General Q&A about the Metroid series.
What is METROID?
Metroid is the name of a series of sci-fi action-platform/adventure games made by Nintendo. The games star a bounty hunter named Samus Aran, who is on a quest to stop an organization of diabolical Space Pirates, led by Mother Brain, from terrorizing the galaxy by using the deadly energy-sucking Metroids.
How many Metroid games are there?
Metroid (1986), Metroid II: Return of Samus (1991), Super Metroid (1994), Metroid Fusion (2002), Metroid Prime (2002), Metroid Prime 2 (2004), Metroid Prime Pinball (2005), Metroid Prime Hunters (2006), and Metroid Prime 3 (2007). Metroid Other M (2010). So that's ten. You may have also seen the reissue of the original Metroid. It's got a yellow box with an illustration of a crouching Samus on the cover. Same game, new package. Metroid II and Super Metroid have also been re-released, but their packages are basically the same as the originals, with only minor changes. Again, the games are identical.
What about in Japan?
Same games in Japan, however the original Metroid was released for the Famicom Disk System (a disk-based add-on for the original Japanese version of the NES), and had a file save (like Zelda) instead of a password system. It also does not contain the suitless Samus sprites or the "Justin Bailey" code. Metroid II (Game Boy) and Super Metroid (Super Famicom) are 100% identical to their US counterparts, down to the English. The rest of the games have been localized appropriately per their respective region.
Where can I buy Metroid for the NES?
These games are no longer being manufactured so they're not in new retail stores. Try used game shops, video stores that still rent NES, GB or SNES games, or search through newsgroups online (my favorite for finding games is rec.games.video.marketplace). Check E-Bay if you're desperate, but be warned because prices can get way out of hand there. All three games are quite easy to find, and don't be fooled by anyone claiming they're "rare."
As of August of 2007, both Metroid and Super Metroid have been made available on the Wii Virtual Console for 500 points ($5) and 800 points ($8), respectively.
Where can I get the official Player's Guides from Nintendo?
Where can I get the Super Metroid: Sound In Action CD?
Um...probably nowhere anymore. It's been out of print since 1996. There are places in the US that carry game soundtracks, but not very many that carry legitimate versions -- far too many shops sell various Chinese or Taiwanese bootlegs (on such bootlegging labels as SM or Ever Anime), although I have yet to see even a bootleg copy of SM:SIA. And those that do carry legitimate Japanese product don't have SM:SIA anymore. So unless you or a friend live in Japan and have access to a used CD shop there, you're probably out of luck. And no, I will not burn you a copy of mine -- too many people ask me that, and if I obliged them all, I'd be spending all my time burning CDs and mailing them out. Sorry.
What ever happened with Metroid 64?
Obviously, this is an outdated question. There was no Metroid game for the Nintendo 64, although Samus appeared in Super Smash Brothers, an all-star Nintendo fighting game. Yoshio Sakamoto has stated with the press that discussion with a certain developer was made about a Metroid title on the Nintendo 64, but could not release the studio in question's name. Our best guess is Rare, who was co-owned by Nintendo at the time.
Why didn't they come out with more than one Metroid game on each system?
So why didn't they come out with a Metroid game for the Virtual Boy? Nintendo 64?
Um...maybe cuz the Virtual Boy sucked? No, just kidding -- I actually like the VBoy. Actually, it's probably for a couple reasons. For one thing, the Virtual Boy was pretty much dead before it hit the shelves...there wasn't a whole lot of interest in it from the start, and after its release it never took off either. Nintendo undoubtedly knew this so they didn't even bother with it (no Zelda game either, ya know). The other thing is, Metroid games are long affairs, and since most people can't stand to stare into a VB for too long, a Metroid game probably would not be the best idea. (However, there is a special appearance by some Metroids and Samus' ship in a VBoy game, Galactic Pinball!) As for Nintendo 64, Nintendo claimed they didn't think there was sufficient demand, which we all know isn't true. Other than that, we don't really know why there was no Metroid 64.
How do you finish Metroid and then start a new game with all your weapons?
When you finish the game, you can press START when it says THE END onscreen and start a new game with all the weapons you had when you finished the game. You only need to look for energy and missiles.
Can you start a new game with all your weapons after the end in Metroid II or Super Metroid?
Who is the main antagonist in the Metroid games?
Well, in each one, your most famous foe is of course the metroids themselves. But as far as the MAIN villain, Metroid and Super Metroid are quests to stop the Mother Brain, the *ahem* mastermind behind the Space Pirates. In Metroid II however, your last enemy is the Queen Metroid herself (kinda like in the movie Aliens).
Who are Kraid and Ridley?
Kraid and Ridley are Mother Brain's two cronies, and you always have to fight them at some point in the game before you get to Mother Brain. Kraid is a big fat ugly lizard, and Ridley is a cool and supremely nasty space dragon. Super Metroid introduced more mini-bosses to the Space Pirates' roster, such as Crocomire, Draygon, and Phantoon.
What's up with the Fake Kraid in Metroid and Super Metroid?
I dunno, he's more of a threat in the first Metroid because he looks identical to the real Kraid, except darker, so you may think you've easily defeated Kraid when you haven't. As far as the one in Super Metroid, where he's a mini-Kraid a little taller than Samus, and the real one is three screens tall, I think they just did it out of nostalgia, or tradition. Once again, unexplainable as it may be, it's one of those little things that makes Metroid so cool.
Isn't Samus supposed to have some kind of secret-identity-thing goin'?
Sorta. In the original Metroid, Samus' identity was a big secret until you finished the game in a decent amount of time. The big shocker was that this killer bounty hunter was a woman. (At the time I suppose it was a big ooh-ahh to Americans who never thought of a woman as a videogame hero, always the damsel in distress. Guess they've never seen an episode of the Dirty Pair... )
Are there any secret codes for the Metroid games?
Depends on what you mean by "secret codes." If you mean like the controller-move codes (like the famous "Konami Code," U-U-D-D-L-R-L-R-B-A-START), then NO. But in the first Metroid, there ARE some special Passwords you can input.
I always hear that there's a lot of secret stuff in Metroid games though, are you sure there's no codes?
No codes. But OTHER types of secret stuff...hoo boy!! I don't think any game contains as many secrets as the Metroid series! Secret passages, secret weapons, secret areas, secret characters, secret tricks, secret moves...they're all in there.
How many different endings are there in the Metroid games?
How do you get the different endings?
Did the same development team work on all three games?
Some of them did, some didn't. The Metroid games were developed by Nintendo's R&D1 group. Certain names crop up on all the credits, such as director Makoto Kanoh, Yoshio Sakamoto, and producer Gumpei Yokoi. Some people who worked on Super Metroid also worked on Fusion, Zero Mission, and Other M.
Whatever happened to Hip Tanaka?
Hip Tanaka is currently the President of Creatures, Inc, the company who develops the Pokemon games.
Is there any Metroid merchandise available?
What about in Japan?
An official Zero Suit Samus figure was made around Zero Mission's release and came out only in Japan. Since then, it has become a very hot commodity posted on various auction sites like eBay. There are also unofficial fan-made resin kits available through various outlets.
Have there been any Metroid comics/manga, tv shows, or anything?
See our Comics and Manga page for this answer. Mother Brain was also featured as the main antagonist in the TV cartoon Series, "Captain N: the Game Master" and sounds very similar to Audrey II from the musical, "Little Shop of Horrors."
Have Metroid characters made any appearances in other videogames?
Yes! See our Cameos page for this answer. There is also lots of Metroid stuff in each of the three Super Smash Bros. titles.
How do you do the jump-inside-the-wall thing? Where's the Secret World? How do you get to _*insert name of area here*_? How do you beat _*insert name of monster here*_? How do you get out of _*insert name of predicament here*_?
How do I crack the code for the passwords so I can make my own?
It's been done, and you can download the program that does it for you right here at the MDb! Find the Password Generator in Fan Apps!
How do I get a two-player alternating game on the original Metroid?
How come I just came out of a blue vertical tunnel, and when I went back later it was gold?
That's a big fat glitch in the first Metroid -- things get "discolored" for some reason. Thanks to a guy whose name I never caught, this bug is explained:
"The discoloring bug is triggered by the fact that maps are drawn in real time, and not saved in memory. (I guess this information is wasted on non-programmers, but heregoes) The NES boasted eight four-color palettes. As the blocks were drawn, the screen would sometimes go so fast that the CPU would be forced to default to palette 1. (Which is why this problem happens most oftenin Brinstar, where pallete 1 is yellow, and palette 3 (5?) is blue.)"
Why is it that sometimes the jumping creatures in Norfair jump high, and sometimes low? And sometimes the seahorse-lookin dragons shoot fireballs and sometimes they don't? And Ridley's fireballs fly in different patterns? etc...
That's another thing I'm trying to figure out. It's either a glitch, or it happens for a reason, because I've noticed that if one of those variations exists in a particular game of Metroid, they ALL do.
Why did they misspell Zebes as "Zebeth" at the beginning of Metroid?
It's a translation thing. The Japanese have no "th" sound, so they replace it with an "s" sound when saying words they borrow from English. (For example, saying "Thank you" in English is sort of popular in Japan, and it comes out "sankyuu.") The original Japanese version is "Zebesu" (u's are often silent in Japanese). Because it's a made-up word, they didn't really know how to translate it to English, so they just picked "Zebeth" when they were converting the game (since it's made-up, one is pretty much as good as the other). Unfortunately, whoever wrote the English-language manual picked "Zebes," and that's the one that stuck, so the intro of Metroid comes across as a typo. The "th"/"s" mix-up is pretty common when translating between Japanese and English, and it's also the reason you'll often see the name of Final Fantasy VII's lovely flower girl written both as Aeris and Aerith.
Why is Gunpei Yokoi's (pronounced: "GOON-pay YO-ko-ee") name sometimes spelled "Gunpei" and other times spelled "Gumpei?" Which is correct?
Similar to the Zebes/Zebeth quandary, it just has to do with different ways of writing Japanese words and names in English, which is called Romanizing. Both "Gunpei" and "Gumpei" are actually correct. "Gunpei" is a more literal way of writing it, but it would actually be pronounced more like "Gumpei," so that spelling is okay too. Any more explanation would just be a lesson in Japanese, so hopefully that's a good enough answer.
WHO IS JUSTIN BAILEY?!?!?!
Although rumors have abounded over the years as to the identity of Justin Bailey -- ranging from some kid who beat the game to claims of "bailey" being a slang term for "swimsuit" (just in bailey, get it?), the truth is that the JUSTIN BAILEY password is a total fluke. If you play around with Metroid's password system something you can do with the Metroid Password Generator program, found in Fan Apps), you can come up with other names and words that work as passwords. The "Justin Bailey" code is one which was found early on and happened to work pretty well, so it became widely reported. In other words, there is no Justin Bailey who is associated with the Metroid universe and got his name made into a password.
Who is Armstrong Houston?
A character introduced in the Super Metroid comics published in Nintendo Power magazine in 1994. Houston is a hunter with a suit of armor similar to Samus', but blue. He's generally annoying and I personally don't care to consider him a true part of the Metroid universe. However, some fan fiction authors have chosen to include him in their stories.
Who's the guy in blue armor getting chewed on by bugs outside Kraid's door in Super Metroid?
We don't know. Probably another bounty hunter, or just some unlucky putz. Make up your own answer! Of course, everybody says it's Armstrong Houston from the Super Metroid comics published in Nintendo Power magazine, but as much as I'd like that to be the case, I have to say no. The game came out before the comics did, so if anything, the Houston character may have been based on the dead guy. But the dude in the game has no intended identity.