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Other Games Featuring Samus and Friends and Foes
by MDb Staff
Nintendo has been known to sneak some of their most popular characters into walk-on roles in various game titles. Samus and other Metroid characters have been featured in quite a few! This page is a record of every Metroid-related in-game cameo known to this day.
Did you know that the NES classic Kid Icarus features a crossover of characters with Metroid? There are small metroid-like creatures that attack in groups in the final vertical level, near the top. While the Kid Icarus instruction book does not actually refer to them as Metroids, it definitely implies that the crossover was intentional:
From the Kid Icarus Manual, page 37:
...could that planet be SR388? The Komayto returns in the GameBoy sequel, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, however its appearance is different than that of its NES one.Click here for Komayto featured in the 3DS Remake, Kid Icarus: Uprising!
One of the most well-hidden cameos exists in Japan-only Famicom game, Famicom Wars. The CO of the Red Star Army on Crater Island dons a familiar helmet, and is named "Samsoon." Famicom Wars marks the first title in the Wars series, which weren't brought over to North America until Advance Wars on the GameBoy Advance. Famicom Wars was released in 1988, making it the earliest known direct Samus cameo.
Obviously this is the Nintendo version of NES Tetris, not the Tengen one. Beating Game B on different difficulty levels earns you an animated ending screen featuring different Nintendo characters playing musical instruments. If you beat it on Level 9 with a Height of 2 or higher, Samus will be one of those characters.
Tennis is the port of the NES game of the same name. Due to the limited resolution of the GameBoy screen, the court size had to be drastically reduced and the graphics and gameplay had to be altered. The game has more of an indirect relation to Metroid: according to the Nintendo Dream Interview with the game's artist, Hiroji Kiyotake, he had difficulty making the characters look athletic, so he referenced the poses from Samus to create the character sprites in Tennis.
Not so much a cameo, but more of a reference to the Metroid series can be seen in Super Mario Bros. 3. Once you touch an invincibility star, Super Mario's jumping pattern gets changed into a spinning animation. The similarity to the Screw Attack is too close to be a coincidence. (This style of jumping animation can also be seen in Super Mario All-Stars, and has been translated into the the newer 3D Mario titles such as Super Mario Galaxy)
In this original Game Boy title, different Nintendo characters greet you at each race. Samus shows up before Course 7.
X is a very primitive 3D tank game that was released only in Japan on the GameBoy in 1992. It was developed in part by Argonaut Software and Nintendo. Key developers are Dylan Cuthbert (programmer) and Yoshio Sakamoto (director). The game's music was composed by Hip Tanaka and Kazumi Totaka (the latter's first game credit, as well as the first game to feature "Totaka's Song").
The game is played in a first-person perspective and is very similar to the 1980 Atari game, Battlezone. You control a tank, and must either destroy enemies on a playing field, or go through a tunnel while avoiding protruding walls, lay a bomb and destroy it. These core elements were further developed, refined and realized in StarFox, another title that Dylan Cuthbert helped code.
So, other than Sakamoto being involved, what's this have to do with Metroid? Well, the answer lies in the details of the game's story. The name of the tank you pilot is called the VIXIV. "VIXIV" was reused in two official Metroid media: the manga, and Other M. The VIXIV is the name of the ship that is commanded by none other than Adam Malkovich.
The VIXIV is vital to MOM's story in that it was where Adam ordered the detatchment of a critically-damaged drive unit that the VIXIV was towing before it exploded. Ian Malkovich, Adam's younger brother, was inside the unit trying to repair it. This is what caused Samus to leave the Galactic Federation.
Furthermore, the Training Academy Coach in X could be seen as somewhat similar to Adam Malkovich's face, but it's too arbitrary/lacking detail to be completely sure. Since X predates Other M, Other M is referencing X in this case.
X-Scape (aka X-Returns in Japan and 3D Space Tank in Europe), the game's sequel, is a DSi Ware game that was released in 2010. Players take control of the VIXIV once more.
In this Virtual Boy title, play the board called "Cosmic." If you can work your ball into the upper-right area with the bumpers and start the "Bumper Clash," then destroy all those bumpers with your ball, a bonus stage will start. The now-famous 'S'-symbol appears in the area where the bumpers were, and a voice says "Let's go, Samus!!" Your ball turns into Samus' ship, and you shoot descending metroids and other space nasties, Galaga-style, as the Super Metroid theme plays in the background!! If you're a Metroid collector or completist, this makes Galactic Pinball a must-own.
Flight of Aran (MP3)
Flight of Aran (FLAC)
To find Samus in Super Mario RPG: After you beat Johnny and Yaridovich, head straight to the Mushroom Kingdom Castle and enter the guest room. Do not proceed to Land's End. You will see Samus laying in the bed. When you talk to her, she tells you that she's "Resting up for Mother Brain."
Samus also makes an appearance in Super Mario RPG in the form of a doll in a toybox.
Special thanks to Outlaw for the screenshots!
Two small Metroid-related occurrences in this game:
- You can collect an item called the Screw Ball* when playing through The Great Cave Offensive. It is worth 80,000G and is located to the right of the Seiryu Sword.
- When you get the Stone defense, you may randomly become a Samus statue!
*This has been changed back to "Screw Attack" in the Nintendo DS port, Kirby Super Star Ultra.
In world 5-2, there are three rooms, each one holding one or more metroids. They will swoop down and latch onto Kirby (!) but they don't do him any damage. They also cannot be hurt or touched with most of Kirby's normal attacks. At the end of the stage, Samus in her armor suit is standing as if waiting for you. Unless you defeat the metroids she doesn't do anything. Eating an enemy with the freeze power gives Kirby the freeze ability and he will breathe frosty breath, which will trap the metroids in chunks of ice and destroy them. After Kirby destroys all six metroids you will hear a tone, and when you meet Samus at the end of the stage she won't have her helmet on.
In Wario Land 2, you get a treasure after each level completed. The reward for Level 49 is a Metroid.
F-Zero is a series of fast-paced, futuristic racing titles that debuted on the Super Nintendo. When F-Zero X was released on the N64 in 1998, it introduced many more selectable ships than the games before it; each new ship having its own unique pilot. One of them was Jody Summer, a beautiful brunette who pilots the White Cat. Jody Summer's outfit has an impeccable resemblance to the ending-screen version of Samus from the original Metroid. Jody is also a member of the Galactic Space Federation military, an organization very similar to the Galactic Federation from Metroid. F-Zero X also has characters named James McCloud (of Star Fox fame) and Mr. EAD (who resembles Mario and has a Starman Belt Buckle), so it's no surprise this cameo was intentional.
In the second Castlevania title for the Gameboy Advance, Harmony of Dissonance, you will eventually come to an area called the "Cave of Skeletons." In it, there are giant skulls which you use as ramps to allow you to get to the next part of the area. Since Super Metroid paved the way for all 2D Castlevania games from Symphony onward, this game pays a specific homage to the franchise by making these skulls bear an uncanny resemblance to that fan-favorite Norfair miniboss, the Crocomire. (thanks to the Castlevania Dungeon for providing the image!)
Due to Yoshio Sakamoto's involvement with the Wario Ware series, Metroid has been featured as a minigame since the very first one. Most of them are featured in 9-Volt's set, who is an old school Nintendo fan and resident DJ. Unfortunately, no Metroid cameos appear in Wario Ware: Snapped, a download-only title for DSi.
Wario Ware: Mega MicroGame$ and Wario Ware: Mega PartyGame$Console: GameBoy Advance/Gamecube
Release Date: 2003
Description: Destroy Mother Brain! Ah, "Metroid"... Now that's one good game!
Info: Located in 9-Volt's set. A prompt is given to "Fire!" Shoot missiles at the Mother Brain chamber and destroy it. B: shoot missiles, Down and Up allow you to morph and unmorph.
Wario Ware: Twisted!Console: GameBoy Advance
Release Date: 2005
Microgame: Metroid-Morph Ball
Description: Roll around and get the missile! (Tilt) Roll A Jump
Info: Located in 9-Volt's set. A prompt is given to "Get Missile!" Tilt the GBA in order to move Samus (in morphball form) to the missle tank. The A button jumps. This microgame features several locales from Metroid as well as the Elevator, Brinstar, and Kraid themes. On a rare occasion, Samus will appear suitless.
Wario Ware: Touched!Console: Nintendo DS
Release Date: 2005
Description: Pull those things off her head!
Info: Located in 9-Volt's set. Metroids try to latch onto Samus. Pull them off of her with the stylus. One metroid is easy to deal with, but it gets a little more difficult with two or three.
Microgame: Famicom Tantei Club II
Wario Ware: Smooth MovesConsole: Wii
Release Date: 2007
Microgame: Metroid Prime 2
Description: Roll Samus into the target and knock it down. 2004: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes/Nintendo GameCube
Info: Located in 9-Volt's set. A prompt is given to "Knock Over!" Control Samus from Metroid Prime (in morphball form). Tilt the Wii Remote forward and knock over a nearby barrel to win. After doing so, Samus un-morphs and cheers. Watch this microgame in action!
Microgame: Super Nostalgic Entertainment System
Microgame: Opening Night
EXTRA: If you have a game save on your Wii, you can receive a Wario moustache sticker on your ship in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Wario Ware: D.I.Y.Console: DSi
Release Date: 2009
Info: Located in 9-Volt's set. A prompt is given to "Get it!" A Zero Mission Samus runs towards a missile expansion. You must dodge the hanging Skree to win by morphing into a ball.
The Mario & Luigi titles are RPGs for the GameBoy Advance and Nintendo DS. The first one in the series, Superstar Saga, had originally planned on having a Samus cameo, among many other well-known Nintendo characters, but was left on The Cutting Room Floor. Fortunately, the developers left the original graphics and text in the game so we actually know their original intentions.
In the game you will come upon Starbeans Cafe, a local coffee shop. When you purchased special drinks at the cafe, they would trigger a Nintendo character cameo. Samus was one of these. The original text was as follows:
Cashier : Whoa! A power outage?After purchasing your coffee and giving it to Samus, she would reward you with the item "Energy Tank." This was changed to "Power Grip" in the final release of the game. One wonders how Samus can drink anything through her helmet...
- Yikes! Samus Aran! I see you're rocking and rolling as usual!
- ...Looks like your energy tanks are empty! Sorry, but can't you give your Hoolumbian to Samus?
- Oh! Feeling better?
The graphics have also been ripped from the game. Special thanks to Salanewt for creating this spritesheet!
In the Gamecube title Custom Robo, there exists a group called the "Z Syndicate." The characters that frequent Hub Park have a trend where they find words that the "Z" could stand for. The couple sitting on the bench has this Metroid cameo. To see the cameo: as soon as you finish testing at the Police Squad HQ for the Class-S License, choose to "Walk around" or whatever the other choice is besides "Go Home". Choosing "Go Home" will send you straight to the next day which will cause you to miss the cameo. Choosing to "Walk Around" will allow you to go wherever you want, thus you can go to Hub Park for the cameo.
Special thanks to Outlaw for the image and description!
During the very sexy women's locker room part of the game, you can open up a few of the lockers. One of these lockers reveals Samus's helmet sitting on the shelf. (If you can provide the MDb with a direct-feed or high quality screencap of this cameo, please, LET US KNOW!)
There is an enemy in the Nintendo DS game, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time called a "Snoozorb." Anyone that has played Fusion will instantly recognize that it looks just like a cutesy version of Nightmare, the boss of Sector 5. It's further proven by the name, as both characters have names that pertain to sleeping.
Tetris DS adheres to an old school Nintendo theme, with Metroid being one of these. The title screen shows Samus running around shooting floating Tetraminoes, which swoop down and explode just like Rios.
In Catch mode, a Brinstar-like shaft scrolls down in the background featuring 8-bit Samus in different poses, shooting, jumping, and dodging enemies. A remixed version of the Brinstar theme plays as well. Watch out for falling Metroids-in-a-bottle!
In Marathon mode, once you make it to level 12, the top screen displays Samus blasting her way through the first room of Metroid, while the background shows Mother Brain on the bottom screen. The game also uses the Save File sprite only seen in the FDS version of Metroid.
Metroid Charge (Catch)
Metroid Charge (Catch), Fast Version
In the DS game Picross DS, from Jupiter, one reference can be found in the game. The normal mode features one series of Nintendo themed puzzles, and one is based off of Samus from Metroid.
In the latest installment of the Fatal Frame franchise (which has yet to be brought over to western shores) there are unlockable costumes. One of them is none other
than Zero Suit Samus! Check the vid for a full *cough* "run down" of the costume!
(Special thanks to honestwg on YouTube for uploading this vid!)
An interesting bit of trivia, is that the producer for this game is Metroid series veteran, and Yoshio Sakamoto's good friend Toru Osawa.
In the DS game Advance Wars: Day of Ruin, from Intelligent Systems, one reference can be found in the game. The fourth Trial Map unlocked by playing the Campaign is Metro Island, designed to resemble a Metroid. Intelligent Systems has a long history with the Metroid franchise, co-developing Metroid and Super Metroid with Nintendo R&D.
In the second Band Bros. game Jam with the Band, from Intelligent Systems, a couple Metroid reference can be found in the game. First off, a free downloadable song named Brinstar (Metroid) contains a medley of the opening theme, Brinstar theme, and Item Get theme. This song was only available until May 20, 2014, when the servers for the game were taken offline.
In the Instrument Trivia section, all instruments play a short jingle from different Nintendo games and Metroid is no exception. The pipe organ and vibraphone play the Item Get theme and Opening from Metroid respectively. The synth bass and horn play VS. Ridley and Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior from Super Metroid respectively.
The Animal Crossing franchise is no stranger to Metroid cameos. The first appeared as a clothing pattern. "Samus's Suit" could only be found if you purchased it as an e-Reader card (Series 2). In the other two released titles, hidden clothing items include Samus's Mask and Varia Suit. You can also collect a Metroid in the DS and Wii versions, Wild World and City Folk. In New Leaf, 3DS Play Coins can be traded to the Nook brothers to obtain rare Nintendo themed items. Metroid themed items include Samus's Mask, Varia Suit, Varia Suit pants, Varia Suit shoes, and the baby Metroid.
In New Leaf the fortune cookies have the following descriptions.
Samus Mask: #10 She who forgoes a hat and grabs a helmet knows not the sting of lava.
Varia Pants: #42 She who wears lava-proof pants is prepared for any situation.
Varia Suit Shoes: #43 She who wears laceless shoes is probably busy with space monsters.
Varia Suit: #46 She who wears armor today is she who may wear armor tomorrow.
Metroid: #47 Wise men say the brain is a terrible thing to waste.
In Wild World, talking to Gulliver (a shipwrecked seagull) after repairing his U.F.O, he asks the player if they have ever seen "A space fox or a bounty hunter who can roll into a ball."
Someone at Sega must really like Metroid because the Japanese version of Phantasy Star 0 for the DS allows players to purchase the Power Beam. The weapon can be unlocked with the vendor machine code 6337-6325. The Power Beam is defined as a handgun and PSO-World (the source of these images) gives it a rating of 6/7 stars, making it one of the better weapons in the game. It's also very interesting to see Samus' arm cannon being used by schoolgirls. Thanks for the heads-up, Sasuke1986!
In the Metroidvania-inspired 2009 XBLA game Shadow Complex, the game offers some extra-difficult achievements called "Master Challenges" which go beyond the normal achievements offered in the game. Accomplishing these gives you no gamerscore; they're more for bragging rights. One of those achievements is called "Jason Bailey." An obvious take on the famous suitless Samus password, JUSTIN BAILEY, to achieve this Master Challenge, you must beat the game with 100% pickups in less than 2 hours. We don't have any screenshots to show, but you can definitely watch someone run through the challenge over on YouTube.
The good folks at Blizzard have crept in a very famous creature into the latest installment of their insanely popular RTS franchise, Starcraft II. In the 2v2 multiplayer map, "High Orbit," you can see a metroid-like creature encased in a tube. This is another one of very few Metroid cameos found in non-Nintendo games, so let us all be very thankful it's in there!
Raven Software's time-altering FPS, Singularity, has a huge Metroid reference in it. The reference is also associated with an achievement called "Mother my Brain Hurts!" We'll get to that in a moment.
In the game, you enter a derelict ship. The feeling you get in this ship is very reminiscent of the intro stage to Metroid Prime. In the ship you get a weapon called the "Dethex Launcher," which basically shoots out little balls that you can control and explode. The balls move around very reminiscent to the morph ball, as you can roll around and even jump with it before allowing it to detonate.
Once you get the gun, you need to shoot out a ball and move it through a small maze which allows you to open up a locked door nearby. Through this door is the main reference. There is a dead, shriveled body laying on a couch, holding a note which you can read here. Notice the initials at the bottom? There is a Chrono-Note (writings that were inscribed at a different point in time)on the wall that reads, "Mother my Brain Hurts!" Finally, there is a large glass tube to the left of the shriveled body, that, when you look closely, you can clearly see a very familiar, green jellyfish-like creature inside.
Feel free to watch the embedded YT video if the images aren't enough. Bravo, designers at Raven. This could successfully be the biggest Metroid reference in gaming history.
The developer of the Prime saga, Retro Studio's Donkey Kong Country Returns is no stranger to Metroid cameos. As of this writing, two cameos have been discovered. The first is in Level 6-7, "Tippy Shippy" where right at the beginning of the stage you can see some eerily familiar fossils embedded into the wall. Now could those be Parasites, or Leviathan Infants? Given the other fossilized fauna, it's also possible it could be a type of Eurypterid. The jury is out on that one...
The second can be seen in Level 7-1, "Foggy Fumes." Very far in the background we see the skull of that fan favorite miniboss, Crocomire. Other cameos in this level include Punch-Out, Donkey Kong, Game & Watch, and Super Mario Bros.
The third can be seen in Level 7-R, "Lift-Off Launch." At the very start of the level is a massive structure with three spinning concentric rings and an orb in the middle. Fans of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes will recognize this as the Main Dynamo from the Sanctuary Fortress. The orb in the center looks suspiciously similar to a Dark Aether portal...
Thanks for the cameos Retro! Can't wait to see what you guys come up with next.
Team Ninja, collaborators on Metroid: Other M created a special Metroid stage called the "Geothermal Power Plant" for Dead or Alive: Dimensions on the 3DS. The stage takes place in the thermal energy core on the Bottle Ship with a 3DS remix of Ridley's theme from Other M. Knock your opponents into the pit or beat them in the match to leave them to the mercy of Ridley, who will scrape them against the wall hardcore! There's no Freeze Gun escape clause this time! Samus can also appear and drops a Power Bomb to make a quick end to the fight. Thanks for the love, Yosuke Hayashi!
- To unlock the stage, you must complete all 6 courses in Arcade Mode.
- When playing the stage, blow, whistle, or speak into the microphone to summon Morph Ball Samus, who lays a power bomb.
- After the Power Bomb goes off, players' sides are switched.
- Pushing an opponent off the edge causes Ridley to pick them up and slam and grind them against the wall, and then blows a fireball at them, causing heavy damage.
- Ridley will also blow fireballs at the fighters while playing on the stage
The Nintendo 3DS Hardware comes with many different features and games, and among these features we find a few Metroid and Samus cameos.
The 3DS comes with a pre-installed software called "AR Games" which makes use of a small pack of cards that is also included. The function of these cards are used by the 3DS's twin-cameras, which recognize the shapes featured on the card and display a 3D model or game accordingly. Among the cards is a Samus card:
When the card is used with the "Star Pics" option, a 3D model of Other M Samus arises from the card (also playing the "Samus Appears" jingle). You can physically move the 3DS and look around the model of Samus or use the thumb stick to rotate and move the model, use X to enlarge/shrink, and use B to change her into 5 different poses, as seen below:
The AR Cards are NOT exclusive to the AR Games pre-installed 3DS game! For example, you can use the cards with Nintendogs & Cats, which will put a hat of the appropriate card on your dog/cat. For example, using the Mario card gives them a Mario hat, and using the Samus card gives them a Samus helmet. We can't wait to see what the future holds for this awesome feature, so be sure to keep checking back here for all its uses!
Another pre-installed game on the 3DS is called StreetPass, which centers around trading 3DS Miis with passers-by that may also own a 3DS via Wi-Fi. There is mini-RPG game called "Find Mii" in which you can earn special hats that your Mii can wear. Two of these hats are Metroid-related: Samus's Helmet, and a Metroid Hat. Check the pic below:
StreetPass Metroid Hats
The second mini game featured with the Mii StreetPass is called "Puzzle Mii," in which an image is split up into 15 square puzzle pieces arranged in a 5x3 grid. When you gain a Mii via StreetPass, if they have pieces that you do not have, they give one to you and you can eventually complete a puzzle. One of these puzzles features the Samus model from Metroid Other M. After the puzzle is complete, you can view the model in 3D, which lets you zoom and rotate around it in real-time. Metroid characters also appear in puzzles for Super Smash Bros. and Ultra NES Remix.
An unconfirmed reference can be seen in the kooky but deep, block-pushing, puzzle-platformer/relationship management game, Catherine. During the game, you can chat with people in a local bar which the main character, Vincent, goes to while hanging out with friends. Talking to these barflies allows you to gain insight into the game's story. One of the characters is named Justin Bailey, whose name remarkably coincides with the Suitless Samus Password from the original Metroid. It's unknown if the name is a direct reference to Metroid or that the developers of the game just thought the name sounded good, but it's definitely a strange coincidence. You can read more about Justin Bailey via the Catherine Wiki.
The moment you see the loading screen, you will instantly know: Arthur Lee's Escape From Puppy Death Factory is a love letter to the Metroid series. The game's main protagonist is Laika Ludryavka, code-named "K9", (A play on name of the first animal that orbited the earth) a cybernetic dog in an all-too-familiar looking power suit with a cannon, on a mission to save her cute puppy bretheren, who have been kidnapped, er, dognapped. The game's references to the Metroid series are rampant. When you start a new game, an ominous voice says "The last puppies are in captivity...SET THEM FREE." When her ship, MUTTNIK, lands on the planet's rainy surface, you should be in quite familiar territory. The game also has very clear musical references to the series soundtracks and true Metroid fans should definitely be able to take notice.
The gameplay in EFPDF is very Metroid-esque, but fortunately strays far from a traditional Metroid game, allowing it to set itself apart without fear from being labeled as a "rip off." Instead of running around, blasting enemies, and collecting powerups to progress futher, K9 uses her cannon to instantly swap herself with equally-sized objects or blocks in order to proceed. It becomes more of a puzzle-based game than an action-adventure, but it is also set in an open world. Metroid references aside, EFPDF is still an excellent flash game and one of the best you can find among Adult Swim's sea of game titles. Try to collect all 31 puppies for the best ending!
Stunlock Studios' Bloodline: Champions is a free-to-play, online PvP game. One of their newest characters is called the Metal Warden. The Metal Warden falls into the "tank" archetype (high damage/health, low mobility), sports immense shoulderpads and a large arm cannon (designated on her right arm), and is also undeniably sexy. Other than being female, she has a few things about her that are so similar to Samus that it's too close to be a coincidence.
The Metal Warden can not only shoot but charge her beam shots, do a high-jump attack, and can even roll into a ball (called the "Magnetic Orb") to attack her opponents. The VO in the embedded video even uses the word "morph" to describe the ball attack. The Metal Warden's affinity, however, is one based on molten metal, which allows it to fit within the realm of the fantasy-based universe of Bloodline:Champions. She's essentially the closest anyone could be to Samus in this game, and we have no problems with that. Watch the video below for the full run down!