Samus Aran (Character) - Giant Bomb (2024)


Samus Aran is the protagonist of Nintendo's Metroid series. She is a bounty hunter in the science fiction setting of the Galactic Federation.

Samus is one of the most well-known female protagonists in video games. Created at a time when female protagonists were largely unheard of in the medium, her gender was initially kept as a surprise thanks to the concealing nature of her power suit. Even the instruction manual for the original game referred to Samus as a male. However, players that completed Metroid in under two hours, or who used special passwords, discovered that Samus is, in fact, a woman.

Evolution of Design

In the earliest years of Samus's existence, her most common appearance was defined by the look of her power suit. Predominantly yellow and orange with a red helmet, the appearance of her suit has become one of the most iconic aspects of her design. However, in later games, as Samus has seen more suit styles and upgrades, the appearance of her suit has varied dramatically from the stripped down Fusion Suit in Metroid Fusion to the Light and Dark Suits of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

On the other hand, Samus's own physical appearance varied wildly in the early games, and was reserved only for viewing by players that managed to complete the games under stringent time and/or item collection requirements. For example, at the end of the original Metroid, she appears to be a brunette in the ending sequence, but her coloration changed if the player played the game without her power suit; a feat possible after completing the game under a certain time or through the use of passwords. In Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion, she's blonde, but has a distinctively different look to her appearance in each game.

Samus's physical appearance became standardized in Metroid: Zero Mission. Retaining her blonde haired/blue eyed appearance, her hairstyle was changed to a distinctive ponytail. The game also introduced the Zero Suit; a blue bodysuit that Samus wears underneath her power suit that has become her standard attire when not seen in her armor. All Metroid titles released since Zero Mission have retained this particular look as Samus's canon appearance.

Samus's Voice

In Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus, Samus is a silent protagonist. She has no dialogue, and the stories in each game are told purely by in-game action. However, Super Metroid gave Samus text dialogue for the first time, albeit briefly, as she narrates a recap of the major events of the first two games. In Metroid Fusion, Samus was given extensive dialogue for the first time, as the game was the first in the series to include a friendly character that she routinely interacts with.

Metroid Prime, released on the same day as Fusion, was the first game in which Samus was voiced. However, this voice is limited to grunts, shouts and other vocal exertions rather than dialogue. This trend held throughout the rest of the Prime series. For Samus's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, she was given brief lines of dialogue, though she only speaks when not wearing her power suit. In Metroid: Other M, Samus is fully voiced. She speaks frequently throughout the game, both in dialogue and narration.


  • Metroid Prime: Jennifer Hale
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Alésia Glidewell (Zero Suit Samus)
  • Metroid: Other M: Jessica Martin

Character Background

When Samus was three years old, her home, the mining colony K-2L was attacked in a raid conducted by space pirates. The raid was led by the powerful, monstrous alien Ridley. In the end, only Samus survived, and she would come to regard Ridley as the one responsible for the deaths of her parents. Following the departure of the pirates, she was rescued by a race of bird-people known as the Chozo, who adopted her and raised her on the planet Zebes. However, the planet's environment was not one in which the average human could endure for any extended period of time. In order to allow Samus to venture outside of their heavily sheltered settlements, the Chozo used a process that infused the young girl with their own blood that would allow her to live normally on the planet.

After the process was completed, Samus was seen as a true Chozo child by the rest of the race, and was thereafter given the same treatment and strict training regimen as all young Chozo warriors. Samus took exceptionally well to this training and eventually became known as one of the Chozo's finest warriors. At the age of fourteen, Samus was given the same right of passage as all trainees of their race and was fitted with her own power suit. However, when a mysterious plant is found growing on the surface of Zebes, the Chozo realize that the days of their colony on the planet are numbered, as the plant's spores would eventually alter the environment to make it uninhabitable even to them.

Soon after, Samus set out into the galaxy to find her own way in life. Driven by the murder of her parents, Samus quickly enlisted herself as a soldier the Galactic Federation Army. During her time as a member of the military, she served under the command of Adam Malkovich. Mutual respect between the two grew into a friendship that was shared with Adam's younger brother and fellow soldier Ian. However, after Ian was left to die during a mission under Adam's command, Samus became disillusioned with military life and left. Following her departure from the army, she became a freelance bounty hunter, leading to her adventures in the Metroid series.

Common Techniques and Skills

Many of Samus's most recognizable abilities are granted to her through the use of her power suit. Through the use of the morph ball, she can transform into a metal sphere with the ability to roam freely through the environment and drop bombs to defeat some enemies and clear paths that she couldn't otherwise access. When equipped with a speed booster, Samus can run at a vastly accelerated rate and is also granted the ability to perform a shinespark; a form of super jump or dash that allows her to clear great heights or jump great distances that would otherwise be impossible. The effects of weapons she adds to the arm cannon of her suit also typically stack. Thus, what starts off as a simple energy blast can evolve into a chargeable shot that's also capable of freezing enemies and passing through certain barriers. In addition, some games also grant her use of a grapple beam that she can use to latch onto certain objects in the environment and swing across wide gaps.

In Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus temporarily loses her power suit and must proceed for a stretch of gameplay without it. With only her Zero Suit for protection, she's more susceptible to damage, but is lighter, quicker, and more agile. Her only weapon in this scenario is a simple emergency pistol that only has enough power to stun enemies. In Metroid: Other M, the player must once again control Samus in her Zero Suit during the escape sequence at the end of the game's epilogue chapter.

Other Appearances

Super Smash Bros.

Samus has appeared in every entry of the Super Smash Bros. series to date. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, her Zero Suit design was made an alternate playable version, and the player could swap between her armor and Zero Suit forms by executing a Final Smash. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, her armor and Zero Suit forms have been made independent playable characters.

Other Games

Samus's games are often subjects of microgames seen in the WarioWare series. She has also made numerous cameo appearances in games such as Famicom Wars, Tetris, F-1 Race, and Super Mario RPG. More recently, Samus appears in a cameo in morph ball form in a stage in Dead or Alive: Dimensions that is inspired by the Team Ninja-developed Metroid: Other M.

Other Media

Outside of video games, Samus has made appearances in several comics. To coincide with the release of Super Metroid, Nintendo Power ran a serialized comic that serves as a non-canon interpretation of the game's story. She also appeared as a recurring character in the Captain N comic book series as an ally of Kevin, the protagonist, and as a romantic rival for his affections to Princess Lana of Video Land. Samus made no appearances in the Captain N animated series, though Metroid antagonist Mother Brain did.

In 2002, a two-volume Metroid manga was published under the supervision of Metroid co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto. Though the manga was never officially published outside of Japan, fan translations of it are available online. The manga explores Samus's life from early childhood up until shortly before the events of the original Metroid. Certain elements of her backstory as depicted in the manga have also been directly referenced in the games Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid: Other M, establishing the the manga as a source of canon.

Samus Aran (Character) - Giant Bomb (2024)


How old is Samus Aran canonically? ›

Since the games are pretty ambiguous about years and dates and all that, this is the best canon source of a timeline we can get without a lot of fan speculation. According to the timeline, Samus was born around ~2055. Metroid Primes 2 & 3 take place during the year 2080, which would make her 24-25 years old in Prime 3.

What gender is Samus Aran? ›

As a woman in a male-dominated role, Samus has been widely considered a breakthrough for female characters in video games, and is one of the most beloved video game characters of all time by critics and fans alike. Samus is one of the first major female protagonists in a video game.

How tall is Samus Aran without a suit? ›

As you can see, the image shows Aran with and without her iconic Power (or Varia) Suit, and claims that her natural height is 6'3" – making her a pretty striking figure.

Was Samus always female? ›

Samus broke ground early in the gaming world when she debuted in the 1986 game Metroid. Originally players were under the impression that Samus was a male, as the English translation of the instruction manual used male pronouns for her. However, completing Metroid in under five hours revealed Samus to be a young woman.

Does Samus Aran have PTSD? ›

Near the end of the manga, Samus overcomes her PTSD and triumphs in the battle against Ridley, seemingly killing him. She lets out a victorious war-cry as well. In the actual game Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus' eyes are briefly seen through her visor as Ridley flies down to battle.

Who is Samus husband? ›

The relationship between Samus Aran and Commander Adam Malkovich was a key element to the plots of Metroid: Other M and Metroid Fusion.

How old is Zero Suit Samus? ›

She also has more pressure and much crazier punishs and combos leading to punish kills . Samus and Zero Suit Samus are different characters in SSBU. Samus is 04, Dark Samus is 04 Alternate, Zero Suit Samus is 29, and Ridley is 65.. Mario to be the same person as long as they're not fighting in the same match.

Is Dark Samus non binary? ›

Gender. Dark Samus is female, as she is composed of Samus's DNA, which would contain female chromosomes (XX),the one true way to define gender, other wise it wouldn't be Samus's DNA, . Besides, the spooky laugh is unmistakably a distorted womens voice.

What is Samus full name? ›

Samus Aran (サムス・アラン, Samusu Aran) is the main character of the Metroid games. She's a bounty hunter, and helps the Galactic Federation. She has many enemies, including Mother Brain, Ridley, Kraid, Dark Samus, and the Metroids.

Is Samus Aran mute? ›

While Samus Aran has generally been a silent character in the Metroid series, multiple games have given her a speaking role of some sort. This ranges from an audible voice being heard when she is hit, to brief phrases, and in the case of Metroid: Other M, extensive dialogue.

Does Samus Aran have a love interest? ›

Samus Has Only Ever Had One Love Interest... Kevin from Captain N. Captain N: The Game Master was a Nintendo themed cartoon series that began in 1989. A kid named Kevin gets dragged into the world of his NES and must battle the evil villains of Videoland.

Who adopted Samus Aran? ›

Samus Aran

Her homeworld was attacked by the Space Pirates, and her parents were murdered by their leader Ridley when she was young, which led to her being taken in by the Chozo, who saved her life and raised her to become a warrior.

What disorder does Samus have? ›

Her mental one is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whenever she is reminded of her troubled past it causes her to freeze in fear. Her physical one as of Fusion is cold, due to her DNA being infused with that of a metroid.

Is Samus even human anymore? ›

Samus Aran is, for the most part, human, and possibly the most powerful human in terms of battle capacity, though this is partially due to the fact that she is a human infused with Chozo DNA.

Is Samus a badass? ›

In Metroid Dread, against all odds and expectations, Samus Aran is finally a badass.

How old is Samus in Metroid timeline? ›

Their timeline infered she might be in her mid twenties, however some contradictory data from various sources in the Prime series could push it up too around her early 30's. Her appearance changes from game to game.

What is Samus Aran's IQ? ›

Samus' exact IQ is never officially listed, but it stands to reason that she's one of Nintendo's smartest characters due to the variety of missions that she's pulled off.


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