Anonymous asked: Wait, "beauty aspect has always been a part of Metroid"? What? What part of the atmosphere and sci fi setting had THAT?
I perhaps worded that badly - The beauty aspect has always been part of Samus’s character ever since she removed her helmet and let her flowing locks wave in the breeze, while wearing a bikini.
But, continuing the beauty contrast angle - there’s beauty in the worlds she visits, as dangerous as they are. Phendrana Drifts comes to mind especially, but most fit in. The Metroids themselves are veiny, brainy jellyfish, but in the right light, they’re cute, and there’s a sublime kind of beauty there too, especially considering the larvae. It’s just about seeing things in a different light, seeing what’s beneath the surface, and seeing things as they could be rather than what they’re perceived to be.
That’s not universal in all things in the Metroid series - Mother Brain is as monstrous as she is ugly, as are her major minions. But then again, she was originally seen as a boon to her world - a helpful influence that could do great things. And then, they saw her real self.
So yeah, all about what lies under the shell, and who they really are underneath.
I wouldn’t quite agree here. I agree that the Metroid series is all about environments and ecosystems, and indeed I would argue the real characterisation of the games is done of worlds, not of people. Samus’ character is quite undefined: but I know an awful lot about the unique appearance, atmosphere, and character of Zebes, of Tallon IV, of Aether, of SR388, of Elysia, or of any other of the worlds visited.
Often the investigation of those worlds does involve a contrast between superficial beauty and very real danger, though I’m not sure I’d say that’s central. I don’t think Zebes is beautiful, as such. But Zebes is a world that’s getting on perfectly fine on its own, in which you are an intruder. Metroids are intruders as well – and outside cartoon depictions I don’t think they’re cute or beautiful at all – but have taken over to such a point that you are still an intruder in a strange land. The Metroids were part of the ecosystem of SR388. Even on Zebes, the Pirates’ base and all their technology was so closely integrated into the natural ecosystem of the planet as to seem as if it had always been there. Even in Fusion, where there is no natural environment, you are still disturbing a structured environment that doesn’t need you, and the gradual failure of the station’s artificial containment systems to prevent the spread of the X ecosystem underlines the entire game.
I would question the significance of Samus’ character overall, because I don’t think Samus as a person is centralised in the Metroid games. (Except for, reports tell me, in the one game we don’t talk about.) When I’m playing Super Metroid or Metroid Prime, I am not concentrating on Samus. In the 3D games, I can’t even see her. I’m focusing on the environment. Samus is a tool through which I vicariously explore the game environment. In a way, Samus is more like the mascot of the Metroid series than its main character. Whenever I play a game in the series, I am the person in the armour.
This isn’t to say I don’t have ideas about Samus as a person, and I’ve talked about that at great length; just to say that I don’t think she as a person is the key focus. The worlds are more important.