Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Being Samus Aran

(The living room; under a spinning ceiling fan; a lone soul sits alone, controller in hand, gazing at the screen.)

I've fought my way through the obligatory fire and lava stage, battling fire-breathing serpents and these little luminescent flying things that let off clouds of green toxic gas when you shoot them. And now, through one of the many large elevator shafts, seem to have reached the absolute antithesis of my former world, the mandatory ice stage, naturally.

Metroid was one of the very first games I played on my cousin Andrew's NES, a long, long time ago, when home videogame consoles were just starting to take off and all the games had those good old chunky graphics. He'd finished the game of course and showed me this one part, right at the end I think, where Samus - the player's character - is shown, out of her suit; pixelated blonde hair flowing in the breeze. I remember being quite surprised, realising that it was a girl I had been controlling on the screen, when I just assumed, without even a thought really, that underneath the shining red armour was either just robotic parts or a regular computer game character, typically male.

I wonder if, had the decision not been made to markedly distinguish Samus’s gender, that the original Metroid may have passed the way of so many other action/shoot'emup video games that have come and gone over the years. Instead, the chatacter Samus Aran has been instrumental in keeping the Metroid franchise alive all this time. She has jumped from system to system, finding a new life within each.

It's the clothes that make the girl


Blogger Jenni said...

BEST. Game. Ever. Haven't tried the newest one yet though, and it is driving me nuts.

2/13/2005 07:41:00 am  
Blogger Joshua said...

It's quite good from what I've played so far, although I'm not that far into it yet :P

2/14/2005 11:37:00 pm  
Blogger Jenni said...

Heh, when we got the first one for Game Cube, I was so obsessed. A couple weekends I would get up and start playing and I wouldn't stop til my eyes felt like they were going to start bleeding, later that night. Gross ... :-\

2/17/2005 06:26:00 am  

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