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Metroid

メトロイド

Developers: NintendoIntelligent Systems Publisher: Nintendo
06 August 1986
Metroid [メトロイド] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
2.99 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
650 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#2,510 All-time
#9 for 1986
In the year 20X5, space pirates attacked a deep-space research spaceship. They captured a capsule containing an unknown life-form named Metroid from the abandoned Planet SR388. They plan to use the Metroid as a weapon against the entire galactic civilization. In a race against time, The Galactic Federation sends their best space hunter, Samus Aran, to where the Metroid is being held, the space pirates' headquarters of Planet Zebes, to put a stop to their plans.
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Play as Samus in the first of the Metroid Franchise. First released for the Famicom in 1986, and the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987, this non-linear game taking place in the cold depths of space spawned a whole new genre (Metroidvania), and is still loved today.
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JP 4 902370 500370 FMC-MET
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メトロイド ファミコン ミニ
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I have no words for this game it is too hard for me and my little brain✌️☮️
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Cody645 2022-12-07T09:06:31Z
2022-12-07T09:06:31Z
1.0
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I wrote a small guide for new players: https://pastebin.com/ULNp3dv0

The vast, starry horizon at the title screen coldly glares at the player as the sharp radar pings remind you of the graveness of the mission: To navigate a mysterious, desolate planet and find and eliminate Mother Brain who has the designs to reproduce the deadly metroids - large, parasitic airborne aliens able to feed on the very essence of life, and whose biology represents the very danger for all of galactic civilisation. A chilling introductory sequence like this is something that has never been encountered by any player before, and immediately signals that precaution and wonder is at the turn before you press the start button. This game is so much beyond an adventure.

Many things have been written about "Metroid", and at the time of its release I truly consider it had been the greatest game ever made. It's an adventure that goes beyond Zelda's previously organised set of dungeons, and instead you only have one big world to get lost in, where many of the points are immediately inaccessible until you get the necessary technical upgrades, in a game genre since called a 'metroidvania'. With a free-form and open setting like this, it becomes chill and relaxing to play "Metroid". You don't feel like you're in a hurry and you can take your time getting intimate and familiar with the large caverns of Brinstar and Norfair, as they become places you will revisit countless times and where upon mastery you'll be able to thrive in them.

"Metroid" is a pioneer for expanding the action platformer gaming far beyond its perfect jumping-and-shooting mechanics. It is a vast, imaginative world with alien, organic imagery and highly detailed pixel art. The sprite art for the tall, grim statues, the metroids, and Samus' walking and running animation were all peak for the Famicom's development, and the ease of controls and the endless stocks of identifiable secrets, with there being a secret passage at nearly every corner, make it immediately addicting and something you can't put off playing, a hallmark for any quality game. If you come here fresh from completing the first "Zelda", you will now the importance of bombing suspicious looking walls, floors and ceilings, and when a dead-end has more than meets the eye.

You really do have to exercise caution and have resources available to you to cushion your journey. The manual offers a basic map that you can expand upon, and I recommend any player to document and draw their own, because you'll need to know the spots you bypass or need to revisit, and the secret entrances you find. Many of the game's corridors are intentionally designed to be mazes that will throw the player out of the loop, as you encounter so many corridors that are literally copy-pasted for space constraints, and are placed just in front of the boss entrances to try to divert you from finding them. Sometimes you will find dead-ends. Sometimes there will be spots in the game where you can get easily stuck and sometimes you'll have to get crafty to reach unreachable areas. Being prepared for these things with the manual, map and guides does get you the tools you need to surmount these obstacles, but the one truly big blemish I have to fault the game for would be the lack of any complete health refills. That every start of the game begins at low health and that you have to farm enemies for it to build it back is simply unnecessary, when a game like Zelda just a few months earlier included complete health refills in fairy fountains. Although farming is in its own way meditatively enjoyable, it just takes too long and happens too often for it to really synergise with the playing experience, and is therefore a reason why I really recommend people play this with save states or rewind - or one of the third-party hacks.

Fighting the dreaded metroids at the end and facing Mother Brain in her sterile, white, smooth metallic chambers with way too many deadly organisms bubbling in the vats and multiplying, is at once punishing, surmountable, and rewarding. It is a challenging mission. Once you defeat Mother Brain and are treated to a wonderful ending complete with a cinematic, sci-fi infused scrolling credits sequence, you will be left itching for more Metroid, and that's when the game's replay value really gets to shine: Speedrunning "Metroid" gives different types of endings, and finishing Metroid in under two hours is, in a sense, a good exam to demonstrate just how much you've learned about the game and how much you've mastered it. With its eerie locations, the triumphant leitmotifs of Brinstar, and the ever-deepening sense of oppression as you find the lairs of notorious enemies, and always a hope for a game-changing power-up just around a corner, "Metroid" is a mesmerising experience and far from a game you would play once and abandon.

I got the best ending, too.
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Clownboss 2016-08-18T14:02:22Z
2016-08-18T14:02:22Z
4.0
1
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Best of: NES
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I remember playing this the first time and really enjoying it for the exploration and secrets but I recently tried it again and realised how awful the respawning system is, you always start with 30 energy no matter how many energy tanks you have which makes it extremely tedious as you have to grind enemies to get back to full health. It is made even worse when you respawn in different areas as the enemies can do a lot more damage and grinding is made much harder by trickier layouts...
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Incidius 2022-05-18T07:24:44Z
2022-05-18T07:24:44Z
3.5
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It was an insightful moment when I attempted multiple times to get to the end of a room, after being hit by countless infinitely respawning unavoidable enemies and tinnitus-inducing low health beeping noise and dull as hell music, only to find yet another dead end, that I realised I'd rather NEVER PLAY THIS PIECE OF SHIT AGAIN!!! :)
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FleegalFlargel 2022-03-25T19:14:19Z
2022-03-25T19:14:19Z
2.0
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The first Super Mario Bros. and the first Legend of Zelda are pretty adequate games. I can appreciate the phenomenal impact both of these games had on the medium of gaming whilst enjoying my time playing them to some degree. I can declare that both games are well crafted and their age hasn’t entirely diminished their competency. While I can praise these games for retaining some sense of enjoyment, neither of these titles are even in the top five of my favorite games from either franchise. Any emphatic appreciation for both debut titles mostly extends to the sense of respect I have for both of them while not feeling too passionate about either as individual gaming experiences. The same sense of respect also applies to the first Metroid game, the first entry of Nintendo’s staunchly bronze-winning franchise while Mario and Zelda fight over which of the two franchises gets gold or silver. The Metroid series is just as near and dear to me as Mario and Zelda. However, this is mostly due to the myriad of sequels after the first title of the series as is the case with both Mario and Zelda. The respect I have for the first Metroid game on the NES does not extend to the same level of admiration I have for the first Super Mario or Legend of Zelda game, or at least not to the same extent.

I get the impression that Metroid was intended to be Nintendo’s mature franchise meant to offer something for an older demographic. The whimsical influences that crafted both Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda both stem from quaint Japanese folklore and nostalgic memories from Miyamoto’s childhood. Alternately, Metroid’s influences borrow inspiration from science fiction films like Alien and the surrealistic, otherworldly art of H.R. Giger. I don’t think I have to further detail how these kinds of influences would warrant a completely different experience from Mario and Zelda. Metroid is concretely in the science-fiction and space epic genres, but the series has always straddled the horror genre as well. The Alien influences are conspicuously interwoven into subtle aspects of the game like Ridley being named after the film’s director and the protagonist being a woman. Do I really need a spoiler veil for this anymore? More so than these minute aspects, Metroid channels the ethos of Alien’s iconic tagline, which is “in space, no one can hear you scream.”

Metroid’s atmosphere is intended to make the player feel isolated. The dreary emptiness of space has been portrayed more cinematically in the sequels due to graphical enhancements, but the 8-bit presentation that makes up the first Metroid seems to evoke this feeling quite well. The consistent pitch-black backgrounds signify space better than anything, and it gives the developers an excuse not to implement vibrant backgrounds. The soundtrack runs the gamut from sounding triumphant to having a sublime eeriness, supported by one of the most effective 8-bit soundtracks of all time. Metroid also achieves this sense of uneasiness because everything on this extraterrestrial planet is hostile. Lava flows on the surfaces of Planet Zebes like a flowing river stream and every strange creature Samus encounters wants her dead. Even the shrubbery on Zebes is bound to kill Samus in the blink of an eye if she isn’t cautious. Metroid conveys tension through making the player feel like a stranger in a strange land with no practical sense of respite or familiarity. Mario had Toad tell him that the princess and another castle and Link had the old mages to aid him in his quest, but Samus is on her lonesome. The galactic federation that assigned Samus on this lone mission never make one brief appearance or signal in to survey the mission, leaving Samus to her own devices with total uncertainty surrounding her.

This sense of discomfort is also supported by Metroid’s general difficulty. The term “NES hard” is usually synonymous with linear 2D platformers and beat em’ ups, but an unconventional game like Metroid manages to uphold the reputation of difficulty the system was known for. The minimal graphical elements are an alluring part of the discomfort Metroid exudes, but the difficulty is a level of discomfort with negative connotations. I could attribute this to the myriad of aggressive enemies that fling themselves at Samus from all angles. I could credit this to the fact that Samus can only shoot in two directions. The biggest detriment relating to Metroid’s difficulty comes with the fact that health isn’t recharged after the player dies. Metroid was released the same year as the first Legend of Zelda, so it’s probable that both games borrowed features from one another in their development time. Once the player dies in Zelda, they restart from the beginning of the overworld with only three hearts. In Metroid, the player starts with only a fraction of one energy tank. It’s fine in the early sections of the game, but becomes a giant hassle once the player seeks out energy tanks. In Zelda, the player could purchase healing potions, find a fairy fountain, or just come by the likely chance of finding a fairy in the field. In Metroid, there are no quick solutions for recharging Samus’s energy tanks. If the player dies, they’ll have to grind intensively to regain their health. The only efficient way to do so is by shooting at the insectoid creatures that pop out of vents, and they only give the player five points of health. This process was always so mind-numbing that I didn’t care that I was parading around a hostile alien world with only a fraction of my total health. Metroid also doesn’t come with the same save feature like the one The Legend of Zelda has. It’s not a very long game, but there is so much collecting involved that a save feature would slightly relieve the player.

Metroid is arguably the progenitor of the Metroidvania sub-genre, hence the first part of its namesake. The way the game functions is more like a “proto-Metroidvania” game because the hallmarks of the genre were still in their infancy. Unfortunately, this means that the essentials of the Metroidvania genre aren’t quite present here. A map is absolutely vital to this genre because of all the backtracking, and there is no map to be found in Metroid. The alien planet in Metroid is a spacious realm of towering sections and long corridors, and it would have been nice to get the aid of a map considering the graphical limitations make each section practically indiscernible from the next. Getting lost and feeling stuck is a core tenet of Metroid’s atmosphere, but it’s execution just pissed me off. Oftentimes, I’d kill Samus on purpose just so the game would send me back to the start of the area. That’s the extent of my frustration with being lost in this game.

I mentioned in my review of The Legend of Zelda that the game could be cryptic at points, but that game is as straightforward as walking down the yellow brick road compared to Metroid. Zelda’s more cryptic sections were still rather fair and just required thinking outside the box a bit. Some of the sections of Metroid are so obtuse that it feels like the player needs to exploit the game to progress. Some heart containers in Zelda took some extraneous searching, but most of them were rewards for defeating bosses. The energy tanks in Metroid are all hidden so well that I doubt anyone could find them naturally. These energy tanks are also imperative to comfortably facing the hectic final challenges of the game, so I wouldn't judge the player one bit for using a guide. Getting the Varia Suit was one of the most exploitative endeavors I’ve ever faced in any video game to the point where I’m still skeptical as to whether or not what I did to get it was the intended method. It’s a suit that changes Samus’s color and adds a layer of defense, so it’s usefulness might give off the impression that it’s essential to obtain. However, the incredibly obtuse way to secure this valuable upgrade makes me think otherwise. It almost feels like the developers are fucking with the player.

The general objective of Metroid is to unlock a path near the entrance of the game that will take Samus to the final boss of the game. Before she does that, she has to track down both Kraid and Ridley and defeat them. For the extraneous trek the player has to endure to get to both of them, their fights are laughably pitiful. These supposedly threatening galactic beasts are munchkin-sized foes with lazy, predictable attack patterns. Once the player unlocks the passageway after defeating both of these foes, nothing they’ve faced so far can prepare them for the trudge to Mother Brain. Metroids litter the corridors and can make the game hell for the player if they don’t utilize Samus’s ice beam with sharp reflexes. At the core of these halls lies Mother Brain sealed in a large glass container. It’s an iconic scene in gaming, but I was not aware that this is because of how brutal it is. Samus will endure an onslaught of laser beams, energy balls that appear from seemingly nowhere, and expunge at least 150 missiles on the regenerating blocking tubes and Mother Brain herself. I couldn’t tell you how many times I had to restock on energy after dying in this section, probably enough to contemplate my life’s decisions. The player’s eventual success will result in a very anticlimactic escape that almost cheats the Mother Brain fight.

Metroid is a game that was way too ambitious for the NES. The Legend of Zelda was certainly ahead of the curve, but understood the confines of the system. Metroid wanted to fill up a kiddy pool with the amount of water it takes to fill an in-ground one and overflowed as a result. While I can admire the level of innovation the first Metroid offers, this only extends to the apparent building blocks that future Metroid titles and Metroidvania games stack upon. The design and gameplay aspects of Metroid are far too primitive to be executed competently in an NES game. The cryptic design, the lack of a save feature, and the heavy grinding for health really grated on me. The other pioneering titles of these landmark Nintendo franchises may suffer from the iminent aging process, but the first Metroid was still heavily flawed back in its heyday.
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Erockthestrange 2017-07-21T19:36:47Z
2017-07-21T19:36:47Z
5.0
1
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Never finished this game but fuck it I get the gist.

Metroid, for an NES game, is super impressive. It's one of the system's only titles were the controls make sense and the game is actually, dare I say, fun to play. The problems with mostly come from age. The difficulty spikes, shitty enemy placement, lack of map, etc.; as a present experience Metroid is almost broken. Which compared to the 90% of NES games that are broken, makes it one of the console's most memorable titles.
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Catalog

Leonine メトロイド 2023-02-08T04:25:35Z
2023-02-08T04:25:35Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
1068396 Metroid 2023-02-06T17:32:48Z
NES • XNA
2023-02-06T17:32:48Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
golferjoe24 Metroid 2023-02-04T16:50:29Z
Switch
2023-02-04T16:50:29Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mdlonklomo メトロイド 2023-02-04T10:34:54Z
2023-02-04T10:34:54Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Vainx メトロイド 2023-02-02T08:51:04Z
2023-02-02T08:51:04Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hwchugh メトロイド 2023-01-29T04:31:06Z
2023-01-29T04:31:06Z
2.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Poem2Self Metroid 2023-01-24T07:47:24Z
Wii
2023-01-24T07:47:24Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
supershape Metroid 2023-01-23T08:06:50Z
NES • US
2023-01-23T08:06:50Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
1+ pts above RYM rating
mrmute05 メトロイド 2023-01-22T01:33:00Z
2023-01-22T01:33:00Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
HonestyleKaz Metroid 2023-01-20T23:27:56Z
Switch
2023-01-20T23:27:56Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Coolingcomic メトロイド 2023-01-16T05:02:00Z
2023-01-16T05:02:00Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Zippybing Metroid 2023-01-14T00:01:45Z
NES • US
2023-01-14T00:01:45Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
128BIT
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Floppy
Franchises
Also known as
  • Metroid
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  • Previous comments (12) Loading...
  • Nethandle 2021-10-18 17:24:55.306426+00
    Metroid + Saving Unofficial Update v0.5.2 makes this a great game.
    reply
    • Clownboss 2022-08-17 21:08:37.974905+00
      Yeah this hack is amazing, it's what I'd give to most new players today. Although I still like playing the FDS version with rewind on and tons of save states.
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  • kleptomato 2021-11-05 13:08:39.579758+00
    i definitely hated this at first with how confusing this was when i started playing it but actually beating it was definitely satisfying
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  • ... 2021-11-13 01:21:45.311991+00
    It'd be cool to get a listing for the yellow label variant if variant listings are a thing. Doesn't seem to be a good file that meets the image file size requirements of the site yet if any good Samaritans are able to scan one.
    reply
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  • residentLeever 2021-12-14 16:12:47.416982+00
    The main influences here games-wise are SMB1 and Zelda 1, it's easy to find info on.
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  • pink_9320 2022-05-31 21:18:24.695314+00
    god if this isn't the worst designed metroid game (still better than other m on the basis of just not having dialogue)
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  • DavidthePearce 2022-09-19 18:24:25.166748+00
    Hidden destructible blocks which expect the player to bomb/shoot every tile to progress is bad design. This is true of all Metroid games, however it is especially bad here, everyone acknowledges it is especially bad here, however if anyone mentions that this is bad design in later games the defence is "but it's been in the Metroid series since the first game!"
    reply
    • DukeBox 2022-12-28 01:50:04.872237+00
      later games give you proper clues for hidden secrets though (suspicious scenery, enemies walking into them, powerbomb and x ray revealing everything). You can find everything except maybe the most obscure missile packs without a guide.
    • DavidthePearce 2023-01-02 08:56:55.839242+00
      I would agree that later games do it better, though few implement the mechanic in a way where I feel it has been enhanced by its inclusion. It peaked with Super Metroid, I would go as far to say that is the only game where I actually like the mechanic.
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