The Plot Deleter
: At first [Samus's suit is] yellow, then the typical orange, then finally it becomes the Gravity Suit, so that Samus is purple. That is Nintendo's official specification,
so naturally we started making the final Power Suit in purple. Towards the end of the game, however, there are some serious dramatic scenes. As Sakamoto-san was watching one of these cinematics, where Samus appeared in purple, he said "why is Samus wearing purple?
Iwata: He said that, even though it had been the specification from the very beginning! (laughs)
OK, that's done, so we're in the home stretch.
Samus leaves the entrance to Sector Zero (thus reminding us that her entire trip down here completely pointless. I shudder to think what it must be like to play a game that leads you down some path, then have to backtrack the entire way because of some asshole absconding with the last level). But apparently, Sector Zero's detonation damaged the ship, and certain corridors are just... dropping off. They just kinda disappear. Anyway, Samus is getting sucked into the vacuum, but activates the Gravity Suit to save herself.
Um, suction into space isn't gravity
(though technically neither is water). Also, good call on not activating that suit that could lower damage even further until right now. Maybe Adam's Mary Sue Canon wouldn't have one-shotted you...
Anyway, this scene of non-tension ends with Samus diving through doors just as they close. Because that's how you can tell when writers are completely intellectually bankrupt.
Cut to Nightmare, who totally isn't dead btw. Which is the second time they've used this tired "the boss is dead oh wait just kidding" shtick. Nightmare gives off some more baby cries, and a boss fight ensues. After a bit, Nightmare dies. Shitting on Metroid
#12: for turning Nightmare from Fusion into a shitty attempt to shoehorn more "babies" into this game. Also, great use of his iconic music, guys. In that his boss music here is completely generic and worthless.
Cut to Samus in an elevator. Which fades into a shot of Ridley, breathing heavily and with damaged wings. Ominous footsteps happen, and a door slowly opens. We then get a monster POV shot ripped almost directly from Alien 3 as the large creature approaches Ridley, who screams at it. The monster rears back and charges, ending the scene. Cut back to Samus in an elevator.
Well, enough of that. Cut to Samus entering a room, the one where she left "Madeline". But Samus only finds a dead GF trooper: James. Which means that, by process of elimination, James must have been... the Deleter! DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!
Well, enough of that. Cut to Samus entering a room. Samus follows a trail of blood to... Ridley, as a stone statue! DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!!
Well, enough of that. Cut to Samus entering a room, specifically, Room MW. There she finds a red-headed woman inside what appears to be a cell of some form. Samus almost smashes the glass in, but thinks better of it and just taps. OK, WTF was the point of that? Was there some character there? Did something just happen? Anyway, the woman seems scared of Samus, and she presses something on a nearby control panel. A door opens, similar to the one that opened before Ridley. Even though... that was in a completely different room. Whatever, let's just get this over with. Samus goes through the door and sees some Metroid eggs. Then something comes out of the darkness. It's... a Queen Metroid! DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!!!
After some pointless slow-mo bullet time dodging, a boss fight begins. It starts with the Queen launching Metroids. All of which can be frozen. Surprising though this may be to believe, the writers do actually explain this. After that, Samus engages the Queen.
Now, it's important to understand something. The Queen was the final boss of Metroid II. And Fusion pretty much stated that you don't get higher forms of Metroids (Alphas, Zetas, etc, the ones from Metroid II) simply by raising Metroids. You have to raise Metroids on SR-388, or a similar enough environment, to get these kinds of things. This also jives with what Corruption said about Metroids. So how in the hell is a Queen here?
Equally importantly, without the context of Metroid II, then the Queen simply doesn't make sense. She's supposed to be a Metroid Queen, but she has no apparent morphological similarities to Metroids. The thing is, Metroid II actually did a damn
good job of showing the morphological stages from the standard Metroid all the way up through Queens. You could see how each stage was a modification of the last, kind of like an evolutionary morphology. We don't get that here; all we see is the first form and the finished product.
Indeed, Fusion did this right. In a quick sequence, they show you all of the Metroid morphs, such that by the time you see the Omega Metroid at the end, you still recognize it as a Metroid. Even if you'd never played any games in the series before, it has given you enough information to know what's going on. Other M, as usual, is not so courteous to its players.
Adding to this is the fact that this 3D version is missing a prominent feature of Metroids: the red triangular/tetrahedral organ structure in the middle. All of the Metroid II Metroid forms had this structure, to help identify them as Metroids. In part because of the viewing angle and in part because of the terrible modeling, the organs just aren't clearly visible. The underbelly, where the Metroid gel sac is, is virtually opaque and supported by "ribs," unlike the 2D version. Even better, Team Ninja decided to whip out jiggle physics
on this, because... Team Ninja. What this all means is ultimately that figuring out that this is a Metroid is not the easiest thing in the world.
Yes, the game tells you it's the Queen Metroid. But if someone told you an elephant was a breed of dog, you probably wouldn't believe them.
But of course, the real question is why is a Queen Metroid in this game?
What purpose does it serve for the story? What does this battle mean in the context of the larger work?
Not. One. Damn. Thing.
There is no emotional attachment to the Queen Metroid. It has no character purpose in the story; it doesn't enhance anyone's character, nor does it have any affect on a character. It serves no purpose to the plot; its presence here will be briefly mentioned later, but ultimately it is meaningless to anything. It comes right the hell out of nowhere
and serves absolutely no purpose.
OK, that's not entirely true. See, it's a Queen
Metroid. That is, it's a mother.
So, Samus shoots the Queen a lot, and it dies. Only not, because the developers were so completely out of ideas that they had to use an idea they'd already used twice now. Having the Queen drop only to get up 4 seconds later did nothing.
It wasn't even a surprise, since the camera lingered on the body.
Samus aims at the Queen, and it looks at Samus. But Samus isn't shooting because... OK, so then a voice announces that the BOTTLE SHIP will reach "Galactic Federation orbit in approximately 30 seconds." Um, the Galactic Federation is not really something you can orbit. Unless you're going into orbit around the galactic core. Which is not particularly difficult, since sitting "still" will do that.
Where are we going?
The best part is that we get an exterior view of the BOTTLE SHIP, where we see... nothing directly ahead. Nothing at all.
Well, enough of that. Cut back to Samus, where the Queen is doing nothing but roaring impotently. Why? Because it's time for Samus to flashback and we wouldn't want to interrupt that with something happening. She gets a montage of memories of Anthony and Adam (may he rot in hell). These memories give Samus the strength she needs to fight the monster she was doing just fine killing before.
The direction is trying to make this fight seem epic, but it just can't. Because the monster has no reason to be here other than the fact that it's a mother, it just doesn't work. It has no personal connection to Samus. It has no connection to the plot. So the moment is completely without any sense of gravitas or weight; it's just a big dragon she has to slay.
Speaking of dragons, wasn't there another dragon around here? One that had some actual character relevance, such that fighting it might have actually meant something? Maybe I'm just remembering wrong.
Anyway, as the computer counts down towards 0 (when the ship will assume orbit around a galaxy. Oh no!), Samus squares off with the charging Queen. Then the emergency brakes activate, like something out of Loony Toons. The BOTTLE SHIP comes to a quick halt, because shut up it does. And halting 3 seconds from where they were going is going to mean a whole lot. Because they haven't invented inertial dampeners, this sudden stop causes the Queen to fly into a wall. Samus just falls down; I guess it's due to the Gravity Suit, though there's no purple glow.
Wouldn't it have been nice as an actual suit to remind us it's on?
Anyway, the Queen's belly is exposed, thus allowing Samus to shoot it, to no real effect. Once it flips back over, it rears up and starts to charge some beam, while Samus is immobile. Because the developers like it when players have to play through a cutscene. Samus uses the grapple beam to pull herself into its open mouth, where something really, really
stupid happens. But that's pure gameplay, so I won't talk about it. Samus lays a power bomb in the Queen's body and she goes boom.
Shitting on Metroid
#13: For ruining the final boss of Metroid II; even better, doing so served absolutely no purpose
in this story. Thus proving that no member of the Metroid franchise escapes Other M with its dignity intact.
Plot? What Plot?
Did you notice something that happened in this scene? Two somethings? The game just resolved the Deleter and Ridley plotlines. In about a minute and a half.
These are two major subplots of the game. Indeed, these two subplots probably make for about 60% of the driving force of the game's progression. Once Furizard attacks, Samus is sent on a search-and-destroy mission for him, culminating in the Ridley scene. This is put on hold temporarily so that Samus can find out about the Deleter plotline and start that one off. The two intermingle in the aforementioned Ridley scene, where the Deleter appears to kill Adam.
The Deleter then leads Samus back to "Madeline," where that plot thread is abandoned so that Samus can go get shot by Adam. Once that's done, both the Ridley and Deleter plots are resolved.
Actually that's incorrect. Neither plot is ever resolved; they don't have some through development of a concept leading to a fulfilling conclusion. They simply end.
Both plots disintegrate as though they never were and will barely if ever be mentioned again. That seems like an odd thing to do, considering how important both plots were to the driving force of the progression of the game. If you took these plots out, the story's progression would have stalled, but otherwise the story would still mostly make sense. So why doesn't the story do anything with these plot elements?
It actually makes sense, but only if you understand what those plots existed to actually do. In terms of gameplay, these plots exist to drive the gameplay somewhere, to give the player an excuse to arbitrarily visit various locations. But in terms of storyline?
The Deleter plot has two story purposes: to make you think Adam is the Deleter, and to make you think Adam is dead. That's why Adam never
talks about the Deleter; he can't.
If Adam and Samus ever had a conversation about the Deleter, then we would know that he's not Adam. It's too easy for Samus to just ask where Adam was during event X, and once his alibi is established, that would be the end of it. If they talked about the Deleter, if Adam acknowledged his existence, then Adam would have to be crossed off the list of suspects.
We then see the Deleter "kill" Adam, after which point we are supposed to think he's dead. Of course, this is done incoherently, in part because Samus never acknowledges his death. Plus, we find out about that Metroid report Adam wrote. If that was before he was dead, then it would add to the suggestion that he's the Deleter. But we find it afterwards, where it serves little actual purpose since even if Adam's alive, we know he's not the Deleter. Then we find out that Adam is alive, which making one wonder how much the Deleter sucks at his job to not be able to kill a guy from 7 feet away when you catch him off guard.
But once we know Adam isn't the Deleter and that the Deleter didn't kill Adam, the entire plotline is trashed at the earliest convenience of the story. That is, literally the very next cutscene after Nightmare.
Also, for those who played Fusion, the attempt to make Adam into the Deleter makes no sense. We know that Adam's a decent guy from there (notwithstaning his other jackass behavior from this game). Samus wouldn't have fond memories of a guy who fragged his entire team. Therefore, we know he's not the Deleter.
You could say that the Deleter's purpose is to make the story more intense and complex. OK, but if that is the case, explain why is the Deleter plot dropped here.
Yes, I know that, in terms of story, he's dead because he tried Mugging the Monster
with "Madeline." But that's not the question. If the Deleter existed to make the story more complex, why is he never captured? Why is it that he dies off-screen and nobody ever mentions him again? Why is his identity completely irrelevant? Why doesn't Samus get to try to protect anyone but Madeline from the Deleter? Why doesn't Samus at least get to confront him?
Because that's not what the subplot is for.
And speaking of things that Samus doesn't get to confront, let's get to Ridley. He appeared, Samus freaked out, and Anthony was killed. This was her most spectacular failure in the game. Adam even personally asked her to kill Ridley as basically his last request. Yet despite all of that, there's no epic rematch, no chance of redemption for Samus. Why not?
Because of what I said before: Ridley has served his purpose. His job was solely to make Samus look weak. As Furizard, he jumps on Samus and forces her to be saved by Anthony. As Ridley, he terrifies her and killed Anthony while she was too weak to do something. Once his job was done, he was written out of the story ASAP, acting only as a physical herald for the new end-game boss.*
You can really imagine the thought process behind how these scenes were put together. Ridley's worked like this:
Well, since we've got a Ridley fight, let's do something with the intro to that fight. And since I'm incapable of original thought, let's do what happened in the manga where Samus was scared or Ridley. It'll go a long way to humanizing* Samus's character.
But then what do we do with Ridley after the scene's over? Well, we know he shows up on BSL, so I should make that match up. Hmmm. I could have Samus freeze him somehow, but that would seem anticlimactic; the player will want him dead. We don't have a lot of time, so let's just have him killed off by the next boss, as a way to show how powerful it is
Something similar likely happened for the Deleter plot. They introduced it as a way to make you think Adam's the badguy for a while, then they want you to think Adam's dead. Once that's done with, they dropped it immediately.
This is trying to build a story based on certain key moments, then backfilling ways to make those moments happen. This is a difficult way to craft a story, and even seasoned writers screw it up. But when your writers suck as badly as these do, it only makes things worse. They introduce these plot elements, but only use them for exactly their intended purpose, then abandon them the moment that purpose is served. No thought is given to what this says about the various characters or other elements of the plot. No consideration is made to the flow of the story or its pacing
There is no attempt to integrate these plots into the story beyond the basic task of "here they are." The main storyline of the game had nothing to do with Ridley; MB was what caused the problems, not Ridley. The main storyline has nothing to do with the Deleter; he never actually does anything besides killing redshirts.
In fact, that's why the identity of the Deleter is never stated on-screen. It is not because the game is trying to be subtle. It is because the game does not care.
The fact that it's one of the faceless Red Shirts instead of someone we know like Adam or Anthony also tells us how little it matters. The Deleter's identity isn't important.
Much like the Deleter himself.
Of course, like so much in this game, that just raises further questions. Like why is it that all of the Metroids on the ship didn't grow into Queens, since they're all cloned from the same one? What, was Sector Zero just filled with a bunch of Queen Metroids?
Were we given a proper time period between the tutorial and the proper start of game? It would explain why the cloned baby would grow into a Queen Metroid and the others weren't even close to that stage.
There wasn't an explicit statement, but Samus said something about how Metroids and Space Pirates had been forgotten by the galaxy at large. Personally, I would think that it would take a few years for the galaxy to forget about an organization that got its hands on a biological weapon of mass destruction and threatened the galaxy. But I get the impression that it was only a few months.
You know what they could've done to the Deleter plot? Actually have Anthony be the Deleter. We don't know this guy, nor care. But Samus knows him. They were friends. It would've made for an interesting and intense scene where he betrays Samus, tries to kill her, but then get's killed off by Ridley when he makes his momentous return. Her break down would've been a little more plausible. She's distraught that her friend turned on her, then her childhood nightmare shows up from the dead and kills him. Pretty distressing. Maybe not the best idea, but way better than what we actually got.