Samus Aran

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Samus Aran in Varia Suit from the Metroid Prime series.

Samus Aran is a fictional video game character created by Nintendo, and is the main protagonist in the futuristic Metroid game series. She is a cyborg bounty hunter who wears an extensible body suit with a number of advanced technologies built into it. The original Metroid game intentionally led players to believe she was male until the very end of the game, making a statement about gender roles in video games at a time when heros were predominately male.



Missing image
Samus Aran dressed in what seems to be a more normal space suit.
Species: Human; was infused with Chozo blood as a child, later with Metroid DNA as an adult
Occupation: Space-faring bounty hunter for the Galactic Federation.
Sex: Female.
Age: unknown; appears to be in mid-20's to early-30's; however, due to several DNA alterations and possible possession of cybernetic implants, the normal human aging process may have been slowed.
Homeworld: Presumably born on Earth colony K-2L, raised on Zebes.
Hair color: Officially blonde, sometimes depicted as green, purple or auburn in older materials.
Eye color: Officially blue, sometimes depicted as green.

Samus is rarely seen without her Chozo-designed Power Suit. In addition to providing protection, the suit augments her physical abilities, allowing her to leap great distances or scale vertical cliffs. The suit is also modular, able to equip many different upgrades to increase versatility.

Samus' exact height and weight without the Power Suit are currently heavily debated. The Metroid II instruction booklet and Super Metroid strategy guide have provided the following stats, though they did not specify whether Samus was with or without her suit:

Height: 1.90m (6'3")
Weight: 90kg (198lbs, 6oz)

Missing image
Samus Aran as depicted in the sprite-based Metroid games

Challenge of gender roles

Samus was one of the first active heroines in a video game, appearing at a time when other popular heros, such as Mario and Link, were predominantly male and striving to rescue helpless princesses. Some games, such as Super Mario Bros. 2, added female playable characters, but these continued to exhibit exaggerated feminine characteristics. There would be few other active female heroines until Lara Croft of Tomb Raider, who many feminists found appalling for her extreme sexualization and unrealistic protection in a harsh environment.

While there are many female heros today, a large majority of them have emulated Lara Croft's exaggerated sexualism to appeal to a predominantly male gaming community. Even Samus has been victim to this trend to some extent: several of the Metroid games portray her in somewhat revealing attire if one completes the game under certain time restrictions (see Justin Bailey) or during Samus's death animation (Super Metroid), and the Metroid Prime series has given her an occasionally-visible face resembling that of a model. Nevertheless, she continues to earn praise as one of the most self-sufficient and realistic female role models in video games.

Name pronunciation

Samus' name has only been spoken aloud in two Nintendo games. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the announcer refers to her as "SAW-miss". However, in the Japanese and European versions of Metroid Prime, her name is pronounced "SAA-miss AIR-in"[1] ( The correct official pronunciation is currently unknown.

Fictional biography

Template:Spoiler top

Her Zero mission

Samus Aran is the legendary bounty hunter who is well-known for defeating the Space Pirates and wiping out the dangerous Metroids. Though she was at first rumored to be a male cyborg, Samus revealed her true identity after she defeated the Zebesian Space Pirates on Zebes. Her reputation grew as her reliability almost always guaranteed success in her hired jobs.

Young Samus and a Chozo.
Young Samus and a Chozo.

Samus was the daughter of two colonists on the Federation colony world K-2L. When she was quite young, the species known only as the Space Pirates destroyed the colony, leaving Samus as the sole survivor. A group of Chozo picked up the distress signal from the colony, and took Samus with them to their home on planet Zebes. They raised her as their own, infusing her with their blood for her to gain their natural powers. In Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus has flashbacks to her childhood with the Chozo when she sees a mural depicting a Chozo warrior, and also as a sequence of pictures in a connectivity bonus between Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission.

Eventually, she had left Zebes of her own account with the power suit, seeking full millitary training in the Galactic Federation. However, her millitary career didn't last after the death of her commanding officer, and she soon left to become a Bounty Hunter. As she sought to make a name for herself, the Space Pirates attacked Zebes seeking more information about Metroids, and wiping out the Chozo race from the planet.

Hunting down the Pirates

After her success in defeating the Space Pirates at Zebes, knowledge of the Metroid's power spread through the galaxy. Leaving Zebes behind, Samus traveled the galaxy to seek another job, coming across the distress signal of a wrecked space station. Upon investigation, she had discovered it was being used as a storage and research station by the Space Pirates to study a new material known as Phazon. However, it was on the verge of destruction due to an accident with one of the stored creatures.

Samus escaped the station to the planet Tallon IV in pursuit of Meta Ridley, discovering the ruins of a Chozo civilization, destroyed by the poisonous Phazon that came from a meteor that crashed into the planet. The Space Pirates, lead by Meta Ridley, built a base above and below the surface of the planet, testing Phazon not only on their own, but also on Metroids. This testing gave birth to Metroid Prime The Chozo forsaw Samus' arrival, and knowing they would perish before she arrived, left behind the tools she would need to heal the planet and let their souls rest. With the defeat of the Space Pirates and the destruction of Metroid Prime, Samus left the planet that it may heal. However, Metroid Prime did not go quietly, having absorbed the Phazon suit upgrade from Samus before its death...


Some time later, which was not given a definate date, the Galactic Federation had contacted Samus, hiring her for a search and rescue mission. Federation troops pursuing a pirate vessel had gone missing on an alien world and Samus was to seek out any survivors, if any. Tracking their last known signal, she came across the strange planet covered by a dark cloud called Aether. Upon entering the atmosphere, her ship was struck by a powerful burst of lightning, disabling it and forcing her to crash land in a small cave somewhere on the planet. Exploration of the alien world revealed that the crashed marines had created a base, that was apparently short-lived, their forces decimated by never seen before creatures. As she worked through the remains of the makeshift base, she was attacked by federation soldiers that were, at one point dead. Soon, she came across a few stores of Phazon, and a creature in blue draining the phazon. This creature was Dark Samus.

It led her on a chase through a gate to a darker world, where she was attacked by strange creatures and had some of the equipment from her Power Armor stolen, forced back into Light Aether immediately afterwards. When Samus had escaped to the surface, she found the wrecked Federation ship, as well as the remains of the soldiers. The Ing revealed themselves to her and attacked. When she had defeated them and regained her missle launcher from among the Federation's equipment, she made her way to a structure much like a temple in the center.

This was when she had met the Luminoth, a species of beings that originally called the planet home, but now hid away in stasis pods until the day the Ing and Dark Aether would be no more. From their leader, she had learned that, because of a meteorite crashing into the planet, strange creatures had formed called the Ing. A dark half of the planet was also formed, creating dimensional rifts that threatened to tear the planet in half, while poisoning anything organic that ventured in. They enlisted Samus' aid to save their world, by pushing back the Ing and recovering the stolen light energy from Dark Aether. However, this would not be an easy task.

The Emperor Ing continued to lead the attacks against Samus, and Dark Samus continued to hinder her path in any way it could. She would gather weapons and tools used by the Luminoth to fight the Ing, and eventually regained her stolen equipment from certain Ing that had learned to use them However, when she had managed to restore the 3 temples of light in Aether, the Luminoth gave to her their ultimate power, infusing her Power Armor with pure light, giving her the protection she would need to face Emperor Ing and destroy the source of Dark Aether. When Samus defeated Emperor Ing, Dark Aether was starting to implode to allow Light Aether be restored to its entirety. Dark Samus refused to let her leave though, and though weakened, attemed to destroy Samus. The Real Samus prevailed by using her charge beam to redirect Dark Samus' phazon attacks, and quickly escaped from Dark Aether before it disappeared entirely. With their world safe, the Luminoth were released from their stasis pods, and gave their thanks to Samus as she returned their light power to them. Her ship had finished it's self repair systems and she soon departed.

Mission: Eradicate the Metroid species

With the Federation now aware of what Metroids were capable of, they hired Samus yet again. This time, they directed her to the uninhabited planet SR-388. It was this planet where it was believed the Chozo created the Metroids. Samus had to fight through the natural beasts and life that had become aggressive as of late due to the activity of the Metroid queen, as well as alter the environment to continue on her quest. As she gathered more tools and weapons, she began to fight her way through the swarms of Metroid to face the queen, and in a difficult fight, eventually destroyed her. As she began to leave, she came across one last Metroid egg that hatched just as she arrived. The newborn Metroid mistook Samus for it's mother and swarmed around her affectionately. Samus couldn't bring herself to destroy the confused Metroid hatchling, despite it being the very last one on the planet. So she took it with her to a Federation Space Colony to have it researched...

A return to the past

Very shortly after Samus left, the Space Colony was attacked. When she had returned, she found the researchers dead at their stations and most of the systems down. As she seached the colony, she found the hatchling...and Ridley, or more specifically, the seed of Ridley. There was a brief confrontation, Where Samus discovered she was underpowered to defeat this new Ridley. It escaped before she could recover the hatchling Metroid, and the self-destruct systems were set off.

In the aftermath of the station's destruction, Ridley escaped to the closest planet, leading Samus right behind him. It was the former homeworld of the Chozo: Zebes. Samus wandered the ruins of the planet, which seemed to be literally sleeping, discovering the ruins of the old Space Pirate base that she had explored years before. For some reason, it still had power. With the recovery of her old Morph ball ability, full power was mysteriously restored to the facility. She discovered then that the Space Pirates had returned to salvage the remains of their base and begin their work again in secret.

Once more, Samus traveled the planet above and below the surface, searching through areas that were newly formed in the passing years for the Metroid Hatchling. Ancient weapons remained burried, protected by the guardians of the Space Pirates, but one by one, they fell, until only the Space Pirates' revived leader remained: Mother Brain.

On the way through their planet side HQ, she found dried out remains of monsters and Space Pirates alike, completely drained of their life force. She was then attacked by a massive metroid which started to drain of her life. It stopped before killing her and released her from its hold, floating a bit confused as if it recognized her, before running off. Samus managed to get to a recharge station, taking the time to recover before seeking out Mother Brain's chamber. The laser and lava trap having been restored, Samus fought her way through and shattered Mother Brain's case, laying waste to the leader to destroy her once and for all...

Or so she thought. The containment case was destroyed as Mother Brain rose with a new Exo-skeleton. Gigantic and fierce, Samus' weapons had no affect on her. Mother Brain poured its mental power into a beam, nearly destroying Samus completely if it wasn't for the interferance of that massive metroid, who attacked Mother Brain and drained her energy. Using the energy stolen from Mother Brain, the Metroid clung to Samus and began to transfer the energy into her body. Mother Brain refused to be put down though, and when she had regenerated, she began her attack, this time on the Metroid. With Samus' health restored, the Metroid prepared to attack Mother Brain again, but one powerful blow struck the weakened Metroid down, destroying it completely. Infused with powerful energy and feeling the sorrow of a mother, she focused the new energy into her cannon, unleashing a powerful blast that Mother Brain could not defend against.

The final blow was struck, and Mother Brain was reduced to ash. Her death set off the self destruct system, leaving Samus with only a few minutes to escape. With seconds to spare, saving the animals that had helped her along the way, she made it back to her ship and launched into space once more. This time, the destruction errupted straight from the core, and the entire planet had been completely destroyed, leaving nothing but dust in the wake of the explosion as Samus took off into space with a chance to finally rest.

The New Threat

Time passes, and the Federation once more calls upon Samus' services. For now, it was something simple: escort researchers through SR-388. With the Metroids erraticated, there was nothing left to control the powerful X Parasite. They attacked, with Samus doing her best to fend them off. Samus was defenseless against the parasite and was infected. A quick evacuation of the planet was made, quickly bringing Samus off of the planet to a near by Federation research station.

By this period of time, Samus had used the Chozo Power Suit so much that it had become physically fused with her body. They could only surgically remove portions of it. The Parasite was gaining control little by little, but soon found that the genetic code of Metroids could not only resist the parasite, but it could also kill off the parasite completely.

Samus made a rapid recovery, but was left permanently infused with the cell structure of the Metroid, the very species she had hunted to extinction. To make up for what had happened, the Federation provided her with one of their newer, faster ships complete with a new AI system, which she had named Adam in memory of her Commanding officer. As she prepared to leave, another life was born that day.

The Federation was quick to call her back after a mysterious explosion at the station. When she arrived, a strange force had sealed her. Samus still had a job to do, and began to explore the dead space station under the guidance of Adam. Then came the frightening discovery: The X Parasite that had infected her Power Suit was now controlling the remains of her suit, containing all of the strength she had when she last left Zebes. Now she was trapped on the station with a rapidly reproducing parasite that controls all of the systems as well as her most powerful armor.

However, she was not without hope. It was discovered that the metroid cells within her suit could absorb parasite cells and absorb them into the power of the armor, increasing her abilities much like the Chozo upgrades for her Power Suit. With a new hope, and the careful guidance of Adam, she sought to restore manual control and open the bay so a Federation team could come in and destroy the parasite. However, she and Adam were aware that if they arrived, the parasite would infect them and escape to spread.

WIth strength comes weakness. Infused with the metroid cells makes her vulnerable to Ice, and the Parasite, now dubed SA-X, seeks to destroy her at every possible turn. Soon though, the tables begin to turn, and after seeking out the SA-X, Samus stumbled upon a horrible secret: The Federation had been breeding and stocking Metroids. On the way out, the SA-X had sought out its natural predator, and Samus escaped from this small research lab, jettisoning it from the station along with the Metroids and SA-X inside. It was then she found out the SA-X had created copies of itself, and there were as many as ten throughout the station. Samus then decided it was for the best to destroy the station entirely. After realizing Adam's AI was actually the real Adam's personality and memories, discovered a way to totally destroy the station with Adam, by setting its course to plow into SR-388's atmosphere. Once she had enough strength, she began to fight back against an SA-X in the control room. In a close fight, Samus barely claims victory, and sets the station's course to crash into the planet, against the wishes of the Federation.

When she starts to return to the ship, some of the metroids that had escaped began to fuse together, forming an Omega Metroid. Unable to defeat it in her current form, the X Parasite that inhabited her Power Suit fused with her Metroid Suit, giving her full power to take out the Omega Metroid. With the metroid destroyed, Samus, Adam and the animals from the station's habitats escape into space before the station explodes. Template:Spoiler bottom

Metroid games and cameo appearances

Missing image
The most up-to-date rendition of Samus in the plot canon, as seen at the end of Metroid Fusion.

By order of US release:

  1. Metroid (1986 - NES)
  2. Nintendo's Tetris (1989 - NES) (Cameo)
  3. Metroid II: Return of Samus ( 1991 - Game Boy)
  4. Super Metroid (1994 - SNES)
  5. Super Mario RPG (1996 - SNES) (Cameo)
  6. Kirby Super Star (1996 - SNES) (Cameo)
  7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (1997 - SNES) (Cameo)
  8. Super Smash Bros. (1999 - N64)
  9. Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001 - GameCube)
  10. Metroid Prime (2002 - GameCube)
  11. Metroid Fusion (2002 - Game Boy Advance)
    (Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion were released on the same day)
  12. Metroid: Zero Mission (2004 - Game Boy Advance)
  13. Metroid (2004 - Game Boy Advance) (a port of the original, see Classic NES Series)
  14. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004 - GameCube)
  15. Metroid Prime: Hunters (2005 - Nintendo DS)
  16. WarioWare: Touched! (2005 - Nintendo DS)

Samus in the Super Smash Bros. series

In the game Super Smash Bros., Samus is a heavy aerial fighter, her weight being exceeded only by heavyweights like Donkey Kong. Her flying kicks are among the most powerful in the game. In addition, she can use an array of projectiles inspired by her weapons from the Metroid series, including the Power Beam, Missiles, and Morph Ball Bombs.

Samus was changed to a mediumweight in Super Smash Bros. Melee, with improved speed, agility, and stamina. She has also been given the Homing Missile as a new attack.

Metroid Movie Rumors

There was a highly popular rumor floating around for a time that Halle Berry was set to be cast in the role of Samus in a possible live-action movie based off of the Metroid series. These rumors however, have been proven to be completely false. No studio has even mentioned interest in it at all, and Nintendo has said absolutely nothing on the subject. As of now, there are no plans in the near or far future to create a film adaptation of Metroid in sight, although John Woo has recently aquired the rights to make a Metroid film. Weither or not it will come to fruition is uncertain. [2] (


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