Anatomy of Super Metroid | 7 | Speed run

You know what is a pretty bad idea? Getting a ways into Super Metroid, then stepping away from it for a month. All that time I spent trying to remember my next task sure won’t reflect well on my final time. Defeating Kraid earns you the Varia. Unlike the Varia you may have collected in […]

Anatomy of Super Metroid | 6 | Kraid on bungling bay

Super Metroid makes the fire zone Norfair a much more elaborate and varied locale than it was in the original Metroid. The trick to Norfair in the previous game was that it was crammed full of hidden breakable blocks the required obsessive searching in order to advance further into the sequence — a dense and […]

Anatomy of Super Metroid | 5 | I love Zebes in the springtime

Up until this area with the battle against Spore Spawn, none of Samus’ new collectibles have diverged from the powers she acquired in Metroid and Metroid II. The Charge Beam offers the first new touch of variety, but it’s not until after you’ve devastated Zebes’ underground ecosystem by murdering Spore Spawn that you really get […]

Anatomy of Super Metroid | 4 | Shafted anew

The freaky statuary room proves to be a dead end, so there’s no way forward but down. Samus takes the back door into Brinstar, and the linear tutorial phase of the game effectively comes to an end. The elevator from Crateria to Brinstar leads to a tall vertical shaft, a classic Metroid trademark. In this game, however, […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 3 | Somebody set up us…

Now that Samus has walked directly into a deadly waiting trap, springing its cruel jaws into action around her, how will she ever survive? Oh, right… by shooting everything in sight. The Space Pirates are an interesting bunch; they’re agile, capable of climbing walls and leaping around, and they can emit lasers from their bodies. […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid - 2 - Silent running

After Ceres explodes (because, as we’ll find out, that what happens to every place Samus Aran ever visits), the scene moves to planet Zebes, setting of the original Metroid. This makes sense, given that Samus just faced down Space Pirate commander Ridley and would naturally think to track him back to his hideout… or at […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid - 01 - Moving pictures

Sometimes it seems a little hard to believe that Nintendo created Super Metroid. It’s such an un-Nintendo-like game — so somber and moody, so straight-faced, so rich with narrative innovation that feels nothing at all like what we’ve come to expect from Nintendo. And yet, it’s quintessentially classic Nintendo in many ways: It leads you […]