Metroid – A gem of its time

I’ve never played a Metroid game before, how is this even possible? Samus is even one of my favorite characters on Super Smash Bros. 4! I guess I can blame this on the fact that I haven’t owned a Nintendo home console since the Nintendo 64. Also, I never had the pleasure of owning an NES or a SNES when I was a kid, which made me miss out on many classic games. Believe me when I say that Metroid isn’t the only classic and genre-defining game that I missed out on. However, why have I decided to play Metroid now?

Not too long ago I made an article about my Most Anticipated Games of 2017 and in it, I added Metroid: Samus Returns. I really want to play that game but I don’t want to play it without experiencing its 2D predecessors. So, since I am lucky enough to own an NES Mini I decided to start with the original Metroid.

I remember playing this game the first day I got the NES Mini and I only played it for a couple of minutes. Since I didn’t know what the goal of the game was I lost my interest very quickly. However, I was determined to not let this happened this time. I was going to pick up that game and complete it! So, I did what everyone did back in the day, read the game’s manual. From, it I learned what the goal of the game was, its mechanics and more importantly, its story.


Metroid Tittle Screen
In the year 20X5 of the history of the cosmos Space Pirates have attacked a research ship and stole a capsule containing an unknown life-form which was discovered on Planet SR388. Is is suspected that this life-form was responsible for the destruction of the Planet SR388. The Fedaration had named this life-form MetroidThe Space Pirates want to turn the Metroid into a weapon of their own by exposing it to beta rays and let them carelessly multiply.  

The Federation Police has found out that the Space Pirates headquarters lies in Zebes but were met with heavy resistance. Since they couldn’t penetrate their defenses they decided to send a hunter to infiltrate the heart of their headquarters. The hunter chosen was Samus Aran. Alone she must defeat Mother Brain, the one responsible for the multiplication of the Metroids.


Metroid Brinstar

Metroid is a platformer but at the same time, it’s more than that. It’s also an adventure game that urges you to explore every nook and cranny of Planet Zebes. There you’ll have to cross three different zones, Brinstar (rocky zone), Norfair (fire zone) and Tourian (center zone). To reach Tourian you must first defeat the Mini-bosses located in Brinstar and Norfair. They’re called Kraid and Ridley.

Zebes is huge and there is a lot to explore, however this is also one of its flaws since the game has no map. The manual of the games even advises you draw your own map! You might as well do it or you will get lost. Or you can do what I did and get a map online. It helped a lot but it killed a bit of the wonder and excitement of exploring.

Metroid Norfair

However even with a map exploring this massive planet is no easy task, since there are alien-forms at every corner that are out to get you! Killing them is advised since they drop energy and missiles (energy is your health and missiles are missiles!). At first everything will be overwhelming, you start with 30 Energy points and enemies can take 5 to 7 points from you in a hit. But, as you go deeper you will find helpful Power Items that will make your task much easier! Energy Tanks, Missiles, the Varia suit that reduces damage taken, the Screw Attack, the High Jump, the High Jump, all sorts of beams and the most iconic one, the Morph Ball

In this game you’ll need to go back and forth zones a couple times and getting all these Items will be very helpful since all the enemies you kill re-spawn every time! In my playthourgh I tried to get every single one of them except and the Wave Beam, that thing is kinda worthless in my opinion. I much rather stick with the Ice Beam! Also, I couldn’t find the Varia Suit! Which made things more difficult than they were…

Metroid Kraid lair

Getting the Power Items won’t just help you cross the planet faster, they’ll also help you face the mini-bosses Ridley and Kraid. Although Ridley is not much of a challenge Kraid was a huge pain! I was very close to turn off the game and quit… Just make sure you have full health and a lot of missiles.

If you manage to beat these two you can finally access Tourian where Mother Brain lies. Getting there isn’t that hard, just make sure you have the Ice Beam. This zone is filled with Metroids and the only way to kill them is by shooting them with 5 missiles but to hit them properly you need to freeze them.

Metroid Tourian

And finally at the end of Tourian lies the Mother Brain. She is heavily guarded by all sorts of missiles and beams. Before you can reach her you need to destroy these tanks that are filled with Zeebetite. You need to keep shooting them with missiles or they’ll regenerate! After destroying all the tanks you’re free to shoot Mother Brain until she dies. However, the game doesn’t end here, you must now escape the base before it self-destructs! After escaping the base the game ends. Congrats! 


Metroid is a very fun game and playing it feels amazing, the controls are spot on and the exploring aspect is very rewarding. However, there are a couple of things that I didn’t enjoy. One of them is the fact that it has no in-game map like I mentioned before. Even The Legend of Zelda had one! The second one is the fact that sometimes you take damage without being able to do anything. There are doors where the second you passed them you get hit by something, and this is very frustrating to deal with, especially when you are low on health. And the last thing that I didn’t like is the fact that every time you die you restart with only 30 energy. It ‘ great that they let us keep all the power-ups but at least give us more than 30 energy, please! The least fun part of this game is having to fill 5 entire energy tanks by killing monsters that only give you 5 energy at a time…

Despite these things, I had a blast with Metroid and I can’t wait to play the next one. I’m completely hooked on Metroid! This is a game that every platformer lover should play! Sometimes it’s good to go back and play older games so we can learn to appreciate the games we have today.

I would like to write more about Metroid but I just found out that I can play Metroid 2 on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console! Got to go buy it as fast as possible! Hope you liked my review, until next time!


-Solid controls;
-Rewarding gameplay;
-Huge zone to explore.


-No map;
-Getting hit without being able to dodge sometimes;
-Farming energy and missiles can be tedious.

svg10 min read

Gamer By Mistake

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I'm an Outsystems Developer from Portugal and Gamer By Mistake has been my little corner on the internet since 2017.

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