is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Metroid video game series. Introduced in the 1986 video game Metroid, Samus is a female ex-marine bounty hunter usually fitted with a powered armor suit with weapons that include beams and missiles. Throughout the series, she executes missions given to her by the Galactic Federation while hunting the antagonistic Space Pirates and their leader, Ridley, along with the energy-draining alien parasites called Metroids. Orphaned at a young age, Samus was brought up by the Chozo alien race, who trained her as a warrior. The Chozo also gave her the Power Suit, which features the ability to collapse Samus into a sphere to roll through tight areas such as tunnels.
Samus has appeared in all eleven Metroid video games as of 2010. She has also been featured in media outside of the series, including the comic book version of Captain N: The Game Master, all three games in the Super Smash Bros. series of multiplayer fighting game, and the video games Super Mario RPG (1996), Kirby Super Star (1996), and Kirby's Dream Land 3 (1997), in which she makes cameo appearances. Makoto Kano created the characters for the original Metroid while Hiroji Kiyotake designed them. The idea for Samus to be female came up partway through the development of Metroid when the developers determined that it would be an interesting twist to reveal her as female at the end of the game. Samus is one of the first major female protagonists in a video game, and her popularity among fans has helped her top several lists of the best video game heroines.
The style for the original Metroid game was designed to be a cross between the side-scrolling gameplay of the Super Mario games and the exploration and puzzle-solving aspects of The Legend of Zelda series, with inspiration from science fiction. The game's characters were conceived by Makoto Kano, while Hiroji Kiyotake designed them.
The game's atmosphere was influenced by Ridley Scott's film, Alien (1979). Samus was one of the first major female protagonists in a video game. Sakamoto noted that during the course of the Metroid series, developers constantly try to express Samus's femininity without turning her into a sex object. Samus's image was based on actress Kim Basinger from 9 1/2 Weeks and My Stepmother is an Alien.
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Official Site: Nintendo
Links: Samus Aran Wiki Entry Metroid Galaxy Nintendo.com