Looking back on it, it's remarkable so many of the old NES systems still work, and work well, especially considering how long those consoles were usually left on in the middle of game play sessions, you know, when us kids had to go to school and bed and all that not-so-fun stuff. Sure, I guess those machines weren't running anything very heavy duty or heat-producing parts, but still, electronics are pretty sensitive as a whole. Constant power, spit and saliva blown into the machines and the game cartridges and overall misuse and abuse of them should have destroyed way more of them then actually did.
Anyway, so the save system of passwords sucked in Metroid, but was refined in Metroid II to a more normal, sufficiently adequate save system. Of course, this eliminated the possibility of the "JUSTIN BAILEY" code, which I honestly knew nothing about until a couple of months ago, thanks to my buddy Tanner, who apparently thought that every human on the planet knew of the JUSTIN BAILEY code. Despite Metroid II being a nice step up in the franchise, however, I decided to skip it in favor of one of the most highly regarded video games of all time, Super Metroid, on the SNES.
The game continued the same Metroid-style of gameplay as before, but with the upgraded visual graphics of the new console, the game felt fresher and more awesome than ever before. Sorry for the "awesome" reference, but I just couldn't think of another word to describe the game and experience as I was typing other than "awesome." There's a little fourth wall, behind the curtain writing for you also.
Sure, Super Metroid looked great, and Samus was now donning the suit everyone associates with her (which was established in II, but not fully appreciated until this game), but this game was far more important and interesting than just the graphics. They story itself was fascinating, as it captivated the minds and imaginations of gamers of all ages. The previous stories were suitable, and did a decent job establishing a new character and universe, but Super Metroid went above and beyond to ensure that this character and her story would be around for as long as possible. It cemented its place among the Nintendo franchises as one of the best and most memorable, and for everyone who loves the series, it usually always points back to Super Metroid.
Being a bounty hunter is cool, and always has been since Boba Fett. Fighting space pirates, especially when the boss of them is a pterodactyl-dragon hybrid creature. Harnessing the power of an alien larva that thinks you are its mom is a little weird, sure. But then you get to the final battle and ending of the game, and suddenly, gaming memories that will last forever happen.
You encounter Mother Brain, a biomechanical creature that is, of course, in control of base. It's not called Mother Brain for nothing, you know. Anyway, Mother Brain pushes Samus to the brink of death, only to be attacked by the Metroid you shared a connection with. After destroying almost the entire population of Metroids in the last game, the fact the last of the species that you committed genocide against is helping you was a plot twist like none other. After draining Mother Brain of its energy and transferring it to Samus, Mother Brain recovers just enough to kill the last Metroid. Samus, of course, uses the harnessed energy she was just given to finally destroy Mother Brain, and then narrowly escapes the self destruction of the entire planet.
Just sitting there playing and watching this all play out was incredible back then, and even now, is still as powerful as ever. Oh crap, and I forgot to mention something:
******************* SPOILER ALERT!!! *******************
Whoops, sorry about that. But honestly, if you haven't played this game yet and experienced one of the best endings of a video game ever, what is wrong with you? Go find a way to play it now. Even if you already know what happened, it's just one of those gaming moments you will want to keep with you in your memory bank, trust me.