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Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M
Korval

[table of contents]
Metroid: Other M
Diabetus: Is this gonna have the like 90 minute ending that Metal Gear Solid 4 had?
Slowbeef: No, it's not as good. [beat] I know what I said.

Well, now that Samus has killed the final boss, it's time for the end-game cutscene. And no, I refuse to accept what this game considers its "final boss" to be that. At this point, all substantive gameplay is over.

So after killing the Queen, we see the redhead from before leave her now open door and run off. Wait. Adam justified the whole "authorization" gimmick on the basis of power bombs. He said that they could go through many materials and killed people instantly. And yet, here's the redhead, who wasn't particularly far from a power bomb detonation.

Screw the rules, I'm a hack writer!

Samus follows the woman through an oddly flipped door. It's not that you're on the ceiling or something; the door texture is just flipped upside down. On a couple of doors. So now the game is failing at basic game-crafting. Anyway, Samus runs through some corridors to reach the end-game.

The redhead is banging on a door and tells Samus to stay away from her in a panic. Holy shit, actual voice acting! She's actually speaking like a person might when she assumes that the 6'3" armored titan of destruction that just took out a 25-foot-long monster is coming after her. Samus tries to calm her down, saying that she'll stay away until asked to approach. Technically, this is just padding, but at least it's padding that's trying and makes sense given the circumstances. Though again, introducing yourself as a bounty hunter probably isn't the most calming thing you could do.

Eventually, Samus gets her to relax, so that the largest block of infodumping in this game can begin. And it is a steaming stinker of crap being dumped. First, she introduces herself as Madeline Bergman, and she's got proof in a holographic ID card. The blond is actually MB. DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!!!!!!11!1

The real Madeline says that MB was programmed to think like Mother Brain so it developed Mother Brain's consciousness too. Yeah, that's kinda why creating an AI that thinks like Mother Brain was a stupid idea. Samus starts narrating while Madeline just... stands there. As with most of Samus's narration, it simply tells us what we just learned. So Madeline interrupts Samus's narration by telling us that MB was originally designed just to control the Space Pirates. Because obviously they needed that; they're not a sentient species. And slavery is just fine with the GF, right?

Their first version was just a brain in a jar. Because you know, that's what Mother Brain is supposed to be. But when they started up their Metroid farm, they decided to put MB into an android. That was because they wanted the first Metroid clones to recognize MB as its mother. Um, why? The whole point of rebuilding Mother Brain was to get her telepathy to communicate with the Space Pirates and Metroids. If you can talk to a Metroid, you don't need to trick it into doing what you want by playing on its instincts.

Actually, they do give something of an explanation for this. They wanted MB to have an "ideal relationship" with the Metroid, not "based on dominance and control." And here's that Goddamn motherhood motif again: motherhood is the "ideal relationship." But when you're dealing with potentially unfreezable Metroids, you probably want a good fallback in case some of them start going apeshit. Though one wonders how a humanoid android can have an "ideal relationship" with a Metroid. Wouldn't it make more sense to put MB in a Metroid-droid? Maybe something along the lines of the Queen, or even just a Zeta or Omega Metroid.

Samus again narrates the bloody obvious, telling us that the relationship between herself and "the baby" was the "ideal relationship" (why does the writer keep using the same phrases over and over again? It's just terribly boring and bland writing). Samus then narrates that they experimented with unfreezable Metroids, but the Queen from earlier must have been from a control group.

Or maybe there's no such thing as unfreezable Metroids and Adam was talking out of his ass! Remember: this is not Madeline confirming any of this; this is just Samus pulling shit directly out of her ass. For more ass-talking, Samus talks about how it requires special DNA to become a Queen. Except... these Metroids are all clones of the same Metroid (except for those that were genetically modified). So why would only one turn into a Queen? Also, insect Queens don't work that way.

Madeline talks about how MB's new human body made it easier to interact with her. As their interface to the Metroids, MB became more "humanized." Sure why not. And we get scenes of MB doing sciencey stuff. Madeline says that MB started to learn faster and then developed emotions. Naturally, anger is the one we see here, as she slams her fits down at a conference... for some reason. MB started to assert herself and her opinions. Oh, and BTW, calling this thing "MB" really hurts the dialog when Madeline has to say things like, "an AI like MB." What is this, alphabet soup dialog?

Apparently, AIs don't normally develop emotions; Madeline speculates that it had something to do with the Metroids, but she doesn't know. Then, Samus's narration takes what Madeline doesn't know and runs with it. Her wild-ass speculation is that being the mother-figure to a Metroid spontaneously gave MB a soul. Yes, really.

Madeline interrupts Samus's crazy time to say that they then decided to reprogram MB. Well, that's what happens when you're a woman in Other M and you assert your opinions; some men-folk come along to rob you of your agency. Then we cut to a hairpin on MB's head, and... I have to give the game credit. This is actually a well-done hint. That hairpin has been there, just on her head, all the times we've seen her. And it looks like this:

Wow, something in this game actually worked?!

For those new to Metroid, the three red circles are similar to the signature triangular organ structure inside of the jelly of Metroids. It's the kind of thing a long-time fan is more likely to notice.

Well, enough praise; back to the fail-game. Samus monologues to herself about how she is sympathetic to MB because MB was going to be reprogrammed to be near-human but without a consciousness. Yeah, we'll see how justified that sympathy is. Cut to men in hard shoes coming down a corridor. These are the bad guys, BTW, in case you didn't know that.

They grab MB. What? You have an android with free will that can command Metroids, and you don't have a remote kill-switch? And your plan is to just drag her away? What the hell is wrong with you idiots? Anyway, the men restrain the android while Madeline watches. MB calls out to her, but one of the men says that they have orders from above. Excuse me? Madeline Bergman is the director of the facility. At the very least, she should have been informed of the decision to reprogram the android that can control Metroids and Space Pirates alike. Oh right, she's a woman in Other M; her opinion is therefore irrelevant.

So instead of ordering them to at least delay the procedure so that she can talk to the "above" guys, she just bows her head. Any objections, Lady? I thought not. Madeline says that her presence caused a change in MB. Funny; I would have said that it was due to the guys forcibly abducting her and dragging her off to be mind raped.

Then the most ridiculous thing happens. Samus narrates to herself, "Madeline had taken to calling MB 'Melissa'." WWTTFF? How in the hell does Samus know that? Is she telepathic now; did she just read Madeline's mind? This writing is abyssal; it can't even keep basic continuity within a single scene straight. Samus continues this trend of talking about things she cannot possibly know by saying that Madeline told MB that the letters stood for "Melissa Bergman," and they took to each other like daughter and mother.

Then we cut to MB exhibiting super strength. So you morons didn't give her a remote kill-switch or a safeword or anything. And you gave her super strength? You guys must want to get your faces sucked off by Metroids; it's the only possible explanation. So after Melissa beats up the people sent to break her brain, she uses her telepathy to activate the Space Pirates and kill everyone. Madeline speculates that Melissa wants to attack the GF as a whole.

Samus speculates that she started breeding Metroids and even produced a Queen. Wait; earlier Samus speculated that they wouldn't know which Metroids grew into Queens. Also, why would she breed a Queen from the control group of Metroids instead of the unfreezable group (more evidence against unfreezable Metroids)? Look crazy lady, how about you stick to, you know, real facts or at least something with evidence behind it? Samus said that with those Metroids, she was ready to launch her invasion.

Yes, with her entire one ship that lacks any external weapons (that we know of). She could take out a whole city or two with a few Metroids and a ship. At least the X from Fusion were a credible galactic threat, being a disease that is able to absorb intelligence, knowledge, and abilities; all while being virtually unkillable if you're not part-Metroid.

BTW, don't you love it when the villain is introduced in the last 10 minutes, as well as the villain's motivation, plans, etc? Isn't it even better when this is all told through exposition and flashbacks rather than seeing anything happen live? No? Didn't think so.

Samus wonders where Melissa could be right now. And since this is Other M, she naturally appears. With a freeze pistol. Watch out, Samus; that thing can one-shot you.

Samus puts her arm in front of Madeline and aims her gun at Melissa. Madeline tries to talk Melissa down, and then Madeline walks past Samus right into the line of fire. Good job protecting her Samus; wow, you aren't allowed to be even slightly useful this game. Madeline apologizes for the others trying to, you know, lobotomize her and everything.

Then Melissa starts speaking in a robotic tone. I have no idea why; the whole point with MB was that she was becoming more human. Before, she sounded suitably monotone (like Samus, only with an actual justification). Here, she just sounds like she's doing a bad robot impersonation. MB says that Madeline has to pay for stopping her from trying to kill a bunch of people. Yeah, really sympathetic; you totally called that one Samus.

Madeline says that she won't fail her anymore, and then calls her Melissa. This triggers a flashback of Madeline giving Melissa her hairpin and her name. Back in the present, Melissa slowly lowers her gun and then raises her arms outward. Then she uses some electrical current to remove the hairpin, symbolizing that she's cast off Madeline. OK, that was heavy handed, especially since she now super-speeds towards Madeline and punches her in the chest. That should be fatal, but this is Other M, where things that make sense aren't allowed. Samus blasts Melissa with her freeze-only gun (she turned off plasma and wave for some reason, even though they stack) and catches Madeline one-armed.

And that's about it for Samus's participation in the end-game; did you like it? Because a squad of GF troops run into the room from out of nowhere. They completely ignore the statue of Melissa and point their guns at Samus and Madeline, because it makes the least sense. Samus reacts by frantically pointing her gun at each of the 6 squad-mates, even though she could absolutely annihilate all of them without a sweat.

Of course, while the GF troops were busy screwing around with Samus, MB thaws herself. Then she throws her gun towards Samus and Madeline for the sole purpose of allowing Madeline to use it later. Then she starts sending out purple energy waves that seal the door. Are we not supposed to see those energy waves? Is that the idea, because it sure looks like the others can see them as they wildly look around the room. But really, all Samus has to do is say, "hey morons, turn around. Did you miss the 105lb girl you ran past?" But she doesn't do that, because it might be helpful and Samus is not allowed to be useful in this game.

The purple energy activates some spheres that were in the room the whole time. These spheres hide powerful monsters. Then we get a POV cutscene dashing out of the room to elsewhere to add additional creatures to this. What are they doing? Who knows, who cares; the game's almost over. The camera PO Vs back to the main room, where the GF grunts fire wildly at the large monsters to no avail. We see one of them die, and then Samus has the bright idea to actually do something and shoots one. Thus beginning the "gameplay" portion of the "final boss fight".

A fight that consists of literally finding Melissa and locking on to her. That's the final boss. I bring this up even though it's gameplay because the fact that you lock on and don't fire is story-relevant.

Before Samus can shoot, Madeline has picked up MB's gun and yells "stop." This naturally causes everyone to stop, including the soldiers, Samus, and the monsters. Madeline hesitates for a bit, closes her eyes, then fires. Wow, she's got pretty good aim for someone who's 25 feet away and has her eyes closed. And for some reason Melissa wasn't even facing Madeline, because it makes the least amount of sense.

After MB is frozen, an entirely different set of GF soldiers appear in the rafters behind you. I guess these guys were perfectly happy watching their squad-mates get cut to pieces. They fire on MB, and though there are 6 of them, only one shot is a hit. They need to get some training from Madeline or something. Anyway, one hit is enough and MB goes down.

It's wonderful how this ending sequence doesn't involve Samus in any way whatsoever. Think about it: what did Samus actually do? She shot Melissa once, but that didn't matter because the GF intervened before Samus could fire a missile. Madeline was the one who's attack was actually useful. And the GF troopers were the ones who actually took MB out. So no; the ending sequence of this game doesn't involve the protagonist at all!

Because the protagonist died in Sector Zero. That was the climax; everything else in this story is nothing more than an extended dénouement to clean up plot threads.

We see Colonel Smugsalot smile, then cut to Madeline for the cliché Big "NO!". Oh, and all the monsters disappear back into their half-spheres; they obviously operate under chess rules of engagement, surrendering when the king is captured. Madeline starts crying over MB's body while the Colonel and his troops ride an elevator down to the floor. Two GF troops tell Samus not to move. And if there was any justice in this game, you'd be able to punish them for their impertinence, but sadly no. The Colonel does tell his men to stand down, and he tells Samus that her mission is done here.

Two of the soldiers pick up the still crying Madeline, and Samus tries to stop them but the Colonel interjects by saying "Wait." And that's enough for Samus. He pads the scene out by needlessly talking about Adam and his unit being killed, then says that since Samus is an "outsider," he can't let her talk to Madeline.

Then Colonel Smugsalot starts talking about Samus "transporting illegal cargo like infant Metroids." Um, you mean that cargo that she confiscated from SR-388 and delivered to the GF science team on Ceres Station? If that was illegal, why didn't they do anything about it then? So yet again, they're trying to change what Super Metroid was saying. Samus didn't hand over the infant Metroid; it was taken from her.

Shitting on Metroid #14: For further rewriting parts of Super Metroid to fit with the new vision of Samus.

The Colonel asks one of his men to escort "the lady" off the station. You know, she could just threaten to drop a power bomb and kill everyone in the room. But no, Samus doesn't actually care enough to do anything about this. One of his soldiers comes over and takes Samus by the arm, but then he calls her "Princess."

Oh you've got to be kidding. Yep, it's Anthony, with not a scratch on his armor. He says that he's going to take the prisoners back, because these were Adam's orders as authorized by the head of the GF. Sure why not. Colonel Smugsalot can't do anything about this, since Anthony effectively pulled rank. And then Anthony says that he's the one who hit the emergency breaks that theoretically saved Samus from the Queen Metroid. Thus adding to the ways in which Samus was completely ineffectual; she needed Anthony to stop the ship and to convince the Colonel to let her take Melissa.

Cut to Samus's ship, where she, Anthony, and Melissa are going somewhere. Anthony gives us a flashback of how he survived the, you know, lava. A lava monster appeared just below him, so he used his freeze pistol on it and bounced to safety. In the present, Anthony realizes that all this flashbacking woke up Madeline, so he shuts up. And then Samus narrates that he was being courteous.

There are kindergarteners that can write better than this.

Then Samus starts dictating a log about their exploits on the BOTTLE SHIP. When she gets to the part about Sector Zero and Adam, Madeline asks her what she's talking about with unfreezable Metroids. Samus says that they were in Sector Zero, but Madeline informs her that they hadn't been able to make them work before MB went crazy. Then we get a look on Samus's face, and cut to the credits.

OK, that entire last paragraph was made up. But that would have been much more preferable compared to what follows.

In actuality, we get shots of Samus's ship flying through light formations of various people's heads, like MB, Adam, etc. All while Samus narrates complete bullshit. She wonders if MB might have destroyed the GF if Samus and co hadn't shown up. OK, if the entire Galactic Federation can be taken out by a single unarmed science ship, then it deserves to be taken out.

Samus then desperately tries to paint MB as a tragic figure, talking about how humans drove her to violence. Maybe, but they didn't drive her to genocide; she picked that one up on her own. Samus even tries to gloss over the genocide, saying that she was just trying to "punish the foolish and conceited." Bullshit! Her punishment was intended to be indiscriminate. Did you see any of the janitorial staff survive the BOTTLE SHIP? Or maintenance techs? Or anyone at all, regardless of how "foolish and conceited" they may have been?

Why is this nonsense here? Because it provides an out-of-universe justification for why Samus didn't actually participate during the final battle. We, the audience, are supposed to sympathize with MB's plight. Her death is supposed to be tragic. And Samus can't be the hero if she kills a tragic figure, right? So they have these GF guys appear to deal with it.

But since the tragic aspects don't work, this is a failure. The only way for this to be legitimately tragic is if we knew her, and we as the audience never did. The MB we knew lied to us from the very beginning; everything else about her comes either from Madeline's infodumping and flashbacks or Samus pulling things out of her ass. All we know is that they were going to reprogram her, then she went apeshit and decided to burn the galaxy in response. That, alas, is not the stuff tragedy is made of. At least, not without more intimate knowledge of the person and much better characterization.

Since the tragedy doesn't work, their attempt to paint Samus as a hero for not killing the tragic figure instead simply makes Samus weak and ineffectual.

Of course, this ending wouldn't be complete without more of Samus sucking Adam's Marty Stu cock. After a bit of that, she says, "For the first time, I questioned his choice." Bullshit! What was all that telling him to let you go in his place? Was that not "questioning his choice"?

What's interesting is how the juxtaposition of Samus talking about MB and then Adam works. Because it really helps you realize just how little these two plotlines have to do with one another. They have completely different characters, plots, and even themes. The Adam plotline features Adam, Anthony and Samus, while the MB plot features Melissa and Madeline. The plots don't interact.

Even thematically they're about different things. The ridiculous motherhood motif of the MB plotline is never touched on during the Adam part of the plot. The Adam plot doesn't really have a theme, unless you count Samus being abused or Adam being right to be a theme.

And, with all this monologuing, you'd think that something would be said about Adam's team, the Deleter, or Ridley. The latter literally reduced the main character to a crying, 3-year-old girl. But no, Ridley doesn't merit a mention. Why?

You know why; because Ridley already served his purpose. To make Samus look weak. He has no purpose or meaning to the story other than that. The Deleter served his purpose, so he's not mentioned. Adam's team are faceless, interchangeable red shirts outside of Adam and Anthony, so they're irrelevant. The vast majority of the plot elements and characters in the story are considered irrelevant and immaterial next to Adam and MB.

Anyway, after a bit more stuff, cut to Earth, where Samus is standing next to her favorite window. Here, Samus admits that Adam was right to go into Sector Zero, and he was right about Ian too. Sorry; too late for character growth. The story's already over. Also Show, don't Tell! You had a chance to show this back in the Adam scene and you blew it because you wanted to make her childish and weak.

Then Samus gives Adam a thumbs up.

-_-

We see a shadow giving the thumbs down, and it's Anthony. And he is gigantic compared to Samus. She must gain a foot or so in height when she magics herself into the suit, all evidence to the contrary. Samus narrates over what is intended to be a bit of camaraderie between friends; of course, the narration is about Adam, because nothing in this game happens without his involvement in some way. Then Samus puts her hair in a ponytail and walks away. But she takes a moment to look out the window.

Cutting off the top of the head is OK, so long as her boobs are still fully visible. Team Ninja knows their priorities.

Of Madeline, there is no sign. Samus was supposed to take her to GF headquarters so that the rogue faction couldn't get her. But we see nothing of this plot. No testimony, no witness protection, the people behind the BOTTLE SHIP aren't arrested or anything. Not even a token mention between Anthony and Samus. Why? Because this game isn't about that. It's about Adam, so we spend the last few minutes sucking on Adam's cock some more.

Then we get the indictments. I mean the credits.

Well, the main game is over. However, Nintendo decided to let you keep playing after the game was over, just in case you couldn't get enough of the scintillating gameplay. And if you get 100% of the items in the game (which is not possible on hard mode, because Nintendo is stupid and didn't want hard mode players to be able to get this bonus), you can go to a little bonus section. Theater Mode shows this off: you fight Phantoon from Super Metroid. Because the BOTTLE SHIP is a GHOST SHIP now. See, it's funny because in Super Metroid, Phantoon was the boss of the Ghost Ship, and...

With that out of the way, Samus is allowed to get what she came to the BOTTLE SHIP for: Adam's helmet. Yes, really. She holds it to her chest and flashes back to a scene that she again could not possibly have seen. It's that scene I covered before, of Adam seeing Samus talking to MB, failing to contact her, and then heading to Sector Zero to cut Samus off.

Then, the ship starts self-destructing. See, it was scheduled for demolition, but Samus apparently didn't bother to read what day that would happen on before going back. So she has to run back to her ship, in the worst, most contrived, and pointlessly shoehorned Metroid escape sequence ever. Oh and she's not even wearing her power armor; she took it off when she got Adam's helmet, but she couldn't bring herself to put it down for the one second it would take to magic her armor back on.

So yes, the entire last sequence of the game was all about Adam. But really, could Metroid: Other M possibly end any other way?

27th May '12 9:02:37 PM flag for mods
comments
And so it ends. Even though I don't smoke, I need a cigarette. XD

But yeah - the game justification for Samus' controls in the escape sequence are... poorly and unfortunately justified. In the game, she doesn't fire her beam weapons one-handed. She always braces herself with her free hand. Here, because she's carrying Adam's helmet, she doesn't have a free hand, so no suit and beam for her.

Besides which, it's symbolic in a way - with Adam's influence, Samus just sucks! : D
nomuru2d 27th May 12 (edited by: nomuru2d)
It's not over yet. As is standard, I end my looks at these kinds of things with various analyses and speculation on some important aspect of the work. Other M will be no different.

Also, I have some surprise content for Other M coming up next.
Korval 28th May 12
Also this is guaranteed bad writing, if you couldn't tell the difference between past-tense and present inner monologue.
nomuru2d 29th May 12
I actually like the last post-credits scene; it doesn't use monologue, so all the emotions are suggested by the actions, and it doesn't suffer because the script is awful. However, everything else sucks.

Also, holy shit, you have some serious endurance for writing all of this. Great blog.
Scardoll 30th May 12
I hate to point out an error in this, but at the end when MB discards the hairpin and shoves Madeline away... it isn't Samus who shoots MB with an ice beam. Go Youtube that scene and you will notice that the shot comes from a GF trooper from the door. MB turns to face him, and is hit.

So the ending scene involves Samus even less than you realize!
thefavs 12th Jul 12
I'm not certain about that. The scene clearly shows Samus firing a shot. And while the blocking of the scene does show Melissa turning around, thus suggesting that the shot that hit her came from the other direction, there are a lot of other directorial screwups in that scene. Like when it does the 360-pan around Melissa as she unfreezes, it clearly shows that the room is empty. Also, she unfreezes while facing neither Samus nor the entrance to the room.

Ultimately, the scene is so poorly directed and shot that it's impossible to be sure of anything.
Korval 13th Jul 12
Looking at the ending sequence, you can only see the legs of the shooter. Judging by the shape, it was one of the GF troopers who shot Melissa... The ones who ran into the room seconds later.

STUPID STUPID STUPID
Scardoll 13th Nov 12
I think it's entirely telling that when I saw a thumbnail with Samus holding Adam's helmet, my first thought was that it had her look pregnant.
Buretsu 28th Jul 13
Oops, maybe I should have read the whole thing before leaving that comment a page back.

And maybe I should look ahead before commenting further? No, the stupid telepathy plot line? Ridley, Kraid and Mother Brain were all blown to bits in the first game so clearly they did not need MB's psychic powers. Furthermore, Mother Brain's telepathy did not stop the Metroids from eating her staff in Zero Mission or eating her in Super. I did not even realize these plot holes before but looking at this review they are so obvious.
IndirectActiveTransport 9th Jan 14
Good God in Heaven above

I know Japanese culture is considered misogynistic by the standards of Americans, but... holy fuck, this is terrible, Sakamoto, this is downright terrible. The average anime and manga isn't NEARLY this bad about it, you have no excuse. The guy who does Naturo publicly admitted he's not comfortable writing female characters, but he's a hell of a lot better than motherfucking Sakamoto
TARINunit9 1st May 14
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