and Norfair (and to a lesser degree, Crateria) comprise an intricate interlocking puzzle, designed to send you retracing your steps in search of new tools and pushing a little further against the […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 10 | The Phantoon Menace

Super Metroid‘s mapping system is really pretty brilliant. The auto-mapping feature is a godsend for keeping track of where you’ve been, but the map rooms deserve equal credit. They reveal most — but not all! — of the map for a given area. Certain rooms remain unshown, but the map programmers were really conscientious about […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 9 | Hidden depths

First, let’s begin with a correction: I stated a few entries back that the Ice Beam diminishes Samus’ attack power, but that was only true in the first couple of Metroid games. I wasn’t really paying attention and forgot that Super Metroid updates the Ice Beam’s mechanics so that you don’t freeze an enemy immediately […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 8 | Free at last

Because Super Metroid hails from the mid-’90s rather than the mid’-80s like most of the games that have gone under the Anatomy of a Game microscope, it follows slightly different rules. Games like Super Mario Bros. and Castlevania and even the original Metroid were, on some level, compensating for the fact that many people who […]