Metroid Dread: A Girl Is A Gun: How Violence Lives In the Body of a Girl
Metroid Fear has been called by Nintendo an end to Samus Aran’s adventures. It concludes a series of narrative beats, themes, and themes introduced in Metroid on the NES. Her character emerges unexpectedly as Samus’ battle with the Metroid parasitic alien Metroids draws to a close. Although Samus’ character is not open to much beyond her inscrutable helmet and gun arm, Metroid Dread offers critical insights into her past and her true nature as well as her bodily autonomy. Metroid games in the past have relied on Samus as a quiet protagonist. Dreadshows Samus, who is, through her experiences, a person who has lived a life that has been reduced to violence. A common saying is that everything looks like a Metroid if you have an arm cannon.
Her right arm, which is a literal cannon, symbolizes how Samus is placed within the Metroid world. This is a straightforward example of what Samus does. The majority of Samus’ primary appendages, through which she interacts with the world, are used primarily to blow up. Metroid games, and the more comprehensive Metroidvania series, are well-known for emphasizing exploration. After you have made enough progress in a Metroid game, you will be able to explore the areas you’ve explored and interact with this world in new ways. Samus’s gun is the key to most of her new exploration tools. Different-colored doors can only be opened when they are hit with different projectiles. Samus’ primary method of expanding her world and advancing her adventures is shooting. Although you can explore, that exploration is rooted in the use and enjoyment of that arm cannon.
Samus’ arm cannon is only one aspect of her power suit. The body-obscuring armor, which transformed Samus into a twist ending in the original Metroid, includes the arm cannon. The ancient Chozo race designed the power suit, biologically bound to Samus and cannot be made without her consent. The suit is still intact, even though Samus has lost all her abilities at each game’s start. Samus is the suit, and the suit is Samus. After spending considerable time with both the person and the machine, any distinction between them can only be made after being used together as one unit. The suit was her body, and she was born to wear it. They make a whole Samus. Without each other, she wouldn’t be fully herself.
Samus’s bond to her power suit makes it a biological anomaly. This is in addition to the biomechanical marvel that is her outer shell. Her helmet is also similar to her Metroid enemies, which has the same shape, tapered bottom, and inverted green and red color schemes. While Samus uses her gun to kill, Metroids can take the life out of their victims, much like interstellar ticks. Metroid fusion has added a new twist to the food chain. They can transform into any living thing they consume, even creating a sinister copy of Samus, who resembles her power suit appearance. Samus was saved by the X-Parasites only after she received a vaccine based upon Metroid DNA. This further blurred the lines between Samus’ targets and Samus. Samus has been made more monster-adjacent by fighting these monsters than she would have liked, but she is a professional and continues to fight. Since her childhood, Samus has been a strong advocate for destroying the enemy, no matter what it might be.
An entry like Megaid: Other M or Metroid Blend attempted to increase Samus’ emotional depth by tying Samus with a love interest. Superior officer Adam Malkovich did this. These attempts have mixed results at best because they assume Samus’ humanity must be tied to another character (specifically, a heteronormative main love interest). Metroid Dread, on the other hand, knows that Samus’ humanity can be explored most effectively and interestingly through active suppression. Although Samus has had inner monologues and spoken in the past, these glimpses into Samus’ inner world have been largely lacking. They also portray her as dependent on male approval. Samus’ speech in metroid Dread, however, is clear and precise. She only speaks two times. She says the first time to Chozo, a kind Chozo trying to help her escape. This will end. “Once and for all.” This is a simple and direct statement that reflects her objective-first mentality.
We don’t know much about Samus other than the fact that she can speak Metroid Dread, but it does tell us a lot about her mental health. She doesn’t gasp when she is confronted with Kraid, her old foe. Each boss battle is won in silence. Samus is a professional, whose job it is not to crack wise but to hunt down her targets. Talking is useless when you’re staring at giant space dragons. Samus, Nintendo’s Doom Guy, is actually Samus. She lives to fight just as much as she lives to live.
Samus’s restraint is particularly impressive in context. Her interaction with the Chozo happens after an exposition dump that revealed she is part-Metroid. She is now the last remaining invasive species, thanks to the Fusion vaccine. We later learn that she has hybrid Metroid DNA. Raven Beak, Metroid Drread, was there for her training and helped her prepare for her future as a hunter. It turns out Samus is a Metroid and has been since childhood! She was the inspiration for the game names! We’re playing herdread, she’s the Metroid! Samus has been a weapon for someone else’s schemes for more time than she and we realized. When we consider how deeply her fate has been planned for her, the strong and silent way she has been taking out enemies for over three decades becomes more meaningful.
At the end of Metroid Drread Samus’ Metroid DNA kicks into action and gives her the ability to take life from her enemies. Her left arm — the non-gun appendage – becomes more deadly as she kills with one arm and takes the life of the other.
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Samus’ second speaking moment is when she lets out a furious, defiant scream towards the end. It’s not dialogue but a pivotal moment in Samus’ radical self-actualization. She unleashes her Metroid abilities. Her suit transforms into a fierce, reptilian-like version of herself, and her visor glows a fierce red. She can destroy huge obstacles and enemies in one shot, which is terrifyingly powerful. Many Metroidgames ended with Samus running from an exploding world. But here, at the end Dread is where Samus embraces her destructive instinct and becomes Death, the destroyer of all worlds.
Samus eventually manages to control her Metroid monstrosity, but we now know that Samus was trained through a bizarre combination of biology, technology and fighting conditioning to become a weapon. The future games of the series will reveal more about her operation and who she allows to have an influence on where she points. It’s amazing to see her speaking for herself after decades of following orders.