Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Metroid Series

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There are times where I don’t know what to make of the Metroid series. It wasn’t a game series I dabbled in until the age of the Nintendo Wii, when the Virtual Console came into existence and let me play all the old NES and SNES games I missed out on. I finally got a chance to play the original Metroid and the fan-favorite Super Metroid, and I liked both games a lot. But at the same time, I didn’t go crazy over Super Metroid like so many people do.

I want to say Metroid isn’t one of my favorite game series. But at the same time, I kept playing the games. I loved playing all the main console Metroid Prime titles, and I enjoyed Metroid: Other M immensely despite the game’s status of ‘worst Metroid game ever’ it tends to have. Heck, one day while I was in college I walked through a snow storm to the local game shop just to buy a Metroid II cartridge (which turns out is my favorite Metroid game), dragging my best friend along with me and torturing us both with the frigid winds. True story.

So yeah, I guess I do like Metroid a lot more than I really think I do, if that makes any sense. At the very least, I like the games enough that I really would like to see more Metorid Characters make it onto the Smash Bros roster. And let’s face it, the Metroid representation in Smash is… almost pitiful.

Bounty Hunter and Metroid heroine Samus Aran was one of the original 12 Smash Bros fighters. But for whatever reason, the number of Metroid characters on the Smash roster has only grown by one since 1999. And that second Metroid character is a second version of Samus. If you as me, it’s about darn time the Metroid series gets it’s dues and gets more characters on the fighting scene.

But who should be selected? There are a lot of iconic Metroid characters, after all. It should be someone BIG. Someone LARGE and in charge. The character they pick has to be a HUGE deal to make it into Smash! They’d have to be a GIANT among-

Yeah, the punchline is that it’s Ridley.

CharacterChecklistRidley

I KNOW, I KNOW! Some of you reading this are already rolling your eyes. The reason Ridley isn’t in Smash Bros by now is clear: he’s too big! Despite the fact that Ridley is one of the most iconic of Nintendo bad guys, he can’t be in Smash Bros because he’s just too huge of a monster.

Even series creator Masahiro Sakurai himself stated that if they put Ridley in Smash, he wouldn’t be Ridley anymore once they were done with him. He would have to be scaled down in size, he would have to have his wingspan shrunk, and he wouldn’t be able to fly around freely like the menace that he is in his home series. Instead, they turned Ridley into a Boss the the Subspace Emissary and a Stage Hazard on the Pyrosphere stage in Smash Bros for Wii U. That way, Ridley stays true to his character, and he gets to be in Smash Bros in some form. I mean, If you can’t adapt a character faithfully, then what’s the point of making them a playable fighter?

But… COME OOOOON! It’s Ridley! Who in their right mind WOULDN’T want to play as Ridley in Smash? And if this game series has taught me anything, it’s that any character can be turned into a proper playable fighter if you try hard enough. Custom mods for Smash Bros games have proved time and time again that Ridley CAN be adapted for Smash Bros into a believable playable fighter. Sure, he’s still a gigantic monster of a character. But I think that would make for an interesting dynamic: a character that’s both huge and powerful, but at the same time is a wildly easy target for everyone to hit. It could work! Please, Sakurai? PLEEEEAAASE?

Okay, in all seriousness, I do know that a playable Ridley in an official Smash title will probably never happen. But this creates a problem: if you can’t have Ridley as a Smash Bros fighter, then who CAN you have? The most well known and recognizable Metroid characters you could pair up with Samus are almost all giant monster creatures just like Ridley.

Thankfully, I think I have the perfect choice: a Metroid villain that is both iconic to the series AND is human-sized who would fit perfectly into free-for-all combat. And that character is Dark Samus!

CharacterChecklistDarkSamus.png

I do realize that having a third Samus on the Smash Bros roster sounds redundant. But Dark Samus is much more than another form of Samus: she is the reincarnation of the titular Metroid Prime, and serves as the main antagonist of the original Metroid Prime Trilogy. And with a fourth main-series Prime title coming to Nintendo Switch, it would be the perfect opportunity to bring the character back to the spotlight and make her playable in Smash Bros. She was good enough to be an Assist Trophy, so becoming a combatant is the next logical step!

The biggest question about the character would be how to differentiate her from both normal Samus and Zero Suit Samus. While regular Samus is focused more on combat strength and projectiles, Zero Suit Samus sports an emphasis on moving and attacking quickly. So how would Dark Samus operate? I envision her as a best of both worlds: quick and powerful, giving her a brutal fighting style suiting the character’s nature.

I can see her easily being an ultra violent and vicious sort of fighter. The kind of fighter who launches volleys of projectiles, shoots Phazon point-blank in her opponents faces with her grab attacks, and isn’t afraid to beat you completely senseless if you get too close to her. While a lot of Smash characters have a goofiness or a wild personality to them, it would interesting to have a character who’s one goal is to outright destroy everything in their way, not caring about much else.

But how would you balance out a completely brutal character? Again, mixing together how Samus and Zero Suit Samus function would be a good way to do it. Dark Samus would be a floaty and relatively light-weight character, making her easy to knock around. And at the same time, her attacks could be given little impact to offset a high-damage fighting style. It would make you have to work a bit for KOs. It would be a tough balancing act when it comes to designing the character, but I think it could work out overall.

And as an added bonus, Dark Samus could have an alternate costume of another ‘Evil Samus’. The villain from Metroid Fusion known as SA-X is every bit of a brutal threat as Dark Samus is, and fitting the two together as a joined Smash character would be just awesome. It would also be a great gift for long time fans of the series! I haven’t even played Metroid Fusion, and I still really want to see that happen.

And that’s really all I have to say about that. I think both Ridley and Dark Samus would make fantastic entrants into Smash. But do the lovely people out there have any other Metroid character suggestions? Be sure to let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear all your ideas.

Till next time, Sparky is signing off!

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