On my personal blog I recently made a post about whether or not Samus Aran was transgender. But while writing it, one little thing bothered me and I thought I'd expand it into a full blog. Plus I just really like babbling about Metroid.
I was convinced there were further secrets in the game if only I explored hard enough. There were so many secret areas (actually glitches) you could reach by letting doors close on you and climbing up through the walls. I just knew if I found the right one, I'd get to see more of the story. One of the secret codes was "Justin Bailey" - I was sure that was the name of another character in the Metroid universe.
In 1989 I drew a really bad comic book adaptation of the Metroid game. I followed this with two additional issues, the second of which was a collection of short stories. At one point it crossed over with another sci-fi comic I was drawing, The Bounty Hunters (which starred Boba Fett). Finally I combined both universes into one, with a series called "Space Stories". I continued drawing Space Stories all throughout high school, college, and a bit beyond.
So yeah, the lack of real canon, combined with my own dumb ideas, made me write a lot of crazy things. Now, I loved the next two sequels - Metroid 2 (Gameboy, 1991) and Super Metroid (SNES, 1994), but they didn't really expand the universe much. Goofy as it was, my comics were still the best canon I had. So, when Nintendo finally got around to fleshing out Samus Aran's universe, in some ways it was already too late. I'm glad they made the effort, but the results didn't always make me happy.
And then there's her personality in "Other M"... Okay, I'm not going to go into too much detail here, because the internet's already full of bad Other M reviews. The gist is that Samus acted way too subservient in that game. To be fair, it's possible they were doomed from the start. Samus Aran had been around for 24 years by that point, and the earlier games didn't really show much of her personality. During that time different players had built up different ideas of what her personality was like, and when Other M didn't line up with their headcanon, it felt like betrayal. But that's just a possible explanation, not an excuse. It really isn't a very good game so don't look to me to defend it.
But the thing the bothered me the most was... the manga. I'm sorry, I know that's sacrilege for some people. But the "raised by Chozo" thing really ruined my headcanon. Okay, some background for those who don't know what I'm talking about. In the original Metroid, you occasionally find powerups held by statues of strange bird people, called Chozo. In the manga, it is explained that Samus was orphaned as a child, and raised by Chozo. They trained her to be a good fighter, and infused her with technology. This explains why their weapons are compatible with her suit.
It's not a terrible explanation, but here's my problem. When I played through the original Metroid, I always felt like the space pirates had built their base in the ruins of some unknown ancient civilization. As Samus explored it, I thought it was cool that it was as mysterious to her as it was to the player. Who were these weird bird people? What killed them off? Why does their ancient technology work so well with her suit? I hoped these questions would be answered in future games, but not as backstory.
So, no, the Chozo story is not for me. I can accept Samus being transgender, but raised by bird guys is too much.