Metroid: Zero Mission
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Metroid: Zero Mission is a Metroid series released on the Game Boy Advance in 2004. It is an enhanced remake of Metroid for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986, and is a retelling of Samus Aran's first mission as a Bounty Hunter. The plot remains mostly the same except for some added elements, environments, and collectible extras, such as Hard Mode.
In the year 20X5 of the Cosmic Calendar, the Space Pirates attacked a deep-space research vessel and seized capsules containing samples of an unknown species that had been discovered on planet SR388. The Space Pirates' objective was to acquire these life-forms: known simply as Metroids, these floating organisms were incredibly dangerous, as they could latch onto any other organism and drain its life-energy. Furthermore, it was possible to replicate Metroids in vast numbers by exposing them to beta rays. The hypotheses that the Metroids were responsible for one of the greatest mysteries in the entire galaxy — the extinction of all life on planet SR388 — was generally accepted as fact.
If the Space Pirates were able to breed the Metroids and use the creatures as biological weapons, the destruction of all galactic civilization would be inevitable. After a desperate search, the Federation officials discovered the Space Pirates' base of operations on the planet Zebes. They launched a full assault on the planet, though Pirate resistance was strong, causing the Federation Police to retreat. Meanwhile, in a room hidden deep within the center of the Pirate Fortress, the preparations for multiplying the Metroids were steadily progressing.
As a last resort, the Federation Police decided to send a lone space hunter to penetrate the pirate base and destroy Mother Brain, the mechanical life-form that controlled the fortress and its defenses. Samus Aran was chosen for the mission, considered the greatest of all bounty hunters. Samus had successfully completed numerous missions that others had thought impossible before, making her an excellent candidate. However, despite her accomplishments, much of Samus's true identity remained wrapped in mystery.
Samus's Zero Mission
Alone, Samus Aran successfully landed on the surface of Zebes, which was, in fact, the planet where Samus had been raised as a child by the Chozo. By exploring the planet, she was able to find new abilities in the forms of missiles, beams, suits, bombs and other miscellaneous abilities. She single-handedly defeated the Space Pirate commander Kraid and eventually Ridley as well as other monstrosities before confronting Mother Brain, the organic supercomputer that controls everything on Zebes. However, as she is leaving the planet, Space Pirate fighters ambush her gunship, causing Samus to crashland back on the planet's surface, near the Space Pirate Mothership.
The crash has left Samus's Power Suit in need of repair. She decides to pursue without the suit and explore the Mothership. Samus still in her Zero Suit explores the Mothership, and discovers Chozodia, an abandoned settlement of the Chozo. After succeeding in a test handed down by the Chozo, Samus acquires the legendary Power Suit, which is compatible with the unknown equipment, revealing them to be the Plasma Beam, the Space Jump and the Gravity Suit. With her new suit, she becomes able to overpower the Space Pirates and futher explore the Space Pirate Mothership. Eventually, she confronts a mechanized form of Ridley, possibly an early attempt at creating Meta Ridley. After Samus defeats the robot, as its last resort, it sets off a self-destruct sequence. Samus, after a difficult, yet quick journey, was able to escape in a Space Pirate Escape pod, just seconds before a blast destroys the Mothership and puts an end to the Space Pirates' tyranny.
New Gameplay Elements
Being a remake of the original Metroid for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the game has seen drastic revisions in gameplay, sound and graphics. The story is also expanded beyond the original 1986 adventure. Most notable changes in gameplay include new items like the Plasma Beam and Gravity Suit as well as new explorable areas like the Space Pirate Mothership and Crateria, which was also featured in Super Metroid. Absent from the original Metroid is diagonal aiming, crouching, wall jumping, the Shinespark, and more.
Unlike the original, Zero Mission features a map, making navigating through the tunnels of Zebes much easier. In the final sequence where Samus has entered the Space Pirate Mothership and the areas around it, she travels without her Power Suit, relying on an emergency pistol. This pistol, called the Paralyzer, is auto charging. Once fully charged it can stun an enemy for a short while, turning them pink in color.
Hard Mode - Beat the game on Normal mode. This is not affected by how many items are collected or how much time is taken.
The conditions during Hard Mode are as follows:
- Samus takes double damage from enemies.
- There are an increase of enemies in several rooms.
- Some enemies have been discarded in favor of more formidable foes.
- Some Save Rooms have been removed, thus forcing Samus to travel longer distances to save.
- Upgrades are not as effective. The affected upgrades Samus can obtain are listed below.
Additional extras are as follows:
- Original NES Metroid - When the game is completed on any difficulty, the original Metroid ported to the Gameboy Advance is unlocked. A save feature is implemented as well in favor of the passwords that needed to be used in order to continue from a location as in the original Metroid.
- Music Test - When the game is completed on Hard mode, a music test feature becomes available. It is similar to a Sound Test.
- Image Gallery - Connecting a copy of Zero Mission to a copy of Metroid Fusion to a Gameboy Advance via a GBA connection cable unlocks a gallery showcasing images of Samus from Metroid Fusion that were only available in the Japanese version of the game. The gallery also includes images of Samus's past, including the destruction of the Earth colony on K-2L, and her childhood with the Chozo before she became a famed Bounty Hunter.
- Zero Mission is the only 2D Metroid game that allows Samus to be controlled without her Power Suit. The suit was also available in the Wii titles Metroid: Other M and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.