Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Sex and the Zero Suit: Why Samus was Great Only in Metroid Prime

Khuutra said:
d21lewis said:
Well I'm not a fan of the "You are the protagonist" approach to gaming. I found out that Samus was a woman back in the 80's. I like being reminded that she's a woman. If anything, I had a harder time trying to figure out how she fit into that armor without detaching her arms.

I don't want to be the protagonist. That's one of the reasons why I hate most FPS titles. Just a faceless grunt or a floating gun that does everything except differentiate himself/itself from any million of other characters that I play as.

As some other guy in this thread said, "It's just video games." I'm not looking for a character that began as an 8-Bit sprite to give me "The female experience" or anything of that nature. I just want to see Samus's story continue and since I know she's a human female, I'm perfectly fine with her not acting like a man or a robot. As long as the gameplay is good (and it has always been good), I'm happy.

The old armor was basically like a tank - Samus used to be 6'2 and weigh almost 200 pounds, if I remember, and she looked tiny in it

And lewis I respect you and I understand where you're coming from, but if Other M was nothing but running around in the Zero Suit with an RE4 camera set behind Samus centered on her ass, you would buy that game forty-five times

Sadly, this is true.



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

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d21lewis said:
What makes Samus so different from Solid Snake? I made this argument back when Other M came out. Snake was an 8-Bit character that later got clad in a skin tight suit, had some emotional breakdowns, took orders from a member of the opposite sex, and still kicked all kinds of ass. I went into more detail back then but I won't elaborate.

Is it such a sin for Samus to have a personality? It may not be the personality that we want her to have but there's any number of female characters for us to try. That chick from Portal, that chick from Mirror's Edge, or that chick from......err....uh.......anyway, I like Metroid. It's awesome.

Snake has always had a voice and a character, though. That's one of the points.

Samus went fifteen years never breathing a word, basically just being a Terminator. She was the perfect faceless hero. I can't even think of any other voiceless, faceless female heroes in video games. Chell's close, I guess. It was her niche. Her thing. It was what made her effective.

Have you noticed how people care about her less, now?



Khuutra said:
d21lewis said:
What makes Samus so different from Solid Snake? I made this argument back when Other M came out. Snake was an 8-Bit character that later got clad in a skin tight suit, had some emotional breakdowns, took orders from a member of the opposite sex, and still kicked all kinds of ass. I went into more detail back then but I won't elaborate.

Is it such a sin for Samus to have a personality? It may not be the personality that we want her to have but there's any number of female characters for us to try. That chick from Portal, that chick from Mirror's Edge, or that chick from......err....uh.......anyway, I like Metroid. It's awesome.

Samus went fifteen years never breathing a word, basically just being a Terminator. She was the perfect faceless hero.

Samus "spoke" in text in the beginning of Super Metroid.  She didn't crack any jokes or anything but she told us her story.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR7ZqCYNXYQ

Her thing (being silent in the 80's) was basically 90% of the video game character's thing of the times.  From the two guys from Contra to Lolo and Lala.  Samus was just a cool character design that went through cleverly designed stages.  To this day, most Nintendo characters still do that.  Not what makes her special in my book.  Being able to blow up more planets than Unicron and Galactus combined is what makes Samus stand out for me.



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

Khuutra said:

(...)

For the topic at hand:

Given that they use Samus's sex as a reward to encourage high-level play in those games, do you acknowledge that we are not rewarded in the same way in Metroid Prime, Echoes, and (mostly) Corruption?

I just chime in here, because I didn't get a response to my post despite an announcement that there will be one. *EDIT: Looks like I got one while typing this post.*

I have never viewed the "Samus without armor" reward as her sex being the reward, but rather as a glimpse at the person that wore an armor the whole game. The reward isn't to see a woman, it's seeing the character you played as. The reward is to see a more elaborate ending sequence, even if it is just a short extra scene or a slightly changed scene. Since this happens after the game is over, these scenes that show Samus without armor do not hurt the immersion of the games. For the time I play the game, I feel that I really am this character. Once the job is done, it's time to return to real world. When I see Samus without her armor, I cease to be her. And that's perfectly fine, because the game is over.

That's why I don't have a problem with these scenes. They take nothing away from the games (Metroid, Return of Samus, Super, Prime trilogy). The problem of Zero Mission's Zero Suit is the altered gameplay for that section. Fusion's problem is that Samus talks to the player throughout the game. In these moments you cease to be Samus. Other M adds extreme sexualisation of Samus throughout the game on top of her talking a lot, that's why the game doesn't feel right from the perspective of immersion. The game has also a lot more problems beyond that.

The first time I viewed Samus Aran as a sexualised character was in Echoes' ending sequence. The problem wasn't the Zero Suit, her face or her now yellow hair (her character model looked vastly different than in Prime). Her breasts got pumped up to the desired American standard size. That was pretty shocking to see, but it's just an ending sequence. The guys from Retro Studios had some fun and I never gave it any more thought. Something as short as that doesn't hurt Samus as a character. Corruption scaled her breast size back a little. What exactly was this topic about again?

Oh right, it's about the player being Samus. The immersion starts to vanish as soon as the final boss is defeated or the ship is reached within the time limit (depending on the game). Why? Because the game takes away the control from the player. Whether you see Samus in full armor or without armor in these final moments doesn't matter. This is the point in the game where you cease to be Samus, because you know that the game is over.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

Biased reviews are a pleasure to read. Just my opinion, of course.

RolStoppable said:

I just chime in here, because I didn't get a response to my post despite an announcement that there will be one. *EDIT: Looks like I got one while typing this post.*

I have never viewed the "Samus without armor" reward as her sex being the reward, but rather as a glimpse at the person that wore an armor the whole game. The reward isn't to see a woman, it's seeing the character you played as. The reward is to see a more elaborate ending sequence, even if it is just a short extra scene or a slightly changed scene. Since this happens after the game is over, these scenes that show Samus without armor do not hurt the immersion of the games. For the time I play the game, I feel that I really am this character. Once the job is done, it's time to return to real world. When I see Samus without her armor, I cease to be her. And that's perfectly fine, because the game is over.

That's why I don't have a problem with these scenes. They take nothing away from the games (Metroid, Return of Samus, Super, Prime trilogy). The problem of Zero Mission's Zero Suit is the altered gameplay for that section. Fusion's problem is that Samus talks to the player throughout the game. In these moments you cease to be Samus. Other M adds extreme sexualisation of Samus throughout the game on top of her talking a lot, that's why the game doesn't feel right from the perspective of immersion. The game has also a lot more problems beyond that.

The first time I viewed Samus Aran as a sexualised character was in Echoes' ending sequence. The problem wasn't the Zero Suit, her face or her now yellow hair (her character model looked vastly different than in Prime). Her breasts got pumped up to the desired American standard size. That was pretty shocking to see, but it's just an ending sequence. The guys from Retro Studios had some fun and I never gave it any more thought. Something as short as that doesn't hurt Samus as a character. Corruption scaled her breast size back a little. What exactly was this topic about again?

Oh right, it's about the player being Samus. The immersion starts to vanish as soon as the final boss is defeated or the ship is reached within the time limit (depending on the game). Why? Because the game takes away the control from the player. Whether you see Samus in full armor or without armor in these final moments doesn't matter. This is the point in the game where you cease to be Samus, because you know that the game is over.

You are ignoring the fact that more is revealed the more skillfully you play the game; it is not a simple "Hey, here's the lady inside the suit!" It is a gradient of reveal whereby Samus becomes more and more naked the better you are. That is your reward in the aforementioned games.

You are ignoring the effectiveness of a good denouement, though I can't really blame you. Metroid Prime was the only game in the series that had a super effective denouement.



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Khuutra said:

You are ignoring the fact that more is revealed the more skillfully you play the game; it is not a simple "Hey, here's the lady inside the suit!" It is a gradient of reveal whereby Samus becomes more and more naked the better you are. That is your reward in the aforementioned games.

You are ignoring the effectiveness of a good denouement, though I can't really blame you. Metroid Prime was the only game in the series that had a super effective denouement.

I have read your other response to me, but I am not going to reply for two reasons: One, you said you aren't interested in giving me another response and two, I wasn't happy with that post of mine to begin with because it lacked coherence and flow.

As for this post, "more and more naked" is an exaggeration. At most (it differs between games) there are three forms you can see of Samus in the ending sequence. With armor, without helmet, without armor. The actual reward is the results screen though, seeing how low you can get the timer. That's why there isn't much of an incentive to replay the original Metroid over and over again, because it lacks a timer. You get to see Samus without armor, so you know that you have beaten the game below three hours, but the game doesn't display your actual time.

When is a denouement the most important? The first time you experience something. Given that the cutoff time for better endings is either three or two hours or in the Metroid Prime trilogy an item collection rate of 75 %, the vast majority of players probably doesn't see much the first time they beat the game. What you are ignoring is that your praised ending of Metroid Prime where Samus takes her helmet off requires 75 %, so there's no guarantee that everyone who beats the game will get this super effective denouement. This is a major flaw in your argument.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

Biased reviews are a pleasure to read. Just my opinion, of course.

RolStoppable said:

I have read your other response to me, but I am not going to reply for two reasons: One, you said you aren't interested in giving me another response and two, I wasn't happy with that post of mine to begin with because it lacked coherence and flow.

As for this post, "more and more naked" is an exaggeration. At most (it differs between games) there are three forms you can see of Samus in the ending sequence. With armor, without helmet, without armor. The actual reward is the results screen though, seeing how low you can get the timer. That's why there isn't much of an incentive to replay the original Metroid over and over again, because it lacks a timer. You get to see Samus without armor, so you know that you have beaten the game below three hours, but the game doesn't display your actual time.

When is a denouement the most important? The first time you experience something. Given that the cutoff time for better endings is either three or two hours or in the Metroid Prime trilogy an item collection rate of 75 %, the vast majority of players probably doesn't see much the first time they beat the game. What you are ignoring is that your praised ending of Metroid Prime where Samus takes her helmet off requires 75 %, so there's no guarantee that everyone who beats the game will get this super effective denouement. This is a major flaw in your argument.

Not at all. One game offers the reward of closure (and foreshadowing) directly proportional to your own investment in the title. The other games offer you a pixellated lady to stare at.

There is balance in the denouement and the unlocking of it, where the people most effected would see it the first time anyway because they explore more by nature. It's rather ingeniously built.

But, again

You are focusing on only the tiniest sliver of the matter at hand



Khuutra said:

Not at all. One game offers the reward of closure (and foreshadowing) directly proportional to your own investment in the title. The other games offer you a pixellated lady to stare at.

There is balance in the denouement and the unlocking of it, where the people most effected would see it the first time anyway because they explore more by nature. It's rather ingeniously built.

But, again

You are focusing on only the tiniest sliver of the matter at hand

Why is it that you make it seem like players who try to get a low time in a Metroid game do so in order to see Samus without armor? There are players who are done with a game once they have beaten it and there are players for whom the game only really starts after they have beaten it. For them beating the game isn't enough, so they challenge themselves.

Nobody (that I know of) beats a Metroid game within the cutoff time the first time they play it. Metroid is what you could call a badge of honor game. One you can use to show off your gaming skills. The reward isn't seeing Samus without armor, the reward is the satisfaction that you can beat a game fast that many find difficult to beat within a low time or to beat at all. Like I already said, the original Metroid didn't display the time it took you to beat the game. However, Samus without armor was proof that you did it below three hours.

So what is the big picture in this topic? The original post was huge and not everything sticked after I read it; and I am not going to read it again.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

Biased reviews are a pleasure to read. Just my opinion, of course.

RolStoppable said:

Why is it that you make it seem like players who try to get a low time in a Metroid game do so in order to see Samus without armor? There are players who are done with a game once they have beaten it and there are players for whom the game only really starts after they have beaten it. For them beating the game isn't enough, so they challenge themselves.

Nobody (that I know of) beats a Metroid game within the cutoff time the first time they play it. Metroid is what you could call a badge of honor game. One you can use to show off your gaming skills. The reward isn't seeing Samus without armor, the reward is the satisfaction that you can beat a game fast that many find difficult to beat within a low time or to beat at all. Like I already said, the original Metroid didn't display the time it took you to beat the game. However, Samus without armor was proof that you did it below three hours.

So what is the big picture in this topic? The original post was huge and not everything sticked after I read it; and I am not going to read it again.

You are confusing the way the reward system is constructed with the way players interact with it. Those are not the same thing, and I never said people play it quickly to see Samus with her clothes off.

I was talking about the way Metroid Prime's reward system was set up, especially in the context of the scan system rewarding the player with more behind-the-scenes goodies the more they unlocked. The more a person cared abotu the game, the more likely they were to get Samus with her helmet off, the more likely they were to empathize with her in that moment. It has nothign to do with time-based Metroids. It is all about Metroid Prime, and how its reward system is crafted to be emotionally resonant according to a player's investment.

I don't think "sticked" is standard English, it should probably be "stuck", and the big picture of the topic is what makes Samus an effective character (hint: it has nothing to do with her being a lady, thoguh that can be considered an ancillary niceness)

Also that's awful, for God's sake I read that horrible post of yorus like three times while I was replying to it



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Khuutra said:
RolStoppable said:

I just chime in here, because I didn't get a response to my post despite an announcement that there will be one. *EDIT: Looks like I got one while typing this post.*

I have never viewed the "Samus without armor" reward as her sex being the reward, but rather as a glimpse at the person that wore an armor the whole game. The reward isn't to see a woman, it's seeing the character you played as. The reward is to see a more elaborate ending sequence, even if it is just a short extra scene or a slightly changed scene. Since this happens after the game is over, these scenes that show Samus without armor do not hurt the immersion of the games. For the time I play the game, I feel that I really am this character. Once the job is done, it's time to return to real world. When I see Samus without her armor, I cease to be her. And that's perfectly fine, because the game is over.

That's why I don't have a problem with these scenes. They take nothing away from the games (Metroid, Return of Samus, Super, Prime trilogy). The problem of Zero Mission's Zero Suit is the altered gameplay for that section. Fusion's problem is that Samus talks to the player throughout the game. In these moments you cease to be Samus. Other M adds extreme sexualisation of Samus throughout the game on top of her talking a lot, that's why the game doesn't feel right from the perspective of immersion. The game has also a lot more problems beyond that.

The first time I viewed Samus Aran as a sexualised character was in Echoes' ending sequence. The problem wasn't the Zero Suit, her face or her now yellow hair (her character model looked vastly different than in Prime). Her breasts got pumped up to the desired American standard size. That was pretty shocking to see, but it's just an ending sequence. The guys from Retro Studios had some fun and I never gave it any more thought. Something as short as that doesn't hurt Samus as a character. Corruption scaled her breast size back a little. What exactly was this topic about again?

Oh right, it's about the player being Samus. The immersion starts to vanish as soon as the final boss is defeated or the ship is reached within the time limit (depending on the game). Why? Because the game takes away the control from the player. Whether you see Samus in full armor or without armor in these final moments doesn't matter. This is the point in the game where you cease to be Samus, because you know that the game is over.

You are ignoring the fact that more is revealed the more skillfully you play the game; it is not a simple "Hey, here's the lady inside the suit!" It is a gradient of reveal whereby Samus becomes more and more naked the better you are. That is your reward in the aforementioned games.

You are ignoring the effectiveness of a good denouement, though I can't really blame you. Metroid Prime was the only game in the series that had a super effective denouement.

Is it really "She's more naked the better you are" or is it "Here's her in armor", "Okay now you can see part of her face", "Okay now you can see her out of the armor". 

She went from wearing a bathing suit in Metroid I to wearing a 2-piece in Metroid II to wearing a space bikini in Metroid three and finally to covering up everything except her face.  If anything, she's gotten more conservative than ever.  I still think that (as stated in the OP), it was just a limit to the technology of the time.  That's why Mario Wears a hat and has suspenders. To show Samus as a lady on the 8-Bit NES, she either had to wear a dress like Princess Peach/Toadstool or they had to go the Sigourney Weaver in Aliens route and show her in her space underwear.  With the progression of technology, they gave us more realistic (and feminine) animation, a voice, and finally, a personality.

And I still feel that giving us a flash of her face in Metroid Prime did just as much to show us that we were controlling a female as anything else that's being criticised.  And again, I liked seeing a breif glimpse of her face.  It let me know that I wasn't just controlling a floating cannon on the arm of a robot.  It reminded me that this was a strong woman capable of solving any crisis. 

As for the super effective denoument comment:  Some games of the day gave you more story depending on how good you were at the game.  8-Eyes, Batman Returns, Axelay, and even Metroid Prime come to mind when I think of games that did this.  The thing is, I never saw the "good ending" of Batman Returns, Metroid Prime,  and 8-Eyes until youtube.  I can imagine it being frustrating for a gamer if they played 30 hours of Super Metroid and didn't get to see the Metroid attack Mother Brain or if they'd played through Metroid 2 and didn't get to see Samus run off with the Baby Metroid.  I never got to see the end of Metroid Prime until youtube.  I felt pretty shitty knowing that there was a pretty significant portion of the Metroid story (or at least that's what I thought) that I wasn't able to see the whole story.  Showing "more Samus" doesn't add or detract from the story.  It's nothing significant.  It's just a nice little bonus for speed runners or completionists.

I've lost focus.  Too many distractions.



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!