It’s hard to have a conversation about female characters in gaming without devoting a healthy amount of attention to trailblazer, Samus Aran. Not only did Nintendo decide to make the star of one of their flagship titles a woman, but it was an action-platformer at that.
Ever since its debut, Metroid has been making bold choices that get their audience’s attention. The series hasn’t always been at the height of popularity, but it’s a franchise that has remained alive and has inspired countless copycat titles.
The Metroid series has even become so popular that the character of Samus Aran has occasionally popped up in other titles. For example, there are two versions of the character in the Super Smash Bros. series.
Many people know the broad strokes of Samus Aran, which is typically the case with action heroes. These are characters that are on serious missions and usually don’t have time to casually chat with non-playable characters or impart cutesy tips.
While, Link engages everyone around him and Kirby often lets out one-liners of excitement, Samus runs and guns without hesitation.
Samus was largely meant to remain a cipher and her impressive actions spoke louder than any lengthy backstory.
However, throughout the years, more and more details about the legendary space bounty hunter have come to light. Samus still keeps her guard up and is a mystery to many around her, but the most observant of gamers have been able to see the hero for what she is.
With that said, here are the 30 Wild Details About Samus' Body!
30 30. She Was Originally A Man
Samus has certainly proven herself to be one of the most important and beloved heroines in Nintendo’s history. She marks a very important time for female characters in video games, which is why it’s so surprising to hear that Samus was originally going to be a man.
Metroid began with Samus as a male character, but Yoshio Sakamoto and his production team really hadn’t thought much of the character inside of the Power Suit.
It was only part way through the game’s production that the team had the idea that it would be an interesting reveal for players to discover that Samus was a woman at the end of the game.
It’s a surprising moment that really works.
29 She's Nintendo's Tallest Hero
Samus definitely looks like a tall character, but it wasn’t until Super Smash Bros. put her up against the rest of Nintendo’s roster that the height discrepancy between her and the other heroes really became clear.
Samus clocks in at six feet and three inches tall, which puts her well above most of Nintendo’s other protagonists like Link, Mario, or Kirby.
The only other real competitor here height-wise is Captain Falcon, but he's more of a racer, so perhaps the height of his vehicle should be looked at instead. Even still, an official height for Captain Falcon has never been stated.
28 She's A Very Skilled Acrobat
Samus has to put all sorts of skills to work in order to stay alive during her intergalactic bounty hunter missions.
One such area of expertise for Samus is that she’s capable of highly complicated aerial maneuvers, such as mid-air somersaults, wall-kicks, and ridiculous jumps off of unexpected surfaces. She’s incredibly resilient based off of her jumps alone.
Contrary to what some may believe, Samus’ Power Suit doesn't give her these aerial skills.
If anything, the suit actually works against her due to its extreme weight, which means that Samus' aerial skills are even better than what players often see.
27 Her Beauty Mark Is Canon
It may seem a little strange to discuss the identifying facial marks of a character that predominantly keeps her face hidden under a metallic helmet, but it’s surprisingly become a topic of debate for Metroid fans.
Metroid: Other M played fast and loose with the Metroid franchise in many ways.
The title makes Samus’ face a lot more prominent and fans were surprised — some were even outraged — that Samus had a beauty spot near her chin.
However, Yoshio Sakamoto came to its defense and said that the mark has always been there, but it was just impossible to see until graphics improved to this point.
26 She Suffers From PTSD
Samus Aran does an amazing job keeping the galaxy safe from danger, but it’s hard for that type of work to not leave an impression on someone.
Samus is usually able to soldier through and often remains stoic throughout her adventures, but this somewhat changed in the controversial Metroid: Other M.
Metroid: Other M, for better or worse, explores the more fragile, emotional side of Samus Aran.
It can’t be easy for her to constantly have to face Ridley, since he's apparently responsible for wiping out Samus' parents and the two share a bitter rivalry.
He's her ultimate enemy and they’re deeply linked in this personal way.
25 She Absorbs The Energy Of Her Fallen Foes
Instruction manuals for old video games can often be brilliant sources for weird trivia. The instruction manual for the original Metroid is no exception and it contains a treasure trove of weird tidbits and pieces of information.
The manual outlines how any power-up that Samus collects, whether it's health or ammo, actually gets absorbed directly into Samus' Power Suit.
The idea here is that these power-ups are actually the remaining energy particles of defeated enemies that are getting repurposed into Samus.
Metroid Prime outlines this science a little more in-depth and even shows the painful side of this absorption process.
24 She Has Chozo DNA
Samus has gone through a lot in her life. For instance, she is infused with Chozo DNA at a very young age, which is what allows her to be such a formidable fighter.
It’s unclear if Samus would have such a capacity for battle if it wasn’t for the Chozo DNA.
However, since this DNA has been in her for the bulk of her life, it’s hard to think of a version of Samus Aran that isn’t part Chozo.
The Metroid manga gets a little deeper into the origins of Samus' Chozo DNA, but the science behind her hybrid ways is still largely left to the imagination.
23 She Has An Evil Twin
Dark Samus is a major antagonist in both Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Dark Samus is an intense concentration of Phazon energy that goes on to take the form of Samus Aran after her Phazon Suit and DNA mix with the remains of Metroid Prime in a pool of Phazon.
Samus comes in contact with this Phazon and this evil twin is born.
Dark Samus quickly develops its own sinister personality and tries to wipe out the original Samus from the equation.
Dark Samus is arguably a much bigger threat than Samus Aran-X, as Dark Samus actually learns and grows, whereas SA-X feels like more of a direct copy.
22 She’s No Longer Human
Samus is definitely one of the most genetically complicated characters to come around for Nintendo. While she looks like a totally normal human, if her blood were to be examined under a microscope, it would tell a very different story.
Samus was born a human, but not far into her life, she was infused with Chozo DNA.
If that weren’t enough, she later gets infected with the dangerous X Parasite in Metroid Fusion.
The way to cure this infection is to inject Samus with Metroid DNA.
It works, but she now has Chozo, Metroid, and X Parasite genetic material inside of her, not to mention an unhealthy amount of Phazon, too.
21 She Is Immune To The X Parasite
Metroid Fusion introduces a new biological threat to Samus Aran, and the game even goes so far as to infect her with it.
Metroid Fusion sees Samus get infected by the X Parasite. After this, she begins to suffer from the life-threatening side effects.
In a last ditch effort to save Samus’ life, her DNA is infused with Metroid DNA, which is able to stave off the X Parasite infection. Not only does tSamus heal, but this process also makes her immune to the X Parasite.
Additionally, Samus also gains the ability to absorb X Parasites for more energy, which is a handy trick.
20 There Is A Clone Of Her
In Metroid Fusion, Samus' major antagonist is an X Parasite that copies her DNA and becomes an evil clone of her known as Samus Aran-X.
The X Parasite is able to mimic Samus' genetic makeup after their initial encounter on Planet SR388 when her Power Suit initially gets infected.
The Galactic Federation is able to remove the infected portions of the Power Suit, both those are what go off to form the Samus clone.
SA-X has all of Samus' abilities and makes use of many of her trademark attacks, while she also provides her own unique spin on some of Samus’ abilities.
Let’s hope that Samus Aran-X and Dark Samus never decide to team up.
19 She Used To Have A Crippling Weakness To Cold Temperatures
Samus’ life has taken some interesting turns, but she’s always been a character that can effectively roll with the punches. She often has to adapt to new biological changes and it must not be an easy transition sometimes.
For example, after Samus is injected with Metroid DNA to stave off the X Parasite, she survives her infection, but she adopts a number of traits of the Metroid as a result.
This includes their severe weakness to the cold and low temperatures.
This plagues Samus throughout Metroid Fusion until she's able to absorb the energy essence of her evil dopplëganger, Samus Aran-X, which finally removes this disadvantage.
18 She's Skilled In Combat Training And Close-Quarters Defense
There are a lot of tough characters from Nintendo’s many intellectual properties, but Samus faces especially difficult enemies as she polices space’s roughest threats.
Samus has a hefty arsenal of weapons at her disposal, but even without the missiles and bombs, she’s still an incredible fighter.
Metroid: Other M introduces a physical combat component to the Metroid games, but the 3DS remake of Metroid II, Samus Returns, adds a melee combat component to Samus' attacks.
They show off the strength and skill that she packs, and even the character's counterattacks do reasonable damage.
17 Her Body Gets Shrunken Down In The Morph Ball
One of Samus’ most iconic maneuvers is the Morph Ball technique that’s crucial to get into those awkward, tight places.
Many gamers just rolled with Samus’ cool power-up rather and chose not to question how it worked, but Nintendo has actually provided some answers on the matter.
Both Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Prime contain art that prove that Samus is actually somehow inside of the tiny Morph Ball.
The Power Suit shrinks Samus down to get through tiny passages.
She's surprisingly resilient to be able to withstand such shrinkage and growth at a moment's notice.
16 Earth's Gravity Doesn't Bother Her
Samus may be a human, but she didn’t grow up on Earth. In fact, Samus Aran’s youth was spent on the Chozo homeworld, Planet Zebes.
Zebes is different from Earth in a number of ways, but one of the most drastic changes is its gravity.
On Zebes, gravity is 960 times greater than that of Earth.
Unsurprisingly, Samus is pretty nimble in the air, especially when she’s on a planet with gravity comparable to Earth.
Samus is pretty much walking on air and this aversion to gravity also explains the character's exaggerated jump. On Earth, Samus' standard jump would be nearly fifty feet high. Take that, Mario brothers.
15 She Was Modeled After Kim Basinger
Samus Aran has developed her own distinct look as the Metroid series has evolved through the years. That being said, during the series’ infancy, Samus’ look during her pixelated days actually pulled inspiration from a famous actress.
This resemblance was pretty superficial, but it’s still interesting.
Additionally, Samus’ storyline and arc would eventually closely resemble Ellen Ripley’s trajectory through the Alien movie series.
14 Her Hair Color Has Changed
Samus has a number of incredible skills and even more accomplishments under her space belt, but let’s take a second to talk about her hair color.
It’s not unusual for video game characters to go through revisions during production or while its game series is growing.
It’s important for characters to grow and remain dynamic, but sometimes those changes can also exist purely on a superficial level.
Samus' hair is brown in the original Metroid (and green, technically, when in the Varia Suit), but when Super Metroid came around, she became a blonde.
This is the color that sticks moving forward -- at least until the next change.
13 She Was Raised By Chozo
There are many unique factors that have come together to shape Samus Aran. It’s impossible to say that, if Samus had a “conventional” childhood, she would still be the legendary figure that she is today.
Samus became an orphan at a young age and was raised by two members of the Chozo race.
The ancient species taught Samus their noble ways and gave her a place of refuge from future space pirate attacks. Not only did the Chozos treat Samus like their own and instill her with important skills and values, but they’re also responsible for her iconic Power Suit.
The Chozos bestow Samus with this honor as the ultimate graduation gift.
12 It Was Widely Believed That Her Arm Cannon Was A Prosthetic Limb
Since the Metroid series takes place in the future where there are all sorts of technical advancements, it feels like pretty much anything is possible within the science of the games.
In spite of how crazy Samus’ weapons become, the logic behind them never gets questioned due to the series’ timeline in the future.
There was a fan theory that made waves several years ago that stated that Samus' arm cannon was actually a space age replacement for her real arm that was lost in some prior accident.
It's a fun idea and it lined up with the earlier Metroid titles, but once Zero Suit Samus came along, it was clear that Nintendo decided not to take this route.
11 She Has A Very High Intelligence
Sometimes there are heroes in video games that excel in some areas, but are inept in other departments. Fortunately, Samus Aran is the whole package.
Samus' exact IQ is never officially listed, but it stands to reason that she's one of Nintendo's smartest characters due to the variety of missions that she’s pulled off.
Her space travel requires advanced intellect and problem solving skills, and the mere fact that she's a bounty hunter requires investigative skills that not everyone has.
Samus carries out a lot of technical assignments that she never falters at, and when the character begins to talk in Metroid: Other M, she carries herself with a level of intelligent sophistication.
10 She Learned How To Crawl Very Late In Life
There are a number of skills and abilities that many people would deem impossible that Samus handles without breaking a sweat.
In spite of the fact that many difficult tasks that don’t phase Samus, there’s a rather simple motion that the character wasn’t able to perform until much later in the franchise.
Samus doesn’t crawl.
The original reason why her Morph Ball technique was created was because the game couldn't figure out how to make the character crawl.
This creative solution became a popular move and ended up sticking around.
That being said, Samus was eventually given the ability to crawl in Metroid: Zero Mission’s original epilogue sequence.
9 Zero Suit Samus Is Still In A Suit
Samus was almost exclusively seen within her Power Suit until the advent of Zero Suit Samus came along and provided a less bulky alternative.
The Super Smash Bros. series went as far as separating these versions of Samus into two entirely different characters rather than seeing them as two sides of the same person.
While it may seem that Zero Suit Samus is simply Samus outside of her Power Suit, it's actually a separate suit altogether that's just considerably sleeker.
Though the Power Suit has a strong arsenal at its command, the Zero Suit focuses more on agility and dexterity.
It amplifies its user's maneuverability and is helpful in a different way than the Power Suit.
8 She is The Chozo's Chosen One
Samus definitely has a personal relationship with the Chozo race. There’s even a touching moment in Metroid Prime when Samus enters the Chozo Ruins and quietly reflects on her lost surrogate people.
The Chozo take a young Samus under their wing, but they have grand plans for the child.
The Chozo adopt Samus and infuse her with their DNA because they believe that she's the Ultimate Warrior of their people.
In fact, the word "Metroid" in Chozo actually means "Ultimate Warrior."
The Chozo vigorously train Samus for this "birthright," and once their race is wiped out, Samus is very much alive to avenge them and carry out her destiny.
7 Her Fusion Suit Is Basically A Second Skin
If David Cronenberg had to pick his favorite suit from the Metroid canon, he’d absolutely go with the Fusion Suit.
Metroid Fusion’s Fusion Suit may look like an exciting new weapon for Samus to master, but it’s actually a lot more intimidating than that.
Samus’ Fusion Suit is much less a physical power suit and more akin to an organic shell that fuses itself to Samus' body and then takes over as the exterior -- almost like some Venom-like symbiote in suit form.
It's like a sentient exoskeleton, which is frightening since it's a mostly permanent union.
6 Her Parents Were Also Space Pirates
There aren’t many details on Samus’ parents and what happened to the bounty hunters who came before her, but Nintendo has still been able to fill in a few details when possible.
Nintendo Power actually contained a Metroid comic called “Blood of the Chozo” that explores Samus’ parents, Chief Avram Aran and Captain Thea Aran.
Her parents meet their end in during a space pirate attack on human colony K-2L.
Curiously, the 2002 manga that recounts Samus' life covers similar ground, but says that her parents' names were Rodney and Virginia instead.
5 She Has Four Secrets Abilities That Are Hidden In Super Metroid
The Metroid series is full of secrets and surprises, but in the Super Nintendo classic, Samus actually has four hidden abilities that aren’t advertised within the game or the instruction manual.
As a result of experimenting with your inventory and Power Bombs, it’s possible to change the blast of Samus’ charge shot into four wildly different effects.
These new weapons are the Spazer Beam, Ice Beam, Wave Beam, and Plasma Beam.
In addition to these new skills, there’s an even more difficult maneuver to master called Crystal Flash, which allows Samus to regain health without visiting a charge station, but it comes at the expense of her ammo.
4 She Has Metroid DNA
Samus has experienced a number of crazy events throughout her adventures, but the ending of Metroid Fusion might top the chart.
The game adds Metroid DNA to Samus’ genetic cocktail, and from that point on, there’s no turning back for the series.
This is really a last resort, as Samus’ body is about to fail her, but her Metroid pal back from Metroid II gets turned into a cure to keep her alive.
Curiously, even though Samus looks like her old self, she's technically a Metroid that just looks like a human being.
Until there's a substantial story set after Metroid Fusion, this mystery lives on.
3 She Has A Younger Brother Named Solomon Aran
Within Nintendo Power’s interactive online story, “Blood of the Chozo,” fans discover that Samus actually has a younger brother named Solomon Aran.
Solomon is allegedly missing with the assumption that he shared the same unfortunate fate as Samus’ parents, but it’s possible that he’s still out there somewhere.
It’d actually be interesting to see a side character like this appear in one of Metroid’s more ancillary titles, like Metroid Prime Hunters or Federation Force.
He’s not the kind of character that should lead a franchise, but he’d at least be more interesting than some generic space pirate, and he'd probably provide more information about Samus' origins.
2 Her Screw Attack Works Through A Series Of Energy Waves
Samus has a number of ridiculous abilities that she can perform. However, many fans just enjoy the mayhem of these weapons rather than attempting to understand them.
As crazy as Samus' famous Screw Attack is, though, the Metroid games have actually explained the science behind how it works and what it does to Samus' body in the process.
In the case of the Screw Attack, Samus’ Power Suit releases a series of energy waves around her body that act as a barrier that allows her to somersault and attack her enemies.
The waves create high, condensed speeds that propel Samus, whether this be through the air or into an enemy.
1 The Mental Strain Of Her Power Suit
Many people may consider Samus’ Power Suit to be her greatest asset, but it turns out that the relationship between the two is actually quite complicated.
Yoshio Sakamoto did an interview in relation to Metroid: Zero Mission where he revealed that the Power Suit requires incredible mental energy that is too much to bear for the average person.
It's even initially too much for Samus until she undergoes the proper Chozo trials.
This idea seems to be followed up in Metroid: Other M, where at times it looks like Samus is losing her grasp on the Power Suit and that it might actually disappear.
If Samus can't properly concentrate, then her suit will vanish.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Metroid's Samus' body? Sound off in the comments!