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HomeGamingIf you loved Metroid Dread, Metroid Fusion is where the story starts

If you loved Metroid Dread, Metroid Fusion is where the story starts


In 2002, Metroid fans learned a lot more about the series’ mysterious heroine Samus Aran. On November 18 of that year, the first-person shooter took place Metroid prime – developed by Retro Studios and recently remastered for the Nintendo Switch – puts players in the suit of Samus for the first time, allowing them to scan her environment, enemies and objects and learn more about Metroids, the infamous Space Pirates and the ancient alien Chozo race that raised Samus. But the day before Scoop‘s debut, called a 2D platformer Metroid fusion came out on the Game Boy Advance, and it was this game that really got players into Samus’ head.

In Metroid fusion, available today as part of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription, Samus may not technically be allowed to speak, but she’s finally getting a voice. In diary-like text logs about her enemies and the strange space station AI she nicknames “Adam” (after a former commander who gave his life to save hers), Samus Aran reveals more than ever before about her emotional state, her past and her journey forward. The game’s storyline may seem sparse to modern players accustomed to chatty protagonists, but compared to previous Metroid games, Fusion represented a huge change. The laconic heroine had previously been a cipher, an object onto which players could project their own feelings. In FusionSamus reveals her own feelings in her short, haunting messages.

Image: Nintendo

Recorded in a journal entry in the game manual, she describes the planet SR388 – the birthplace of the Metroids – as “that deserted rock,” an expression full of refreshing, relatable enmity at the horrors she has repeatedly experienced there. In Fusion‘s opening text crawl – another first-person monologue from Samus – she gets philosophical about how the Metroid species have both chased and rescued her. In fact, the DNA of a baby Metroid she once spared (during Metroid 2) who saved her from the brink of death at the beginning of death Fusion: “I survived, reborn as something else. When I think about this fact, I realize…that I owe the Metroid twice my life.”

By means of FusionSamus also ponders the nature of the AI ​​that keeps giving her orders – a conceit that returns in the Metroid fearwhich is a direct sequel to the events of Fusion. This overarching plot point has a huge emotional payoff at the end Wireand nevertheless Wire‘s story works well, even for players who have no experience yet Fusionit hits much harder for those who have.

The story details aren’t the only reason for that Wire fans to play Fusion, although. It is also a showcase of the early design concepts and sensibilities that later appeared in Wire – in particular, the Fusion enemy SA-X, pursuing Samus with relentless determination. Ahead of the release of Metroid fearPolygon spoke with Yoshio Sakamoto, director and producer of several major Metroid games, about Wire‘s deadly EMMI robots, which took direct inspiration from Fusion and the SA-X chase scene: “The whole concept hasn’t changed in these 15 years. Truly, it was that Samus, this mighty warrior, would face an overwhelming foe that would pursue her. That was the idea.”

Samus Aran targets an EMMI in Metroid Dread

Image: MercurySteam, Nintendo

Neither Metroid fusion nor Wire are exactly scary – although they have some stressful moments up close, following the 1979 horror film Alien, which inspired the first game. Like Alien and sci-fi space horror games like Empty space, Fusion is much more linear and tightly plotted than other Metroid games, with Samus venturing into key areas one at a time, rather than unlocking a huge map over time through backtracking. That pace is another big reason why Fusion is so different from other Metroid games; it’s an unusual choice that brings out Samus Aran’s personal thoughts even more, as each individual area involves a new conversation with the AI, or perhaps a new journal from Samus. It is these additional details, as well as the deviations from the Metroid formula, that cause it Fusion still worth playing today.

Given the success of Metroid fearand the reintroduction of Metroid prime and now Metroid fusion on Switch, it’s all the more frustrating that several excellent Metroid games are still missing from current hardware. Although the original Metroid by 1987 is available through Switch Online services, the much more player-friendly GBA remake No mission remains hidden in the eShop (except via the Wii U’s Virtual Console). Meanwhile, the Game Boy classic Metroid 2: Samus returns was added to the Switch last month, which only made fans clamor louder for MercurySteams Metroid 2 redo, Sam returns, to get its own Switch port. (It was originally released on the 3DS.) Last, but certainly not least, what about the Nintendo DS classic Metroid Prime pinball machinethe best use ever of Samus Aran’s morph ball??

That said, with so many Metroid games now readily available on modern devices, it’s hard to complain much. After Metroid fear fans end FusionHowever, I suspect they want more. Hopefully, Nintendo will heed that inevitable call.

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