Super Metroid (1994)

by Nish
7 minutes read


An unforgettable journey into the heart of the planet Zebes, Super Metroid combines exploration, combat, and storytelling in a way that has captivated players for generations. It stands as a testament to the enduring power of great game design.


Super Metroid is an iconic action-adventure game that set new standards for the genre with its deep narrative, atmospheric world, and groundbreaking gameplay. Its release on the SNES in 1994 marked a defining moment in video gaming history.


“Super Metroid” is a 1994 action-adventure game developed by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems, marking the third installment in the Metroid series. The game follows the events of the Game Boy game “Metroid II: Return of Samus” (1991).

The protagonist of the game is Samus Aran, an intergalactic bounty hunter. After the events of “Metroid II”, Samus discovers a Metroid larva which, upon hatching, immediately identifies Samus as its mother. Samus then takes the baby Metroid to the Ceres Space Colony, where scientists believe they can harness the Metroid’s power.

However, the peace is short-lived. Ridley, the leader of the Space Pirates, steals the Metroid. This forces Samus to return to the brooding planet Zebes to recover the last Metroid from the Space Pirates. The safety of the galaxy is once again threatened by the evil Mother Brain.

“Super Metroid” is a 2D side-scrolling action-adventure game. The game primarily takes place on the fictional planet Zebes, a large, open-ended world with areas connected by doors and elevators. The player controls Samus as she searches the planet for the stolen Metroid.

Samus can run, jump, crouch, and fire a weapon in eight directions. She can also perform other actions, such as wall jumping—jumping from one wall to another in rapid succession to reach higher areas. The “Moon Walk” ability, named after the popular dance move of the same name, allows Samus to walk backwards while firing or charging her weapon.

The game focuses on exploration, with the player searching for power-ups used to reach previously inaccessible areas. It introduced new concepts to the series, such as the inventory screen, an automap, and the ability to fire in all directions.

The development staff from previous Metroid games—including Yoshio Sakamoto, Makoto Kano, and Gunpei Yokoi—returned to develop “Super Metroid” over the course of two years. The developers wanted to make a true action game and set the stage for Samus’s reappearance.

“Super Metroid” received acclaim, with praise for its atmosphere, gameplay, music, and graphics. It is often cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. The game sold well and shipped 1.42 million copies worldwide by late 2003. Alongside “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night”, “Super Metroid” is credited for establishing the “Metroidvania” genre, inspiring numerous indie games and developers. It also became popular among players for speedrunning.

“Super Metroid” is a landmark game that not only pushed the boundaries of its time but also left a lasting impact on the gaming industry. Its blend of exploration, action, and atmospheric storytelling continues to inspire game developers today.


Samus Aran, the bounty hunter protagonist; Mother Brain, the main antagonist; Ridley and Kraid, high-ranking Space Pirates; and the last Metroid, central to the game’s plot.


Super Metroid introduces players to a vast, open-ended world filled with secrets and challenges. The game combines platforming with puzzle-solving and combat, enhanced by items like the Grappling Beam and the X-Ray Scope. Its innovative use of the SNES hardware created an immersive experience with dynamic lighting and layered sound.


Super Metroid is not just a game but a landmark achievement in interactive entertainment. Its influence on the action-adventure genre and game design is immeasurable, offering an experience that remains engaging and challenging decades after its release.

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