In the year 1980 of the Gregorian Calendar, employees from the nation of Japan advanced a company known as Nintendo, and an age of prosperity began. A successful exchange of consumers and developers resulted, and thousands of video games shuttled back and forth between nations. Soon, however, The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 began to attack the industry, threatening galactic peace. Nintendo struck back against this aggression, but the Crash's attacks were powerful and it was impossible to withstand it in the vast reaches of the West. So Nintendo called together powerful videogame franchises to battle the stagnant market.In the year 1986 of the Gregorian Calendar, the company decided on a risky strategy: to send a lone space hunter game to penetrate the Crash's stronghold and destroy the mechanical life-form that controlled its defenses. The space hunter game chosen for this mission was Metroid. Considered the greatest of all early shooter-adventures, Metroid successfully completed numerous missions that others had thought impossible. Despite its accomplishments, much of its hero's identity, Samus Aran, remained a mystery... unless the player beat the game in under three hours, upon which they discovered that Samus Is a Girl.Metroid successfully sold millions of units and established dozens of mechanics now standard for subsequent video games, such as secret endings, back tracking, discoverable power-ups, and sequence breaking. Its own legacy was continued by the Metroid sequels that told the rest of the saga of Samus, and by its remake, Metroid: Zero Mission, which came out in the year 2004 of the Gregorian Calendar. In Zero Mission, Samus retells the story of her first adventure to a new generation, and includes a few twists in the story for her veteran fans.
After Boss Recovery: Defeating Ridley or Real Kraid will result in Samus's missiles being partially replenished, and, if not already maxed out, carry capacity increased.
Air Borne Mook: Memus, Geegas, Wavers, Mellows, Reos, Rippers, Ripper IIs, Mellas, Gamets, Gerutas, Zebbos, Holtz, Multiviolas, Rinkas, flying enemies come in a wider variety than any other type.
Ambidextrous Sprite: Present only in the NES version of this game; in commercials for the Famicom game, she has unique sprites for facing left and right. Interestingly, some differentiated left/right sprites are in the ROM of this game, but are unused.
Anti-Frustration Features: Die enough times to Mother Brain and the passwords you get will leave the zebetite barriers leading to her broken when entered.
Armless Biped: It is established quickly as very successful morph in the Metroid setting with the Dessgeegas, Novas/Sovas and Sidehoppers. With the exception of the sovas, they all have the ability to walk on the ceiling, jump toward the floor and "fall" upwards.
Awesome, but Impractical: The wave beam does more damage, can hit the various crotch monsters and can shoot through walls. Unfortunately you need the ice beam to reach certain areas and to kill the Metroids at the end (even if you decide to skip the Metroids and let the time bomb finish them off, the ice beam is still the better option for doing that). The wave beam is the best weapon to beat Kraid with however.
Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Polyps and dragons have a superficial resemblance to what those words are meant to describe at best.
Classic Cheat Code By Accident: The famous JUSTIN BAILEY code is just a side-effect of the password calculation system and is but one of many codes that bestow Samus with a leotard. The far less famous NARPAS SWORD (NotAReal or North American Release Password) actually is a special, unique password, however.
Collision Damage: Every enemy, except for the dragons which try to shoot Samus, Skree which try to explode near Samus and the Metroids who try to latch onto Samus, rely on this. The bosses Ridley, Kraid, Fake Kraid and Mother Brain have projectile attacks but can still cause collision damage.
Continuing Is Painful: Every time you get killed or use a password to continue where you left off, you spawn with only 30 Energy. A patch for the ROM not only adds the saving system, but also saves your health (no grinding to regain your health after loading!) and offers a (although minimalist) map screen!
Early-Installment Weirdness: The first Metroid game had some strange designs. Samus was a brunette with '80s Hair, not a pony-tailed blonde. Ridley was... this thing◊ instead of his fearsome modern design◊, Kraid was hairy and the same height as Samus◊, and the back of the box says that "left alone the Metroid[s] are harmless" when later games make fully clear that Metroids are always dangerous and the Pirates are idiots for trying to control them. The very next game has even has Metroids be deemed such a large threat that the Galactic Federation orders their extermination. Also, door close after a set period of time if you do not enter after shooting them open, except red doors, which never close after being shot open.
Heart Container: Energy tanks, there are more of them than the health cap so save one for your final run...or don't
In a Single Bound: The high jump power up, which is not required but makes the various secret passages that end up going nowhere much more bearable.
Lethal Lava Land: Norfair, Ridley's Hideout and Tourian. Brinstar and Kraid's Hideout seem to use super-corrosive acid instead.
Loads and Loads of Loading: The Famicom Disk System version has nearly a minute of loading every time Samus enters a different area.
Minus World: The game's glitchy secret worlds can be accessed by getting yourself stuck in doors, are many times larger than 'real' map, and inspired vast inflorescences of conspiracy theory before it was proven they were caused by the game reading its own code as level data. They are also abused for Speed Runs.
Mook Maker: Air tubes, which make progressively faster and more damaging mooks the deeper into Zebes you go.
New Game+: After beating the game you get to keep all of Samus's power ups for future times playing through except for her energy and missile tanks, which you have to find again. Still, it can allow you to finish the game much faster and lead to...
If you do well enough, or just get the password from someone else, you can play through the game without the power suit, with all the controls and power ups still working the same for an unarmored Samus. Just a one time thing for this game though, Samus is much weaker without the suit in the sequels.
Nintendo Hard: There's a save feature, but you can't save whenever you want, only when you die. Plus, you respawn with only one energy tank that is only 1/3rd full, so you have to grind to regain your remaining health.
Palette Swap: Activating missiles turns her arm cannon blue when in her armour. The Varia Suit upgrade turns Samus's armour pink and makes the armour turn purple when missiles are activated. A few enemies are also palette swapped, usually appearing together in the same area while other enemies with the same function get different sprites in other areas. Particularly, red/brown Metroids are slow but more likely to come after Samus while green Metroids are fast but likely to lie in wait (or get caught on bits of scenery).
Pivotal Boss: Ridley's movement is limited to jumping in place and turning around if you get behind him.
Power-Up Letdown: The Ice Beam kinda sucks in this game. Freezing an enemy deals no damage, only unfreezing them does that. This means twice as many shots to kill something.
Red Herring: There exists a look alike of Kraid that dies in one hit, though to find it, you have to pretty far off course so most players do not see it.
Rock Monster: The manual says polyps are living, poisonous lava, though to the player, they may as well be lifeless geyser hazards.
Sequence Breaking: The morph ball, bombs and missiles are the only things required to beat the game (making seven power ups optional), though you will probably need the ice beam too if running an absolute minimum run. Real Kraid and Mother Brain are the only bosses you have to kill, Fake Kraid, Ridley and even the Metroids can be ignored if you so choose.
Spoiled By The Manual: The instruction manual details almost everything in the game. Emphasis on "almost", for when they get to the Escape Sequence, all they said was, "If you manage to destroy the last enemy, Mother Brain, wait for a message to flash across the screen a second later. Something big is in store for you! We can't disclose it here, but we can tell you that the game is not over yet!"
Stationary Boss: Mother Brain, who does not direct attack at all but waits at the end of a locked down death course.