Metroid II: Return of Samus
is an action-adventure video game, the second game in the Metroid
series, and the only one developed for the Nintendo Game Boy. The sixth installment in the overall series story (the later Metroid Prime
games serving as Interquels
between Metroid 1
and this game), the game was developed and published by Nintendo in North America in November 1991, in Japan in January 1992, and in Europe in May 1992.
The story of Metroid II
follows the protagonist and playable character Samus Aran, who is sent on a mission to exterminate the Metroid creatures from their home planet SR388 before the antagonistic Space Pirates obtain and use them yet again. On the planet, Samus encounters Metroids in different stages of their evolution cycle, ranging in forms from small jellyfish-like creatures to large, hovering, reptilian beasts.
In Metroid II
, the developers added round metal shoulders on Samus's Varia Suit to differentiate it from her Power Suit, since both looked similar on the Game Boy's limited greyscale display. The updated suit has since been a staple of the series, appearing in all subsequent games. The game also introduces elements that would become franchise staples, such as the Space Jump, the gunship used by Samus, and Save Stations (which replace the password system from the first game).
Also note that there is no definite article in the title. It's Return of Samus
, not The Return of Samus
This game contains examples of:
- Ambidextrous Sprite: First game in the series to avert this.
- Art Evolution: Samus' armor also changed drastically between Metroid 1 and II, and all flashbacks to the first game depict the redesigned armor.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Plasma Beam is the most powerful gun you get, but it fires a straight shot that can't penetrate certain enemies' armor, unlike previous upgrade the Wave Beam.
- Bag of Spilling: You start off with about 30 missiles, since they're needed to even damage the Metroids she's hunting, and the Morph Ball and Long Beam. Everything else from the previous chronological games is lost.
- Big Bad: The Queen Metroid.
- Broken Bridge: A hazardous liquid drains from the caverns via periodic earthquakes. (In one case, it actually fills in a cavern.) The trigger? Killing all the Metroids in a section. One section of liquid near the end of the game even has a set of spikes added to the end of the tunnel to prevent a Dungeon Bypass.
- Convection Schmonvection: One of only two games to play it straight, the other being the original Metroid.
- Double Jump: The first appearance of the space jump.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: The screw attack and the space jump.
- Fan Remake: Project AM2R: Return of Samus, by DoctorM64.
- Gotta Kill Em All: An ever-present counter shows how many Metroids are left to kill. This becomes more disconcerting as the Metroids start to mutate, resulting in a mini-boss encounter with each one. (The 47th and final Metroid is, of course, the dreaded Queen.) Ironically, the game concludes with Samus adopting a Metroid hatchling; rather than snuff out the hated race once and for all ("Have I the right?"), Samus takes it under her wing and begins a peaceful climb back to the surface.
- Huge School Girl: This game's manual revealed that Samus was either a pretty large school girl or wore some disproportionally light armour. Nintendo's official Super Metroid guide confirmed that, though she usually does not look like it in the end game art, Samus is imperially six feet three inches tall and about 189 lbs in weight (a school girl the basketball, track&field coaches would kill for huh?)
- Load-Bearing Boss: Averted; killing the Queen Metroid doesn't cause the place to collapse—though it does result in an earthquake which prevents Samus from returning to prior parts of the game. Samus destroys the planet herself later in Metroid: Fusion.
- Sole Survivor/Last of His Kind: The baby Metroid at the end of the game.
- Underground Level: All of the action in Metroid II takes place in the caverns of SR388. The only part of the surface the player sees is the immediate area around Samus' ship, and the hills behind it at the end of the game.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The nest of the Metroid Queen.
- Video Game Remake: A dedicated fan is remaking Metroid 2, but with an engine similar to that found in Metroid: Fusion and Metroid Zero Mission. Curiously enough, is named Another Metroid 2 Remake.
- Metroid 2 was originally going to get a DX Remake for the Game Boy Color like Link's Awakening but the project was canceled.