the year is 1986 the NES is a hot item with tittles like mario, donkey kong 1-3, duck hunt, and legend of zelda. In the August of 1986 an incredibly important game was released in Japan for the first time, that game was Metroid. What makes metroid so special is the fact that is one of the earliest video games with a female lead. The point of the game is to recover all of the lost pieces of Samus Aran’s suit and to eradicate a dangerous species of creature known only as metroids. Metroid is a side scrolling shooter game which plays much like a “run and gun” expansion to super mario bros, however this game is much more than that. Metroid is classified as an adventure game and it sticks to its genre, think if castlvania were “partially open world” and you could explore whatever part of the game you wanted if you had the right power-ups.
The game starts with a brief summary of your mission, go to Zebes and destroy all Metroids, the player is then beamed down from their ship and is free to start exploring. When I was a kid I automatically assumed that Samus was a man, I think most people did, considering that at that early in the game you only see her suit. Through gameplay you strengthen your character by finding secret walls with power ups and defeating various badass bosses so by the end of the game you feel practically invincible. Until you get to the last section of Zebes, Tourian, which not only has all of the ferocious meteoroids but also the villainess Mother Brain. what strikes me about this game is the fact that females within gaming at this time are princesses who need rescuing and are almost never capable of defending themselves. As opposed to in the metroid series where both the protagonist and main antagonist are both super powerful females. Now going back to the how i said most people assumed Samus was a man until completing the game, if you completed the game quick enough and/or found enough items you would get to see Samus without her super suit at the end. This ending became a motif within the series as a whole. For a lot of players I’m sure that completing the game had come as a shock because they knew so little about the character they had just spent so much time playing as. To me as a kid it had been like the ending of the sixth sense, a crazy twist that i had never expected. The Metroid series has forever been one of my favorites and i believe it deserves credit for putting women on the map in gaming, something that is still somehow a radical idea in 2015 for some companies and individuals.