If Nintendo won’t celebrate Metroid’s 30th anniversary, we will

What’s your favorite Metroid memory?

There is a part of me that can’t believe the original Metroid came out 30 years ago today. 30 years of exploration, epic boss battles, haunting music… and not a blip of acknowledgement from Nintendo. No special website, no anniversary game release, no Metroid specific sale on the eShop, not even a damn Tweet at the time of this writing. We do get Federation Force later this month, so I guess that’s something for those of us who haven’t been shotgunning the “haterade” every time that game is brought up.

Given Nintendo’s history of failing to celebrate milestones such as these, it’s not a surprise. And if you want to pay tribute to Samus and her many adventures, you can do so by downloading the freshly released Metroid 2 fan remake, rewatching this excellent fan film, checking out some of the sexiest cosplay ever, or binging on the definitely non-Streamy Award-winning series Samus and Sagat. Nintendo may not have a lot of love for the series, but its fans sure as hell do, including this one.

I have played every game in the series, from the superb Metroid: Zero Mission to the wonderfully silly Metroid Prime Pinball. Hell, I’m even a defender of Other M even though I could spend a day telling you about all of its problems. Metroid has been a part of my gaming fabric since the SNES days when I first got Super Metroid. Not only is that one of the best games I’ve ever played, but it’s also the focal point of my favorite gaming memory.

Back in my younger days when I still went to church, my brother and I found ourselves slowly working through Super Metroid. We’d never played the original (and I wouldn’t until around 2010), so the concept of this now familiar Metroidvania-style of gameplay was foreign to us. I’ll admit it, we got lost… a lot. I can now safely beat this game in about five hours, but back in 1994, it took the two of us weeks.

The only way we were able to complete the game was with the help of two guys in our youth group who had already beaten it. Each Sunday we would talk to them to find out what we had to do next, go home and do that, get stuck and repeat the process next Sunday. My brother and I rarely got along as kids, so this time of us huddled on the couch together, following the carefully laid out instructions on how to proceed and celebrating when we did, is no doubt my warmest gaming memory. It never fails to bring a smile to my face and it would never have happened had Yoshio Sakamoto and his team at R&D 1 not decided to make the planet of Zebes as intricate as they possibly could. It also helped that we were both pretty gaming-stupid back then.

That’s my favorite Metroid memory. What’s yours?

CJ Andriessen
Just what the internet needs: yet another white guy writing about video games.