Friday, August 20, 2010

In Space, No One Can Hear You... Kill Giant Jellyfish

Metroid has been capturing the imaginations of video gamers for 24 years.

Now, as the franchise prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Nintendo is promoting their upcoming title, Metroid: Other M, with a video (partial) retrospective of the series to date.

Within the video, it proves remarkable the complexity of the ideas that can be hidden amongst ideas that are remarkably simplistic.

Even as the video explains it, Samus fights alien Space Pirates in order to prevent them from exploiting an alien species known as the Metroids in order to dominate the galaxy. The Metroid species has remarkable properties that can be used to produce biological weapons.

Using a cybernetic lifeform known as Mother Brain -- the last remnants of a race known as the Chozo -- the Space Pirates plan to complete this foul act.

The only solution for Samus is to destroy not only Mother Brain, but also all the Metroids.

Ultimately, the only way to prevent the galaxy from suffering the scourge of a devastating biological weapon is to commit genocide against an entire species.

Yet even after believing she had exterminated the very last of the Metroids, Samus discovers that she can still become emotionally attached to one -- as she seems to become attached to the last survivor of the species, a baby that has mistaken her for its mother.

The plot of the Metroid series is uniquely mature for one born of an era in which the game's nearest contemporaries were the Super Mario Brothers. Like The legend of Zelda, Metroid would further grow in complexity as video games themselves became ever-more complex.

In fact, the dilemma posed by Metroid is one that remains valid in the real world today, where biological weapons of horrifying nature continue to exist.

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