I realize that the title is a bit confusing. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that soon enough. First let’s talk about the original impact when people first completed the original game Metroid. Well, it depended on the completion time, but those who completed the game under a certain time were given the surprise that the character they were playing as, Samus Aran, was actually a woman the whole time. Considering that this game came out in 1986, the fact that there was a cool female hero on the videogame scene was kind of a big deal. At the very least, it made the series feel unique. The original Metroid game mainly stands out to its unique gameplay style and the fact that you can speedrun to get different endings featuring Samus in different outfits. Going back to play the original game these days is honestly pretty rough though. Again, this was first released in 1986. Nothing feels like it plays smooth without an analog stick anymore, unless it’s an RPG with grid based movement. However, it is good to acknowledge the history of the series. That being said, there is only three bosses in the entire game which is kind of sad to think about. At least they added a few more in the remake to spice things up, although none of them are particularly difficult. They also add in the remake the ability to grab ledges, which is most appreciated, and some more post game content. Although the interesting thing about the post game content is that you send a good chunk of it as Zero Suit Samus as you end up in a random stealth section at the end of the game. And yet, the main reward for speedrunning the game is still artwork of Samus without her power suit. So, I will now address the title by asking is this reward becoming a cliché?
Now, let’s talk about words for a little bit here. My understanding of a cliché is when something is overdone and because of that loses the original intention behind it. So when it was first introduced that Samus was a woman, they were most likely trying to go for that shock and wow factor. You know, they wanted to mess with people’s expectations. Then what reason would there be for doing it after that first game? Let’s talk about another word now. Tradition is when certain ideas get passed down over a period of time right? So it probably has something to do with tradition right? Is there a point though when a tradition becomes a cliché? If I had to guess it would be when the meaning is lost. After all, there is not much point is preserving a tradition if there is no meaning behind it or if the meaning behind it doesn’t apply to new understandings or sensibilities. So that means there would have to still be meaning to it. The question then is does this reward still have meaning, even if it feels different from the original reveal? I realize I have asks a ton of questions today to the point where I am probably coming off as more annoying than interesting here. So I will step back from 20 Questions here and actually answer a question for a change. Yes, it does still have meaning. I know because I still get excited when I see that final time or completion rating and get that alternate ending that I worked so hard to unlock. I am definitely excited that there is a payoff and while there isn’t any wow factor, it is still a great reminder to see that this bounty hunter is a woman who can get the job done. Granted we now have more female protagonists since it is now longer the 80’s, but it fairness they are usually less fun to speedrun. So, it is a nice little tradition for sure, but is there any chance it could lose its meaning? Honestly, I don’t know.
Look, I never want to pretend that I have all of the answers. I don’t, and that’s okay. Every now and then though I am plagued with a question and I want to just role with it. to be honest, this isn’t the first time I have asked this question and it probably won’t be the last. I just wonder if this series will always carry the same meaning as it continues into the future. It has been shown very clearly in more recent games in the franchise that Samus is a woman and while there is nothing wrong with that, I wonder if maybe it might cause us to forget about the history of this series. Maybe we might not remember the first reveal way back when in 1986 when she first took that helmet off. I could just be unnecessarily worrying. I am fully aware of that. It also seems like the Metroid series is in a good place right now. And then I remember that it doesn’t matter with this series because the gap between main series games has been pretty brutal to say the least. There may come a day where no one actually cares about it. Maybe that is the case now. Do people still care? Does this matter to people when they play a Metroid game? It has become pretty normalized to see female protagonists now so maybe it wouldn’t matter to someone who just picked up the series. I guess I am fine with it being normalized, but I feel like something is being glossed over. At first it was that she was both cool and a woman. It hasn’t really changed since then, but we have had some close calls. Looking at you specifically, game that I swore not to mention this month. I guess I am just worried that Samus could one day become a cliché character. I love the acknowledgement that she is a woman, but I hope that the fact that she is a woman remains cool. I hope I conveyed what I wanted to say. I am honestly not sure if I did. Let’s hope so. See you next week.