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Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M

[table of contents]
Pocket Monsters
Out of nowhere, I suddenly found myself concerned with his opinion again.
Samus Aran, admitting that she's being written out of character

After some random bits of gameplay, Samus is assigned to go to Sector 1, the Biosphere. There, she runs across the corpse of some scientist. It has some non-descript blotch marks on its body. Samus narrates that the room looks like something had been raised in it, and the corpse didn't seem to have suffered the same kinds of wounds as the other bodies. Wouldn't it be great to have shown us that rather than telling us? No? OK.

Then Samus says that she felt, "the presence of a dark intelligence." Because the best way to give your audience the sense of something terrible approaching is to just tell them that it is.

It's a living.

So, after a bit more gameplay, Samus comes across a small, furry Pokemon that has no arms, playing with some kind of alien pine-cone. It sees Samus and scurries away. Adam interjects, saying that he just unlocked a door for her to go through. When Samus leaves though, she senses the creature looking at her and looks back. They look at each other for a bit, then Samus leaves.

Meanwhile, gameplay happens, including a random boss fight against an insect hive. After that fight, the Pokemon from earlier is seen ferociously licking up honeycombs from Samus's kill. Samus narrates that some animals use other animals as a way to capture prey. Yes, Furby Pokemons prey upon the dreaded honeycomb, second only to the deadly acorn in ferocity. Samus then narrates that she felt that it fed off of her like this. Well, there's another couple of lines that could have been left out of the game entirely.

Samus wonders if some sound she heard earlier could have come from this creature. Right on cue, the Pokemon turns to Samus and emits a loud howl. Again, another line that could have been left out altogether.

Adam cuts in again with some direction: he's gathering the team in the Biosphere test facility, so she should go there too. And she does, leaving the creature behind. I'm sure that leaving it alive, even though the player no doubt wants it dead, will have no negative repercussions for anyone.

Cut to Samus reaching the test facility. Samus goes inside and finds James there, playing with a computer. Then the rest of the team rushes in, minus Lyle, who appears to be late. One of the grunts sits down and says that the computer's CPU was destroyed, but he might be able to recover some data. Which totally makes sense; it's not like CPUs are central to the processing of these units.

Anthony says that, while Maurice is busy, everyone else should check the building out. And nobody should be watching Maurice's back because...? After a fade out, Anthony asks the "princess" about the view from the building. See, the BOTTLE SHIP has a bunch of hologram generators, and this building is in the middle of a grassland recreation. Anthony says that it reminds him of the GF training grounds.

Well, that was pointless, so we see Samus walking around. She encounters a room with 6 doors in it. She goes to one and a creature falls out. The creature seems to be armored or has cybernetics, but it also has the GF logo on its chest. Samus calls it a "Zebesian." I have no idea why; it's actually a Space Pirate.

Space Pirates are not native to Zebes. Neither the instruction manuals nor the games state or even imply that Zebes is anything other than their fortress, their main base for piracy. Indeed, instructions for the GBA port of Metroid 1 state that she was raised on Zebes. This is why Samus can find powerups for her suit on Zebes; it was a Chozo world before the Pirates invaded. Indeed, a Chozo temple or something is a prominent feature of Zero Mission. This one's not significant enough to consider as actively shitting on the series (it could just be a nickname in this game), but I wanted to point this out.

Back to the game, such that it is. Samus says that the "Zebesian" was cybernetically enhanced. Adam says that he doesn't know how one got onto the station, but he suggests that Samus continue looking around. Then Maurice calls them all back to the computer.

Maurice found a document explaining that the GF-run BOTTLE SHIP was established to research various life-forms for possible use as "bioweapons." Samus asks Adam if the GF was researching bioweapons, because Samus needs everything repeated to her. Adam says that it seems that way. For the sake of the audience, Samus says that bioweapons research is prohibited, so Adam says that the research on the ship is illegal, because we don't know that prohibited things are illegal. Samus then asks who "Madeline Bergman" is, even though the document just said that she was in charge. What, did she expect Adam to know the woman? Man, the writing in this game is terrible.

Samus then starts monologuing about how she knew how Adam felt about this sort of thing. He's opposed to the use of bioweapons. She then exposites that he believed that life, in "this often cruel universe," shouldn't be messed with. Samus then points out that her bringing the infant Metroid* to the scientists on Ceres Station, she did something Adam wouldn't have agreed with. What, would he just ignore your contributions to Metroid genocide and focus on this? For some reason, giving the Metroid to them violated "protocol." Um, what protocol? And how was that more of a violation than, you know, genocide? Samus then wonders what Adam thought of her, then speaks the page quote. Swell...

Meanwhile, Maurice and James talk about getting at some of the more secure documents. Anthony suggests that Madeline might be somewhere in the building. Why? She's not that much more likely to be alive than anyone else. And why would he think that she'd be in this building specifically? Anyway, Anthony sends the group to go search while Maurice goes looking for more info.

After a bit of what I'm sure was thrilling gameplay, we see Samus walking through a room. Something drips from the ceiling behind her, which causes her to turn around an look up. It's a Space Pirate. A bunch of them. The rest of the squad comes running in, but Samus tells them to get back. Of course, no orders are valid unless they come from Adam, so he tells them to back off and then orders Samus to deal with these guys. Now that Adam has spoken, a fight can begin.

When Samus gets back to the control room, she sees the squad outside fighting some lizard monster with white fur running down its back. Rather than breaking through the glass to get out there faster, Samus runs all the way down the stairs. She rushes outside, even though she can clearly see that the monster isn't in view as she does so. This allows the creature to get the drop on her, pin her down, and try to stab through her helmet with its tail. A bunch of monsters appear to fight the rest of the squad.

After a bout of pseudo-boss fight gameplay, Anthony gets a moment to shoot the lizard with the plasma beam, knocking it off Samus and leaving a gaping hole in it. It flees for a bit and then... explodes? Theater Mode doesn't really make this clear; the room is a hologram, so it has walls that look like air. So when the monster jumped in the air and exploded, it was actually smashing through the wall to escape. Except that the programmers couldn't show the beast passing through the hole. So it really just disappears instantly once it touches the wall, with a particle effect cloud trying to hide the jump-cut.

Anthony asks the "princess" if she's OK, so Samus punches him in the arm. That's not just what I wish would happen; she actually does it. But it's clearly an affectionate gesture. Anthony exposites a bit about his weapon having to recharge. So, he only gets one shot every 2 minutes or so with that? Samus has one that can fire 4-5 times a second. But she won't use it unless Adam tells her to, even when the lizard creature was about to kill her.


In any case, the squad seems to have survived, except... Lyle's down. Oh no, not Lyle, the guy who went crazy over a bug. The other squad members wonder how "this" happened to him. Meanwhile, Samus detects a trail of green blood leading from the corpse to the side of a vehicle. And there, she finds... the Pokemon from earlier, except that it's split open and empty.

OK, what the game is trying to say is that the fur-covered lizard came from the Furby Pokemon. Yes, really. How long has it been since we last saw it? A few hours? At most a day? Yet in that time, it has managed to burst out of its previous form and increase its size and mass at least 20 fold. After a diet of honey, scientist, and Lyle.

That's why I call it a Pokemon; it just evolved from Furby to Furizard. It also grew a pair of arms, since it didn't have any as Furby. Who knows what ridiculous thing it might evolve into next?

Anyway, Adam tells Samus to follow the creature and track it down. So we cut through a bit of gameplay to Samus jumping into a deep pit. Down there, she finds a green bloody trail left by the Furizard. Naturally, this scene of tension where Samus carefully creeps through a corridor is utterly ruined by pointless monologuing. She reminds the audience that this was all due to bioweapons development on the BOTTLE SHIP, which is strictly illegal. And she informs us that the person in charge was Madeline Bergman by saying that she wants to talk to her.

Then she says, "Of course, she would have to be alive for me to do that." Wow, even in writing this bad, that line stands out for its sheer awfulness. Why even write that line? We already got the necessary exposition out of the way for the people who stopped playing after beating the Furizard. It serves no purpose except to make Samus seem like a literal retard who needs to remind herself of the bleeding obvious.

Oh, and then the Biosphere test building explodes for no apparent reason. FYI: there wasn't a gameplay cut there; we go directly from the fail-line to the building exploding.

BTW, it should be noted that the cutscenes overall, but in this section especially, use 2000's style cinematography. So pointless shaky-cam, not-at-all-dramatic zoom ins, improperly-framed shots, and worthless slow-motion are all on display and horrible as usual. If the Wii could handle depth-of-field, I'm sure there would have been some pointless shot focusing to further remind the viewer that they're watching a movie/game rather than seeing it for real. Though it's amazing that this game actually uses shaky-cam on typing at a computer. And by "amazing," I mean "sack-crushingly moronic."

Dammit, the 00's were the worst thing to happen to cinematography ever...

21st May '12 8:45:03 AM flag for mods
Is this the only time that she didn't call it "the baby"? If not, I propose a drinking game for whenever she doesn't. XD
nomuru2d 20th May 12
The "Zebesian" comment also brings this game's connection to the Prime games in further doubt, since in Prime 3, we visit the Space Pirate homeworld, a hellish, industrial death fortress with the constant forecast of Acid Rain. I don't seem to remember Zebes having Acid Rain.

Samus runs all the way down the stairs. She rushes outside, even though she can clearly see that the monster isn't in view as she does so.

I am going to assume Adam didn't authorise her to do that.

Who knows what ridiculous thing it might evolve into next?

HA! HA HA! HAAAAAAA.....The reveal of what that thing is happens to be one of the most depressingly awful things in the game.

Actually, one thing that horrifically smashes bad gameplay and bad storytelling together at this moments are the Pixel Hunts. Basically, what the game does during certain cutscenes, is force Samus into an immobile First Person View. During this period you have to find an object to move the story forward. And that means you cannot get out of this mode until you find it. Not only are Where's Wally puzzles are one of the last things people would want in a Metroid game, more often than not, these points of interest are put in very arbitrary places. So more fuel to the fire that is this game's writing.
Emperordaein 21st May 12
The reveal of what that thing is happens to be one of the most depressingly awful things in the game.

I disagree. Oh, don't get me wrong; it is breathtakingly stupid and painful to think about. In any other story, this would be among the worst aspects of it.

But this is Other M we're talking about. There's so much bad to this story that this reveal only rates somewhere in the middle of the badness. If I listed the top-10 horrible things in this story, it wouldn't be among them.

There's just too much character assassination, horrible writing, ridiculous plotting, etc for this to really rank that highly. Then again, when you're dealing with stuff this Godawful, there's no real way to rate it; the worst element is just the one most recently experienced.
Korval 21st May 12
"Zebesian" appears in the manuals for both Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion. While I'm not sure why they used this term (I like thinking the GF used it to distinguish them from the Kihunters), that error at least cannot be blamed on this installment.
FalconPain 25th May 12
In an interview, Yoshio Sakamoto stated the crab-clawed Space Pirates called themselves "Zebesians" after the conquest of the planet for the same reason European colonists took to calling themselves "Americans".
Arawn444 11th Sep 13
That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my entire life.
Trollblade69 22nd Dec 13
European colonists took to calling themselves "Americans" when they started being born in the Americas. Did the Space Pirates colonise Zebes for that long? :P
Noaqiyeum 7th Jan 14
"Zebesian" is the name given to those space pirates who went through the same chozo DNA infusion than Samus. Its basicly a race of pirates that look like birds instead of insects.

BTW, acording to the NES metroid manual(and the retcons), Ridley was the first Zebesian.
Xtrems 11th Mar 14
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