Today (August 6) marks the 35th anniversary of the Metroid series.
The first Metroid game was released on Nintendo‘s Famicom Disk System in Japan before it made its way to the NES in North America and Europe later in 1987 and 1988 respectively.
Taking inspiration from the 1979 sci-fi horror Alien – its main antagonist Ridley likely also named after the film’s director Ridley Scott – Metroid was a darker series compared to Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda, starring space bounty hunter Samus Aran as she sets out to the planet of Zebes to retrieve the parasitic Metroid organisms that were stolen by Space Pirates.
One of the famous twists, revealed only after multiple playthroughs, was when players discover at the end that Samus is in fact a woman, making her one of gaming’s earliest female protagonists.
On this day 35 years ago, bounty hunter Samus Aran landed on planet Zebes when Metroid launched in Japan. pic.twitter.com/s8W8ZPDqsk
— Nintendo UK (@NintendoUK) August 6, 2021
Despite being around for 35 years, as long as The Legend Of Zelda, there have been noticeably fewer Metroid titles released, with only five mainline instalments. The fifth entry, the upcoming Metroid Dread, comes 19 years after its predecessor Metroid Fusion on the Game Boy Advance.
During that time, the first and second games have also been remade as Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid: Samus Returns respectively, the latter co-developed by MercurySteam, who is also involved with the latest title.
Nonetheless, Nintendo‘s Twitter account has at least acknowledged the series’ anniversary, whereas it had been left to fans to honour the 35th anniversary of The Legend Of Zelda earlier this year.
It also appears to have plans to celebrate the anniversary with a further tease of Metroid Dread, as an unlisted video has also gone live from Nintendo’s Japanese YouTube account.