11 amazing Metroid facts and secrets

20th Apr 2012 | 11:46

How did Samus Aran get her name? What is the only Metroid game to feature no Metroids and what happened to the body of the cloned Ridley in Metroid: Other M. All is revealed below as after compiling amazing Pokemon facts and some Zelda secrets, ONM forum member Zabba 2 turns his attention to Metroid.

1. Metroid Dread

In 2005, information about a new Metroid game started spreading. Known as Metroid Dread, it was supposed to be a side-scrolling sequel to Metroid Fusion for the DS. In typical fashion, Nintendo neither confirmed or denied its existence, but rumours persisted well into 2006. Here we are a whole six years later, and it's plain to see that the highly anticipated title never materialised in the end, but a lovely little reference to it exists in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Scanning a computer screen in the game yields the message "Experiment status report update: Metroid project 'Dread' is nearing the final stages of completion.". Sadly this turned out to be nothing more than a tease rather than outright confirmation, but hope lives on in Metroid co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto's repeated hints to its existence in interviews. Here's hoping for a 3DS release.

2. Metroid Fusion's secret dialogue

Metroid Fusion contains a secret piece of dialogue that's rather difficult to access. In order to see it, the player must execute a long sequence of shinesparks (the ability to store speed boosts and use them a short time later) in an attempt to skip past a section of the game after opening the Level 4 security doors. Upon completion, the player will be in a navigation room. The computer Adam will congratulate the player on the achievement and his mysterious superior will attempt to tell Samus about the federation's secret program (something that's normally only discovered near the end of the game) but Adam stops him. Sequence breaking is a common, unorthodox technique used by players of the Metroid series, but this message amusingly shows that the developers were aware of this one.

3. Why a Metroid game was never released on N64

Samus Aran's only appearance on the N64 was in Super Smash Bros. An interview with Nintendo's Yoshio Sakamoto revealed that an N64 game was heavily considered, but ultimately did not come to fruition due to a lack of concrete ideas and concern it would not live up to the success Super Metroid enjoyed. In some ways, this worked out for the best as gamers were treated to the brilliant Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion in the following years.

4. The Name game

Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream conducted an interview with a few Nintendo developers, including Yoshio Sakamoto, in 2004. It contained some interesting revelations about the origin of the Metroid name. For example the titular Metroid is actually a portmanteau of 'Metro station' and 'android'. Prior to this, Metroid was going to be called Space Hunter. The name Samus is the female variant of Seamus, but it's origins in the context of Metroid is still a bit of a mystery.

Her surname is another story however. Aran always seemed a rather uncommon surname, and its origin is very unexpected indeed. It's taken from Brazilian football player Edson Arantes do Nascimento - AKA Pele. Nintendo designer Hiroji Kiyotake picked this name as he was a big football fan.

Space Pirate Ridley is named after Alien director Ridley Scott, as Metroid was heavily inspired by the series. Finally, the planet SR388 (setting of Metroid 2: Return of Samus) is actually named after a bike engine! The name is taken from the Yamaha SR400 series, but apparently, despite being named 400cc, at the time only 388cc engines were available.

5. Miyamoto and Iwata's secret messages

You can hear two secret messages, one from Shigeru Miyamoto and one from Satoru Iwata in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. There's a section in your ship where you can input different symbols in various combinations. Two particular combinations of symbols will play the messages, spoken by Iwata and Miyamoto themselves.

6. Space Pirates

In 2011, the Japanese Metroid website released a small five part story chronicling the events of Metroid: Zero Mission to Metroid Prime 3: Corruption from the perspective of a Space Pirate. This story, as well as scans in the Prime series, reveal some interesting things about the Space Pirates. They function in a more organised society than their in-game appearances imply. The individual was complaining about the pirate's science team for being idiots, as well as showing a distaste for High Command, making him appear to have opinions rather than being generic cannon fodder.

Furthermore, pirates are known to have friends in addition to colleagues. Punishments for failure can vary from brutal execution to merely docking of their wages (they get paid!). Also, during the events of Metroid Prime 3, Dark Samus' influence was so great on the pirates, she was almost considered a religious figure, called the 'Esteemed one'. It's nice to know a lot of attention and thought was given to the Space Pirates.

7. The final countdown

Every Metroid game apart from Metroid 2: Return of Samus has featured at least one countdown sequence, in which Samus must escape or defeat an enemy against the clock, usually before a self destruct sequence is activated. Metroid Prime: Hunters has the most, with nine.

8. Cameo appearances

Characters from the Metroid series have made cameos in many other Nintendo games. In Kirby's Dream Land 3 for the SNES, Samus appears along with Metroids in level 5-2, and she can be found sleeping in a bed in Mushroom Kingdom Castle in Super Mario RPG after a certain point in the game.

Enemies that look suspiciously similar to Metroids - called Komayto - appear in Kid Icarus and are said to be from another planet.

This is a reference to the fact Kid Icarus and the original Metroid use the same game engine. Samus has also appeared in second or third party titles on Nintendo consoles. Her helmet can be found in a locker in the GameCube's overlooked game Geist. 3DS owners may have seen her and Ridley in Dead or Alive: Dimensions, too.

9. What no Metroids?

Metroid Prime Hunters is the only game in the series not to actually feature any Metroids. Strangely, they do appear in the demo version, Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, which was given away with the original Nintendo DS console at launch.

10. Super Metroid reference in Metroid Prime 3

In one of the trailers for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, there's an introduction to the Aurora Units that feature heavily in the game. The camera pans over blueprints for what the game calls a future Aurora Unit complex. Eagle-eyed fans may notice the layout is identical to Mother Brain's chambers in Tourian from Super Metroid.

11. The disappearing dead in Metroid Other M

In Metroid: Other M, the body of Nightmare remains on the ground after it is defeated by Samus. Furthermore, the body of the cloned Ridley is seen by Samus after it dies at the hands of the Queen Metroid. Yet, in the post-credits sequence, both disappear. This is actually a reference to Metroid Fusion, where the bodies of both of these creatures are moved to the B.S.L station and subsequently infected by the X-Parasite.

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