The Metroid universe refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's famous Metroid series of science-fiction adventure games. It is one of the company's most successful franchises. The series has had eleven official games released thus far, with most of them being near-universally praised by critics and gamers alike. The series also has a compilation (Metroid Prime Trilogy) and two enhanced remakes (New Play Control! Metroid Prime and New Play Control! Metroid Prime 2: Echoes). The series revolves around the space-faring bounty-hunting exploits of a woman named Samus Aran.
 Franchise description
After the unmitigated success of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda for the Famicom/NES, Nintendo began work on an action game inspired by Ridley Scott's 1979 horror film Alien, Metroid. Nintendo set the game in the labyrinthine, subterranean cave network of a science-fiction alien planet to help impress a feeling of desperation and solitude on the player, and attempted to set the game apart from other games by making it a nonlinear adventure-based game that required exploration and backtracking. Like Zelda, Metroid help pioneer the concept of acquiring permanent tools during the quest that would open up the way forward once the player returned to earlier areas. Metroid was also one of the first games to contain multiple endings, which were awarded based on how fast the game was completed; this had a hand in popularizing the concept of the "speedrun". Finally, Metroid was one of the first video games ever to feature a female protagonist - and this was initially presented to the gaming public as a concealed secret until the game was beaten in a fast-enough time.
For all these reasons and more, the August 1987 release of Metroid for the NES was another revolutionary and enormously successful release for Nintendo. Metroid had a palpable effect on the future of the video game industry, integrating what was technically several styles of gameplay that had already revolutionized the industry on separate prior occasions into a new formula that was married with a foreboding atmosphere. The unprecedented revelation that the player-character, Samus Aran - appearing as a suited, mechanized soldier that the instruction manual referred to with masculine pronouns - was a woman underneath the armor plating was lauded as innovative and singlehandedly responsible for blowing away established norms of females in video games (like the damsels in distress in Mario and Zelda). Many retrospectives, however, find faults with some of the original game's design and layout in comparison to modern action-adventure standards, and these shortcomings were only partially addressed in the first sequel, Metroid II: Return of Samus, released for Game Boy in November 1991.
But by far the most significant evolution of the Metroid formula was the seminal Super Metroid, released on the SNES in April 1994. With vastly-refined combat, exploration mechanics, world design, and even dialogue-free storytelling, the game garnered universal acclaim and is often labeled by official publications as one of the best video games ever made. The greatest irony is that the North American and European versions of Super Metroid sold well as a result of aggressive marketing by Nintendo that was spurred on by the game's poor sales in Japan. Analysts proclaim that the Japanese release of Super Metroid was poorly timed, not only because of more commercially-successful games being released at the time like Donkey Kong Country, but because of the launches of the next-generation systems Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn. This was a big contributing factor to what became a now-legendary eight-year hiatus for the series, which remained dormant despite Samus' appearance in Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64, and Nintendo mentioning the possibility of a N64 installment which had never entered production.
The rebirth of the Metroid franchise at the end of 2002 was arguably one of the most daring and ambitious for any video game series; two completely separate, high-profile Metroid titles were released on the same day in North America, on November 17, 2002. Metroid Fusion, for the Game Boy Advance, was an all-new adventure based on the familiar two-dimensional formula of Super Metroid, but more noteworthy by far was Metroid Prime for the GameCube, the series' inaugural transition into three dimensions, which was highly controversial prior to release. Not only was it being developed by a then-unknown company in the United States, the Texas-based Retro Studios, its presentation as a first-person shooter led to accusations of being a complete departure from the Metroid fabric. The released product allayed these concerns, to say the least; Metroid Prime garnered extremely enthusiastic acclaim for managing the task of faithfully transplanting the classic formula into three dimensions and using the first-person perspective to its advantage, and became one of the GameCube's bestselling titles.
The Metroid franchise settled into a more regular release schedule following Prime and Fusion. Metroid: Zero Mission, for the Game Boy Advance in February 2004, was a retelling of the original Metroid in yet another new title structured in the design style introduced by Super Metroid, while Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, for the GameCube in November 2004, was a Prime follow-up that changed several concepts and was tuned to a much higher level of difficulty. Metroid Prime Hunters was an ambitious effort to present the graphically-intensive Metroid Prime first-person formula on the restrictive hardware of the Nintendo DS in March 2006. The Metroid Prime subseries concluded with the August 2007 release of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii. The most recent Metroid title is Metroid: Other M for the Wii, developed by Team Ninja of Ninja Gaiden fame and released in August 2010, and its new-for-the-series third-person action-adventure gameplay aspects were critically acclaimed. However, it garnered a high degree of controversy and fan backlash over its approach to characterizing Samus, its methods of telling a cutscene-heavy story, and its effective retconning of the Prime subseries out of the series canon entirely. Even so, Samus herself - who has long been a regular in the Super Smash Bros. series - is featured in Super Smash Bros. 4 in a touched-up version of her suit design from Other M.
The Metroid series stars Samus Aran, a hardened, one-of-a-kind professional bounty hunter raised by a now-extinct race of bird-like humanoids named the Chozo and sporting a powered suit imbued with fantastic Chozo technology. With an arm-grafted cannon that can shoot a variety of projectiles seemingly without limit, and a suit function that affords Samus the seemingly-superhuman ability to transform into a perfectly spherical metal ball that can self-navigate tight quarters, Samus is regularly called upon by the primary known sovereign government of the Metroid setting, the Galactic Federation, to go on infiltration missions into planets and compounds occupied by races of alien Space Pirates. The series' namesake is a floating, jellyfish-like lifeform called a Metroid, which has the seemingly supernatural ability to siphon life energy out of its victims; Space Pirates seek to breed and harness these creatures, so it is up to Samus, seemingly the only individual with the upgradeable weaponry capable of killing them, to explore Space Pirate-occupied worlds and destroy their operations down to the core. Each primary Metroid title adds to a chronology of canonical games, which is laid out below:
- Metroid / Metroid: Zero Mission: Samus' first mission is is to infiltrate the formerly Chozo-inhabited planet Zebes, since overtaken by Space Pirates, and destroy their standing forces and their stable of Metroids. Along the way, Samus battles the foremost "enforcers" of the Space Pirates - the colossal reptilian Kraid and the dragon-like Ridley (likely named after Alien director Ridley Scott) - and ends up battling the organic artificial intelligence helping dictate Pirate operations, Mother Brain. Immediately after a seemingly successful mission, however, Samus runs into some bad luck during her escape attempt, and is forced to find a way off the planet in just her zero suit and stun gun.
- Metroid Prime: Samus tracks remnants of the Space Pirates to another outpost on the planet Tallon IV, and she discovers that they are experimenting on augmenting their capacity for warfare with a mysterious mutagenic substance called Phazon, which was brought to the planet by an enigmatic meteor strike long ago. She destroys the Space Pirates' research and standing forces once again, but along the way inadvertently allows for the incidental birth of a dark opposite to herself, the sentient Phazon entity Dark Samus.
- Metroid Prime Hunters: When the Galactic Federation receives a mysterious telepathic message that the key to the "ultimate power" resides in the Alimbic star system, Samus is sent to investigate and possibly retrieve it, but six other rival bounty hunters from different alien species compete for the same goal.
- Metroid Prime II: Echoes: The Galactic Federation loses contact with a federation marine vessel that engages a Space Pirate vessel near another Space Pirate outpost planet named Aether, and Samus is sent to investigate. She discovers the planet was struck by a similar Phazon meteor in its past, which has split the planet into light and dark dimensions. Samus must not only separately contend with the Space Pirates and Dark Samus itself, but even more threatening shadow creatures from the dark dimension, the Ing.
- Metroid Prime III: Corruption: With the Space Pirates' Phazon-based operations now in disarray from Samus' meddling, the Space Pirates turn to Dark Samus for aid, and allow themselves to get indoctrinated by the entity. Dark Samus seeks to corrupt the galaxy with Phazon and has the Space Pirates launch simultaneous attacks on separate Federation planets, and Samus herself gets her suit corrupted during the struggle. Granted new technology that allows herself to harness her own suit's Phazon corruption, Samus goes on a planet-hopping quest to end the Phazon menace forever, even as her fellow bounty hunters get corrupted and turned against her. Along the way, Samus realizes the truth about the origin and nature of the Phazon "meteors".
- Metroid II: Return of Samus: The Galactic Federation has deemed the Metroid species too great a threat to be allowed to live, and so tasks Samus to cull every individual specimen off the surface of the Metroid homeworld, SR388. Samus destroys Metroids that have matured into advanced, more monstrous forms, and squares off against the Metroid Queen itself, but at the end of her mission, she spares a lone hatchling and donates it to the Federation's research division.
- Super Metroid: However, a revived Ridley raids the research division and takes back the hatchling by force, and Samus returns to Zebes on another mission to thwart the Space Pirates' last efforts to preserve and harness the specie. She infiltrates the Space Pirates' reconstructed subterranean base on Zebes, and discovers and once again battles each of her classic foes - Kraid, Ridley, and the Mother Brain - before detonating the entire planet and achieving the extinction of the Metroid species.
- Metroid: Other M: Samus follows a distress signal towards a "Bottle Ship" floating near a Federation vessel, and discovers some of her companions from her days in the Federation military, including commanding officer Adam Malkovich, on board in the middle of a mission he does not tell Samus about at first. After Adam begrudgingly allows her to cooperate with the platoon, they discover the first signs of a darker side to the Federation.
- Metroid Fusion: While leading scientists on a Federation-sanctioned survey across SR388, Samus is attacked by a native parasitic lifeform, the X Parasite, that was originally kept in check by its natural predator, the Metroids. Samus survives, but becomes permanently bound to a "fusion" form of her suit. The research station floating above the planet later becomes infested with X Parasites that mimic other organisms, and so Samus, whose new form is immune to the infestation, is sent on a mission by the Federation to fight and wipe out the creatures. Or at least, that is what Samus thinks her mission is strictly about...
 In Super Smash Bros.
The Metroid franchise is represented as one of several "standard universes" found in Super Smash Bros., with one character and one stage.
- Samus Aran: A bounty hunter in a technologically advanced and flexible power suit, Samus Aran is an orphan from a Space Pirate attack. She was harbored by the benevolent Chozo race at a young age and infused with their heritage and technology, and she now serves the Galactic Federation as pretty much a one-woman army against the menace of the Space Pirates and their attempts to use the life-stealing Metroids to conquer the universe. Samus explores the worlds and routs all enemies within them by the decree of the Federation, and she acquires many weapon systems and upgrades to her suit such as missile launchers and heat protection during her expeditions. As a fighter, however, Samus is the lowest possible tier because her attacks lack power and having a low amount of combos, and she must rely on her chargeable projectile.
Super Smash Bros. features one Metroid-themed stage:
- Planet Zebes: This stage is designed to resemble the general environment and hazards of the caverns of the titular planet that Metroid and Super Metroid take place in. It is a big platform with several small platforms above it, and the stage features an ocean of acid that periodically rises up and submerges the lower portion of the stage. Touching the acid will damage a character and send him flying upward. One of Samus' primary foes, Ridley, is seen swooping about in the background as well. Due to the acid, it is impossible, under normal conditions, to die by falling below the main platform; however, one under the power of the Starman may fall through the acid.
- 8: A remix of the Brinstar music from the original Metroid for NES. It is heard on Planet Zebes.
- 18: The victory fanfare of Samus is an orchestration of the music heard when Samus finds a new item or power-up in general Metroid games.
 In Super Smash Bros. Melee
While Super Smash Bros. Melee features much more content than Super Smash Bros., the Metroid franchise is represented by only one character, two new stages, one new item, and a handful of trophies.
- Samus Aran: Samus Aran is still the only playable Metroid series character, probably because of the solo nature of Metroid games and how they do not seem to feature notable supporting characters. Samus returns with her signature missile launcher as her new Smash-B move.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features two Metroid-themed stages:
- Planet Zebes: Brinstar: This stage is the spiritual successor to the original Planet Zebes stage, and it features a nearly identical layout; aside from the visuals, the only real difference to this stage is that parts of the stage can be damaged by players attacks, and destroying these can cause the elevated platforms to rise upwards to steep angles and the big lower platform to break apart into two. A large creature that is possibly the Mother Brain appears in the background, shaking whenever the lava comes up to it.
- Planet Zebes: Brinstar Depths: A difficult stage to keep on top of, this is essentially a giant, craggy, circular mass of rock that floats above lava, and the stage is routinely rotated by the gigantic lizard Kraid in the background. It is easy to find yourself slipping off it and unable to grab onto any ledge. Many players dislike the stage and it is banned from much competitive tournament play.
In addition, in the fourth stage of the game's Adventure Mode is an area called the Brinstar Escape Shaft which forces the player to jump up to the top of it via multiple platforms before a timer finishes. Failure to do so will result in a lost life.
Melee is the first game in the series to introduce a Metroid-themed item:
- Screw Attack: In many of the Metroid games, late in the game an upgrade called the Screw Attack can be collected and equipped by Samus, and when she forward-jumps her body becomes a whirling instrument of destruction that can destroy most of which she touches. As an item in Melee, when a character holds the Screw Attack orb, whenever that character jumps and double-jumps he whirls around in the air in a fashion similar to Samus' Up-B attack and does lots of hits to opponents that the character jumps into. These hits do tiny damage and have no knockback, however. Then the character can hurl it at an opponent and the opponent will automatically jump up whirling. In both cases this item serves a disruption tactic.
- 7: Brinstar: A medley of three classic Metroid tunes, most of it consisting of a techno remix of the first "Brinstar" area music heard in the original Metroid for NES. It is followed by the short "game start" tune one hears whenever one resumes a game file in a Metroid game, and then the low-key general Metroid theme that was first heard on the original Metroid title screen. This is heard in Planet Zebes.
- 8: Brinstar Depths: A remix of area music heard later on in the original Metroid, where Samus is particularly close to her encounter with Kraid. A bridge section consists of the short tune played in item rooms in the original Metroid. This is heard in Brinstar Depths.
- 41: Samus's Victory: The victory fanfare of Samus is an orchestration of the music heard when Samus finds a new item or power-up in general Metroid games.
 Full Trophy List
 In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
A fairly-decent amount of content from the Metroid franchise appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Samus Aran: Shown by trailers as a returning character for Brawl, Samus Aran has been visually touched up to look like her more detailed incarnation in the final sequence of Metroid: Zero Mission, but otherwise apparently retaining her gameplay. Her Final Smash, the Zero Laser, is a huge beam that literally blows off her own armor to become a pile of throwable Power Suit Pieces and renders her as a new playable character, Zero Suit Samus.
- Zero Suit Samus: The suitless version of Samus from Metroid: Zero Mission is playable via Samus' Final Smash. She fights acrobatically and carries a projectile attack in the form of her handheld Paralyzer gun, which she also uses as the basis for her Plasma Whip and Plasma Wire special attacks, both of which can be used for Tether Recovery. Zero Suit Samus' Final Smash involves a huge, blinding ball of light forming around her, returning her to status with the power suit.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Samus shares the fourth column with fellow Famicom/NES-originated characters Ice Climbers, R.O.B., and Pit.
- Ridley: Samus's arch enemy Ridley makes an appearance in the Subspace Emissary as a boss that Samus and Pikachu encounter in a facility on the Island of Ancients shortly after Samus regains her Power Suit. It would seem he is working for the Subspace Army, but no information really exists on his storyline importance.
- Meta Ridley: Later in the game, when a slew of characters are escaping from the self-destructing Subspace Bomb Factory on Captain Falcon's Falcon Flyer, a rebuilt Ridley in the form as seen in Metroid Prime appears. While he is canonically just a modified Ridley, the fight plays out nothing like the previous Ridley fight. It is worth noting that Metroid is the only represented franchise to feature more than one boss fight.
 Assist Trophy
- Metroid: A Metroid latches its body on a character's head and starts draining their health, increasing the character's damage percentage in the process.
- Norfair: A new stage set in the fiery depths of Zebes, this stage, like previous Metroid stages, features rising lava. In addition to this, lava can come from the sides of the screens too, as well as in an enormous wave from the background that forces players to fight to stay inside a temporary safe zone to avoid damage.
- Frigate Orpheon: Set in the opening area of the first Metroid Prime, which contains the Parasite Queen, this stage has an interesting twist. When the warning siren sounds, the stage flips, and what was once above the players becomes the new platforms to fight on.
- Melee Stages: Brinstar: One of the few stages known to return from the previous game, it is mostly the same stage as it was before.
See List of SSBB Music (Metroid series).
- Main Theme (Metroid) - A rock styled remix of the Brinstar theme from the first Metroid title. Aside from the vocals at the beginning of the track, this is taken almost directly from Metroid Prime Pinball, with the insertion of some extra instruments and the addition of the original Brinstar NES-like remix. It is used on the Norfair stage.
- Ending (Metroid) - An orchestrated version of the credits theme used in both the original Metroid and its remake Metroid Zero Mission. It is used on the Norfair stage. This song is also played during both Samus and Zero Suit Samus' Classic Mode credits.
- Norfair - A quirky remix of the lesser known Norfair theme from the original Metroid game. It is the theme of the Norfair stage.
- Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior - An orchestration of the credits theme of the SNES hit Super Metroid. It is used on the Norfair stage.
- Vs. Ridley - A completely redone version of Ridley's theme that is featured in several Metroid games and originated in Super Metroid. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Vs. Parasite Queen - Taken directly from Metroid Prime, this was the track that played when Samus fought the Parasite Queen during the opening section of the game. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Opening/Menu (Metroid Prime) - A medley of two tracks from Metroid Prime--the title screen and the credits theme (which itself was an extension of the menu theme). With the exception of the vocals at the beginning, the title screen theme is taken directly from the game, while the credits theme is arranged. It is the theme of the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Sector 1 - An orchestrated version of the background music of the first mission in Sector 1 in Metroid Fusion. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Vs. Meta Ridley - Taken directly from Metroid Prime, this was the background music that played during the fight against Meta Ridley. This same, unaltered track was also used in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Multiplayer (Metroid Prime 2) - A track taken directly from the multiplayer mode of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, which itself was a techno remix of the Brinstar background music from Super Metroid. It is used on the Frigate Orpheon stage.
- Brinstar (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Brinstar stage.
- Brinstar Depths (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Brinstar stage.
- Samus' victory theme - The "got item" fanfare featured in every single Metroid game to date, except Metroid: Other M.
- Chozo Statue
- Dark Suit Samus
- Dark Samus
- Federation Trooper
- Gravity Suit Samus
- Metroid (Metroid: Zero Mission)
- Metroid (Metroid Pinball)
- Morph Ball
- Mother Brain (Metroid: Zero Mission)
- Ridley (Metroid: Zero Mission)
- Ridley (Metroid)
- Running Zero Suit Samus
- Samus (Metroid)
- Samus (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- Samus (Metroid Fusion)
- Special Token
- Starship (Metroid Prime Hunters)
- Warrior Ing
- Zebes Inhabitant
- Zero Suit Samus
- Samus: Samus Aran was confirmed to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4 during the E3 Nintendo Direct.
 Games with elements in Smash Bros. games
Main character and Bounty Hunter Samus Aran is playable in all three Super Smash Bros. games and the main enemies from this game, Metroids, appear as Assist Trophies in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Planet Zebes is a stage in Super Smash Bros., and its sub-areas Brinstar, and Brinstar Depths are stages in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Norfair appears as a stage in Brawl with the returning Brinstar, although Brinstar Depths is absent. The boss Ridley is featured as a background character in Super Smash Bros., a trophy in both Melee and Brawl, is present in Melee 's introduction, and is a boss in Brawl. A Waver enemy is also in Zebes' background. Kraid also originates from Metroid as a trophy and stage element in Melee. Samus' Screw Attack, Missile and Bombs originate from this game. As for her normal moveset, her dash attack comes from the Speed Boost power-up acquired in most of her side-scrolling games.
 Super Metroid
Samus and Ridley take their Super Smash Bros. appearances from this game, with Ridley's appearance in the background of Planet Zebes in Super Smash Bros. being based on his sprites from this game. Samus emerges from a Super Metroid-style Save Station when entering battle. A clip of the introduction features Samus and Ridley fighting in a 3-D re-enactment of their fight on Ceres at the beginning of Super Metroid, with Ridley holding the baby in its talons. A Chozo Statue that stands up and walks around in the background of the Brinstar stage is based on the Torizo enemies from Super. Kraid also takes his Super appearance in Melee. The Brinstar Escape Shaft is modeled remarkably after Super, particularly resembling the platform-filled shaft Samus had to escape through in Super and the original Metroid, going from a cave-inspired scenery to a mechanical elevator room.
 Metroid Fusion
The Fusion Suit appears as a trophy and an alternate costume of Samus in Brawl. Though it does not alter the suit's appearance, the Varia Suit changes to the colors of the Fusion Suit.
 Metroid Prime
The first location the player visits in the game, Frigate Orpheon, is a stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Also, the Parasite Queen, a boss from the game, appears as a background character.
Meta Ridley, the cybernetic version of Ridley in the Subspace Emissary, first appeared in this game.
The credits/main menu theme is an available song in the Frigate Orpheon stage. The Meta Ridley battle theme is also available on the same stage.
Trophies from the game include the Sheegoth, and the creature and final boss of the game, the Metroid Prime (exoskeleton and core as two separate trophies).
 Metroid: Zero Mission
Also, Zero Suit Samus' appearance originates from this game; after defeating Mother Brain, Samus loses her Power Suit, and must fight off Space Pirates wearing what is now called her "Zero Suit".
 Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
The Dark Suit is an alternate costume of Samus. Like the Fusion Suit, it does not alter the suit specifications, rather, it changes the color scheme to resemble the original Dark Suit.
 Metroid Prime Hunters
All bounty hunters from this game appear as trophies in Brawl.
 Metroid: Other M
Samus's appearance in Smash 4 is from this game and the Pyrosphere appears as a stage in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
 External links