30 Days: Game Character You’re Like (Or Wish You Were)

This is one of a series called “30 Days of Video Games“, an exercise on daily writing.
Follow the link for the full list.

Can I say Samus Aran?  I’m going with Samus from the first Metroid.  Here you have a dauntless warrior, a person with a job and the will (and the toys) to get the job done.  Take out the pirates.  Bring down their bosses.  Destroy the Mother Brain and the stolen Metroid organisms.  Nothing else matters – get the tools to solve the next step in Planet Zebes’ labyrinth of challenges, upgrade the hardware needed to take down Kraid & Ridley, set the charges, get out of town.  Samus’ first adventure is a straight-up smash-in-the-door adventure and she is clearly the right person for the job.

Metroid’s ending was both amazing and problematic.  The reveal of Samus’ gender as the toughest woman this side of Ellen Ripley blew the minds of geeks everywhere, and the game outside of the ending is a wonderful gender-neutral puzzle/action game with the stoic and silent Samus silently taking her licks without moans, groans or feminine whimpers, just a sour and muted ‘whoomp’ sound.  Samus’ actions were without hesitation, just a smooth and relentless progress towards her goals.  It was problematic to me that the ending reveal showing just who Samus was featured her trading in the battlesuit for a bikini (in space, none the less.)  That seems fairly gratuitous to me – but seeing at how jaw-dropping it was to have a female action hero (this was way before Lara Craft and Chun-Li), I suppose that’s what was needed to get the point across.

Samus’ other adventures have largely held up the characterization of her as a stoic, silent, ass-kicking bounty hunter, an Eliot Spencer of space, if you will.  I’ve heard about the very problematic interaction between her and her male boss in Other M, but I haven’t played the game (not preferring the first-person aspect of the newer games) so I can’t really comment on that.

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