Monday, September 20th, 2021

Soapbox: Super Metroid showed me that I have the right to survive


© Nintendo

My first experience with the Metroid series was relatively unremarkable: I just bought Super Metroid for my SNES. At that time, a brand new SNES game was something you could buy in a local store.

I took its oversized box home, looked through the glamorous player guide, and found something strange-the protagonist Sams Alan on the cover is wearing thick red and yellow armor, facing an angry monster full of teeth. Shooting, described as “her”. And it’s not a one-time typo—”her”, “her” and “heroine” keep appearing in more than seventy pages of the guide, as if the character is exploring this harsh planet and performing all the cool The action illustration is really a girl.

I checked the artwork again-thick armor, no pyramidal breastplate or cleavage windows. Not only was she carrying a gun, but her entire right arm was surrounded by cannons, apparently carrying out a serious science fiction horror adventure alone…

I was shocked. Sams Allan is a girl? Really?

No, not quite-Samus Aran is a Ms.

This revelation will shock me as early as the summer of 1994, which means that I was an enthusiastic almost teenage girl trying to find a sense of belonging to myself, and on the basis of mainstream advertising, there was no problem surrounding masturbation innuendo. , Exercise with exclusive language, and don’t put it too high, the great boobies.The game is played by boys Men, I either stay and accept this unchanging fact, or return to a girl my age should like (I still don’t know what girls should like-I think I missed that special memo).

At this time I had to learn to be reluctantly grateful to people like Chunli and Blazerfield-what am I complaining about? They can all fight and don’t wear pink skirts. What else do I want?

At this time, I had to learn to be grateful to people like Chunli in Street Fighter II and Flame Fielding in Angry Street; both characters were cut from the same “fast but weak” fabric , Both use “reward” panties shots as part of their standard animation routines, and both are designed as secondary options in the games they create. Is it that or nothing-what am I complaining about anyway? They can all fight and don’t wear pink skirts. What else do I want?

There are many ways to express what I want: “representation” and “equality” are mature framing methods, but it really boils down to the simplest and most complex things-I want the game to be Fair. I don’t want to make the only choice or tell myself that my clumsy character wears as little clothes as possible because “she wants”, and I am cautiously questioning whether leather thongs are the standard ninja jacket.

I want Sams; a bounty hunter from the future flying alone, carrying a gun, who never thought of spinning and jumping in lava, shooting in the face of alien space pirates, and considering escaping from a suit before the space station exploded A space station full of dead bodies. A compelling opening remark-a prelude to a real adventure.

This is why Samus shocked me. Because she is fair.

There may not be much in common between a person who blows up huge alien brains and a young girl living in the UK, and as the character develops, she is covered up so silent, except for short clips , She hardly has any background story mentioned in the guide, but through her, I can see my future, for women, in my very passionate hobby. She is a real substitute, not the thin technicality of the “warrior” portrait in a bikini that is optional in creating your own adventurer first-person RPG, but in the front business of one of the largest SNES games. Developer publisher.

Sams proved that someone like me may not be the princess of the castle, the prize of a hero, or the charming fantasies of adolescent boys

Sams proved that people like me may not be the princesses of the castle, the prizes of heroes, or the charming fantasies of adolescent boys-people like me can stamp their feet in the rain of an alien world, can draw vitality from us in a hostile environment Attacked by strange creatures that can pass through hidden vents, or fast-running enemies pop up When we touch them, the soft walls collapse in front of our unstoppable forces.

But it is not just a fast but weak extreme opposite: Sams is also not a face-to-face “Grrl”; she is not the incarnation of the “Girl Power” movement that began to make waves in the mid-90s, and she neither wants to be my lover, nor Don’t want me to be with her friends-she just quietly used to be. She proved her existence and did what she did best-bombing things with missiles and fighting Ridley to death (again)-enough to be a reason for her to be a woman; no excuses, explanations, or actions I keep this in mind as a reluctant substitute for “real” heroes. If it’s all right for Samus to be here and be her uncompromising self, then maybe it’s all right for me.

Of course, there are of course reasonable criticisms of Metroid, Sams, and Nintendo’s continued handling of the series and its stars. Players who have performed well in many classic Metroid games are usually rewarded by seeing Samus getting undressed, which feels completely inconsistent with the self-sufficient Chozo-raised hunter character they just finished the game, and her current description is in ” I will eliminate the most dangerous threat to the galaxy alone” and “I will do whatever Adam orders me to do under any circumstances.”

Super Metroid (67)

We will have to wait and see how she performs in the upcoming Metroid Fear, but in general, this series is more correct than wrong, and Sams himself still feels no less hope People like me; the heroine is not only in her own world, but also in our world.