A brief meditation on Super Metroid

1994’s Super Metroid has become one of my favorite video games within the past 14 years. I first discovered it in college when I was hanging around the University of Parkside’s video game club. The dank, dark neon setting really drew me  into the story about a bounty hunter, Samus, rescuing the last of an alien larva species called a metroid. The game has many corridors and crannies that can only be explored with certain items such as bombs and environment suits. To make everything even more harrowing, Samus has to search for extra energy and weapon upgrades that are scattered through out the planet Zebes and Tourian. The game is more spacious and convenient compared to its 80s predecessor, Metroid. Metroid is small and cramped with enemies violating your personal space each step while  your life bar drains in a matter of seconds.  A much more politically apt person than myself could talk about how both games mirror the economic conditions of their respective time periods (Reagan vs Clinton), but I am mainly here to talk about what the game means to me.

Super Metroid was tough to navigate at first, but my friends in the club helped me get acquainted with the mechanics. We bonded over the fun challenges it presented along with the nostalgia  of the 90s that we all experienced. As corny as it sounds, this game sort of mirrored my journey into becoming a young adult; I was in a new environment where it was vital to continuously adapt with each situation. I was fortunate enough to find friends who guided me through these changes within and out of the video game world. I loved the game so much that one of the group’s members gave me a usb drive with an Super Nintendo emulator and the game along with many other Super Nintendo classic games. Somehow, after ten years and about two other laptops, I still have the emulator on a new usb drive that I got last year.

I only beat the game once at my grandfather’s old house in 2011 with my first Lenovo laptop. I was  alone in the guest bedroom during a  family party celebrating my Aunt’s birthday. After I graduated college  a year later, I drifted towards finding a career and working on  writing professinally. I’ve recently been trying to play it again and though  it’s hard to relearn specific moves, Super Metroid always brings back a wave of comforting memories of new experiences and supportive friends.

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