Even in the instruction booklet for the original Metroid game, Samus Aran was played up to be a man...or at the very least, a cyborg, with such lines as, "Even the Space Pirates fear his armor" * To this day, no one's quite sure whether this was intentionally misleading or if it was a "Blind Idiot" Translation, which was facepalmingly frequent in The Eighties. But beating the game in a very short amount of time treats players to Samus stripping away said armor to reveal...a chick in a bikini. Take that, Distressed Damsel archetype!
Super Metroid has two characters get a CMOA in the same scene. The fight with Mother Brain isn't going too well—she transforms from a helpless brain in a jar to a towering, drooling, screeching beastie and has Samus at her mercy. Just as Mother Brain's charging up for the final blow, the Metroid hatchling Samus saved from Metroid II shows up all grown up and drains Mother Brain into submission, then transfers the energy to Samus while taking heavy fire. It brings Samus back to full health before one last shot from Mother Brain kills it. After its heart-rending death squeal, Samus stands up. Hello, Hyper Beam. Hello, Theme Music Power-Up. And hello, Mama Bear.
This scene is even visually awesome, before, your most powerful weapons were barely scratching Mother Brain. The Hyper Beam, on the other hand, sends her reeling with each hit.Here is a link to watch the battle.
In Zero Mission, after destroying Mother Brain, Samus' ship crashes, forcing her to trek through the pirate mother ship without her powersuit, constantly having to dodge the murderous pirates and their powerful weapons. At the end of the level, Samus discovers a new powersuit in the Chozo Ruins... A far more powerful Power Suit than her old one. Cue the Transformation Sequence! Cue the Theme Music Power-Up! Cue the mass amounts of buttkicking that commences when Samus can now kill the pirates with one shot, instead of the other way around!
The game is worth playing for that one moment. You beat a boss without your armor, then about ten seconds of pure awesome go by. Then Space Pirates go boom.
Metroid Fusion has several in the final segment of the game. After hearing from her computer that there are at least ten SA-X running around (clones of Samus) and that the Federation is coming down to capture and study them, Aran decides to send the research station crashing down into SR388, even if it means killing herself in the process, which she acknowledges to the computer AI. The computer's personality then changes, deciding to help Samus while taking on the personality of Adam, Samus' long gone commanding officer and old friend. "Any objections, Lady?" In a Super Metroid moment, Samus fights the Omega Metroid and a single swipe knocks her health down to one. One of the SA-X appears, ignoring Samus and shoots the Metroid with its Ice Beam. The Metroid kills it, which releases the parasite. Samus absorbs it, which fully heals her, gives back the Ice Beam, and changes Samus' suit color to the traditional red, orange, and yellow And if that wasn't enough, Samus' ship arrives after the battle to help her escape. It wasn't the computer controlling the ship, but the friendly creatures that Samus released much earlier in the game.
Canonically, Samus rescued said creatures in Super Metroid while Zebes was about to explode.
The entire Metroid Prime Trilogy is going to be re-released on the Wii, the first two games remade with Wiimote Controls, and the token system, the multiplayer mode from Echoes will still be in the game, and Corruption is also on the disc. And all of this is only 50 dollars? Three of the best games from the Gamecube and the Wii for 50 dollars, and they were improved...
The US and EU are getting the Trilogy deal, rather than having to buy the first two primes separately under the New Play Control! rerelease scheme like Japan. Since the NPC! games have been about half the price of a regular Wii game, we're basically getting both games with Corruption thrown in for free!
Not to mention the fact that the game comes in a special metal case. Nintendo games being released with special casing happens about as often as Ridley stays dead.
If the act of putting a disc in the drive could count as a Crowning Moment, then booting up Trilogy when you haven't played a Metroid game since the Super Nintendo is most certainly one. A disc with nine times the amount of quality playtime as your average new game on the market (allowing that a Prime game takes about 3 times as long to fully explore as your regular blockbuster). Cue the Metroidgasm!
A meta-example: the first IGN pool Samus Aran Vs Master Chief. Samus won with a whole 73%. Adding to the amazement, this was held right after the marketing frenzy that is Halo 3 came out (meaning that Samus still won even with the Master Chief's massive PR campaign).
Most of the early SA-X encounters in Fusion involve you running and hiding because the feared evil twin can easily kill Samus with one shot of the Ice Beam and Super Missile (in that order). Once you have the Varia Suit, the Ice Beam won't freeze you (still hurts a lot, though), and by the time you meet SA-X again after getting said Varia Suit, you will be able to turn the tables on it by using Ice Missiles to freeze it. It only buys you about one second to run away, but this troper couldn't help but think "Who's laughing now?!" before running like hell to a hiding place.
Not just that, but come the end of the game, you get to stomp that thing into the ground in a boss fight.
Ridley's a walkin' CMoA, as well (albeit for reasons in which YMMV); he murders Samus' parents, sends her into a PTSD-induced breakdown which renders her helpless and taunts her with the idea that he devoured her mother's body, and even when Samus thinks she's killed him, he returns for another go in her first mission, and seems to follow her like some kind of demon. He can give Samus a fight as a walking corpse, and it takes a planet-sized explosion after exploding and falling into lava to canonically kill him. Then, immediately after, he's cloned by the Galactic Federation and suddenly engages the still-traumatized Samus in the Pyrosphere, his apparent survival of Zebes' destruction only serving to remind Samus of her helplessness at the time of her parents' death at the claws of Ridley; and it takes until Ridley supposedly kills her crewmate Anthony before she can overcome her second mental breakdown and manage to compose herself enough to battle Ridley. And his clone is still viable for use by an X when it's stored on the BSL. Goddamn.
Every time you fight Ridley is a moment of Awesome in itself. Unlike every other boss in the series, Ridley has no weak point, just a lot of health and really hard-to-avoid attacks. Therefore, the best course of action in every Ridley encounter is to attack relentlessly, and it never gets old.
Power walking with a◊ bad-ass white long coat. It just shows how awesome she is, especially when she easily defeats twelve power armoured GF Marines, while wearing it, then rescues Chairman Keaton with a single shot.
Any of the 'Captain N The Game Master' comics which star Samus as a hilariously bad-ass Amazonian mercenary who appreciates the finer things in life: like love, money and big guns.
You can experience the hilarity and unmitigated awesome sauce here.
Aran and Princess Laina being imprisoned on the penal colony of RX 338. In one page◊, Samus becomes more awesome than Richard B. Riddick and Walter Kovacks, combined.
That's not even the best part. Not only does Samus proceed to set up a prison break, she scares Kraid into becoming her diversion and even while lasers are being shot at her from all directions, she drags Laina into an escape shuttle and takes off. After having beaten two guards and her enemies. Suitless.
Samus:(to Kraid) A month in solitary, or a month in the hospital! It's your choice...
In the manga, one of the Chozo, Gray Voice,after pretending to betray the Chozo when the Space Pirates invade Zebes, reveals that he was just looking for a chance to take out the Mother Brain, and, dusting off an old Chozo suit of Powered Armor, starts blasting away at the Mother Brain with a BFG, despite the fact that the Chozo all programed themselves to feel intense pain if they ever used violence.
Gray then fights Ridley to a stand-still, in close-quarters combat and it is only when Mother uses some sort of mental attack accompanied with a Breaking Speech, that Gray is incapacitated long enough for Ridley to impale Aran's foster-father on his barbed tail. Gray proceeds to walk off this mortal wound, destroy one of the pursuit craft harassing Samus' escape and plant the Varia Suit for his daughter at a Chozo shrine just before Ridley consumes him with a jet of plasma breath.
Ridley: So you came all this way. You're a tenacious bastard... Crawl to your tombstone, old man! You may refuse to die... But your friends will!
One for Miss Aran also, who is standing on top of the unarmed ship and manually sniping Pirate vessels out of the sky while she rides through the atmosphere; likening it to defending against a thousand spears with a single sword. Sam succeeds.
Several moments in the 'Samus and Joey' manga issues, including these gems from Volume 1:
An evil Illuminati faction of arms dealers known as Dominion create Integra, a war droid based on Sam's technology. It's powerful enough to kick the Hunter all over the shop. Until Aran uses her superior tactical thinking and some underhanded pragmatism to cripple its weapons. Then... We get a glimpse◊ of Samus' true◊power...◊