Bounty hunter with a bipolar treatment inside here own videogame series She’s the hero of Metroid, a popular science fiction videogame saga. Lonely, strong and clever, she has had many thrilling and mysterious adventures. Hi everyone! Ico here, and today you chose to light on the spotlight onto Samus Aran Hold on ! Hold on ! We just kicked off the intro, and there’s already a word that will spread anger So before this goes wild, let me explain what I meant. Samus does have a Bipolar treatment, but worry not, I’m not saying that SHE is bipolar, but rather than that, she’s going in two different, radical ways in the games she’s featured in. The truth is I could have said that about Link aswell in is treatment between 2D and 3D But in Samus’ case, it’s more obvious, and this will be our red line for this “Icon” (Video series from this Channel) Technically, there’s two different Samus, and I do hope now that your tits are calmed. Very well. Before we get started, let’s go from the rock bottom, just to clarify who are we talking about exactly I know, we can see her on the thumbnail, but showing a little bit of rigour can’t hurt that much. Samus, then. Protagonist of the Metroid series, started in 1986 on N.E.S , is an intergalactic bounty hunter and is recognizable anywhere due to her atypical suit made by the Chozo, a very ancient alien race considered to be the most advanced and intelligent in the galaxy. Rumour has it that some of them are gifted with foresight. Foresight means that they are capable of seeing the future. She was born on an Earth Colony : K2L from Rodney and Virginia Aran, Samus has been raised by this Alien bird-like race following the murder of her parents by the terrible Ridley, commander of the Space Pirates Planet Zebes, homeland of the Chozo, being uninhabitable for the human being, The Chozo choose to put parts of their DNA in Samus Wouldn’t it only to be able for her to live on their planet. As they had pacifist customs, the Chozo had very limited combat capacity. However, Samus, due to her parents, managed to keep a military-like rigour in her training. A combat instinct, guided by the wise of the Chozo It’s only as she became an adult that the Chozo offered her her suit, specially crafted for her A suit that has for unhidden goal to make her a guardian of the galaxy. Samus will then, to satisfy that wish, enter the Galactic Federation that will give her as a first task to defeat a group of Space Pirate who had the “Very Brilliant idea” (Big quotes marks) to create a Metroid breeding, one of the most dangerous parasite species of the galaxy That’s it. That will be it for the base plot, and I won’t tell you more of it. If only that managed to motivate the few of you in the back that didn’t know about Samus and the Metroid Universe as a whole to get themselves in, then go ahead ! Jump in! I’m repeating myself, but as of today, I no longer have the objective to tell you the history of this and that in detail, but rather what’s gravitating around it. I find it more interesting, and it pays tribute to the Icons Let’s go back to our subject, Samus. What if I told you, that what is the basis of the scenaristic developpement of Metroid is contested, on one hand by the creators, and on the other hand by the fans ? Hey, it doesn’t look like it in the first place, but there’s indeed dissensions, tensions of interpretations of the Metroid Chronology that are far more serious than the Zelda Timelines, since we are following the same Samus in all of the adventures. Let’s get back to something more down-to-earth, such as the developpement of Metroid, the first one, one NES or N.E.S. , as I said the last time. I do like to change terminologies because I like to show off. Worry not, we are going very short on this one. If you want more developpement on each game of the Metroid saga well, be aware that : first, we are very big fans of the saga here in Iconoclaste, and second, you just have to put a thumbs up and to let us know in the comments section Like, ehm : (cute voice) “Ico, Etagere, Mage, Silver, is there anyone who’d like to maybe make an Icon Chronology (another show on this channel) on Metroid” That’s it. Just saying. Metroid was born haphazardly. I’m not making this up, Hiroji Kiyotake said it, he’s one of the Metroid creator send on his merry way with Hirofumi Matsuoka, by Gunpei Yokoi Stress free, he sent two artists in the battlefield that is the creation of a console video game while they didn’t make any games apart from the Game and Watch With which authority argument would you ask? “Oh come on. If you can draw, you can create a video game” AH Without a worry, the two fellas were stress free too, assured by the Nintendo’s momentum, the fact that someone more capable would join them eventually, and also, well… Simply put, they didn’t know how to make a video game. Obviously, it was hard to stress out since they didn’t imagine how big their task was The base idea for Metroid was to create an “Anti-Mario” Why? Because the developpement started right when the Super Mario bomb dropped; that will, with time, not only turn around the way of making games around the world but will also have an impact over the Nintendo R&D teams Mario will be the referent, and a creed will be made that they have to do everything mario does not Realism Mario slides before he stops? Then, Samus will stop short. Mario avoids ennemies not to die? Then Samus must fight them. Mario is on a straight line? Then Metroid will be hard, and will offer exploration with different set pieces that will follow each other. The Zelda Inspiration not being too far away. That must be simple said that way, it is very far from being the case. in 1986, the video game Market was far, VERY far to be as diversified as what we have today and in a world where the arcade still reigns supreme, a simple thing as scrolling screen is still a revolution as much as saving his progress by the way. A simple idea of gameplay has been put, The plot doesn’t have to be developped that much either We’re talking about a Space Android that must shoot aliens in an intergalactic Metro By the way, you have it. Now, you know why the series is called Metroid It’s simply the contraction between Metro and Android, Metro-id A thousand miles away from what we know today. The game was still simply named Space Hunter That will be it for the 10 first months of work from Kiyotake and Matsuoka Until the arrival of Yoshio Sakamoto, that is. And this will be when the developpement of Metroid will take a sharp turn. Sakamoto will even take the title of Metroid Creator It’s his arrival that will transform Space Hunter, the rail shooter, into Metroid, the game as we know it today that will give its name to a whole genre of video game, with the help of Konami’s work on Castlevania The Metroidvanias Those kind of games where exploration is important, the round trip are constants and necessary according to the power ups you had unlock playing the game. If the developpement, coding and production are put into the hands of Intelligent Systems, Gunpei Yokoi and Nintendo’s R&D department N°1, well, he is the one that, with Kiyotake and Matsuoka that will create the universe and the characters Sakamoto is Samus’ Father. He is the one who made her what she is. Her armor, her backgroud, her mission, and will make the choice of making it a woman. A daring choice at the time and even to this day. If Nintendo will say that it was a collective effort, Sakamoto to stay above the crowd will do everything to underline his work as an author. Something that was pretty unusual at Nintendo and the videogame world at that time That’s when we are at a turning point on our speech about Samus Aran Who is she? What does she do? What did Sakamoto wanted to do of her, and above all, why is it going to bring this bipolar treatment of our hero ? Samus has been conceived with personnality traits defined by Sakamoto he has a precise and clear idea of her developpement that he’ll try, with all the different game, to develop From Metroid 1, to Super Metroid, going up to Fusion until Other M, that he directed However, in 2002 comes Metroid Prime Metroid Prime is going to put the Metroid Formula in a universe in 3D, as an FPS. Even if Yoshio Sakamoto is a supervisor, the developers are no longer Nintendo interns, they are Retro Studios,american developpers, based in Austin, Texas The game designers are different, and we will find out at the production that other important people that got themselves in : Miyamoto, Obviously Satoru Iwata, Akira Otani, and most importantly, Kensuke Tanabe that will stay in the future the head of the metroid prime series until Federation Force A true collective project that is apart of any personal integration. However, even if it will be difficult for Retro studios to please Nintendo with their vision of the Metroid Universe, Step by step, a satisfying version will see the light of day that will come to be the one we know now A version that will take the best of the very first Metroid : Exploration in a cold and disturbing world. An evolution that will also please the fans since it will stay in line with what they imagined then to be Metroid and samus A mysterious world that speak few words and that will let little room for a scenario, only to profit to a mysterious world that is rich with innuendos, featuring a Hero that is strong, unchanging and unshakeable. But that is not what Sakamoto wanted for Samus Writing a script for a Metroid game, apart from the overcomplicated game design is something he was obsessed with In 2002 still, Metroid Fusion will be released on Gameboy Advance if the level design was to praise her, something else will hold attention : Samus is talkative. Very talkative. she can’t refrain from monologuing at every elevator sequence, for instance. It can make you smile, and I get it without any problems, but we are here facing at two completely opposite vision of the game and Samus Aran will be the one to face the consequence on one hand we have immersion and empathy with the Prime series, that shows a supposed state of mind from Samus while on the other hand we have a more honest and direct approach, some will say more elaborate via a more elaborate script, like what we can see on Fusion, for example. By the way, Sakamoto will even say that to him, the Prime series is out of the series canon that he developed To him, it’s a kind of a parallel universe. Ouch ! Of course, everything will stay cordial in Nintendo’s teams, but the tension is palpable and what will be the climax of these divergences of opinions ? Metroid Other M Metroid Other M is the most controversial episode It has his fans, obviously, but it mostly have his critics too far away from what we would imagine from a Post-Prime Metroid game, However, it is still in the lineage that Sakamoto initiated we can still find reason why isn’t as good on a technical plan For example, the choice of the Team Ninja who aren’t the best ones when it comes to develop Metroidvanias the controls, that were a bit weird : the game would play with only one Wiimote, without a Nunchuck alternating between 2D sections and sometimes, first person sections, going away from what people were used to with the Prime series it was the complete opposite. The main problem here being, well… Samus. More precisely, Samus’ writing. and writing about This particular Metroid. A lack of subtility, for sure. A clumsy writing, maybe. but above all, Samus was too weak. Attention, Weakness isn’t a flaw, and neither is a sensitive character it’s a good thing to integrate a part of humanity inside a character. but when we are used to the strong image that Samus carries around, there’s of course something to be disconcert and disturbed when we learn for example that Samus has always been traumatized by the murder of her parents by Ridley while up until that point, it wasn’t suggested at all Don’t get me wrong, for a normal human being, it’s logical, but it’s hard to swallow considering the image that Samus was stuck with until then. It’s just an example among many others, and we will talk about it in time, if you allow me to. With this you can add that Metroid Other M is using as canon a Manga that was released only in japan and recently published in the US but never in France or even Europe, the only way around is by unofficial scans Some characters, some relations that are introduced as essential for Samus well we learn it very late, while well fledged out in the Manga Take Anthony Higgs’ case, for instance. Inevitably and it was normal, the fans were disoriented, and sometimes completely lost. Who is the real Samus? Is it the one who glorifies a game design above the rest, making her a strong woman ready to take on anything to achieve her mission or is it the one who is still living a family drama and is seeking for her identity ? Arf, that’s hard huh ? We have here a very difficult case of a collusion between Author vision and Fan appropriation I will even go up to say that we have 2 visions that could be debated in intern and thus, inderectly, two vision of samus that will go face to face one being acclaimed, the other one not that much. A very tough situation because as of today, it’s about deciding. Who is right? I am not going to decide for you, it’s a choice you have to make However, the question deserves to be answered by Nintendo that will, I think, need to do it, for the sake of the future of Metroid As a matter of fact, if the Metroid 2 remake that use the chart of a 2D Metroid game saw the light of day on 3DS, one has to admit, that all the big Metroid project has been put to a stop since Other M and if you want my take on that matter, I think those tensions between the two Metroid visions aren’t for nothing here. Which one is more pertinent to Nintendo ? Which one is more convenient today ? What is the Metroid Spirit in fact? and indirectly, once again, who is Samus Aran ? A question that’ll probably find an answer in Metroid Prime 4, answer that has apparently been found and yes, we are talking about a Prime one that we are digging up, about 8 years since Other M and 11 years since Metroid Prime 3 let’s hope that it is a conciliation between the two visions of the saga and of the character rather than a victory of one against another. Still, Samus is one formidable character in the Nintendo line up of character that casually truly contrast with other Nintendo characters, take Zelda or Mario for example. The various Cinematographic inspiration, that are to be found in the Science Fiction, especially in the Alien Franchise make it an intriguing and engaging character the fact that this much interpretation of a hero are a possibility, even inside the designers studios themselves, is very fascinating and shows how rich and deep are the stories Samus can deliver. Something like it might one day be offered by the Cinema, and there is plenty of aborted tries to prove it. Samus is simply put a Brilliant character, and far from telling us everything. I sincerely do hope that you liked this video. we are really going into an introduction to a Chronology Icons And I do hope I didn’t lost you with all my analysis. It was just crazy to dive into the making of the games and also in the conception of this character. that is, in fact, still not delimited whereas Link can have a different construction from one episode to another due to the very nature of a Zelda Game. We are, I repeat, playing the same Samus from one game to another. Hence, this is why i found pertinent to insist on the bipolarity of the character that underwent two opposite interpretation. As always, if you liked it, think about subscribing to the channel, to leave a thumbs up, and ring the bell, I’ll be back very soon for another video, Ciao everyone. PSA : Hey everyone, Greater Dog here. I made this subtitles all by myself. I’m no native speaker, and I might have made some mistakes here and there on the translations. I’m just a YouTube contributor willing to kill sometime and work his skill as an English speaker and writer. Correct me if you feel like it, so that every other English person can understand the video, I wouldn’t blame you for it.